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Old 03-18-2010, 06:07 AM   #11
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I don't know I live in Aus, all the prices are different.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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im guessing my 2 biggest things will be the raise in electric bill and water bill? and LED are on my research list. so if they end up seeming feasable(i know debateable subject) that would be a higher upfront cost and a lower monthly(electric bill) and maintance cost(no light bulb changes)

lets see if im missing anything
Electric bill 400w = 250 a month. on average for me. 16cents an hour. less if i use LEDs or less wattage. more with more wattage depending on tank size
No... at $0.16 per kW-hr you're looking at $0.64 per 10 hour day for 400 W (0.4 kW), which would be about $20 per month.

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salt- what ever the cost of salt is at the lfs
Figure $40 per bucket and a bucket makes aboug 160g. If you're doing a 40% change per month on a 300g system, then you're looking at about 1440 g worth of salt water, or 9 buckets of salt mix. Figure $350-$400 per year.

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light replacement - not really montly more 1/2-1 year for lights(5-10 years on LEDS)
Not sure what the replacement frequency for metal halides are, but I think it's closer to a year. I know I do my PC lights every 6 months, and that runs me about $70-80 each time - and that's just for 200W of PC.

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let me know if this sounds right. and lets base it on a 300g system. 200g mt and 100g sump.
electricity 250-300 a month - too high... see above.
water-25
food 20
suppliments 20 - only supplements you might need would be 2-part cal/alk mix. $20 seems a little low, but I know the DIY kits are pretty cheap. Check out www.bulkreefsupply.com for an idea of the cost.
lights 100-150 a year?
salt 25-50 - too low... see above.
this doesnt count any fish/coral buying or emergencys that come up.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:26 PM   #13
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really lighting 400w bulbs is only 20 bux a month?
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #14
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400W = 0.4 kW
0.4 kW X 10 hours/day = 4.0 kW-hr / day
$0.16 /kW-hr X 4.0 kW-hr / day = $0.64 / day
$0.64 / day X 30 days / month = $19.20 / month

I double-checked your electrical rate against some stuff on the internet, and it seems right. It seemed high to me, but it IS high... my rates in WA state are about half!
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #15
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The costs after it is established is barely anything compared to the start up. Keep in mind though some expenses you might not plan for. I know since I was new to SW i spent way more money than I had to just on little things I didnt need or on stuff I needed better quality of. (Ex. bought a hydrometer and figured out they are inaccurate compared to refractometer and I bought crushed coral (thinking there was no difference between sands) which i ended up hating.) Although each thing I did only costed a couple bucks to fix I did a lot of stupid things like that. Just something to keep in mind along with monthly costs.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:49 PM   #16
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ty. i was really expecting a higher monthly maintance cost. and im talking planned cost. there are still emergancy costs like heaters going out, lights stop working, algee outbreaks that you spend money on. and then you have impulse buys. a coral or fish thats on your list to own and it happens to be at the lfs when you happen to pop in one random day. and there is always money to spent on new items that hit the market that you just got to have. i was more concerned of the monthly upkeep cost. but i guess its not as high as i thought it was. that doesnt mean i wont spend alot of money. just means instead of spending it on a nhuge electric bill i will spend it on something else.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:11 AM   #17
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Electric bill 400w = 250 a month. on average for me. 16cents an hour. less if i use LEDs or less wattage. more with more wattage depending on tank size
You are WAY OFF on this calculation. you said your rate was 16c/kw-hr.

400W=.4kw
.4kw*12 hrs = 4.8 kw-hr's
4.8 kw-hrs*16c = 77 cents /day
.77 cents/day *31 = 23.87/month

You already figured out that the water is negligible.

Salt - The most expensive salt I can find is $90/200 gal bucket doing 60 gal changes on a 300 gal tank every 2 weeks (that is a lot...probably over kill) that is about $60 a month.

The cost to run a tank is just not that much If you are changing that much water you won't need to suppliment anything.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:51 AM   #18
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ty everyone. it really sounds like i just have to figure out what i want to do now. i dont think monthly cost is as big a factor as i thought. its basically based on what you put in the tank for your costs.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:54 AM   #19
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Yep. I recommend making a stock list of fish then not varying from that list. That way you know what your costs are for your fish.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:51 AM   #20
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its not the fish list that worrys me. my fish list will be pretty basic i think. its my coral list that will cause problems lol. when i had my planted tank, i loved my fish but i really loved my plants and how they defined the tank. i have that same feeling when i look at a reef tank. i like the fish in it but love the coral.
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