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Old 12-08-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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It all depends- if you want all brand new and top of the line than it can be super expensive. It also depends on your goal- if you want a huge sps reef than it's gonna be a lot more than a medium size fowlr and you can always turn it into a reef down the road.

For my current tank I went all used and DIY except for the lights and skimmer.

75 g tank from craigslist- $50 but is scratched up and I had to re-seal it with new silicone
DIY stand & hood- $100
Mag 7-$70 but have seen used for $25
Coralife skimmer $120
2 x Tao LEDs- $235
20g long (sump) $20
Acrylic for DIY overflows, glass for baffles- $25 scrap from hardware store
Plumbing supplies- $30
Live rock- $250 50 lbs or so at an avg of $5/lb (would buy from lfs on sale)
Base rock- free! Got at least 80lbs from uncle who had a reef years ago. In DT and sump.
Refractometer- $30 from eBay but started with hydrometer which are $5-10
Test kits- $50 for API SW master and reef kit $30 for redsea mg kit
Powerheads- $100 for 1050 & 750 hydor koralias
Heaters- $40 150 w jäger eheim and a free 150 w I got from a friend not sure what brand

QT: 10g, basic little hob filter, small heater all for $50 from Walmart.

I don't make water yet so I buy 15g SW every 2 weeks (change 7 g per week) for $15 and 5 g rodi per week for $1.50.

My next purchases/ upgrades will be rodi unit from brs for $130 and eventually a better skimmer maybe reef octopus which is $350.

I buy $5-10 coral frags bc I like to watch them grow out and in case they die.

So it looks like my equipment was $1170

+ $10 per week for water

Livestock I've probably dropped $200-300 over the 2 years since I've started.

I'm sure I forgot a few odds and ends but that pretty much sums it up.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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I tried to save money. Bought things on sale and online. I didn't buy used, because with all the electric things sitting in water, and potential failure, I just didn't feel comfortable buying something others were trying to get rid of.

Amazon generally sells aquarium supplies for a nice price. My overflow and skimmer would have been much more than what I paid if I'd gone to the LFS. Plus, I bought EShopps brand and they aren't cheep. A similar sized skimmer by another company would have been less expensive, but the EShopps was the only nano with good reviews. Many of the nano skimmers just don't work well.

My big opportunity for saving may be the live rock. Dry rock would have been less expensive.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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I can tell you what I did for a $25 gallon SW. 25 gallon kit: $99 on sale. DIY stand: about $100. 10 gallon tank for refugium: $12 Sheet of acrylic to divide the refugium into 3 sections: $20 Live sand: $30 ( I think) 30 lbs live rock: about $200 Proteins skimmer: $150 HOB overflow: $40 Pump: $120 Incidentals ( hoses, return duck-bill, etc.): $25 2 ocelleris clowns: $70 Diamond goby: $30 Banghai cardinal: $30 Purple firefish: $30 7 Various coral frags: $30/each for $210 Low end (but suitable) LED light; $150 Skunk cleaner shrimp: $30 Various snails and crabs for clean-up crew: $40 That's all I can think of, but I'm sure I've missed something. That totals out to about $1400. YUCK!! That's the first time I've done that math!!!
You did forget salt , RODI system or RODI water .
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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You did forget salt , RODI system or RODI water .
Yep, I bought 5 gallon jugs of SW for a while for about 6 bucks a pop. Now I buy RO/DI water and use salt I buy. There are a variety, but I use Red Sea. It's a bit high, but I like it.

I also forgot the power head. It was just about $40 or so.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:35 PM   #15
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I try to steer new hobbyists towards used setups. There are several reasons why. 1) it's cheaper and usually gets you up and running 2) you don't have to worry so much about piecing a new setup together. 3) although it may not be the exact setup you want, it allows you to upgrade the tank as you grow with it. Obviously if you are just getting started into the sw hobby, you aren't gonna have a need for a digital dosing pump, up flow reactors, and the such. I paid $250 for my entire 125g setup (complete with a few fish) and I've spent prob $2000 in upgrading it. I'm actually getting ready to spend another big amount in January.
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my 125g Sw...Round 2!http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...220171-33.html
ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:55 PM   #16
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I try to steer new hobbyists towards used setups. There are several reasons why. 1) it's cheaper and usually gets you up and running 2) you don't have to worry so much about piecing a new setup together. 3) although it may not be the exact setup you want, it allows you to upgrade the tank as you grow with it. Obviously if you are just getting started into the sw hobby, you aren't gonna have a need for a digital dosing pump, up flow reactors, and the such. I paid $250 for my entire 125g setup (complete with a few fish) and I've spent prob $2000 in upgrading it. I'm actually getting ready to spend another big amount in January.
That's exactly what I did .
I got the 75 gal tank for free ,
I had to upgrade the lights , but I bought it used from the same person I bought the first 70 lbs of rock from .
I went back after buying the rocks and bought the lights , skimmer , powerheads all for $120 lol
Including all the rocks , salt , fish and corals I think I am close to $3000 Over the last year .
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:00 AM   #17
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Also if you can go bigger early that way you won't have to upgrade to another bigger tank in the future and it's easier the bigger you go.
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