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Old 03-16-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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Cutting costs.

As of now I'm able to run my tanks off of my schools power, but obviously that can happen only for so long. So, for those who are lighting, heating, filtering multiple large or even just multiple tanks how are you able to bring costs down? Or do you? I realize it's an expensive hobby, but I'd like to think I could continue it later without experiencing massive cutbacks, etc.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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IME, the cost of running a tank as far as electricity is concerned in minimal. My electricity bill didn't go up more than $10/mo from no tanks to 6 tanks at one point. Now I'm only running a 125, 150, and 40. Unless you're running MH lights, I honestly don't think you'll have any issues with cost. I'm convinced that water changes are more expensive than electricity bills
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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With that in mind, look into pond water conditioner. I use that now for my tanks.

It was about 6ft away from the aquarium version in the pet store, but the pond one was slightly cheaper and far more concentrated. A single cap of the pond version of the brand I use treats 40 gallons, while the aquarium one treats 5. The bottle contents smell exactly the same, look exactly the same, but the pond one just seems stronger (which it is).
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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Prime is the cheapest I've found. 5ml (one cap) treats 50 gallons. I bought a 2 litre bottle not long ago and I can't even tell I've used any.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #5
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If that company does a pond version, try to find it. I bet it'll save you money. I use Kordon Nov-aqua.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, I was mostly concerned with the electric bills, water bills, and general upkeep so these replies helped alot. That's great that electricity didn't go up much.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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The only real way is to avoid the real energy suckers, like MHs. It's kind of unavoidable on things like heaters and filters. RO/DI is a big one too. Waste's a lot of water.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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I was concerned about my electricity costs, but I think they're relatively minimal I've got this equipment running on five tanks ranging from 5g up to 40g:

Four 7W AquaClear motors - on all day
One Eclipse motor of unknown wattage, probably less than 7W - on all day
650W worth of heaters - on intermittently as needed
236 W of fluorescent/LED light - on ~10 hours a day

Generously figuring that the Eclipse motor is 7W and the heaters are on 12 hours a day, I'm using 11kWh at a rate of about $0.15 per kWh, so my tanks are costing me $1.65 a day in electricity to run. That seems cheap to me, but I can't find an error in my math.

I made an effort to do smaller PWCs to cut cost, but I haven't really noticed any significant drop in my water bill. I figure I change 30-50g of water every week, but that's a small fraction of what the toilet and the shower use.

The cost in fish keeping is the buy-in. Once you've got the tank set up, it's pretty cheap to maintain unless you buy a lot of live feeders. Compared to buying food and vet visits for a dog, fish are pretty cheap.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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Yeah I can't say my bill went up any even when I had 7 tanks operational...
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