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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone want to disclose what their monthly budget is for their tanks? I'm interested in ongoing maintenance, upkeep, and fun once the system is established and stocked.

I have a 125 and a 55 that I have been monitoring my spending on since March. Sometimes it is depressing what I spend, other times I am amazed at how I can make the system help pay for itself. If someone asked how much I spend on the tanks before I started keeping track, I would have been very wrong in my answer.

So tell us a bit about your system and what you spend on a monthly basis (including replacement of broken equipment, general maintenance, and the eye candy you just had to buy at the lfs, from a buddy, or online).
 

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I'm not willing to expose those numbers publicly, Bluespot! :p

I've been spending A LOT! Like Scott says I'm still on the honeymoon with my tank so I'm sure that will slow down here in the new future.

Once I reach the point where it's time to let the tank grow out I'll start keeping track.

I'll be watching this thread, though, so I can see what other's are spending! :thumbup:
 

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hmmm....budget, back when I started I set mine at $100/month....that seems like a long, LONG, time ago.... :)

just my two cents, if you do try to come up with one, take whatever you come up with, then double it.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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I'm not sure there is really a budget for the tank. It's more a matter of how much ramen noodles am I willing to eat this month so I can buy ----- or do ------...

Honestly I would hate to figure it out. I spend about $100 a month on salt alone:funny:
 

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funny you ask that question I have came up with a average number per customer @ the shop which is around 155 per month even now with the economy being bad I am sure it was triple or quadruple year before last
 

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I was big into the spending mode for the first 17-18 months of my tank. The last three months I have cut down considerably. Mainly on the purchase of livestock because my tank is full. An occasional coral frag here or there. It's mainly just food, supplements and salt at this point, maintenance crap. Yeaterday I spent over $100.00 on frozen foods that will last about 2 months, 2 bottles of Tigger Pods and one last fish, a Royal Gramma.

Fortunately, I haven't had to replace much equipment. If I had to replace a piece of equipment, I would consider it a capital expense rather than an overhead expense.

Soon I will be starting the Balling method of supplementing. I'm waiting on my dosing pump to be delivered from Holland. Initially, my costs may go up, but in the long run may help them to go down.

So I'm probably spending about $50.00 a month in maintenance. This doesn't include the cost of electricity to run the beast, but with the Solaris, I know I am saving in the long run.:D
 

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spaceman spiff
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I don't care to discuss how much the setup cost (self incrimination is not something I always enjoy ;)), but monthly my electricity costs are in the $45 range, and maintenance in the $20 range. The last couple months I've been selling about $150 in frags, so I'm probably breaking even with operational costs on the year. BUT, I'll never recoup my setting up "investment."
 

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Well since I started the 180 gallon build I have been spending about 2,000 - 3,000 a month. There isn't really a monthly budget for us, its more like a "if I need or want it for the tank, I get it." Its tough to put a budget on something you love, right? But once the tank is established I would imagine I will be spending around 125 - 150 a month. Which is not bad for a hobby. I picked up on golf a while back and could spend 150 in a couple days easy. And what do I have to show for that? Nothing but a bad score :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, I guess it is time to admit my spending for the two tanks. After all the first step in a 12 step program is to admit you have a problem. I have averaged $50 a week for the past 4 months. I didn't set a budget, but like some of you, if I wanted to spend $$ on the tank, I didn't get to eat lunch, buy clothes, go golfing, drink wine... I also sold $1800 worth of corals/equipment during this same time that offset many more costs (i.e., $1800 worth of costs).

This cost doesn't include electricity to run the 5 MHs. It does include a 55g tank/skimmer/HOB fuge (bought used), a new stand for the 55, some MH bulbs, a stand repair, replacement ballasts, CUC replenishment, lots of salt, supplements, test kits, food, and a few nice corals/fish.

In the end, I am surprized at what I spent. I am also amazed that even though my tanks are both full, I still find myself wanting to squeeze in one more coral or fish.

I think Jack's tally of $150 a month per customer is very interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BTW, last year was the year that I won't ever admit how much I spent on re-establishing my tank! I'm still paying for that! Hence, why I am now on a budget...:lol:
 

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Toyotaholic
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But both of your tanks are amazing. I am super jealous. I especially am jealous of you carpent nem. I want one so bad but would have to convert my 55 just to keep it and a pair of clowns in.

Needless to say...I feel like there are so many worse things that I could be spending my money on....like drugs or something. No one in my family understands why I spend so much money on this hobby, and it is exactly that...a hobby, that I love and will continue doing for many years to come!

<=== My avatar is my other hobby, hence the trying to set a side $25 a check for the tank, but that doesn't always happen :lol: because it ends up in the "other tank"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Daniel. Hobby, yes. Maybe I should be asking how much people spend on drugs, alcohol, and even golf each month. Then I would feel so much better.
 

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I too refuse to answer the question on the grounds that my wife also reads this forum and I do not want to have any more of "those" talks. ;)

Even though my 75 has been setup for over 2 years, I still manage to find ways to spend money on it. I also have the 40 gallon FOWLR and the 50 gallon Seahorse tank to think about. I just dropped $120 yesterday placing an online order for a new ballast and bulbs for the Dual 96 watt Sattelite fixture over the Seahorse tank.

I also try to attend at least one club meeting every month, not to mention I live 2 hours away from the nearest LFS, and I do not want to calculate the fuel costs for those trips. The good thing is we have raffles at the meetings and I have walked away with some really good stuff, complete set of Aquavitro products for example, for less than $20 in tickets. We also do a coral of the month that costs about $10 for a frag if enough members want a frag of it.

Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt mix is now costing me about $80 a bucket. July is also the time when I buy the replacement bulbs for my Aqualight Pro Fixture so I am looking at dumping at least $200 in the next couple weeks for those. :doh:

It is an expensive hobby, but as others have stated I could be out spending my money on much worse things than my saltwater tanks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:agree::fish::agree::fish::agree::fish:Go fish!

That's a game isn't it? Didn't our parents want us to play it as kids?
 

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I guess im a lucky one im a LFS manager so i get all of my stuff wholesale so i guess i spend probably 100-200 a month. but thats alot when you can buy clowns for $8 and zoo rocks for 10-15 etc etc


-NATHAN-
 

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LOL our employees only get a 25% discount on livestock and any dry goods in stock. If they order dry good the get it 10-20% above cost depending what it is. There really isnt to much mark up on dry goods just livestock but its through the entire industry for some reason im sure if any of you ever went to a whole saler you would be amazed at the prices.

-NATHAN-
 

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I have heard a lot of stories from the people that get to go straight to the wholesalers.

:idea: I wonder how big of a populace does a town need in order to support a LFS. I also wonder if it would be more beneficial, and cost effective, to specialize in saltwater than to try to cover freshwater as well. Of course, there is always the question about up front capital and being able to be there to work it as well. I think it would be really cool to try to make a living from a hobby that I love. :)

Pardon my random thoughts, we now return you to your previously scheduled budget discusson. ;)
 
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