POLL - How much might you spend setting up a system? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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POLL - How much might you spend setting up a system?

-I just tallied up all the things I've been looking at for the past couple months and it came up to over $4,000. My family thinks it's ridiculous, but I don't know, I think that I could've easily spent about double. What about you? My LFS has a marine tank that's not for sale, which they said would be $10,000 - $15,000 if I wanted one, so I thought I did pretty good, even though it's freshwater.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:25 PM
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I have been lucky as my tanks have to be in our living space and not in a basement. I have to meet my wife standards as what is allowed in the house. An this means I can spend money on the best looking equipment.
Having kept aquariums for 56 years I have had every cheap piece of equipment. Problem is that they don’t last every long. I have equipment that is 30 years old still working most cheap equipment is lucky to last a year or two.
If you plan to stay in the hobby buy good equipment it will always is the best choice.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:39 PM
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It depends on the size of the tank. Also, you can create actual polls on TPT.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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it depends on the size of the tank. Also, you can create actual polls on tpt.



tpt?
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:08 AM
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tpt?
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:10 AM
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exactly. Thank you @Darkblade48

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:10 AM
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Can not agree more with Ed as is usually the case. I know not the main question but you brought up buying or selling a set up tank; wow that all varies so much. Unless you have people dying for your aquarium it's hard to sell used aquarium stuff and not hose yourself. I sold a 125 gallon display reef tank in my store for $4,000 and and might have recouped 50% of what I had in it -which I bought at wholesale and everything was thriving and had been growing for years. I had a Tridachna clam twice the size of a football in addition to SPS corals we couldn't fit in a 5 gallon bucket. But I didn't sell high, pre-2008 when I could have but didn't want to. Typically the used market brings a quarter on the dollar if you're lucky. But as the buyer we can use this to our advantage if we shop smartly. These days I won't take a used tank for free, but including the glass box almost anything you want can be had for pennies on the dollar on the used market if you're patient and know where to look. (hint, here and other hobby specific forums)

But 2K is a lot to spend on a freshwater aquarium unless it's pretty big. I could do it, don't get me wrong but think about the components you are considering and whether you aren't buying the best newest shiny thing that might be sipping that delicious drink that is the point of diminishing returns. If the reef side of the hobby has taught me anything, it's that buying that fancy new LED in 2005 is like buying a flat-screen TV that same year. There are regulators that are worth the extra $250 from a basic regulator but when adding another digit to that dollar amount, you may or not be getting a return in your investment in terms of production and product life. All of that said, I would never, ever go cheap. I have an Aqua Clear 2000 still running on a tank that they discontinued (renamed) in 1995. But I also have lights, H&S and Bubbleking skimmers & such sitting in my garage that would buy me a nice used car.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:35 AM
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I just tallied up all the things I've been looking at for the past couple months and it came up to over $4,000.
I think 4K is a bit much, how large a tank are you planning?

Now I will have to tally up my 80G tank and report back!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:36 AM
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Pfff, small change
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 12:35 PM
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I've only set up 2 tanks, one was a 5 gallon Walstad tank using mostly plants bought from Facebook, and the other is a 10 gallon shrimp tank I'm still working on, and it isn't stocked yet. I have a really tight budget as a student, so I shopped for bargains and things on sale, and neither tank is going to cost me more than $200. I think it's good for people looking to get into the hobby to know that they don't need to spend what seasoned hobbyists are spending.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:02 PM
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I would do some more research on equipment. Some equipment you think you need will end up being used the least, or not have any effect at all in what your goal was to begin with.

Just for reference. I wanted a rimless aquarium. 22 gallon long to be exact. It cost $200+ to buy, I assembled mine for about $60. Tank stand $200+ I built mine for less than $100. But then again, I spent $130 on a Fluval light. Anyway that's just me. Just depends on what you want to do and how much effort you want to put into it. Aside from money, think about your time. Do you have time for a lot of maintenance? Or do you want an easier low maintenance setup?

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:11 PM
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Buying used can save you money, but cost you in the end . . . Years ago I got back into the hobby after having not kept tanks since high school. I had $100 to spend of birthday money and got a used 38gal setup with all the basic equipment- filter, lights, stand etc. I thought it was a good deal! I made the seller show me the stuff worked before I paid. But when I brought it home and set it all up, the light would not turn on. The lid got cracked in transport. I found I didn't like the filter and replaced it. Long story short, I ended up buying new everything over again except the tank and spent twice as much! I guess I should have been smarter or inspected things closer the first time.
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Last edited by JJ09; 09-10-2019 at 01:26 PM. Reason: don't know why it posted everything I wrote twice
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 03:14 PM
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Paid $300 for my second-hand 75 gal setup. Plus new LED lights, heaters, DIY sump and accessories etc, probably another $300

So $600 total...


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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 03:22 PM
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If I had a big fancy house, and this tank was going to be the centerpiece, like huge tank maybe built into a wall, fancy lights, nice canisters, plumbing run to it..... then I could see spending several grand. Otherwise I go cost effective options, most value per dollar. I wouldn't spend more than a grand if the intent isn't for it to be a very nice display tank.

The value for me just isn't there. When tanks are cheap with sales at PetCo/Smart, everything is cheap buying used from hobbyists as Blue Ridge Reef said, and at the end of the day fish and plants can be happy in a rubber tub with an air stone.

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 03:33 PM
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Size of the tank is the biggest missing piece of info to your question.
But in general I agree with Ed... i prefer to buy good equipment the first time.
I'm setting up a 143g rimless right now. Just the tank, stand and high end led lighting totals out at $5k retail. Another $700 for the two filters and heaters.
This doesn't include Co2 equipment, controller, pumps, filter media, RO/DI equipment, and a bunch of little misc stuff.
Plus everything that needs to go inside the tank! Substrate, plants, fish, critters, fertz, food...

Of course though, you could go to Petco and walk out with a full system for under 1k.
All depends on what you want.
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