Average Costs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Average Costs

If someone could please give me the approximate cost of a planted tank not including fish at the different levels(low tech mid tech high tech) for a 55 gallon tank. If you could also compare this to the average cost of a saltwater that would be great. You don't need to include the tank as I'll still purchase the same tank. Thanks
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 07:52 PM
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this is what my tank cost

tank: orignally $200 but you can get one for 100
substrate: 4 bags of eco-complete $100
lighting: Corlife 4*64watt $230 ( i only run two lights at a time)
Plants:$50 starting out
driftwood:$48 for the piece i wanted
canister filter and filter media: $160
pressurized co2:$250, but i have DIY: $20
ferts: starting out you can get dry ferts for $20 shipped
light timer(so that your lights will go off at a certain time everyday even if you aren't some) $20
UV sterizer(not a have to) $60

this is just the stuff i have it is kind of a low tech tank but i have the lighting to go high tech i just haven't been able to get the presurized CO2 yet.
This was also buying my sutff pretty much brand new, but you could get alot of it for much cheaper here in the swap n shop i dont know much about the cost of saltwater the only thing that i do know is that they are much more expensive, plus the fish are a lot more expensive to.

hope this gives you a general idea
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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So I'm basically looking at atleast $600 without the fish right? Unless I do a bunch of DIY
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:01 PM
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just about maybe a little more, what i did was i bought the tank and just had fish in it at first then i started leaning towards a planted tank and i bought the stuff that i needed over a period of time. i would stick with something fairly simple before i jumped in to see if you liked that particular set up or not then when you decide what you want go for it
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:04 PM
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For low tech tanks...

You won't need high lighting or CO2 and could probably get away without ferts.

Tank/Stand - You can probably buy a used tank & stand from $100-$150.

You can probably go with sand substrate.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I just realized something. On craigslist I've seen many of the tanks for $150 55 gallons with a filter and lighting. But I don't know the lighting that is included. So either way that is much cheaper and then I could DIY lighting and the price might not even break $300
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:08 PM
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lol.

This is a loaded question.

Low tech = sand from Home Depot. $20.

High tech = depending on substrate, size of tank, etc....ADA AS could cost $200. You could go all DIY MH or spend money on a Tek, etc...

If you do a fish-only SW tank, that's probably cheaper than a high tech freshwater planted tank. If you do LPS that might make a difference. If you do many SPS w/ the full works of an automated controller, calcium reactor, large skimmer, etc, you're looking at spending big bucks.

Too many factors that play a role to give you a nice, simple answer.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Couldn't I do 1/2 to 2/3 decent gravel with the rest sand to make it cheaper and I also like the look of the sand better. I'm actually thinking I have a good chance of being able to make a low tech high lighting, tank (DIY Co2 mid/high lighting cheap ferts) for around $300. As long as I buy everything used or DIY. And also do I need a heater?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:29 PM
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If you like sand better, then go all sand w/ root tabs and dry ferts.

How big is this tank? 55 gallons? DIY CO2 would not be easily done in this case.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:33 PM
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for saltwater tank, just for the filter, return pump cost 100-120, wet/dry filter 80-90, protein skimmer 120-150, protein skimmer pump 60-80, these item for fish only if you want reef tank, it will cost more, go with freshwater tank much cheaper, I'm the one switch to freshwater.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well I didn't buy it yet but I will hopefully be able to convince my parents to let me get a 55 gallon. I just want to make sure I have everything right before I buy it so I know what I'm doing.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:35 PM
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Fish only? Depeding on your bioload, you could get away with a HOB skimmer, no sump, no return pumps, no wet/dry filters.

See how many variables factor into cost?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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No I want to do a 55 gallon planted or saltwater with coral and get some live rock from one of my friends, but yea I see. I'm just trying to get a ballpark.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 08:57 PM
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the cost for setup saltwater tank only once, but the cost to maintain coral tank expensive, I had coral and fish tank before, at lease 80 per month, seasalt cost somewhere 60, liquid calcium 15, fish food etc.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 09:06 PM
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Personally I would invest in one of the better substrates, something that could help provide nutrients to your plants at the roots. Every other item can be upgraded after it is set up fairly easily. The substrate though I would imagine is the most difficult thing to change after it is all set up. It should make things a lot easier for someone new at this. I have a lower tech tank with gravel, but I do wish I used something else, probably flourite in my case.

Just my opinion, good luck with the new tank!
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