How much do your High-Tech tanks cost? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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How much do your High-Tech tanks cost?

After you've set up the tank(plants, co2 regulator, diffuser..etc) how much does it cost from there?

Cost of dry ferts a year? Cost of replacing co2 tanks a year?...etc.


I'm getting very interested in starting a high tech..but I'm not sure how much money go into maintaining one(55 gallon).
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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My 80gram co2 bottles cost about 2.50 dollars US. they last about 2 weeks. I use ADA step ferts and the cost is about 5 dollars a month for a 60l tank. I spend more than that in one evening drinking beer.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 01:12 PM
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The biggest cost is electricity and I think that stays around 100 dollars a year. That estimate predates LEDs though. I'm sure it has gone down. My CO2 costs me 10-15$ for more than a year but I run it slower than what would be considered high tech.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 01:18 PM
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Easily spent $1500 for hardware alone (75g). All of this stuff will last me a long long time though.

Maintaining it isn't so bad - really just have to pay for electricity and $10-$15 a month for CO2 swaps. The time you put in is much more valuable than the cost of replacing CO2, ferts (dry ferts are cheap), etc


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't know co2 had to be replaced as frequently. I assumed it was only a couple times a year.

Do you just buy another tank when the co2 runs out? Or do you get them refilled?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
I didn't know co2 had to be replaced as frequently. I assumed it was only a couple times a year.

Do you just buy another tank when the co2 runs out? Or do you get them refilled?
This really depends on the size of your system, amount of CO2 being utilized, and the size of your CO2 bottle.

A refill or swap is generally the way to go. I spend about $20-40 to swap my 10lb tank. I only do this about once a year on my 12 gallon. that equates to $1.50-$3.00/month.

Once equipment is bought, the cost to run is negligible.

Best,
Nate


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 02:13 PM
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It doesn't always have to be replaced that often. It really depends on your set up and how much CO2 you add. For instance, on one of my aquariums I have a 5lb CO2 tank and it lasts me over 6 months. It only costs about $10-15 to fill up. Fertilizer isn't really that expensive either. If you go dry ferts it costs about $30 and that lasts well over a year (and you can get fertilizer cheaper than that). All this is for a 38gal high tech tank.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 02:14 PM
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$50 a year on dry ferts, $20 a year on Co2 (they charge me $10 to swap it out, 5lb bottle), then of course water, electricity, fish food and that. I would say under $200 a year for maintenance.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 02:25 PM
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It depends a lot on dimensions... and whether you have flexibility/availability to buy cheap alternatives.

For example, for ADA90p dimension (46gals)
Crystal glass tank from China import ; 100 USD
Crystal glass tank from ADA ; 600 USD
and the difference is indistinguishable at 2 meters
Eheim pro 600 ; 270 USD
Sunsun 370 GPH ; 100 USD (30 USD on amazon sale)

Lights - single metal halide 150w ; 50 USD
Lights - BML LED Dutch 36inch ; 275 USD

Use top + cap (say I cap mine with ADA) ; 40 USD
Use pure ADA (say 5 bags) ; 140 USD

So a ADA90p setup w/o cabinet can end up costing less than 500 or more than 1000, or even 2000 if you go for the more/most expensive components available. Some stuff will impact the tank a lot more than others. Personally, I will spend more money on Lights, CO2 equipment, and save money on the rest of the stuff.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 03:09 PM
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As in many things, the operating costs will vary a lot. Part of that is due to the amount of money spent upfront for equipment. Let's look at CO2 costs? Buy cheap paintball tanks and you will pay a lot more to have them refilled as well as the time and effort. Buy a large tank like a 20 pound and swap it ot at some place like a welding gas supply and the price goes way down --- after paying for the tank. Buy a new car and low maintenance or only able to buy an old car and pay through the nose is about the same deal.
Ferts are another spot where you can blow the bank or do some more study and it winds up real cheap. The difference can be as simple as buying dry or already mixed. I buy dry and mix it with water I have. I could buy it in liquid form and pay lots more for the small amount of ferts and more for shipping all that water.
LED lights will cost you a bundle upfront but then you pay less for electricity and AC to cool those lights.
When expense is a major concern, I recommend waiting to make the leap. All hobbies have the same problems in different ways. Look at what it costs to ride a bike or REALLY go for a ride?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the replies. If I don't have a welding gas supply near me, what would I have to do? How does one refill the tank?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
Appreciate the replies. If I don't have a welding gas supply near me, what would I have to do? How does one refill the tank?
I refill my 20lb cylinder for 20$ at a local fire protection store. They offer great deals if you are a member of our local fish forum since they are a sponsor. If you have a local fish forum take a look at their sponsors. You might find a good deal on co2 that way.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
Appreciate the replies. If I don't have a welding gas supply near me, what would I have to do? How does one refill the tank?
Beer store that sells kegs of beer and rents taps will swap them out. Don't buy an aluminum one though, get a cheap steel one off ebay, or just rent one from the beer store.

40 breeder - 1.25" Dirt/1.25" Black Diamond cap - Pressurized CO2 (2.25bps) - 2x54watt T5HO and 42watt LED (total 150watts; 14,500 lumens) - EI dosing - 50% weekly WC - H.O.T. Magnum 250 canister - SunSun 530 gph pump - Set-up 7-14-2015 - Cycled 8-1-2015

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 07:18 PM
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My local beer shop sells the aluminum ones for $80 the 1st time, then will swap you out for $10 when your empty.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2015, 07:58 PM
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The devil is always in the details, it seems? When looking for value, the cost can vary a lot from place to place. Do some calling and checking for price. Fire protection, welding and soda or beer are just some of the places which use CO2.
Some of the details to look over are common to most places. The price of the tank will vary in each area but a point to figure is whether you want to OWN the tank which gives you a nice shiny tank that costs more to refill or just buy a cheap beater tank and swap with the place where they fill them. Different folks do it different but I like buying the cheap tank and just go by and pick up a full one rather than waiting and paying more to keep a shiny tank. Part of the downside of owning and keeping one special tank is that they have to be re-inspected each five years. The places I swap, they take care of that but if you own and keep the tank it can cost $25 -40 to get it checked when the time comes. If buying a used tank, look at the date stamped in the metal at the top. If it is over five years--- keep shopping or buy it really cheap. I buy used 10-20 pound tanks for $50-80 but the market varies. Look on Craigslist if it is active. There are bands who go bust and sell their CO2 tanks cheap. A restaurant supply may have real bargain tanks if you don't mind it saying Pepsi on the side?
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