Cost of setting up a Marine tank from scratch

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Singularity, 14 Mar 2010.

  1. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    OK so alot of people starting out in the hobby wonder what a complete tank will cost them. Because a 4ft tank is usually the best size for a beginner because of water volume compared to cost (Big enough for more stable water conditions and most entry level equipment will work fine) we will use it for this example.
    Tank dimensions 120x45x45 with a 3ft 90L sump, thats total water volume of 330L. This is also a rough estimate, but will give you an idea. Lots of the stuff can also be diy`ed to save on cost.
    Best would be to get in contact with a sponsor closest to you for your tank Sponsors Forums - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    ok so lets start with the tank, stand and sump...
    Tank - R1800-R2500 depending on amount of holes that need to be drilled, what type of overflow, glass thickness. This could obviously be alot more if you go for a full custom build, but you can a standard 4ft with overflow for that price.

    Stand - +/-R1600

    Sump - +/- R900

    OK some of the essential equipment

    Skimmer - R1500-R4000 you can go for Reeftec TS range skimmers (TS2 will work well) which offer good value for money, and for something a little better look at the reef octopus bubble blaster skimmers and bubble blaster cone skimmers rated for 800L

    Circulation pumps - R1600 Seio`s offer some of the best value for money (price is for 2x Prop 530`s and 2x Prop 1000`s which should be more than enough to start of with.)
    South Africa's largest online marine aquarium pet shop
    Powerheads

    Return pump - R500-R1800 Here you can choose anything from Tunze, hailea, Aqua medic OR pumps, sicce. Best would be to choose one of these brands as you seldom hear of any problems with them.
    Aqua Africa
    South Africa's largest online marine aquarium pet shop
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    RO unit - R1500
    The Waterboy: Water Purification Equipment Specialists

    Light Unit - R2000 - R10000 Here you really have to know what you want to keep in terms of corals before deciding on what type of lighting will be sufficient.

    Heaters - R400-R500 It is recommended to use 2 smaller heaters 2x150w jager or 2x200w jager

    Plumbing - R500 Pipes allowing water to travel from display tank to your sump and back

    Good quality hydrometer or/and refractometer - R500 for aqua medic hydro or tropic marin hydro meter or R850 for reef octopus Refractometer.

    Salt - R2000 for +/-40kg`s for the first couple of months, obviously you can buy less but thats just how i prefer to buy :p

    Master test kit - R650 I still think for the start the tropic marin offers the best value for money and includes all the tests you would need for cycling etc.

    Substrate and dsb - R200-R1500 if you decide to use playsand it could save cost, more expensive is aragonite.

    Live Rock - @ R100-R120 for decent kenyan live rock and +/-20kg`s

    Thats about it for getting a nice basic tank up and running.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2010
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  3. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    so anything from 15650 - 29750 rand?:whistling:
     
  4. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Here's my build for example:

    Display Tank: 900mm x 900mm x 600mm (High) 12mm glass rimless with c2c overflow Around R3400
    Sump: 800mm x 800mm x 350mm (High) R650
    Auto Top Up: R500 or R150 if you DIY
    Return: R450 (4800Lph lifetech pump)
    Lights: 250W MH with 20 000K BLV globe R3200
    Skimmer: Orca 135 R2600
    Pipes and fittings: R600
    Stand: R900
    Circulation: 2 x resun 15000 wavers R2000

    So in total it is around R14 000 with total system volume of around 550L just for the tank
     
  5. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Thats if you buy everything new. My vote is to start off with good quality second hand equipment. For example, I just got a 2 X 250W MH light unit that normally costs over 5K for 2K. Unit was 4 months old. But be patient, good deals come your way but lifetime deals less often. So do all your research while you look around for bargains.
     
  6. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    And just to add to what you said. Shop around, don't think all shops sell everything for the same price. For example some shops may sell a skimmer for cheap but then their heaters are expensive
     
  7. Singularity

    Singularity Thread Starter Hmmm amper!

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    This is ofcourse a rough estimate and just to give people an idea that has never bought any of the stuff at what they are looking at.
     
  8. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    To be honest equipment is the least of my costs. The problem is when I see an awesome fish or coral that always seems to cost R1000+ and then it is the additives, water changes. This hobby definitely isn't cheap...
     
  9. seank

    seank

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    Thanks for your effort Singularity
     
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