How do you guys do it?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Pantoffel, 25 May 2014.

  1. Pantoffel

    Pantoffel

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    Jeeze before I started this hobby I knew its going to be an expensive one:thumbup:

    But I've never thought its going to be so expensive:blush:

    Yes I could've started smaller and get the cheaper brands and later upgrade to better brand's but we all know the afrikaans saying "goedkoop koop is duurkoop" and the freshwater side tought me to do things properly from the start (get big tank from the start):):)

    But still I never thought its going to be this much south african ZAR's.
    And the best part is I still can't wait to start:lol:

    So how do you guys do it to afford this crazy hobby?
     
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  3. seank

    seank

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    Swop extra stock with others, buy frags. Buy one or 2 small pieces of coral every other month and not all at once. Check the specials on salt and buy bulk. Stick to basics as a lot of the latest technology comes with a price tag, eg LED
    Lights, Biocubes etc etc.... Also, buy a good strong pump with low wattage, do not go for the cheap pumps with high wattage, you gonna cry when you see your electricity Bill. And try do DIY.
     
  4. shan

    shan

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    We do not do everything at once. It takes us a long time to properly set up. If you check the for sale stuff, you will notice most of us are always upgrading - lol.

    We also do not tell our wives/partners how much we spend.
     
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  5. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Or at least reduce the price by 50% :lol:
     
  6. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Yes, setting up isn't cheap, but once you are set up, the running costs are not that heavy.

    Some tips on how to make this hobby affordable:

    - Don't listen to al the advice from sales staff at LFS. You don't need the latest, sexiest and triple overrated skimmer, you don't need half the reactors they will try and sell you, you don't need 80% of the supplements they will try and sell you. You don't need all the test kits you think and you don't need only the most expensive Fiji liver rock or even close to the quantities they will tell you.
    Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but making an informed decision before opening your wallet will save you a fortune.
    - Gain a thorough understanding of how the biological filtration and chemistry in your system works, it helps with those informed decisions.
    - Buy second hand where you can. A skimmer body from 5 years back still does a great job, perhaps just needs a decent pump.
    - Ask questions on MASA before buying anything.
    - Contact an experienced reefer to assist you with your purchasing decisions, a lot of us have wasted a lot of money in this hobby and know what not to buy.
    - Keeping up with the Joneses in terms of having the "best" and the latest does not guarantee you a stunning tank..... Knowledge, patience and understanding does!
    - Inside elaborate packaging and fancy labelling you'll find a product which is exactly the same as something you can buy for a quarter the price, the fact that something is aimed at yuppies, does not make it any better.
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2014
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Certain items you need to get the best from the start. Skimmer for example, but you can start with a secondhand underrated one, and as your bioload increase, sell it and upgrade later.

    Lights, no need to start with LED units. On a small tank, a single LED unit is worthwhile from the start. But on a 2m tank, multiple LED units will cost you a lot. Starting with secondhand T5 units is a viable alternative. Later as your corals species becomes the more advanced types, then you can look into changing to much better lights.

    Saying that, do not start with the advanced / expensive / difficult to keep corals. Start with zoa, leathers and pin cushions. As your knowledge increase and you are able to keep algae under control and your water parameters stable, then you can "upgrade" to the expensive corals.

    Same with fish. Do not go out and buy 20 fishes in the first month. Start with a few, and known candidates that's best for beginners. Clowns, and Blue Yellow Tail damsels are examples.

    If you start with leathers and zoa's, you do not need all those special reactors and additives and automated dosers.

    The only MUST HAVE automation you need from day one, is timers on your light units. Thereafter an auto top up unit. All the other bling bling brag stuff can come later.
     
  8. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    I would not start with underrate filtration equipment, as this could cause problems later on. There are cheap alternatives to Bubbleking, Bubblemaster, Vertex and Reef Octopus. Have a look at Bubble Magus skmmers or Marine Sources.... Or, buy second hand.

    Lighting, yes, you don't need an hyperion or Radion LED, or ATI powermodul T5, good old cheap and nasty T5 units will do, again consider second hand.. Until you start going with seriously light demanding species like SPS. Odyssea units are great value for money and an upgrade in terms of globes will allow you to keep most corals. These units are often available second hand on the forum.
     
  9. JackSplat

    JackSplat

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  10. Kebab131

    Kebab131

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    Dont buy on impulse and surf the forums
     
  11. wvdheever

    wvdheever

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    True . The key word here is patience…

    I am also new to the world of marine tanks (13 months) and made a lot of mistakes and spend a lot of money on the wrong stuff. Bought a secondhand tank with a underrated skimmer and ran it like that for about 7 months. Upgraded the skimmer eventually and so it goes… then the flow, still on cheap lights ...

    Unless you have LOTS LOTS of money. (Mate of mine started up about 16 months ago and dropped 230 k with in the first 4 months. Money not a problem for him though :) )

    Take it slow and watch the (FS) section ….

    Good luck

    OH and don’t give up … it will be worth it in the end ☺
     
  12. Potions

    Potions

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    Got a small tank (20 gallon) :) Still expensive setup costs for me though, led lights etc. :( But once its up and running its reasonable.

    Nano's really are not more difficult to keep nowadays imho, if the necessary research has been done to set it up properly (not overstocking, doing weekly waterchanges, keeping on top with water parameters, etc) and you willing to look after it. For me the benefit is it doesn't cost as much to fill up with corals and costs less in terms of maintanance costs. But I can see the advantages of big tanks for those who like them.
     
  13. Pantoffel

    Pantoffel Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the comments and advise guys.

    Im trying to avoid buying twice so I did buy the more expensive better goodies like a proper skimmer that is properly rated for my tank. And I brought LED units but not Radions the more affordable Razors :thumbup:

    And I really only bought the bare minimum to start up the tank.

    So all these things did add up. I was just amazed by how much it added up:p
     
  14. Pantoffel

    Pantoffel Thread Starter

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    Oh and the tank being 800l also didn't help with the cost:blush:
     
  15. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    You wont go wrong with the razors. Awesome units
     
  16. Kebab131

    Kebab131

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    Also got Razors. Very happy
     
  17. PICASSO

    PICASSO

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    Woulld also like to know what would the average monthly cost be on a 700 to 800lt tank with a few softies and a few fish. Excluding electricity. Planning on going with np pellets..
     
  18. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Absolutely no np pellets with softies
     
  19. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Why do you say that?
     
  20. 4age

    4age

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    Think you will need to monitor amount of np pellets u run on softie tank. ..If water is too clean due to all nutrients being removed by pellets softies won't be happy. .maybe run lower than recommended and shud be fine. .okay. .now back on topic. .I don't even wana start adding up the amount of money I spent so far. ..my wife knows I spend so she's not very chuffed.lol
     
  21. Fred d

    Fred d

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    you wouldn't have spent half you have if you didn't buy fish that love to fly so much :tt2:
     
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