What can be geekier than science, and technology really, Batman and Cyborg to Sheldon and the Boys from Weird Science we all love the gadgets. @MrDragonbane made a comment about the price of a Saltwater tank this weekend and it got me to thinking.
I think many people see these tanks and believe they are to hard to set-up or cost to much to set-up. I thought I would do this article to show it is well within most people price points to set one up. Yes they can get in to the Elon Musk Price range also but that is up to YOU now versus even 5 years ago.
So this is the cost of a basic easy to set-up and easy to maintain Saltwater Tank.
This tank is based on the Florida Flats or Tropical shallow water Lagoon and not a Reef tank, I will cost that one out later. Im going to give you Sale price. At the end I will range it between Sale and Nonsale.
Tank 10 gallon Aqueon tank $10.00
Hang on Back filter $20.00
Sand Aragalive $20.00
Water RODI from Grocery store $8.00
Salt Mix $15.00
Total for a very basic set-up $148.00
Now You can do this exact tank set-up (it is mine) for this cost.
Tank is a 10 gallon Aqueon $10.00
Lid for tank $10.00
Fluval 107 Canister filter $107.00
Chemipure blue to add in filter $12.00
Poly filter to add in filter $5.00
Salt (tropic marin) $20.00
Refractometer $20.00 you have to have it for mixing salt
Light, Kessel A80 $130.00
Total for this tank NOT including livestock and plants $370.00
So there you go between $150.00 and $370.00 to set-up a Saltwater tank. Livestock in this tank is “2 Clownfish, 2 Tiger Cowry Snails, 1 Trochus Snail, 20 periwinkle snails, 10 Cerith Snails, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Anemone’s”. Only the two Clownfish add to the bioload so water change on this tank is nonexistent as the plants “Caulerpa, Dragons Breath and Red Gracia” remove all the Ammonia Nitrite and Nitrate, with minimal aid of the filter.
Monthly maintenance is simple, Change the Polyfilter and top off the tank with RODI water for evaporation (you do not top off with salt, salt does not evaporate). That’s it, cost to run that tank after set-up is about $2.75 a month, that’s RODI from the store if you do not have an RODI Unit and electricity.
Now livestock cost, well that can get expensive, Clowns could go from $15.00 to $500.00 depending on your taste, Cleaner shrimp $20 to $50.00 depending on vendor. Anemone $30 to $3,000 yes THREE THOUSAND. No coral in it.
The tank is not designed to be a coral reef, it is both a Flats tank because I love the Flats always have, and it is my quarantine tank for new animals, be they coral, inverts or fish.
Now my reef tank, that will take a little longer and more thought for a minimum maximum on it. But in just one coral you could drop Thousands of Dollars same for a single fish. That is on you though lol. This is one of my actual Coral Reef Tanks
Finally, a freshwater tank can actually be even more expensive, My shrimp tank is in the same 10g style aquarium and it is well over $1000.00 in plants, shrimp and fish and the monthly maintenance for the first year until it matured was close to 50.00. It is what you put in to it fresh or salt.