Favorite aquarium cost-saving measures

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by ekocak, May 27, 2015.

  1. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Recently, I started working on a blog that's going to be focused on getting people to try aquaria that wouldn't normally because of the interpretation that it's completely cost prohibitive. I want to stress that ethically, sometimes spending money is required (as in the case of a highly specialized animal with specific needs) but that not all marine aquaria are expensive and certainly not only for the wealthy. To that end I've been working on trying to compile useful tips for doing things on a budget and would love it if any of my cephalopod buddies had any favorites they'd be willing to share.
     
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  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Cool! And good idea. Not sure if you saw the extensive article posted by @lawfish many years ago for a DIY skimmer. I don't own a tank so I don't know how much they go for but that may be worth looking at (it's in our Articles section; lots of pics but you have to click to see... I should update that...)
     
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  3. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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  4. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thank you! I did read this awhile back, but have not tried it. (I ended up buying a CPR Bakpak off eBay for $40). I really do want to try it though.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It will be interesting to see what you come up with. IMO, buying used (particularly quality used) and watching for sales on equipment when you don't NEED it is a lot better than DIY. This may not be a hobby for only the wealthy but, "it ain't cheap" and it is a lot of on-going work :wink:
     
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  6. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    This has been my experience as well, although DIY has merits of its own in terms of gaining knowledge and so on I suppose. And yeah, I'm a constant bargain scrounger on eBay and such, with lots of odds and ends collected "in case I need them." I've also done a lot of trading of materials for stuff. (traded some baby axolotls I reared for my pump, for example). I absolutely don't want people to get the impression that cutting corners is OK when it harms the animals in their care, it's more about showing people it can be done without buying everything full price and that SW aquaria are not (or at least shouldn't be) a status symbol.
     
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  7. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    You can ask people with established tanks whether they have something they could share with you. If the tank is doing well, it's inhabitants will be reproducing. This is how I got my first mushroom coral.

    If you happen to travel to the ocean, collect shells for your tank. I always come back with a bunch, both.beautiful and and not so beautiful ones (which can be useful, too). Buy purple barnacles if you don't find them.

    Don't be too ambitious at first - get a reasonably sized tank, large enough for what you want to keep.

    Nancy
     
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  8. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    That's excellent advice, Nancy, thank you.
     
  9. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    I have a question: how important is battery backup for your tank? (i.e., if the power goes out)
     
  10. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Considering you can get battery backup power supplies for relatively little these days, probably not a bad investment considering how much we spend on our tanks.
     
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  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you only have one tank, likely quite feasible but there is a difficulty of protecting a battery from the salt environment. In my case (8+ tanks) too expensive. For the tanks that would suffer from air deficiency, I have a battery backup air pump that will turn on if the power goes out (VERY cheap). There are air pumps that serve both electricity on and electricity off but they are about 10x more expensive (an exaggeration because, if you need an air pump you will have to buy one so the actual cost is closer to 3x).

    Someday, (getting closer to affordable with the new Tesla offering), we will have whole house backup :fingerscrossed:. @Tintenfisch just added solar panels and may consider this option. I am hoping they go that way so I can hear first hand experience. We can't viably use solar (tried when we installed a new roof last year). As the price continues to drop, it may be worth a second look WITH the battery backup ($3500 for a small one + installation - likely another $2000 or more. We would need two for whole house.
     
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  12. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Good point. When I responded, I was thinking single tank. You're right that it probably becomes cost prohibitive as number of tanks goes up.
     

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