View Full Version : Hidden cost of a reef tank
07/06/2006, 02:56 PM
I am getting back in the hobby with a 180 reef and although I have a pretty good idea of what my eqpt/setup costs are, I am interested in what the additional monthly Electricity costs of such a tank will be.
I have seen threads on this subject before, however I have found the utility costs range dramatically due to diffierent geograhic locations, and so I am very interested to hear from anyone locally that has seen the elec. costs rise after having a tank.
Thanks in advance. I realize due to different setups this is not a perfect science, but any ballpark costs you can give me will be great.....I just need to know how badly I have to lie to my wife:D
07/06/2006, 03:23 PM
$30-$350...no lie just how effcient things are when you buy them.
Lights can be VHO=low MH=high
pumps sequence= low jacuzzi=high
skimmer red dragon=low asm=high
but you pay $$ for more effient items...skimmers red dragon $2000+ asm $200+
and so on. But what toys are you adding?
But tell us what ya goona run and can help out more.
I live in Lincoln and estimate my monthly utility expense to be around $15. That would include electricity and water. I run a 75g reef with powerheads, skimmer, and the whole works. An interesting point i'd like give you is that recently I upgraded to Metal Halide lighting. The upgrade easily doubled my light output into the tank. I was expecting a hike in my electric bill even though I have the "budge plan" that distributes the bill evenly over a year's time. I figured it might go up 2-5$ a month. But i just got my bill today after using the MH lights for over a solid month and I saw literally no increase in my electric bill. Strange I know.
I might go out on a limb here and say that on average....utilities will run you about $20 per 100gallons in Nebraska. So a 300g tank would cost you $60/month etc. I don't know if that helps you or not but I hope it does.
07/06/2006, 08:20 PM
my electric bill runs 264 per month and I run 3- 400w MH, 1-1000w MH, 1 150w Light, 1 mag 36, a 1 hp pump motor, a tunze stream and a 1000w heater and a chiller. I think i use more power than most and that $ includes cooling my house. oppd asked if we wanted a study on our meter as they thought there was a problem, wife told them I was the problem:)
Check out the calculator here on RC
It should give you a pretty good idea.
I'm running at about $45 per month on my 75gal
07/06/2006, 09:24 PM
CH never saw that...thanks,
07/07/2006, 08:03 AM
It's running me about $60 a month in Lincoln on 50gals.
07/07/2006, 08:55 AM
good feedback and I guess I will start saving my pennies !
Tangdiver- I will be using a ER 8-4 skimmer with 250 DE metal halides and VHO actinics. I have not purchased my pumps yet but I am looking at going with a smaller return pump ( around 600-1000 gph ) and using tunze streams for circulation. In the beginning I will have mainly softies and LPS with a few SPS and possibly going more SPS down the road.
CH- thanks Chris for the calculator URL. According to that I will be about $70 more a month. Kinda what I was figuring but that helps a lot.
Jim - I am with you there . LOL. I am still trying to figure a way to show my wife this tank is a worthy investment. Right now she looks at the empty tank in the basement and just shakes her head. When it is all done I think she will see the light...
07/07/2006, 10:10 AM
Keep us posted...great idea with the streams, DE, and skimmer...effient cost more $$ up front= better equipment and less $$ ongoing.
07/07/2006, 02:51 PM
This should be up and running later this year, right now the delay is that I am finishing the basement where the tank will go. I will share later on as it gets close to setting up.
Here are a few pics taken a while ago of the wall where the tank is going. The framing is done and I put the tank in the space to see how it looked.
When complete the front will be trimmed in oak with the top on a hinge for frontal access.
More to come in a few months !!
yeah, i think i undershot mine quite a bit. It's probably closer to $50 a month for my setup
07/10/2006, 06:16 PM
Yea zenn, one thing with budget is it won't go up until they review your usage. Depending on how you have the review setup, it may take 3-6 months for them to review you usage, and then based upon that they will up your monthly, and possibly ask for any overages incurred from your normal monthly over the past however many months. Sounds kinda scary, but IMO budget is the way to go. Just a heads up coming from someone speaking from experience :D
07/10/2006, 06:50 PM
Pics are great...alot of planning...the way to do it right.
Keep it coming.
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