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Setting up a marine tank has not been easy and cheap. I thought I would spend no more than $1,000 for this hobby. In less than a year, I have spend nearly $10,000 and it is not even halfway through my reefing journey.

From setting up a small tank of two feet, I did the usual after it cycled. I added the clownfishes (premium ones even though it is not advisable as a starting fish) and also some soft corals.

I soon realised that colors are quite lovely for tanks and even if I am buying soft corals, I should not be buying those brown ones just because they are cheap. Of course, taking into consideration that I have learnt how to care for corals. That will be more important. Zoas are pretty and nice ones are expensive. Always want to have a small zoa garden and I hope I can make it. What are the favourite zoas out there?

My first big mistake was adding small blue tang to a 2 feet. I wasn't advised against it in the shop too. He was all okay till he got stressed one day, most likely due to other fishes in the tank sharing space with him. It was a nightmare as I lost all my fishes to ICK. I was in pain for a month or so. 

20200326_133351.jpg.28734525c739341cc0fdc1cd733b8b3d.jpg

This was when my tank was empty without fishes. This is also when I started playing with LPS Corals since I had no more fishes. I had to wait for about 10-12 weeks for the ICK parasite to die in my tank. Eventually, they did die and I could start again. However, while waiting, I was filled with interest to play LPS Corals. Well, I didn't had a chiller first. I bought some fans to cool the tank. Still, it was about 28 deg and I can see that some LPS Corals could not tolerate it. I wanted them to be happy and so I bought the chiller. Everything else was much better even though I do not do any dosing for the BIG 3. I had a small skimmer QQ1 which might not be the best nano skimmer but I used it anyway. Tank matured and everyone was happy. This time, in the restart,  I stopped adding fishes for fun. I become more careful. I only added 2 clownfishes and that's it. I was more keen on corals. 

650629940_IMG_0388v2-Copy.jpg.c630362fe127068487b7364ce33c7f3b.jpg

Right now, I have plunged into a new big tank project. It is a big player game and I was keen to stock up and grow fast. Then I paused for a while to focus on making money and spending time with my family. We shouldn't ignore all these things to be spending time in reefing and auctions all the time. I might lose out, but I am happy. So keep going reefers. Enjoy the hobby. Do what matters to you most. 

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Thanks for sharing. Pride can kill if we are not careful. Sometimes people want to get to feel the success of others and get themselves into more financial difficulties. It will be good to stop comparing and just enjoy the process. 

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Actually most reefers including me, want to save money in the beginning by buying inferior stuff, in the end upgrade waste more money. This hobby is better to plan ahead on in terms of livestock and equipment, know ur budget and know what you want, the only way is to be more patient and not rush into buying something, do more research. I would say this hobby is generally expensive, the equipment that makes life easier for u is not cheap. just take chiller for example, u wan save money for chiller, go buy fan, u initially tink u definitely can do the manual topup cos fan the evaporation can be crazy. But end of day with work and family commitment is not sustainable. Not expert here, just sharing my 2 cents, hope it helps. happy reefing!


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Actually most reefers including me, want to save money in the beginning by buying inferior stuff, in the end upgrade waste more money. This hobby is better to plan ahead on in terms of livestock and equipment, know ur budget and know what you want, the only way is to be more patient and not rush into buying something, do more research. I would say this hobby is generally expensive, the equipment that makes life easier for u is not cheap. just take chiller for example, u wan save money for chiller, go buy fan, u initially tink u definitely can do the manual topup cos fan the evaporation can be crazy. But end of day with work and family commitment is not sustainable. Not expert here, just sharing my 2 cents, hope it helps. happy reefing!


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True
Best to plan and have a complete system ...


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A beginner's guide to reduce burning cash could be:

  1. Avoid Playing Corals, especially LPS and SPS where you will need to spend alot for dosing, chiller, etc. Soft corals still okay.
  2. Keep Tank Small. Avoid spending much on products just because it is popular. It might not be really necessary.
  3. Try to keep tank in a cooler environment in your house to make it cheaper for you in getting it cool.
  4. Do not overstock or buy fishes so rapidly. If one brings in some parasite like velvet or ick, it could wipe out all your other fishes. Stock up slowly and choose fishes who are healthy and are from healthy tanks.
  5. Do not get tempted by what you see online of other reefer's tanks. Just be happy with yours.
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For new reefer, don't rush in to setup everything at the beginning after watching youtube. E.g reactor, dosing pump, refugium etc.

Alot of things may not even be required during reefing journey. Start simple with the basic equipments and add along the way when needed. E.g. If your tank is small or low bioload, regular water change can already top up elements, nutrient export. This can save the money for dosing pump, reactor etc.

Setup up more equipments also mean more room for failure and you will need to standby redundancy. Especially when u go holiday.

Understand your problem then find the suitable solution to it.

Lastly, DIY will help u save alot too just need to read up more.

Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks for sharing your journey. Look forward to updates.

I posted a newbie guide recently on SRC page. I guess you are now more experienced & am keen to follow your journey.

In any case, for the others who are keen, this is the new tank guide. Part 2 coming soon. https://www.sgreefclub.com/home/starting-your-first-marine-tank-overview-to-plan-your-equipment-and-budget-part-1/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Nice setup

Setting up a marine tank has not been easy and cheap. I thought I would spend no more than $1,000 for this hobby. In less than a year, I have spend nearly $10,000 and it is not even halfway through my reefing journey.
From setting up a small tank of two feet, I did the usual after it cycled. I added the clownfishes (premium ones even though it is not advisable as a starting fish) and also some soft corals.
I soon realised that colors are quite lovely for tanks and even if I am buying soft corals, I should not be buying those brown ones just because they are cheap. Of course, taking into consideration that I have learnt how to care for corals. That will be more important. Zoas are pretty and nice ones are expensive. Always want to have a small zoa garden and I hope I can make it. What are the favourite zoas out there?
My first big mistake was adding small blue tang to a 2 feet. I wasn't advised against it in the shop too. He was all okay till he got stressed one day, most likely due to other fishes in the tank sharing space with him. It was a nightmare as I lost all my fishes to ICK. I was in pain for a month or so. 
20200326_133351.jpg.28734525c739341cc0fdc1cd733b8b3d.jpg
This was when my tank was empty without fishes. This is also when I started playing with LPS Corals since I had no more fishes. I had to wait for about 10-12 weeks for the ICK parasite to die in my tank. Eventually, they did die and I could start again. However, while waiting, I was filled with interest to play LPS Corals. Well, I didn't had a chiller first. I bought some fans to cool the tank. Still, it was about 28 deg and I can see that some LPS Corals could not tolerate it. I wanted them to be happy and so I bought the chiller. Everything else was much better even though I do not do any dosing for the BIG 3. I had a small skimmer QQ1 which might not be the best nano skimmer but I used it anyway. Tank matured and everyone was happy. This time, in the restart,  I stopped adding fishes for fun. I become more careful. I only added 2 clownfishes and that's it. I was more keen on corals. 
650629940_IMG_0388v2-Copy.jpg.c630362fe127068487b7364ce33c7f3b.jpg
Right now, I have plunged into a new big tank project. It is a big player game and I was keen to stock up and grow fast. Then I paused for a while to focus on making money and spending time with my family. We shouldn't ignore all these things to be spending time in reefing and auctions all the time. I might lose out, but I am happy. So keep going reefers. Enjoy the hobby. Do what matters to you most. 


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