The costs associated with owning a saltwater fish tank vary greatly depending on the tank size, fish, and corals in the ecosystem. Regardless, all saltwater tanks require regular care to maintain their eye-catching beauty. If you are thinking of starting your own reef tank, consider the following costs to maintain a saltwater fish tank.
Reef Tank Parameters
An established saltwater aquarium will require water testing and daily doses of alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium. This is especially true for tanks that house stony corals such as LPS and SPS. These corals need calcium in order to grow and maintain their structure. While water changes help restore these lost nutrients in the water, daily dosing is recommended to achieve stable proper water parameters and overall coral health. Check your local fish store to purchase both the test kits and chemicals.
How much you will need to dose daily to maintain healthy water parameters will ultimately determine your cost. Larger tanks often use more than smaller tanks and heavily stocked tanks will require more as well. Ideally, you will want your calcium levels to be between 400-450 ppm, while the alkalinity should be between 2.5-3.5 meq/L (7-10 dKH). Kent Marine saltwater aquarium supplies is a popular brand of chemicals for you to consider.
Water changes are an essential part of any fish tank. Some people change their water weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. How often you decide to change your water should depend on how many fish you have, the tank size, and efficiency of your filtration system. Apart from the initial purchase of the cleaning supplies such as a siphon tube and glass scrubbers, you will need to consider purchasing a Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit or purchasing RO water from a local saltwater fish store. An RO unit will require replacement filtration cartridges. This is typically done annually and can cost anywhere from $60-$80.
In addition to the water purity, you will need to purchase a salt mix. While salt isn’t terribly expensive and can last quite a while, the price will vary on the size of your tank. Most aquarists replace about 20% of their water during water changes so for a 50-gallon tank that may only be 10 gallons. However, for a 120-gallon tank, it will be a little more than double the water change at 24 gallons which will ultimately use more salt.
Carbon & Chemipure
Carbon is another recommended maintenance item you will want to purchase to keep your pH stable and constant. Both carbon and Chemipure remove organic waste from the water, stopping the bacteria build up. The good news is, each filter media bag should last 4-6 months which helps to keep costs down.
Have Aquatic Dreams Maintain a Saltwater Fish Tank
If maintaining a saltwater fish tank isn’t something you want to do but you would still love to own your own reef, inquire about a saltwater tank maintenance program. Aquatic Dreams is a saltwater fish store in Clearfield, UT. They offer tank maintenance services to businesses across the Wasatch front and will mix your water, replace carbon, and test your water parameters during every visit. Contact us for more information at (801) 525-0033 or visit our shop Clearfield, UT 84015.