How much do you think a 1000-1500 gallon setup would cost

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by silliputty23, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. silliputty23Valued MemberMember

    I've seen a few videos of these tanks on Youtube and keep dreaming about how nice it'd be to have one of these someday/a couple decades from now...

    I know that they're expensive. It sounds like the initial setup would be about the price of a car. But how much money would have to go into regularly maintaining it? And would it be a full-time job? Do these people usually hire someone to take care of the main maintenance work?
  2. BerettaNew MemberMember

    With a tank that large, you would want to have some kind of automatic water changer. With enough water movement in the tank, they only maintenance you would need to do is cleaning the glass, and changing the bottles if you buffer the water with something, or you need to use a dechlorinator. The biggest monthly expense is feeding the fish. The time it takes for monthly maintenance would be a few hours for filter maintenance once you have the system up, running, and all your timers and such dialed in.
  3. OP

    silliputty23Valued MemberMember

    I did just see that electricity alone for someone's 1700 gallon was $700 per month..

  4. BerettaNew MemberMember

    That seems really high to me. I have large tanks, over 500 gallons, and the total gallons of all of them is around 3,500. I can tell you my electric is nowhere near that. Nor my water bill. I would imagine the lighting, if it is a reef or planted, would definitely contribute to the electric bill.

  5. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Automatic waterchanger is a must. But also realize you still need to produce 2k-3k GPH. Lighting, etc.
  6. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    You would be looking at, at the very least, the price of a new midrange car/suv. By the end it might rival a very expensive car or a small single home's price. Not even joking. My 15gal is a couple thousand dollars now. For a tank that size we're talking custom stand, possible home renovation, the tank itself which is a couple thousand on it's own, a sump that would rival most of our main tanks, reactors, monitors, dosers, the live rock/fish/water, constant stores of salt, a very large or multiple RODI units, a saltwater mixing station that would again rival the gallonage of some of our main tanks, powerheads, pumps, backups to all of it, proper plumbing, a monster skimmer, lighting to cover the tank especially if doing coral, and the electricity/water bills would be off the charts.

    I'm sure you can piece things together to save some money, but at that level of the hobby and especially if you consider a 1000-1500gal tank you shouldn't be cutting to many corners.

    I think the rule is if you have to ask, generally you can't afford it. I read a guy's post about his 1200gal reef system, said he stopped counting but estimated the total cost would be around a nice ski boat or 4 good 4 wheelers and a trailer to haul them in price range. And that was 3 years ago.
  7. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    The general rule of thumb over here (in Aus), just to get the bare essentials is about $1000 per foot of tank.

    1000G would be about 100" x 48" x 48" - so just over 8 foot. So a bare minimum would be $8000 here in Aus.
    Then the costs go up, because as Slug pointed out, you wouldn't skimp.

    Likely to use Metal Halides for lighting, or a lot of LED fixtures.

    Electricity could easily sky-rocket. Lighting, heaters, chiller(s), reactor pumps, skimmer(s), powerheads, cost of water changes. A tank that size, you'd have someone deliver saltwater and store it on-site somewhere, with more heaters and pumps. Automatic dosing, auto top-off, etc etc etc.

    I could easily see the costs being $30k in equipment setup (if not more), plus stocking etc.
  8. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Are we talking salt or fresh???

    Assuming fresh, the glass itself would be a thousand, maybe a couple thousand for just the tank. Add in a 40g sump, lighting,

    I would guess 7-8 thousand US dollars initial setup for tank, filtering, lights, heaters... Not to mention water, gravel, plants, fish,...

    And regular upkeep would be about 10-20 times the cost of a 75.
  9. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Saltwater section, assumed salt.
  10. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    I see what you mean. Thanks for that notice, always forget the categories. Yeah, I'd go with 10-12 grand then. (US $)
  11. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    That might get you the tank and steel stand to hold it. LOL...half serious. Just had some recent tank quotes done myself and a simple 60-70gal tank came to around $1600 before any freight costs just to give people an idea. And that was roughly the same from multiple companies priced. The thickness of the glass needed for a tank this size (or even acrylic) would be pretty massive. What a build it would be though!! It's no joke lol could easily take 1-2 times a years salary for setup. And unlike a new car, its not really something you can finance.
  12. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Hmm. Here where I am I can get a 250g for about 500$. Tank, stand, light, for about 1200$

    Maybe its a 1300$ combo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2016
  13. Slug

    SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Right, but who sells a 1000gal+ tank stock? Basically would have to be a custom job. Largest aquarium on Glass Cage's site (cheapest, and tends to be worst quality builder out there) is $7260 just for the tank and that is around 200gal short of 1000.

    If you are getting an aquarium this size you most likely aren't going for an off the shelf ugly black rim type of tank or any type of kit filters/lights/etc. And it's probably being built to fit in a certain space either a wall, a custom area of the house, etc.

    The size is going to cost you. All listed are "at least" type of numbers that I personally would budget.
    $10k would be minimum I would budget just for the tank itself as the larger you go the beefier the build has to be in terms of glass thickness, thicker seams, bracing, etc.
    $1-2k for a custom welded steel stand powder coated
    $300-500 for a tank for the sump at a $ per gal sale if you are lucky but possibly more (or multiple smaller sumps) as you want the sump as big as you have space and money for.
    $2k for Metal Halide lighting not including bulbs or $7-10k for LEDs plus any T5 supplementation you need with the MHs. Dependant on tank length (and depth for LEDs), possibly more.
    $1k for double return pumps
    $3k in powerheads unless you want to buy more water pumps to do closed loops
    $1k+ controller for everything
    $500-1k+ for Chiller
    $200-300 for ATO system
    $200-400 for Dosing pumps if you need them
    $1k we'll say for various reactors
    $1-3k for dual skimmers or single top end skimmer
    $300-500 for a 180gpd+ RODI filter

    Just with all that we are hovering around $25k taking the cheaper lighting option on the front end. Thats not including any bulb cost, live stock cost, sand and rock cost, plumbing parts or plumbing help costs, contractor or construction work to the house, extra insurance on the tank/house, electrical bills, water bills, any media for the reactors, chemicals you may dose, salt and fresh water storage tanks/system with even more pumps and barrels, gross amounts of salt needed for mixing, or any backups to the backups which you would or should have with a tank this large.

    Just want to show people it's no joke or easy task going this large.
  14. BerettaNew MemberMember

    You wouldn't want a tank that size to be glass. Figure the cost of thick acrylic depending on the height of it. Thinner if its a shallow tank. And if going with a reef tank, metal halide would be hot and expensive to run. LED would definitely be the way to go.
  15. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

  16. oscarmkValued MemberMember

    After all its said and done, with all the equipment, stand, tank, sump, lights, controllers and livestock I am pretty sure a 1000g would be at least 50,000.

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