I voted for over $2000, but I haven't experienced a full year with this tank other than set-up. When I think about the cost of water, filters for RO/DI unit, bulb replacement, electricity costs, food, livestock, new equipment, etc....I think I'll be getting in that range.
I recently made a list of basic items required over the course of a year (bulbs, filters, carbon, test kits, kalk powder, RO/DI carts, salt, etc) and it totalled about $1,200. That doesn't include any new equipment, electricity, livestock or emergency replacements. So I voted $1,000 to $2,000
Price of new tank, sump, and plumbing : $1000
Price of new stand : $ 800
Price of new skimmer : $200 est.
Price of new RO/DI : $140
Price of new MH/VHO lighting : $700 est.
Price of new sink installation in the garage for the tank : $ 400
Price of my wife laughing watching my frustrations : Priceless
Cost of electricity, salt, food, etc. are probably the only cheap things that I have spent money on in the past few months.
Let's talk painful joy. I just finished setting up my new 180. I am just starting to stock it. Now that the major costs are out of the way (tank, stand & canopy, sump, skimmer, etc.) I just found out my chiller is just not big enough. To the tune of another six hundredish bucks I now have a new chiller on the way. I am afraid to add this years total.
Thank goodness I don't have to answer to a spouse to where my money goes! Ha, Ha!
I have over $7,000 to start and don't have any idea how much I've spent for the last three yrs,but I would say in the range of $2,000 is not far from wrong, my wife says its to much but she likes to look at the tanks so doesn't complain too loud, except for when she has to clean the water spots off the carpet every now and then.
I started this year with a 2000$ budget and have spent more then that in just light fixtures once you get into this it really gets ahold of you. I am in for the long haul but my first year and i am over 9K$ and i still dont have the 75 gallon tank up & running yet but to see what we can have is worth every penny to me plus I need you guys to keep using that electricity LOL....thanks..jeff
My initial setup was budgeted at about $15,000. and I know i went over that with the electrical setup. Power costs jumped about $80 a month, and I haven't really sat down and figured the cost of lite replacement and all the other stuff that goes into growing and maintaining my little toy.