These are obviously very difficult times and many, many people are already feeling the pinch financially or will be impacted within the next few months. Reef keeping can be an expensive hobby and some may consider taking a sabbatical to save some bucks. With that said, here are my Top 5 Tips on how to save money with your reef tank during the COVID-19 crisis.
Top 5 Tips
- Consider DIY Projects – Equipment can be expensive so if you want to save a chunk of money go the Do It Yourself route. I did so recently when I made my own refugium. I also put together a DIY cooling solution with a cheap fan.
- Make Your Own Fish Food – Some prepared fish food can be expensive and a great way to save money is to make your own. I am working on my own concoction using a food processor that contains scallops, raw shrimp, silversides, blood worms and other types of seafood. I am calling it ReefBum Chum 🙂
- Create Your Own Two-Part – A well known homemade blend to supplement calcium and alkalinity is called Randy’s Recipe. Named after Randy Holmes-Farley, a chemist who has been keeping reef aquariums for years. The only materials required are calcium chloride (available in bulk as a deicer for pools, for cement making and even for weighing down tractor tires), baking soda (from a grocery store) and Epsom Salts (which are inexpensive and available at most drug stores).
- Be More Energy Efficient – A great way to save money is to examine ways to reduce your reef tank\’s energy consumption. DC pumps will use less electricity versus AC pumps. And I always believe simpler is better when it comes to a reef tank so consider using fewer pumps or other pieces of equipment when possible. It is also a great idea to do an overall electrical audit of your tank to see if there are other ways to save money. Bulk Reef Supply has an Aquarium Electricity Costs Calculator that is an excellent tool you can use for this purpose.
- Keep up With Preventative Maintenance – This is extremely important because you want to avoid equipment breakdowns and, thus, having to spend money on replacing stuff that craps out.
Finally, here is a tip that will come in handy once the crisis is over….earn money by selling frags, a great way to help pay for the hobby. Grow out and frag hardy corals such as zoanthids or montipora that can multiply quickly. Many local fish stores will provide store credit for corals, although they will usually pay just a third of a coral\’s retail value. You can also attend a frag swap or join a reef club to connect with other reef keepers to trade or buy cheap corals. Well, that\’s it. Be safe!
If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.
As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.
Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.