How Much Does a Saltwater Aquarium Cost?
A saltwater aquarium, also know as a “reef tank,” is an aquarium designed for fish that need saltwater to survive. These tanks can include exotic fish such as a clown fish or even miniature sharks. Unlike a freshwater aquarium, a saltwater aquarium can become more complicated due to the fact that there are so many species out there. Experts will recommend that a bigger tank is always best if considering a saltwater setup. The cost of an aquarium is going to vary on the size, the features, where you purchase it and the manufacturer.
How much is it?
- On average, expect to pay anywhere from $20 to as much as $40 per gallon, depending on the total number of gallons in the tank itself. Keep in mind that it is necessary to find an aquarium that is built to handle salt water, since salt water can do more damage over time compared to fresh water.
- A smaller, simple tank that holds only 6 gallons can cost anywhere from $110 to $210. For example, the Fluval Edge Aquarium Set retails for $109 to $145. A 12-gallon tank can cost anywhere from $200 to $415.
- Many aquarium packages come equipped with a starter pack. This starter pack includes all the necessary items such as the ballast, lights, filters, and more. For example, a 65 gallon starter kit can retail for $1,700 to as much as $2,100. These kits are recommended for those that want everything in one package, rather than purchasing everything else separately.
- Larger aquariums over 125 gallons can cost upwards of $3,500.
What are the extra costs?
- If you are not going to purchase a starter kit, many additional accessories are going to be required such as corals, rocks, skimmers, pumps, filters, sea salts and more. About.com lists more than 101 resources that every saltwater aquarium owner should know about. For a smaller 10 gallon tank, start up costs may range from $220 to $400. Plan that it is going to cost around $200 per 10 gallons to get all the materials necessary in order to get it running properly.
- For those that want to have a specialized installation such as building the aquarium into the wall or building a customized set up, additional materials will be necessary.
- Salt water tanks will need maintenance on a weekly basis. Cleaning supplies can be purchased at a local pet store; if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, professional companies can do the job as well.
- Fish that you would like to have included in the tank will cost extra. Make sure that you know which fish are going to be compatible with each other. Since there are so many species, it is best to consult with a professional that knows about which fish are going to get along with each other in the aquarium. Fish can start at $5 and go up from there.
What is going to be included?
- Most aquariums will come with a built-in stand that can be used for storing items such as food, additional accessories, and more.
- Starter kits are going to come with the necessary supplies in order to set up the tank such as a filter, heater, lighting and more.
- Most brands will come equipped with a limited warranty that can last up to a lifetime.
How can I save money?
- Consult with a saltwater specialist to discuss your wants and needs. He will be able to explain what is best for your home as well as what fish are recommended for your budget. It doesn’t hurt to talk with at least three companies to get a fairly good idea on what it is going to cost you.
- Non-salt water fish tanks are much cheaper, If a salt water tank is not necessary, then don’t spend the extra money.