The Cost Of Keeping Tropical Fish

Many people would love to keep freshwater or saltwater fish, but a lot of them aren’t aware of all the extra running costs, or how much you can expect to spend to maintain a tropical fish tank. Tropical set-ups require a bit more maintenance than others, and if you’re seriously thinking about investing in a tropical aquarium, there are three separate cost elements you need to consider. First, there are the initial equipment costs, then the running costs of keeping a tropical fish tank, and lastly, the additional costs associated with livestock products.

Initial Equipment Costs
It’s important to invest in the best equipment that you can afford when you are initially setting up a tropical fish tank. Spending a lot of money in the beginning will reduce the amount you will have to spend later on. If your products are poor quality then you are likely to need to replace them often and this will mean you’re spending more money in the long run. In order to get a decent initial set up for a small marine tank, you should expect to fork out somewhere between £250-£300 if you buy all the products new. A 90-120cm tank will cost you upwards of £500, and if you want a reef tank, expect to pay at least £1000 before you add the livestock. If you’re a first time buyer of a tropical aquarium, it’s recommended that you start small (because it’s a lot of money to waste if you don’t like it!).

Running Costs
Keeping a marine tank up and running will definitely be more expensive than a normal freshwater fish tank as you’ll be using additional items and more electricity. A basic marine tank set up will use the same equipment as a freshwater fish tank – just slightly more expensive versions, as tropical fish need stronger lighting, more powerful filters etc. As you’ll be using more electricity, more food types, saltwater, RO water or membranes plus other possible extras like filter media, you should expect to pay between £10-£30 a month to keep the tank running properly.

Livestock Costs
Marine fish are typically more expensive than freshwater fish, since they are harder to catch, and cost more to maintain and ship to pet stores. It is worth noting that, typically, marine fish are kept in lower numbers than freshwater fish, so you won’t have to buy as many fish for the tank you plan to keep.