Question of the Day Biggest waste of money item?

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I’ve made a lot of bad purchases through the years. The only one I regret was when I tried to get into the hobby after the first shutdown and bought two damsels. I wasn’t ready and those fish deserved better.

Since I’m from a time before prefab sumps I always see them as a waste of money for something that could be DIYed at a small fraction of the cost, but it’s not my tank so I don’t judge.
At least those sumps have a purpose, unlike those Adaptive marine panels which are a waste of money IMO. There are always so many other things to put that (large sum of) money towards for the tank.
 
I dare not say it.
Well now I’m curious
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Bugeater281

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Please do.
🤣
I’m sure this will start an argument. But fancy leds fixtures. Like the ecotech. That light should not be as expensive as they charge.
Yes they grow coral, look good and work well. But they don’t last as long as they should. And the markup on them has to be great. 20-40 Cree leds at 3$ a piece=120$. I run 20 leds over my 20 gallon. Total cost, 10$. I could go with fancier leds and a nicer driver for 100$.

or you can buy a black box and modify the color spectrum. I just don’t see myself ever spending 1400-2000$ on just lighting for a larger tank. Even if I have to manually tune the colors with a dial vs my phone.
 
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🤣
I’m sure this will start an argument. But fancy leds fixtures. Like the ecotech. That light should not be as expensive as they charge.
Yes they grow coral, look good and work well. But they don’t last as long as they should. And the markup on them has to be great. 20-40 Cree leds at 3$ a piece=120$. I run 20 leds over my 20 gallon. Total cost, 10$. I could go with fancier leds and a nicer driver for 100$.

or you can buy a black box and modify the color spectrum. I just see myself ever spending 1400-2000$ on just lighting for a larger tank. Even if I have to manually tune the colors with a dial vs my phone.
I wish I had the skills to make my own.

But that’s kinda my biggest mistakes(waste of money)… I think I can make something for cheaper and it ends up costing more, or I can’t make it after buying parts and end up buying pre-made after I figure out it’s not working for me.
 

Bugeater281

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I wish I had the skills to make my own.

But that’s kinda my biggest mistakes(waste of money)… I think I can make something for cheaper and it ends up costing more, or I can’t make it after buying parts and end up buying pre-made after I figure out it’s not working for me.
Building leds lights can be as simple as 5 min of soldering. Or they can be super complicated. It all comes down to have fancy you want to go. Or go with something like the blueacro diy leds. Building a simple led is around 30s of math, a couple hours of building a fixture. And 20 min of soldering. But you want a computer controlled r-b-g light. The wiring gets complicated. If you just want a light with a couple channels you can dim, that’s pretty easy. I did a write up on here about making a simple led light. Here soon I may do a better write up while building a larger one.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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🤣
I’m sure this will start an argument. But fancy leds fixtures. Like the ecotech. That light should not be as expensive as they charge.
Yes they grow coral, look good and work well. But they don’t last as long as they should. And the markup on them has to be great. 20-40 Cree leds at 3$ a piece=120$. I run 20 leds over my 20 gallon. Total cost, 10$. I could go with fancier leds and a nicer driver for 100$.

or you can buy a black box and modify the color spectrum. I just see myself ever spending 1400-2000$ on just lighting for a larger tank. Even if I have to manually tune the colors with a dial vs my phone.
I'm not trying to be offensive or offend anybody, but did you know we pay 1000% on the fruits and vegetables we buy. If you can grow your own more power to you. But I live in a cement jungle and makes it hard to grow our own. I have a pen for customers to sign contracts. That pen it's made in the USA for $22, that same pen made in China is $1 or $1.50. good old capitalism at its best..... hahaha
 

Jposch

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🤣
I’m sure this will start an argument. But fancy leds fixtures. Like the ecotech. That light should not be as expensive as they charge.
Yes they grow coral, look good and work well. But they don’t last as long as they should. And the markup on them has to be great. 20-40 Cree leds at 3$ a piece=120$. I run 20 leds over my 20 gallon. Total cost, 10$. I could go with fancier leds and a nicer driver for 100$.

or you can buy a black box and modify the color spectrum. I just see myself ever spending 1400-2000$ on just lighting for a larger tank. Even if I have to manually tune the colors with a dial vs my phone.
I'll agree with you. I greatly tired of diy stuff. As it's hard to find any good info on which parts to use, and when you do find something, the controller part is discontinued or some non-sense. Now, I just buy really old good brand lights. (AIs seem to last forever)
 

TheGambler

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Not researching enough has probably been my highest expense.

Going to have to go with trying to be a cheapskate, has been costly in the long run.

Probably a little crazy , but paying someone/business that is near by for help/advice , then leaves you hang and don't answer your emails/text/calls.
 
Buying cheap things that didn't work well is the biggest waste. My top examples are all the lights I went through before landing on Radion. I got blackboxes, nanoreef led, maxspect ethereal. Not only I wasted money on all of them even after I managed to sold them, but it's huge opportunities cost, as the several years I'm struggling with keeping coral to thrive could have been several years of growing coral successfully instead.

Going forward, I give opportunity cost a lot more weight. If there is something I need to fiddle for months to experiment and get it work right for cheaper, vs something that I am confident that will work out of box with higher price, I will go for the higher price option. Because that months of trails could means months of growth instead. And if I measure the coral growth by inches, and times that to the price of frags, that significantly out price the difference in cost of the equipment. And worst case, if experiment went wrong, the livestock lost could be even even more.

DIY a cheaper LED falls on the high opportunity cost department. I would have to do all the research on all kinds of diodes, spectrum, quality, price, etc. To make sure I get the spread right, I will need to research of what optics are available, lens angle, or reflectors, and experiments on them. And for each iteration to take hundreds of PAR reading to understand the spread. Then for spectrum, I need to either buy a spectrometer, or just grow corals under it for months to years to see how they react. All of them are significant time investment to solve a problem that has already been solved. I'd rather pay the price of couple thousands and use that time to get the coral growing while I enjoy the life instead. If I really want to solve something, I'd rather solve something that haven't been solved well.
 

andrewkw

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Is it weird I can't think of anything specific? I waste money on reef stuff all the time. I got a great deal on a pair of watanabei angels, but they came with uronema and the female passed away the male requires a lot of treatment so even if he does survive I will have spent a ton on salt + used up my hard to get (in Canada) medications.

Equipment I'd probably say cheap stuff as well. There isn't too much that I'm specifically upset about. I bought an aquamutant controller based on a reef builders article and it was a piece of junk but it was only like $100 and the company genuinely tried to help me get it working, it just sucked, but it was cheap. They tried but failed.

My kessil leds are expensive sure, but my oldest one is from 2012 and it's still working. Most people know led's are more expensive then T5 or MH, we just tried to kid ourselves when hesitant about switching to them but now lots of people upgrade from perfectly good led's since they make new ones every few years.
 
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