Question of the Day Inexpensive equipment

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Humblefish

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We all know that Apex, Radions, Vortech wavemakers, Glasscages, Waterbox, Reef Octopus, etc. etc. are the "Cadillacs" of our hobby. (And this thread is not meant to bash those brands in any way.)

But what are some more affordable options (tanks, lights, pumps, skimmers, salt, etc. etc.) that you can share with our community that get the job done? For reefers on a budget.
 
Petco's Half-Off Sale - It used to be the $/gallon sale, but that's not happening anymore. Instead certain tanks are now 50% off or at least discounted. 10 gallon tanks are still $10 though ;) .

Instant Ocean - it does the job. And it's probably the cheapest salt out there that will support life.

Nicrew - I really like their lights. They're not really appropriate for any higher PAR requirements, but they certainly do the job with a nicer spectrum.

Coralife SuperSkimmers - Cheap (ish), but I'll always be a fan of these skimmers...if only because I've worked with these ones for almost 20 years.
 

OZ_SPS

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OZ_SPS

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OZ_SPS

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For flow sensors here is what i used for years. These flowmeters work great

DIGITEN G1/2" Flow Water Sensor Meter+Digital LCD Display Quantitative Control 1-30L/min

DIGITEN G1/2" Water Flow Hall Sensor Switch Flow Meter Flowmeter Counter 1-30L/min

DIGITEN LCD Display Water Flow Control Meter Liquid Flow Rate Volume Counter Flowmeter Quantitative Controller Liter/Gallon LPM/GPM for Drip Irrigation System Beer Brewing
 
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OZ_SPS

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For lights, you can get beautiful coral growth and coleration with T5
 
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i've used simplicity pumps on my tanks for pretty much the entire time i've been reefing. pretty sure they're just rebranded jebaos, but they have been reliable and just work. i had a smaller one on my last tank, then upgraded to a larger one, probably unnecessarily, and have had it running for 2+ years so far. i've cleaned it like twice. my old one is on salt mixing duty, worst case i could always swap it in as a backup if need be

i also have mostly used IO for the last few years. i tried others, but tbh didn't see much difference. and the price difference is absurd. i got a 200g box from petco a few months ago for like $25

the rest of my stuff is the name brand stuff i guess, AI ecotech tunze. some of that stuff can be found fairly cheap used tho
 
Deep Blue tanks now called Seaphora will give you the rimless look at a lower cost.

A Petco sale tank + having glass baffles cut make a very affordable sump.

Used equiptment saves a lot. Just inspect and ask questions, you want gently used stuff, not the light with rust around the fan. Even if it works, it has been subjected to more salt water than it should.
 

Vette67

Doing this reef thing since 1997
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I guess the only thing I use that’s “inexpensive” is the Nicrew lighting over my refugium. It works great for growing chaeto. Since I’m an all external A/C pump kind of guy, I have found that Little Giant pumps last about 5 years. Whereas, Iwaki’s seem to never die. So is it cheaper to buy a new little giant every 5 or so years or get an iwaki that costs twice as much and lasts 20+ years? So I agree there are areas where it’s fine to save money. I can’t count how many maxijets I have used in my tank career. Cheap, dependable, disposable. But others, like recirculation pumps, it doesn’t pay to cheap out. Spend the big money once up front and be done.

But I may have to check out some of those Kasa power strips that @OZ_SPS has been talking about. I only use timers, no controllers, so those sound like they’d fit my style perfectly.
 
i've used simplicity pumps on my tanks for pretty much the entire time i've been reefing. pretty sure they're just rebranded jebaos, but they have been reliable and just work. i had a smaller one on my last tank, then upgraded to a larger one, probably unnecessarily, and have had it running for 2+ years so far. i've cleaned it like twice. my old one is on salt mixing duty, worst case i could always swap it in as a backup if need be

i also have mostly used IO for the last few years. i tried others, but tbh didn't see much difference. and the price difference is absurd. i got a 200g box from petco a few months ago for like $25

the rest of my stuff is the name brand stuff i guess, AI ecotech tunze. some of that stuff can be found fairly cheap used tho
Using a Simplicity skimmer right now and it's working just fine
 

OZ_SPS

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