Cost of Maintaining a Saltwater Aquarium

Saltwater aquarium

What’s going on Salt Nation!? I recently received an email from an individual who’s looking to get into the hobby and found my article on saltwater aquarium cost and he asked a great question about the cost of maintaining a saltwater aquarium.


Thanks for the breakdown on cost to setup as well as the steps to take. I’m just getting ready for my first saltwater tank. My question has to do with ongoing cost. I don’t see corals happening for a while, at least until I have a firm grasp on the fish and live rock. What I can’t quite grasp is monthly cost of maintenance. Seems like there will be a lot of equipment running 24/7, leading to a bump in the electric bill. Just curious about that, cost of water changes (many different opinions on how much to change), and food, testing, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Even directing me to some good sites or forums. Thanks again. I’m excited to get started.


First of all Kevin, Thank you for visiting MHR and being a part of Salt Nation. Everything We do here at MHR is to help people with how to start a saltwater aquarium.

About 10 years ago I wanted to start a saltwater aquarium and everyone told me one of two things. Response One: It’s too hard to keep a saltwater aquarium or Response Two: It’s too hard to maintain a saltwater aquarium. The worst part is I listen to them, making due with african cichlids. Eventuality I made the jump and very looked back.

So to Answer your question Kevin on going cost is going to depend on a few different things. mostly on the size of your aquarium and what type of equipment you are using. Below you will find the breakdown of my first aquarium which was a 55 gallon aquarium.

Cost of Maintaining a Saltwater Aquarium

55 Gallon saltwater aquarium cost monthly:

  • Power:  $20.00/month (250watt metal halides 8hours a day /200 watt heater)
  • Salt mix: $7.50/month (50 gallon mix 15.99 based on a 10% water change weekly)
  • Food: $10.00/month
  • Water bill: $10.00/month (I’m on city water)
  • Testing Equipment: $2.5o/month (1 test kit a year)

Total Monthly Maintenance Cost: $50/month

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To wrap things up I wanted to say, that I’m here for you. I want you to succeed as you begin with your saltwater aquarium efforts. Feel free to contact me. I will do my best to respond to your emails and answer any questions you my have about getting started with your saltwater aquarium.

Thank you so much for your support and I would love for you to drop me a line on my Facebook Page. I look forward to meeting you.

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