Leaving the hobby! What is it all worth??


Active Member
Since 4th grade I got into the saltwater hobby and got onto the SWF forums. Now im a highschool sophmore and it look like im going to be throwing in the towel. I certainly do not have time for my tank anymore and money is an issue. So I need help knowing how much it is worth! Thank you all a ton!
It is a 29 gallon reef setup. It has a small aiptasia problem that I have been dealing with with joes juice.
29 Gallon Tank
4 (2 actinic 2 12k) bulb T5 W/ Built in Timer (Bulbs due for replacment)
Remora C Skimmer W/ Over flow box and Pump
Not sure on the wieght of the live rock. but about 7 good sized peices in it.
About an inch of Live Sand
Hang on Filter (Filter pads need replacing)
Hydor Korolia 3 Power head
---Not currently being used on tank---
45 Gallon sump
800 GPH over flow box Brand New -Up to 125 gallons-
Rio Plus 2500 Pump Powerhead (Also Brand New)
Tubing for Return flow (Brand New)
Never opened reef crystals salt, 50 gallons.
The only live stock in it really is a bunch of Xenia.
Thanks a lot!
I will put up pictures as soon as i can!


Active Member
The value of used tanks and equipment can vary. I would say that it is worth what someone would pay.
The cleaner it looks the more you should get for it (but we are not talking double or triple).
The tank setup I would say that you could maybe get $200.00 for. The problem is that lots of people get into this hobby and buy everything right off the bat and get lazy and then try to sell everything off. Usually it goes for pennies on the dollar. Used tanks are about a buck a gallon, the LR maybe $2.00/ lb. Equipment is maybe $.25 on the dollar. So if you bought the skimmer for $100.00 you would be doing good to get $25.00. The light... If you bought it for $200.00 maybe $20.00 -$40.00 because it it going to cost someone like $80.00 for 4 new bulbs.
Ask yourself how much you would buy everything for... Be honest. That should get you an idea of what you could get.
But... IF it were me. I would put it on CL for like $350.00 for everything maybe even $450.00 with that big sump. You don't need everyone to want to buy it for $450.00... You just need 1 person to be willing to pay that. I believe the saying goes, " A fool and his money are easily separated". Combine that with a fool is born every minute and you got a chance.


Well-Known Member
I hate to see you go too...A word of advice.
I have also had fish tanks since my youth. Believe me it's in your blood and part of your life. Keep your equipment at least a year before you get rid of it. Store the rock, it won't hurt a thing to sit in storage and it cost so much to replace.
You will never get any real money from reselling, but you can save yourself a wad of cash if you decide to get back into it in a few years....which is very likely if you had tanks that long. In no time you will be done with school and into the working world...you will find the time for your hobby because you will miss it.


Well-Known Member
Id pay $75 for all of that. Maybe $100.
I would do like flower suggested. There have been times where i wish i would have packed up and stored a lot of things that i used to have. While you are in highschool you may not have a whole lot of time or money, but you will want to get back into it one day and you will wish you had all of your old equipment back.


Well-Known Member
Originally Posted by SnakeBlitz33 http:///t/392396/leaving-the-hobby-what-is-it-all-worth#post_3483951
Id pay $75 for all of that. Maybe $100.
I would do like flower suggested. There have been times where i wish i would have packed up and stored a lot of things that i used to have. While you are in highschool you may not have a whole lot of time or money, but you will want to get back into it one day and you will wish you had all of your old equipment back.
Wow, a $100.00....I know that's about right too. If you add everything up, I bet you spent at least $1000.00 if not more, that's a huge loss.


Well-Known Member
Well, ive bought 55 and 75g systems with a lot more than that between $100 and $175. So, when i say "maybe" $100, thats selling to someone that is really gullible.
Your better off packing it all up and storing it. Go sell your live rock and xenia back to the store. You can typically get between $2 and 6$ per stalk of xenia depending on the store. And your live rock you might get between $2-4 a pound back. Or store credit.
Best of luck to yah man. I hope school goes well and you find what you are looking for in life.


Active Member
You have all made very good points, thank you. It seems that just storing my stuff might be the most logical thing to do. You all are right, maybe I will have the urge to set everything up again. It may not be for a while because I am also constantly traveling (up to two months at a time), but I dont want to regret getting rid of everything.


It all depends where you live and how active the hobby is in your area. Out where I live there are a lot of people in the hobby. We have one of the largest reef clubs in the country and it is VERY active. Things sell quick here, even for a higher amount because there are always new comers that just want to buy an entire setup all at once and don't care what the price is. I would really look into a local reef club and see what prices people put on similar items when selling. Most clubs have for sale forums to give you an idea. Go from there. But put it this way, I can go buy a 29G BioCube with everything I need (except the rock and sand, which IMO is useless for most people who need to move it, especially if you have an aiptasia issue in the tank and I bunch of Xenia, which many people don't want/will not pay for) for about $100 used, or $250-$350 new. If I wanted to go with the HQI version it would cost me $450.
For an idea, I just searched my local forum. There is someone selling a Starphire glass 29G with stand, powerheads, pump and sump for $110. Another person is selling their 29G BioCube with an upgraded LED retrofit kit, a refugium and an RODI unit for $150.
And this guy is on the high end selling this: Here is the list of equipment for sale:
* Oceanic 29 gallon Biocube with matching stand and full hood w/ dual 50/50 actinic bulbs ($200)
*Built in custom acrylic refugium with float, pipings, overflow box, MAG 3 Return pump and fixtures ($75)
*Extra Actinic bulb (Used approx. 1 month) ($30)
*Starpphire Aquatics protein skimmer (Deluxe version for 29G Oceanic) ($75)
* RODI Filter ($50)
* 30 lbs. crushed sea coral ($20)
* 3" Clarkii Clown fish & 2 1/2" PJ Cardinal ($20)
Total if sold separately $470
$300 ABSOLUTELY FIRM for entire setup.
Price will not be up for debate.
It sold in under 15 minutes.
I bought a used 180 from someone I knew (which will make the tank worth more if you know it's been cared for/never treated with copper, etc), with 3 250 watt halides, brand new bulbs, a sump, the return pump, all plumbing, a display refugium, a stand and canopy for both the tank and the fuge, a Ca reactor for the tank, a protein skimmer and a bunch of little freebies for $600.
Hope that gives you some ideas. Bottom line, don't look to make much. You don't have a large setup.


Active Member
SWF.com Forums, dang....It's been quite a while. I'm bumping this back up as I feel I may be ready to jump back into the reef hobby. I setup my first reef in the 4th grade, and exited the hobby my sophomore year of high school. Since then, i've finished high school, received a Bachelor's degree in aviation, and I feel as though i'm just about ready to take on the hobby again. I'm considering looking into a 32g bio-cube reef and am more than excited to create an ecosystem. I'm hoping to receive some recommendations for nano-cubes between 20-40 gallons with more 'modern' tech. For those of you who have been in the hobby for the last decade or more, what major changes have you seen? The biggest (and only) change i've noted was the transition from metal halide to LEDs. Are there any differences with equipment, chemical additions, and/or the cycling process?

Thank you in advance for the help!



Well-Known Member
Look at the Red Sea reefers.

changes I’ve seen:
definitely lighting is a big one. Not just the switch to LEDs but the ability to ramp up and down in a dawn to dusk fashion and even some programs that do thunder storms and other effects. I use Kessil LEDs in a hybrid T5 fixture.

wet/dry filters have fallen out of favor and sumps with refugium have taken their place.

there are a lot more captive bread fish and coral available

diseases in the wholesalers tanks is rampant-that didn’t used to be the case. Now quarantine is a must.

there seems to be a bigger focus on nor natural systems, most of the filtration coming from live rock and macro algae in a refugium.

the Gyre pumps are a big difference

aquarium controllers Have been a huge change. I had a reef keeper lite, mostly to control my heaters. Just this year I upgraded to an Apex system and it is amazing. Since I purchased the base system I’ve added additional nodules to it because it is so easy to use. It controls my temp in the tank, monitors pH, controls my lights on my display tank and my refugium. I have their moon lights that work on a natural lunar cycle. I use their auto feeder. I think controllers are a bit of a game changer. In a couple weeks I’m heading to the Philippines for 2 weeks. I will be able to monitor my tank on my iPad from there and tell somebody back home if something needs to be done.