How Much Will Fishkeeping Cost?

12 March 2021


Previously, I expressed the desire to have a desktop aquarium. As I research, I am discovering that there are a LOT of accessories that’s involved with fishkeeping. Here, I am going to list all of the items a beginner fish parent will need + its estimated cost. Hello, reality check!

Image credit

I sourced most of the items from this Youtube video.

Fishkeepping essentials

Item Est. Cost
Biorb LIFE 8 gal tank $260
net $2
siphon $10
2 buckets $4
aquarium testing kit $25
replacement filter $15
replacement airstone $5
heater + thermometer $18
accessories/decor $60
cleaning pads $10
fish food $2
water conditioner $3
betta fish $15

Our grand total, ladies and gentlemen, is a whopping $429! Oh boy. And this is the bare minimum of what every fish parent should have. That is one expensive piece of “living decor!”

My hope is that this aquarium will last me a lifetime. The fish will come and go (betta lifespan is 3 yrs if you’re lucky), and I intend to switch up the decor as it suits my mood. I heard a great quote about how fishkeeping is less about keeping fish and more about maintaining great water quality. If your water/environment is great, then your fish will do great. And if I’m going to have my tank on my desk all day, then I’d want it to be clear and clean too!

So at the end of the day, the question to ask myself is: am I willing to do what it takes to keep this water clean? This will amount to:

  • 30% water change once a month
  • 1 filter change every 2 months
  • 1 air stone replacement every 3 months
  • 1/3 biological media replacement every year

Do you have any fish? Would you add (or change) anything that’s on this list?

P.S. I will get a small commission if you make a purchase through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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