It's that time of year, folks! From now until April, many of us Americans will have the opportunity to get some of our hard-earned money back from Uncle Sam! Yep, contrary to popular belief, it's not a check from the government, it's still YOUR money. With tax refunds in the near future, do you have any plans to buy a new tank, buy new equipment, or make improvements to your current tank?
So I won't spill the beans completely, but I've got some huge plans for my tax returns this year. It's all still in the works and probably a couple of months out, but expect a really unique series coming your way in the form of blogs and video, where I'll give you guys a really in-depth look at --- I've said too much. Did I say video?
While it's cool to use our tax returns to buy lots of goodies for our reef tanks, I'd also like to put out a friendly reminder that essentials come first and foremost! Having the biggest, baddest reef tank isn't worth neglecting piles of debt. Extra is wonderful, but also be mindful of what it takes to put food on the table for your family.
If you've got the extra cash, here are some ideas that will really benefit your tank in the long run!
- Upgrade your lighting - Lighting is one of the most essential aspects in assuring your reef will thrive, and stepping it up a notch will surely be appreciated by your livestock.
- Upgrade your power heads - Your water column needs to move to deter detritus build-up, move nutrients, and provide plenty of flow for your livestock. It would be especially beneficial to add some variable movement power heads while you've got the cash!
- Re-do that pesky plumbing - Have a rogue pipe that springs a new leak every few weeks? Perhaps it's time you put it to rest with some extra cash this tax season by doing a plumbing makeover.
- Get a shop vac - If you haven't already encountered a drip, a leak, or a flood, you will! With extra cash in hand, it could be an excellent time to invest in a shop vac.
- Upgrade your filtration - Be it internal, HOB, or through a sump, filtration can make or break your reef. Do yourself a favor and get it rockin' and rollin' like it should be with new media, filter socks, etc.
- Add a clean-up crew - The addition of hermits, snails, and shrimp can make your maintenance routine that much easier.
- Finally invest in an RO/DI unit - Yeah, yeah... So it might cost an arm and a leg at first, but it'll pay for itself over time.
That's just a few ideas off the top of my head. That's all based on a recurring theme I've noticed when people put off buying something due to financial stresses that would otherwise benefit their tank. Well, while you've got the extra cash, go ahead and git-r-done! Again, I strongly encourage and welcome you guys to post your plans for your tax returns in the comments below, be it reef-related or not. Got some advice on doing your taxes this season? That's welcome too!