Soon oil will probably break $100/barrel, the economy seems to be slowing. Is the reef industry in peril because of this? After all it is a hobby right? One of the first things to go after eating out is hobbies or is that a bit harsh?
Since oil has not stopped going up, it cuts into all our check books, the money has to come from somewhere right? You know your wife will say: “honey you need to stop with the frags”, or are we so addicted that we will plead with our mates and say “We need to stop eating out, but I have to have my frags”. It is interesting to think about what this means for all of us. Some of the basic things that will get afftected are:
1) Plastics. If the price of oil keeps going up this means that pumps, fittings, protein skimmers, kalk reactors, calcium reactors and perhaps even sumps will be more expensive due to oil. Why? Acrylic is made using petroleum a by product of oil. All plastics are made using a form of oil. This also includes super-glue which is basically an acrylic resin. Expect an increase in any product that includes acrylic.
2) Shipping. Shipping prices are rising because of the rising costs of oil, which includes Online suppliers and even Local fish stores. The LFS have to charge more for their products to cover the higher costs of getting the products to their stores. Petco and Petsmart have already started to raise prices. (they always lead the pack) I expect other smaller LFS stores to increase prices in the weeks to follow.
3) Water. Higher oil means higher energy costs. Higher energy costs are making a dent across the board including water. If you bought an RO/DI unit then you are already ahead. But if you are buying your water premixed or in 1 gallon containers from a bulk discounter like Walmart, try investing in a RO/DI for home use.
We expect the bottom line to affect most hobbyists pocket books by about $50-$100 month. Not horrible considering the bulk percentage of us are spending over $900 on aquarium equipment per year. Still $100/month can pay for several casual restaurant meals and some awfully nice frags.