Are you a Builder, Maintainer, or Both?

Are you a Builder, Maintainer or Both?

  • I woud rather build out a new system

    Votes: 138 24.4%
  • I would rather maintain a system than build it out

    Votes: 69 12.2%
  • I's passionate about both

    Votes: 358 63.4%

  • Total voters
    565

revhtree

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Disclaimer: This may be a terrible, boring topic but it's what's on my mind!

I'll start this off by saying that I love to build things! I love new things and putting together a building plan and creating something new that wasn't there before. But when it comes to saltwater reef aquariums this sometimes isn't the best attribute! You can only have so many tanks and you can only have so many new builds otherwise you're always tearing down your tank and starting over.

Yesterday I was thinking about my tank and tank room build and how fun it was to put together but how I'm not very good at the "maintaining" part of keeping a reef tank. Yes it's true. The same passion I had for building isn't the same when it comes to maintaining this living breathing Eco-system. Don't get me wrong I love my reef and the inhabitants but that doesn't mean I have the same passion for maintaining the chemistry as I did for building the infrastructure. If that makes sense. The good news is that you don't have to be THE BEST at one or the other to be successful. So let's talk about that today!

1. Are you a Builder, a Maintainer, or Both?

2. What advice would you give to someone who's not especially good at maintaining a reef tank?

3. What advice would you give to someone who's not especially good at building a reef tank?



Would love to hear your overall thoughts about my ramblings here!

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WVNed

The fish are staring at me with hungry eyes.
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I am not passionate about either. I built a system that doesn't take much maintenance. Clean the glass, empty the skimmer, add some chemicals, feed the system.
They want more to eat
friends in the 240

The 2 eel shot in the 75

For me the building and the maintenance just got me where I want to be.
Watching them.

Why ever you do it. Have fun.
 
Last edited:

andrewkw

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Maintainer. I can build if need be, but will make mistakes and eventually learn to live with them.

You need to be able to maintain a reef tank to keep one. Keep it simple if that's all you can do.

My main display was purchased in 2006. Still using it. My other display tank was purchased 2008ish. I moved in 2016 so everything got some sort or reboot. Still I learned to live with design flaws that could not be fixed and found ways around others. When I first setup the system in 2006 the metal stand I purchased with the tank was so low I couldn't get my skimmer to fit under it. I ended up putting the sump on the side. When I moved the tank I put the stand on a riser and the sump fit under it finally.

I learned how to cut wood (not great but good enough), how to attach plumbing and other various minor things due to building reef systems which at the very least allow me to do minor house repairs and other small projects. Eventually I do plan on getting around to building that dream system. When the time comes I will be taking it slow, planning as best as I can and consulting with as many different people as possible. I will also keep some sort of other system running so I won't feel the need to rush. That being said I've learned to live with various things and they turned out to not be too detrimental so I can accept a non perfect system and be perfectly happy.

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Crabs McJones

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"Part of the journey is the end"
Voted for both.
Building a system to see it mature and grow out is one of the best parts. You get to see and watch your progress as you get to the point of maintaining the system.
 
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Billldg

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I am passionate about building a new tank, until I have to do it.

I am passionate about maintaining a tank, until I work late and come home and have to maintain the tank.

BUT, when I have a stressful day at work and come home and get to see my tank, ITS ALL WORTH IT!!!
 

Acroalan

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I voted for both. I love the planning phase with all the researching various methods for success and selecting the equipment that will support that method best in a sustainable fashion. Then there is the executing phase where I put the pieces together, engineer fixes to design issues, and bring the vision to life. Then, once it is going watching everything mature, seeing where my plans overlooked something that needs attention, and nurturing my acro frags into colonies is the payoff. I love every step of the process and find different satisfaction from each of them. Of course, part of the planning phase is considering how I will eventually upgrade once I retire and can build my dream tank to carry me into my old age. ;)
 

K7BMG

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Both here as well.
I have been in construction most of my life as I like to work with my hands.
So naturally I have to do it by hand.
I have found in the reefing world this DIY method allows me to have a greater water volume for the main tank.
I was not stuck with having to buy a sump, stand, or fixture mount.
I doubt I will ever build my own aquarium though.
 

zoomonster

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While of course I love the end result and the pleasure of viewing a finished tank I'm pretty project based for everything. The obsession over the detailed planning, building and acquisition of hardware and live stock is perhaps the biggest thrill. OK so in reality while I like building stuff I love spending money too lol. I certainly picked a good hobby for that and its eaten some bank over the past 30 years of having reef tanks. My brain is already scheming putting up another tank.
 

Silent

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I like the build process so much that I didn't know what to do when it was over. I couldn't wait to complete it but now I'm a bit board. I like to research the process also. Research it, get an idea, research more, rework the idea, plan some more. Just talking about this makes me want to research and build something.
 

don_chuwish

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I probably enjoy the excitement of a new build more than the maintenance. But you really have to do the maintenance long term to figure out what kind of build suits you.
 

Crotalus

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I am both. I had a LFS swap out my aquariums and since they did the install there was a lot of plumbing that I didn't consider to be optimal. I've added a second return pump, UV, Roller Mat, new skimmer, battery backup, ground rod, dosing pumps, Wifi temp controller, added new rocks, and biopeller reactor over a few months time.
 

mmatt

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Both. Build it how I want and can blame only myself for any mistakes. And where is the reward if you can't maintain it yourself. Plus I couldn't afford this **** if I had to pay someone to do everything for me. To expensive as it is. Better spent on this then meth or heroin is what I say. Lol although reefing is most likely more expensive.
 

Barnabie Mejia

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Both. Build it how I want and can blame only myself for any mistakes. And where is the reward if you can't maintain it yourself. Plus I couldn't afford this **** if I had to pay someone to do everything for me. To expensive as it is. Better spent on this then meth or heroin is what I say. Lol although reefing is most likely more expensive.
I hear you! my wife asked my son and I how much I had in the build and i told her that I could have done a Turbo LS swap in my 64 C10 pickup for what I have in the tank! lol I told her it was better spent on the tank cause we will be able to enjoy it every night!
 

Kernowzx2

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Just bought a 75G and 8 reef tanks off of Craigslist this past couple of weeks, so building them plus maintaining my existing reefs. Good job my better half was inducted into fishkeeping by me so she is supportive! (Thank God!)
 

JLynn

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I love both aspects. I relish planning out a new reef, and I find it immensely satisfying to see those plans come together when I finally get my equipment and set the thing up. But I'm also always in it for the end goal of an old tank with big, beautiful, mature coral colonies and lots of colorful fish to enjoy watching.
 

Johniejumbo

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Definitely a builder. If I can automate, so I do not have to maintain, I do.
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I’ve seen municipal water treatment plants with less gadgets. I can’t tell if you should get an award or an intervention lol.
Really though do you have a build thread detailing all this?
 

Do you think a xenia refugium is an effective method of water filtration?

  • Yes

    Votes: 74 11.6%
  • No

    Votes: 99 15.5%
  • Maybe considering the set up

    Votes: 108 16.9%
  • Never considered it

    Votes: 347 54.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.6%

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