Back to the Future: Out of the hobby and then back again is shocking!

Would you be shocked by today's reefing hobby if you had just returned after a long period of time?

  • Yes (tell us why in the thread)

    Votes: 228 53.4%
  • No

    Votes: 77 18.0%
  • Somewhat

    Votes: 118 27.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 0.9%

  • Total voters
    427

revhtree

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I have a local friend, whom I became very good friends with because of the hobby, who had quit the hobby many years ago. Lately we have been talking and he decided the time was right for him to get back into the hobby. YAY!

He's literally been out of the loop completely so he began asking me questions about how reefing had changed, about the best equipment etc. He was shocked to hear how we could now automatically test things like alkalinity, calcium and magnesium among other things. He was shocked at how a lot of the companies now are really working to create their own network of equipment that didn't exactly work well with other equipment brands. He was also shocked that Euphyllia coral is in such high demand and commands such higher prices than that of many years ago. There are a lot of shocking changes and evolution to reefing for him and someone who hasn't been following along for sometime! Let's talk about it today!

1. If you were just getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus what do you think would shock you the most?

2. What do you think is the next biggest trend or shocking change in reefing in the next 10 years or so?



price shocker .jpg
 

JGT

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I have a local friend, whom I became very good friends with because of the hobby, who had quit the hobby many years ago. Lately we have been talking and he decided the time was right for him to get back into the hobby. YAY!

He's literally been out of the loop completely so he began asking me questions about how reefing had changed, about the best equipment etc. He was shocked to hear how we could now automatically test things like alkalinity, calcium and magnesium among other things. He was shocked at how a lot of the companies now are really working to create their own network of equipment that didn't exactly work well with other equipment brands. He was also shocked that Euphyllia coral is in such high demand and commands such higher prices than that of many years ago. There are a lot of shocking changes and evolution to reefing for him and someone who hasn't been following along for sometime! Let's talk about it today!

1. If you were just getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus what do you think would shock you the most?

2. What do you think is the next biggest trend or shocking change in reefing in the next 10 years or so?



price shocker .jpg
Controllers, move to LEDs from MH/T5's, adding nitrates/phosphates to your tank, focus on dKH. 20 years ago, these weren't "things". Great Scott!
 

j.falk

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For me it would be the ridiculous price mark ups on corals. 20 years ago the corals that were available locally were very affordable. Not these days. Nowadays, everyone who sells locally thinks every coral should be a minimum of $50.00 per frag...
 

The_Skrimp

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I got back into it this year after fifteen years out of the hobby and it was definitely a good surprise coming back. A lot of the things I found cost prohibitive back then are a lot easier to do now especially considering how far LED lights have come. All the new trendy filtration options were fun to learn about as well. I’m also kind of glad to see some of the old hard rules going away like thinking you have to have three inch minimum sand bed etc.
 

JGT

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For me it would be the ridiculous price mark ups on corals. 20 years ago the corals that were available locally were very affordable. Not these days. Nowadays, everyone who sells locally thinks every coral should be a minimum of $50.00 per frag...
Agreed, forgot the sticker shock. Also, $50 used to get you a decent sized colony. Now it buys you a 2” frag on a disc.
 

Miller535

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Boy that really depends on when the person left. I can remember a time when many if not most reefers did not have sumps. Now excluding some of our nano/pico brethren this is pretty rare (outside of some noobies trying to save a couple of bucks). Think of all the equipment we shove in those things now. My wife often jokes that every time she thinks i can't fit more gear in there, that I do. Many of us cycle very differently and shorter then we used to. Going from mostly live rock and sand to all dead and dry. I would really say 80% of everything I heard when I was starting out, we now know was just outright wrong. If it was long enough ago it would basically be like starting al over again.
 

Mical

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Many things would shock a returning reefer - livestock & coral prices, equipment prices - of course. BUT, the technology applied to the hobby these days would be the biggest shock - just lighting options alone have come a long way. How many old reefers had RODI units or digital test kits and controllers. A good Ryan @ BRS quote "I attached model airplane props to a small electric motor to make wavemakers"
 

Pkunk35

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1) what shocks me the most after 6 years gone is how far controllers (basically apex) and the spread of information on how to do things or comparing info has come. I think I read a post here about how someone dumps salt into a bucket and the controller basically takes care of the rest...even just setting that up correctly is like a new reefing skill and forums like this one spread that info very efficiently.

2) 10 years from now I’ll be looking at someone’s flawless mixed reef tank outfitted with amazing gear and this person will tell me that they have just started reefing (Wait, it already happened: )
 

fish farmer

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1. If you were just getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus what do you think would shock you the most?

Variety of corals and I don't mean the silly name thing, just the different types. I started my reef in 2000. Where I was there weren't frags of anything in stores...you got those from hobbists. I would see the same 20 coral types at most LFS, now if I want a particular patterned brain coral I can probably find it now, back then it was a picture in a magazine.

The types and amount of equipment available....I started a SW FO in 1990, there wasn't much on the shelf in the U.S.. Reef tanks were run with trickle filters with bio balls or DLS. The good equipment was from Europe. Now an average guy makes retrofit sump/refuge/overflow kits and sells them on ebay.

2. What do you think is the next biggest trend or shocking change in reefing in the next 10 years or so?


Trends I can't think of because I feel that some trends now are actually old ways of doing things (like ATS) but have become more mainstream. Even automation via a computer was mentioned in a book I have from the late 1980's. Shocking would be major bans on fish and corals pushing land based aquaculture more.
 
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Soryu

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I had a FowLR tank back in 1990 as a tween/teen and I just got back into the hobby 3 years ago. The biggest shock is the massive amounts of readily available knowledge since the maturation of the internet. When I started most of my knowledge was the crappy books some of my LFS sold and the knowledge of the people running them. Unfortunately you find out 30 years later that these people are making sales not helping create stable environments. I still remember them telling me that a sump was required, that 29 gallons was impossible, under gravel filtration was a necessity. Now I have multiple AIO tanks, people are even keeping pico tanks. I can't remember the last time I saw a friend running under gravel filtration either.

It's a beautiful world for reefers.
 

footgal

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My dad used to be one of the Big Guys in the reefing world. First acros in Houston, was pretty much one of the only people able to keep pulsing xenia alive and healthy (I know, back then this was actually difficult!) Tested out the new "skimmers", and knew/ worked with people like Charles Delbeck and Julian Sprung! He got out of reefing because my brother was born and he ran out of time but we both jumped back in about a year ago and he was SHOCKED. Mostly at the new LED lights (he still thinks halides are better but agrees that LED is really nice just because they don't get ridiculously hot), how many different corals there are (like they used to just have "millepora" not "sunset mille"), and most of all... how EXPENSIVE everything has gotten! I see him cringing at the prices every time we go to our LFS because he's still stuck back when a full rock of any type of zoa was less than $20. It's been a big shock for him but also really fun because we both had to learn everything together :)
 

reefnfun

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18 years ago setting my entire tank up with Figi and Marshall Islands live rock was great. I would go buy Acropora colonies and an excellent coral would be all brown and have either blue tips or purple tips. Now all these aqua cultured sps corals are just beautiful. they are more expensive but worth it to me. I'll take a small frag and grow it out. Now is much better than back then to me.
 

NinjaTiLL

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My brother has been in the hobby for a long time his current tank is 8 years old. He's in it for the fun and doesn't track tends or new stuff. When I showed him my new tank, he asked "where's the canister?" as if those are still the only option and expected. I don't have a canister filter, just a Triton sump with Refugium.
 

stephenwjr

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Back in the 90's when my reef died from overheating. Went to the lake for camping and came back to reef soup. Had a $600 chiller and AC but the system still over heated. Since then I have been waiting for LED lighting to be perfected and affordable. Now that is a reality and on top of that, the massive amount of information readily available to every user has brought me back to the hobby. As for advancements in the next 10 years I see more automation and less hands on but honestly IMO is not something I want. I like taking care of the tank, that is why it is a hobby. If your going to have everything automated then just put a picture on the wall. my 2 cents
 

AlpineM5

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This literally just happened to me. I was very active in the hobby with a 180 FOWLR and a 90 mixed until about about 9 years ago. I just got back in head first about 6 months ago since I travel so much less for work. My biggest surprises were controllers and how you can literally automate and monitor everything. Automatic water changes! What?! Also nutrient export has changed greatly with carbon dosing and algae reactors etc. To the point people have to does nitrates! A few other minor ones are media blocks (no bio-balls), all the different bacteria additives and I can't believe I went all those years without a DC pumped skimmer! I didn't notice too much change in livestock pricing however.

Lastly there is so much more information and videos online like 52 weeks of reefing and just BRS in general is compeltely new to me. I used to have to read books!
 

burningmime

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I'm pretty new myself, so nothing's too shocking.

But my investor gut is telling me that there will be some major bans (possibly Australia) coming in the next few years, meaning wild-collected/hard-to-frag corals like Trachy/Scoly will soar through the roof (already seeing this with Acanthophyllia).

Also I wonder if we're at the point that filtration + auto-feeding is good enough to start keeping some of the notoriously difficult NPS like Dendronepthya.
 

Reeferbob420

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For me it would be the ridiculous price mark ups on corals. 20 years ago the corals that were available locally were very affordable. Not these days. Nowadays, everyone who sells locally thinks every coral should be a minimum of $50.00 per frag...
That's exactly what shocked me. SPS frags and torches for > +$500!? what the heck
 

Do you have a frag tank, frag rack or some other place for coral frags currently?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 110 44.2%
  • No

    Votes: 134 53.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 2.0%

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