Do you consider yourself to be "A Real Reefer" and what does that look like?

BRS

Do you consider yourself to be a "Real Reefer" at this point in your hobby journey?

  • YES a real reefer because I can grow coral

    Votes: 169 43.7%
  • YES a real reefer because I can keep coral alive

    Votes: 79 20.4%
  • YES a real reefer because I have a reef aquarium

    Votes: 89 23.0%
  • NO but I am on my way to being a real reefer

    Votes: 93 24.0%
  • NO and never will be

    Votes: 27 7.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 27 7.0%

  • Total voters
    387

revhtree

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I read a statement, on another platform, where someone was talking to another hobbyist about what makes you a "real reefer" and what doesn't, etc. Or something like that! Anyway, I was wondering what you all thought of that and mostly to answer the following questions. So let's talk about it!

1. Do you consider yourself to be a "Real Reefer" or are you one just because you have a reef aquarium?

2. What constitutes a "real reefer?" Ability to grow coral, keep it alive, etc? What is it?


image via @El.Kae
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i cant think

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It really depends on the situation, I mean even just making salt water could make you a real reefer.
You could even say a LFS employee (which many people dislike when it comes to advice from them - I have had first hand experience with this as I’ve been an employee at an LFS before) could be a proper reefer.
I think, if its someone that KNOWS what they’re talking about or Atleast knows one section of this hobby, whether that’s with fish or coral or even inverts should be classed as a real reefer.
I mean, which tank would you say if they were owned by two completely different people would be owned by the true reefer? One has acros growing whilst the other has fish that shouldn’t get along thriving with eachother.
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Personally, if I saw these two tanks and they were owned by two totally different people I would say both are true reefers as both are experimenting on different things. Ones experimenting with fish stock whilst the other is experimenting with what coral will and won’t grow. So really it depends who you ask but with me I vote:
If you’re experimenting with different things whether that’s inverts, coral or fish you’re still a true reefer. This hobby is ALL about experimenting! Nothing in this hobby is right or wrong, it’s just purely all guidelines that some stay in and others will break and explore.
 

Tamale

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IMO... a real reefer has a reef tank. This is somewhat different than a successful real reefer can grow coral and keep it alive!
Agree. Not to mention “real” doesn’t have any metrics involved. A person who has a dog is technically a real dog owner. But being a real dog owner doesn’t mean they are a good one. Same applies to reef keeping. Have a tank? You’re a real reef keeper. Everything you add to it dies? Then you aren’t a good one yet. So imo the guy who used “real” didn’t choose the best word to make their point.
 

Dave6771

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A person would pretty much have to be a marine biologist to truly be a "real" reefer in my opinion. That I am not. I can grow enough corals to put together a reasonable facsimile of a natural reef, but I don't pretend to know everything about every coral in the sea. I'm also not a chemist, which I believe a true reefer should be. Anyway, just how I look at it.
 

james670

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I am technically a reefer, but a real reefer? What's a real reefer and what's a fake reefer? I suppose a fake reefer is one who buys fake corals?

I was technically a reefer the moment I got a pulsing xenia into my tank. But I am a far cry from being a good reefer. I've gotten a few other corals since then, but I am definitely not a good reefer yet (I likened getting those new non-xenia corals to planting flowers in my garden instead of dandelions).
 

davidcalgary29

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You're a real reefer if:

1. You gave out majano-shaped treats at Hallowe'en, and then were offended when you had to explain what they were

2. Have stopped cutting your grass, and told your spouse that you'd rather put your time and effort into growing a nice lawn of GSP.

3. You collect, share, and like videos of clowns biting the hands that feed them, instead of cute cat clips.

4. Your new build weighs more than the family car.

5. Your bumper sticker reads "my other child is an aiptasia" and look offended when anyone asks what that is.

6. You get confused when people talk about reefers, and start to babble on about cyanobacteria and bryopsis instead of cannabis.

7. You refer to snails as “your babies”. And you aren’t even being facetious.

8. You one-up friends who brag about keeping kraits and boomslangs as pets by showing endless pics of your palys.

9. Eunice worms cause endless worrying and grief, because you secretly think they’re cool and cute, and it takes up a lot of energy to think up excuses why you really can’t do a tear down to remove them.
 
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Nemo&Friends

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No, as I am a FWLRO. I do have one purple candelabra gorgonian, and it is still surviving after 8 months, but I am not really interested in Corals. I am trying my luck at macro algae and it is not too successful... getting a little better though.
 

MMcKenna1029

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So I will comment here. I can grow coral... I have no doubt about that. I have both an LPS and SPS tank connected together and have good growth throughout granted color is not where I would like. That said, I think there needs to be a category at some point for someone who is able to maintain long term a thriving system for both fish, coral and all other inhabitants. That is what I strive for and I am IMO no where close.
 

jfoahs04

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I think anyone putting in a concerted effort to keep and grow coral is a "real" reefer. Lots of reefers are between tanks, planning new tanks, just getting started on (or restarting) a tank, etc. I think those are "real" reefers even if they're not growing coral (or even keeping it alive). After that relatively low bar has been met, you can start talking about the spectrum of "successful" (or not successful) reefers, or whether or not a reefer is "active." But I think "successful" and "active" are quite different than "real."
 

NowGlazeIT

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A real reefer to me is the kind of thoroughbred that likes the abuse. The type that can not only grow coral but go the distance, through the ups/downs around the bends and always peddling back for more. The type that has been in it 5+ years or on their way to be. That’s the guy I point out and say “Look at that over there kids, its a…Real Reefer.”
 

Mark Novack

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I have learned a lot, have succeeded and failed, and now feel good and get nice results with little drama. I'm passionate about my tank and its doing well, but a 'real reefer' not. I lack too much knowledge. I don't know a b-ionic from a high colonic.
 

Susan Edwards

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Does it make me a real reefer if I have anxiety leaving home for more than a day because I cannot take my tank with me?
lol's. I'm leaving my tank with my hubby for 5 days. He has printed schedules for morning and nite duties. I hate leaving my tank as I know it well. Even by sound. So that certainly makes me a reefer! Real isn't really the word. Dedicated is better. That said, I see so many "saltwater tank owners" on facebook groups that I do not consider "real reefers" yet. To me a "real" reefer researches and plans and is dedicated to their tanks. Too many I see don't want to put in the work or effort in order to achieve a thriving tank. They want the tank but not willing to put in the effort.

Am I a real reefer?
Going by the money I've dropped, god yes. One thing I learned is to not buy cheap but the best you can afford.
Thriving and growing corals? Finally! Third tank and what I've learned has come together
The amount of work applied daily? Another god, yes. And this makes me a dedicated reefer
Time spent on google researching and here seeking advice and help? Yep. As opposed to just asking on social media where I see so many wrong answers, answers given by those I do not consider "real reefers" but know it alls who do not know.

So a real reefer to me is a dedicated reefer who also is constantly learning and improving their tanks
 

MPS

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While I know that I am still learning and will be forever, I think I can consider myself a successful reefer. Last weekend I had to trim down some of my coral. Considering the prices of a one inch acro frag, I estimate that I threw out over a $1000 in digit, milli and montipora. It was very sad but I don’t have my grow out tank setup yet and my local LFSs aren’t interested in trades or even free inventory
I know that Monti-caps grow fast but man did it hurt to break up this colony.

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Karen00

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This is an interesting question. I guess I'm a reefer because I keep corals but I don't think I will be a real reefer until I can keep a tank like the pic that was posted. Or at least can keep (and grow) the corals that I choose to have in my tank. In my mind being a real reefer has near 100% success keeping and growing the corals of choice. :)
 

mindme

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I'm unsure why the distinction matters and just seems like a way for someone to stroke their ego.

It reminds me of in sports when people talk about being "real fans". As if you have to do some weird crap to be considered a "real fan". Don't watch every game, you're not a real fan! It's dumb.
 

rmorris_14

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You're a real reefer if:

1. You gave out majano-shaped treats at Hallowe'en, and then were offended when you had to explain what they were

2. Have stopped cutting your grass, and told your spouse that you'd rather put your time and effort into growing a nice lawn of GSP.

3. You collect, share, and like videos of clowns biting the hands that feed them, instead of cute cat clips.

4. Your new build weighs more than the family car.

5. Your bumper sticker reads "my other child is an aiptasia" and look offended when anyone asks what that is.

6. You get confused when people talk about reefers, and start to babble on about cyanobacteria and bryopsis instead of cannabis.
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BRS

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 13 4.2%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 48 15.5%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 55 17.7%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 96 31.0%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 90 29.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
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