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

Biokabe

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
1,297
Reaction score
1,894
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tacoma, WA
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?
I'm generally not a fan of gatekeeping. Do you have a reef tank? Congratulations, you're a "real reefer." Of course, not all reefers are the same, and simply being a reefer doesn't mean you're a good one - but that's a separate question from whether you're "genuine" or not.
 

polyppal

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
5,814
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver
1655856872568.gif


Id consider someone a ‘real reefer’ once they’ve grown corals out to a considerable size over some period of time and have a successful system…

is that’s considered ‘gatekeeping’? A little too PC for my taste, seems like it’s just the reality of the situation

ex: I started gardening for the first time a few years ago. I wouldn’t have considered myself ‘a gardner’ after coming home from HD with a couple of baby plants and sticking them in the dirt… but after a spring/summer of cultivating them, learning about gardening and successfully growing tons of vegetables I would now consider myself a ‘real gardner’

if I had a barren dirt back yard and didn’t develop the skills to keep vegetation alive in it, id hardly consider myself a ‘real gardner’. Id just say I have a back yard

Likewise, there are guys who say ‘they’ve been in this hobby for 20 years’ and they’re tanks are full of gunk and algae and (if they’re lucky) maybe some Xenia or other unkillable weed coral… and there’s the new guys who drop a couple Gs in a new tank and fill it to the brim with frags and call themselves ‘collectors’... I wouldn’t bestow on either of them the ‘real reefer’ title (lol I don’t know anyone who uses that terminology anyways), id just say they own a saltwater fish tank, and those aren’t the people I’d look to for suggestions/advice on reefing.
 
Last edited:

Spicy Reef

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
246
Reaction score
196
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Seattle
At this point... could change... I feel like a real reefer should be able to do at least 3 real things with a reef aquarium. I don't think I can judge what those 3 things should be...
for me. I felt like a real reefer when
1. I could keep all the "main" parameters stable
2. I could grow any type of coral not just softies :)
3. I could manage pests.
That's it - the doobie is lit! haha
 

Pkunk35

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
1,853
Reaction score
881
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
deep question, Rev.

Real reefers understand that no matter how long they have been reefing they have more to learn,
So In turn they try to help others as much as they can (with an honesty of their knowledge, limitations and prejudices) bc they understand they themselves will need the help too.

real reefers know this hobby is indeed about knowledge but mostly about doing the work (bc most of the knowledge needed for success is already out there, just search).

real reefers know patience.

real reefers know that reefing is life but just a part of it (a very awesome part).

A real reefer vocalizes the plight of the oceans, of the fish we keep and eat, tries to change the world so that our kids can reef with a free conscience.

Think I’ll try to be more of a real reefer from this point on.
 

editour2

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
120
Reaction score
53
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Long Island, NY
I can't really say I like the choices given here to qualify as a real reefer. To me a real reefer is someone who is devoted to the hobby and someone who has experience in the hobby. A real reefer has gone through ups and downs and as such builds experience and knowledge. I've been in the reef hobby over 15 years. I've experienced my share of failures and hardships but am proud of my reef tank and the successes I've had. It can be a tough hobby so anyone sticking it out is a real reefer.
20220418_191851.jpg
 

Pelagikos

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
113
Reaction score
158
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gloucester County
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.
image.jpg

image.jpg

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.
"Proper Reefer"
 

Aluco

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 30, 2022
Messages
97
Reaction score
44
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Citrus Heights
My tank is quite new and I feel like I've just been running damage control and trying to fix all my mistakes along the way. Do I hope to be a real reefer someday? Sure, but right now I feel really far from it. I'm a reef lover, admirer and a bit of an enthusiast but to me it's about experience, passion and the knowledge to run a reef tank with little to no trouble as you've done and seen most of what can happen.

I'm also a pc gamer guy and I feel like there can be similarities drawn between the hobbies (beyond that both are pricy) some people just buy a pre-built pc and pay whatever it costs and doesn't research or learn about the system they are running or how it functions. Then there are those who stay up nights researching, learning about different hardware, setups, diy ideas how to care and maintain the setup and what upgrade paths are reasonable down the road. Basically the ones who get invested so much into the hobby it becomes apart of them and their lifestyle. Unlike the others that just want the physical thing in their home so they can look at it and say I own that.

Best way I can describe my thoughts on it..
 

rsumner

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
292
Reaction score
230
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Lakeway, TX
Interesting poll. I still would have called myself a "real reefer" even when I wasn't able to grow coral, but in certain company would have probably called myself a "struggling reefer" or "immature reefer" to be more accurate. :) I think it takes 2 or 3 years of experience reefing to realize that everything good comes in time.
 

HawkeyeDJ

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
185
Reaction score
144
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
North America
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
IMG_2802.jpg
I consider myself a freshman student of reefing. I study, I read, I learn something new virtually every day, I make mistakes, I get frustrated, and I try to do better.

When I see some of these gorgeous aquariums here and elsewhere, I'm reminded of some guitarists who when they first saw and heard Jimmy Hendrix play, they quit, because they realized how little they knew compared to him.

I'm reluctant to start a build thread on my little tank, because I feel like I'd be a kindergartner bringing my macaroni art to the Louvre Museum. I'd be afraid of being patted on the head and hearing "That's very pretty, little guy! Now run along while the grownups talk."

Don't get me wrong. I get a great deal of satisfaction from my successes. I just don't think they are on the level of so many others here. While others are painting the Mona Lisa, I'm still trying to master staying inside the lines.
 

Forty-Two

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
451
Reaction score
375
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Israel
I’m going to say it has to do with your intentions.

If you treat it with a casual attitude and don’t really care if you’re going to be successful or not - then you aren’t a real reefer

if you care and are invested emotionally and financially, you put your best effort forward - then you’re a real reefer.

if you’ve put your best effort forward, and are invested emotionally and financially, and you’ve seen your fair share of ups and downs - and yet you don’t give up - then I’m going to go ahead and call you a Master Reefer
 

vlangel

Seahorse whisperer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
4,199
Reaction score
2,896
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I think I consider myself a 'real' reefer because I am able to keep fish, coral and macro algae a long time. I have coral from the early 2000s, (granted it's cabbage leather, mushrooms and palys which are easy coral). Most of my creatures thrive so I feel successful. So yes, I consider myself a real reefer.
 
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%
AF
Top