Figuring out the why: Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time?

Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time?

  • My reasons for reef keeping have changed dramatically.

    Votes: 16 9.4%
  • My reasons for reef keeping have somewhat evolved.

    Votes: 69 40.6%
  • My reasons for reef keeping have no changed.

    Votes: 84 49.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.6%

  • Total voters
    170

Peace River

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Figuring out the why: Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time?

Most of us had a time when we made a conscious decision to begin reef keeping whether it happened over time or was at a specific point. When we began we likely had specific reasons whether it was the need for a new hobby, being drawn in by the beautiful fish, a desire to bring nature into our homes, or many other reasons. Our decision was likely a combination of several factors and our reason for reef keeping may or may not have morphed and changed. Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time? Please let us know what motivates you in your reef keeping and let us know how your reasons have evolved.

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This QOTD is sponsored by: www.tidalgardens.com

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“The goal of Tidal Gardens is to offer the highest quality corals to those seeking a piece of that world without destroying it. We hope to instill a deep appreciation for the natural reefs and help develop a self-sustaining hobby that no longer requires the collection of fish and corals.”
 

Reefer Matt

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I started out wanting ocean animals in my home. The colors and variety of animals amazed me. Over the years, more and more of myself has been intertwined in reefing. As life changes happened, reefing has been the crutch I needed to get by. I also met many other Reefers over the years, and heard their stories as well. I now realize that reefing isn’t just about the animals, it’s about people too.
 

Dee tre

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It was something i wanted to try during the start of covid. I was in the house more and planned to start my freshwater but had time and a little more money to try out saltwater so i decided to keep it going and growing
20240517_154342.jpg
 

rhitee93

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I'm a noob that returned about a year ago after a 20 year lay-off. Back in the day I was 100% motivated by invertebrates. Fish just weren't that interesting to me.

When I got back into the hobby last year I was of the same mindset. However, over the last several months, fish have become more interesting to me, and I find I am making concessions in order to have the fish I want.
 

steveschuerger

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I’d say my overall reason hasn’t changed, but my goals and expectations have evolved. One thing is for sure I love having a slice of the ocean in my living room
IMG_4859.jpeg
 

Extremeengineer

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My journey has been more of an evolution. I moved from 120g cichlid to 2 saltwater FOWLR tanks, but then got caught up in family life, moving to new house, another kid, son got sick, so was out of all of it for 10 years. Now kids are 7 and 12, and routines are pretty organized, and my wife said you should get one when I mentioned that I missed my tanks. Well that was unexpected, let me go out and get everything before you change your mind lol. So now I have the time and desire for a reef tank, always loved the corals, just too intimidated when I started in hobby and honestly did not have the budget at that time to do it right anyway.
 

Minifoot77

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I'm originally from the northern California coast and my reef is my little piece of the ocean that reminds me of home and I'm in land locked illinois now... and it was an easy jump from breeding cichlids and catfish
 

Fish_Fry

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When I first started in the mid-late 90s I found it relaxing. I loved the watching the all the little creatures (amphipods, bristle worms, hermits, & snails) in addition to the fish. Pre-internet you were mostly at the mercy of the LFS. 'Mandarian in a 29 gallon? Sure there is plenty for it to eat.'; Skilter 400 is a great skimmer'. Luckily I found Julian Sprung and spent hours reading and learning.

I left the salt side of the hobby for about 2 decades. I always knew I would return when I was in a better position to "do it right", meaning when I had the room and ability to set up a RODI / SW mixing station etc.

I've been back for about 2 years. Occasionally I find it relaxing. But mostly it's more about stubbornness and my refusal to give up no matter what algae of the month has decided to take over. I enjoy wasting way too much disposable income. There is no reason to save it for retirement because the stress of keeping the tank is going to take years off my life. I enjoy constantly explaining to my wife that 'working on the fish tanks' is really 'doing things around the house.' Instead of gambling I like to guess whether my nutrients have bottomed out or are off the charts. I enjoy the delusion that some day it will be relaxing for longer periods of time.

Also, I can't get rid of the tank because I think I've destroyed the wood floors underneath it.

;):cool:
 

grimcarnage

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I originally just wanted an anemone and a clown. Couldn't afford the lights, so I just got a clown. I didn't realize they live so long. If it weren't for her, I would have shut my tank down long ago, she is now 20 years old, and we've been together through 2 states and 3 moves. I just keep upgrading to make her life better. She now has a boyfriend, a Ritteri (that she refuses to touch unless she's ripping off his tentacles when he moves to an area that she doesn't like), and several LPS to give her world some color. About to move her into a 200 gallon display with a total setup price near what a used car would cost. I went from wanting an anemone and a clown to setting up a tank capable of SPS. The things we do for our pets.
 

MoshJosh

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I think at first I just wanted to prove (to myself) that I could do it. Now I. . . well I am not totally sure. One of my goals is to be a coral net positive. I want to make more frags than I have killed and or removed from the ocean. Another goal is to be the best coral grower ever!!!

Who knows what my goal will be in a year haha
 

vlangel

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I have been involved with reefkeeping since the late 1990s. Saltwater fish were my first love and coral and macroalgae are added to make the fish feel at home. That is still my primary goal in reefkeeping.
 

Surf City Corals

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Figuring out the why: Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time?

Most of us had a time when we made a conscious decision to begin reef keeping whether it happened over time or was at a specific point. When we began we likely had specific reasons whether it was the need for a new hobby, being drawn in by the beautiful fish, a desire to bring nature into our homes, or many other reasons. Our decision was likely a combination of several factors and our reason for reef keeping may or may not have morphed and changed. Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time? Please let us know what motivates you in your reef keeping and let us know how your reasons have evolved.

MarounC_FTS1.jpeg

Photo by @maroun.c


This QOTD is sponsored by: www.tidalgardens.com

TidalGardensBanner1.jpeg


“The goal of Tidal Gardens is to offer the highest quality corals to those seeking a piece of that world without destroying it. We hope to instill a deep appreciation for the natural reefs and help develop a self-sustaining hobby that no longer requires the collection of fish and corals.”
Growing up on the water minutes from the beach, spending a large portion of my time in and next to the water I can't remember a time when I didn't love the ocean. Keeping a saltwater aquarium has always been in my mind. For whatever reason my parents were not fond of keeping pets. I always loved animals and the joy they brought to my life in many different capacities. When I moved out and started supporting myself I had the ability to keep pets. Among various other jobs I spent time working at a pet shop. Life was difficult but I realized I was going to get a saltwater aquarium because it makes me happy having life around me and my own piece of the ocean that I could care for; life is short. I'm glad I did get my saltwater aquarium because it has done just that. I have a happy ecosystem in my 20 gallon cube and and my 2 10 gallon frag tanks. I also recently purchased an 80 gallon long that I am setting up. Hobbies are important and I have always loved the ocean. I think for me it was a combination of reasons. However over time I have learned so much and now I have a passion to understand even more, so in that sense it has evolved. I am even more passionate than I was when I began and I enjoy all of the success I may not have noticed at first.
 

BillFish Coral Lover

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It’s all about the love of the animals! I just didn’t know about the possibilities when I first started with fish only.

My reasons haven’t changed, but my goals sure have! Oh, wait, “To keep everything I (intend!) to put in alive,” is still the same goal, too!

The “intend” part is crucial, though. I didn’t mean to put some of the nasties in there.
 

mousehunter

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I am new to reefs, but not aquariums. Being born in the late 60's (a child of the 70's) it seemed like almost every house had an aquarium. It was part of our culture - before cable TV (we got 4 channels of broadcast TV then), before video games, before the internet, before cell phones... Honestly, there were a LOT of things that were part of the culture then that are far less common now. As I grew up, our tanks changed. They gained size, complexity - they were a focal point in our living rooms, eventually evolving from a 10 gallon chromed steel guppy and molley tank, to a 75 gallon ciclid tank. My wife grew up kind of the same, but in an even more aquarium focused area - their house had a 75 or 100gallon built in tank, and her younger brother eventually got into salt water.

There have been times in my life that I did not have a tank, or had something that was a nano (before nano's were cool). There have been times that my tank crashed and it took a few years to replace broken equipment and try to get it going again. By the time I married my wife - our living room had an aquarium as it's focus piece-again being more complicated and diverse - a heavily planted "hi-tec" planted tank (HQI lighting, heavy fertilizer dosing, 50% weekly water changes - and to me utterly beautiful. But work hurt my viewing, and honestly my maintenance. Lights would burn out and I would not no for weeks since I was not at home during when they were scheduled (they were scheduled for the family, not me). I kept it alive, barely, trying different lights (as the HQI's were both expensive and the bulbs never lasted long (each time hurting the tank). We moved, kept trying different lights. During this time had 2 catistrophic tank failures (I was working away from home during both - I had a small hood fire taking out my lighting system, and had a cat dump my lighting in the tank and expend 9 lives all at once (drowning, strangling, and electricution). Eventually, it sat mostly dormant (upgraded the lights one last time-which was almost to as good as my old HQI). Sure, I kept a couple fish in it and the pump running - but my plants were gone, and after trying 3-4 times to get it started again, I gave up. With the new house, it was no longer a centerpiece, crap got stacked in front of it so viewing was an effort... Well I assume this burn out has happened to a lot of us.

I decided to bring my planted tank back to life late this winter (which is the best shipping times for us). I lowered the tec a bit (not using the auto doser for ferts anymore), changed to a lower maintence fert schedule, and am very pleasantly surprised with what my tank is looking like again. Many would think it is mature, I don't - I am still fighting a few minor issues, and still trying to bring some of my moss back from the dead (eventually I will either get that moss back, or change my aquascaping).

My oldest son living with me is interested in salt water - so I am trying to encourage it. It is applied science and art. His older brother did a salt tank (FOWLR) after he left our house - part of a ocean science class he was taking. My brother-in-law was running a reef tank (but he broke it down due to a work related move - will start again when he sells his old house and is no longer a renter at his new city). My older brother was a breeder for years (running about 10 75 gallon tanks in his house - I think one might have been a FOWLR, but he was focused mostly on fresh water breeding). Aquariums have been in my blood for 50 years now. So I guess it is time to add a little salt.

There is one specific alternative agenda going though. I am in the process of building my last house (or at least last primary residence - at least short of a catistrophic failure). I wanted to get aquariums back in the front of my families and my wife's mind so there will be no doubt the tanks will make the move to the new house - be centerpeices, not get forgotten and shoved into an out of the way corner or storage (like what happened to my planted tank when we moved into this house).

Today marks the official start of my new salt water experiance. Technically I purchased part of a sump Monday, but got the display tank today. Current goal is 1 month till water. I want to build out the sump first, then start work on the stand. I want to make sure that the stand and sump work well together for maintence. Meanwhile I will work on plumbing the tank (drilling, putting on an overflow, etc...). Technically, it is not my tank - but I also know there is a 99.9% chance I will inherite it from my son - so I want it right first.
 
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