QUESTION OF THE DAY Here you are, still reefing, still reading this post, still cleaning the glass and feeding the fish. WHY?

What keeps you "driving forward" in this hobby?

  • Tank success

    Votes: 292 41.7%
  • Hobby Friendships

    Votes: 22 3.1%
  • Boredom

    Votes: 13 1.9%
  • Fish as your pets

    Votes: 168 24.0%
  • Can't quit now! Too much invested.

    Votes: 99 14.1%
  • I make money from the hobby

    Votes: 12 1.7%
  • Other (please post in the thread)

    Votes: 95 13.6%

  • Total voters
    701
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captainsmitty

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I've been in the hobby for 47 years now because I have been fascinated with marine life and the ocean since my earliest childhood memories. It started watching Cousteau and "Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom"

As an adult I went through a few decades of being a serious scuba diver. It's the best hobby for someone in a corporate career because when I'm underwater nobody can call, email or otherwise speak to me :rolleyes::)

Nothing on earth relaxes and resets me like being underwater or watching my fish tanks. Except during physical moves, I have had some sort of aquarium up and running since about 1972, and it will stay that way until they bury me...
I’m the same. From the diving to keeping tanks.
 

andrewkw

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This is an interesting question. I think eventually you just get to the point where you can't imagine your life without a reef. If you're having fun why think about it? Why do you love any of the things you love? The answer won't always be obvious.
 

lpsouth1978

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My tanks are my escape! After a long day at work, it is peaceful to come home and feed and maintain my systems. It helps me unwind and relax. When things don't go as planned, I find it extremely satisfying to find the issue, and repair it. I have not had a MAJOR issue in my 20+ years of keeping fish and hope to continue that trend. I am a pretty laid back person, so when things go wrong I don't over-react and change everything all at once. When my systems no longer bring me peace, I will get rid of them (though I don't see that day coming anytime soon).
 

Buffalou

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Had a 220 split at glass seam 1 1/2 years ago and said no mas! I quit for almost a year but have come back with a passion to succeed, I had it once SPS growing, everything humming and then the leak! This time I have back up plan, tub! and I have gone tech crazy, apex ready and moving forward. What amazes me is how much the technology had changed in just over a year. Had to learn all over that the water is the most important parameter, getting that right and then slow stability. I want to get back to to where I was fast but slowing my roll ;Stop
 
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ajhudson15

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its a weird relationship. I have days where I just want to take it all down and not have to worry about it because of the stress of keeping everything alive. then after a week ill get into the kick of "man I want this to be the best reef tank out there" we all go through the motions im sure. im just glad my wife has talked me out of taking it down when ive thought about it. I love doing maintenance but I get anxiety every time I start doing water changes or cleaning. not sure why I get that way but as soon as im done it goes away lol.
 

ThunderGoose

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When I was in third grade I got a fish tank for Christmas. I've been keeping fish almost continuously since then. I can't imagine not having a tank.

So why reefing? When freshwater is so much easier and still very satisfying? Two reasons. One - I wanted a new challenge and Two - the Invertebrates! I now have shrimp, urchins, anemones, feather dusters, sea cucumber, hermit crabs, a gorgeous serpent star and a mantis shrimp (and probably others I'm forgetting). All these cool, weird, invertebrates that are available in salt water.

Is it worth it?

Oh, yes!
 
Legendary Corals

TVV

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Trying to emulate the great experiences I had in the past, snorkeling in exotic places. Job, family, kids, finances and the location I live in do not lend themselves to traveling abroad as much as I would like. I bring visuals of what helps me remember and still enjoy - reef viewing.
 

s_tempest

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For me with over 25 years in fishkeeping (although much fewer with SW reef tanks), reasons for the hobby have always been two-fold:
- the continued intellectual stimulation of something new to learn about. Back from early days on "The Krib", to the wealth of info found today on the forums and in person, this "always something new to learn" keeps me interested.
- the challenge of trying the build and sustain something beautiful in my home. My fish tanks are self-made pieces of art I get to look at every day. They're not always pretty and perfect, but I get to look at them and think "I made this". And because these are living systems, they continually change and need tweaking to thrive and to look their best. Trying to achieve that is both the challenge and the reward.
 

SDK

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for all those that say reefkeeping is therapeutic, do you feel the same way when things in your reef are not going the way you'd like?
Not even close lol. Fortunately, I have been doing this long enough that those moments are few and far between.
 

Adellimore

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I have been traveling the last 3 years and felt a bit like I didn't have an anchor/home. The more I get into this the more I realize that I will actually have to live in one place for more than a few weeks! Building my tank around a pole has literally tied me to my place and created a sense of stability.

I am still new to the hobby and setting up my tank, but it has been one of the most alluring hobbies that combines so many of my interests. I have been into woodworking, beekeeping, gardening, diving, and software engineering. I feel like I get to touch on a lot of aspects in this hobby so far.

I also am an avid Free Diver and Scuba Diver. I love being underwater and spent most of my time traveling in South East Asia and the Caribbean. Developing this reef will be an anchor and a little piece of the the best parts of the world I have enjoyed in my living room.

I gotta say I am pretty hooked and feel motivated with every little progression I make!
 

sarcophytonIndy

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I voted other, I keep mine up for therapy.
It helps me stay physically active after all my surgeries and also helps me feel better mentally having my mini piece of ocean to stare at in my living room.
Also have formed great friendships that keep me engaged in reefing as well.
I should have voted other as well. Totally agree with your answer
 

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Speaking only on behalf of myself, here are a few things that keep me motivated:

1. TECHNOLOGY: Equipment has come a long way since I started keeping saltwater aquariums 12 years ago. In my 20s, I was super into computers and cell phones. I always wanted the latest and greatest. I wanted to be an early adopter. It was exciting to see how innovators were pushing the envelope of what is possible. That is how I feel today about the equipment we use in our hobby. There are at least a few times each year where I'm absolutely tickled by some clever creation!

2. MY TANK IS RESILIENT: A couple of years back, I broke a part of my protein skimmer. I never replaced the part so I never put the skimmer back on. My kids' activities were taking up more and more of my time. It was hard to keep up around the house. I was thinking about taking the tank down and going freshwater for a while. I neglected the tank over the summer and algae started growing everywhere. The interesting part was my corals looked fine. I didn't lose any fish. I thought to myself, "Maybe I'm making this hobby more difficult than it needs to be." I got back to basics, started performing regular water changes & maintenance, and the tank looks good once again. I've had this system going for over 6 years and will soon be moving into a bigger tank.

3. FOR MY KIDS: My parents always had an aquarium in our house growing up. I loved going to the video store (remember those?) because the fish store was next door and we could always convince my mom to take us inside to look at the animals. My folks had a 40-gallon freshwater tank that was beautifully scaped by my dad. My mom did all the maintenance! They later let me get a 10-gallon tank that I set up right next to theirs in the living room. I loved staring into those underwater worlds, especially while watching Saturday morning cartoons. Now I get to have those kinds of experiences with my own children. They each have small freshwater tanks in their room. Hopefully, they will grow up with an appreciation for aquatic life as I did. I think they are off to a good start!
 

DO YOU USE BLUE (ACTINIC) LIGHTING TO MAKE YOUR CORALS POP?

  • YES

    Votes: 532 81.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 91 14.0%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 28 4.3%

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