Is the hobby really fun or simply rewarding if done successfully? Possibly another go tank thread...

Coralreefer1

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I guess it is like anything else that is so called fun. Having a garden and maintaining it, building old cars, golfing, fishing, building houses and setting up and maintaining a marine aquarium. They all require hard work and time but the fruits of their labor are often rewarded by those who are patient and don’t get discouraged. There are always going to be peaks and valleys in the so called pilgrimage known as life. We learn from our mistakes and failures to make us better and rebound from our successes making it fun and enjoyable to be a marine aquarist.
Yes, the saltwater hobby is not for everyone, nor is having a garden, building old cars, golfing or fishing.
It can definitely be a frustrating hobby as things can spiral out of control faster than you can say holy crap. But then again you can experience the beauty, amazement, awe and the full potential of running a marine aquarium on all cylinders which is what got us into the hobby in the first place and what we all strive to replicate.
 
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ScottR

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Sorry you’re discouraged in the hobby. It’s definitely a lot more involved than advertised.

It seems from experience that you can have a successful tank as long as you have two of the following.
1) A lot of time
2) A lot of money
3) High IQ

If you have all three, this hobby should be fairly easy.

I only have two, my tanks are alright.. no where near what I envision them to be.
1) A lot of time - I lose
2) A lot of money - I’m broke
3) High IQ - I stupid bro.

But I do agree. Time, money and smarts are a must.

@Halal Hotdog mentioned as well to meet with local reefers. I’ve got a lot of really helpful people in my reef club and they’ve been invaluable. This is very important. @ylreefer has decades of experience and has taught me lots. We trade equipment and corals regularly. Waiting for him to come plumb my RODI in my kitchen.
 

jaxredsoxfan

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This hobby can be overwhelming sometimes. I've had bouts where i thought I just needed that new gadget or piece of equipment and all would be good again- usually this does not pan out. I like the process of testing (well mostly) and working out solutions to problems. My tank is in my home office and I find it very relaxing as I work to simply enjoy having a piece of the ocean in my house.

All that being said, I find when things go awry- I try to go back to the basics. Test, test, test and try and determine what the underlying issue is rather than what quick fix gadget or piece of equipment could fix it. Then once it is resolved - and this has required a complete tank breakdown and restart once to fix- there really is a sense of satisfaction in knowing you are back in a good place in the tank.

Ultimately its a personal choice. Work through it and fix it or pack it in and/or change to FOWLR. I don't think we can answer that questions for you, but I feel there is enough evidence in this site that if you persevere, it can and will generally get better and you can survive most calamities. I wish you the best in whatever your decision is!
 

Paul B

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Charlie, great thread. Where are you on Long Island? I am at the end of the expressway.

I love this hobby but I also love a lot of things. My tank right now has a lot of cyano in it. I just find that interesting and I like to study it. I don't see it as a problem but a reason for me to think.
Over the years my tank has had every situation, none of which I would call problems because then it would not be technically called a hobby which by definition means something that is fun.

I realize that it is a fish tank and I eat fish almost every day. I don't have any fancy gadgets, dosers, controllers, hospital or quarantine tanks, medications etc. and my tank gets along just fine. I also think simpler is better.

The hobby to me is something to do when I am not doing anything else and I can "play" with it when ever I want, or don't want. It's just there. :cool:
 

WVNed

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How is this any different than most other things in life. Driving a car is fun and rewarding until you are hanging in the seat belts upside down in a ditch because you had a flat. Having a dog is fun and rewarding until he gets pancreatitis and sprays blood over 30 square feet of your room out his butt and you have to take him to the emergency vet in the middle of the night which is expensive. How about a nice radio control airplane. It's fun and rewarding to see something you built flying around in the sky. Then one day it meets the ground going full speed and you start over. How about having guests over and cooking for them but the cake falls in the oven or you drop the baked chicken in the floor.

There are always setbacks. Reefing isn't any different
 

lakai

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It is literally a test of your commitment and ability to persevere and overcome adversity followed by short periods good times which tend to be quite rewarding before another menace comes along to put you to the test again. I Imagine over time it gets less difficult but is this fun ? Fun is the last word I would use to describe this hobby. The only fun part of this hobby is looking for and buying gear.
 

Jrain904

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Once mentioned in another post that maybe we all should be required to have a fish hobbyist license to be in the hobby like a driver's license. This way one would have a good understanding of what is entailed .
Again with suggesting MORE regulation? SMH....

The way things are going in this country we will need a license to use the restroom pretty soon.

Going off your other recent thread you are really down on the hobby! Maybe its time you move on... If the hobby is no longer fun for you or if you feel guilty about being involved in it than you should dump it lol!

Also try changing your water more than 2 times in 9 months and I guarantee your results will be better!
 

Tyler Bullock

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I enjoy this hobby due to the complexity. I recently quit playing a video game at a top 100 US ranking because I quit playing the ranked stuff. Once I got out of the competitiveness of the game. The game was not fun for me anymore. I enjoy this because of the difficulty. Its more rewarding for me personally. I don't want to see anyone leave the hobby. But when its not fun anymore. Whats the point of staying.
 

skimjim

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He laughed at me patronizingly and tried to explain how salt water was easier than fresh.
@Bleigh
Say 'hi' to Lloyd Christmas from all of us the next time you see him
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-Llyod Christmas, World's Foremost Expert
on Freshwater Aquarium Systems
 
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Bleigh

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Saltwater is easier than fresh. I've done both quite a bit now. But I don't have a showcase tank, just one that makes me happy by looking at it.
I guess it depends on the type of fresh you're doing. I kept fresh for nearly 2 decades and none of them needed as much attention as my current reef tank. I also wasn't keeping specialty species, like discus or anything. I guess a fowlr salt water could compare to some of my set-ups. I don't know how someone would manage a biocube with corals without water changes and such, but . I'm sure its possible, even if it's not something I've been successful at.
 

MichaelE

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Well no, I wouldn’t say that this a fun hobby. At least not fun in the way shooting guns, fishing or rock climbing is fun. But rewarding? Heck yeah! I guess that’s why I’ve been hooked for the better part of 15 years.

I’m a bit of a masochist in the way that I love finding solutions to difficult problems. I find great fulfillment in stepping back, looking at something I’ve done and saying “right, now that’s fixed”.

However I totally agree that most people are way underselling just how much effort and persistence this hobby requires. At least to do it properly.
 

WVNed

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I guess it depends on the type of fresh you're doing. I kept fresh for nearly 2 decades and none of them needed as much attention as my current reef tank. I also wasn't keeping specialty species, like discus or anything. I guess a fowlr salt water could compare to some of my set-ups. I don't know how someone would manage a biocube with corals without water changes and such, but . I'm sure its possible, even if it's not something I've been successful at.
What I mean by easier. I have no media to change, No filters to keep up with.
With freshwater I had HOB filters and canister filters and diatom filters that needed weekly maintenance. Carbon and Chemipur bags to change. Air pumps that failed and needed new valves. It was always something. Cleaning the bottom to get the gook out and keep the UGFs working.

I dont do regular testing or add anything to my tank now. I have a few pumps and a skimmer that need cleaned every couple of months. I maintain the RODI twice a year. I do a water change every week, empty the skimmer and clean the glass when it needs it. The ATO keeps the tank full and fills itself from the RODI. That is easier.
 

Tamberav

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What I mean by easier. I have no media to change, No filters to keep up with.
With freshwater I had HOB filters and canister filters and diatom filters that needed weekly maintenance. Carbon and Chemipur bags to change. Air pumps that failed and needed new valves. It was always something. Cleaning the bottom to get the gook out and keep the UGFs working.

I dont do regular testing or add anything to my tank now. I have a few pumps and a skimmer that need cleaned every couple of months. I maintain the RODI twice a year. I do a water change every week, empty the skimmer and clean the glass when it needs it. The ATO keeps the tank full and fills itself from the RODI. That is easier.

When I had a freshy tank I stuck a ton of live plants in it and a canister filter and did a water change and cleaned the canister once a year. Topped off when I remembered. That's it.

You can make either fresh or salt as easy or hard as you want depending on the type of animals or corals/plants a person keeps.
 

rogersb

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I never would have thought about this hobby in terms of fun. I have fun riding my motorcycle or shooting my bow in the back yard. This is more interesting and relaxing. A few years ago I got a 210g tank, drilled through the floors, had a refugium, frag tank, reactors, and sump in the basement all plumbed in. That became a job and did not last long. I took a break from the hobby and got back in now running a smaller tank with much simpler filtration under the stand. It's been more successful and I've been enjoying it more than I ever did that monster with all the gadgets.

Your small tank was successful for a reason. Maybe that's what you need to get back to.
 
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Charley

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I guess it depends on the type of fresh you're doing. I kept fresh for nearly 2 decades and none of them needed as much attention as my current reef tank. I also wasn't keeping specialty species, like discus or anything. I guess a fowlr salt water could compare to some of my set-ups. I don't know how someone would manage a biocube with corals without water changes and such, but . I'm sure its possible, even if it's not something I've been successful at.
When I had the biocube I did do regular changes. I stopped the water changes with the larger tank because of the dino's roaring back with the water changes. It seems now water changes are not bringing them back but might simply be that the GHA is holding them at bay.....not sure
 
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Charley

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I never would have thought about this hobby in terms of fun. I have fun riding my motorcycle or shooting my bow in the back yard. This is more interesting and relaxing. A few years ago I got a 210g tank, drilled through the floors, had a refugium, frag tank, reactors, and sump in the basement all plumbed in. That became a job and did not last long. I took a break from the hobby and got back in now running a smaller tank with much simpler filtration under the stand. It's been more successful and I've been enjoying it more than I ever did that monster with all the gadgets.

Your small tank was successful for a reason. Maybe that's what you need to get back to.
Happy to see your are enjoying. That's a good suggestion. I have the red sea 35 gal empty. Just so much $ already invested in the big one......
 
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Charley

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This hobby can be overwhelming sometimes. I've had bouts where i thought I just needed that new gadget or piece of equipment and all would be good again- usually this does not pan out. I like the process of testing (well mostly) and working out solutions to problems. My tank is in my home office and I find it very relaxing as I work to simply enjoy having a piece of the ocean in my house.

All that being said, I find when things go awry- I try to go back to the basics. Test, test, test and try and determine what the underlying issue is rather than what quick fix gadget or piece of equipment could fix it. Then once it is resolved - and this has required a complete tank breakdown and restart once to fix- there really is a sense of satisfaction in knowing you are back in a good place in the tank.

Ultimately its a personal choice. Work through it and fix it or pack it in and/or change to FOWLR. I don't think we can answer that questions for you, but I feel there is enough evidence in this site that if you persevere, it can and will generally get better and you can survive most calamities. I wish you the best in whatever your decision is!
Very much appreciate the response. Thank You
 

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