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

Sailfinguy21

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I don’t want more government regulation in my hobby. So have to disagree here on getting registered to keep fish. That’s ludicrous

I agree... people lile the guy you qouted remind me of homeowners associations.. Anyone who works for those can go stick it!!! And if you think you need a license to own fish lol.. Go kindly stick it as well.

I dont need anymore gov control over things then there already is. Dog license ? **** i havent paid for my dogs license in 8 years and im not going to pay that stupid tax because thats all it is.

Fish license... ****..

Sorry for my french
 
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Charley

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I agree... people lile the guy you qouted remind me of homeowners associations.. Anyone who works for those can go stick it!!! And if you think you need a license to own fish lol.. Go kindly stick it as well.

I dont need anymore gov control over things then there already is. Dog license ? **** i havent paid for my dogs license in 8 years and im not going to pay that stupid tax because thats all it is.

Fish license... ****..

Sorry for my french
Would you agree to a book called "Reefkeepers for Dummies" for entry level hobbyists?
 

i_declare_bankruptcy

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To be successful in this hobby (I am not -- yet), you have to enjoy the pain and have a thirst for knowledge. To your point, you're right it's really not a walk-in-the-park hobby and when things aren't going well it's a panic to save animals. You can't just 'put your reef tank down' like you can your bike, RC plane, etc. It's a commitment.

I also agree with the image people get when they are first introduced to the hobby. It's not fun and games at first -- in fact the first year can be pretty miserable. I went through an insane GHA breakout when I had my reefer 525. It clogged the overflows just like what happened with you, even though I was scrubbing every 1-2 days. The only reason why I came out on top (just to end up moving and selling the tank dang it) was because I'm stubborn, but like unhealthy stubborn. Like regularly staying up until the wee hours of the morning scrubbing the rocks stubborn.

I think you have the drive and love for the ocean that WHEN your tank turns around and you see the positive side, your opinion will change. At least, I really hope that for you. Because I know (we all do) what it feels like to be where you are now, but also what it feels like to win the battles and watch your tank succeed.
 

Greaps

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Interesting thread,

I have always disliked the advice for new reefers to buy the largest tank they can afford. That advice though well intentioned for know advantages shouldn't be said to new reefers, I would recommend newer reefers to have a budget build because as the OP stated things like top of the line equipment does not promise success so lets learn the game for less money, take what we learn, then do that upgrade.
 

skimjim

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Bottomline....

No one enters this hobby with the intent of getting some high thrill of excitement like playing an intramural sport.

There is no direct nor immediate payout, like making a 30ft putt for birdie in golf, hitting the game winning run in softball, making that last second jumpshot for the win in intramural basketball.

Reefing is a lot like Gardening.... you plan out what you want to do, go shopping for everything to complete your Gardening project, you slowly and methodically cultivate and work your butt off....for what? For you to sit back with an adult beverage and say, "Dang! Look at what I did. Look how beautiful everything looks"

If that moment of enjoying what you worked hard at and it looks great, isn't fun for you..... and it's becoming a frustrating chore, then Craigslist everything and get out. No one is begging for you to stay. Just sayin......

To me, I think it's fun sitting in front of my tank looking at coral growth, watching fish play in the water flow, chasing each other. Its mesmerizing, much like sitting a staring at a camp fire. Now that isn't fun to you, I do believe you're in the wrong hobby.
 
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Charley

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Bottomline....

No one enters this hobby with the intent of getting some high thrill of excitement like playing an intramural sport.

There is no direct nor immediate payout, like making a 30ft putt for birdie in golf, hitting the game winning run in softball, making that last second jumpshot for the win in intramural basketball.

Reefing is a lot like Gardening.... you plan out what you want to do, go shopping for everything to complete your Gardening project, you slowly and methodically cultivate and work your butt off....for what? For you to sit back with an adult beverage and say, "Dang! Look at what I did. Look how beautiful everything looks"

If that moment of enjoying what you worked hard at and it looks great, isn't fun for you..... and it's becoming a frustrating chore, then Craigslist everything and get out. No one is begging for you to stay. Just sayin......

To me, I think it's fun sitting in front of my tank looking at coral growth, watching fish play in the water flow, chasing each other. Its mesmerizing, much like sitting a staring at a camp fire. Now that isn't fun to you, I do believe you're in the wrong hobby.
LOL...Got it! I happen to be an avid gardener. I am not looking for anyone to convince me to stay in either or leave.

That is not the point. For those who are already in and enjoy, there are no issues of course about staying in.

On other forums, people seem to be leaving the hobby at a rapid rate and threads about why people are leaving the hobby are popping up.

As someone who was close to the edge myself recently, I am offering up my thought process as to why I might leave.

when: " it's fun sitting in front of my tank looking at coral growth, watching fish play in the water flow, chasing each other. Its mesmerizing, much like sitting a staring at a camp fire. Now that isn't fun to you, I do believe you're in the wrong hobby." of course its fun.
 

reefwiser

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After Keeping aquariums for years now 56 years so far. I have learned to find areas of the hobby that are interesting to me currently. I am more interested in breeding and learning so I am working towards setting up a fish room this fall to breed shrimp and nudi's. The display reef will come down and I will spend more time on learning which is to me more fun than the stress of a display tank now days. There are many areas of the hobby that you may enjoy more than a display tank itself. many hobbyists enjoy breeding and learning about the chemistry of aquariums more than keeping a display aquarium. Don't get stuck in one aspect of the hobby that isn't enjoyable there are many more out there.:)
 
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Charley

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It's very interesting for the people already in the hobby and enjoying, and all the years of experience, cannot offer up any advice for people who want to consider entering the hobby. It's simply "do your research". To @Snookin's credit, I think it was snookin offered up BRS and SA to look at. BRS's videos just might be the "gold standard" for someone to look at to enter the hobby. Algae issues are covered but not sure about dinoflagelattes. Balancing chemicals also covered. covers for the rimless tanks, maybe not.

The expectations and lack of visibility as to what issues might come up at the entry point think is the weakest part of the hobby

Yes, setting up the tank is fun. Yes, buying fancy new equipment is fun, Adding the first fish and corals, very exciting. Even if you watch all BRS videos about setting up a tank there are still things can can easily get overlooked to lead to disappointments. If you bought a nice rimless tank and it is a visible spot in your home is one aware that just about every fish will jump out over time? I did buy a nice rimless, I went thru 2 tankfuls of fish before I finally broke down and got a lid. Really not so happy I kept plunking down a a few hundred bucks of fish for no good reason.This may seem trivial until you keep buying more fish unexpectedly and your wife steps on your yellow tank barefoot and wants the tank out of the house! Or your cat has your semi poisonous puffer hanging out of its mouth. Or you decide to clean up your tank some and take paly's out the tank with your kids nearby.

What you don't know, you don't know. It can be ruinous. In my case I had a 29 gal biocube. Not so bad. Usual issues, some hair algae here and there, not so bad. Couldn't keep SPS very well. It was a bit tough to manage the alk and cal consistently. Ok, not bad, other corals and fish did quite nicely. Sooooooo, what did I hear quite often. the larger the tank, the more stable the parameters. Cool, perfect! I now wanted a bigger tank, have some more corals, now some SPS a few more fish and have an easier time with water chemistry. It was all true. But I never, ever had a reason to think about dinoflagettes. Never saw them. Had no reason to pay attention. Was happy, water parameter spot on. So much so dino's appeared. I took on the challenge, got rid of them after a long battle. Covering the tank a few times, letting hair algae out compete, etc.

and if ich strikes......another tank mess. Incredibly frustrating. A pest on a coral. How much should they have known before entering the hobby. would you let them about all this upfront? Maybe the tank would go in a basement instead of upstairs.

But if this was in my living room....... it looked like hell and was a long battle to boot and now hair algae, etc. Of course people would leave the hobby if stuff like this blindsighted them.

Who would expect with a nice tank and equip and great parameters that this sort of thing could happen. Should they now how dicey this is before entering the hobby and placing the tank in a nice spot in the home?

What would you tell someone considering to enter the hobby where to look for info? I would suggest BRS vid's for sure, but also would bring up algae issues, all of them, fish diseases, pests. It's not that some of us love dealing with this. But at least people should know about this upfront so they can decide if this is for them. What looks good upfront, looks good......what lies hidden, well.....

My only issue is knowing even more in the beginning especially the downside. That would be very helpful.

This is NOT like any other pet. You CAN read 1 book about a dog breed and get a good sense of it. Very unlikely a series of diseases will strike your pet. This is not a hobby where you can but things away neatly in a closest, garage , basement or shed at the end of the day this meaning the tank itself if looking bad.

Again, my only issue which I think would help people making better decisions is that they get better informed from the outset with the challenges ahead so the expectations are realistic.
 

Dan_P

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I've come to the conclusion that at least for me, this hobby not really fun, but maybe rewarding if you can manage a nice reef tank for a good period of time. If a friend or stranger asked me today is the the hobby fun, I would not say that it is fun and a great hobby to be in. I would say it potentially can be REWARDING if you put in alot of time, spend alot of money (if you're not a DIY type) and have the patience to sort through alot of very confusing info. Not to mention, if would be helpful if you have some aptitude for chemistry and even better if you know some plumbing, electrical and can be consistent with maintenance or things may go awry fast And even with all that any slip up and you could still be toast. Even with all the above if you do not take the time to quarantine and be super diligent as to what goes in your tank you are looking for trouble: pests, diseases, etc..

I think we do a huge disservice to the hobby if we do not fully explain in detail what the hobby entails.

The problem with LFS is that tanks are usually empty tanks with fish to be sold(not really showing any algae/chemistry issues) or maybe 2 very well maintained show tanks making it appear "easy". Potential new people will not fully grasp the problems with what lies ahead. They do not see the algae probs, the balancing of chemicals required, strict maintenance schedules,tons of expensive equip to keep it going, etc......its too rosy a picture right off the bat. Then when disaster strikes...they're out.

I have no excuse really. I go into LFS stores often enough, read alot. But I really did not grasp how delicate the balance really is. I thought If got some nice equip it would be enough have a nice tank, to stave off disasters........wow, I was so wrong.

At this point, I am just about ready to pack it in. If it was not for wife insisting I stay in, oddly enough, because I love the oceans, fish, corals, etc I would be gone by now for sure. I am 51% per in/49% out mentally at this point.

I just went through another unexpected semi crash on my 90 gal which I have up and running almost 2 yrs. Before that I had a 29 gal biocube which did fairly well.The 90 gal did ok for about 9 mos. I added a refugium, cheato growing nicely, nice pod population. Kept the phosphates and nitrates near zero and one day all hell broke loose with dinoflagelattes. I stayed calm, did 3 day blackouts, then 5 day blackouts, then 7 day blackouts, knocked them back but they would rebound. At that point the chaeto died in the refugium. Then GHA grew in the DT. I decided to naturally out compete the dino's. I let the GHA grow, flooded the tank with phytoplankton and it worked. Dinos been gone for about 9 mos. in the meanwhile I also had a brooklynella outbreak, about 8 mos ago, that killed all the fish when I went on vacation. My son did not notice. Had that to deal with in the midst of all this. But the tank rebounded nicely, nice group of fish, corals growing nicely, just a ton of beautiful GHA now. In a sense my DT was a big refugium. The only prob was the GHA was a bit too much and when I knocked it back a bit by hand it would clog the overflow because I could not catch every little pc. So about a month ago I decided to get rid of GHA using NoPox. It knocked it back, I would pull some off too, kept clogging the overflow. Anyway, enough dead GHA made it to the sump, then the pump, which seized, tripped the breaker and now a semi crash. Could not have been off more than a few hours if that. But when turned back ff it must have let loose some bacteria, killed some fish and corals. So upset......it's enough already.

However, I did not do more than 2 water changes in the last 9 mos. Again because of the dinoflagelattes. they come roaring back with water changes. Plus the levels in my tank seemed very good, fish happy, corals growing, no dino's.

At a crossroad: to buy a dual reactor for carbon, gfo, a back up battery, ato , apex for automation, a doser ( been dosing by hand to save $ ), uv sterlizer to keep dinos away, more coral, more fish and poof another easy few hundred bucks gone and more.

Do I really want to double down? Not really. I do not think the risk/reward ratio is my favor. I think this is why so many people are leaving the hobby. It is not fun, just maybe rewarding if it works. That's it.

Sure the shows are fun
Some great people
Like the educational part
The new technology is fun to see

It simply is not enough. The expense, maintenance, uncertainty, the confusing and often times conflicting info, the constant vigilance to maintain the delicate balance, the constant churning of $ with now higher prices of corals.....I fail to see the appeal any more. I go to hit the proceed the checkout buttons to purchase stuff and I just cannot bring myself to do it. Just can't. Haven't even rehooked up the protein skimmer.

Anyway, I might just put up pics of my tank starting right before the crash and after and how I try to rebuild if I do. Just a thought.
@Charley, it sounds to me that you are finished with the hobby.

The love of the ocean and the things in it is a tiny part of what you need to be this hobby. I am sure that you have learned this. And you certainly recognize how easily one is “trapped” into this hobby by a stroll through a LFS. It is not unlike buying a puppy and then discovering you don’t want the adult dog. Or falling in love witha kitten and not being the least bit interested in caring for an adult cat.

I recently read a UK article about hobbies. The authors report that on average, a hobby lasts 16 months. Another article I read discusses the difficulty people can have selecting a hobby. My take is that we must all plan on failing at times when selecting a hobby.

One thing you might consider, now that you are a much smarter person, is to find someone who would love to get into this hobby and has a knack for animal husbandry, and give him your equipment or sell it to her cheaply.

Good luck with your next venture!

Dan
 

d2mini

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Every hobby is not for everyone.
If reefing isn't your cup of tea, then it's not and nothing is going to change that.
I found it very fun for the better part of a decade. I just recently started to get a little bored with aspects of it so I'm taking a break and trying freshwater planted for a little while.

So its not the hobby isn't fun, it just isn't fun for you, OP. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
 
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Jrain904

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It's very interesting for the people already in the hobby and enjoying, and all the years of experience, cannot offer up any advice for people who want to consider entering the hobby. It's simply "do your research". To @Snookin's credit, I think it was snookin offered up BRS and SA to look at. BRS's videos just might be the "gold standard" for someone to look at to enter the hobby. Algae issues are covered but not sure about dinoflagelattes. Balancing chemicals also covered. covers for the rimless tanks, maybe not.

The expectations and lack of visibility as to what issues might come up at the entry point think is the weakest part of the hobby

Yes, setting up the tank is fun. Yes, buying fancy new equipment is fun, Adding the first fish and corals, very exciting. Even if you watch all BRS videos about setting up a tank there are still things can can easily get overlooked to lead to disappointments. If you bought a nice rimless tank and it is a visible spot in your home is one aware that just about every fish will jump out over time? I did buy a nice rimless, I went thru 2 tankfuls of fish before I finally broke down and got a lid. Really not so happy I kept plunking down a a few hundred bucks of fish for no good reason.This may seem trivial until you keep buying more fish unexpectedly and your wife steps on your yellow tank barefoot and wants the tank out of the house! Or your cat has your semi poisonous puffer hanging out of its mouth. Or you decide to clean up your tank some and take paly's out the tank with your kids nearby.

What you don't know, you don't know. It can be ruinous. In my case I had a 29 gal biocube. Not so bad. Usual issues, some hair algae here and there, not so bad. Couldn't keep SPS very well. It was a bit tough to manage the alk and cal consistently. Ok, not bad, other corals and fish did quite nicely. Sooooooo, what did I hear quite often. the larger the tank, the more stable the parameters. Cool, perfect! I now wanted a bigger tank, have some more corals, now some SPS a few more fish and have an easier time with water chemistry. It was all true. But I never, ever had a reason to think about dinoflagettes. Never saw them. Had no reason to pay attention. Was happy, water parameter spot on. So much so dino's appeared. I took on the challenge, got rid of them after a long battle. Covering the tank a few times, letting hair algae out compete, etc.

and if ich strikes......another tank mess. Incredibly frustrating. A pest on a coral. How much should they have known before entering the hobby. would you let them about all this upfront? Maybe the tank would go in a basement instead of upstairs.

But if this was in my living room....... it looked like hell and was a long battle to boot and now hair algae, etc. Of course people would leave the hobby if stuff like this blindsighted them.

Who would expect with a nice tank and equip and great parameters that this sort of thing could happen. Should they now how dicey this is before entering the hobby and placing the tank in a nice spot in the home?

What would you tell someone considering to enter the hobby where to look for info? I would suggest BRS vid's for sure, but also would bring up algae issues, all of them, fish diseases, pests. It's not that some of us love dealing with this. But at least people should know about this upfront so they can decide if this is for them. What looks good upfront, looks good......what lies hidden, well.....

My only issue is knowing even more in the beginning especially the downside. That would be very helpful.

This is NOT like any other pet. You CAN read 1 book about a dog breed and get a good sense of it. Very unlikely a series of diseases will strike your pet. This is not a hobby where you can but things away neatly in a closest, garage , basement or shed at the end of the day this meaning the tank itself if looking bad.

Again, my only issue which I think would help people making better decisions is that they get better informed from the outset with the challenges ahead so the expectations are realistic.

I am starting to question your reading comprehension abilities as there have been tons of answers here for you, in the end there is no magic pill! In what hobby is there? Its getting to the point that I think you may just be a troll.

How many fish did you lose to jumping lol? I mean come on! It took you two tank loads of fish to realize you needed a lid?

Also you must be the most unlucky reefer I have ever read about cause it sure seems like you have encountered EVERY single problem possible in keeping saltwater tanks, seems a little unlikely to me.
 
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Charley

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I am starting to question your reading comprehension abilities as there have been tons of answers here for you, in the end there is no magic pill! In what hobby is there? Its getting to the point that I think you may just be a troll.

How many fish did you lose to jumping lol? I mean come on! It took you two tank loads of fish to realize you needed a lid?

Also you must be the most unlucky reefer I have ever read about cause it sure seems like you have encountered EVERY single problem possible in keeping saltwater tanks, seems a little unlikely to me.
Nope, not a troll.

Yes, I did lose quite a lot of fish actually to the point where I called Red Sea to question why they did not sell a lid with their tanks. At the time they where just about ready to come out with their lids.
 

Jrain904

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Nope, not a troll.

Yes, I did lose quite a lot of fish actually to the point where I called Red Sea to question why they did not sell a lid with their tanks. At the time they where just about ready to come out with their lids.
Its just crazy cause I have run tanks without lids almost exclusively over the past 10 or 15 years and have only lost 4 fish to jumping that I can recall - a potters angel, scooter blenny, sixline wrasse, and flagfin angel. You must be the most unlucky person I have ever heard of. Are you sure you are not exaggerating your experiences in an attempt to strengthen your argument? Something is FISHY here!
 
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Charley

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Its just crazy cause I have run tanks without lids almost exclusively over the past 10 or 15 years and have only lost 4 fish to jumping that I can recall - a potters angel, scooter blenny, sixline wrasse, and flagfin angel. You must be the most unlucky person I have ever heard of. Are you sure you are not exaggerating your experiences in an attempt to strengthen your argument? Something is FISHY here!
I an all seriousness, I lost alot of fish to jumping. Clownfish, gobies, wrasses, yel tang, pygmy angel, bi colored blenny. Maybe a very slight exaggeration, not much. I really did call Red Sea because I spent alot on their tank to constantly lose fish because of no lid so silly. I know based on this thread it comes of I have no patience. But in reality, I am incredibly patient and would take a lot for me to complain. And when I say complain.......more like I brought it their attention, a little annoyed but definitely friendly overall. Unlucky......seems so. I go to peoples home to pick up a frag, see a nice rimless tank and wonder how they still keep it rimless.
 

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I an all seriousness, I lost alot of fish to jumping. Clownfish, gobies, wrasses, yel tang, pygmy angel, bi colored blenny. Maybe a very slight exaggeration, not much. I really did call Red Sea because I spent alot on their tank to constantly lose fish because of no lid so silly. I know based on this thread it comes of I have no patience. But in reality, I am incredibly patient and would take a lot for me to complain. And when I say complain.......more like I brought it their attention, a little annoyed but definitely friendly overall. Unlucky......seems so. I go to peoples home to pick up a frag, see a nice rimless tank and wonder how they still keep it rimless.
Rimless tanks are a marketing gimmick ;-). (I say this as I'm a proud owner of an RS-250 Rimless Aquarium). I had to buy the RS mesh cover DIY kit to fit over my tank. I too had lost several fish. A topless aquarium is like a topless super model, it's awesome but really dumb.
 
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