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

Bleigh

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ok agree....but it's where the emphasis is put to avoid unrealistic expectations. Alot of the vids share alot of great info. But its the unexpected pitfalls that are not more front and center and I think that's why people leave.

This is not about me. I am 5 yrs in. I simply bared my unhappy, frustrated reefkeeping soul at a low point. I did not have to post a thread. But I saw some concern on why people are leaving. Like it or not, there are real reasons. I just layed out mine. Maybe something good could come out of it, maybe not.
Are there that many people leaving in significant numbers? It seems to me that companies are expanding, which would lead me to believe they're doing well and not hurting for customers.

I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your frustration. There is no doubt, that no matter how prepared you are, it will be frustrating to loose things. Actually... I wonder if it might not be more frustrating to be more prepared and still lose things. I take your point though.

Perhaps giving new reefers information on regular maintenance rather than starting points may be a change. For someone who knows nothing, something like this may be enough info to make them know that they may need to do more research. If they understand this stuff, then they start with an idea of equipment that they may need and that it can get more complex.

 
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Charley

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Are there that many people leaving in significant numbers? It seems to me that companies are expanding, which would lead me to believe they're doing well and not hurting for customers.

I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your frustration. There is no doubt, that no matter how prepared you are, it will be frustrating to loose things. Actually... I wonder if it might not be more frustrating to be more prepared and still lose things. I take your point though.

Perhaps giving new reefers information on regular maintenance rather than starting points may be a change. For someone who knows nothing, something like this may be enough info to make them know that they may need to do more research. If they understand this stuff, then they start with an idea of equipment that they may need and that it can get more complex.

There may not be people leaving in significant #'s. Very possible the industry could be growing. I hope it is. Mentioned before there are alot of great people in the hobby. Many who generously shared their valuable time to do the level best to help me.

Thank you for your kind words. You bring up an excellent point about being more prepared if that would be a benefit or not.

I think its a great idea on giving new reefers information on regular maintenance and may provide enough info to do some more research.

Thank You
 

Jrain904

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Could you imagine if everyone told you the negative and terrible things about a hobby or activity before you jumped in? LOL I am just trying to imagine what that world would be like.

Customer walks in Bass Pro Shops and says: "hello salesperson I want to start fishing", to which the salesperson replies "that's great but let me tell you that fishing is terribly expensive and more often than not your catches will not be significant whatsoever. Also, did you know that more people die fishing than in any other sport? Between terrible boating accidents, drowning, lightning strikes, venomous snake bites, getting lost at sea, and freak bacterial infections fishing can be rather dangerous. Now lets go look at some beginner rod and reel combos."
 

Paul Ely

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Having had the lowest point for me in this hobby very recently (6 days ago actually) this thread has been encouraging to keep learning and moving forward. I recently bought a new home and lost my female Lightning Maroon Clown during the love. She had recently laid eggs on hat I hadn’t seen yet as well. Last Wednesday was a bad day for me but I knew we did the best we could during the move and anything in this hobby can go sideways at any point. My 2 tanks are back to stable now and looking for ward to my next adventure adding a much larger tank to my mix. The Fun in any hobby comes with setbacks and yes those setbacks can be frustrating along the way.

I am glad I came across this as it has helped re-energize me to keep pushing forward in this hobby I love....

Here is a pic of Flash the day I brought her home...

7B90EFB9-30F7-49F2-8E49-3B09B08CE43F.jpeg
 
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Charley

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Could you imagine if everyone told you the negative and terrible things about a hobby or activity before you jumped in? LOL I am just trying to imagine what that world would be like.

Customer walks in Bass Pro Shops and says: "hello salesperson I want to start fishing", to which the salesperson replies "that's great but let me tell you that fishing is terribly expensive and more often than not your catches will not be significant whatsoever. Also, did you know that more people die fishing than in any other sport? Between terrible boating accidents, drowning, lightning strikes, venomous snake bites, getting lost at sea, and freak bacterial infections fishing can be rather dangerous. Now lets go look at some beginner rod and reel combos."
I was waiting for someone to call me out on that one! I should have known it would be you:).

Was ROFL actually. Do people really die more from fishing than any other sport?

I know, I know, there is some impossible delicate balance to this.

On the flip side, if someone walks into a LFS to spend 4k on a tank and equipment. It would be real good as best one can to make the person aware of pitfalls or potential challenges. Why sell a tank to someone who may not have the inclination to solve problems or time or needs a very good running tank at all times because in a main living area?

The things you mentioned above is already kinda obvious to most to a much greater degree than the pest, algae blooms, etc that can plague a reef tank.

There are reasons why people leave the hobby. Think about it. You know how difficult it must be to walk away from the hobby after a few grand in and some time spent on it. Something was amiss.

There are some disconnects and red flags. I choose to explore them, some choose to poo poo them. Fair enough, poo poo away.
 
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Charley

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Having had the lowest point for me in this hobby very recently (6 days ago actually) this thread has been encouraging to keep learning and moving forward. I recently bought a new home and lost my female Lightning Maroon Clown during the love. She had recently laid eggs on hat I hadn’t seen yet as well. Last Wednesday was a bad day for me but I knew we did the best we could during the move and anything in this hobby can go sideways at any point. My 2 tanks are back to stable now and looking for ward to my next adventure adding a much larger tank to my mix. The Fun in any hobby comes with setbacks and yes those setbacks can be frustrating along the way.

I am glad I came across this as it has helped re-energize me to keep pushing forward in this hobby I love....

Here is a pic of Flash the day I brought her home...

7B90EFB9-30F7-49F2-8E49-3B09B08CE43F.jpeg
That is so cool to hear. Alot of great people chimed in expressing their love for the hobby and so inspirational just like you!
 

Snookin

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I was waiting for someone to call me out on that one! I should have known it would be you:).

Was ROFL actually.
So you are a troll. Lol. Waiting for someone to say “Why would a LFS tell you bad things can happen.” Going to have to ignore you now. Have fun just trolling R2R.
 

Bleigh

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Having had the lowest point for me in this hobby very recently (6 days ago actually) this thread has been encouraging to keep learning and moving forward. I recently bought a new home and lost my female Lightning Maroon Clown during the love. She had recently laid eggs on hat I hadn’t seen yet as well. Last Wednesday was a bad day for me but I knew we did the best we could during the move and anything in this hobby can go sideways at any point. My 2 tanks are back to stable now and looking for ward to my next adventure adding a much larger tank to my mix. The Fun in any hobby comes with setbacks and yes those setbacks can be frustrating along the way.

I am glad I came across this as it has helped re-energize me to keep pushing forward in this hobby I love....

Here is a pic of Flash the day I brought her home...

7B90EFB9-30F7-49F2-8E49-3B09B08CE43F.jpeg
She was gorgeous! Sorry about your loss. It surprised me that I was so upset when I lost my first salt water fish. I never got attached to my fresh water fish like I have my salt ones. They really seem more like pets to me.
 

MnFish1

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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.
Sorry to read this - and it sounds normal for you to be somewhat discouraged. As to your question - I only buy stuff that I like - i.e. that I like to watch - thats what makes it 'fun'. I try to minimize work, testing and messing with 'new things'. The more gadgets I had on my tank - the harder it (they) were to maintain - and the more expensive it was - leading to constantly needing to clean, monitor, fix equipment - which was NOT enjoyable. In any case - I love looking at my tank - and the personalities of the fish.
 

Teemingtank

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If you substitute the word “life” instead of “the hobby”, in the original post title, I think you found the answer to your question
 

Jrain904

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On the flip side, if someone walks into a LFS to spend 4k on a tank and equipment. It would be real good as best one can to make the person aware of pitfalls or potential challenges. Why sell a tank to someone who may not have the inclination to solve problems or time or needs a very good running tank at all times because in a main living area?
I dont know, maybe because they are trying to keep their doors open lol! I mean LFS has to be a difficult business. Of course I assume that most LFS employees are honest in their dealings with customers (as repeat business is necessary for them) but the idea of openly telling newbies about anything and everything bad that can happen during the course of ownership may end up just scaring people away needlessly and result in closed doors for the business.
 

Jrain904

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Was ROFL actually. Do people really die more from fishing than any other sport?
From most sources I can find yes. The sheer amount of people fishing added with dangerous situations such as boating, wading, and yes drinking make for a lot of accidents.

On a personal note I have only been to the emergency room 3 times in my life, all due directly to fishing.

1. Set of treble hooks stuck between my toes.
2. A sting ray spined my wrist, knicking my artery (blood squirts very far in this situation LOL).
3. Another treble hook incident.
 

mr9iron

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For me the hobby is both fun and rewarding. The fun for me comes from the years of learning I have spent researching the various Marine organisms.

The rewarding part is having success after many failures like algae, parasites and creature deaths due to my ignorance or impatience.
 
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Charley

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I dont know, maybe because they are trying to keep their doors open lol! I mean LFS has to be a difficult business. Of course I assume that most LFS employees are honest in their dealings with customers (as repeat business is necessary for them) but the idea of openly telling newbies about anything and everything bad that can happen during the course of ownership may end up just scaring people away needlessly and result in closed doors for the business.
Yes, agree and totally recognize this. Which is why I find this topic interesting. Can there be a better balance that benefits both the LFS and the new hobbyist? May or may not be possible...

Just want to say, I wish all LFS the best of success. Most definitely, one of the best parts of the hobby is to speak with the owners, the employee's, most who are super honest, super helpful and do their best to help me with my questions, needs, etc...when I go to a frag swap or a show, most often the people I know will be them and makes it extra enjoyable when I chat with them there and they give a friendly hello.

One area that I wish more emphasis was imparted on me when I bought the bigger tank was getting a quarantine tank at the same time. I think we all agree how super important it is to quarantine fish, etc. A 20 gal quarantine could have been a nice "add on" sale. A good thing to avoid 1 potential disaster. A win-win for all especially if the 20 gal is more profitable than the big tank. This could be presented in a nice way, Jokingly presented: Hey Charley, I am not going to sell you this tank unless you get the quarantine tank. I may chose not too, but I very well might have and its a good thing. Possible the customer would come in at a later time and thank the LFS tremendously if they saw how the LFS saved them from bad situations they read about later on.

I think quarantine tanks are seriously overlooked at point of sale and its a win-win for everybody.

Might be other examples like this.........just a thought.
 
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Charley

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For me the hobby is both fun and rewarding. The fun for me comes from the years of learning I have spent researching the various Marine organisms.

The rewarding part is having success after many failures like algae, parasites and creature deaths due to my ignorance or impatience.
I know this thread was about my moments of severe frustration. But yes, it is the same for me here. I can view my tank as I type and it is nice to see the tank rebounding along with reading the posts with people sharing how they love the hobby and why.

if algae could talk I would get their biggest gold medal!
 
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Charley

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From most sources I can find yes. The sheer amount of people fishing added with dangerous situations such as boating, wading, and yes drinking make for a lot of accidents.

On a personal note I have only been to the emergency room 3 times in my life, all due directly to fishing.

1. Set of treble hooks stuck between my toes.
2. A sting ray spined my wrist, knicking my artery (blood squirts very far in this situation LOL).
3. Another treble hook incident.
I sure hope that everyone who goes fishing will return safely.
 
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