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

TeresaRN

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If it wasn’t for BRS, You Tube and R2R I would be totally lost. I do find my tank to be rewarding and helps me distract from life. I’m in the medical field and my tank has really helped me keep things in perspective. When things go wrong in the tank I do get frustrated and motivated to fix it. Hobbies come and go, but if it becomes a chore or hard to deal with, then I would have to move on. I could name a few hobbies I had that have come and left, but this one really sticks.
 
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Charley

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If it wasn’t for BRS, You Tube and R2R I would be totally lost. I do find my tank to be rewarding and helps me distract from life. I’m in the medical field and my tank has really helped me keep things in perspective. When things go wrong in the tank I do get frustrated and motivated to fix it. Hobbies come and go, but if it becomes a chore or hard to deal with, then I would have to move on. I could name a few hobbies I had that have come and left, but this one really sticks.
Speaking of medical and sticks. The one thing I totally forgot to mention that a day or 2 before my mini crash I proceeded to happily start removing hair algae by hand to finally deal with my algae prob clogging the overflow so often. Somehow, I missed the thread that bristleworms not only live in the sand but apparently like clumps of hair algae. Well, I wound up plucking about 50 little white bristles out of my thumb for the next few hours. I am totally ok. But combined with the mini crash it certainly was not one of the happier hobby moments in time......

Pls beware of Mr. or Ms. Bristleworm enjoying themselves in hair algae
 
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BestMomEver

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I think my saltwater tanks are “fun in the making.” Patience is not one of my strongest attributes but I’m learning. It’s actually been months since I bought anything for my tank except for chemicals. That’s huge for me. It’s rewarding. It’s incredible. It’s beautiful.

As for simplicity.... everyone has their own concept of simplicity. I don’t like a lot of stuff that has to be monitored or maintained. I don’t have a UV or tanks and regulators, or a phosban reactor. I keep my tank running with a sump, skimmer, and filter socks. I have a doser strictly for convenience. I have a top off for convenience. I used to dose and top off manually until my granddaughter came along. I watch her while her mom works so doing those things is more difficult now. I did add a CO2 reactor to maintain pH but it just plugs into the skimmer and requires little maintenance. The only high tech thing I have is an Apex. With the Apex, I can leave the house knowing it will alert me if something goes wrong. I do manual water changes. I don’t have a water station or a fish room or an immaculate equipment cabinet. I’ve learned that clean filter socks and regular water changes are the key to keeping my tank healthy. Two part additives keep my corals growing. I feed the fish. Filter sock, skimmer, sump, Apex, doser ..... that’s it.

I’ve also struggled with nuisance algae, disease outbreaks, and unexplainable losses. We all have. But I keep watching YouTube and looking at pictures of beautiful tanks and it keeps me trudging forward. I think to myself, “I want that....” and I keep trying.

Good luck. Don’t quit. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
 

aabjones888

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I believe any hobby has it’s ups and downs. This one for me you definitely live and learn. I have had beautiful tanks that’s turned bad and learned from my mistakes. With the new friends I’ve met in this hobby over the years and all the videos out there to help you, it/they can help you get through the awesome times and bad times.
 
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Charley

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I think my saltwater tanks are “fun in the making.” Patience is not one of my strongest attributes but I’m learning. It’s actually been months since I bought anything for my tank except for chemicals. That’s huge for me. It’s rewarding. It’s incredible. It’s beautiful.

As for simplicity.... everyone has their own concept of simplicity. I don’t like a lot of stuff that has to be monitored or maintained. I don’t have a UV or with tanks and regulators, or a phosban reactor. I keep my tank running with a sump, skimmer, and filter socks. I have a doser strictly for convenience. I have a top off for convenience. I used to dose and top off manually until my granddaughter came along. I watch her while her mom works so doing those things is more difficult now. I did add a CO2 reactor to maintain pH but it just plugs into the skimmer and requires little maintenance. The only high tech thing I have is an Apex. With the Apex, I can leave the house knowing it will alert me if something goes wrong. I do manual water changes. I don’t have a water station or a fish room or an immaculate equipment cabinet. I’ve learned that clean filter socks and regular water changes are the key to keeping my tank healthy. Two part additives keep my corals growing. I feed the fish. Filter sock, skimmer, sump, Apex, doser ..... that’s it.

I’ve also struggled with nuisance algae, disease outbreaks, and unexplainable losses. We all have. But I keep watching YouTube and looking at pictures of beautiful tanks and it keeps me trudging forward. I think to myself, “I want that....” and I keep trying.

Good luck. Don’t quit. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
With beautiful posts like yours, I have a feeling I will not quit:)
 

BestMomEver

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With beautiful posts like yours, I have a feeling I will not quit:)
You’re kind. I mean it though....don’t quit. Learn from this and try a different approach. In the end, you’ll have a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. You’ll have one of those tanks that I’ll see in pictures and think, “if only...” You can do this!
 

PYRU

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I totally disagree theres so much info out there it's overwhelming. Good, bad, ugly. There's more than enough to make an educated decision on what sw tank you want and how to properly set it up. Theres so much that people have to grab straws to come up with new material.

Its either enjoyable or its not. I'm a water person so I'm all about it. I enjoy tinkering with tanks and waterchanges. I could watch my tanks for a crazy amount of hrs.

A lot of people are impulsive and very impatient. Upper end fw tanks and reefs will expose bad husbandry/ shortcuts. Find your lane and get it in. Don't have time, funds, or know how for sps then don't do it. If it's something you truly love to do you will put 100% into it. If it's giving you this much grief then cut your losses. Lifes too short.

Quit forcing stoney reefs when all you can handle is softies. Quit forcing expensive red sea setups when you'll be just as happy with an aqueon. Quit forcing these finicky fish that will die 99% of the time...leave that Moorish idol and regal ang at the sto
 

Ike

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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 stopped reading after the first paragraph because I'm heading out the door soon... However, I have advice for anyone thinking of entering the hobby.

It's a difficult hobby that will have a steep learning curve. If you're not into unsolvable puzzles and learning about something for the rest of your life and still having a lot to learn, then this hobby isn't for you. It can be very rewarding, but only for certain personality types. You're caring for sensitive living animals and if you're not willing to put the work in, or don't have time to dedicate, there are plenty of other hobbies.
 
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Charley

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Just to clarify I wasn’t trying to be a smarta$s. When things are going well they just seem better. The hard times are where the growth is. Just have to take everything in stride!
Did not take it that way at all. I thought is was a very cool response! Thank you
 
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Charley

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I stopped reading after the first paragraph because I'm heading out the door soon... However, I have advice for anyone thinking of entering the hobby.

It's a difficult hobby that will have a steep learning curve. If you're not into unsolvable puzzles and learning about something for the rest of your life and still having a lot to learn, then this hobby isn't for you. It can be very rewarding, but only for certain personality types. You're caring for sensitive living animals and if you're not willing to put the work in, or don't have time to dedicate, there are plenty of other hobbies.
Yes agree with you. Very interesting you bring up personality types. You prob are familiar with Mr. Saltwater tank who is very big on matching how to approach the hobby according to your personality type. I believe he breaks it into 4 personality types. I find him to be spot on. Simply wish the breadth of info got to a new hobbyist sooner. I caught Mr. Saltwater tank after I jumped in. ...
 

Ike

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Yes agree with you. Very interesting you bring up personality types. You prob are familiar with Mr. Saltwater tank who is very big on matching how to approach the hobby according to your personality type. I believe he breaks it into 4 personality types. I find him to be spot on. Simply wish the breadth of info got to a new hobbyist sooner. I caught Mr. Saltwater tank after I jumped in. ...
I hadn't heard that, but I guess I'll have to check it out... Let's just say his personality and mine didn't mesh well :)
 

VR28man

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@Charley

I saw similar comments from you in a different thread last week, and was going to ask you to expound a bit, but it's no longer necessary. Thanks to you and everyone else for a good thread!

Philsophically...

I honestly find looking at a well set up aquarium fascinating, and I could spend hours looking at my reef. That's the real value.

I find the oceanography-related research (about Coral reefs and where a particular animal fits in) fascinating. But I also don't like the equipment or system design research; they are a means to an end IMO. And in the end, a newb either needs to follow someone directly, pay up for a true turnkey system, or learn a lot by (still expensive and painful) trial and error.


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.
This is very true. I think it would be great if some easy turnkey setups existed - 10-50 gallon system with everything you needed and preplanned appropriate coral and fish selections. A good LFS can do that for folks, but very few are IME well equipped to make things this easy for folks.



As to your specific situation, I definitely would be frustrated if I were you, and could totally understand the desire to at least take a breather in the hobby. But also think about it as a chance to start anew - once the problems are fixed. :D
 
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Charley

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@Charley

I saw similar comments from you in a different thread last week, and was going to ask you to expound a bit, but it's no longer necessary. Thanks to you and everyone else for a good thread!

Philsophically...

I honestly find looking at a well set up aquarium fascinating, and I could spend hours looking at my reef. That's the real value.

I find the oceanography-related research (about Coral reefs and where a particular animal fits in) fascinating. But I also don't like the equipment or system design research; they are a means to an end IMO. And in the end, a newb either needs to follow someone directly, pay up for a true turnkey system, or learn a lot by (still expensive and painful) trial and error.




This is very true. I think it would be great if some easy turnkey setups existed - 10-50 gallon system with everything you needed and preplanned appropriate coral and fish selections. A good LFS can do that for folks, but very few are IME well equipped to make things this easy for folks.



As to your specific situation, I definitely would be frustrated if I were you, and could totally understand the desire to at least take a breather in the hobby. But also think about it as a chance to start anew - once the problems are fixed. :D
Thank you for taking the time to read the thread. I did decide to stay in the hobby at my wife's urging and in seeing all the inspiration responses which include both those who encouraged me to stay and those who disagreed with me to the core in defense of the hobby they love. My tank is rebounding all on its won and is crystal clear at the moment. Still did not hook back up the protein skimmer or change the carbon bags. Did do a 20% water change and will do another tomorrow and finally hook up the protein skimmer, I think:).

Had another observation this week which I think will prompt me to start another thread......guess I am a sucker for punishment:)
 
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