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"Must Have" versus "Nice to Have"

Do you have a hard time distinguishing between "what you want" and "what you need" in this hobby?

  • Yes

    Votes: 263 44.0%
  • No

    Votes: 234 39.1%
  • I can't even decide on yes or no

    Votes: 101 16.9%

  • Total voters
    598
Top Shelf Aquatics

tonysour

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1. What do you think are the "Must Haves" in this hobby?

I think some "must haves" are proper adequate lighting, RODI system, test kits for at least basic parameters, and patience lol.

2. What do you think are the "Nice To Haves" in this hobby?

When it comes to "nice to haves" I would say equipment like media reactors, auto dosing pumps and auto feeders.

3. How do you think all the equipment tech in the hobby effects potential new hobbyists when they see all the choices?

Personally I feel like technology has really helped this hobby out both for long time hobbyists and newcomers. Equipment like ATO w/high and low alarms or auto dosing pumps that replenish your tanks nutrients on a daily basis takes away a lot of the tedious upkeep that's needed for aquariums. Any tool or equipment that's automated gives you more time to enjoy your aquarium, fish and corals.
 

Dragon52

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1. What do you think are the "Must Haves" in this hobby?
Water, Lights, Heater, Test Kits & Patience

2. What do you think are the "Nice To Haves" in this hobby?
Controllers, Automatic Testing, Bigger Tank & More money to get the Nice to Haves, lol.

3. How do you think all the equipment tech in the hobby effects potential new hobbyists when they see all the choices? If they don't have a good LFS to get info or don't know about Forums like this one it can be very intimidating.
 
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Nburg

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Need: the obvious, lights, flow, LR, heater, salt and water, alk and NO3 test kits, etc
Need for me to stay in the hobby and not burn out: ATO, controller, dosers
Want: Trident, fancy controllable lights, fancy controllable powerheads and pumps, skimmer (yes, not a need for me)

I try and keep it pretty basic, but I just bought a trident, which is probably the only 'fancy want' I have.
 

Terence

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How long do you plan on keeping your aquarium up and running and being happy with it? How much time do you want to spend messing with things every week? Ask and answer for yourself those questions first and that determines the answers to #1 and #2.
 
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Requiemiero

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As a new person wanting to come into this hobby, it's definitely overwhelming.

Watching the BRS 52 Weeks of Reefing series right now and they really go all out to explain every little bit of reefing including all the cool gadgets and add ons that can be had. It was extremely informative, but also it made me feel like I needed EVERYTHING and so I was never going to be able to get started.

But after rewatching some things, reading things on reddit r/ReefTank, and reading things on here, I was able to break down what the basics are and determined what add ons I want to incorporate to my tank.

Need: tank, rock, something for flow, heater, light, testing kit, RODI water.

Lesser need: quarantine tank with meds (probably going to get some flack for listing it as a lesser need), ATO, carbon or other filtration, etc.

Want: lid, refugium, doser, aquarium controller, UV sterilizer, etc.

Seeing how long it took me to research to get to the conclusions I have though, I can see how some other people interested in the hobby may give up without even starting.
 

DHill6

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Must have patience and go slow. I for one bought a lot of gizmos which I didn’t need, sold for less than paid along with some deaths put a dent in the old pocketbook. Lessons learned along the way.
 
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Jax15

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Must have - beyond the obvious stuff like salt, water, lights etc - is an ATO. I honestly don't know how anyone could keep anything alive without an automated way to top off.

But at this point my "must haves" are really the same as "nice to haves". I must have whatever makes my tank stable, keeps me interested, and is fun. Which is pretty much every piece of overkill equipment out there lol. I've gone off the deep.

It is overwhelming to newcomers though. I remember being particularly confused about dosing/dosers when starting out. Advice: Just start with the bare basics, then add one piece at a time as you learn more.
 

DHill6

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Must have - beyond the obvious stuff like salt, water, lights etc - is an ATO. I honestly don't know how anyone could keep anything alive without an automated way to top off.

But at this point my "must haves" are really the same as "nice to haves". I must have whatever makes my tank stable, keeps me interested, and is fun. Which is pretty much every piece of overkill equipment out there lol. I've gone off the deep.

It is overwhelming to newcomers though. I remember being particularly confused about dosing/dosers when starting out. Advice: Just start with the bare basics, then add one piece at a time as you learn more.
Well said, I couldn’t agree more.
 

K7BMG

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1. What do you think are the "Must Haves" in this hobby?

MUST HAVE THE REAL DESIRE, to do the research on everything that's involved.
This is free (So to speak) in todays world.
#2 Must Haves. To me, good equipment, especially for the critical life support parts. Do the research and buy once, this does not mean the more expensive is the best.

2. What do you think are the "Nice To Haves" in this hobby?

This is a "dependent on" question. Depending on the individuals situation.
All of the automation systems normally fall into the nice to have category, but for me its under the must haves. I have a family, a business to run, and travel for that business.
So full automation is a must have.

3. How do you think all the equipment tech in the hobby effects potential new hobbyists when they see all the choices?

I would guess its a bit overwhelming.
But the new person needs to learn that research is priority number 1 in this hobby.
 

BryanJ

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Must haves: ro/di, auto top off, proper flow, sump and proper spectrum of lighting

nice to have: high end equipment for example you don’t need a bubble king skimmer when reef octopus will do a great job for a lot less money
 

What is a good measure of success in this hobby? Choose all that apply!

  • Tank Grown Coral Colonies

    Votes: 276 74.6%
  • Colorful Corals

    Votes: 207 55.9%
  • In Tank Coral Reproducing

    Votes: 180 48.6%
  • Coraline Algae

    Votes: 148 40.0%
  • Established Tank Time

    Votes: 128 34.6%
  • Healthy Fish

    Votes: 247 66.8%
  • In Tank Fish Breeding

    Votes: 125 33.8%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 25 6.8%

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