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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
Fragtacular After Sale

vetteguy53081

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1. What do you think are the "Must Haves" in this hobby? Quality lighting, water flow and sump filtration with skimmer and reliable heater

2. What do you think are the "Nice To Haves" in this hobby? CA reactor, trident unit, algae scrubber, controller unit and UV sterilizer

3. How do you think all the equipment tech in the hobby effects potential new hobbyists when they see all the choices?
Can be overwhelming and give false sense that most of these components are necessary giving many the Impression that this hobby is Unaffordable
 
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K7BMG

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Hobby costs are relative.
I have had and currenty have several hobbies.
Ham Radio, thousands of dollers. Makes reefing seem like a poor mans game.
Shooting sports and competitions, makes Ham Radio look like a poor mans game.

The cost of our hobbies no matter what they are will alwas be astronomical.

I know car enthusiasts that have easily spent over $100,000.00
On a car or truck and yet the vehicle still has never been driven or shown.

So in the reefing world one of the MUST HAVES is some capitol.
 

phatduckk

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It depends on how much time & space you have... plus the size of your tank.

if all I had was my Nuvo 10 I wouldn’t “need” much beyond the basics like light, heater, filter floss would be an ink bird and an ATO. If I never went out of town the ATO could be borderline optional.
 

drernesto

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Curious to hear why you think that. Not that I am questioning you, but interesting to hear it being mentioned as a must.
First of all I’m the creator :) second It’s saved my tank from 2 phosphates spikes.
So constant monitoring of phosphate, nitrite and alkalinity is a must for me.
 

MarsWulf5

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You must have deep pockets for this. When I started this I thought I could do saltwater fish and some coral for $500, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha haaa. Ha. Funny right? Two weeks later I was spending $2600 on a "reef ready" tank, stand and hood and then $600 just on rock. Then there was the sump, and the return pump, and the circulation pumps, heaters, heater controllers, 6 part RODI with extra DI resin, protein skimmer, and light$$$$, salt.

Color based chemical test kits quickly turned into needing Hanna Checkers when I was scratching my head wondering what the heck a blue meant in decimal places. LOL. Seriously though, right?!

Then I realized I need QUARANTINE tanks, which need lights, heaters, bubblers, PVC pipe, and filters... oh, and don't forget medications.

Then I realized my fish need multiple types of food, then I realized my corals need multiple types of food.

Then I ordered corals, and realized that I needed some frag racks and some tools.

Then I realized I really need a water change kit, a large garbage pail to cure rock in, circ pump and heater to cure rock, super glue, a pump to mix my salt and a powerhead for my coral QT.

Then I realized that I really need a Herbie overflow for my DT - so only $350 in plumbing parts, PVC cement, primer.

Then I realized I had to paint the back of my DT black if I don't wanna look at wires, so paint and supplies.

Then I realized that my corals need Calcium, Alk, Magnesium, Iodide, etc... So I needed supplements - AND more Hanna checkers.

Then my QT was getting algea, so I needed cleanup inverts for my coral QT and phosphate remover.

Then there's the stuff I forgot to mention, 5 gallon buckets, Booster Pump, Rubber tubing, yoga mat, fish nets, fish acclimator, various clamps, suction cups, towels, under-floor support - oh, and adding my tanks on my home owners insurance.

Did I mention good power strips?... An ansorbant rug for water changes, bowls for fish acclimating, lids for my QT tanks, measuring cups, turkey basters, thermometers, frag plugs, filter media, filter media bags, extra filter socks... If I knew what I was gonna end up spending at the get go - I might have taken 3 trips to Europe or one trip to Disney instead.

I'm glad came back to Reefing.

I can't even list all the stuff I bought so far - but - I use it all every day or at least every week - All of it. I absolutely love this hobby. LOVE IT! It's the best investment in myself that I've ever made. It has eradicated 80% of my severe PTSD, I've learned new talents, and a few things about life and myself on this adventure so far. Worth every red cent. I'm very grateful for what I have here. Love it with all my heart.

In conclusion:
What's one needs:
1) Deep pockets (as deep as the sea) or a PT job on the side to afford all this
2) Brains. If you can't at least do some do some algebra, forget it. Integral calculus is recommended.
3) Attunement with your tank - being able to tell if a coral is "happy" or if a fish is "stressed" - Observation, being in tune, and some psychic ability help here. I swear my corals know when I'm looking at them. I swear! LOL
4) The ability to learn from mistakes and not make them again - and the ability to be careful whose advice you follow. Not all advice is good advice.
5) The wisdom to know that there is more money in the LFS selling you sick fish than in healthy ones. I was told yesterday that "everybody's tank has Ich" - I thought to myself, "well yeah, if they bought fish from you and didn't quarantine"
6) The ability to lie about what you are spending on fish and corals to people who would otherwise criticise you and call you crazy - this one is very very important and could possibly save your life or your marriage. LOL
7) An account on R2R to help you figure all this stuff out
8) The patience of God Almighty - and Responsiveness to make changes when needed
9) The maturity to know that you are responsible for the mistakes you make - the ability to learn from those disappointments, and the brains to figure out the best and most reasonable solutions.

Nuff said. Happy Reefing!!!
 

fishguy242

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You must have deep pockets for this. When I started this I thought I could do saltwater fish and some coral for $500, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha haaa. Ha. Funny right? Two weeks later I was spending $2600 on a "reef ready" tank, stand and hood and then $600 just on rock. Then there was the sump, and the return pump, and the circulation pumps, heaters, heater controllers, 6 part RODI with extra DI resin, protein skimmer, and light$$$$, salt.

Color based chemical test kits quickly turned into needing Hanna Checkers when I was scratching my head wondering what the heck a blue meant in decimal places. LOL. Seriously though, right?!

Then I realized I need QUARANTINE tanks, which need lights, heaters, bubblers, PVC pipe, and filters... oh, and don't forget medications.

Then I realized my fish need multiple types of food, then I realized my corals need multiple types of food.

Then I ordered corals, and realized that I needed some frag racks and some tools.

Then I realized I really need a water change kit, a large garbage pail to cure rock in, circ pump and heater to cure rock, super glue, a pump to mix my salt and a powerhead for my coral QT.

Then I realized that I really need a Herbie overflow for my DT - so only $350 in plumbing parts, PVC cement, primer.

Then I realized I had to paint the back of my DT black if I don't wanna look at wires, so paint and supplies.

Then I realized that my corals need Calcium, Alk, Magnesium, Iodide, etc... So I needed supplements - AND more Hanna checkers.

Then my QT was getting algea, so I needed cleanup inverts for my coral QT and phosphate remover.

Then there's the stuff I forgot to mention, 5 gallon buckets, Booster Pump, Rubber tubing, yoga mat, fish nets, fish acclimator, various clamps, suction cups, towels, under-floor support - oh, and adding my tanks on my home owners insurance.

Did I mention good power strips?... An ansorbant rug for water changes, bowls for fish acclimating, lids for my QT tanks, measuring cups, turkey basters, thermometers, frag plugs, filter media, filter media bags, extra filter socks... If I knew what I was gonna end up spending at the get go - I might have taken 3 trips to Europe or one trip to Disney instead.

I'm glad came back to Reefing.

I can't even list all the stuff I bought so far - but - I use it all every day or at least every week - All of it. I absolutely love this hobby. LOVE IT! It's the best investment in myself that I've ever made. It has eradicated 80% of my severe PTSD, I've learned new talents, and a few things about life and myself on this adventure so far. Worth every red cent. I'm very grateful for what I have here. Love it with all my heart.

In conclusion:
What's one needs:
1) Deep pockets (as deep as the sea) or a PT job on the side to afford all this
2) Brains. If you can't at least do some do some algebra, forget it. Integral calculus is recommended.
3) Attunement with your tank - being able to tell if a coral is "happy" or if a fish is "stressed" - Observation, being in tune, and some psychic ability help here. I swear my corals know when I'm looking at them. I swear! LOL
4) The ability to learn from mistakes and not make them again - and the ability to be careful whose advice you follow. Not all advice is good advice.
5) The wisdom to know that there is more money in the LFS selling you sick fish than in healthy ones. I was told yesterday that "everybody's tank has Ich" - I thought to myself, "well yeah, if they bought fish from you and didn't quarantine"
6) The ability to lie about what you are spending on fish and corals to people who would otherwise criticise you and call you crazy - this one is very very important and could possibly save your life or your marriage. LOL
7) An account on R2R to help you figure all this stuff out
8) The patience of God Almighty - and Responsiveness to make changes when needed
9) The maturity to know that you are responsible for the mistakes you make - the ability to learn from those disappointments, and the brains to figure out the best and most reasonable solutions.

Nuff said. Happy Reefing!!!
read it all love it well written happy reefing (best part reading your corals 100% agree)
 

2Wheelsonly

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If you said ATO was a "nice to have" please post a picture of your tank! More power to you people lol!

My nice to have:

Automated testing (Trident, etc)
Automatic water change system
Higher end salt mix
Dual return pumps
Oversized sump
External refugium
Dedicated frag tank attached to main system using exact same lighting as display
Turf Scrubber

Must have:

Controller (Apex) (i'm not unemployed, I don't work from home, I am not retired, I have 3 kids and a wife that doesn't "reef tank")
Over-sized Skimmer
ATO (see controller!)
LED or hybrid LED/T5 lighting
5 Stage RODI
Water mixing station
Standard cheapo IO salt
Hanna ULR po4 kit
Nitrate test kit
Hanna Alk test kit
Modern powerheads, gyre or vortech only pref vortech as I like to minimize electric cords in the water (yup, this is a must have!)
 

2Wheelsonly

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Ham Radio, thousands of dollers. Makes reefing seem like a poor mans game.
People still buy these? Just join a discord server with a headset lol...I feel like these should be phased out like 10 years ago.

I still say reefing will and always be my most expensive hobby by far. I am an avid motorcyclist, have two high end Ducati motorcycles in my garage and reefing still puts that to shame.
 

Jon Fishman

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Must have a decent test kit
Nice to have henna checkers for everything

I haven't tested anything on my tank with the exception of salinity, since it's been set up....... it's doing great.

You can easily run a reef tank without testing. Change some water......
 

2Wheelsonly

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I haven't tested anything on my tank with the exception of salinity, since it's been set up....... it's doing great.

You can easily run a reef tank without testing. Change some water......
dumb response, you have a tank full of hardy lps corals that are harder to kill than keep alive...of course you can be lazy and not test anything.

I have a large water volume, if I want to run sps I need to know where my alk is and at the very least establish trends. Is my ATS dropping nutrients too quickly? How quickly are my corals consuming alk? You have to dial in a calcium reactor and yes, you kinda sorta need that too because you don’t just change 100 gallons of water a day and think that’s all it takes.
 

Jon Fishman

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dumb response, you have a tank full of hardy lps corals that are harder to kill than keep alive...of course you can be lazy and not test anything.

I have a large water volume, if I want to run sps I need to know where my alk is and at the very least establish trends. Is my ATS dropping nutrients too quickly? How quickly are my corals consuming alk? You have to dial in a calcium reactor and yes, you kinda sorta need that too because you don’t just change 100 gallons of water a day and think that’s all it takes.
My Walt Disney is doing great, my chalices are doing great...... I have lepto’s doing great, and other sticks I don’t even know what they are...... all good. I guess if my tank crashes in a couple years you can run back and say “told you so”
 

2Wheelsonly

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My Walt Disney is doing great, my chalices are doing great...... I have lepto’s doing great, and other sticks I don’t even know what they are...... all good. I guess if my tank crashes in a couple years you can run back and say “told you so”
yup, Will do... you asked not to long ago about dosing calcium via an ato because you dont test. If you’re having long term success with a large sps heavy tank without testing for what you dose then you’re either very lucky or on borrowed time. Either way, not smart to act like you don’t need to do it.

I’d love to see pics of your established sps colonies since you’re so good you don't need to dose! You are asking to identify a basic sps frag in November, you must have unlocked the holy grail of feeding to go from asking to identify a simple birds nest frag to a flourishing WD acro in less than three months.

I guess what really annoys me is that people search on stuff like this only to read garbage like that. They think that’s what reefing is and end up killing a bunch of stuff on accident. As someone who relies on information forums because I don’t claim to be a genius, bad information sucks. The bottom line is that just because an sps frag didn’t die in three months doesn’t mean you have a free pass to tell people that dosing and testing isn’t needed, esp when you literally asked “do I need to dose calcium for sps corals?” In late October. Come on dude...really?
 
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siggy

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Nuff said. Happy Reefing!!!
Well Done Soldier, Thanks for the service. BTW That should be Framed for those getting in.
People still buy these? Just join a discord server with a headset lol...I feel like these should be phased out like 10 years ago.
I have one sitting in the attic. If the grid goes down because of another Squirrel in a transformer, or a storm causes a regional outage these are what's directing the first responders. How you will talk to people on the other side of town, Or check on your kids away at school.
 

Jon Fishman

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yup, Will do... you asked not to long ago about dosing calcium via an ato because you dont test. If you’re having long term success with a large sps heavy tank without testing for what you dose then you’re either very lucky or on borrowed time. Either way, not smart to act like you don’t need to do it.

I’d love to see pics of your established sps colonies since you’re so good you don't need to dose! You are asking to identify a basic sps frag in November, you must have unlocked the holy grail of feeding to go from asking to identify a simple birds nest frag to a flourishing WD acro in less than three months.

I guess what really annoys me is that people search on stuff like this only to read garbage like that. They think that’s what reefing is and end up killing a bunch of stuff on accident. As someone who relies on information forums because I don’t claim to be a genius, bad information sucks. The bottom line is that just because an sps frag didn’t die in three months doesn’t mean you have a free pass to tell people that dosing and testing isn’t needed, esp when you literally asked “do I need to dose calcium for sps corals?” In late October. Come on dude...really?
You mad? Calm yourself down. Keep mining my posts. Yes I don’t know most basic coral names etc..... because I don’t buy stuff based off of what is trendy and popular..... I buy what I like.

I have had the WD for probably 6 months. All of my SPS are growing, no I don’t have any big “colonies”. And I haven’t taken many pictures lately, but I’m sure you’ve already dug through all of my posts. I am not telling you how to run your tank, so just call yourself down boss
 
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What is a good measure of success in this hobby? Choose all that apply!

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  • Colorful Corals

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  • Established Tank Time

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  • Healthy Fish

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  • In Tank Fish Breeding

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    Votes: 25 6.8%

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