Poll: Auto this, auto that. Gone too far for me.

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by atoll, Nov 10, 2017.

?
  1. Yes

    95 vote(s)
    14.7%
  2. No

    472 vote(s)
    73.0%
  3. Undecided

    80 vote(s)
    12.4%
  1. atoll

    atoll Well-Known Member

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    There are needs and wants in this hobby and IMO the wants have far outstripped the needs. The "Must haves" are yesterday's not going to never need. The only autos I have are the programmes on my lights and an ATU. Who needs anything more. IMO just more to go wrong. Maintainance, things to worry about and not to mention expense. Of course those who have all the gizmos will defend them after all they cost you an arm and a leg.
     
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  2. Velcro

    Velcro Well-Known Member

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  3. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    I have the same mentality. The only automation I have is my light timer. It literally is "more to go wrong", and more money. Its the same thing with automobiles.
     
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  4. McMullen

    McMullen Well-Known Member

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    Technology is all about wants. This is simply the world we now live in. But you could apply your same logic to a reef tank. No one needs a reef tank, but I sure love mine!
     
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  5. Bronc

    Bronc Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    d2mini, reeferfoxx, JP79 and 16 others like this.
  6. DeepBlueSomething

    DeepBlueSomething Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I think it doesn't have to be one or the other - more things could go right BUT more things could go well too
     
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  7. pluikens

    pluikens Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Do you have a heater or chiller? Feed modes on any pumps? Pumps at all rather than moving buckets of water between sump and display? I could try to regulate the temperature of my tank manually but it's a lot better for the livestock if I let two heaters and and inkbird try to manage it. I've also left circulation pumps off overnight before I noticed them off. Sure, my pumps could fail and not turn back on at feeding, but the chances of that are a lot less than me not flipping them back on. I think there's more ways to manage a reef tank than there are reefers. I do recognize that you're probably more in touch with your tank if you haven't gone crazy with automation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  8. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think should demonize all automation outright. Without some automation this hobby wouldn't be possible. Pumps, whether they're DC or AC, move water so we don't have to sit there with a wooden spoon and stir our tank. Heaters with built-in thermostats automatically turn on and off when the temperature goes outside of the desired range. Can you imagine watching your tank to see when it got too cold, plugging in a heater, then unplugging the heater when it got too hot again? Dosers (if you use them) remove the possibility that you'll forget to dose one day, or that you overdose.

    I do agree with you in a way, though. We have a very accepting atmosphere to new technology and new automation in the hobby. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we should keep in mind that the state space of a system increases with complexity. The more complex a system gets, the more chances there are that one of those states is a failure state, one that we did not intend or foresee.
     
  9. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    I dont think the op was getting that extreme. I'm assuming they meant things like ato, auto dosing, complex light programming etc. None of which I have.
     
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  10. Greaps

    Greaps Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree and disagree. What particular automation are you against? Is it the price to implement? Is a distrust and or fear of product failure? It is more fun to do the tasks yourself? Or is it something else entirely?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  11. Mrx7899

    Mrx7899 Well-Known Member

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    I think automated dosing pumps are a must have if you want to keep your tank parameters as stable as possible
     
  12. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I think it depends on one personality and how they think and how busy you are. I do automation and work so I understand it’s limits and that you still need to maintain the equipment. If you are a busy person it is easy to forget or not have time to hand dose chemicals 5 times a day to keep your levels up or to feed fish that require regular feedings. Auto top is something every aquarium should have as well as a lighting timer. Most other items will depend on ones personality and work schedule.
     
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  13. BarnacleBuster

    BarnacleBuster Well-Known Member

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    1z57gc.jpg

    I love how new cars have the hazard button lights right there on the dash in plain view. It screams "I will break down" to me. Hence why I am in the market for a 70s era super bug.
     
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  14. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Well-Known Member

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    Right, I agree. I wasn't saying that the OP was going to sit at his tank all day and stir it to move the water around. My point was that no matter how manual your tank is, you likely still rely on some technology to keep your reef alive, thermostats and pumps specifically. @atoll made a great point about "want" and "need." You need to keep your water moving to keep your animals alive. You also need to keep the temperature relatively stable for your tank to survive long term. So heaters and pumps are needs, but they are still automation. My point was that even if we prefer a more manual reef, we all rely on some automation to some extent.

    I think one thing we're also leaving out of this discussion is that some people like designing systems and playing with technology. For these folks, it's gratifying to think up an automated system and implement it. If you enjoy automating, that's great. There have never been more ways to automate some of the more basic life support functions in our reefs. If you prefer doing things more manually, that's fine too. Many tanks thrive with manual dosing and manual topoffs.

    I don't think that the "gear junkies" in our hobby should be looking down on the reefing "Luddites" for not embracing "the future." Nor should the more "manual" among us look at the automators as people with more money and time than sense. This hobby is all about enjoyment, and you should run your tank in the way that would bring you the most enjoyment.
     
  15. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    No doubt that it works. Its just certainly not required. You can have a simple setup and still be 100% successful. I could have an ato system that continually drips so my salinity never fluctuates, but I dont. I pour water in twice a day. I have found that these tanks are not quite as sensitive as people believe them to be. That doesnt mean that I am not careful, however. We used to have an awesome reefing store here (it closed, everything is slowly closing its doors here) and I used to watch the guy mix 5 gallon buckets of SW, and immediately dump it into his tanks. He would pour his reef crystals into the bucket, stick his arm in it, give it a few turns, and pour it right in, clouding up the tank for 10 mins. I would laugh and thought that was ballsy, but he had thriving, amazing tanks and knew his stuff. So basically, its whatever works for you.
     
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  16. Greybeard

    Greybeard Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    It's a hobby. You can go as far down the rabbit hole as you might want. Nothing wrong with a basic tank with regular water changes, but many of us want to go a bit further down than that.

    I'm an automation developer... was never interested in adding a computer controller to my hobby, I do that for a living, thanks, don't really want to deal with automation as part of my hobby.

    My latest build, I needed two timers for my T5s, one for my Ref light, wanted a safety backup on my heater... Picked up a RKL unit. Got all of that, not much more than 3 decent quality timers, really. Ended up adding a second PB4, so that I could run a pair of wave pumps, added a solenoid to help make my ATO system a bit safer, plugged my skimmer in so that it wouldn't power up until the main return pump had been running a while after a power outage...

    Add in a 4 pump dosing system for Triton Core 7... I guess I've got about as much automation as I need.
     
  17. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    This is why I have a tacoma. I don't support terrorist, but they certainly dont rely on toyota pickups for their looks.
     
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  18. Violetdasy

    Violetdasy Well-Known Member

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    I agree I have the lights on timers and the doser for cal and alk. the top off is gravity feed I think all the other auto stuff is over kill and too expensive
     
  19. flsalty

    flsalty Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I'd rather spend my time maintaining my tank than maintaining the stuff that maintains my tank.
     
  20. Velcro

    Velcro Well-Known Member

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    I have to go out of town for 8 days at a time for work... without automation I would not be able to be in this hobby.

    This is a dumb argument because it's subjective.
     
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