Reefing from the Ashes


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Reefing from the Ashes- Focus on the Journey, not the Destination.

*Please let me know right away (after you read this) if this should be posted in a different section. I plan on this being my only Thread in perpetuity so I wanna get it right. Thanks•

Hello. My name is Will. This is yet another attempt to make a reef blog here on R2R. I am 40 now and I have been putting maximum effort into changing my life this year. I had no big New Years Resolutions, those have never worked for me. Like many things in my life I never seem to stick to them. No this is just taking a good hard look at every aspect in my life and realizing I need to change. I need to change for my wife and children. They deserve the best of me. And I deserve the best life I can life I can live. I have waisted so much of my life focusing on the destination. The DREAM. For the back nine of my life I am adamant of focusing on the JOURNEY..

One thing I have not given up on is reefing. I would say my knowledge is intermediate. I have had a few decent looking tanks for sure, with lots of fancy equipment and expensive fish and corals. But I worked too much and that combined with family commitments, I never really got a tank to thrive. To be “show worthy.” I think I broke down my last tank during the summer of 22. (I have not the best memory, so take them all with a grain of salt from here on out.) I have had my old tank in the garage with the hopes of selling it but have yet to bother. The new tank has been sitting in my office since January.

We moved into this new house in Oct 22. The dearest part of the house to me is my basement office. You could call it a man cave, but I work from home so it’s my office. I am so happy that immediately setting it up and filling it with occupants and then not having the passion to keep it pristine is not what happened. I am glad to not have a neglected tank on my hands today. Instead I spent 11 months looking at it and daydreaming about how amazing it’s gonna look. But I never acted. Now that I have made some personal changes and am in the best headspace I have been in since leaving the Army in 04 I am ready. I miss it. I am excited to introduce my kids to the hobby. They both are showing interest now, they did not before (they are both under 10).

I am excited for the journey. I am going to take my time and try to do the best I can. And I am looking forward to feedback from anyone who wants to follow along. I am a night owl so most posts will be later at night. I have a promise- there will be pictures. Haha, I know threads with pictures are better. I was just reading threw a massive build thread and she stuck to it. In the beginning of the thread she has no replies. But she just kept posting. And I thought man she pulled it off, maybe I can make a new thread and call it a fresh start. I just told my wife today that I miss having a tank. So now is the time. Let’s do this.

But one of the things I have been working to change lately is my procrastination. It’s bad. But it’s better, at work and at home. A lot better. So as usual, once I decided to make a new thread, my procrastination was already kicking in. I started making a list to try to plan out the future of the thread, daydreaming about what it could be. I know I have a pattern of daydreaming, making lists, or writing a handful of pages of what I dream of turning into a film script, or maybe a letter to a friend or loved one that they inevitably will never see. I dream, but never act. Not tonight. I decided no planning, no framing. Write something authentic tonight and post it. Tomorrow the JOURNEY begins. The ultimate journey. It is going to be the redemption story to the numerous tanks before it. In fact, let’s start there. I’ll list all of my tanks below. I am curious of the count myself.

-2009 55 gallon petco tank- miscellaneous freshwater fish and struggling plants. Eventually became a tank with a single occupant- Oscar the Grouch, the Oscar. You can prob guess what happened to all the other fish. Rest in peace fish, I am so sorry for what I did to you during my time of possessing 0.1% knowledge of the hobby.

-2009- 30 gallon biocube- I saw African cichlids at a local first store. I had to have some. I bought the tank, a heater, a pump, etc and maybe 6-8 cyclists. Decent sized ones. Fish store didn’t ask me any questions and were more than happy to take my money. I have PTSD from my time in the Army and there for I am shy and don’t care for talking to strangers as it gives me anxiety, so I asked no questions. I promise this was the last time I killed anything ignorantly. Shortly after this I discovered the reef forums which you will hear about in a second. Any subsequent killing I have done has not occurred without diligent effort on my part to prevent such a heinous crime to occur again.

-2010 6 gallon Fluval Edge x2. I met a Saba at Funny or Die. She invited me for dinner with her family (they are great people. Her dad is one of the funniest men I have ever met. She is in here I am sure, I wonder if she will stumble upon this.) Anyway I spent most of this visit in front of her reef tank. I had never seen anything like it before and I was amazed by they beauty and all of the weird creatures and what I perceived as plants waiting for me to discover them. I was intrigued and I wanted one immediately. I thought I’d start small so I could watch this thing grow in real time at my office, where I spent 18 hours a day. Having it at home did no good as I would never see it anyway.

I still wanted a fresh water tank- I had never mastered a fresh water tank, not by a long shot. I broke down the 55 gallon tank and five and got 2 6 gallon tanks: one for fresh and one for salt. Long story short, the freshwater was cool. It has a few tiny neon tetras and a few plants and snails. The little reef tank I watched go from rock water to a semi decent little reef. I had this tank right next to my monitor at work so I looked at it non stop. I watched it revolve. Watching things come from nothing. The first tiny copepods or whatever they were blew my mind. Where did they come from? I had to find out. This took me to Reef central whew I lurked for many years before I started lurking here. Anyway, I totally lost interest in fresh water and the rest is history.

2011-2022 to be filled in. Getting tired and gotta crash. I will continue this.

2023- 112 Gallon Innovative Marine 35 x 35 x 19.5. Call sign- Reefing From the Ashes. Mission Statement: "Empowering the beauty of the marine ecosystem, my reef aquarium stands as a testament to the delicate balance of life beneath the waves. Through dedicated care, sustainable practices, and education, I strive to create a thriving microcosm that inspires awe, promotes conservation awareness, and fosters a deeper connection to the wonders of the ocean. My mission is to cultivate a sanctuary where vibrant marine life flourishes, echoing the importance of responsible stewardship for future generations."
More to come on the name. We have all been burned by fire before and have had to rise from those Ashes. When I focus on the dream I have of my life it’s grandiose. When I look back at the times I have had rise from the Ashes it’s always as a majestic Phoenix. But in reality rising after a failure or a loss never looks majestic, at least in my experience. You get up, you dust off, you carry on.

Life is a journey and it can be what we want, within reason. The journey can be an adventure if you choose or it can be a sentence, the bars being within your own mind. I’m choosing adventure mode from now on, and I’m hoping to take the difficulty setting of life down from hard to normal along the way. I’m gong to strive to find enjoyment whether the adventure is going the way I want or if it’s not. Some of the best content can come from the side quest we weren’t planning on.

Peace River

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Thanks for sharing! This section is a great place to journal your reefing journey and the evolution of your tank(s)!

Mixing an (un)intentional concoction: Do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

  • I am aware of every item that is added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 93 57.1%
  • I know most of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 44 27.0%
  • I am somewhat aware of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 11 6.7%
  • I follow the directions of others when adding items to my reef tank.

    Votes: 3 1.8%
  • I randomly add items to my reef tank.

    Votes: 11 6.7%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.6%