Should I come back to the hobby

Angel_V_the_reefer

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Hey there R2R

as the title states, I’m currently out the hobby. I’ve been out for about a year now after I decided it was best for my finances and focus to depart from my reef

I want to come back. I definitely miss the life a reef brings to one’s home.

in my 2 years of reefing, I had the tendancy of making things perfect and safe. I know now that not possible in the hobby.

algae would make me uneasy, chasing numbers was always a problem of mine, white sand bed was an addiction of mine. All in all, I was a perfectionist.

I know now I must take my due diligence, however, also let a reef take its course, good or bad, and at times let the reef take care of its self before I act.

mom sure I’m not alone here, I want to hear about you guys. Have you guys ever had a similar path ? How did you guys overcome the ‘perfectionist’ mindset ? How has it affected your reef ?
 

SchrutesReefs

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I took quite a few years off between tanks. This time around I started by purchasing more reliable equipment and having more patience. It hasn’t gone perfect by any means, but I have also learned a lot more this time around. I also chose to start with dry rock this time, that’s one thing I would change if I could. The diversity I missed out on lead to some issues that could have been avoided IMO.
 
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Angel_V_the_reefer

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I took quite a few years off between tanks. This time around I started by purchasing more reliable equipment and having more patience. It hasn’t gone perfect by any means, but I have also learned a lot more this time around. I also chose to start with dry rock this time, that’s one thing I would change if I could. The diversity I missed out on lead to some issues that could have been avoided IMO.
I started with dry and my reef was super unbalanced with my nutrient levels especially when the tank began to leach phosphates.

I do plan on starting with live if I come back. I spent hundreds if not a thousand or two on useless junk by going cheap when I started. That’s definitely a lesson learned
 

dedragon

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You learn after a while to really just let the tank balance itself. Chasing numbers only leads to more issues and older reefs are just much more stable. I would say the best thing to do is just get aged live rock (i mean like 5 years old or more) maybe add a trident if you want to track calcium and alkalinity and just let it coast
 

dedragon

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you would be surprised by what corals can handle in a mature reef tank as opposed to a new reef tank trying to keep absolute constant alk, calcium, nitrate and phosphate
 
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Angel_V_the_reefer

Angel_V_the_reefer

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You learn after a while to really just let the tank balance itself. Chasing numbers only leads to more issues and older reefs are just much more stable. I would say the best thing to do is just get aged live rock (i mean like 5 years old or more) maybe add a trident if you want to track calcium and alkalinity and just let it coast
I agree, I tended to see my parameters slightly low and want to get them back to a specific range (usually a very small range), rather than a larger domain.

a trident would be great, just very pricey
 

Miami Reef

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I very recently made a breakthrough with my perfectionism. I still like my things tidy, but I (very) recently stopped over obsessing with my numbers.

I believe some things need to be learned with experience, especially if we are prone to perfectionism.
 
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Angel_V_the_reefer

Angel_V_the_reefer

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I very recently made a breakthrough with my perfectionism. I still like my things tidy, but I (very) recently stopped over obsessing with my numbers.

I believe some things need to be learned with experience, especially if we are prone to perfectionism.
For sure. What are a couple things that you tend to be a perfectionist about and how have you handled that ?
 

taricha

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From Ryan at BRS
"The best time to start a new tank is when life allows. The best type of tank is what life allows."



It's a good segment. It talks about personal experiences, and how a fish only tank is awesome - not everything has to be a super technical coral system. Fish-only can have lower time demand, and can allow somebody to practice being less perfectionist.
 

Hhaynie

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Take it easy, go with a nano. no need to dump money and time into something that just stresses you out. You could branch into the sister hobbies to reefing, maybe explore the worlds of blackwater tanks, planted aquascapes, or even terrariums. No point in doing something that's a stresser instead of a hobby. Happy reefing... or not, you decide.

edit: i'm telling you, dart frog vivariums rival reefing in terms of collectoritus, life, and beauty. and they're pretty easy comparatively. the best part is the prices though, the most expensive cuttings you can find are under a hundred dollars.
 
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resortez

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66AF4B56-87BF-4DAB-B467-7033939374D8.gif
 

elysics

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The easiest path away from perfectionism is to realize that perfect parameters don't exist. It's all a big range and corals can cope with a lot.

And white sand is dead sand, if you want that you need critters that keep it dead, or put the work in yourself. Or realize that a living sand might be more natural
 

ZoWhat

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I'd stay away...

Pumping money into salt mixes and dosing that eventually go into the sewer

Pumping money into buying corals that 90% are dead inside 2 years

Pumping money into fish that end up dying with 4 years

Ain't this fun?
You call this fun?


.
 

Hhaynie

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I'd stay away...

Pumping money into salt mixes and dosing that eventually go into the sewer

Pumping money into buying corals that 90% are dead inside 2 years

Pumping money into fish that end up dying with 4 years

Ain't this fun?
You call this fun?


.
No need for all that optimism:grinning-face-with-sweat:
 

Nano sapiens

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The problem with perfection in a reef aquarium is that perfection is not a natural condition in nature, but rather something we try to impose on our little artificial 'slice of the reef'. The associated stress and anxiety is largely of our own making.

Take one look at a closeup of an ocean reef's rock surface and you'll see what I mean. Looks like chaos with all different kinds of organisms battling for very limited space.

If you do get started again, my suggestion is to start with as much bio-diversity as you can find and don't sweat the small stuff.
 

Fish Styx

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I will preemptively welcome you back. If you're here asking this question, you already know the answer. Once a reefer, always a reefer. Welcome home, Angel.
 
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