Standing tall in the middle of it all…or not: How hands-on are you as a reef keeper?

How hands-on are you as a reef keeper?

  • Very hands-on

    Votes: 229 60.7%
  • Somewhat hands-on

    Votes: 113 30.0%
  • Not very hands-on

    Votes: 21 5.6%
  • Not hands-on at all

    Votes: 10 2.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 1.1%

  • Total voters
    377

Peace River

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Standing tall in the middle of it all…or not: How hands-on are you as a reef keeper?

There are reef keepers that hire others to take care of their tank and others that have automated their reef system to the point where they rarely get wet. In contrast there are some that are very interactive with their tanks and livestock and are fully immersed (both literally and figuratively) in their small section of the reef. How hands-on are you as a reef keeper? Let us know about your experience and level of interaction with your reef in the related comments.

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Photo by @seth&angelle


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Timfish

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I learned an important lesson very early on. The first few years I kept saltwater in the late 80's I was always messing with my tanks and trying to fix problems. I found a nice job out of town but it was about 6 months or so before I could move my tanks. During that time I was checking in on them only on weekends. After a couple months they started looking better than they had in the several years I had them. Pretty obvious takeaway was by trying to fix and prevent problems I was only exacerbating them by not letting the systems stabilize.
 

vlangel

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I used to be an aquarium tech (2005-2010) who others hired so I do everything with my tank. I am not too proud to ask for assistance with new tech and equipment however. And like @Timfish I have learned not to do stuff that is counterproductive and let my tank find its balance.
 

MattPLaw

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I am new and trying really hard to not mess with things too much. But it's tough, I love to get my hands dirty.
I've been throwing myself into researching best practices and the science behind what a reef tank needs when the need to fiddle hits me.
 

Dburr1014

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I do it all except, build tanks, stands or canopies.
Right now I'm wiring my T5 balists and finishing my plumbing for the 150 build.
I'm going to be building my rock structures and treating my coral for the boring spionid worms. I wired in an extra outlet behind the tank.
I'm so deep in my wife wants to know when spring cleaning the yard will be. Maybe by summer??
 

SocalS14

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I chose "somewhat" - I love my Hydros and the stuff I have automated (dosing, feeding, top-off). For my newest tank, I have backed away from AWC and have begun doing them myself every other week along with a good cleaning/vacuuming. Tank is doing great.
 

Ben's Pico Reefing

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It took me a long time to learn to keep my hands oit of the tank. Now I only mess with tank during water change, or something happens. Any adjustments or tuning are done during water change. Hands out of tank for rest of week. Also creates less mess and easier to do.
 

lapin

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Hands on. Don’t build my own cannons like @Timfish but I do install new ones (today) when one burns out. $$$$
Edit
Oh ya I built my 600 gallon tank and sump . Probably a bit more hands on than others who buy tanks
 
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exnisstech

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My grandfather taught me to never pay someone to do anything you can do yourself. The only thing I ever paid to have done as far as reefing was to pay to have a 600 lb tank carried in and placed on the stand. Lights, ato and doser is the only automation. I only added the doser because I was having trouble remembering to do it or remembering if I already did it and I couldn't remember to write it down when I tried logging things. Sucks getting old.

EDIT: I've never built a tank but I have built stands and done plumbing.
 

Dbichler

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I’m not very hands on but I do everything myself if that makes any sense. In only hands on when my tanks are young then let it ride. Waterchange once or twice a year. Clean the glass when it gets out of control fill my ato by flipping a valve and that’s about it other than dump my skimmer waste.
 

MusicianMadness

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I voted somewhat hands on. There is a point of diminishing returns and even harm that can be done by micromanaging a reef tank. Stability is widely regarded as the most important quality and therefore too much adjusting can be counterproductive. Though I exclusively do all the management of the tank, I don't pay for servicing, as for hands on in that regard.

I do have automation though. Automatic top off, daily auto feeder for "snacks" throughout the day for the fish, strict schedule for other feedings and water changes, lights are on a scheduled automatic controller, etc...
 

Kathy Floyd

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I'm terrible with constantly being in my tank. I have re-arranged my rock work too many times to count due to finally getting it stable. Moving corals that have fallen or vacuuming sand. I have also had some help with the 'electronic' hookups. First time owning a sump, so it was nice having someone set it all up for me the right way.

My fish are also in QT due to an ich outbreak, so my DT tank has been struggling with new tank syndrome. Sigh.
 

Managing real reef risks: Do you pay attention to the dangers in your tank?

  • I pay a lot of attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 115 43.4%
  • I pay a bit of attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 88 33.2%
  • I pay minimal attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 43 16.2%
  • I pay no attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 15 5.7%
  • Other.

    Votes: 4 1.5%
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