!!!THE VANISHING OF THE NUANCE!!!

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Battlecorals

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Adam, I agree with you 100%. This hobby has changed so much over the years. Its hard to find an SPS setup that has been allowed to grow and mature. I cant tell you how discouraging it is to see a potentially beautiful reef's sandbed littered with frags, arranged as if it were a trophy case or LFS tank. I cant understand why some put zero thought into planning the aquascape or coral placement(color and structure). Why drop thousands on beautiful corals only to display them in such a offsetting environment? Its like buying a Ferrari and parking it mud hut.

@ReefBum display(s) are a prime example of what a mature home reef aquarium should look like. While he does have some "designer" corals the ones that really stick out are quite common, such as the Orange Digitata's. While they may not be as collectable or desirable as other corals, these are the reef builders! I could never have a reef devoid of such gems as the green slimmer, orange/green/purple digitata, Oregon Tort, Purple Monster, etc. These corals have stood the test of time, are bullet proof, and look better than most designer corals on today's scene. These corals may not be the stars, but every star needs a supporting actor to play off of. Every coral needs another to make it look even more beautiful and resplendent. There's a reason why we place green next to pink, yellow to blue, etc.

While I have no problem with people spending an exuberant amount of money on corals it has created a major issue in this hobby. Many are now buying corals for their resale value and not their structure, color, or beauty. Ill never understand why someone would pay $1k for a "bubble", but to each his own. I think that this mentality is why we are seeing so many setups simply made of frags. When youre constantly clipping corals you'll never have a mature setup. If youre buying corals only to turn around and sell them then you do not have a display, you have a frag tank.

Personally, before I was sick and operating Pro Corals I didn't have a "real" display tank setup. I never had enough of the designer corals to meet demand so I pillaged my displays for corals. Selling the corals discouraged me. It bothered me because it made me dislike the hobby. I no longer veiwed reefkeeping as an art form. It was now a business. Each coral that came in was now product. The magic died...

I don't plan on ever fragging my display corals unless its absolutely needed.(Health and space concerns) Any and all frags, other than the ones used to seed the display, will be placed and grown where they belong- a frag tank! :D

The best advice I can give is once youre able, setup a frag tank and grow "mother" colonies of all corals in the display. Then, only clip frags from these mothers in your frag tank, allowing the display to mature. Trust me, you'll be all the happier for it. :cool:

Well said my friend. Thanks a lot for chiming in!
 

Big E

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My favorite reef of all time and not a single "high end designer coral" in this tank.
http://www.oregonreef.com/sub_gallery.htm



Anyone can buy a bunch of fancy colored Sps corals, but very few people can create a system that has a balance of color and form along with the skill to grow out frags to create a masterpiece. These are the true artists and expert reefers.
 

larangcon

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When I started reefing the goal was to mimic a reef place I saw while snorkeling in Hawaii, I must have checked out all the TOTM articles in forums and tried my best to do the same for my tank. These days most post pictures are nubs hardly any colonies are being posted, which is sad where this hobby is heading.
 

SunnyX

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When I started reefing the goal was to mimic a reef place I saw while snorkeling in Hawaii, I must have checked out all the TOTM articles in forums and tried my best to do the same for my tank. These days most post pictures are nubs hardly any colonies are being posted, which is sad where this hobby is heading.
Don't you worry. The OG's are back and are going to show them how it's done! [emoji6] I've got a smaller reef up right now and working on getting my larger in wall setup by this summer. I've talked a few other "old timers " who are coming back to the hobby soon.
 

Psiber_Syn

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How do you guys choose where and what to place things i assume these are all peaceful pieces but ive had hammers and frgspawn and anemones kill off small colonies including gsp i just wonder what to choose that can grow side by side of everything else so densely packed like these FTS
absolutely in awe great tanks folks
 

mic209

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Funny I was just talking to my LFS about how I like corals that grow, we were specifically talking about chalices, like the overpriced ones that grow a 1/4" a year. But my point was, I would like my new tank to look grown in within the next year and not a bunch of nubs! What's the point of having something that's never going to be a colony in our lifetime!

So Adam, how about a frag pack of hot Acros that will be colonies in a year or so?
 

jasonandsarah

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Funny I was just talking to my LFS about how I like corals that grow, we were specifically talking about chalices, like the overpriced ones that grow a 1/4" a year. But my point was, I would like my new tank to look grown in within the next year and not a bunch of nubs! What's the point of having something that's never going to be a colony in our lifetime!

So Adam, how about a frag pack of hot Acros that will be colonies in a year or so?
That's what I'm saying! This write up definitely should of been followed with a reef building pack! Nice chunky frags to Adam! [emoji6] (ime your frags are normally that way anyways)
 
OP
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Funny I was just talking to my LFS about how I like corals that grow, we were specifically talking about chalices, like the overpriced ones that grow a 1/4" a year. But my point was, I would like my new tank to look grown in within the next year and not a bunch of nubs! What's the point of having something that's never going to be a colony in our lifetime!

So Adam, how about a frag pack of hot Acros that will be colonies in a year or so?

NO problem man. PM me if like anytime:)
 

slojmn

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My favorite reef of all time and not a single "high end designer coral" in this tank.
http://www.oregonreef.com/sub_gallery.htm



Anyone can buy a bunch of fancy colored Sps corals, but very few people can create a system that has a balance of color and form along with the skill to grow out frags to create a masterpiece. These are the true artists and expert reefers.
Love that Reef!! One of the best of all time. I totally agree with you. I try so hard to do both, get the beauties I am drawn to and create a work of art. Once it grows in I'll know better if I succeeded this time. I feel like I lack substantially in the "Artist" end of the equation, heck even the growing end of the equation as well these past few years, but its what I strive for, that and big colonies. Here's to hoping that this new batch will take off and thrive and in a year it will start to look like a piece of art.
 

anarchy

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Adam for the next tank i need you to deliver some frags and spend a couple hours helping me figure out what goes where @Battlecorals . Its not far from where you pick up your stuff
 
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Crued

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I want one of those forum banners under my name... "nubber"
 
OP
Battlecorals

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My favorite reef of all time and not a single "high end designer coral" in this tank.
http://www.oregonreef.com/sub_gallery.htm



Anyone can buy a bunch of fancy colored Sps corals, but very few people can create a system that has a balance of color and form along with the skill to grow out frags to create a masterpiece. These are the true artists and expert reefers.
Couldn't agree more with everything you said. Thanks a lot for the post.This one is a beauty! Like i said in the original post, all you see is structure and base color. And it looks good!
 

rockskimmerflow

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I just happened upon this thread and I have to say I couldn't be happier to see one of my greatest pet peeves put down in writing. The modern 'nub' garden is the opposite of what I strive for when building a reef. Single color, or two colored coral's with colors separated by tip and branch pigments rather than polyp contrast are my bread and butter.

A beautiful frag when shot under a macro lens does not equal a beautiful colony in the slightest. When I design a tank it always looks 'empty'. I get comments about how there's too much negative space, but rest assured a year or two down the line 5-10 corals total can make even large tanks look small. Build an impressive, minimal hardscape and the rest comes fairly easy provided one can grow coral. Choose contrasting colors when placing corals and DON'T ADD HUNDREDS OF FRAGS! In reality even large tanks in the 450+ gallon range can look full with less than 30-40 corals when aquascaped accordingly

Thanks for bringing this to the light Adam. Great topic! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has some reservations about the direction the typical SPS display tank has gone lately.
 

Legendary Corals

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Adam, I agree with you 100%. This hobby has changed so much over the years. Its hard to find an SPS setup that has been allowed to grow and mature. I cant tell you how discouraging it is to see a potentially beautiful reef's sandbed littered with frags, arranged as if it were a trophy case or LFS tank. I cant understand why some put zero thought into planning the aquascape or coral placement(color and structure). Why drop thousands on beautiful corals only to display them in such a offsetting environment? Its like buying a Ferrari and parking it mud hut.

@ReefBum display(s) are a prime example of what a mature home reef aquarium should look like. While he does have some "designer" corals the ones that really stick out are quite common, such as the Orange Digitata's. While they may not be as collectable or desirable as other corals, these are the reef builders! I could never have a reef devoid of such gems as the green slimmer, orange/green/purple digitata, Oregon Tort, Purple Monster, etc. These corals have stood the test of time, are bullet proof, and look better than most designer corals on today's scene. These corals may not be the stars, but every star needs a supporting actor to play off of. Every coral needs another to make it look even more beautiful and resplendent. There's a reason why we place green next to pink, yellow to blue, etc.

While I have no problem with people spending an exuberant amount of money on corals it has created a major issue in this hobby. Many are now buying corals for their resale value and not their structure, color, or beauty. Ill never understand why someone would pay $1k for a "bubble", but to each his own. I think that this mentality is why we are seeing so many setups simply made of frags. When youre constantly clipping corals you'll never have a mature setup. If youre buying corals only to turn around and sell them then you do not have a display, you have a frag tank.

Personally, before I was sick and operating Pro Corals I didn't have a "real" display tank setup. I never had enough of the designer corals to meet demand so I pillaged my displays for corals. Selling the corals discouraged me. It bothered me because it made me dislike the hobby. I no longer veiwed reefkeeping as an art form. It was now a business. Each coral that came in was now product. The magic died...

I don't plan on ever fragging my display corals unless its absolutely needed.(Health and space concerns) Any and all frags, other than the ones used to seed the display, will be placed and grown where they belong- a frag tank! :D

The best advice I can give is once youre able, setup a frag tank and grow "mother" colonies of all corals in the display. Then, only clip frags from these mothers in your frag tank, allowing the display to mature. Trust me, you'll be all the happier for it. :cool:
Well said Sunny. I have the same opinion of the hobby as well. Reef keeping (at least in the US) is more so of collecting rather than an art form. When you first start the hobby, you see a general idea of what your tank should look like. A zoanthid garden here in bright green, some frogspawn for movement in the corner, some SPS to add structure, and a clownfish with an anemone to provide something fascinating to look at. You wanted to start a reef tank so you could look at something. And the cool thing is that you put it all together, the way you like it. It's basically living art.


From far away, who cares what coral is named what. This reef as a whole is art, and that's all you cared about as your goal when you first started reefing.

When you first start buying corals you don't know the "value" of what certain pieces go for. You only buy pieces based on if you like it and if the price is something you were willing to pay for (you liked it enough to pay for it). But after being in the hobby for some time, you start getting exposed to different corals and the prices that correlate with them (pretty much impossible not to be exposed to it if you're a social reefer). The expensive prices on certain pieces tell us that they're worth more. And if they're worth more, it must mean that they're more desirable. So naturally we want to have more desirable pieces, much like we want brand name material items. "I don't want the green torch, everyone has that. Now a gold torch, that's different, more sought after, and therefore much nicer!" Soon, your vision of a reef tank is much different than when you first started and becomes a collection. Your tank is now filled with named pieces like how a sneakerhead has countless shoes or a flower collector has a backyard full of just pots of rare plants rather than a beautiful garden.


I mean, all I wanted was shoes to play basketball with. But then I found these supposedly rare sneakers and four years later...

This isn't necessarily bad though in my opinion. Reefers just appreciate the hobby in a different way than when they first started. The excitement and joy from collecting different pieces becomes more fun than creating a reef tank. And if I think about it, I think it's far easier to spend money on expensive pieces and get the proud feeling of owning a sought after item than it is to care and nurture a tank into a piece of art, which is a long time commitment and work (you're looking at least 2-3 years for large tanks). Or if it's not about rarity, people are just drawn to so many different corals that they find beautiful that they want to collect them all, even if there is no place for that coral in their planned layout. So many corals you love, but alas you only have one tank. It's also not an easy hobby. It takes a lot of patience, diligence, and understanding of reef keeping to maintain a reef tank to maturity. You have to understand the care requirements of your animals. I've only seen one established reef in my life. And by established I mean full blown colonies. Most of the people in this hobby are new, so to know someone who's been in it long enough to have an established reef is a rare treat. It's far easier and quicker to spend money, get a cool new coral, and take a photo to share with all your friends than to wait years with careful planning. And because buying collector corals is a quicker road to happiness (or at least a more exciting road), the art form of reefing has declined. It's evolved into collecting. It also helps that there's always new pieces coming into the hobby almost every other week, so you'll never truly "catch them all."

This is all just my opinion... An opinion on where I see this hobby is at the moment. Which isn't a bad thing, just a different way to appreciate the hobby. I guess that's why I'm so blown away when I see all of these other tanks overseas filled with colonies. Over there, I would imagine the name game isn't as important. It's more "I like this color and structure" and pieces go for general prices and they fill their tanks up that way. So it becomes more so of scaping, than it is collecting here. Just gotta know that you can't be the best artist you can be with one tank and still collect. Gotta dedicate one tank for your artsy side, and one tank to just fill up for the collector side in you.

Cheers,
Darwin
 
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lakereef

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I can tell you as a relative newbie on the reef seen it is long time reefers and pictures like these that inspire! So many things I’ve read in this thread resonate with me. I can see the allure of getting the next “hit” of color but there is something awesome about seeing the living art of a mature, well thought out reef that draws on years sometimes decades of the keepers experience.

When I was in the hobby as a kid and use to beg my dad to take me to Madison to get fish and coral. He would split the cost with me, but it was still a lot of money for a 15 year old. When I added a new fish and lost them all, and with a tank covered in aptasia, my passion for the hobby faded. Fast forward 15 years, I would randomly stop into pet stores just to get my fix, but with only knowing about the larger box stores I was somewhat underwhelmed by the selection and high prices deterred me into returning. Then responding to a craigslist add for some corals for sale, I was blown away by this guys 300dd covered in mature colonies. I hadn’t seen anything in real life that had so many beautifully colored corals. Just having a nano tank and buying nothing, I told the guy you’ve just cost me thousands. I was hooked again.

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Peter’s tank in person and it was affirmation that I’m in this for the long haul. I had to ask him so many times, what’s that?! Even though I had a frag of it growing in my reef. I’d never seen a colony of it!. Like others have said, in today’s reef culture it seems much more geared towards fragging and making some money or getting the next gem than art form of a mature reef. I think there can be a balance too. I’ve vowed not to frag from my colonies in my display unless needed for pruning. I have frag tank in the basement for that and also for picking up a few random new splashes of color that keep that itch scratched.

The growing process of coral and experience can’t be sped up no matter how bad you want your tank to look like the ones pictured above. I recently experience AEFW and happy to say I survived and so did most of my coral. Hope that chapter is closed, and I have learned from it. What you can’t see clearly in the pictures above is the experience these folks have under their belt. What a challenging hobby! But if it wasn’t so, would it be as alluring?

Thanks for posting Adam. Hope to meet you someday and see your setup; I’ve heard stories…

Quinn
 

jasonandsarah

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Well said Sunny. I have the same opinion of the hobby as well. Reef keeping (at least in the US) is more so of collecting rather than an art form. When you first start the hobby, you see a general idea of what your tank should look like. A zoanthid garden here in bright green, some frogspawn for movement in the corner, some SPS to add structure, and a clownfish with an anemone to provide something fascinating to look at. You wanted to start a reef tank so you could look at something. And the cool thing is that you put it all together, the way you like it. It's basically living art.


From far away, who cares what coral is named what. This reef as a whole is art, and that's all you cared about as your goal when you first started reefing.

When you first start buying corals you don't know the "value" of what certain pieces go for. You only buy pieces based on if you like it and if the price is something you were willing to pay for (you liked it enough to pay for it). But after being in the hobby for some time, you start getting exposed to different corals and the prices that correlate with them (pretty much impossible not to be exposed to it if you're a social reefer). The expensive prices on certain pieces tell us that they're worth more. And if they're worth more, it must mean that they're more desirable. So naturally we want to have more desirable pieces, much like we want brand name material items. "I don't want the green torch, everyone has that. Now a gold torch, that's different, more sought after, and therefore much nicer!" Soon, your vision of a reef tank is much different than when you first started and becomes a collection. Your tank is now filled with named pieces like how a sneakerhead has countless shoes or a flower collector has a backyard full of just pots of rare plants rather than a beautiful garden.


I mean, all I wanted was shoes to play basketball with. But then I found these supposedly rare sneakers and four years later...

This isn't necessarily bad though in my opinion. Reefers just appreciate the hobby in a different way than when they first started. The excitement and joy from collecting different pieces becomes more fun than creating a reef tank. And if I think about it, I think it's far easier to spend money on expensive pieces and get the proud feeling of owning a sought after item than it is to care and nurture a tank into a piece of art, which is a long time commitment and work (you're looking at least 2-3 years for large tanks). Or if it's not about rarity, people are just drawn to so many different corals that they find beautiful that they want to collect them all, even if there is no place for that coral in their planned layout. So many corals you love, but alas you only have one tank. It's also not an easy hobby. It takes a lot of patience, diligence, and understanding of reef keeping to maintain a reef tank to maturity. You have to understand the care requirements of your animals. I've only seen one established reef in my life. And by established I mean full blown colonies. Most of the people in this hobby are new, so to know someone who's been in it long enough to have an establish reef is a rare treat. It's far easier and quicker to spend money, get a cool new coral, and take a photo to share with all your friends than to wait years with careful planning. And because buying collector corals is a quicker road to happiness (or at least a more exciting road), the art form of reefing has declined. It's evolved into collecting. It also helps that there's always new pieces coming into the hobby almost every other week, so you'll never truly "catch them all."

This is all just my opinion... An opinion on where I see this hobby is at the moment. Which isn't a bad thing, just a different way to appreciate the hobby. I guess that's why I'm so blown away when I see all of these other tanks overseas filled with colonies. Over there, I would imagine the name game isn't as important. It's more "I like this color and structure" and pieces go for general prices and they fill their tanks up that way. So it becomes more so of scaping, than it is collecting here. Just gotta know that you can't be the best artist you can be with one tank and still collect. Gotta dedicate one tank for your artsy side, and one tank to just fill up for the collector side in you.

Cheers,
Darwin
Do you wear a 8 1/2? Lol sweet collection!
 

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