What are the biggest issues that hobbyists face? Help me help you!

NS Mike D

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Cheato


This is another head scratcher and is indicative of a larger issue - adding stuff to ones tank without really knowing what it does and whether or not one's tank has a problem needing attention.


There are many threads seeking advice on growing cheato where advice is spending hundreds on high end cheato lights - when no one explains that cheato spectrum and PAR/PUR needs are different than what we give our corals and it should be used for lowering high nutrients and upon further investigation we discover the tank is at ULN levels and this the issue is the cheato is being starved. and then I scratch my head in the advice to raise NO3 and PO4 to help the cheato grow (was growing cheato a nutrient export method or a desired garden?)
 

Manda0597

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I think from what you see on the forums-

1. How to correctly identify when to start dosing, how to calculate dosage requirements.
2. Identifying common fish/coral diseases and how to treat them.
3. Common testing practices and the best tools for the job.
4. How to set up a sump/plumbing
5. Overall optimal system parameters for FOWLR, SPS, mixed reef
6. And to finally answer why is X product so expensive once and for all.
This!!!
 

Bo Lin

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These are topics I think might be worth covering:

1) Control and Identification of general unwanted organisms (e.g. dinoflagellates, aptasia, green hair algae, bryopsis, cyanobacteria).
2) Control and identification of coral-specific ailments (e.g. AEFW, redbugs, nudis, RTN/STN, BJD, etc.)
3) Easy to follow/step by step QT setup and medication dosing instructions
4) Convenient and accurate sources of information for animal husbandry (e.g. minimum tank size, diet, etc.)

5) This one is pretty amorphous, so I don't know how one would tackle it, but I think it is the number one issue new reefers face due to their lack of experience- being able to discern which actions, products, or pieces of equipment are strictly necessary for their tank. This often presents itself with new reefers incorrectly dosing of a variety of products or chemicals, implementing the latest "program", or installing unnecessary equipment- oftentimes these actions cause more harm then good when an individual doesn't fully recognize the pros/cons of each system/tool or the larger implications on marine biology/chemistry.
Very much #5. I see a lot of posts with a 3 month old tank running GFO, or with first bit of algae and straight to chemicals to control it. Knee jerk reactions that can bottom out and make things much worse.
 

Robinson

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Dead rock

Dont get me wrong, there are beautiful tanks running only with dead rock but the true is that it requires a lot more patience, a more control of nutrients and understanding that it will take time for that rock to mature and develop the biodiversity that only live rock have from day 0.
 

clffthmps

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I think my biggest challenge is running a mixed reef with no lower sump,no protein skimmer, or refuge.I run it simple and I keep it simple I just run aFluval fx6 canister filter. I know it’s not ideal. But it runs perfect All parameters are in check and been running for over two years.

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Copingwithpods

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From what I've seen most frequently asked.

The basics:
*Evaporation and Salinity
*Acceptable parameters
*Dosing and adjustments

Intermediate :
*Normal coral behavior
*Fixing spikes in parameters
*Triage and solutions for struggling corals


Advanced:
*Achieving stability
*Light schedule setup
*Algea control
 

Stigigemla

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For the beginning of a new reefkkeper.
1. Decide what kind of animals You want to have.
2. Investigate what kind of maintenance they need.
3. What kind of equipment do You need to keep that maintenance.

Or: There is 4 things the animals in a reef tank needs.
1. Water
2. Light
3. Circulation
4. Food.

The water.
Most Reefers use RODI to get a very pure base to start with.
It has to have correct temperature. How will You handle that.
Water evaporates.
Automated top off is the second step of automation in reef tanks after the thermostate heater.
Water change.
Almost all reefers do regular water changes usually between 10% a week to 10% each month. How will You do that?
Salt.
Almost all salt mixes sold are good. Some are very good.
Supplements:
If You have stone corals or a big tank You have to add chemicals to compensate the consumption of corals and clams. To be able to do this some chemical knowledge is needed. There are many different methods so it takes some reading to choose the best for Your reef.
Light:
There is a never ending discussion of the best light source. There are no trees making shadow on a coral reef so the animals are adapted to a lot of light. The third step of automation in reef tanks is the timer for the lights. Corals is dependent of stable values so they need the same illumination time every day. Usually about 8 hours of full light. It is important to avoid playing around with the light settings. It can take a few months for a coral to adapt for a new light setting.
Circulation.
In the ocean is currents, tide and waves.
How much of each type is dependent on where in the reef You look.
Generally a good starting point is about 30 times the tank volume per hour.

It is strange to see that beginners practically only go for the looks of an animal but experienced reefers that know so much more practically always google unknown animals on their phone in my shop.
 

Stigigemla

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Edit:
There is a 5:th thing many animals need (most of all fishes).
There is no single alone fish on a reef. They are used to see other fishes all of the time, shelter when the other do and to come out in the open when the other do. Many fishes get very nervous if You keep them alone. In a shop it is common to add a few chromis if there is a single surgeon or angelfish. It is very common to see how fishes of different species make friends and spend the whole day or parts of it together so they have not to be of the same species..
 
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sixty_reefer

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[QUOTE="revhtree,
What are the biggest issues that saltwater aquarium hobbyists face maintaining a reef tank?

Would be great if there was some way to test for ich and other fish ailments. Then we could treat accordingly.

Algae sucks too!
I believe that @AquaBiomics can test for some of these.
 

bsr2430

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Scammers.
Ban the word Venmo here. To many have been scammed.
If you have a coder for you guys, simple edit the HTML or Java and we write Venmo out of here!
 
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Fishbird

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One thing I think is really hard is figuring out who is actually giving good advice. I see people giving very confident answers to all sorts of questions (often “I have that fish combo in x size tank and it’s fine.”) but it’s very rare that follow up questions such as “how long have you had that combination in that tank for?” And “what does ‘fine’ mean to you?” asked.

Similarly I see people annoyed to find out that they’ve been given bad advice by a LFS.

Maybe a list of “questions you should ask somebody before taking their advice” and a reminder that there are many ways to put together a reef tank but also, if the person giving you advice would make money from you following their advice, get a second opinion as well.

I also think learning how to ask questions is harder than many other things so this might not be an easy article to write.
 

New&no clue

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I try to treat my tank like I treat myself when it comes to issues. I hate going to a doctor when something is wrong and they immediately want to medicate you. No! I don't want a solution for the symptoms I want a fix for the actual problem at hand. I see a lot of solution on here that are about adding to a tank when something goes wrong, instead of why it went wrong and how can we go back and fix that. Algae is a really good example. I see all the time when someone post about algae people suggest adding in some chemicals and then continuing to dose that for the rest of your life... but why did it show up in the first place. My tank was fine for 9 months, now over a couple weeks it has algae. I guess overall it would be nice to have a better understand of what causes issues in the first place so hopefully you can be aware and never have it happen, and second understanding the cause can help with the solution.
 

New&no clue

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Also, I saw someone else posted this one, but I agree with a better understanding of flow and powerhead placement. I have researched flow, and turnover rate so I think my power heads and pump are the correct size for my tank and my corals, however are they placed correctly to get the desired flow?:
 

sawdavis

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My main two issues I continue to deal with are GHA in the sand and keeping my Calcium level stable, even with dosing. Otherwise, my corals and anemones are doing very well. Few have died. Fish are also fine.
 

What is your most favorite type of reef tank?

  • SPS dominated

    Votes: 199 21.3%
  • LPS dominated

    Votes: 65 7.0%
  • Soft Coral dominated

    Votes: 34 3.6%
  • Zoa dominated

    Votes: 19 2.0%
  • Mixed Reef

    Votes: 580 62.2%
  • Fish focused

    Votes: 17 1.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 19 2.0%

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