What Is It That Draws Us To Reefing? Is There Something Special About Reefers?

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reefer_87

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Ok, getting a little philosophical here but curious what draws all of us to Saltwater aquariums?

Is it our love of animals?

Is it out fascination with Mother Nature?

Is it a need to take care of pets?

Is it just something innate with us?

Is it something else?

Hoping to identify some commonality amount us crazy reefers and find out what drives us in this hobby. Is there something about Reefers that makes
The challenge this hobby poses and makes you feel like a newbie often. A small hope that this madness cuts down screen time which seems to be anyway getting darker and darker in it's contents (while metaphorically speaking we should be seeking more light which we do for sure in reefing ). Hope of creating living art over time. Possibility of making some money some day (atleast pretend so as to convince your sig. other). It is something that not many folk do and makes you feel unique. Finally teaching you a life lesson around not chasing ideal numbers immediately but gradually find your way there.
 
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PeterC99

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I've noticed that the majority of successful reefers are smarter than the av-er-age bear, which is honestly quite refreshing.

And in the spirit of honesty, my mental health has been terrible, and I needed something I could throw myself into, and that I'd invest time and money into while getting continual enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment, and that will keep me learning and engaged. Really, something I can be consumed with.

I loved keeping a tank with my ex-husband, so I wasn't going in blind, but he came and left with his reef tank. Building one of my own, through both pitfalls and triumphs, has been really rewarding.
I think you identified a very important and interesting Reefer trait - intelligence!

I’ve found Reefers to be very smart, great common sense, ability to figure many new things out, and an incredible can-do attitude. Definitely something that makes Reefers special and a community I want to be part of!!!
 

jhuntstl

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I think you identified a very important and interesting Reefer trait - intelligence!

I’ve found Reefers to be very smart, great common sense, ability to figure many new things out, and an incredible can-do attitude. Definitely something that makes Reefers special and a community I want to be part of!!!
I am not a smart man. I may be the exception to this.
 
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PeterC99

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ScottB

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I feel a few common threads that run through long term reefers include a desire to problem solve, an appreciation of complex (natural & otherwise) systems, and some level of patience.

That last bit can take a while to develop. Still working on it myself.
 

BeckyW

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Ok, getting a little philosophical here but curious what draws all of us to Saltwater aquariums?

Is it our love of animals?

Is it out fascination with Mother Nature?

Is it a need to take care of pets?

Is it just something innate with us?

Is it something else?

Hoping to identify some commonality amount us crazy reefers and find out what drives us in this hobby. Is there something about Reefers that makes us special?
I nurture and collect complicated things. I love to learn as much as possible in my hobbies and enthusiastically share my accomplishments.
 

Cina05

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I started with a 5 gallon betta tank and worked my way up to 90 gallon planted tanks for a few years before building up the confidence to keep a saltwater reef. For me it's always been peaceful looking at the water and watching the interactions of everything. It's also soothing and a great educational experience for my kids. I love seeing the amazement on their faces when they watch the tanks. It's a piece of nature we get to enjoy in our homes, and I think interacting with nature on a regular basis is good for the mind and soul.
20210807_195321.jpg
 
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PeterC99

PeterC99

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I started with a 5 gallon betta tank and worked my way up to 90 gallon planted tanks for a few years before building up the confidence to keep a saltwater reef. For me it's always been peaceful looking at the water and watching the interactions of everything. It's also soothing and a great educational experience for my kids. I love seeing the amazement on their faces when they watch the tanks. It's a piece of nature we get to enjoy in our homes, and I think interacting with nature on a regular basis is good for the mind and soul.
20210807_195321.jpg

WOW!!! We have winner!!! Think you nailed it - "interacting with nature on a regular basis is good for the mind and soul"
 

Cory

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For me its the tiny reward of seeing things grow. I even get excited when I seen my ats grow hair algae. I also enjoy the problems and investigating into causes.
 
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youcallmenny1

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I walked in to a LFS 6 years ago on a lark and had never really seen coral other than wild pictures and snorkling in Hawaii. The colors and movement grabbed ahold of me and even though I've had some major failures and frustrations, the magic of watching such alien animals merely existing has not been lost.

Our children were young when I started and they're all old enough to be amazed by it now. I considered tearing down the tank recently due to some setbacks and both this community and my own children sternly corrected me.
 

N.Sreefer

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I missed diving. When I was a kid my parents moved to Tallahassee Florida and after that Naples. We used to snorkel all the time and explore the reefs. After moving back to canada and growing up I felt like I was missing something, until the first time I seen a frag tank. From that moment on I decided I will always have a reef no matter what life throws my way its one thing I can look at and be truly at peace. When I was 8 and we were living in Tallahassee I turned one of those old turtle kiddie pools into a functioning pond with tadpoles fish aquatic insects and all kind of aquatic plants. We had frogs hopping all over the place and a very well fed indigo snake that was my fish's biggest fan. I love canada but florida will always be a special place to me and my reef reminds me of those days every time I look at it.
 

BaghdadBean

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Like @90's reefer I too was an Steinhart Aquarium awestruck kid. My dad took me there when I was 5 or so and I knew, the first time that I saw the Giant Pacific Octopus, that marine biology was where it’s at. I ended up realizing after college that although marine biology was still my passion, employment in the field sucked at the time, and while I did get to work at a couple big aquariums, I ended up joining the Army instead of staying in the field. My mom ran a blackwater Amazon freshie tank for decades, so I started out with freshwater, then moved into marine aquaria during the early nineties. My first reef tank had a stainless steel frame, I used clear nail polish on it to keep it from rusting. Much.

Reef keeping to me is amazing because it’s so complicated, it requires a really macro view, and it invokes art, chemistry, biology, balance, and a whole lot of aptitude for learning new skills. I’m a rancher now, after a long career as a mechanic in the Army, so I still get to play around with ecosystems, on a larger level, but reef keeping has always provided a level of zen that nothing else can compare to. Something about managing a tiny tropical slice of the ocean in the middle of a rural inland empire of grass, forest, and hooves just does it for my soul. It’s probably the most use I’ll ever get out of that first degree, too.
 
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PeterC99

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I walked in to a LFS 6 years ago on a lark and had never really seen coral other than wild pictures and snorkling in Hawaii. The colors and movement grabbed ahold of me and even though I've had some major failures and frustrations, the magic of watching such alien animals merely existing has not been lost.

Our children were young when I started and they're all old enough to be amazed by it now. I considered tearing down the tank recently due to some setbacks and both this community and my own children sternly corrected me.
Very happy to hear you are continuing with the hobby! It’s a very special gift - sharing your love of Reefing with your children.
 

bmkid1997

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I think its the ability to be successful, a sense of accomplishment. As most of us know; this isnt a easy hobby and getting those wonderful tanks takes a lot of hard work and knowledge! Seeing it grow from a tank with rock, to filled with color color and fish knowing YOU had made it possible! The highs are definetly worth the struggles of the hobby.
 

Smite

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I've always been an animal lover.

When I was younger I was really into reptiles. Bearded Dragons, B/W Argentine Tegus, Boa Constrictors and Carpet pythons. Part of what I loved so much about them was the challenge of properly keeping them and researching their needs while trying to set up a habitat that mimicked their natural environment. Unfortunately it was a lot of work to keep them looking good, constantly replacing substrates ect.
Then I saw a poison dart frog set up at a local reptile show in Pomona. When talking to the vendor and finding out that it was truly a mini eco-system I was hooked! Preseeding the soil with isopods, choosing the correct plants, plumbing in misters set on timers, keeping proper temp, lighting and humidity levels and sustaining my own fruit fly cultures. Finally I was mimicking the natural environment but also somewhat self sustainable, it was perfect.
I was keeping freshwater tanks, discus ect at the time also and that led to freshwater planted tanks for the same draw of a mini ecosystem. Finally I took the plunge into reef keeping when I saw the relationship between clowns and anemones, and pistol shrimps and gobies at my LFS. It's been the most challenging and costly to date (high tech planted tanks give us a run for our money though) . There are so many successful ways to keep a reef the journey to finding what works best in our own tanks can be endless, and that's what keeps me hooked.

I feel a lot of the draw is a combo of sustaining a mini ecosystem that can be calming and relaxing in our home mixed with a kind of collectors gotta catch em all pokemon or baseball card type mindset

SCOP2.jpg
 
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