Whats the next trend in the hobby?

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Sisterlimonpot

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Do people do that with their display tanks? I haven't met a reefer (in person or on here) who wants to have a display tank full of tiny frags. The tanks permanently full of tiny frags have egg crate and are called "grow out systems" or "frag tanks".

The idea that people have have display/forever tanks full of tiny frags and don't want them to grow in seems like a strawman. That's just not a thing I see at all. I see lots of new tanks with tiny frags which haven't grown in. I see people fragging large mother colonies to make some money on the side. The first of these is just a reality of a new tank, and the second is either for financial reasons or because the colony is too large and shading/overgrowing other, more desirable corals (looking right at you orange monti caps).

There is no "trend" of having display tanks full of tiny frags (on purpose).
I wouldn't necessarily call it a strawman argument. There are a lot of people that never make it to a fully mature tank just because their intent doesn't allow it. They're constantly trimming coral frags and never giving them the opportunity to fully grow.

And let's quantify what a large mother colony is. I would consider a mother colony at least 12 inches across. And if people are fragging from those then they don't fit the bill that @DanConnor is referring. In my area alone, I can think of 5 people that have been in the hobby long enough to have a fully mature tank. But when I look at them they're full of corals that are on the larger side of what I would still call a frag. The reason is that I can point to facebook posts where they are selling off the pieces that are growing out.

That scenario seems to be a trend inside the facebook underbelly of the hobby (I know that a bit of a dig at facebook). The problem is, they're stuck in this perpetual fragging and selling that they never get to experience a beautiful mature reef.

Not to say there are people fragging because they have to. But those that are fragging because their frag is big enough to cut a piece off has become a popular trend amongst a segment of hobbyists.
 

Jeffcb

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I think another trend is hobby influencers and trend setters have now become “Celebrities” thanks mostly in part to YouTube and other social media...and the careful crafting of ones online persona is actually strategized.
well said
 

reefviper101

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Does anybody nowadays actually start a reef tank with the purpose of growing corals to look at or is it mostly done to make money off fragging? unfortunately i think it is the latter, I have never fragged a coral in my life and the only time i would is if i had to trim a certain coral because of its size.
Amen i do mine to make an ecosystem i can enjoy and watch
 

Jsimon

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I moved over to saltwater from fresh about a year ago. When I first started many
People I talked to told me to go as big as possible, when I asked them why they told me that smaller was hard to keep stable and you would quickly outgrow a small tank. I chose to run a small tank due to the fact that I wanted to prove to myself that I could keep a 32 gallon going and use it as a way of learning the hobby. I don’t have a controller or dosers. I wanted to learn this stuff myself. You know .... old school. I’m sure that one day when I decide to upgrade to a large tank that those things will become practical at that point. But the fact is you don’t need all the bells and whistles. What you truly need is to learn how to keep a successful tank. Is anything easy really worth the effort in the long run.
 

tony'stank

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I’m old school and old as well. I don’t do automation because the technology is intimidating but I have no objection to it. Just don’t overreact to parameter changes and attempt to correct too quickly. Don’t let automation take the place of carefully looking at your tank daily to see changes. I started my current tank with dry rock only because I couldn’t get quality live rock. I buy frags because the price of colonies is rediculous.
 

Jase4224

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Well thanks to all those BRS video's every tank these days is started with all dry rock, all dry sand, and god forbid if something hitchhiked a ride in to the tank. "OMG WHAT IS THIS AND HOW DO I GET RID OF IT!!!!" we all know the threads of just common bristle worms, peanut worms, vermetid snails, etc. which is all part of owning a reef tank, and part of the beneficial life that makes up a reef tank. But everyone wants to get them out of their tank because "I don't like it, and I didn't put it in the tank". Owning a reef tank is not a sterile eviroment, and if it is, you have a dead tank!

So with all these sterile tanks being started up, whats the next trend going to be? No sand, no LR, just a bare glass box with water and biomedia in the sump? We already have many threads about negative aquascape and the lack of rock this creates.

Maybe I'm just old school, but I happen to like a tank packed with rock, and on those rocks are many well grown in colonies, not just a few rocks here and there with a hundred tiny frags on them. Tanks these days seem to be like an epenis for most. Very sterile tank with minimal rock, and 100 tiny frags glowing all sorts of weird colors cause all I run is a windex tank. No one ever lets these poor frags grow to colonies. God I remember when what is called a mini colony now, used to be a frag! I've had flem balls bigger then some of these so called frags!and it didn't cost me $500 for a booger.

OOh don't forget all the dino threads we see now, we'll be seeing more of them now too.

Anyways, whats everyones thoughts? Am I just too old school to embrace change? Or is the hobby headed in the wrong direction?
I agree with you and have been in the hobby since around 2004. I want to see reef tanks look like they did in the 90’s looking more natural with a mix of soft corals, LPS and a small amount of large SPS but I’d like to see these being done with more modern rock work. I think the combination would look great. Personally I love blue/actinic look in the early morning and late evenings but white looks great during the day.

I must admit I’m bored of acro dominated tanks. They are a great achievement but regardless of any fancy rock work they really offer no imagination or mystery.

As for BRS, they are trying to achieve consistent success so their method makes sense in that regard.
 

Jase4224

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I moved over to saltwater from fresh about a year ago. When I first started many
People I talked to told me to go as big as possible, when I asked them why they told me that smaller was hard to keep stable and you would quickly outgrow a small tank. I chose to run a small tank due to the fact that I wanted to prove to myself that I could keep a 32 gallon going and use it as a way of learning the hobby. I don’t have a controller or dosers. I wanted to learn this stuff myself. You know .... old school. I’m sure that one day when I decide to upgrade to a large tank that those things will become practical at that point. But the fact is you don’t need all the bells and whistles. What you truly need is to learn how to keep a successful tank. Is anything easy really worth the effort in the long run.
Good move. Small tanks are not difficult to keep and expecting a newcomer to any hobby to invest so much to a hobby they don’t yet know if they want to do forever is horrendous advice. I recently convinced a close friend to purchase a second hand 50gal setup instead of the 90gal brand new setup he was leaning towards. He got a great price, perfect size beginner tank and his wife is not furious at the cost.
 

dennis romano

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Doctorgori Dolomite was the only thing available in 1971. :p
Now you can only get it in a museum or mausoleum. :oops:

It is still in my tank and I think I also had it in my brackish tank from the 60s.

I don't think I still have a Superking filter with the rusty motor but if I look hard enough, I may find one. I also still have 4 or 5 diatom filters from then and I still use an undergravel filter. Shoo
I use part of one of those old filters for a manifold for my UG.


Surface skimmer.


Water cooled LED.


Diatom filters


My temperature gauge from about 1920 behind the algae scrubber.

Gauge.jpg

Doctorgori Dolomite was the only thing available in 1971. :p
Now you can only get it in a museum or mausoleum. :oops:

It is still in my tank and I think I also had it in my brackish tank from the 60s.

I don't think I still have a Superking filter with the rusty motor but if I look hard enough, I may find one. I also still have 4 or 5 diatom filters from then and I still use an undergravel filter. Shoot me. :p

I use part of one of those old filters for a manifold for my UG.


Surface skimmer.


Water cooled LED.


Diatom filters


My temperature gauge from about 1920 behind the algae scrubber.

Gauge.jpg
Hey Paul, I still have my filter box, plate and candycane tubes from my Superking LOL. Did you run Silent Giants or piston pumps on your UGF?
 

dennis romano

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A hobbyist in his twenties showed me pictures of his "reef" tank. It was a good sized tank populated with baseball size colonies of different zoas on egg crate. He had grown them from little plugs. All I could say was "They are nice". Sorry, IMO that is not a reef tank.
 

Paul B

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Hey Paul, I still have my filter box, plate and candycane tubes from my Superking LOL. Did you run Silent Giants or piston pumps on your UGF?
Of course, there was nothing else to use. I had to put a fan on my piston pump to keep it from going on fire. I also had to put it in a closet so I didn't hear it. The piston had to be oiled every day and there was an EXXON oil slick in my tank so it was very realistic. My house always smelled like burning oil. :confused:

I also had to turn my light on with a stick so I didn't get electrocuted. The "powerheads" were aluminum and not submersible so they sat an inch over the water full of salt creep. No GFCIs then, just real MEN who didn't mind getting thrown across the room weekly. o_O

The Snowflakes today would be suing everyone. ;)
 

90's reefer

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I moved over to saltwater from fresh about a year ago. When I first started many
People I talked to told me to go as big as possible, when I asked them why they told me that smaller was hard to keep stable and you would quickly outgrow a small tank. I chose to run a small tank due to the fact that I wanted to prove to myself that I could keep a 32 gallon going and use it as a way of learning the hobby. I don’t have a controller or dosers. I wanted to learn this stuff myself. You know .... old school. I’m sure that one day when I decide to upgrade to a large tank that those things will become practical at that point. But the fact is you don’t need all the bells and whistles. What you truly need is to learn how to keep a successful tank. Is anything easy really worth the effort in the long run.
I was told the same also 4 years ago.
Getting back into the hobby from 98.
I purchased a 18" cubed nano with sump.
Lfs said bigger is better but also said if you can keep a 25 gal you can keep anything.
2.5 years later I have a 120 and a 45 frag tank.
Transfered everything from the nano to the 120 and have not looked back.
I use the KISS method and it works for me.
 

floatchop

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Seems to me there is a lot of the curse of knowledge coming from the old school of thought here. Some of you may be forgetting how much you need to learn to get it to this hobbie. It can be quite daunting for those that don't know what they're doing. Especially when you factor in the cost of it all. Most people, I think, just want to have a little slice of the wonders of the ocean to take there mind away from everything else. But, also, most people don't really have the experience or funds to do it with confidence. Ignorance breeds fear. The sterilization eases some of that fear.


And what looks good to you may not be ideal for others. To each his own and all that.

As for what's the next trend, I would say all in one tank buys with clear and concise instructions, all in one box. Probably with subscriptions for consumables.
 

Jeffcb

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Of course, there was nothing else to use. I had to put a fan on my piston pump to keep it from going on fire. I also had to put it in a closet so I didn't hear it. The piston had to be oiled every day and there was an EXXON oil slick in my tank so it was very realistic. My house always smelled like burning oil. :confused:

I also had to turn my light on with a stick so I didn't get electrocuted. The "powerheads" were aluminum and not submersible so they sat an inch over the water full of salt creep. No GFCIs then, just real MEN who didn't mind getting thrown across the room weekly. o_O

The Snowflakes today would be suing everyone. ;)
Yep. I used to have 6, 40 watt fluorescent tubes 1 inch off the water with end caps on the ends of the bulbs. I never once dropped one in the water!! I did get shocked a few times. These dang LEDs are the future for sure. ;)
 

Lovefish77

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I personally believe that automation spin is a bit overrated. Even if you have all the automation in the world in your reef tank there is a very steep learning curve in that hobby. You need to learn and mostly by doing mistakes, so it is more about technique than gadgets really. Even if you spend 10k of automation, that in and of itself will not make you successful from the start. Automation should be viewed as something that "serves us" and makes things more manageable using high tech. But the hobbyist is the ONLY brain behind the tank. You are in charge (with your skill set) and not the high-tech flashy equipment that keep sending you notifications every hour to your cellphone.
Having said that I never owned an aquarium controller in my 6 years of reefing, just timers and some sensors that is all. I think this hobby is about technique and know how just like everything else in life. Joe's 20000 gallon reef tank in long island (one of the best) does not use high tech gear from what I have seen on youtube.
Just my 0.02
 
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Paul B

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Joe's 20000 gallon reef tank in long island (one of the best) does not use high tech gear from what I have seen on youtube.
No it doesn't. I know Joe and that tank. My boat is in a slip right behind that aquarium. ;)
 
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ingchr1

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...Joe's 20000 gallon reef tank in long island (one of the best) does not use high tech gear from what I have seen on youtube...
Could you provide further quantification on which gear specifically?

I'm not sure an aquarium with a staff is a fair comparison to a home tank.

Here's a video that has some discussion on what the tank has/does not have. This point in the video has discussion on automation/monitoring.

 

Deep

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A lovely conversation with some old timers - Julian Sprung, charles Devac, Alf Jacob Nilsen, Sven Fossa. Anyone serious in this hobby should watch.

Interview with Alf Jacob Nilsen, the 2020 MASNA Award Recipient. The interview was conducted for MACNA 2020 Phoenix Rising, presented on Aug 29, 2020

 

Crustaceon

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I prefer it not as automated, because it adds some work and dedication to keeping your tank running smoothly.Well, things rarely go smoothly in this hobby but you know what I mean lol. I prefer having to dedicate time and effort to my tank because then I take pride when things go right: corals are growing: thats because I kept the params stable and everything for the coral. Mandarin is nice and fat: because I was patient with growing copepods for it to eat. Hard work pays off in the end. Always. (And if it doesnt, work harder!)
I run a very old school acro-dominant system. Just rocks, sand, a basket of seachem matrix, t5ho and basically kalkwasser dripping (was doing this manually but admittedly now i’m using a kamoer fx-stp @ 1ml per minute). Maintenance is typically nothing more than a one gallon per day water change (65g system), changing a filter sock weekly and scraping the glass with an old hotel room key. Oh, and I don’t run a skimmer or a refugium.
 

hart24601

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Isn’t it great how people can run so many reefing methodologies and still have nice tanks? Well it doesn’t seem to be great with this thread that everything 20 years ago was better, so really I guess the most constant thing in reefing is “my way is better than yours” no matter if it’s coming from high tech minimal maintenance negative space people or rock wall sand bed folk with nothing newer than two decades each will look down at the other. “You’re doing it wrong!”

Maybe new reefers should find *photos* of tanks they like and take notes off those systems, see what they have in common and then decide what they want to do. I remember so many nasty (to me) tanks 20-30 years ago and I still see nasty modern tanks. But it’s very possible what we love about our tank others won’t, and will not think it’s even nice - and that is ok, it’s what makes the hobby interesting.
 

sawdonkey

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Does anybody nowadays actually start a reef tank with the purpose of growing corals to look at or is it mostly done to make money off fragging? unfortunately i think it is the latter, I have never fragged a coral in my life and the only time i would is if i had to trim a certain coral because of its size.
Yes, tons of people do. When I start new tanks, which is when life requires me to take a tank down or restart, unload it with new frags with the intention for it to grow into colonies. Even when doing this, it’s necessary to frag your colonies to maintain shape. Once they get big, it doesn’t hurt to sell some frags now and then because it barely limits a dent in them.
Ooh I fragged many corals, but only because the colony was getting to large.

I think most people get in to look at corals. Then they see the prices of corals, and think they can make a million on selling frags. And that is where the hobby is trending towards.
I don’t buy the super expensive stuff, but I can see why people would drag as soon as they can, to hedge their bet. But to keep fragging and never grow a colony is kinda against what the hobby is all about.
im new school and i couldnt give a care about fragging for money XD I just want an impressive colony that I grew out because 1. I take pride when my corals grow, it shows that youve been able to keep your tank in great conditions and it has the ability to grow. these are animals were speaking of. 2. Im not gonna go spend $500 for a colony when i could buy a frag and grow it.
This is me to a T. I just want to grow colonies and create a beautiful aquascape.
Another thing that is sure to go is these 'minimalist aquascapes'. Take a long hard look at a reef and you will see enormous boulders and rocks everywhere. These are the key to stability and to hosting diversity.

Now that we have very efficient artificial rocks, I think we'll see a move toward more mountainous aquascapes - capturing the full spectrum of landscape design, the picturesque, the pastoral, and the sublime. Take a read:

I was able to do this for 300$ of dry rock. 215g - and 80 more pounds is still on the way.

20201121_154249.jpg

20201121_155224.jpg

20201121_154906.jpg
I don’t really agree with this. What interests me in the hobby is A. Maintaining lots of interesting animals to observe, and B. Creating a beautiful aquascape. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and my eye likes to see some negative space.
I do not give any credit to anyone's opinion unless I see their tank either through pictures in a build thread, or in person, which is obviously better. If someone has a new tank with tiny frags and is regurgitating things he/she read on Facebook from one of the fly by night chop shops, then I will not consider their opinion useful to me.
This is so true! I find this very often. The people with successful grown out tanks often tend to be less vocal on the forums because they’re using their time to make their tanks successful.
 
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