What's your reefing story and how would you rate reefing at this point?

Rate your current reefing satisfaction level.

  • Very satisfied

    Votes: 280 44.9%
  • Just satisfied

    Votes: 158 25.3%
  • Somewhat satsified

    Votes: 133 21.3%
  • Not satisfied

    Votes: 53 8.5%

  • Total voters
    624

Billldg

Going off the reef end
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Really isn’t any story about how I got into reefing, originally from Miami and had the ocean all around me, so naturally I wanted one and finally made the jump.

It has been filled with ups and downs. When I first set up my tank and it flourished immediately I was satisfied, but not fully understanding parameters quickly caused a down when my tank got Dino’s and crashed. Now after the rebuild and having more knowledge about parameters and what they mean, I am starting to get satisfied again because my sps tank is starting to take off and grow.
 

yan2pr

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Growing up by the beach and now living far away from it, its what started me. its been a year but im starting to think it may not be for me. All the time i am always on top of it, cleaning, mantaining, checking levels and i dont seem to get it right. My favorite corals are euphylias and i cant grow or keep them for too long no matter how hard i try. I double check my parameters with my lfs and everythibg seems great all the time, but i just keep losing euphylias. Im kind of frustrated with the hobby right now. I enjoy seeing the tank but if its gonna stop being fun for me and it will become in a cash burning coral murdering machine ill rather stop now and do something that dont give me stress.
 

SuncrestReef

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Five years ago I promised my wife an aquarium as a Christmas gift because she has a Ph.D in fish behavior and currently works as a biologist (not related to fish). After a lot of research I learned that there's a lot to maintaining a proper reef aquarium, so I put it off for several years. But last year when I retired from my 30 year career in IT support I finally had the time to devote to doing it right, so I ordered the aquarium and started on my reefing adventure. Now it's my obsession and she hardly pays attention to it. :rolleyes:

I’m very satisfied with my tank and the extensive automation I’ve set up with my Apex. After doing IT work for so long, I’m very used to programming, testing, and documenting my work. I put that to use when writing my 8-part Apex programming tutorial series here on R2R: https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/neptune-apex-programming-tutorials-part-1.685/

I also get great satisfaction from helping others out, so this tutorial series is one way I’m trying to give back to this great community of reefers.

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pasquale petrovia

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I had a big pile of money I would either burn or start a reef tank. Sorry to say I had no matches in the house so reef it was. LOL. 34 years ago I started with a 30 gallon high seahorse tank with under gravel filter. I have had at least 20 different tanks and tons of great experiences and memories. It is challenging to say the least, but most rewarding hobby in the world
 

JoshM

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1. When I was 7 or so, my dad had an awesome predator tank. With lion fish and eels. But the coolest was a Blue Ribbon eel. I don't even know where to get one anymore, probably because of the bad survival rate. But he got the eel to eat eventually, and it was definitely one of the most beautiful animals I've ever seen in aquaria. Once I was older, I wanted to try taking care of a tank, so I started with a 30 gallon and a dwarf fuzzy lionfish(adorable lol).

2. Currently, all I have is a 10 gallon reef. It's very young, so no corals yet, but I have a clown and a red mandarin. Clown is happy, and mandarin was eating, but I'm having difficulties with her being picky again. Overall, I love it and I'm happy with my experiences, but there is always one struggle or another in a reef tank, otherwise it would be pretty boring. Always happy to learn more about the most gorgeous things on earth
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Corals.com

Tim Olson

Love to Learn!
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I started with Freshwater tanks in 1972 and have been in the hobby ever since. I had been breeding different Cichlids for years, but about 5 years ago I was raising/breeding live Brine Shrimp for my Neolamprologus Brichardi, which gave me the saltwater bug. I downgraded from my 120g FW tank to a 40g saltwater tank, since I thought the 120g would be overwhelming.

Overall it has been satisfying, but my lack of success in having thriving corals has been frustrating. Although, I have really enjoyed immersing myself in this hobby and also in building/fabricating my tank system. I'm always much happier when the corals and fish are doing well so I hope I'm on the upswing now. Time will tell. I'm also grateful for all the help I've received from this forum and others.

Brine Shrimp breeding - DSC_0492.jpg
 

albano

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In 1956, While crossing the street to get on the kindergarten school bus, I was hit by a car. Due to some head injuries, bed rest and ‘inactivity’ was prescribed. Mom bought me a fish tank (probably about 2g) to entertain me! I was hooked…FW tanks till I left for college...
In 1972, My college GF gets a part time job at a pet store in Atlanta, and I fall in love with salt water fish, clowns! I set up a small tank in my apt, till I graduate, back in NY, I go crazy with up to 8 SW tanks in my apt. and office.
In 1986, George Smit writes a series of articles for FAMA magazine about wet-drys and Mini-Reefs and within months, I convert all of my home and office tanks to ‘mini reefs’, and soon become an advisor to 2 LFS’s, in an attempt to convert every SW tank in N. Westchester to a reef tank.
By 1991 I had a 300g reef at home, then add’l 120-170g reefs, till today a 6’x5’ 500g softy reef in the basement and 200g softy reef in the living room. (2 totally separate systems). Both tanks look good and are enjoyed by all that live here or come to visit.
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Deaf clown

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My grandma always took us to the pet store and the had a fish section but a very small saltwater section. I immediately fell in love with the colors of the fish.
Corals weren’t nearly big of a thing as they are now (mid-late 90’s) but I do remember seeing a bubble coral thinking “wow!” And an juvenile emperor angel and thought that’s what they always looked like.
I didn’t get my first reef til I was 24 (2015).
 

Quietman

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Started my reef tank a few months ago but long been admirer of reef and saltwater tanks. Job I had moved way to often for that to be a feasible hobby but soon as I got somewhere permanent I started researching in earnest and finally got my tank.

Rated only "just satisfied" at the moment as I'm going through another learning phase. I love the hobby, but no matter how much you read and research and how much everyone says it's a struggle - it's very hard to internalize that with the expectations you might have. And I consider myself a very patient and realistic person. I'm know not to rush because success takes work and time.

This isn't like other hobbies where you can learn a few basic techniques and be satisfied, maybe not advanced but successful. I would compare this more to learning a musical instrument than anything else. You can understand the basic knowledge but still sound bad and not be successful without lots of practice. Every advance requires struggle, practice and acceptance of some failure before the next success......and then you start over with next advancement. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it but I can easily see how this will be a "wonder what the next hurdle coming my way is" kind of thing long term.
 

ReefLab

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Got into reefing because the reef tanks at my LFS were so stunning I just had to have one.. Finding an amazing deal on a reefer 425XL made it a lot easier to make the dive. I am a microbiology major so its great to be able to apply some of the knowledge Ive learned and see the system react and change first hand.

I find a lot of the mixed information on forums and the internet stressful. Also the waiting for QT and cycling to be irritating but I'm excited to have a beautiful tank at some point!
 

Iván Olalla

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my father used to keep several tanks around the house, mostly fresh water, but he also had two salted tanks, one with only fishes an one with mushrooms and if i recall correctly xenia and some polyps...this was 35 years ago and in México, son not common tanks or fancy equipment...i think that was my biggest influence

Trough the years i had goldfish, cyclids, predator tanks...the works...then went to the planted aquaescape world and got hooked... i used to buy a magazzine, freshwater related, and there i viewed a reef tank which blew my mind, so i started to read and investigate (pre internet era) and that was the start for me...

Today i enjoy a lot having my little boy (4) in awe looking at the corals, critters and fish...he even helps me sometimes with some tasks, he has his own little planted tank and wants a "nemo" or "jellyfish" tank for his room too, we shall see, but i can mirror myself at his age looking at my fathers tanks
 

ca1ore

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I've always been fascinated with the oceans and reefs in particular. Seriously considered marine biology as a career until it occurred to me there were only two decent jobs in the field - Jacques Cousteau had one of them, Bob Ballard the other. Went into a different business and scratched my marine itch with a reef tank (that was in 1987).

I am mostly happy with the state of my reef system, though the 'industry' has been wearing on me lately. Too many internet 'experts' and silly pricing. I also miss the more intimate nature of the shows in the past. I do occasionally go to a contemporary show, and then end up hating the experience. Probably just getting old and curmudgeonly.
 
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jrb1021

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Today let's talk about how it all began! Each of us have reasons as to why we first purchased a tank and got into this wonderful hobby of keeping a saltwater aquarium in our home. Some stories are pretty normal while others may be unique. Some may even be a bit embarrassing like my story...aheem...Finding Nemo. No matter what your story or your reason the fact is that we all got here somehow.

So I have a couple questions for you today!

1. What got you into keeping saltwater reef aquariums?

2. How satisfied are you right now in keeping a reef tank?



Beautiful reef tank via @Ericsalt
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I started keeping freshwater fish as a young kid. In the late 1970s, I had my first saltwater (fish only, no such thing as live rock then, at least where I was living) and was fairly successful at it. After graduating from med school, there was no time for fish. Following retirement and a move, I once again had the urge and the means for an aquarium. After a lot of research, and as part of a huge renovation, I installed a 150 gallon built in display tank with a 75 gallon sump and a 29 gallon ATK reservoir. The system was carefully plumbed so that water changes are easily accomplished without carrying any buckets, and fresh salt water mixed essentially by turning a valve and starting a circulating pump. I'm quite happy with those things. What I am not happy with is the belief of vendors that items that cost hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars (lights, pumps, powerheads) are regarded as disposal, not expected to last longer than a couple of years, and that livestock more often than not don't survive quarantine before being placed in display despite costing more money than I used to earn in a week back when I was in training. I realized before I began this isn't an inexpensive hobby, but had no idea of how high continuing expenses would be.
 

Sinibotia

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I've been doing freshwater for years, I've been obsessed with fish since I was a young kid and started freshwater when I was 9. Recently, after all the experience I've had with difficult freshwater fish and breeding and rearing, I decided it was time for a new challenge and figured I could handle a nano reef. Still just in the early stages but so far I love how involved and complex it is, I love to be engaged with my tanks.
 

damselindistress

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I have had freshwater fish since I was in grade school, in college I kept gouramis and fw angel fish. After my son was born I didn’t have any tanks for years, other than occasional bettas. About 4 years ago, when my son left for college, I needed a hobby again so I started up a fw tank and they multiplied to 5 pretty rapidly lol. One day about 2.5 yrs ago I went into a fish store looking for a specific fw fish, however this fish store was all saltwater and coral. I can remember asking what the difference was between a saltwater tank and a reef tank - I didn’t have a clue! I was immediately mesmerized by the colors and the livestock but was very intimidated by the thought of doing saltwater- the sciences were not my strong suit in school lol. The LFS guy kept telling me that doing fw as long as I had then I could easily do saltwater (lie #1 the fish store tells you). It was actually a jellyfish tank that most captured my attention at that time - I was positively blown away that a person could actually keep such a delicate creature in a glass box on their desk!

That accidental trip to a saltwater store is what sent me down the rabbit hole. I went home and started researching and reading, reading and researching. Going back to the LFS with a list of questions every couple of weeks. Lurking around the fringes of R2R. After several months of intense research and learning I was ready to venture into the salty side. I am still learning and still struggling with some issues but I still have a strong desire to keep learning more and more about reef chemistry and bettering my husbandry skills. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle in my head - I have the outline and am starting to fill in large swaths but I don’t have all the pieces in place yet - I’ll get there eventually though.
 

missycme

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hi ev1,well my very first aquarium started with a goldfish i won at the fair and boy did things take off from there!!he was my lucky goldfish who after a few days wasnt so lucky,and that started the ball rolling!many many books and tanks later ,and years of curiosity brought me to the days of now-just wish id kept it simple like i was told when pursuing saltwater interests:)and what i like best about this hobby is you never lose interest in it!there is always more to explore!!so as of yesterday i started my 75 gallon tank stand build and began ordering some equipment:) my interest has kick in again:) even though its not as big as i wanted,but the budget befriended me-lol-im far from an expert but i like to think i know a little bit just the same and ALWAYS open for advice!!!
;Bookworm
 

KeystoneMalone

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After purchasing a freshwater Setup I found myself constantly gawking over the saltwater selection of fish and coral. I managed to find a used Reef setup on craigslist but just 6 months into the tank I received orders to deploy to Iraq...One of the first things I did when i got back? Setup another tank with my newfound deployment money....3 years later and its my full-time job:)
Thank you for your service!!
 

Do you think you too much water testing takes a toll on you and your aquarium?

  • Yes

    Votes: 221 44.2%
  • No

    Votes: 221 44.2%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 58 11.6%

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