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Why do people leave the hobby


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Oct 8, 2020
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Various reasons as mentioned in this thread. For me/us it just made sense...

Early on (early 90s) I kept fish only tanks 40+/- gallons. This was all prior to the internet so much of my "knowledge" came from books and experimentation and LFS advice. Got engaged in college to a gal who also has a love for fish/animals so one of our first purchases together was a custom 100 gal acrylic tank. For years we tried different things from hatching shark eggs to eventually getting into coral/reef keeping. By 2005 we had a pretty nice looking tank. Then came the economy crash along with another baby. Had to sell our home and rent. Drug our tank along with us but funds were short and the move hurt our tank's success for various reasons. The company I worked for went under and I started my own firm which was very time consuming and stressful. It just made sense to get out of the hobby at the time to focus on other things - this was 2010ish. Built a new home. Fast forward to 2020. My company is thriving. We're basically completely debt free. My wife has for the past year been suggesting we get a reef tank again. Covid hit and I start thinking about it more and more. We build a shop with a pet room for her (she is an animal nut) and she gets a couple freshwater tanks going. That did it... I got the bug again and decided to dive back into the hobby. As much as we would love to do a completely custom 500gal in wall tank I didn't plan for it when I designed our home unfortunately so a 200 gal. Red Sea 3XL 900 will have to do. In the process of the build now.

I think reef keeping is like a lot of things. If you take your time and do it right you will have success. As mentioned by others I think a lot of people get into the hobby without fully understanding what's involved and what's required to have success. Nothing good happens fast with Reef tanks as we all know. People have big dreams that are quickly dissolved when they don't see the results they were wanting quickly. They watch the show "Tanked" and think its easy. For many its easier to just sell off their tank and cut their losses and move on to a new hobby. For others who stick with it they can find a very rewarding experience. I still remember when I was able to start actually fragging and trading corals - thats what really hooked me. Creating a thriving and evolving reef is very rewarding. What an awesome hobby this is.
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Top Shelf Aquatics


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Sep 20, 2020
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Chicago, Far Western Burbs, Corn Country...
Not sure I read anyone saying maturity. I had fish only and softies in the eighties, then grew into corals later. In my younger years, I would have had to choose between wants and needs. Now later in life, I can have both, mostly and still within reason. If I can’t take care of the livestock I have acquired, I should not be in this. As most have said, I think a lot of people see a lot of things in life, cool new dog, cool new cat, not knowing the full extent of the time and money needed for proper care, just disposable. Even aquariums need commitment, and a clear understanding of what we are getting into. Instant gratification society we are in...good topic and read...

Have you ever used a spoon, hose and rubber band together to remove algae?

  • YES

    Votes: 24 7.3%
  • NO

    Votes: 160 48.6%
  • What the heck? (see the thread)

    Votes: 145 44.1%

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