Go Back   Home > Atlanta Reef Club Forums > Reef Discussion
Register / Join the ARC Community Chat Gallery MemberMap Forums Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Visit all of our sponsors


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-12-2017, 2:17 PM   #1
Dan8a Dan8a is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
City: Buford
State: GA
New to the hobby/ is it a mistake

I'm new in this hobby. I purchased a 120 gallon reef tank about 10 weeks ago, I have 6 fish and about 6 small corals. So far I had 2 scares that stressed me out, but I was able to get it under control. This hobby is costing me more money than I thought and it's consuming a lot of my time. My question is as long as I do my water changes and maintenance, will things get easier or is it just a matter of time before I have some kind of big outbreak that is going to cost me hundreds of dollars?

I'm starting to feel that the beauty that God created in the bottom of the ocean is more difficult to reproduce in our homes than people think. It seems like the ones who are very successful in this hobby have years of experience. If it is a matter of time, I rather sell it all now before I pump hundreds of more dollars into it.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 2:45 PM   #2
gacolt gacolt is offline
SPS Lover
ARC Member
 
gacolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 429
City: cumming
State: GA
Other Interests: lizards,old cars,family
Real Name: mark
Get out and run everything in this hobby is money and time..everytime I turn my head it's 700 dollars.it's not for everyone and this hobby is maintenance and money.for me the joy is taking care and growing corals and fish.i have had a few buddies get in the hobby after seeing my tank to find out that the time and effort was to much for them.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 3:00 PM   #3
Danh Danh is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Danh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 614
City: Villa Rica
State: GA
Occupation: IT Manager
Other Interests: Firearms, Fishing, American Bulldogs
Real Name: Daniel
It will never be set it and forget it. I've had several tanks and so far my 5g office thank has been pretty stable as far as fish and corals. I don't have anything major in it, but no scares, no $700 unexpected expenses.

My 93g at home, turned in to a temp 55g and is soon to be a 150g. It's not cheap and pretty time consuming. If you have neither time or money to spare, you should get out. It will just lead to disappointment.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 3:00 PM   #4
Bcavalli Bcavalli is offline
President
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
Bcavalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 3,080
City: Johns Creek
State: GA
Occupation: Retired
Real Name: Brett
This hobby is challenging and rewarding at the same time. You will have ongoing maintence and depending on what you keep in your tank, it can be nominal or expensive. This hobby is not cheap by any standards and you cant expect to go out and buy a tank and think it will be a flourishing reef in a box. With that being said, it doesnt take a rocket scientist or chemist to gain enough knowledge to run a successful tank (Im proff of that) Lol. However, it can be accomplished if you spend the necessary time with your system by testing and keep your parameters stable.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 3:12 PM   #5
ORYANSREEF ORYANSREEF is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 99
City: Woodstock
State: GA
Real Name: Ryan
LOL, a few hundred $$$, please stop my sides are killing me,
I started with a $250 complete setup and with in 1 1/2 years I had spent 10x that much, try it if you like it stay with it if you don't love it RUN away

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 3:24 PM   #6
Dan8a Dan8a is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
City: Buford
State: GA
Thanks everyone. Just so you know I do enjoy it, but it can be stressful and every time I have a small issue and I ask for advise, I get many different opinions on what I should do, and if I talk to the fish store, they just want to sell me something. I feel that I have learned a lot, but I'm just afraid that a major problem done the road is inevitable. Over the weekend I was reading about ich, it scared me because everything I read about eliminating it, is to remove the fish into another tank, well I don't have a second tank.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 3:43 PM   #7
SeanD SeanD is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 100
City: Jefferson
State: GA
I'll just leave this here.

My grandmother told me about 20 years ag "everything in life you learn, you learn the hard way".

I take that as it's going to cost more money. Let me say, I've learned quite a lot in this hobby.

I also can tell you hands down my boat is far cheaper and you know what they say about boats.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 4:10 PM   #8
Dan8a Dan8a is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
City: Buford
State: GA
If I do decide to sell it, any ideas on what I should ask for it? It's a beautiful tank. 120 Gallons, stand and canopy, two Hydra Fifty Two lights and a protein skimmer. I spent 5,100 for the initial setup.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 4:18 PM   #9
SeanD SeanD is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 100
City: Jefferson
State: GA
I'd say test the market but I can say it probably wouldn't bring enough. Tanks have resale value of Bentleys

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 4:54 PM   #10
kwajtrader kwajtrader is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
kwajtrader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 163
City: Roswell
State: GA
Occupation: Engineer
Other Interests: Photography
Real Name: Joe
Send a message via Yahoo to kwajtrader
My 302 cents:
There are a number of things you can fairly cheaply automate to simplify maintaining your tank, like auto top offs fed from your RODI filter (assuming you have one) and dosers for alk and ca, the Jebao doser is under $100 and I have one as do many others on the ARC based on other threads. Good test kits are a must. I won’t get into the religion of which type, but I do like the digital Hanna ALK and Phosphate testers because they are really easy to use and fast. I have also added plumbing from my tank to my SW mixing station and to a drain so I can do a water change in less than 10 minutes without lugging water around. That part isn’t expensive, but it takes some work to set up.


On the more expensive side adding a reef controller will definitely simplify monitoring PH and temperature and alert you via email or text when something major goes south. This will run you between $100-$300 for a good used setup or more if you want new with all the bells and whistles.

Plan on a routine of water changes and parameter checks. I spend about an hour every weekend doing this and check alk during the week (5 min). Also, I would recommend that you hand feed your fish (vs. auto feeding) to keep things under control. Although I have also used an auto feeder, hand feeding forces you to watch the fish every day to make sure they are eating and look healthy and it minimizes uneaten food.

As for ick and the handful of other nasty things you can bring into your tank, set up a cheap quarantine tank and follow the multitude of advice on QTing fish and dipping corals and you'll be about 95% safe. Finally, go as slow as humanly possible when it comes to adding anything to your tank. Give things time to settle in and the system to stabilize.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 5:26 PM   #11
Ricky5415 Ricky5415 is offline
ARC Member
 
Ricky5415's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 282
City: Norcross
State: GA
Occupation: Managing
Other Interests: Walking on the shore, diy stuff,motorcycle and playing with my dogs
Real Name: Ricky
What seem to be the problem with the tank? Maybe we can help

Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 6:42 PM   #12
JennM JennM is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Sponsor

ARC Member
 
JennM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 7,658
City: Canton
State: GA
Occupation: Hillcrest Teardrop Campers, H2O Distributors & The Fish Store.
Other Interests: Geocaching, Gold Panning, Kayaking, Camping
Welcome to ARC, Dan8a.

Hopefully you're 'hearing' the "RUN!" comments lightheartedly as they are intended.

Having said that though, it can be an expensive hobby, and it does require regular (not necessarily constant, but regular) attention.

This forum is a great place to get information where the goal is not a sale. You can and will get good advice from interested retailers, but you'll get truly unbiased advise here. Take it all in, add a dose of common sense and you will be on the right track.

What are the concerns you've been having? We can help.

Jenn

Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 7:34 AM   #13
bhodges82 bhodges82 is online now
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
bhodges82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 183
City: brookhaven
State: GA
Occupation: toyota/lexus technician
Other Interests: money, tools, gym time
Real Name: bobby
If reefing was easy everyone would do it, that's why I love it. I often get challenged to diagnose issues with my system and correct them. I openly accept every challenge presented to me, even though at times I just want to unplug it and move out of the house. my best friend joined the reefing community a couple years ago and struggles to find a happy medium between enjoyment and work on the tank. I have come to bellwether that slow and steady wins the race, this is supposed to be address relieving hobby, if it isn't stress relieving die you then you should reevaluate what you are meeting in the tank or how to make things easier.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 2:16 PM   #14
wake125122 wake125122 is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Family Member

ARC Member
 
wake125122's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 35
City: Flowery Branch
State: GA
Occupation: Kubota
Other Interests: motorcycles, scuba, gaming, DIY, tech
Real Name: David
My 2 cents is start out with a fish only with live rock or FOWLR tank and once you get more exp then venture into this realm when you can dedicate more time and money to it. Their is a big learning curve in this. The FOWLR is much easier to maintain and learn the basics and a lot less maintenance then the reef tank.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 2:51 PM   #15
Trizzino Trizzino is offline
Trustee
ARC BoD

ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 139
City: Alpharetta
State: GA
Occupation: IT Project Manager
Real Name: Austin
I LOVE this hobby but that doesn't mean there are not times I want to sell everything and get out. This hobby is challenging. I have put way too much money into it and don't care to know the amount but when i sit down in front of the tank and see the growth and life it makes it all worth it.

A piece of advice, buy the best important equipment at the top of your budget. Don't cheap out or settle for a deal. I have bought 5+ skimmers that in the end would of been cheaper to get the one I wanted from the beginning but thought was too expensive. Same goes for lighting. Save up and buy the best item once. I've wasted more money on deals and steals.

More importantly is go slooooooow and don't tinker around. My 125 is now 3 years old in the new house with a previous 1 year in another house. It has finally settled and matured. I used to spend 5+ hours a week tinkering and constantly got disappointing results. Now I maybe spend 30 minutes a week on it and do monthly water changes. My corals have blossomed and fish are fat and happy. I've accepted my tank will not grow birds nest no matter what i do. Learn your tank and take it slow. The first 6 months are the hardest and most people get out of the hobby within a year.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2017, 9:16 PM   #16
Torqued Torqued is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Torqued's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 250
City: Cumming
State: GA
Occupation: IT - Architect
Real Name: Kurt
I will say this, this hobby is incredibly expensive, and yes you can lose everything easily if you are not very intentional about building in failsafes and keep a close eye on it. But to say the only people who achieve success are the old timers is hog wash. This is my FIRST ever tank. This picture was taken about 2 years after I set it up, having never had any tank of any kind (salt or fresh).











What I did have however was a passion to learn about the hobby! I spent countless hours online reading. I also spent alot of time talking to people who were successful, and did my best to repeat their methods.

I will say that this hobby can be one of the most rewarding AND frustrating hobbies out there. It however, is not for everyone. But the good news also is that if you dont want to be hardcore (like my first tank), you dont have to be! You can go with simple corals, and simple fish. The learning curve for some of those things are very easy to overcome. You just need to know what to stay away from! Before you buy ANYTHING, do your research! Make sure its not hard to keep, or will not do well in your type of tank.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2017, 7:56 PM   #17
Kodock Kodock is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
City: Columbus
State: GA
If you learn anything in this hobby it's don't make the same mistake twice. You can choose two paths

1) Buy a used system for $300-$600 and spend $1000 a year trying to make it look like Torqued's tank only to find out that your used tank is grimey and it will never be good as his and waste a year or 4 - so you start over at number 2

2) Read everything first, find a friend who knows the hobby, have the world highest patience and spend $2000 on a custom build and think you have a budget set only to find out that you need more of something you haven't consider before only to spend more money.

3) Spend 10 times as much on a dog or cat from purchase, food, toys, treats, medicine, clothes, vet bills, boarding, grooming, etc.

4) Worry too much about money with no hobby and be a boring joe and constantly wonder what it would be like in someone elses shoes.

There are many lessons learned in the saltwater tank hobby.

1) Woodworking and Building/DIY
2) Electricity
3) Complex Chemistry
4) Speciation
5) Patience
6) Feeling of Accomplishment
7) Budgeting

Overall I would say that it test your ability to accept yourself. Are you satisfied with your build, your tank, or do you constantly look at another person's setup/lifestyle? Can you build the best with what you can and be happy. Understand that you may not be in a position to spend $5,000-$8,000 on a dream tank, and you will lose your behind in cash if you try and keep up at a pace that you can't keep. When you can look at a $5,000 tank that a company came and installed in the wall, appreciate it, but know that it's trash compared to the reward you feel from the blood, sweat, spills, and the overall knowledge and experience acquired. Then, you can truly call yourself a hobbyist and possibly a man.

I relate it to human nature and it's ability to have an unfullfillable satisfaction. You don't need an apex controller, you don't need radions, you don't need that $150 frag, you don't need a gem tang, you don't need to use up an entire bedroom or garage for your sump, and you don't need to compare yourself to the elite who took it way too serious. I would say that one is lousy if this is what their paycheck goes to, but hey if it makes you happy, do it!

Things to take in:

Do it if it makes you happy or feel accomplished.
Do it if you can afford it.
Dogs and cats actually cost more over their lifetime so there's that.
It is beautiful to watch and relaxing.
Saltwater is better than freshwater.
Life is short and if you want that fish tank, you buy that fish tank....







but only if it's in your budget

Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2017, 2:08 PM   #18
Tangueray Tangueray is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 10
City: Smyrna
State: GA
I think it's worth it. You will get smarter being in this hobby, and then you can make more money to spend more money on your tank. It's a self sustaining cycle haha

Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2017, 8:57 PM   #19
Torqued Torqued is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Member
 
Torqued's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 250
City: Cumming
State: GA
Occupation: IT - Architect
Real Name: Kurt
The way I make it affordable is do ALOT of DIY. That tank above I did nearly the entire thing DIY. From the lights to the skimmer. I made all of them....

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2017, 2:36 PM   #20
JennM JennM is offline
Atlanta Reef Club Member
ARC Sponsor

ARC Member
 
JennM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 7,658
City: Canton
State: GA
Occupation: Hillcrest Teardrop Campers, H2O Distributors & The Fish Store.
Other Interests: Geocaching, Gold Panning, Kayaking, Camping
I've seen hundreds of tanks - literally, over the last 31 years or so in the hobby and the trade.

I've seen it all. Really.

I've seen homely tanks that make their keepers happy - and proud.

I've seen phenomenal tanks that cost a fortune and stress their keepers (and their keepers' marriage/relationship out).

And I have seen everything in between.

It should be a relaxing hobby. Yeah it can get spendy but it doesn't have to, and we don't all have to keep up with the Jones'. In fact, some of the nicest systems I've seen, were dead simple, and their keepers got the most enjoyment.

Present company included. My favourite tank was a simple seahorse tank. I started with a Marineland Eclipse system and later upgraded to a 37g Oceanic Reef Ready tank with a 10 g tank as a sump. Stupid simple, and I got the most pleasure out of it.

Brian (my husband) had a 40 breeder at home that he made beautiful on a shoestring budget, and later he had a 65g (same footprint, just taller) at the store when we had the store... and he did stress on it a bit but he wanted it nice for everyone to see.

When it's not fun, when it tests the limits of the family finances or it's worrisome, it's time to walk away.

Jenn

Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 users and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Melanurus Mistake? KDG Reef Discussion 18 02-22-2015 11:29 AM
rookie mistake :( atlweb Reef Discussion 7 09-07-2012 3:44 PM
How terrible was this mistake? spenceinc83 Reef Discussion 3 03-26-2009 10:05 PM
Worst mistake chauwall Reef Discussion 41 02-18-2009 12:46 AM
Is this a beginner's mistake? Amberjack New Member Q&A 36 12-11-2007 1:33 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2000 - 2015, Atlanta Reef Club, Inc.