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Don’t Give Up On Your Reef Tank

By Fish of Hex on

Travis: What's up guys? Welcome back to FishOfHex. My name is Travis. Today we're going to talk about not giving up on your reef tank and not giving up on the hobby altogether. Now, the reason why I decided to make this video is after talking to several of you over the last few months with referral call, Facebook messages, e-mails and really just trying to get out there and build relationships with you guys, I have come to really just find out that you are struggling and a lot of you are giving up and just kind of throwing in the towel and being done with the hobby.

In this video I really want to just give you hope and guide you through these problems and just let you know that it's going to get better on the other end, there's just a few things you have to do in between and you'll be successful. Okay, let's go to first talk about why would somebody decide to get out of the hobby after investing all the money, time and effort into developing it. Well, the first thing's going to be fish death. That seems to be a big thing for people, when they go out and they spend all that money on fish, they put them in their tank and they watch them die.

It can be very painful emotionally, watching a fish die, but also on the financial side of things, maybe your spouse doesn't like it, maybe you're sick of spending money on it. Those two things together could really push somebody to get out of the hobby all together.

The next thing is watching coral die. Just like fish, maybe they don't have the personal relationship that they have with the fish, but going out, spending all that money, getting them in, watching them grow and then just seeing them die, maybe because you had a spike in temperature, maybe your power went off, something like that. Either way, that right there is enough to push a lot of people out of the hobby.

Regardless of whatever is going on with your reef tank and the struggles that you're going through right now trust me, it will get better. You just need to make better decisions and you need to think a little bit differently about what you're doing. A lot of people who are coming to the hobby are so focused on the endgame, what the tank is going to look like. How many fish you're going to have and all the endless possibilities that you could imagine when you think of your ultimate reef tank that you end up forgetting or bypassing altogether the foundation or the basics that will allow you to build such a successful reef tank. What I mean by that is, when somebody comes into the hobby and they're here for several years and they're struggling with parasites, fish death, Ich and they're dealing with those types of things but yet they never quarantine or they trust their local fish store because they 'always have copper running through the system'. I'll get into that here in a second. I'll probably rant, so I'm trying to avoid it right now.

Basically, you're setting yourself up for failure. You're getting Ich and you're getting parasites over and over again and it's been five-six years and you can't have a successful reef tank and you're wasting all this money and you're trying to figure out why. Well, that one foundational piece, quarantining your coral, quarantining your inverts and quarantining your fish, those three things alone will remove 99% of the problems that you guys are having. I've talked about this a thousand times and guess what, we're going to talk about it 1,001 because every time I get an e-mail, it always has something to do with not quarantining and not doing the correct things early on to allow you to be successful and have that ultimate dream tank. I get it, I completely understand that it sucks to go to the stores, spend all this money on coral, fish, and inverts and then having to bring them home, put them in a separate tank and then observe them for 30 days. It sucks. I know that you want to put them in your main tank, you want to enjoy it, you want to have the experience.

I get it, okay? Because I'm human, just like you, and I have the same emotions and I deal with things just like you do. The difference is, as I've been through that hard time, I've been kicked in the nuts a few times because I decided to cut corners and trust my local fish store and trust somebody else, other than myself, when it comes to the quarantining process and I have suffered and struggled with those losses, deaths and going fallow for 10 weeks. I've done that stuff. The difference between me and somebody who does this for five and six years and still doesn't get it right is that I'm learning from my mistakes and that's something that you guys need to do. When you make mistakes, learn from them and don't make them again.

For me personally, when something bad happens in the hobby, I usually learn from it the first time and I'm still learning things every single day. For example, in the 300 right now, because I've been slacking on my water changes, on getting maintenance and taking care of the tank the way I should, because I'm so focused on working and expanding the businesses and other people's tanks, I'm actually having some STN on one of my favorite Acropora, that big blue one, on the top middle structure's STNing now. That's my fault. I didn't take care of the tank the way I should have, now from this point forward I'm going to continue doing it. I was laxing a little bit from taking care of the aquatic log stuff. I just did other things and I'm not making excuses, I'm just saying that I've learned that that's not happening again. This tank is my business, it's my livelihood, it's what makes me here on Youtube so with it being so important, I now need to make better decisions from this point forward to take care of that tank.

Now, will that coral stop STNing? I don't know. If it doesn't, I'm going to look at the positive side. I really like that coral, but what's good is I don't like the way it's growing. It's starting to touch things that I don't want, it's going in a direction I don't want it to, so if it starts dying more I'm going to remove the whole colony, clean off the rock where it was and then I will take a frag of that, put it where I want it to and hope that it grows in a little bit of a different direction, away from some of these millies that are doing damage to it. So even though there's something bad going on in the tank right now, I've already made the decisions, I've already done water changes, I've already taken care of the mistakes and the things that I've laxed on and I'm looking at the positive outcome regardless of what happens to that particular piece of coral.

My advice for those of you who are going through your own particular situation, you're frustrated, you're ready to get out of the hobby, I recommend that you just step back, take a deep breath and then think about what's going on with the tank. I'm sure you've been running through your mind and, "Oh man, I'm frustrated. I can't stand it. Why am I getting hair algae? Why are my corals not happy?" The list goes on of the problems that people have but I recommend you just step back, take a deep breath and think of the source of the problem. Don't focus on the fact that you have Ich, focus on why do you have Ich and as I mentioned before, get that quarantine tank and fix that problem today. No more excuses, just fix it today and it will no longer be a problem.

Now if you're dealing with hair algae and stuff like that, find the source of the excess nutrients. Are you feeding too much? You have too many fish and not enough rock. Not having an export source like macroalgae or a good skimmer. There's a whole laundry list of things that could be causing excess algae, but the point is to find the problem, correct it today or at least move in the direction of correcting it and then you will be better off in the long run. What I want you guys to take away from this video is to understand that we're always going to make mistakes, no matter how perfect you think you are, how advanced you think you are, you're going to make a mistake. Either you got distracted with other things going on in life, it doesn't matter, the point is, figure out what you're doing wrong, correct it and don't make that mistake again and then over time you'll just keep building on that foundation and you will be successful in the long run. I promise you that.

With that said, I hope you guys enjoyed the video. Any questions put in the comment section below. If you want to add anything to this, again, put it in the comment section and I'll see you guys later. Peace.

About Fish of Hex

Travis’ main reef display tank featuring many small-polyp stony coral (SPS) is a 300-gallon custom glass aquarium setting on a welded iron stand, both from Custom Aquariums.

"Here you will find everything you need to know to be successful in the saltwater aquarium hobby. I have several video series such as "Beginner Guide to Saltwater Aquariums", "300 Gallon Build" and "How to & Diy". I will teach you how to avoid common mistakes and prevent tank disasters. With thirteen years of experience in the hobby, I plan on sharing all of it with my subscribers. I take great pride in helping others and seeing their tanks grow into amazing works of art makes the time I put into making these videos worth it. Follow me and you will have an amazing reef tank in no time!"

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