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ChristopherDido

Soon to be new dad question?

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So as title says, my partner and I are expecting our first child in August. This has got me thinking a lot, I've seen many people give up the hobby for a few years till the baby is older. 

 

Idon't want to do that, but it is making me reconsider upgrading my tank. 

 

So I have a question (probably more to come, haha) for those of you that have young children and tanks. 

 

If I upgrade my current tank ( JBJ 28 NanoCube) I would be going to a hoodless tank, it had me thinking about how bright the LEDs are. My nieces and nephews when they were much younger I noticed they would stare at shiny, bright things. This concerns me about having a bright LED exposed very openly in the living room. 

 

So the question, am I being paranoid and stupid worrying about this and should just do the upgrade (it's been approved by my partner) or just retro the hood to get better coloring and stick with what I've got thats been working?

 

TIA

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Well they do stare at lights that’s for sure. But they won’t stare at the sun either. I think if it’s too bright just like adults it bothers them and they won’t continue to look at it. Biggest thing is kids are super expensive. Diapers, formula, clothes, daycare, diapers, diapers, formula and clothes. If the finances are there go for it. My munchkin sucks up a ton of time too but she loves the fish tank. She’s 4 now and is really starting to get into it. Plus you’ll always find time for the reef, and may times it’s needed to relax. Congrats by the way!

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4 minutes ago, Jake270 said:

Well they do stare at lights that’s for sure. But they won’t stare at the sun either. I think if it’s too bright just like adults it bothers them and they won’t continue to look at it. Biggest thing is kids are super expensive. Diapers, formula, clothes, daycare, diapers, diapers, formula and clothes. If the finances are there go for it. My munchkin sucks up a ton of time too but she loves the fish tank. She’s 4 now and is really starting to get into it. Plus you’ll always find time for the reef, and may times it’s needed to relax. Congrats by the way!

Thanks! There's just a million things to think about right now lol.

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Man it hasn’t ever started haha. You’ll  be in over your head but you’ll be alright. I still don’t know who calls the shots. 

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So I say do not upgrade the tank just yet

 You are in for a lot of sleepless nights and work. I can not stress the amount of work it is.. but you will get through it everyone does .. your hobbies, goals, and life take a back seat once you have a little one... give it 6 months and see then if you want to take on more work .. I started my mini reef once my daughter was 3 and now I have a partner in crime haha it's great.. just see how life goes.. congrats by the way ... ?

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It took me 18 months to realize I hadn’t ridden my motorcycle one single time to relent to the old lady’s requests (demands) before I sold it.  Based on your work schedule and time management hobbies will take a hit. Kids do love the fish though. Good luck. And find a way to build callous so whooping them won’t hurt you and this preventing the age old “ this hurts me more than it hurts you” garbage. They’ll earn the hurt, trust me. 

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Where do I start, I know before I had my first kid....now on my third kid (who’s 4 going 14 I swear ?).  In between the 1st and 3rd, I’ve gone through 3 tanks, JBJ 16, BC29, and now a IM 30L.  You will be tired, you will religate routine maintenance to chores that you’ll put off and let the tank languish.  

 

My advice, if you want to keep the tank, keep it as simple as possible!!! Keep a softies/LPS tank so you don’t have to worry as much as dosing.  Or keep a FOWLR tank and then by the time your child gets old enough (~2-3 yrs old) where they are a bit more independent, then consider diving back in more seriously.

 

Jeff

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Not sure I would have an open top with a little one. Won't be a problem for a couple of years of course, 2 year olds love to throw everything, and who knows what can end up in the tank.

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Ok, so for now it seems as though I would be best to let my mature-ish (1 year old) tank continue to run and see how I do with that and the newborn.  There literally are a million more things to do to get ready for all this.  Thanks for the thoughts on the subject everyone.  And thanks for the Congratulations, We're both excited and beginning to finally feel the pressure, we are 21 weeks now :-)

 

If anyone else wants to chime in that would be cool too.

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I've never had a baby and a tank at the same time so I can't give any advise. Congratulations!

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I wouldn't advise starting anything new right now. My tank pretty much didn't progress at all for the first 2 years after my daughter was born. It was all I could do to get a water change in there once a month. 

My daughter is now 3, and over the past year I have been putting more time into my tank. But now the problem is that she wants to "help" with (or at least touch)  everything. So it's sometimes difficult to get anything done. Thank God for nap time!  

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Congratulations!

 

I don't have my own kids but I did do foster care. I had 4 boys.

 

 

All my hobbies were on the back burner.

 

A baby takes a lot of time out of your personal life and it is exhausting and expensive. 

 

 I'd stick to what you have, maybe upgrade the lights, focus on taking care of what you have and getting ready for baby.

 

You have a new adventure ahead of you.?

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Lots of Good Advice.  Thank you all!  So I am gonna focus on getting the current setup cleaned up and in tip-top shape (get rid of Xenia, being it will overgrow) which means switching out two rocks in the tank currently.  Then upgrading the lighting on my current tank to make me happy for many years.  I already pulled out the rockwall and I already am much more pleased with the look.  

Thanks again all, Now I just need to get my hands on a NanoBox Retro Kit.  Anyone got one? lol

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This reason I got an aquarium is because my twins wanted fish 3 years ago when they were 2. I learned it was easier to do WC's and most tank maintenance after bed time, i also keep small tanks still. 

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I had the same concern with my tank and my kids. I think it is a valid one. The sun is bright enough to make you look away (though I've seen young children look way too long, especially toddlers) but do you know for sure how visually bright your reef lights are compared to their UV output? 

 

I made sure to set my lights at a height where they couldn't look directly at the bulb from their sitting/standing height in front of the tank. Why take the risk?

 

Edit. Get as much sleep as you can before your baby comes. Also now is the time to do any work or add any equipment that will make the reef easier to keep up. You will be exhausted and overwhelmed. 

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Pshhh, kids are easy. Babies are easier. Either hungry, tired, or need a diaper change. If you can keep a reef healthy you can keep a baby healthy. 

My only advice would be to make your tank maintenance as easy as possible. You’ll be battling time and of course finances. I do not miss buying formula and diapers. 

A lot of people get out of the hobby when this happens. I did not and I’m glad I didn’t. It actually helped me and let my tank mature without me messing around with it everyday. 

 

Congrats and best of luck!

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My wife will be 22 weeks pregnant on Wednesday so we will be having kids right at the same time!(AUG. 15th due date). But this is my second so all these questions are answers!  Babies will stare at any light spill, pull off MP-10 motors, and magnetic cleaners are sure to be undone.  Finger prints will be smudged farand wide across the display and the label on your fish food that says "Not Edible for Human Consumption" will be completely disregarded.  Water change buckets will be flipped, hands will be dipped, cords unplugged.  Any cabinetry doors will be endlessly slammed, even when childproofed, so lids are good incase a fish spooks, but those will be lifted and slammed too if your not careful.  These are all the issues I have experienced in the past 14 months since my first was born, and it's just getting worse as he gets more mobile.  In terms of maintenance, water changes have been known to be neglected, but my tank has grown a ton since his birth and I think you will have plenty of time to devote to it, I even moved mine a few times too and started a few new tanks to satisfy my MTS.

Congrats

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12 minutes ago, GraniteReefer said:

...and the label on your fish food that says "Not Edible for Human Consumption" will be completely disregarded.

That statement made my day lol. I can actually vaguely remember being a little kid and messing with my mothers fish tank stuff. 

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1 hour ago, GraniteReefer said:

My wife will be 22 weeks pregnant on Wednesday so we will be having kids right at the same time!(AUG. 15th due date). 

Our due date is August 21. Twenty one Weeks tomorrow! Seems a bunch of people are having babies right around that time. Was it that the first snow across the US? 

 

Yeah I was thinking about cabinet slamming and am actually going to build a solidly over built stand to replace the flimsy looking JBJ stand. I have so much to do and list keeps getting longer lol.

 

Those mentioning sleep, yeah I'm trying to sleep in when I can, I'm not good at that, plus animals in the house need to go out. I am letting my partner sleep though, as much as she needs. 

 

I just came home and one of my Dawn/dusk lights are out again grrrr... This will be the third one I'm replacing. One more thing on the list to do and when more reason to upgrade lighting! 

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Congrats!    I'd worry less about how much time I have to put into it and think more about safety and keeping them from messing up tank related stuff. 

 

You've got a little while until you must secure everything, but here are a few things to think about:

 

Are wires, hoses, pipes safely out of reach from getting pulling out of the wall or tank or wrapping around body/neck.

Are all chemicals, food, test kits at inaccessible height or in a locked cabinet.

No water that they could fall in (Sumps, water change buckets, spare water, waste water)

Is the tank stand anchored to the wall.  Even if they could not physically pull  it over in one  push/pull they may be able to rocket back and forth enough to get it to fall or to topple the tank.  Could they climb up the stand.

 

3 hours ago, Oracus said:

I learned it was easier to do WC's and most tank maintenance after bed time, i also keep small tanks still. 

or in a high chair.  If you are doing more than feeding make sure no-one is mobile.  Don't feed with a baby to toddler in your arms or you will overfeed by 3x or spill it on the floor.  If I have my hands in the tank there is a 100% chance I will be asked to do something urgently child related.

 

You learn to develop a new normal.

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Great advice from all the parents here! I can only do water changes after the kids are asleep, and I go days without looking at the tank. Hope you have an auto feeder. 

 

Here's an article warning about LED streetlights that I just read recently. I am not sure if this holds true for our tank lights though, but it's food for thought...

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5571531/Modern-LED-street-lights-damage-peoples-eyesight-dazzle-motorists.html

 

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18 hours ago, morecoffee said:

Congrats!    I'd worry less about how much time I have to put into it and think more about safety and keeping them from messing up tank related stuff. 

 

You've got a little while until you must secure everything, but here are a few things to think about:

 

Are wires, hoses, pipes safely out of reach from getting pulling out of the wall or tank or wrapping around body/neck.

Are all chemicals, food, test kits at inaccessible height or in a locked cabinet.

No water that they could fall in (Sumps, water change buckets, spare water, waste water)

Is the tank stand anchored to the wall.  Even if they could not physically pull  it over in one  push/pull they may be able to rocket back and forth enough to get it to fall or to topple the tank.  Could they climb up the stand.

 

or in a high chair.  If you are doing more than feeding make sure no-one is mobile.  Don't feed with a baby to toddler in your arms or you will overfeed by 3x or spill it on the floor.  If I have my hands in the tank there is a 100% chance I will be asked to do something urgently child related.

 

You learn to develop a new normal.

Good point. I picked up some earthquake straps that connected to my stand and tank using super strong Velcro that were then drilled into the studs. Kids like to climb and that always made me nervous.

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If you're already good with your "routine", I wouldn't make any changes to the tank upgrade at this time.  In part, because new/upgrade tank will likely go through some breaking-in phases that you may not wish to have to deal with, with the baby on the way. 

 

AFTER you got your daddy routine worked out, you could do the upgrade then.  I switched tank (actually was a small downsize from 34 > 30 gallon) around January, and my daughter was born last July - so six months into daddyhood.  I probably wouldn't have been comfortable bringing up the idea of tank switch to my wife if it were any sooner.  That first 6 months, you're just trying to find your groove with the new baby.    

 

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@Nocturnal I wouldn't even know where to get Earthquake straps in the Midwest lol.  But I will find some way to anchor it more securely that stand from JBJ does not seem to be too sturdy in the long run, I'm trying to look for ideas online for a good build plan for a stand, I can do some woodworking and feel confident that I can build one.  I built one in college that was really sturdy and held a 29 gallon and survived intact for 3 moves.  I did that with very simple hand tools and definitely have better tools now.

 

As for the lights, thank you for those links, makes me think I am definitely making the right decisions here and beginning to think like a parent lol.  When I drain it down when the new stand is ready I will probably replace the sand being I have had that sand for over a year now.

 

Thanks for all the input and advice!

 

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