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sotoreef

There's always a first time for everything. What get you into the hobby?

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sotoreef

Hi nano-reef, my username is SOTO, which also stands for slice of the ocean. Yes I know, its cliché. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A third world country in Southeast Asia. I love the reef/saltwater aquarium. Like most people, I fell in love with this hobby after watching the symbiosis between clownfish and anemone at my LFS display tank. The view give me a piece of mind and I can watch it for hours! This is how I get into the hobby.

Unlike most people, I never had an aquarium before. Not even into freshwater. The reason I just found out about this hobby now is because the reefing community in Malaysia is very very small. I am 28 years old, and I never knew this hobby existed before. Most LFS here only into freshwater and plant-aquascape. Over here, it is a godsend if you have reef/saltwater-related LFS close to your vicinity, which, believe it or not, I can count with my fingers the number of reef/saltwater shop throughout the country. On top of that, reefing in a third world country means everything is expensive. Really really expensive. Thus, everything is on a budget/DIY to own a reef/saltwater aquarium.

However, all these not gonna make me stay away from the hobby. There's always a first time for everything. And this is just my beginning. Hope everyone here kind enough to guide me in this hobby.

What get you into the hobby?

 

 

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Jakesaw

I've been an interested S/W lurker for a while.  Done FW my whole life, and recently had been doing planted tanks.  It was interesting, and there was more to learn about planted tanks, but my interest level in the output was lower than the interest level of time investment.  The balance was not worht it to me. 

 

While lurking in local SW store, I'd talk to the owner and already had an empty tank with flourescent light, space, unused filter, etc.  He told me to just get started and I DID.  Jumped in and moved slow backfilling the knowledge I needed when I could. 

 

Keeping costs minimal has been a primary interest while I learn.  Been frustrating at times, but mostly enjoyable. 

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sotoreef
41 minutes ago, Jakesaw said:

I've been an interested S/W lurker for a while.  Done FW my whole life, and recently had been doing planted tanks.  It was interesting, and there was more to learn about planted tanks, but my interest level in the output was lower than the interest level of time investment.  The balance was not worht it to me. 

 

While lurking in local SW store, I'd talk to the owner and already had an empty tank with flourescent light, space, unused filter, etc.  He told me to just get started and I DID.  Jumped in and moved slow backfilling the knowledge I needed when I could. 

 

Keeping costs minimal has been a primary interest while I learn.  Been frustrating at times, but mostly enjoyable. 

There is so much to learn in this hobby and I am excited! I have been studying the hobby for quite some time now, and now I have dipped my toes into the hobby by purchasing a nano tank. I know nano is much harder to maintain stability, however, same as you, keeping cost minimal is one of my primary interests.

 

Looking forward to enjoying the ups and downs in the journey 🙂

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mcarroll
5 minutes ago, sotoreef said:

I know nano is much harder to maintain stability, however, same as you, keeping cost minimal is one of my primary interests.

If you have the space for a larger tank and have the ability to save some money, I highly recommend saving up for a larger first setup – something around 120 liters or more – it would be worth the wait in many ways.  (And like someone else mentioned, buy used equipment to save money wherever possible.)

 

If not....I get it!  🙂

 

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Jakesaw
9 minutes ago, sotoreef said:

There is so much to learn in this hobby and I am excited! I have been studying the hobby for quite some time now, and now I have dipped my toes into the hobby by purchasing a nano tank. I know nano is much harder to maintain stability, however, same as you, keeping cost minimal is one of my primary interests.

 

Looking forward to enjoying the ups and downs in the journey 🙂

 

One thing I'd share as a fellow newbie in 1st year with ups and downs.  If you get frustrated in any area, don't be afraid to look around and find somebody more knowledgeable that can help you.  This site is helpful but you'll get all kinds of advice that is sometimes hard to sift through.  Try things out, and if you're not finding answers online, look elsewhere.

 

I started at a local SW store that got me started... but became frustrated with corals / losing fish.  Found a local coral specialty store that is a bit more of a drive to visit, but the owners were personally interested in helping me to become successful with the corals / my tank.  I can call or drive out there with questions / a pic on my phone of how things are progressing, and they are happy to help me learn.  

 

They have 10 dollar frags, 15, 25, 50, all the way up to 1,000 dollar corals.  I don't get any pressure to buy expensive stuff or to get a bigger tank.  If I like a coral, they'll tell me what if it's one that can / would work out in my tank.  I buy a monthly dose of Phyto there and buy my test kits / corals there.   The 2 owners are enthusiasts and really good guys for the hobby. 

 

Learn something new each day - still a ton I don't and probably won't ever know.

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NoOneLikesADryTang

My introduction to this hobby is actually a little different than most.  I was introduced to it by the love of my life. She’d been in it for most of her life, and took me on a date to local fish stores. I was hooked from that moment on. 

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Snow_Phoenix
3 hours ago, sotoreef said:

Hi nano-reef, my username is SOTO, which also stands for slice of the ocean. Yes I know, its cliché. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A third world country in Southeast Asia. I love the reef/saltwater aquarium. Like most people, I fell in love with this hobby after watching the symbiosis between clownfish and anemone at my LFS display tank. The view give me a piece of mind and I can watch it for hours! This is how I get into the hobby.

Unlike most people, I never had an aquarium before. Not even into freshwater. The reason I just found out about this hobby now is because the reefing community in Malaysia is very very small. I am 28 years old, and I never knew this hobby existed before. Most LFS here only into freshwater and plant-aquascape. Over here, it is a godsend if you have reef/saltwater-related LFS close to your vicinity, which, believe it or not, I can count with my fingers the number of reef/saltwater shop throughout the country. On top of that, reefing in a third world country means everything is expensive. Really really expensive. Thus, everything is on a budget/DIY to own a reef/saltwater aquarium.

However, all these not gonna make me stay away from the hobby. There's always a first time for everything. And this is just my beginning. Hope everyone here kind enough to guide me in this hobby.

What get you into the hobby?

 

 

KLCC.jpg

Hi, friend! I'm from Malaysia too, but in JB. 😊

 

As for what got me into this hobby - I developed an interest in marine critters while studying a Zoology elective during a student exchange program in Aussie. We handled and studied a lot of marine inverts at the lab, and it was wonderful. After I returned home & graduated, I walked into a LFS specializing in marine animals and bought my first tank. 🥰

 

Been in the hobby ever since. 😊

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mcarroll

I've been into the aquatic outdoors going all the way back to the ponds where I grew up.....but I think my LFS – being a good LFS; and being VERY local – is what really got me to finally pull the trigger on setting up my reef tank.  Having a reef tank is a big commitment, so I was still pretty nervous starting out in spite of all previous experience and the presence of a great local store.

 

I can't imagine starting a tank without even one local place to go for supplies, livestock, et al.....but that's my local scene now – zero LFS here now.  It's a different world for reefers just starting up.....very often no LFS....so no live rock, no picking out your own livestock, etc.

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mcarroll
3 hours ago, sotoreef said:

There is so much to learn in this hobby and I am excited! I have been studying the hobby for quite some time now

I love to hear this!!!  If you're willing to pay close attention (the closer the better), the learning opportunities in our hobby are almost limitless.  That's not even hyperbole!

 

Through most of the 1990's I read all the saltwater books, magazine articles and Usenet posts I could find...including everything even vaguely aquarium related the university library had....back issues of TFH and FAMA going back to the 1960's (wow!), dissertations on fish breeding (not many...all on convict cichlids, so somewhat boring).  

 

I probably already had 5-10 saltwater books in my own collection by the mid-1990's even though I wouldn't set up my first reef until the mid-2000's.....that's a lot of "research" before I even thought about starting a reef tank....just because I was fascinated by everything there was to learn about reefing....water chemistry, biology, animal behavior, system design, philosophy, etc...as I said the list is almost limitless.  🤍🤍🤍

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sotoreef
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

If you have the space for a larger tank and have the ability to save some money, I highly recommend saving up for a larger first setup – something around 120 liters or more – it would be worth the wait in many ways.  (And like someone else mentioned, buy used equipment to save money wherever possible.)

 

If not....I get it!  🙂

 

Thanks for the good advise. Definitely planning on getting larger tank in the future. For now, nano might be sufficient as well.

 

35 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

I've been into the aquatic outdoors going all the way back to the ponds where I grew up.....but I think my LFS – being a good LFS; and being VERY local – is what really got me to finally pull the trigger on setting up my reef tank.  Having a reef tank is a big commitment, so I was still pretty nervous starting out in spite of all previous experience and the presence of a great local store.

 

I can't imagine starting a tank without even one local place to go for supplies, livestock, et al.....but that's my local scene now – zero LFS here now.  It's a different world for reefers just starting up.....very often no LFS....so no live rock, no picking out your own livestock, etc.

I feel you. Its hard especially for the new reefer who just starting out like me. My LFS has very limited option, and I can say they are not that helpful in giving advice. Thus, I have to consider purchasing some things online from other shop or reefer. Unable to seeing and picking out livestock with our own naked eyes is one thing. Worrying about the delivery is another thing. It must be so nerve wrecking waiting for livestock to arrived at your door.

 

16 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Through most of the 1990's I read all the saltwater books, magazine articles and Usenet posts I could find...including everything even vaguely aquarium related the university library had....back issues of TFH and FAMA going back to the 1960's (wow!), dissertations on fish breeding (not many...all on convict cichlids, so somewhat boring).  

 

I probably already had 5-10 saltwater books in my own collection by the mid-1990's even though I wouldn't set up my first reef until the mid-2000's.....that's a lot of "research" before I even thought about starting a reef tank....just because I was fascinated by everything there was to learn about reefing....water chemistry, biology, animal behavior, system design, philosophy, etc...as I said the list is almost limitless.  🤍🤍🤍

Wow very interesting. I can't imagine myself get into this hobby since so many useful information are hard to come by in the past and no community exist to help in the process. Luckily, Youtube and forums like this exist now. Information can be obtained at the fingertips. I lost count on how many reefing articles/videos I have read/watched. As you said, this hobby is limitless. So many ways to succeed, and even success also is very subjective in this hobby haha!

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sotoreef
3 hours ago, Jakesaw said:

One thing I'd share as a fellow newbie in 1st year with ups and downs.  If you get frustrated in any area, don't be afraid to look around and find somebody more knowledgeable that can help you.  This site is helpful but you'll get all kinds of advice that is sometimes hard to sift through.  Try things out, and if you're not finding answers online, look elsewhere.

Thanks for the advice!

 

3 hours ago, Jakesaw said:

The 2 owners are enthusiasts and really good guys for the hobby. 

 

Learn something new each day - still a ton I don't and probably won't ever know.

You are lucky! How I wish my local LFS have half the spirit as yours. You are right, this hobby teach me something new each day.

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sotoreef
2 hours ago, NoOneLikesADryTang said:

My introduction to this hobby is actually a little different than most.  I was introduced to it by the love of my life. She’d been in it for most of her life, and took me on a date to local fish stores. I was hooked from that moment on. 

Sweet stories. My significant ones support me on this hobby. Thanks god for that haha. She actually studied marine biology before, and know lot of things about saltwater and coral. But she never introduced me into this hobby.

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sotoreef
1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Hi, friend! I'm from Malaysia too, but in JB. 😊

 

As for what got me into this hobby - I developed an interest in marine critters while studying a Zoology elective during a student exchange program in Aussie. We handled and studied a lot of marine inverts at the lab, and it was wonderful. After I returned home & graduated, I walked into a LFS specializing in marine animals and bought my first tank. 🥰

 

Been in the hobby ever since. 😊

Hey nice to see fellow Malaysians. My hometown actually in Pasir Gudang, JB. Where are you located? I come around JB quite often.

 

What a surprise, I actually studied in Aussie as well haha! Done my degree in Sydney. How I wish I been in the hobby at that time.

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Snow_Phoenix
10 minutes ago, sotoreef said:

Hey nice to see fellow Malaysians. My hometown actually in Pasir Gudang, JB. Where are you located? I come around JB quite often.

 

What a surprise, I actually studied in Aussie as well haha! Done my degree in Sydney. How I wish I been in the hobby at that time.

Somewhere around Nusa side, but I frequent NOA in Mt. Austin. They're my primary LFS and have excellent livestock choices + stellar customer service. 🙂

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Murphych

I've never not had a tank in my house.. as far back as I can recall there was always a 100gall+ or at least my father did. 

I did in my 20s have a period without an aquarium but the house just didn't feel complete.

I've had fresh, brackish, marine (FOWLR) and reef over my years. 

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xellos88
7 hours ago, sotoreef said:

What get you into the hobby?

Same here, watching Clownfish in Anemone.

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filefishfinatic

i got started because the people at my lfs said i should because i said fw is boring and i didnt want to tear down my tank every few months because i was bored of my tank. i started salt because there is always something that suprises you and its a actual challenge. i still have my main fw tank but i want to convert to salt with it too. my dream is to have a salt fish room and spawn saltwater fish and inverts like in fresh and breed my own fish and raise them 

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TheKleinReef

My mom had FW tanks all her life and would get the catalogs for Dr. Foster & Smith, on one of the issues I saw a candy basslet. In 2010, down the rabbit hole I went.

To this day, I still want a pair of them in my tank but I'm terrified to spent $1500 on a pair of fish.

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DevilDuck

I've been in the freshwater planted tank side for over a decade. On a whim, I bought myself and my fiancé tickets to AquaShella a local aquarium show. There we saw an amazing vendor display for blood red fire shrimp and red linka starfish. We both caught the saltwater bug and started a tank a few months later. It's nice to bond over a shared hobby!

This month marks a full year in the salty side of the hobby.

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pal

I grew up in Illinois so no ocean experience. Went on vacation  to Hawaii went snorkeling everyday and the obsession started.

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Jakesaw
35 minutes ago, DevilDuck said:

This month marks a full year in the salty side of the hobby.

Congrats, your tank looks great.

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ubpr

What got me into this hobby: going to a pet store to buy some things and seeing bright lit tropical ocean with bright red fire shrimp with white "gloves" and "buttons". That's it.

Could afford this, though, as a necessary requirement.

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Jakesaw
36 minutes ago, ubpr said:

 bright red fire shrimp with white "gloves" and "buttons". That's it.

 

Yeah - I didn't mention in my prior post.  I had always wanted S/W tank as a fish guy.  The vibrant colors of the SW vs FW fish was what always drew me that direction.

 

My 10 gal nano still limits my options, but as I grow larger my options should open up a bit.

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filefishfinatic

i picked sw because the fish were cooler and had more personality. a scorp aint pretty but its just as cool as any african oddball fish and it dosent need a massive tank 

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less than bread

Like you, a reef was the first and only type of tank I've ever had. I started about 6 months ago (feels like much longer) so still very new to everything. My uncle had a 40 gallon FW tank that I thought was pretty cool and admittedly as a kid I had goldfish in a bowl and at one a point a beta in a flower vase (obviously neither me or my parents knew anything about fish keeping)... but that was it, nothing serious until now. 

 

When I got my first tank, I was planning on having it just be a FOWLR tank, no coral. That was until I first set foot in the store not far from our house that specializes in reef animals. Seeing all the beautiful coral, I knew immediately I was going to make a reef tank. Come to think of it, until I started looking into getting a SW tank, I didn't even know people kept reef tanks and that visit to the store was the first time I had ever seen coral in real life.

 

So for me it really was just a huge flood of wonder and amazement, going from not even knowing home reef tanks existed, to reading a little about them, then to seeing everything for the first time in the store.

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