A warning to all you reef addicts...

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Jaak, 5 Jul 2010.

  1. Jaak

    Jaak

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Cape Town
    So, I thought about posting this thread for a UBER long time and decide to do it nonetheless. And this is not a reflection on anyone but a reality from my own personal experiences while enjoying this wonderful hobby.

    So, i started off in this wonderful hobby slowly after convincing the wife that the initial cost is the big part and thereafter the costs would be low. Geesh, I could not have been more wrong... Not from a maintenance point of view but from my greedy eyes point of view. So as time went on my Nano was just not good enough anymore and i wanted to go bigger. I sold my nano and got myself a 1.2 aqua h2o piece of cr@p! With this came new heaters, ts2 skimmer, resun wavers, sun suns, new and much more expensive fish, etc etc etc... and the list goes on, you get my point. Last year my 1.2 decided to pop while only the wife was at home. Big mission but we managed to save most of my livestock, etc... Many reefers helped with babysitting lots of my livestock up to the point where I decided to get let it all go to new homes.
    This I thought was the best opportunity to upgrade and get a new tank. I bought a 2m with cabinet and sump that ended up being in a state of disrepair. I started buying more heaters and a bigger skimmer, new glass, light unit, etc... spending thousands!! The problem with my addiction to reefkeeping only became evident when I cancelled our December holiday last year due to "finances". In the process of setting up the new 2m tank I spent in excess of R16 000 on equipment, etc in one month and then a month later I cancelled our holiday... It's messed up I know. Even at this point I was still in denial about it and thought nothing was wrong. I carried on buying things and getting everything ready to set up the new tank.
    In the meanwhile I did not realise that since I started this hobby I was spending on average about an hour every night on the tank and checking that everything is fine, water tests, top ups, staring at my corals and fish and feeling exceptionally proud. When the 1.2m tank came into my house it was even worse. On a weekend I would spend probably around 4-5 hours a day doing something with or for the tank and my own hobby. Like driving around looking at fish, corals, fetching water, etc...
    All the while neglecting my wife and my family because i was so proud of this tank...:(
    Unfortunately my eyes only opened to my own bloody selfishness after my wife and children moved out... Don't get me wrong, there are many other issues as well in the marriage but this was the one thing that drove my wife absolutely nuts. The fact that I would not hesitate to spend thousands on this hobby but cancel family holidays in a heartbeat because I did not want to let go of my hobby. I became so consumed by this hobby that I did not realise what I was doing to my own family and they are in fact so much more important to me.
    With all of this being said I love this hobby but I allowed myself to become like a crack addict and nothing was ever enough. I have obviously decided to let this hobby go and maybe i'll start up again somewhere in the future. I will be posting everything for sale in the classifieds section in this week as I have to clear out everything due to relocating closer to my family, i have not seen them for over a month now. I do apologise if this is a bit heavy, etc. but I thought it good just to be open an honest about my addiction...
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2010
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. gaboon

    gaboon

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Northriding
    Wow dude, hectic. Hope you can patch things up with the family.
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    Sorry to hear man, hope you can sort things out with the family.
     
  5. mnd123

    mnd123

    Joined:
    5 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Fourways Gardens
    Jaak, I feel for you mate, I am in exactly the same boat (although nowhere near the stage you are at) and is part of the reason I am downsizing

    Hang in there buddy, but sort your family out first.
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    this hobby or adiction can take heavy tolls on those around us, i can think of 4 different reefers i know on masa who's families have realy sacrificed alot in order for them to enjoy the hobby and passion we all love so much. your story has been a tough one to follow jaak, and that your tank and reefing has been a contributing factor to your fam split is very sad, although in it is a positive in that selling a tank and equipment, taking a break is really easy to do. Its far easier to stop reefing for a while than it is to stop an adiction like drugs alcohol or gambling.

    i took a year off reefing and it was a great move, so did seanK or puppy for that matter. the strain this hobby can put on others around us should never be underestimated i just hope that being able to relocate closer to your fam, free of the time consuming self absorbed intrests of reefing will allow you and your fam to come together again.

    i truly wish you the best of luck and look forward to welcoming you back into reefing in a few years time.
     
  7. Dane

    Dane

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Fregate Island, Seychelles
    Damn bud. I'm sorry to hear that. I hope things work out. I completely understand what you are saying about the obsession, and I'm glad you brought the point up. The amount of time I spend on my hobby is also borderline obsession and frequently deleterious to my studies. Its important to keep this passion as a happy hobby, and not to let it take control of your life and finances. I think you've made the right choice, gain some clarity of mind and re-orientate yourself. If you do make a comeback then you'll have a new take on things and a healthier appraoch. Thanks again for a eye opening post, and again - thoughts with you during a time of turmoil.
     
  8. Brandon WJ

    Brandon WJ

    Joined:
    10 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    454
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Durban
    hope all goes well.
     
  9. JD167

    JD167

    Joined:
    5 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Jaak I don't really know what to say here. It's sad to lose a fellow reefer, but knowing that he is doing it(among other things) to be with his family and then also to post about it takes balls.

    Like most of the guys on the forum, I too have had flack from the non-reefer. Don't get me wrong, she still gives me shit when I spend too much time on the tank, but after sitting down and speaking to her she knows I will then spend as much quality time with her as I do on the tank.

    I live by a saying that I believe in so much so that I had it tattooed on my arm: "Without sacrifice the reward is without justice". I nearly lost my fiance due to my hectic teaching schedule after hours and weekends. I was very high up in a Martial Arts Academy. Let's just say I don't teach anymore and I'm still engaged. I miss the training, but I'll miss her more. ;)

    I can guarantee you, there are LOADS of guys in the same boat. IMO you've made the right decision and I take my hat off to you for posting this thread. Best of luck with the family.
     
  10. PoPe_G

    PoPe_G

    Joined:
    18 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    That's pretty harsh. But like crispin said, possibly alot easier to walk away than if it were gambling, drugs or alcohol.

    Hope you get your life sorted out.
     
  11. chikaboo

    chikaboo

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Newcastle - KZN
    My thoughts and prayers are you bud .... I'm sure with a positive attitude and a fresh start you can bring peace and harmony back into your families life and then slowly slowly get everything in order ... who knows down the line you might even end up with a setup again just that this time round equally shared time for everything that is near and dear to you ... Once again all the best .....
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    29 May 2007
    Posts:
    17,868
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Eish Jaak - and I was JUST wondering over the weekend how you were doing. Call me if you need to talk. I never knew that things was so bad? Shame man. I REALLY hope and pray that you can SOMEHOW patch things up.
     
  13. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    9,748
    Likes Received:
    789
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Sorry to hear Jaak.
    Thank you for your honesty in sharing your experience. I think it does serve as a warning to all of us to sit down and consider the toll this hobby has on our family, both through money and time spent caring for our reefs.
    I sincerely hope you manage to sort things out.
     
  14. burt

    burt

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    gordonsbay
    sorry to hear that, but its a good thing you mention it, to keep the balance with reefing is hard, i wish you all the luck and thanks for the warning
     
  15. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    Hell Jaak really sorry to hear this and you are absolutely right this hobby can become an addiction if you're not careful.
    At the end of the day there is nothing more important than your family, i truly hope that you and the misus will be able to sort things out.
     
  16. Afsal

    Afsal

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Dbn,Kzn
    hey Jaak , I know exactly what you are going thru ....
    Hell man my wife took a hammer and smashed my 4 foot tank during a heated argument , and then again to the sump on a different occassion.
    But I didnt let it get out of hand , I always made sure they were kewl first with their needs etc , I'd take the wife with when going to buy new stuff and ask if this is ok etc etc or while taking them out , ask first if its ok to go pop into the pet shop.
    My wife is kewl now , even when i'm away she takes of the tank and is you should see her talk to guests when they show interest in the tank.

    All that said , I hope you have learned (I am sure you have) from your mistakes and hopefully when you start up again it'l be more rewarding to ALL parties concerned.

    All the best Jaak , I really hope you & family overcome this obstacle.

    Afsal
     
  17. LifeAquatic

    LifeAquatic

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2009
    Posts:
    322
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    USA
    Jaak, Sorry to hear about your troubles but as you can see you have many people pulling for you here on MASA. Thanks for the wakeup call ... I absolutely see how it can happen, easy to get sucked into bigger and better setups. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you can work things out.
     
  18. Trev

    Trev

    Joined:
    1 Jun 2009
    Posts:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Wow Jaak thats very mature of you to have realized this and shared with us so that we can learn from your situation. Man I have to say that after reading your post I only now realise how great my other half is as reefing is only 1 of my hobbies that see me away from home often and spending huge amounts of time and money and Im not joking when I say I never get any unhill about it...........Thanks for putting things in perspective for me, Will speak to you soon

    Trev
     
  19. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    7,756
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cape Town
    I wish you all the best & if there is a 2nd chance with family grab it with both hands. Holding thumbs for you buddy & hope it works out. Good luck
     
  20. Jaak

    Jaak Thread Starter

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Thanks for all the support guys. All the kind words are blowing me away at this point. I will be taking a break from the forum too as that was the other problem. I was either busy with the tank or on my laptop busy on the forum. My wife said it was like i was married to the hobby and not her...
    Eish, I can't believe that I let things get so out of hand. But that is how I am, if I really get into something it's all or nothing for me!!
     
  21. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    7,756
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cape Town
    now it's all or nothing to get your family back. At least you saw what was happening & still able to catch that bus where I missed that but but I hope it's not too late for you.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - warning reef addicts Forum Date
Warning about Reef Crystals General Discussions and Advice 12 Jan 2012
Warning : New Marine Ich! Wipes Fish Out in 24 - 48 Hours Quarantine Tanks, sick fish, QT corals 3 Dec 2013
Sperm whale explodes - warning graphic content Video Threads 28 Nov 2013
Warning for transkei goers. General Discussions and Advice 23 Oct 2013
Dardanus Megistos Warning. Invertebrates 25 Aug 2013
Garden irrigation connectors - warning Anything DIY Related 15 Aug 2012
WARNING - Aquanic Magnets General Discussions and Advice 5 Jul 2012