Big Blackhole

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by mandarin, 20 Jan 2011.

  1. mandarin

    mandarin

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    A warm hello to all the reefers out there. I think i came to a point that i have to quit marines, i became addicted to this hobby. Always buying stuff, upgrading, spending thousands left right and centre, forgetting about the wife, kids and grandchildren.
    Can't go any where, WHY? no one to look after the tank, cancelled the 2009 Dec holiday, busy upgrading.
    My daily routine, wake up at 5am, sort out the tank till 6am, shower and of to work from 7am -17pm, back home 30min, check my setup, of to the gym another 45min -1hr, back home feed the fish and do routine work. By now i'ts 8pm, have a meal BUT only me at the table. Have a shower and check if everything is still OK with my setup. Now i'ts 9pm, wife already in bed. Eish what a life to have.
    Weekends even worser, cleaning, water changes, of to the LFS to see if there is'nt something i can buy, some times the whole day. No time to visit friends and relax.
    When we were on holiday December my son looked after my tank but this was not nice at all, me enjoying myself and he had to be there twice a day.
    Can someone tell me if i'm doing something wrong or stupid to quit.
    I will still be on the forum because there are wonderfull people out there and i made alot of friends.
    In a few weeks or so i'll sell all my stuff on the forum and believe me there will be bargains. Sorry have to go now - routine stuff.:thumbup:
     
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  3. SIMS

    SIMS

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    I feel your pain...except I have 20 tanks!
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    This just shows that it requires time, this hobby. Its something people should think about. Most starters should rather start with a FOWLR set up as it requires less time than say a SPS set up :) .. but I can totally understand boet! Unfortunately you cant miss out on your kids life hey. Time is flying
     
  5. jaybeepee

    jaybeepee

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    Hey Mandarin,

    I hear you on the holiday thing but maintenance for me is really not alot. I have a similar sized system to you. I do a 200L water change once a month that takes me no longer than 2 hours on a sat/sun morning. Other than that I spend time enjoying the tank - ie watching. I DONT go into the LFS every weekend and even If I do - its to get something and not necessarily to browse and impulse spend.

    Holidays we have found a really good house sitter which gives you peace of mind.

    I think the main thing is to make sure you that you dont HAVE to check your tank every 5 mins. You should set it up such that you have confidence in it being able to run 100% on its own without your input for at least 1-2 weeks. Feeding yes, we still have to do - but even the maid feeds my tank in the afternoons.

    Other than that I think the joy outweighs the little bit of maintenance/cost.

    NBNBNBNB - if we dont make something in our lives easy to manage and maintain we ultimately leave them behind. this is true for hobbies, business.............. and wives/girlfriends :D

    Good luck bud!
     
  6. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga

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    Sorry to hear mandarin. But if you have to choose between family and fish, you've made the right decision.

    I'm keen to see what you have available. I go to Vanderbijlpark often.
     
  7. jaybeepee

    jaybeepee

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    another point. Just about every oke I know HAS to have a hobby. I used to fly radio controlled helicopters. When we had our first child I started keeping marines again instead of flying because my hobby is now at home with me and my family. I involve my daughter in feeding the fish and choosing fish,etc.

    Better to have a hobby where u spend most of the time at home than one that you spend most of the time away.............. like golf! ;)
     
  8. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Here's how my tank maintenance is. I wake up in the morning and check that my tank hasn't broken. That's a quick 1 second glance. When I get home from work I feed my fish and that's it. I check all my stuff before I go to bed. This takes 1 minute. Here's the check list. Fish are still swimming, sweet. Skimmer and pumps are all on, sweet. Corals look alive, sweet. Then I'm off to bed. Takes me 10mins to clean the glass every weekend and 5 mins to do a 100l water change. I test my water when I feel like it. Otherwise that is it. I only visit pet shops after they get an indo shipment in which is the end of every month.
     
  9. AfricaOffroad

    AfricaOffroad

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    Mandarin, like Manic has expressed above, surely all you need to do is reconfigue your schedule slightly.

    Also maybe reduce the number of tanks you have (dont know the number). Also a bit of investment and re-engineering to make them self sustaining.
    Things that spring to mind:

    1) duel return pumps
    2) well designed auto top up that can run for say 10 days without requiring refilling
    3) light timers
    4) good auto feeder like the Eheim unit
    5) good glass cleaner - razor type that really totally removes the algae
    6) get rid of fish and corals that require constant attention and/or feeding
    7) auto switching UPS with 24 hours of back up.
    8) if you have any ropey equipment, plan on getting rid of it or replacing with good quality items
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    its about the setup.

    I got a table in front of my tank. Dinning / office / breakfast / Internet surfing / MASA. all sorts.

    Eat my breakfast in the morning at the table while my fish is eating. So I can check them out while I enjoy my morning coffee.

    currently I'm sitting at the desk, typing away. Looking up, enjoying the view. Glans to the right, yes, RO is full klakstirrer looks ok, ahead sump, oops skimmer cup is full.

    Auto timers for lights - a must, R160 - Builders
    ATU - a must- proper one that cannot dump all your RO into the tank when something goes wrong.
    Easy removable pumps, a must - no suction cup stuff - magnets is soo much easier.

    You can go full out to auto computer everything. But timers and ATU is a good start. Full out is not needed.

    Maintenance on my tank, I do not spend that much time anymore compared to what I used to. Running glass cleaner up and down every second day. That is it. Refill RO drum 2 times a week. Skimmer - whenever, but its quick.

    But I must admit, I can spend a lot of time at the LFS. And on "improving" things.

    Need to empty that skimmer cup now....
     
  11. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    In the beginning I spent a ridiculous amount of time on my tank, now I have realised that I should just let things be. If I don't fiddle every day then less things will go wrong.
     
  12. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    marine tanks can be managable and fall in line with your lifestyle, i spend very little time on my tank now that its up and running 2 years, i surf dive fish and go away often for a 2 weeks at a time and with a little bit of planning done beforehand i can switch off.

    i feel fo you because i know many people who have sadly stopped the hobby, but take a break store your stuff and approach it with a new outlook,

    i personally dont have the ebst tank but i made up my mind to buy frags grow them and not go into petshops, catch as many fish as i can and only buy what i have to.

    i dont even go into the shop for food.

    good luck i hope you will take a long hard relook at your situation. pack your stuff away, i gaurantee you will be back :) someday
     
  13. Tombee

    Tombee

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    Hello :)

    Tough decision. Obviously wives/husbands, girlfriends/boyfriends, kids, grandchildren take priority in life cos they are ultimately the most important and we don't want to end up kicking ourselves for neglecting them in any way. It is great though to be able to have a hobby that we love as well. I've seen that this hobby can be addictive as you've said, but I've also seen it make some people very happy despite some difficulties and setbacks. It is very possible to be able to curb your addiction though, cos obviously anything in excess can be disruptive, but if kept under control it's manageable. It's hard to stop something cold turkey cos it leaves a gap in one's life, as i've experienced. But maybe you call it a day or maybe you stay in the game, that's a personal choice. It is possible though to stay in this hobby without being so excessive about it, and therefore manage to spend more precious time with loved ones. I'm sure the people who love you understand that you love your tanks so to spend time with both can work out just fine. I hope it all works out for you whichever way you go. And if you dont keep your tanks i'm sure you could get a gold fish somewhere along the line ;)
     
  14. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you want to stuff a tank up, put your hand in the water a couple times a day......

    As the guys have said, set up the system properly and enjoy it........ If i spend 10 mins a week on maintenence it is a lot ! Of course every once in a while it is a good few hours, doing a major clean and equipment check..... but that once in a while and i time it so that the missus is watching a movie or something, so zero impact on family time, also involving your partner in the choice of fish and corals makes it more of a family hobby that an individual one !
     
  15. Tombee

    Tombee

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    I was thinking about it some more and even this forum alone is addictive for some enthusiasts, I think even more so than for facebook junkies :) But hey it's good and clean, most of the time ;)
     
  16. seank

    seank

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    Good luck in your venture. I do understand where you are coming from:

     
  17. mandarin

    mandarin Thread Starter

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  18. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Perfect and the way it should be.

    Agreed, there are some days that I don't even look at my tanks, apart from feeding the fish the tanks get pretty much ignored completely, sometimes for a week or two.

    If you are spending so much time on your tank then there is a problem that needs to be addressed, this hobby can grab you and take a hold of you and your life. You need to be able to say, "stuff it, I'm not doing a waterchange for the next 2 months", sit back, relax, smack the kids, shout at the wife and drink your beer in front of the TV, and you know what, your tank will be fine....!
     
  19. gecco

    gecco

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    Ditto on that!
     
  20. seank

    seank

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    But we do not like ALGAE :p :lol:
     
  21. ShaunSwindon

    ShaunSwindon

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    That is really sad as I have just met you and your son :(

    My offer to mow the lawn or wash your car still stands so that also translates to looking after your tank if you go away buddy? I know I stay a distance away but for you Dave I would kill the Bulls to be very honest with you ;)

    You went out of your way to help me when I was about to quit this hobby and now you want to let me allow you to quit :nono:

    I understand your other points but your knowledge of this hobby is huge and like I said if your only problem is looking after the tank when you are away then I would come and do it if need be :thumbup:
     
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