Is our focus on the latest technology discouraging newcomers?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by 459b, 26 Oct 2012.

  1. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I had some free time this week so decided to tour all the LFS's. Almost every one of them steered me towards the latest most expensive equipment, trying to sell me the most advanced LED fixture and newest additives. I am slightly set in my ways so told them somewhat politely how much i love my T5's and mixing powder additives and that ive never had issue using them so why change now.
    Then i noticed how this trend seems to follow on MASA. How often is it that the first advice given is "you going to have to upgrade", or "that skimmer is at least two years old so you need a better one". This hobby is expensive but why is it that newer, expensive (sometimes untested) equipment/ideas are pushed, instead of giving honest budget friendly ideas?
    If i was starting out now, joined MASA not knowing anything about marines and saw how only expensive equipment is punted, there is no way id ever get into the hobby.
    I feel good husbandry and adequate equipment has taken a back seat to pursuing the flashiest equipment.
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    David, I do agree, and this fits in with my comment 2 weeks back on how guys goes all out, and within a year they sell out. The hobby just gets too expensive. I've been long enough on MASA to see a lot of newbies come and go. The trade is killing its own customers.

    The need to stay with the Jones, constantly replacing or "upgrading" does drain the wallet quickly making the non-reefer not happy.

    But who am I, also guilty, who also bought Leds this year. But that was my only fashionable new equipment purchase this year.
     
  4. Renier

    Renier

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    Agreed
     
  5. Wes

    Wes

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    to be honest with you it's a lot how South Africans seem to tick, there are obviously a few, who this generalised comment does not include, but look at the cars on the Road, In the USA if you find 3 brand new vehicles, well let's just say; between 3 years to new, stoped at the traffic light it is very surprising, here in SA you find highways full of new cars...

    Call it an SA trend maybe?
     
  6. Dillan

    Dillan

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  7. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Definatley ! Good topic Dave....

    As an advanced reefer you can understand the reasons behind the suggestions and make informed decisions as to if the cash is going to be well spent or not, but for the man off the street it must be extreemly intimidating... and a deterrent....
     
  8. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    Well LEDs are a good long term investment due to major power savings. You certainly don't need extremely high end digital ones for success though. DIY is perfectly acceptable and a lot easier to do than people think.

    You can have a great system with very modest equipment though IME. I've been using TS4 skimmers, Sunsun pumps, NSW and DIY additives and I'm very happy with my tanks. Using the latest top equipment would probably have cost about 10 times what I paid.
     
  9. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I agree, but very guilty of the parcatice:blush:, but I love new gadgets and new toys, I have always been this way, much to my parents dismay when I was a lighty. @Wes, I drive a 2004 renault megane scenic II, and I love it, I let the "missus" purchase the lekker cars!:p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Wes

    Wes

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    lol

    I Drive an Audi A4 Avant 2003
    Wife has a 2002 Palio
    My toy is a 1999 Opel Corsa
     
  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thinking of it from another perspective, if you dont urge and inform people to buy the more advanced (from an energy perspective) products they will lrave the hobby within a few months due to the electricity prices!

    i have seen that happen before aswell.. so its a catch 22
     
  12. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Hi Dave , there always two points of View.

    These are the questions we hear .

    "What are the best lights to uses "
    What do you segest i use to raise my alk ?"
    What do you use in your tanks ?"

    Its hard to sell down from there as we will tell them why:
    ATI and there Unit is best used together.
    and why aquavitro is stronger and more convienient to dose .

    We cant use the cheapest supliment and tell costomers to buy the most expensive !! so obviously we use what we think is best and will say - "We use these supliments on this coral tank" and it should sell its self...

    The other problem is - C.T has so much compatition throwing discounts at you , one way to keep the costomer is to try educate him as much as possible , but if im trying to save you some pennies and say use a ts 2 for your tank , the next shop could say " He doesnt know what hes doing , you need a BB 3000 for your sized tank if you EVER IN THE FUTURE want to keep sps...

    So to nip it in the bud We can recomend the best to cover future coral choices , and if the customers say - " Too pricy "
    You sell down...

    And lastly - most LFS Know you from masa and the meets...so if you ask for anything , we will tell you about the latest and greatest , because you should know whats been around and are surely wanting to get new info...
    P.S
    The new porsh doesnt help your cace much either lol.


    But seriosly .
    If the costomer has all the "expensive goods " and packs up the hobby in a year - its not because he bought too expensive in the beginning and went all out to what his budget would allow.

    Its because The hobby wasnt suiting his lifestyle
    The maintenace was getting too him
    He had a tank crash and wasnt willing to carry on and lastly
    The econamy is bad and petrol and electricity prices are rising...
    and the available cashflow isnt there at the moment and the first thing for someone stop is a Hobby.

    We as a "Hobby shop" see the turnovers dropping as the inflation petrol and electricity prices rize.
    We see the turnovers rise when bond rates and exchange rates drop and sell more in winter than in summer...

    so theres allot to think of before we say sales staff are aiming too high ! :p

    Thats my 20 c
    Chat soon
    David
     
    leslie hempel likes this.
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    excellent reply David (Perky Pets).

    Well in David (459b) defends, it is an older model Porche.
     
  14. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Tks Riaan

    Well it was before the new bumpers and sprayjob that was just completed !!! :whistling:

    After i saw that I wanted to sell him this : Instead of ATI's :p





    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Oct 2012
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Many thanks for this thread David. Good question.

    I personally think - it's a case of experience counts. And what I mean by this - experience in buying stuff you don't really need, and then finding out you could do things a lot easier/cheaper/more simplistic.

    It is really nice to have a system that is completely computerized, and automated. To make the experience of "keeping reefs" as little hands-on as possible. This is great.

    But - not everyone can be in that league. So - for those who can afford it - I would indeed say - go ahead and go full out. For the rest of us (most of us?) I would say that go with what is practically, and financially possible - and to keep things SIMPLE. This means that one can indeed keep successful FOWLR/REEF tanks, by doing things manually - and doing things in the most cost effective way possible (ie. I bought my chemicals a Protea Chemicals, and not from any shop)....

    But - it's a "chicken and egg" thing - people only learn about this ONCE they have already been to LFS's - and then come on here for example, and then only find out that they can use sodium-bicarb for example, to buffer their water, instead of SeaChem Buffer. Or perhaps use kalkwasser instead of using Seachem Ph Up. (Those are the products that I used to use - I am not picking on them, and they are indeed good products).

    The same go for lighting, power-heads/waterflow, filtration/skimmers, etc.....

    And what I did learn as well - at some stage, things DO come full-circle: So I DID fork out that R6800 for a Aquamedic Sunlight Metal-halide unit, and I DID end up paying R5500 for that Bubble Magus skimmer.......

    So - yes. I think from personal experience - it all adds up to "experience"..... you "learn" by "paying school-fees" - and because you don't know better, and make mistakes. Then experience teaches you that you CAN do things more simplistic. But - being human - you DO want to keep more fish and corals, and DO want to progress to an "easier to keep" system. So - you go out and pay for that expensive light unit.... or expensive skimmer - because these items allows you to do "more" with your aquarium, than what you are currently (at the time) can do....

    OK - that was my 2c worth ;)
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Great response David/Perky Pets!

    Many thanks for the intelligent content - and not "emotional response"! ;)
     
  17. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    That was at least ten bucks dude!:whistling:;)
     
  18. Wes

    Wes

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    something else we need to keep in mind as well is every person has their own space to fill, different sized sump, different sized area/space for the tank.

    Also a LFS store owner could possibly teach their staff to notice the expressions or general attitude of the customer by saying: "we also have these units which are great but not aas good as you just saw..."

    And lastly like the mechanic down the road, checks what people are wearing and quotes them accordingly...

    Personally I hate going into a store without set prices or stickers on the items.
     
  19. 459b

    459b Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Dave, wasn't referring to the chat I had with you. Topics been on my mind for a while now since chatting to a few guys who've recently taken down their tanks.
    Look at those who buy boyus, how many stock standard ones are there on the forum? The tanks are advertised as Allen one, plug and play systems, yet post apic and you'll get given a barrage of things that need to be changed. It's almost like its become a hardware competion and not about livestock anymore.
    I have been in the hobby a while and can judge where it pays to spend that extra bit, but people starting out don't.

    Yes I did buy a 1987 Porsche, I love old cars and was extremely lucky to get it at the price I did.
     
  20. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, from a fellow reefers point of view.
    I really miss the days when "maak a plan" was the order of the day, I have often thought about starting a "budget reefers" section on the forum to encourage more people to start up marine tanks on very limited budgets, it can be done, very easily and cheaply.

    There will always be 3 thought processes I think, firstly the shops side of the argument, which is totally understandable as they are making a living out of it. Secondly will be the guys that go all out and buy the biggest and best that they can, which is awesome as it shows what can be done with all the nifty gadgets that are available to us these days, and you have to admit, it's really cool drooling over systems that are so intricate in their setup and have top notch equipment from lights to sump. Thirdly is average Joe, like me, that buys a load of cheap second hand equipment to get going, goes bargain hunting at various shops for cheap sunsun pumps and heaters etc. etc. Then as time goes by they'll perhaps venture into some of the more expensive stuff after having saved a bit of money, like a big skimmer or a nice light unit.

    Look at my very first MH gear for example, this thing was so dodgy and full of rust that I was literally quite scared to go anywhere near it, but it worked and it allowed me to get my first anemone.
    [​IMG]


    Then check out this dude, this guy is my hero, I love it, bits of stuff everywhere making a plan wherever possible.:thumbup:
    [​IMG]

    So, don't forget about the budget guys. ;)
     
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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