View Full Version : How long till you felt like you knew what you were doing?

05/16/2017, 08:45 PM
I've kept fresh tanks for over 15 years however this is my first reef tank and a nano at that. How long did it take you to feel comfortable and atleast feel like you kinda new what you were doing regarding corals and maintaining a healthy tank?

05/16/2017, 10:08 PM
All it took was a failed first tank :P Few months probably? But I started with no knowledge of tanks at all...

05/16/2017, 11:27 PM
Everything goes slower and takes more patience in a reef tank.

I would say even after having a stable mixed reef tank for 2 years, I still feel like I make mistakes and am learning.

This is my second go around with a reef tank after a break. I think both times it probably took at least 6 months to a year for a tank to be fully mature and stable. I define a mature tank as a functioning ecosystem. The water parameters don't fluctuate much because the biological filtration is going well, skimmer is all broken in, etc... Once you reach that point the corals really thrive.

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05/17/2017, 04:27 PM
This hobby always has something new to be learned...Feeling comfortable, ehhhhh, maybe a few years in. But totally comfortable, prolly never :)

Ive been keeping reef tanks since 2003 and am very comfortable...But only with certain aspecs. I have ALOT to learn still....Just my $0.02

05/17/2017, 10:03 PM
I have had a 5 gallon reef tank running for 2 years now but I still know very little about the science of keeping a reef tank. I don't know much about dosing, sumps, controllers, lighting, RODI filters, testing water parameters precisely, wavemakers, coral compatibilities, temperature control (I'm at 82, is that too hot?), adequate flow, WC schedule, algea control, feeding my corals, etc. I don't feel I'm an expert in any of these areas. Most of my corals look good but some are not thriving. I want to know why they aren't but I don't know what's not right yet.

05/18/2017, 07:13 AM
Ive been in and out of this hobby for 40 years(20 years SW) and I still feel like I learn something new just about everyday when I read things on RC and other forums.

05/18/2017, 02:20 PM
With my old 120g tank, I was pretty comfortable and in a good groove after 6-8 months.

With this biocube, I'm never in a good groove. Once I got through the initial phase, and now I'm at the "established tank" phase, I'm actually having a somewhat harder time keeping things stable, since I don't have to mess with it all the time. Bad things happen so quickly in a nano...

05/28/2017, 10:33 AM
Ive had my BC29 now close to a decade now. I think its important to continuously learn in the hobby and you will never feel completely comfortable. To this day i am learning more and more about my own tank and how I can further achieve ideal conditions as well as how things may go wrong along the way.

05/29/2017, 09:13 AM
Ive been in and out of this hobby for 40 years(20 years SW) and I still feel like I learn something new just about everyday when I read things on RC and other forums.


Been keeping reef tanks since about 1988. Six major builds since, and each was better and more informed than its predecessor. Be wary of people who proclaim themselves to be experts.

05/29/2017, 12:15 PM
Took me 2 failed tanks over the span of 6-8 months, a 5 year break after that. Now I feel like I'm somewhat doing things right lol

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Razorback reef
05/30/2017, 10:24 PM
It depends on what you're doing.

LFS sold me Mike Paletta's book, took it home, read it in 24 hours, and had my first saltwater fish.

Years later I moved on to a SPS dominate 22 gallon reef. At that point I suppose I would consider my self confident that I can handle almost anything, but there are still things out there that are beyond me.

05/31/2017, 05:43 PM
Set up a 5.5 in 2002, already had a few years of successful tanks. All corals died between 2013 and 2015 and I have no clue why. When you think you know what you're doing this hobby shows you how incompetent you are. It's a humbling experience.