Commitment: That Pesky Term to Abide by
I get it! Commitment is hard, dude! Three plus years into my very successful marriage and I can tell you it's hard sometimes, but it's worth it in the end so long as you stay... Ah, there it is... Committed. Ding ding! This one is going to be pretty short and sweet. Before I got into reef-keeping, I kept up a freshwater tank for a while. Freshwater can be challenging, don't get me wrong, but maintaining a coral reef takes a few more ounces of time and dedication. From general cleaning, water changes, dosing chemicals, and feeding about five different types of foods depending on your inhabitants, you'll find your life has become quickly consumed by the deep blue sea. It's very important to come to a decision up front whether you've got the time for it, especially before you deplete your entire 401K.
Analyze Your Schedule:
Are you ready for the commitment? Seriously, sit down, analyze your schedule, and see if it's in the cards to learn the hobby. Honestly, it's not as bad as it sounds. Most days I spend about 30 minutes to an hour with my tank, but there are those days where I've spend five, six, even twelve hours on my tank. If you travel a lot, it's probably not the best idea. Especially in the beginning stages of a reef setup during the nitrate cycle, it is imperative to be there often for your tank as you'll want to test the water pretty consistently. I'll get more into the cycling process in few chapters.
Research, Research, and Even Some More Research:
Time for maintenance isn't the only time you'll need. One of the most important tasks of reef-keeping that many folks fail to accomplish is research. What kind of research, John? You know, the kind that tells you what fishes eat, what their ideal water parameters are, and what fishes won't get along with one another. Same thing applies for corals, invertebrates, and even plants. Yep, corals can sting and hurt one another too. Really it comes down to just having a passion for the hobby. Look guys, if your heart is already in it, research is just as fun as the hobby itself. I love learning everything I can about every inhabitant in my tank!
The easiest way to make a commitment to the hobby is to join the community, guys. Whether it's here, online, at ThomasVision Reef or at your Local Fish Store, get out in the community and chat. If you've got a good LFS, they'll hound you about staying on top of your water changes, and it's a very important ritual indeed to maintain good water parameters! Anyways, that's the word of the day guys. Have you got it in you? Have you got any advice or comments in you? As always, you can hit that "like" button below or feel free to make your voice heard. Help each other out! I hope you enjoyed.