It’s Not a Fact but I Believe It! When the Cameras Are Off, the Council I Share With Fellow Reefers
1. Ozone and oxidants just might be the most overlooked leap of progress.
Using ozone and oxidants like hydrogen peroxide has proven to be incredibly useful for a variety of applications in aquariums yet we are held back by uncertainty in its application.
2. pH-first SPS tanks will be the future in 10 years for sure; 5 years if we want to speed up the progress.
pH is far more important than hobbyists have classically thought and with this knowledge we can achieve even better results with healthier corals than ever before. It's just a matter of spreading that knowledge and squashing previous ideas around pH in reef aquariums.
3. Diet is our biggest failure and opportunity.
Providing optimal nutrition is paramount for the long-term health of our pets and, as a hobby, we need to refocus our efforts on ensuring we provide this nutrition for ALL of the animals we put in our aquarium.
4. There is a reason why some people fill out a tank in a year and for others it takes many.
While all thriving animals are alive, not all that are alive are thriving. The point is, there is a difference between supporting a thriving ecosystem and simply sustaining or meeting the absolute bare minimum for survival.
5. Flow is so much more than you think.
While we can all agree flow is important for our corals, the level of importance is not yet widely supported. Water flow is absolutely critical to the long-term health of corals, more important than we have ever documented. Even science has yet to fully understand ALL of the various implications of flow on a coral reef and hobbyists need to keep pushing this boundary to progress the techniques we use for flow in our aquariums.
6. Aquacultured corals and captive-bred fish have 20x the survival rate.
This is so widely documented that it's arguably more a fact than it is a belief. Captive cultured corals and fish are adjusted to life in an aquarium and simply put are better choices for your aquarium because of such a higher rate of survival. Embracing these captive-bred animals is one of the best ways to secure the future of our hobby.
7. Critters are the best for cleaning sand.
Relying upon "clean-up crew" animals to maintain your sand bed is effective, easier, and less intrusive compared to manual cleaning; you also get the benefit of some really cool fish and invertebrates. Siphoning a sand bed may even be detrimental to the biome by disturbing a natural niche in your tank.
8. Embracing that "PAR Wars" was the most significant setback this hobby has ever experienced.
Since the onslaught of LED lighting in the reef aquarium hobby, the "PAR Wars" of the early 2000s was one of the biggest mistakes or lessons we learned collectively. The future of lighting is an understanding of spectrum, spread, and coverage and using the lights that do those things well.
Photo Credit Marine Collectors
9. The livestock side of the hobby needs a BRStv to answer this question - "why is it cool and how do I care for it?".
The hobby is missing a source of content that pushes the boundaries of and creates excitement around saltwater aquarium livestock husbandry and care. A place that devotes its time to the care of individual species as opposed to the reef tank as a whole.
10. A habitat is where something lives and an aquascape is something to look at; there is a difference.
The rocks in your aquarium are pivotal for the long-term health of your pets because they create habitat. An aquascape is more than something nice to look at, it's a habitat and it is possible to achieve an attractive habitat.
11. Peroxide might be the BEST dip that's been hiding in plain sight.
Hydrogen peroxide is becoming a very popular experimental coral dip and has proven to be effective for a wide variety of ailments including algae, parasites, and disease. We have yet to document or create widely agreed-upon dosages and techniques but if we can, this could be a very affordable and attainable improvement to our current approach.
12. Zeovit was lightyears beyond all of us and we should learn from that.
Zeovit has been misunderstood and the ideas of this 20-year-old technique are now mainstream. Most notably the balance of nutrients and the importance of nutrition in our aquariums and how that affects the corals.
13. Doing something exceptionally well for the first time is less dependent on quality effort than the quality of the council.
Even just one piece of valuable advice from a mentor can save you from making very detrimental mistakes or experiencing painful learning curves. One good piece of council is worth 1000 online forum posts.
14. Reefers who assume the worst and plan for it are around to tell the tale.
Preparing for setbacks and having the willingness to overcome them will ensure your participation in the hobby for years to come.
15. Science can only take us so far, beliefs will take us the rest of the way.
Science is a source of fact but beliefs are what move this hobby forward. We cannot always rely upon science to provide answers for the challenges we experience in the hobby because applicable peer-reviewed research doesn't exist.