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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this kind of topic is allowed here but I'll try anyway, since I find it interesting to discuss.

I'm not bashing reef tanks, I do love them especially the fauna. But in my opinion most of them are not done right when it comes to aesthetics. Not to mention the extreme blue lighting (which I can't tolerate), the scaping style in reef seems to be less eye pleasing to me after getting used to planted tanks. Most of them are just a pile of rocks, and reefers seem to collect corals like Pokemon, sticking every piece on anywhere available in the tank, without thinking much about aesthetic factors. So my question is, do you think the same? I'd like to hear a different opinion too.
 

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I love reef tanks, but not the ones you see on Instagram and youtube and stuff. I love a good old school marine tank with corals and anemones appropriately spaced from each other with clean up crew and damsel fish. Not this place them so they look cool turn on the strong actinics take a picture with any orange filter, post it and not give a crap about the damage they could be doing to each other... Oh I could rant for days.... Hence I will never do saltwater again lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I love reef tanks, but not the ones you see on Instagram and youtube and stuff. I love a good old school marine tank with corals and anemones appropriately spaced from each other with clean up crew and damsel fish. Not this place them so they look cool turn on the strong actinics take a picture with any orange filter, post it and not give a crap about the damage they could be doing to each other... Oh I could rant for days.... Hence I will never do saltwater again lol
Do you mind posting those old school marine tanks? I'd love to see them. I do agree about the strong actinic lights that most aquarists do nowadays lol
 

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Check out old school reef postings on reef2reef or other reef sites. I don't have any pics of my old tanks, I never got that into corals so my tanks were a couple anemone and a ton of coraline encrusted live rock, clean up crew (that got replaced all the time) and a puffer and an algae blennie. I tried for a little while to get enthused about reef but it was just waaaaay too expensive. Still love the way they look and I still love the bleached coral used in the 70s and 80s, such a stark contrast.

There was an article on ReefBuilders a day or two ago that you might appreciate. It was getting at the problems resulting from the instagramization of reefing. This tank is featured in the article:

View attachment 1028739

guessing this doesn't suit your fancy, OP? lol
See, the front spacing on the corals looks good and then they just piled everything else up all willy nilly, it doesn't make any sense!! It makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.
 

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Great article link @EmotionalFescue ! I think it sums up any hobby or endeavor that take time to nurture.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I tried for a little while to get enthused about reef but it was just waaaaay too expensive.
May I ask what was the cost that added up? In my case, I have a 75 gallon softie reef with a bunch of fish but the maintenance/upkeep is not that expensive, even less than my planted tank I would say. I only do water change once a month and feed the fish every other day. It costs me maximum $20/month for all the upkeep.
 

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The cost of corals and the fact that I kept puffers (3 spotted 2 figure 8). Spend $100 on a frag and have my puffer demolish it in 2 seconds? Nope, not interested. They left anemones alone and I'm imagining they'd leave some stinging corals alone, but then I could only keep a couple corals and no algae blenny? Nah, not an option. My focus was getting figure 8 and spotted puffers out of freshwater and into saltwater, everything else was in afterthought.

Yes
 

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I think the opposite is true. Reef tanks, if done right, can be realistic reflection of natural reef with crystal clear water, colorful corals, fish and invertebrates. Planted tanks can be beautiful simulation of landscape, but not aquascape. True aquascapes have no plants or dominated by just one to few species of plants, water is seldom crystal clear but cloudy or tainted, and algae is never absent.
 

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I think the opposite is true. Reef tanks, if done right, can be realistic reflection of natural reef with crystal clear water, colorful corals, fish and invertebrates. Planted tanks can be beautiful simulation of landscape, but not aquascape. True aquascapes have no plants or dominated by just one to few species of plants, water is seldom crystal clear but cloudy or tainted, and algae is never absent.
This is Spot on. In my experience, as a diver, reef tank is actually a "more true" representation of nature. In the wild underwater lakes and rivers barely look like anything in a planted tank, unless you do biotopes. A high tech planted tank is actually the "most fake" (sorry for the term) because there's no iwagumi, dutch or co2 injection in the wild lol.
 

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I think the opposite is true. Reef tanks, if done right, can be realistic reflection of natural reef with crystal clear water, colorful corals, fish and invertebrates. Planted tanks can be beautiful simulation of landscape, but not aquascape. True aquascapes have no plants or dominated by just one to few species of plants, water is seldom crystal clear but cloudy or tainted, and algae is never absent.
Key words- when done right....
 

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My biggest issue with them (to the extent I have an issue at all) is the garish blue light.

I've never been reef diving, but surely natural reefs don't have those retina-searing colors like a black light poster from Sam Goody in the mid 90s.
Well they may sort of have those colors but depending on what depth you are talking about the expression isn't the same.
And there are flourescent pigments and non- flourescent.
Kyocera built the most natural reef spectrums commercially available.
Most US reefers could care less afaict.
Nor do many care for the sunlight look.
To be honest not much different than the less extreme but still artificial look of natural vs say rgb leds or extreme color t5's

Another way to show it. Foreground is lit w/ artificial light but go into the pic to see a more natural look. Keep in mind this is only a best case example of color and diversity but sort if one major goal for reefers :

As to design, too many words are necessary and so much is probably psychological and personal preference.

For myself even fw splits into 2 categories, formal garden vs natural meadow is probably the easiest way to say it.

Suppose one could add that coral structures don' t easily lend themselves to "painting" with them Hard to explain. Not to mention slow growth for some and cost.
This isn' t much different than a formal garden type fw display

Oh and since they are animals in part, some move by themselves.

Its all good.
 

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I'm not sure if this kind of topic is allowed here but I'll try anyway, since I find it interesting to discuss.

I'm not bashing reef tanks, I do love them especially the fauna. But in my opinion most of them are not done right when it comes to aesthetics. Not to mention the extreme blue lighting (which I can't tolerate), the scaping style in reef seems to be less eye pleasing to me after getting used to planted tanks. Most of them are just a pile of rocks, and reefers seem to collect corals like Pokemon, sticking every piece on anywhere available in the tank, without thinking much about aesthetic factors. So my question is, do you think the same? I'd like to hear a different opinion too.
I believed both Plant tank or a Reef tank can be look natural if they are done right and depend who is doing it, I have my 375 gallons reef running metal halide i try to make this one at natural at possible but my 22 gallons Softies I run blue LED because all i care is to see all the beautiful colors pop special the Zoanthids and Polythoas
 

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There was an article on ReefBuilders a day or two ago that you might appreciate. It was getting at the problems resulting from the instagramization of reefing. This tank is featured in the article:

View attachment 1028739

guessing this doesn't suit your fancy, OP? lol
This is an unrealistic representation of the oceans and it's a weird trend to make the corals pop like I am playing glow-in-the dark mini golf. In fact, I went to one such place that would make any of those new age reefers happy!

1028775


Having kept reef tanks myself and I get this is a point-in-time shot, you can't keep this type of density without the corals trying to kill each other. Those hammers, for example, would be sending out stinging tentacles to kill other corals to get more space and just like how one plant can be come incredibly successful, so can corals. I remember I had star polyps that I was ripping sheets off because I couldn't stop the uncontrolled growth. Just say no to star polyps because they are virtually impossible to scrape off your live rock (they become fused)!

As a diver, the density you see is also unrealistic in the majority of places around the world which is likely due to temperatures rising, overfishing, and us being humans. It's sad but the ocean is really become an empty abyss (and I believe dying). The colours are also not realistic when you dive. In reality, everything looks muted because the deeper you go, less of the light spectrum penetrates - everything looks blue. You simply don't see vibrant colours unless you take your photos and throw it through photoshop (colour correction). In a way, I'm glad that they are clamping down on the export of the marine life because when you see them in the wild, how much free range they have, how big they get, you cringe when you see them cooped up in aquariums.
 

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I like..more like corals in very shallow water look. What I see too much of in reefs is too many different species packed together. Collectoritis at work. It might be just the nature of the hobby since nobody wants to wait 15 years for a coral to reach a good size. Also,keeping a reef tank at high levels with NEVER a mistake is beyond me.
The blue/black light thing is just so wrong-lol. On the other hand..Goldfish,Glo fish, plants from all over the world put together in a tank, hybrid fish..What does it all mean?
 

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Ive had a few reef tanks including a 240 gal sps tank back in 1998 that was pretty rare back then, full of large colonies that cost from $35 to $100. Now they would be $100-$300.

The main issue with reef tanks as I see it is the expense of even small coral fragments and the time it takes to grow them out. Reefers end up buying more to fill the space and the result in some cases is less realistic.

Then, more often than not something happens as Stan510 says above, the tank deteriorates, the corals die, and the hobbiest tries planted tanks!











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