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Pandemic Pickup, How I Got Into Reefing

Hello, my name is Clo.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my writings. I appreciate it. Writing has always been a hobby for me, and I’m excited to tie into my new hobby of reefing by being able to document how my first nano reef tank will progress.

I’ve always loved doing research and reading through other people’s experiences any time I pick up a new hobby, so I figured documenting this would be something fun to do as I jump head first into keeping a reef tank.

A little about me, I originally started with high-tech fresh water tanks. I had a 17 gallon tank for a couple years that was torn down when I moved back into my parent’s house to return to school for nursing. During that time, I just kept a small 5 gallon planted tank in their house that housed a betta splendens and a couple snails instead. That tank was also closed down as I graduated and moved to another city with my husband.

Aside from that, I’m currently living in New Orleans, LA. I am an intensive care nurse, and my other hobbies include fountain pens, journaling, writing and eating good food. I spend my free time drinking coffee and listening to my husband talk about the stock market. 😉

In the middle of 2020, I started entertaining the idea of putting up a fish tank again for when I move into my apartment. I loved having a fish tank, and I missed having something to look at that wasn’t just a TV or a computer screen. It was also something I wanted to share with my husband, who has never had fish tank of his own but greatly enjoyed my previous freshwater tank. At the time, I just had no idea whether I wanted to do another planted freshwater tank or finally dip my toes into a saltwater tank. Naturally, I started doing some research, and I quickly fell into a deep well of information after seeing a beautiful macroalgae tank that had been posted to Reddit. Really, that and my love of ocellaris clowns in anemones cemented my decision to start a reef tank.

Since I was between jobs, I took this time to just research a bunch about different brands, equipment, aquarium tanks, common mistakes, and what a typical first year looks like for a reef tank. In February of this year, armed with my new found knowledge, I pulled the trigger on ordering a Waterbox AIO 35.2 gallon with my shiny, new nursing money.

Ultimately due to the age and size of the apartment, coupled with being on the second floor, I settled for a <40 gallon size. Another factor that heavily affected my decision to stay at or below 40 gallons was the fact that my previous largest tank was only 17 gallons. This new tank is already double in size; I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with doing maintenance and/or water changes and the logistics involved.

At the time I placed the order for my fish tank, I was originally quoted 6-8 weeks for delivery with backorder. I found that to be false, it took over 10 weeks for delivery, and I did not receive any updates on delays from Waterbox. Any time I did call them, no one would answer and I had to leave a voicemail. That was actually really weird for me. I was really surprised about that because everyone praises Waterbox for their support and communication, and I honestly just thought that they sucked. At one point, I was questioning why I even ordered one when I could’ve gone with an Innovative Marine or Red Sea instead, but by that time it was too late to cancel or change my order.

The tank officially delivered May 7th.

It was finally scaped and flooded on May 19th!

And that’s how my initial reefing journey started!

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