Beginner Friendly Reef Keeping
No one is born with the knowledge to become an electrician, plumber or doctor. All of these skills must be learned from schools or through a lot of research and practice, so why should maintaining a reef aquarium be any different?
Hackers’ Reef just published two new reef aquarium guides to educate newcomers to our fish and coral keeping hobby. I polled the reef tank community and asked about the most popular questions to address in the guides. These reef tank guides will be updated often with lots of helpful tips. As our guides grow, they will contain answers to most of the questions that grind on the nerves of veteran reefers everywhere.
Why Write New Reef Aquarium Guides?
I love teaching new things to people, but I also wanted to solve a common problem. I see a lot of new reef aquarists having a hard time getting information about the problems they experience in their early days with the hobby.
There are many reefing communities, but almost all of them are full of salty old reefers that are hostile towards the dreaded… ”newbie or noob questions”. That kind of kneejerk reaction can scare people away from our hobby.
You may be asking yourself what a newbie question even is. Well, that’s a class of questions that pop up in a forum or group a few times a week. Most of these questions could have been easily answered using a Google search. It’s the frequency of the questions that annoys a lot of the more experienced reef aquarium folks.
However, the older reefing community members often overlook why newbies aren’t searching for their own answers. I personally feel that a lot of this hostility and resentment isn’t fair to newcomers and this is why.
How do you phrase the question?
I challenge anyone to do a Google search for something like, “stringy tentacle looking thing in my reef tank sand”. Good luck sifting through those results! That is probably a spaghetti worm, but who really knows?
How about a search for, “White ball looking thing with hairs growing on glass”? That’s probably a pineapple sponge, but how would you phrase that in a way to get the correct answer without using the word “pineapple” or “sponge”?
People that are new to reef aquariums don’t normally have the required vocabulary to ask the correct questions and find the answers they need. This is a fundamental flaw that is often overlooked by people that post those passive aggressive replies around the reef tank groups and forums.
Be Kind to The Reef Tank Newbies
If you are reading this and have been in the reefing hobby for a while, please keep what I just explained in mind. Don’t be that person with the harsh response, dripping in bitterness and sarcasm. Reef aquarium newbies are looking to the reefing veteran like you to improve their skills. So, try not to act like the old man shaking his fist at the neighborhood kids, yelling “get off my lawn!”
Shaming people that are new to the reefing community is always the wrong decision. I can fully understand the frustration of long-standing reef forum members that have seen the same questions endlessly repeated, but I would still counsel restraint. We all started from zero, it’s important to remember that.
If you just read all of that and you still have no interest in dealing with the newbie questions, send them over here. Just share the link to my guides or this post and I’ll handle the rest. Hackers’ Reef is always happy to help!