Think about getting out


Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I have a question for anyone that has gotten out of thenhobby and sold a tank that they put soo much time and effort Into. Life seems to be getting in the way a lot lately and my 180 gallon has really been getting put on the back burner and it hasn’t been getting the attention it needs. Part of me wants to get rid of it all together. And the other part of me wants to give it the bare minimum in hopes that things quiet down and eventually I can spend time and enjoy it again.
I know as well as anyone that you will never get the money back that you put into it and I’m not sure I’ll have the resources to start over from scratch again.
Anyone else ever been in this situation. If so what did you do?


Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I’ve broken down tanks and then immediately got right back in lol. Have you thought about keeping the tank running with just fish only? Should be a lot less maintenance and when you’re ready to get back in you’ll have the biological filtration still in place.

Selling a whole setup is tough without deep deep discounts and parting out can be a headache. Keep the setup with just fish and it’ll be a lot cheaper if you happen to get more serious about it.

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Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Downsizing is a good compromise I think. I had a 200g and I was ready to throw in the towel until my wife convinced me to downsize instead to see if that would make it easier and it really did. I now have a 50g and it's a lot easier to maintain.

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I knew I had a move coming up, so I broke down my 180. Sold off animals I'd had for years, and really and truly loved.

I took the best of the corals, (some sentimental and some I've never seen again) collected over about 15 years in the hobby at that time, fragged them and put them in a 60 cube. Kept my clown fish, and got a few smaller fish. I liked my 60... but I was never passionate about it. I ended up having a heater explode/sump blowout (not sure what caused what) while I was out of town and lost all but 4 corals. A reefer friend offered to hold on to them for me until I got set up again, but my heart was never in it again. I sold off pretty much everything but my rock. I've transported that 250 pounds of rock 800 miles lol and moved it 3 times. The movers thought I was insane.

5 years later, I started up a frustrating little biocube. You're right, it is expensive to start again. But honestly, I wouldn't bother if your hearts not in it. Nothing is worse than a box of water that you constantly feel guilty about and see as a chore rather than a joy. Tanks are a labor of love. I'm enjoying bringing this little reef to life.

Moneywise... it's always easier to get killer deals on bigger tanks :) And, if you think it'll be a few years, you'll never get more for your stuff than you will right now. Rock doesn't degrade, depreciate or change, but all the other stuff does.

Best to you, do what makes YOU happy.

tank o tang

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Maybe if your on the fence look at automating the chore work. Nothing is worse than sellers remorse. Well maybe buyers remorse when your buying stuff you already had. If I hadn't kept my stuff when I moved I probably wouldn't have been able to start from scratch with all the equipment I acquired over the years.


_____Reef Junkie_____ BRS Vice President
BRS Member
I’ve been on the same boat. I know our tanks tend to get less attention in the summer given we’d rather be outside, so I’ve put off the idea of making a decision till fall/winter.
Going fowlr is a pretty good idea that I hadn’t thought of. Unfortunately my tank is naturally headed that way. I guess it makes sense to sell of the coral and keep all the fish.
In my case, I also have 3 different systems so downsizing/consolidating has also been a priority.
Helps to know I’m not alone on this!


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Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
My suggestion is sell off all fish and coral, rinse the live rocks and keep them dry somewhere. Toss the sand bed. Keep all the hardwares.

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Kelly's Reef

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I wish I had sold off the expensive high mait coral, and moved to fowler/ easy corals/ mushroon Gorg tank instead of getting out of the hobby.
Starting over is a drag

Greg Hiller

BRS Moderator
Staff member
BRS Member
I have a lot of hobbies and sometimes one over rules the other. However, I've found the first thing to do is to make the reef tank you have as self sufficient as possible. Simplify the system by automating as many tedious, repetitive tasks as possible. If you cannot do everything, focus on the stuff that is critical for the tank. Make sure your calcium reactor continues to function properly. If you cannot clean the glass for a few weeks, so what? If you cannot Bonsai trim your corals for a while, let them grow into each other. Your tank will look more natural anyhow. Get rid of corals that require feeding. If you have multiple tanks, condense to one tank, or at least one system with all tanks returning to the same sump.


Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I was out for 7 years missed it every day. When I got back in everything saved was out of date or obsolete. And all the SPS I sold off for pennies would be worth a mint.

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