The importance of doing...something.

I field a lot of questions from fellow hobbyists every day…Email, calls, texts..whatever. Part of the fun. The JOY of being in the hobby and industry.

Do you know what the most common questions I field from fellow hobbyists during my days at Unique Corals and Tannin Aquatics are? “My shipment was delayed and the coral died? My food is delayed in Memphis!” Nope. “What’s that 'hair' you packed with my Savu Pods? Food? Nah (shredded wood fibers). “Do you have any…?” Not that, either.

Give up? (Please do, I don’t want to keep giving examples, lol). The single most common question I get is “My tank just doesn’t look right. The fish are just not..well..looking good. What’s the problem? I’ve tried everything. Should I give up and try stamp collecting?”

No you shouldn’t give up. And you sure as heck shouldn’t get into stamp collecting…

What seems to be the biggest problem in our hobby is when stuff doesn’t meet our expectations…And when we are ready to throw up our arms after seemingly trying every avenue. We turn to friends and even strangers like me for answers…hope, a possible suggestion of something we missed…Anything.

What to do? How do you recover from what appears to be an inevitable tailspin?


Yeah, very prosaic, huh?

Look, I’ve been know to dispense some very “Tony-Robbins-esque” crap about unlocking your inner reefer and all that crap, and it works to an extent..Getting yourself excited be alive and just involved in this game does help. But in the end, there is only one thing you can do to make a problem with your tank better.

Do something. Take action. Try something else. The almost insulting absurdity of my “advice” is almost eclipsed by the stark reality and appropriateness of it. 

We’ve said it ad naseum in this column over the years. Problems happen for a reason…The only way to fix them is to get to what caused the problem in the first place. Then you can think of solutions- in fact, they usually become obvious. 

Ask yourself, objectively- why you think whatever disaster befell your system happened. When did it first manifest? Was there some event, some failure, some…thing that could have made things go south?

If there is one thing I learned in a lifetime in the hobby, it’s that there will always be assorted problems…And there will always be solutions out there, ready to be found…simply by asking questions. And the problems? Well, they’re really easy to solve. If you just do…something.

Until next time.


Stay Wet


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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