Many aquarium professionals who either run a fish store or do aquarium service and maintenance, generally don’t have much of a personal fish tank. This phenomenon is generally summarized as ‘The Cobbler’s children wear no shoes’ and it’s not unique to the aquarium hobby.
Some version of this is partly what I expected when I was invited to visit the home reef of Darren Hatfield, after visiting his store in Gold Coast, Australia – Reef Secrets Aquarium. I couldn’t have been more wrong because Darren has a nicer home reef than even at his store, with a great personal collection of corals which is one of the most diverse I’ve seen in Australia.
It was super cool to see that a professional aquarist like Darren still has the fire after more than a decade in the business, and also his unique flavor of reef aquarium keeping. It’s interesting that Darren’s reef has a very sophisticated aquascape, with a ton of corals everywhere – meanwhile the filtration system is very simple, yet he auto doses eight channels of additives, plus iron.
The results speak for themselves, and I actually like the vivid blue background compared to the somber black we usually see. Big thanks to Darren for having me over, and for Cam and Ania to take me over to see this very nice and original Aussie style reef tank.