My introduction

As a kid, I always had lots of freshwater fish tanks. They usually resulted with finding dead crabs underneath the couch, fish-jerky on the carpet, and algae-fouled…everything. Somehow, this didn’t scar me for life. In college, I purchased a 10g freshwater tank from a friend who had just got married and was moving. At one point, I had 20 fish in it, was using dechlorinated tap water, and had a fake rusty car with air bubbles that came out of the engine bay. Regardless, I loved that fish tank.
One day, my boyfriend (now husband) suggested that we stop at the local fish store. I was very excited that he was taking an interest in my hobby. Unfortunately for him, we didn’t know that it was a saltwater-only store. That’s when the trouble began.
About two years later, my boyfriend and I went to a yardsale, and happened to find a *free* 40g aquarium. Perfect! We thought the expensive part was over! Six months later, on Christmas morning, I came down to find a giant Rubbermaid cooler underneath the tree. Upon opening it, the stench hit me before the realization of what the contents were. The cooler contained month-old dead live rock. Let me tell you…there is no worse smell than a cooler that has sat in the garage for a month with rotting saltwater critters.
The next month of waiting for the rocks to cure was filled with stand-building and supply gathering. I started with normal flourescent lights, a wet-dry sump, no skimmer, dechlorinated tap water…and the biggest curse of all…DAMSELS!!! Worst of all, I started with the stereotypical over-priced pet store that ripped us off and gave us horrible advice.
On a trip to a newly-found fish store, I stumbled upon the waving green fingers of the green star polyp coral. Sitting right next to that aquarium was a used power compact light fixture. Needless to say, they both came home with me that night.
The only way I can look back on the last five years in the saltwater hobby is to just laugh…maybe a little bit too hysterically. It’s been an absolute rollercoaster. If I would’ve applied myself to anything in life like I have with my fishtank…I could’ve been retired by now. I hope you find the following pages humorous, and more importantly, informative. Please keep in mind that this hobby is always changing, and what works for one person may not work for another person. Unfortunately, I do not know everything, but if you have a question, I’ll try my best to find the answer.

1 comment

  1. ghurlag

    I know I'm posting this almost a year late, but I agree with the (If I applied myself in other areas like I apply myself to my aquariums, I'd be retired). It's funny how we all start out the same way, with neon gravel, bubble-powered decorations, and overstocked tanks. -Brian

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