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Old 01-28-2011, 12:59 PM   #37
DKShrimporium
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PA/MD/DE tristate area
Posts: 1,285
Default Humble beginnings

I don't make too many threads, because I'm a little shy and don't want to sound like a know-it-all. Shrimp teach me every day how little I know.

One of the reasons I made this thread is to share my joy of working with shrimp. They are BEAUTIFUL animals, with very interesting behaviors to watch, and dreamy possibilities in genetics and breeding projects. Because they have short reproductive cycles, you can see progress easily in selective breeding projects.

You don't have to be rich, or elite, to enjoy shrimp. You should, however, be willing to do your homework, and invest in the essentials for success.

This is how I started, below, because it's what money I could afford: Plastic drawers and rubbermaid bins, cheapie shelving, shop lights, cheapie walmart filters.

Notice I had to even use the cheapo nearly half-inch thick coarse particle board that came with the shelves - I had to tape plastic drop cloth over it to help water proof it. Because this is what I could afford for infrastructure, at the time. (BTW - underneath that particle board I had cut lengths of square tubing someone had given me from a junkyard, the tubing was put front-to-back as more support under the boards - those boards would never hold even the weight you see without steel bars underneath in cross support. In a pinch, slotted shelf supports will do for support beams and are often available in the exact lengths you would need, too.) However, I'd suggest go straight to industrial grade shelving. I regretted trying to save money on a cheaper shelving unit; it was the first thing I replaced, even before I replaced the plastic tanks. And it was a PAIN to replace, because now I had all these tanks to move, to replace it.)

I worked hard, and read everything I could, learned new things every day. I focused on targeted projects, and didn't just chase the latest fashion. I kept a budget and a prioritized list of upgrades, and pre-designed each expansion/upgrade. I made close friends with google, craigslist, ebay, the local plumbing/HVAC trade shops, metal and plastics fabricators, the department guys at BORG and Lowes (now, when I go in there, they know me, and don't ask "what I'm looking for" but rather "what am I trying to do" - because I typically use things in unusual fashion to accomplish a function - an example is my electrical conduit bulkheads on the plastic bins, below). Last time I went to Lowes, three of the guys came up to me, asking what I'm doing, today. I said, "I'm looking for a plastic hook. It has to hold about ten pounds. It has to be corrosion resistant, because it's going to be under water in a salt solution. Cheap wins." The plumbing guy went and got me a S hook for holding up PVC pipes ($2). The lumber guy's choice was a sheet panel holder (he lost at $6). The hardware guy won, with an over-the door plastic hook for robes ($1.50, plus it had a broad surface area to hook onto, which suited my needs).

By doing much myself - learning, DIY projects, making contacts, etc., I learned as I went along. It was a fun, frustrating, sometimes expensive journey, to get to today. And I'm still pushing forward, trying to make new inroads into my progress. It's a hobby that is enriching, if you make it so.

BTW - I got lucky and the Rubbermaid bins never split and burst on me, but I was nervous toward the end about this. They definitely aren't designed to hold water in this manner! The plastic drawers with casing are much more suited, although smaller. HA!

-DK

Last edited by DKShrimporium; 10-05-2012 at 03:26 PM..
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