May I ask "why"?
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
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May I ask "why"?

Hi everyone,

First, please allow me to congratulate you for using live plants in your aquarium. Did you know that every time an aquarium gets set up with live plants, an angel gets its wings? :-)

Second, may I ask "why" you have a planted aquarium? It's a very personal thing for each one of us. I'm curious why we all chose to have an aquarium as opposed to birds, stamp collecting or even race car driving as a hobby?

We have a glass cube filled with water in common. It would be interested to know how we got here.

I'll start.

I started with an aquarium given to me when I was 8. Over the years, aquariums have meant different things for me. An escape. A creative outlet. A source of frustration.

Now, fish tanks are living works of art to me. They represent much more than a glass cube filled with water. They teach us about nature and, at a deeper level, about ourselves. So, in a real sense, I think fish tanks can provide insights that can make us all better human beings.

Sorry to be so philosophical! I've been at it for 30+ years!

How about you? Why are you in this beautiful hobby?


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Old 04-04-2014, 11:03 PM   #2
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Not in any particular order:
  • I think planted tanks are beautiful
  • I appreciate the benefits of live plants for my livestock (reduce stress, help with water quality, mimic a more "natural" habitat, etc)
  • I love live plants inside but can't keep potted indoor plants as my cat takes after Garfield
  • I enjoy the organic, evolving nature of a planted tank; I really like sitting back and watching the tank slowly evolve over time as the plants grow
  • I enjoy the challenge of developing a "vision" and trying to make that vision become a reality with my aquascapes
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:08 PM   #3
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I saw the Fluval Edge pop up on some website, Gawker maybe? It got me intrigued. So the research on aquariums began. This led me to research planted tanks.
Also, I love projects, and at the time the Edges were new and popular and people were modding the crap out of them. Right up my alley! I wanted to mod an aquarium and tool around with it

So basically, the aquarium and plants were a byproduct of my wanting to have a project to work on. Turns out that planted tanks are a neverending project of scaping, thinking it could be better, ripping plants up and replanting, realising if you just did this ONE thing...

Now I'm hooked
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:20 PM   #4
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I was the typical person about 10 years ago that fell to,the trap at a pet store. Left with a tank I over paid for. Only got some water conditioner and left with fish. I know haha, filled it up and watched as my fish died one by one. Tried the stuff they sold,me at the store. Still didn't work, took to the internet and realized I didn't know anything lol. Did it right the next time and started to get into tanks more and more. Eventually wanted a challenge and bought,some discus. Got into shrimp when I wanted more challenges.

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Old 04-04-2014, 11:47 PM   #5
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A few years ago the GF got me Sea Monkeys as a joke. I'd mentioned to her that a friend of mine in grade school (20+ yrs ago) had them and I thought they were neat. Shortly after I got them I upgraded to a 1g tank for them.

This led to the GF getting a betta tank and me becoming completely obsessed with how cool tanks and cycling and balancing is...

THEN I found an 18g in the garbage and set it up salty. Didn't like that so tried freshwater planted.

THEN I found out about dirt and I've slowly (actually rather quickly) worked my way up to 10 dirted tanks.

And here I am today
Only bad things happen quickly.
A little allot is better than allot a little.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:30 AM   #6
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Wife found a huge octagon tank through a friend. We got it for the kids. I built an awesome stand for it and got obsessed. Saw a picture of an auascape and with the huge art backgroundi have, my mind exploded. And now I'm growing out my second aquascape,Work in progress
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:32 AM   #7
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Started with a goldfish ina 5 gallon tank for my son. When i started looking at google images of tanks, I said " wow you can do that in an aquarium?" Of course refering to planted show tanks. Once i started researching i was hooked. My whole family is now worried about my mental health as I obsess over the tank details.
Now the obsession making all the plants grow and mature. I only have a 30 gallon but definitely know a 55 gallon is in my future. I need more space to work out my ideas.
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Old 04-05-2014, 12:48 AM   #8
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I live in the big city and do not have a yard. My "lawn" and "garden" are in my tanks. I also have a bit of a green thumb, and I simply have a love of things that grow.
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:34 AM   #9
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Planted tanks are the confluence of two things I love, plants and animals. I've been into both since I was very young. I was in a plant heavy phase through college and the years after. Now that I've settled a bit, I like fish tanks because it's a bit less effort than caring for many, many different plants. At one point, I had maybe 100 potted plants of all different types, with all different care requirements.

I'm dialing that back a bit and putting my effort into planted tanks. I love my dogs, but as they enter their twilight years, I don't think I'll be replacing them when they head to that big dog park in the sky. So I like things that can stay in tanks.

Currently running three fish tanks, a shrimp tank, hissing cockroach tank, a couple of tree frog tanks, and a ball python. All of those together are still less work/$$$ than my two dogs.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:18 AM   #10
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I've long admired the planted tanks I've seen online... we couldn't do that in the tanks my family had when I was a kid. Now that there are no more cats, rabbits, chickens, etc, tanks are finally possible. I don't have a lot of room, but I can do nanos. I love growing the plants in the tanks... it's a dream come true.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:26 AM   #11
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I wanted something to make my home office more beautiful. And I needed a cheap hobby.

Ended up spending thousands.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:27 AM   #12
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I started when I got an aquatic turtle for Christmas from a coworker. I spent hundreds if not thousands buying useless equipment and fake decor trying to recreate a natural environment. I learned most of my basics from that turtle .. Water changes, benefits of bacteria, cycling, etc. Well after the turtle started getting huge I rehomed it to a friend. After an expensive journey I realized the whole time when I was trying to build a "natural ecosystem" for my turtle what I really wanted was a planted tank. It was then when I began doing tons of research. I mean tons of it. I would spend at least 3 hours a day just looking at aquascapes and how to set up my own. Although sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't had received that turtle from my coworker on Christmas would I have been into planted tanks? Idk but to this day I still tease her and blame her for getting me addicted to this amazing hobby lol
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:54 AM   #13
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I started out with a 10 gallon my mom got me as a small child for a night light. I've had tanks ever since. It gives me something to do, an artistic way to play around at the house. It's easy to change if I get bored with the current scape.

My house now contains a 10 gallon planted tank in my son's room, a 10 gallon planted tank in my daughter's room, a 15 gallon planted shrimp tank in my room, a 125 gallon planted tank in the living room, and a 125 turtle palidarium in the den.

I also drag/road race, off road, camp, hunt, shoot when time permits
Semper Fi
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:29 PM   #14
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Lauralee summed it up pretty well. I've had aquariums since I was a kid. Worked at the local pet shop as a teenager. Went to work for a large freshwater tropical importer after high school and then for a marine importer after that. All the while keeping multiple (14) tanks both fresh and marine. Got away from it while working and raising a family but now I'm retired (old) and wanted to get involved again. I was impressed with the advances in equipment etc. for the marine hobby but my first love was freshwater tropicals so that's where I am today. I'd never tried planted tanks so I started slowly and have had the usual setbacks and learning experiences. I've since taken the injected co2 plunge and figured out ferts more or less. Tanks look good and the critters and plants are thriving. I'm not much of an artist when it comes to scaping but who knows, maybe I'll take a class or something. Always thought it was a great hobby and still find it relaxing and rewarding. Also would like to say that this forum has been a great help many times. Glad to be a part of it.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:12 PM   #15
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I've had planted tanks many years, but only got it high tech the last few years, thanks to the help on this forum.

I use live plants because they look so real, unlike those plastic ones which never look quite right.
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