How did you get into this hobby? - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #76 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I soon set up an aquarium with blue gravel and a princess castle. It was lovely. LOL. And, since then I have had at least 1 fish tank running continuously for 3 decades.
You obviously had discriminating taste at an early age. My first tank also had stylish blue gravel, no princess castle though--I'm jealous! I started at about 11 y/o with a 10 gal metaframe with a slate bottom. First fish were a redtailed black shark that promptly jumped out, a molly that gorged itself to death on freezedried tubifex worms, and some assorted swords & platies. Got a book called "The Aquarium" I think by a Brit named Jim Kelly that was very comprehensive, and had listings for all the common aquarium fish. Not so much on plants, but it was my bible for all things aquaria.

Graduated to a 20 gal, with a state of the art undergravel filter & wimpy fluorescent light. (I know, nobody told me that wasn't big enough for them) My only plants were anacharis & water sprite, since my book told me swords were from the Amazon & would only live in soft water. Not sure why they didn't say the same about angelfish. I got 4 so they'd pair off & breed. But we moved, and two tear downs & set ups later I was down to 2 fish who--glory be--started spawning. But the eggs would immediately turn white, and after a few days they'd give up & eat them, then start all over again. Was convinced my water was too hard, or it was a fungus. Asked the LFS, and they informed me I probably had 2 females so the eggs were never getting fertilized. Didn't realize they had lesbian angelfish in Iowa back in the 70s....

Fast forward 40 yrs and I'm reliving my childhood--this time with a grown up 55 gallon with real plants, and 11 baby angels whom I hope will not just spawn but raise a brood for me. Loving the plants this time around, but it's still a tank with plants to complement the fish, not an aquascape with fish to complement the plants. Though when I get another tank I may end up going down the aquascaping rabbithole....
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post #77 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 06:42 PM
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I used to think fish tanks were ugly, gaudy homes of plastic plants, neon gravel, and a lot of very unhappy fish. I used to think cleaning was arduous and time consuming, more so than any other animal.

Then my wife made the mistake of showing me this:
and

I never knew that an aquarium could even be this breathtaking! I wanted to create my own planted tank and we started (mistakenly) with a 3 betta sorority but it just wasn't enough. I kept researching and researching and I eventually found out about Neo and Caridina shrimp...

And I was hooked.
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I LOVE SCREEEEMPS!!!!!
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post #78 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 08:22 PM
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I had a 55 gallon fish tank when I was a young teenager, then quickly got into reptiles. However I was always fascinated by planted fish tanks, and had some small tanks off and on throughout the years.

When my son was about 4 years old, I purchased a tadpole for him, figuring it would be a fun educational experience to watch it turn into a frog. I got a 10 gallon for free, a light, and a crappy filter - then set it up. Immediately I was like this isn't enough, I want more life. So I purchased some peaceful, inexpensive fish (big mistake, fish-in cycling is terrible). The tank just wouldn't cycle and right when I was about to give up, I purchased an AquaClear filter for the tank and almost immediately the cycle kicked into gear. About two weeks later, the tank was completely cycled, with a tadpole and some neon tetras...a friend of mine said "Hey! Try some plants! Here's some anubias!"....and it was gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame over.

Next tank was my snake's old tank (she lived in a 40 breeder, then got a big, adult-worth enclosure for her). And it's just been a non-stop addiction for the past few years.


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post #79 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 01:29 AM
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In-between 3rd and 4th grade my parents got a divorce. I was given a choice which parent I wanted to live with and I chose my father so we moved away from my mother's family in Virginia to my father's in Indiana. My father was a Marine and worked a lot so we didn't have a bond like I had with my mom, who stayed at home with me before the divorce. My dad did a lot of cool things during this difficult time to try and keep my chin up. This was 1981. Anyway, he bought a 20 gallon aquarium and I got 3 angelfish and kuhli loaches. The Angels outgrew the 20 gal, so my dad bought a 30 gallon and kept the 20 gallon and I got tiger barbs for the 20 gal. In 85, my dad got stationed to VA beach and I had to sell my beautiful angels & other fish back to the LFS and give away everything else. VA beach wasn't a good environment for me ( I started to get into trouble) so it was back to moms. My mom never allowed pets of any kind. As an 18 year old senior in high school (1991), I worked my butt off doing 12 hours shifts on Saturdays & Sundays. My mom and step dad went away one weekend, and I didn't throw a party, I bought a 55 gallon aquarium with a stand and a beautiful full grown Oscar that I named Margarita. They were very upset when they got home, but I was allowed to keep the tank. I had that 55 gallon tank for at least 20 years and I kept Oscars, then Rainbows. Then my 1st attempt at a planted tank. When I bought my 1st house, I scrapped the aged old Dell tank, but kept everything else in the basement. Now my daughter is 5 and I bought a new 55 gallon for my old stand, filters, etc.. and I've build a nice planted, low tech tetra tank. She loves it and when she goes up to the tank and looks at and asks about the fish, it makes me think of some good childhood memories that I had with my dad all those years ago.

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post #80 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 07:27 PM
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Well started out as toddler with parents getting a Burmese, she grew up with us and we took her to school a few times in K and 1st grade. Was pretty cool and the kids loved it. Once she was about 15ft or so we had to rehome her due to size. Parents always had animals of various sorts (Birds, reptiles, dogs, cats, farm animals .....). Set up first terrarium at about 10 or so. Parents opened a pet shop at about 14yrs old. Worked there taking care of the extensive fish portion. At that time had a few tanks, one housed a pair of breeding discus. Worked at a snake breeder/wholesaler for a few years during that time period.

Moved away and didnt have anything at 19yrs. Wasnt until a little while ago (42yrs) that the inlaws bought the oldest daughter a couple of bettas and 1/2g tanks. Couldnt have that so ended up with a 10g and a 40b. Liked the look of the modern planted tank so started down that path just no CO2.


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post #81 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 08:25 PM
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My great grandfather used to breed fancy guppies. Our family acquired all his stuff when he could no longer enjoy the hobby. A couple of years ago my mom had me take all the aquarium stuff out of the shed and take it home. Then I found Rachel O'leary and Pecktec channels on YouTube and I was doomed for all eternity!
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post #82 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFlyingBear View Post
I used to think fish tanks were ugly, gaudy homes of plastic plants, neon gravel, and a lot of very unhappy fish. I used to think cleaning was arduous and time consuming, more so than any other animal.

Then my wife made the mistake of showing me this: https://youtu.be/Uv0x42x-r7Y and https://youtu.be/COsbWPtDEI0

I never knew that an aquarium could even be this breathtaking! I wanted to create my own planted tank and we started (mistakenly) with a 3 betta sorority but it just wasn't enough. I kept researching and researching and I eventually found out about Neo and Caridina shrimp...

And I was hooked.
These videos are definitely enough to grab someones interest, aren't they? Stunningly beautiful!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sittinglynx View Post
In-between 3rd and 4th grade my parents got a divorce. I was given a choice which parent I wanted to live with and I chose my father so we moved away from my mother's family in Virginia to my father's in Indiana. My father was a Marine and worked a lot so we didn't have a bond like I had with my mom, who stayed at home with me before the divorce. My dad did a lot of cool things during this difficult time to try and keep my chin up. This was 1981. Anyway, he bought a 20 gallon aquarium and I got 3 angelfish and kuhli loaches. The Angels outgrew the 20 gal, so my dad bought a 30 gallon and kept the 20 gallon and I got tiger barbs for the 20 gal. In 85, my dad got stationed to VA beach and I had to sell my beautiful angels & other fish back to the LFS and give away everything else. VA beach wasn't a good environment for me ( I started to get into trouble) so it was back to moms. My mom never allowed pets of any kind. As an 18 year old senior in high school (1991), I worked my butt off doing 12 hours shifts on Saturdays & Sundays. My mom and step dad went away one weekend, and I didn't throw a party, I bought a 55 gallon aquarium with a stand and a beautiful full grown Oscar that I named Margarita. They were very upset when they got home, but I was allowed to keep the tank. I had that 55 gallon tank for at least 20 years and I kept Oscars, then Rainbows. Then my 1st attempt at a planted tank. When I bought my 1st house, I scrapped the aged old Dell tank, but kept everything else in the basement. Now my daughter is 5 and I bought a new 55 gallon for my old stand, filters, etc.. and I've build a nice planted, low tech tetra tank. She loves it and when she goes up to the tank and looks at and asks about the fish, it makes me think of some good childhood memories that I had with my dad all those years ago.
I enjoyed reading this story of your time in the hobby. Especially how you bought a fish-tank instead of having a party like a normal ornery teenagers ( I definitely would have had the party ). Your parents needed to put that excellent choice into perspective- lol!
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post #83 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 09:42 PM
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I threw a ping-pong ball into a little gold fish bowl at a school carnival and won a gold fish about 40 years ago.... from there it just snowballed!
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post #84 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 01:15 AM
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When I was young I feel jealous seeing my cousin's fish tank so I demanded a fishbowl a Blue Tang inside. I thought that my Mom will say no since she is only a fan of dogs and not fish but to my surprise, she did get me a fish. Maybe she feels sorry for me as I always go to my Aunt's house just to check on their aquarium.
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post #85 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 01:25 AM
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For Persian New Year it is customary for Persians to have a small bowl of goldfish on their Haft Sin display. It symbolizes life or something. So when I was like 5 we got a little tank with goldfish which I overfed and they died. So we ended that tradition. But I guess I really liked the fish and kept talking about them and then when I was 8 we had fish tanks in class with guppies and I guess I wouldn't stop talking about them so my mother got me 2 guppies and a Corydoras in a 5 gallon tank. And I loved it so that quickly became a 20 gallon tank and then another and another and it continued in some form or another until I was 18.

Then my first job out of high school was at a LFS and I got a 55 and other tanks and got into planted tanks. Owner was crazy so I eventually quit and went to college but I had that 55 and a 29 in my little studio apartment and had some really cool fish. Then I moved back home and added a pond and even more tanks. I think at one point I had about 20 tanks. Went back to school and moved several more times but almost always had one or two tanks and convinced my father to put in a huge goldfish and koi pond in his backyard. The only break I took was when I first moved to CA the first 6 or so years I was out here things were too unstable and I moved quite a bit so no tanks. But about 5 years ago I got into the hobby again, bought a big house, and now am planning a large fish room.


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post #86 of 86 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 04:07 AM
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When I was around 3 years old I took a couple of the big Time-Life books that my parents collected and dropped 2 or 3 of them into our family fish tank...not sure why I felt compelled to do that, but I certainly remember that everyone was really mad at me afterwards! (I'm told that no fish were hurt but the books that were scooped out of the tank were beyond help)
What actually led me and my spouse into the hobby was our move from Philadelphia to Texas. Back in Philly we owned a single betta that lived in a large bowl on our kitchen table. My husband came to Texas first to start his new job while I stayed behind to pack up the house and get rid of everything that wouldn't fit in the storage pod or my car. I was stumped about what to do with Royal, the betta. I tried to give him away but no one wanted him. Someone actually suggested flushing him down the toilet, and I was horrified. Finally out of desperation I filled up a 5 gallon water jug, added de-chlorinator, dropped a heater into it for a few hours, then plopped the betta in, stashed it in the back of my VERY full SUV and hit the road. 3 days and 1600+ miles later I arrived in Texas, and Royal the betta was doing fine in his 5 gallon jug. After moving into our new house I wanted to give Royal a proper home after his arduous journey, so I bought a 5 gallon tank starter-kit from the local Petco. At this point in time we knew diddly-squat about proper fish-keeping, had never even HEARD of cycling a tank...so I naively got the new tank home, filled it up, added some water conditioner, and proudly let Royal loose into his new tank. Well.....I'm sure you can guess what happened...24 hours later Royal the betta was dead, and we were heart-broken. We couldn't understand why this pretty little fish that had survived a 1600 mile cross-country drive in a water jug had died almost instantly in his brand-new tank. On a whim we stopped in at the Petco with a water sample and started asking questions about what we had done wrong. Fortunately the employee we spoke with was pretty knowledgeable about aquariums and he gave us an ear-full about water parameters and the off-the-charts Texas tap water. Intrigued, we wanted to learn more and decided to try again at fish-keeping, but THIS time we did a ton of research, asked thousands of questions at several local LFS, watched a doctoral degree's worth of YouTube videos, and eventually joined a local aquarium club. Today, with my husband's 125 g planted discus tank and me with my 75 gallon rainbow/angelfish tank (and several small miscellaneous tanks), while we're a far cry from being experts, we look back at how ignorant we once were and marvel at how far we've come; we owe it all to poor Royal the betta, may he rest in peace!

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill
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