How It All Started
Growing up my dad always had aquariums. There was always at least one, usually multiple ones. My father was always into communal freshwater aquariums. He loved angle fish in particular. I learned a lot about fish husbandry and aquarium care. My father was meticulous.
This is where I gained my love and interest in aquariums and soon started my own. As a teenager I wanted a cool tank, so I got an oscar. I kept it for a few years and helped several of my friends set up freshwater aquariums. They ranged from oscars to piranhas and used various setups.
My First Saltwater Aquarium
When I was around 19 I started my first saltwater fish aquarium. That was over 20 years ago. The first one was a communal fish aquarium and was only a 38 gallon and I kept it for around 3 years.
Due to lack knowledge and lack of information I had a nitrate spike that killed off all of the fish. Then I realized that I didn’t know as much about saltwater aquarium care as I thought I did.
A Time of Learning
As I changed the substrate and added live rock I began researching everything I could find about saltwater. There was no internet then so I was at the local library and buying books (expensive). I also talked to every aquarium shop I could find in a 100 mile radius. I learned a great deal and revamped my aquarium.
I felt confident enough to keep corals and so I started collecting them. Corals were more expensive then than they are now and it was a big investment. A lack of available equipment caused some animals to suffer. Lighting in those days was hard to find in my area and extremely expensive. I had to travel and improvise to get a light source strong enough.
Success at Last….
A combination of halogen and T-8 lighting worked. I had success and had kept the aquarium for around 10 years. I never really kept many fish or any at all. The occasional seahorse was about it.
My corals were well established and did very well. Of course I used the old methods of aquarium care. I used very little substrate and a lot of live rock. Through weekly water changes and using vodka and other old methods I managed the nitrates.
My wife at the time wanted a fish it was some sort of small goby. It was nothing to not see it for a day or two so when I didn’t see it, I didn’t think anything of it. Well, it had died and went unnoticed. Needless to say there was a huge ammonia spike and the resulting in my panic. I did massive water changes and changed the filtration media.
The result of all that was what I think was a massive bacteria die off that resulted in a total tank crash. Everything died and I stopped the hobby altogether.
Here We Go Again
About 6 months ago I started again. I have a 55 gallon mixed tank. Thanks to the internet and great information I successfully started the aquarium the first time. With a combination of the old and the new I want to help others keep a happy healthy aquarium. There is a lot of good information out there but unfortunately there is also a lot of bad info. I want to help the novice decipher the good from the bad and provide the best information possible.