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Old 05-28-2006, 11:07 AM   #161
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The thought of hundreds of hobbyists helping you out and actually seeing results is one thing that attracted me to reef. Fish, I mean, it's easy. Corals, it's challenging. With that said, the colors and the shapes, the movements, the growth, I mean, all that makes you feel as though your husbandry to your reef tank pays off. Reef is by far my favorite part of having an aquarium at home.

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Old 05-28-2006, 02:43 PM   #162
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I had always had a 10 gallon freshwater fish tank somewhere in the house growing up. After I graduated from high school, I got a couple of good jobs and discovered saltwater (1989) which was really quite new back then. The only thing you could really find in the LFS were damsels and clowns, and they were expensive, but I did it anyway.

I joined the Army during Gulf War I, and left my tank for my mom to have. Once back in the barracks a year or so latter, I wanted a pet. The only thing was, the Army frowns on pets. I found a loophole that let me keep a fish tank, so I got a 20 gallon and a porcupine puffer. My roomate liked my tank, and went and got a 39 gallon mirror back and stand and we were hooked on salt. When we were deployed for Hurricane Andrew everything died in the tanks however.

Ever since then I have had at least one salt tank running. I have had 5, 10, 20, 39, 55, 75, 100, 12, 24, and 2 1/2 gallon tanks at one time or another.

The problem with this hobby is the larger tanks keep coming down in price - not a lot, but to the point where you really start looking hard at them. I remember when 180 gallon setups could run over $5,000 for just tank, particle board stand and perfecto lights. Now you can find drilled oceanic tanks and stands this size for less than $1500 just about everywhere. PETCO was selling an undrilled 180 with nice stand, glass and crap lights for $900 or so just the other day.

Anyway, once I saw what people were keeping alive I just had to try it. Once I could afford it, I started trying the reef stuff myself, and have been hooked for quite some time now.

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Old 06-06-2006, 09:01 PM   #163
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Well my story is like others i suppose. My Grandfather always had fresh water tanks when i was younger but as he aged he downsized to one. As i grew up i had all kinds of exotic animals and then i went to a large local pet store and saw their 300gal reef setup. I wanted one of course instantly but then found out the costs. So i forgot about it for a few years. Then i got my grandfathers old 20gal out and started a fresh water tank again. After a few years a g/f broke up with me and i took it pretty rough. So i had enough money to get a reef started up so i went for it. And im so pleased with it. Its so awesome to watch the fish and i just recently got some coral which is so cool to watch. It makes me wish i could afford a 500gal setup id love to have a Cat Shark !!!!!! Im and addict now just like everyone else =D
125Gal (Blue Regal Tang, 2Percs, Purple Pseudochromis, Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel, 2 Green Chromis,Yellow Wrasse,Urchin, Serpant Star)
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:14 PM   #164
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All you guys rock!! Your stories are great!!

My story: short & sweet .... MY OLDER BROTHER!!
closed at member request 04.06.2010

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My dogs and my tank!
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:25 PM   #165
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My father bought his first aquarium; a metal-framed, slate-bottomed 29 gallon, in 1947, so when I came along in '66, it was only natural that I kept tanks just like dad. He gave me my first tank; a 10 gallon, when I was almost six years old. Strangly enough, the fish I kept lived, so me being a voracious reader and an all-pro lawnmower, more and more tanks appeared as I wanted to keep what I had read about in books. One battle with ich spurred me to keep a quaratine tank (that same 10 gallon), which I do to this day.

I stayed in freshwater until 1982 when I felt that technology and my experience were to the point that I could keep marine fish succesfully. Lawn-mowing and lifeguarding money resulted in a 220 gallon aquarium which, after six weeks or so, I added damselfish to. My first lesson was that damselfish view the whole aquarium as their own and will attack whatever else you put in . I was continually amazed that what I put in lived.

Matriculated on the undersea adventures of Jacques Cousteau, I'd always wanted to have a marine tank with corals the way I'd seen on TV. Fortunately blessed with tons of patience, it took me five years of intensive research and pestering people in the know at public aquariums before I gave it a shot at a reef tank in the latter half of '87. The damselfish were re-housed as I searched for what was then called reef rock. I got lucky as a company in Florida that a sympathetic public aquarium fellow had contacted for me sent me a very, very smelly box of 200 pounds of live rock. Remember, this was in the days when it was legal to take rock out of the Caribbean.

Eight weeks later, the tank finally was smell-free and creatures started to appear on the rock and in the sand. Took me a couple weeks to find out they were copepods. A handful of snails of some type glided up and down the glass at night and cleaned the tank of algae. Wonders of wonders as more and more life showed up. A tiny brown serpent starfish joined the snails on the glass.

I was enthralled. Several months later, the same public aquarium fellow obtained a few corals for me. They were mushrooms, ricordea (found out what that was much later), a hand-sized yellowish-brown leather coral of some type and what I later found out was a zooanthid. That tiny specimen proceeded to cover nearly everything. A frantic call to the public aquarium guy said I could cut the mat, so I did and gave them the chunks. That zoanthid's decendants are still in my tanks. I still have that 220.

One of my senior projects in college was marine reef life.

As technology improved, so did my skills. My first full-blown reef tank was in '93 as the Berlin method finally sifted down to NC Arkansas. I'm enormously pleased that its now possible for the average person to keep a successful reef tank with sufficient research (and deep pockets) and equally pleased that more and more fish, corals, and live rock/sand are being aqua and maricultured to ensure a bright future for our hobby.

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Old 06-21-2006, 02:15 PM   #166
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I've always liked animals but never had such an urge to keep one until I saw my neighbors reef tank and I went wild. Now 2 years in and a lot smarter I'm still at it learning new stuff each day. Now I'm here to learn and help others on their journey to amazement!
-A real hobby
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #167
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Went to the local shop expecting to get some nice freshwater fish, saw the beautiful saltwater fish, went back home, made several expensive online purchases...went back to the shop about a month later....
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:05 PM   #168
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when i was a kid i had a book about fish. there was a pic of a clownfish. i knew that was the fish for me.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:18 PM   #169
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well, basically, i got a community tank when i was a kid. it was full of barbs and danios and it had a blood parrot. It sufficed til i was 18. Since then, the number of tanks in my house have grown from one to 11. Mainly cichlids, although we do have an arowana and a couple of VERY large oscars. As much as i love my cichlids, I wanted to try something new, and i think that this is the next step. plus i think itll look great!
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:57 AM   #170
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I started, it seems, like most that have posted. I had a 10gal FW tank growing up.

When I graduated high school, my parents asked what I wanted, which, as I am sure is a suprise to all, another tank. My parents bought me a 29 gal tank/stand/complete set up. Which turned into a FW tank.

Upon getting a "real" job, one of my new friends gave me a 55gal tank/stand, and I turned that one into an African Chiclid tank, and later into an Oscar tank.

I also got a second job working for PetSmart (and I still work there today) mostly doing dog training.

When my, now wife, moved in with me she turned me on to the world of the Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish). I decided that I wanted to try and breed them.

The store that I worked at upgraded some of their display tanks (10 and 20L gal tanks) and sold them for $1 each. Needles to say I bought all of them. That took me to 21 tanks in the house.

I had a friend tear down his AGA 72 Bowfront w/20gal sump and sell it to me for a couple of hundred bucks. I have had it for about 9 months now set up as FW.

My wife and I have been discussing for a while that we would like to try our hands at a SW setup.

We replaced our 2 Oscars ( both 9.5 inches long) to a larger tank with a friend (he has a 250 gal tank), and moved everything from the 75 to the 55. We are adding the water, salt and what not to the 75 tomorrow (well actually later today now that I look at the time)

That is my wonderful story. I found out about this site from one of my customers (SeeDemTails), as I was trying to do some research in setting up my tank (as PetSmart has VERY little to do with SW). It has also been nice that I can now answer some of my other customers questions. I have also become a "certified aquatics specialist" for PetSmart (of course this only deals with FW issues)

Learn from others' mistakes. There is not enough time for you to make them all!
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