Cool post. Here's part of mine: About 40 years ago my Dad refinished my bedroom and during the decorating phase decided to buy a 20 Gallon aquarium. You should have seen this thing - down right comical by today's standards. The front, back and sides were glass pressed into a stainless steel frame which was loaded with some gooey, tar-like substance to seal the glass. The bottom was made of slate. We readied this thing with water and two corner filters (bought everything from a place on Long Island, NY named Ed's tropicals - was a huge place but saw it's demise about 15 years ago). The Air pump, for the two corner filters and a bubbling air stone, was of the piston type and sounded like a storybook steam engine perpetually arriving at the station.
Oh yeah - the air pump also powered to bubble up tubes from the undergravel filter (what we would have done for a Hagen 301
). These uplift tubes were even more comical then the tank. They had clip on pieces at the top with about 8 granules of charcoal in them (i.e., this was their idea of chemical filtration). As if less then a tablespoon of charcoal is going to be doing something benefical to the filtration system. Well I recall getting really upset if those things fell off the uplift tubes and figuring that the whole system would shortly turn into a rotting sesspool.
Well, my Dad had no clue what cycling was and I don't think the LFS
guy did either - it was just sort of shotin' in the dark. We lost a few as I recall but soon enough some algae started to grow and now that I look back that was a really good sign - Life! Some Fish actually took the place up to be home.
Well from that point on I've been graced with the desire, or cursed with the obsession to have aquariums. They've ranged from 20Gallon fresh to 125 Gallon fresh to 90 gallon marine to 125 gallon Marine.
It's been incredibly rewarding at times and incredibly frustrating at others, but I don't think I'd trade it for any other obsession,.... I mean hobby.
The only thing I'm a little concerned about is that my accountant keeps asking me "Can you live in that 125 gallon aquarium in your den?"