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Old 03-21-2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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The ebb and flow of....

.....life has brought me back to this forum at a time I am on the cusp! Life, family, and work have conspired to make me ignore many things, including AA. Four tanks have dwindled to one, while children grow and furry pets get most of the attention. A community tank, once thriving, has been reduced to a pleco, a tetra or two, a loach, and a guppy. The loach was a clandestine stow away on a plant, and the guppy was once meant as food for a spiny eel now long gone. How ironic that two fish that were not prized, have out-survived so many others. Gone are the pearl Angels (once my pride and joy), the Platies, the Cories, and the Danios. I maintain the tank, and provide a good home as the residents grow old and pass on. But there have been no recent trips to the LFS, no new bags of joy floating about for quite some time.

So I change the water, scrape the algae, drop in some food, and contemplate. Would my desk be better off on that wall where my tank now stands? Perhaps a book shelf? A nice chair to sit in and read?

Or perhaps it is time to rekindle the flame? To remake the tank anew, go in a new direction. Such is the ebb and flow of the aquarium hobby. Starting, stopping, and starting again over the years.

So, should it be Cichlids? A single species tank of active rascals like Tiger Barbs? Or perhaps the soothing red an blue of a Neon Tetra school? Or just a patch of wall that needs a fresh coat of paint?
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:27 AM   #2
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I completely understand...

I completely understand the ebb and flow factor... I had six tanks going at one time years and years ago. About three years ago, the final fish died in my 20L and I took it down and put it on the garage sale. I kept my old chrome 10 gallon tanks (still have them on a shelf downstairs). The tank didn't sell and it went to the storage unit...

Then about a year ago, I noticed my kids were at the age where they were self-sufficient, but still needed me home (young teens - video game age but don't need me to interact constantly with them)and I was getting bored, so I got back into the hobbie again - the addiction has overtaken me and my youngest son now...

... so, whatever you choose to do is up to you... but there is something pretty exciting about bringing a new bag of fish home though. You could always set it up some other day if you keep the tank if you choose to paint the wall instead...
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:00 PM   #3
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A new store has opened up by me, Aquarium Adventure. From the outside, it appears quite large. On the inside, it is more like a typical Petsmart, but with a heavy emphasis on aquariums. Birds, puppies, rodents and reptiles are also sold there, and they get about half the floor space. Being blessed with a good selection of LFS in my area, this store is a good one, but about the same as the other quality LFS's in the area.

But a stroll down the tank aisles has pushed me over the edge. Sure, I played with three different puppies with my kids, but we are already at the 3 dog maximum my town permits. A huge pile of texas holy rock right next to the cichlid tanks dialated my pupils and raised my heart rate. I could actually see the cichlids darting in and out of the rock in my 55 long tank. But it was a small tank in the corner that was my un-doing. In it were 20 of the most active Tiger Barbs begging anyone who walked by to feed them. In a flash I could see my very first fish tank, decades ago, on a small metal stand at the foot of my childhood bed, with a small school of Tiger Barbs endlessly darting to and fro. Most of the Tiger Barbs in that small corner tank rode home with me yesterday.

To the store's huge credit, the young man tried to talk me out of buying that many fish all at once. After listening to my description of my established tank, he agreed that an ammonia spike was unlikely, and could be dealt with swiftly if it did occur. It is not often that the emoloyees or owners of the LFS will forego the immediate sale, so I have to give Aquarium Adventure a big thumbs up.

The paint cans are back on the shelf, and the brushes are put away. Two tanks have been given to neighboring children eager to start a new hobby, and one tank gathers dust in the corner of the basement. But new life has been breathed back into the last tank. Ebb and Flow.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
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Good to hear...

It's good to hear the paint cans and back on the shelf and the brushes are put away... Good luck with your new community!

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Old 03-22-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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I never had a school of Tiger Barbs this large before. What a hoot! They are still a bit unsure of their new surroundings, so that the schooling behavior is amazing. A Tight group darting to and fro in unison, just incredible to watch. It is amazing how a tank makeover can set things right again. It is good to be back.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:15 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new additions - it's good to have you back!
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #8
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It's at least another couple months before I get moved into an apartment and can finally get my first aquarium started. In the meantime, all I can do is read through the forums and be jealous.
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:52 PM   #9
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Welcome back Tom. Looking forward to seeing pics of that school of barbs.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:53 PM   #10
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That will be a while? They have learned their way around the tank, and have figured out that the entire school can fit comfortably behind one plant. The second they see me enter the room, zoom they go. At the LFS they begged every passer by for food, but then again they didn't have a big ol plant to hide behind. I wonder how long before they realize that I am the guy who drops the food in.
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