What Made You Want A Freshwater Aquarium?

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Aquarium Advice Addict
May 16, 2002
Due to the popularity of a thread started like this in the saltwater general discussion I am starting the same thing here. Its always fun to read these kinds of things.

Please share your story with the rest of the world by just replying to this thread.
I will start things off...

Well my story goes like this....

  • When I was a kid I would go off to camp and catch minnows and put them in a little cup. They would usually live for a few days and then die. We lived about 40min from the closes pet shop so it was on a VERY rare occasion that we would be even close to a pet shop so I did not have an opportunity to purchase a tank or anything like that as a kid. (I did not even know what WAL-Mart was until college!!! Thats how far out in the country we lived.)
    After I graduated college in 1996 I was living in an apartment and decided one day that I would buy a 20 gal aquarium kit from wal-mart. I kept freshwater fish and plants until the winter of 2000. This is when a roommate of mine purchased an setup a used 90 gal tank. He decided he did not want all the work it took for saltwater so he made it fresh. At that same time I decided this would be a great opportunity to convert my 20 gal to saltwater. So in Jan of 2001 I added the first cup of salt to the 20 gal tank. In March I purchased a used 45 gal show tank setup and then in the summer of 2001 I purchased an 80 gal show tank setup. So now here I sit telling you about my addiction into this hobby.
    I currently have a 20 gal mini-reef, a 80 gal micro-reef, a 45 gal (currently in transition) and a 29 gal freshy tank.

...well that is what I call my addiction. My wife gave me the name fishfreek back when we was dating.

I remember that when I was 8, my parents got a 20 gallon tank and used it to breed Tetras.
Most were sold to a local pet shop, but many were kept along with other types of fish.
I used to stare at the fish and the tank for hours, and I was facinated by the amount of care needed to keep the fish healthy.

That was 30 years ago, ever since then I have always wanted aquariums in every room of my home.

Right now I'm starting a 10 gallon freshwater, but my goals are to have 6 larger tanks from 20 gallons on up, both fresh and saltwater.
Simple story:
Priest gave a 20 gallon set-up
Silver dollar got too aggressive
Put him in 5 gallon at school office
Grew too big
Bio teacher permanently loaned me a 20 gallon
now I'm about to have my 3rd tank up and running

Salt is too much maintenance for my schedule
:D Hi .. I'm new to this website and I thought I'd replay with an intro too!
I'm Susanne and from Ontario, Canada.
I went to a fair in the summer and won some goldfish for my 1 yr old daughter. We bought a 10 gallon tank for them. Within a week, they died. So we got guppies, and then tetras and then decided the 10 gallon was much too small.... so now we have two 20 gallon tanks!
I had guppies when I was a kid. I wasn't allowed a cat, so the fish were my pet and I really enjoyed the hobby.

I am a real newbie, so I'm not the knowledgable about the technical terms but I learn something new about this great hobby every day!

I'm currently waiting for my one guppy to have her babies. I'm confused about the gravid spot.. and how soon she'll deliver. I'm also trying my hand at aquarium plants. I don't have much luck with plants, but so far it's been pretty good.

Cheers and I hope to be a part of this forum!

My dad wouldn't let me get a saltwater said it was too much money etc.. so I got into Freshwater man I forgot of some of the names of fish I got.. I used to have hti sone he would open his mouth and you see all the way down him it was awsome.

newho now my dad is stil into F/W and has all kinds of fish.. 1-55gal 2-29gal 1-30gal-hex 1-30gal-long 2-10gal

Aquarium history of CC.

I got my first tank when I was 20, (am 2 months shy of 40 now) and have been hooked ever since. It was a run of the mill 10 gallon with multicolored gravel, corner box filter and a bubbling treasure chest. (Actually, I still like those silly bubbler things, don’t have any though). From there it progressed rapidly till I had a 10, 20, and 29 gallon FW tanks. Kept lots of tetras, some cichlids, and even some baby bluegills for one summer.

Then I got interested in salt, but not in the usual manner. I have a friend (also into aquaria) who lives near Rehoboth bay and Indian River Delaware, and we’d go fishing there. One week the fishing stunk and we started exploring the bay and inlet. We found anemones, scallops, mussels, pipefish, seahorses, gobies, barnacles, grass shrimp, several types of hermit crabs, tube worms, baby eels, and lots of other stuff. Oh yeah, we also found some stony coral growing on jetty rocks, very cool, but couldn’t bring any home. This was seriously cool, so we set about putting up tanks. After much trial and error we found that you can keep a lot of these things in a tank, but it’s a lot of work and neither of us had the $$ for the most necessary thing, a chiller. Also, the anemones, seahorses and pipefish all required massive quantities of live food, mostly brine shrimp naupli 2-3 times a day. The setups we made were massively cool, but at that point in my life I was so much into work/school/social life, I didn’t have time to take care of stuff properly. At this point I returned everything that was still alive back to where it came from. I’d still like to do this again someday.

After that, I got married, kept just my 29 going with tetras and corys. Then moved into my house and the pod bug got me. Spent the last few years obsessing over that, finally have things where I want them. Oh yeah, keep a 45 in the basement to over winter some pond plants and goldfish babies.

Just in the past few months, started talking to some folks at work about their tanks and got the bug to do a planted tank. Picked up the book “Nature Aquarium World”, and that was all she wrote. Now am in the midst of setting up a 90 with massive planting, driftwood, Co2 injection, the whole nine yards. Will finish the canopy this weekend, then it’ll be ready for action!
My journey started just about a year ago (November 2001). My three nieces, were being forced by their mother, to get rid of their 10 gallon aquarium and stand. The kids did not want to kill the fish. So, my wife and I decided to take the setup so they would not have to kill the fish. I had to by a new tank (theirs was cracked and get things going again.
This was my first tank. I had a lot to learn (still do :) ). There were some fantail gold fish and a comet. We lost one of the fantails about a month after, so we started purchasing other fish so the nieces would not get upset. ( LOL ). We soon realized the tank was just too small for the number of fish we had in it. So I purchased a used 20gal from a friend I worked with. We moved the fish into it. My wife and I started to add a few more to it.
In the meantime, I had put in a 100gal pond kit out side with a small water fall and fountain. I added Koi and Gold fish to it. I have finally put a netting over it due to going out and finding a Koi who decided he would rather try life on the outside of the water. I think I lost three this way. I also have an external filter on this. The others are doing good so far.
Then my wife and I decided to look into a salt water tank. Well, we purchased a 75gal jetstream system with a tidepool wet/dry filter and stand. I have had it set up for about a month now. we are still cycling. I have 1-domino damsel, 1-yellow tail damsel, 1-three stripe damsel, 1-yellow damsel, and 1-cleaner shrimp. I may have to look for new homes for some of the damsels once everything is cycled and I start adding different fish.
Also we came to the conclusion that the 20gal tank was just too small for the number and kind of fish in it. So we purchased a 55gal tank and stand and moved those fish into it. We have added a few more fish, but I don't think it is overcrowded. The comet that was in the original tank from the kids is still going strong in the new 55gal tank.
The original 10gal has been cleaned with bleach and is going to be my hospital/quarantine tank for my marine fish in the future.
Now remember, I had no fish or fish experience just about 11 months ago. So I think I have gotten my feet wet (so to speak). What do you think?

I just LOVE your story. Its so great to see you got into fishkeeping to save a few little girls hearts and in less than 1 year you have gotten a 20 gal, 100 gal pond, 75 gal reef and a 55 gal freshwater setup.

Cant wait to see where your at in 2003 at this time.

Glad to have you here....
LOL, been thinking about this one for awhile, and still don't have a better answer, so here goes....well, i have had them so long, i don't remember why i wanted one to begin with, probably saw a pretty fish at the store and begged for it! My mom kept aquariums off and on when i was a kid for me and my sister, although she didn't have the resources that are so easily available today so it was a little bit of a rocky road at times...so when i was a teenager i started managing my own and been doing it since! the reason i like them i suppose it because they are so peaceful (exception is the oscar tank sometimes ... :twisted: ) and the fish are so beautiful! I love the sound of the water trickles and the bubbles bursting when they reach the surface...i find it fascinating to watch the fish behaviors, each is so different....and once you get started, it becomes so much easier to manage, and it becomes well worth the effort involved....plus, they make great nightlights! 8)
I love fish. They are so peaceful and calming to watch. In all actuality I would love to have a saltwater tank, but I lack the time as well as the money that a saltwater tank would require. College is a very busy place. I did want to have fish though, (Other than my betta) so I decided to go with a 10 gallon freshwater tank. Eventually I would love to get a large reef tank running, but I don't think that I'll be able to do that for a few more years still. At least not until after college.
I started fishkeeping at age 16 (1985). I bought my first tank after I started workin' for a living. I started with a 10g. Being very new, and inexperienced in keeping fish, the whole tank got ich and died. But I was determined for no other reason than I liked the sound of the bubbling water in my bedroom at night! I broke the tank down, cleaned everything and started over, learning from my mistakes as I went.

A couple of years later I added a 29g while keeping the 10g up and running.

Some time after that my (then girlfriend / now wife) wanted me to set up a fishbowl for her 2 year old son. (Against my better judgement) I did. They loved the bowl, but wanted an aquarium. I took the bowl home as a rescue attempt (my only real unsavory long-term experience with fishkeeping) and set up another 10g for the Girlfriend and her son. At this point I was maintaining my 29g, 10g, the goldfish bowl – and a "remote" 10g (at the girlfriend’s place).

By now I was finishing college and moving out on my own. I moved into a SMALL apartment with a roommate, and (initially) did not set up any tanks. I (very quickly) got bored and missed my fish. I spoke to my roommate and (again) set up a 10g in a small corner of the apartment.

By now it is now 1993 (8 years later). One wedding (mine), two moves, and the purchase of a "fixer-upper" house finally caused me to give up the tanks.

We fixed up and sold the "fixer-upper" and in 1999 had a custom home built. Still no room for tanks. We built a 2 bedroom home, with the plan that we would be adding 2 more bedrooms in the basement, but the basement was unfinished, and I wanted my tank(s) down there. As we approached Christmas, my (now) 13 year old stepson had a large Science Fair project coming up, so we took care of both by buying him a new 10g tank, setting it up, and doing his Science Project on the Nitrogen Cycle. (He finished 2 nd). Needless to say while helping him out with his tank, I got that "itch" again.

Well, the basement is just about finished (well, enough to set up a tank again). I dug out an old 30g tank that belonged to my sister from my parents house. I just finished building a "rough" stand for it and am starting to pick up items I need to get it up and running. I have been researching fish, fish tanks, equipment, etc (since I have had a nine year hiatus from the hobby some things have changed / improved), and have decided on setting up a Shell Dwelling Cichlid tank.

I didn't really have any real reason or background for wanting fish. I suppose my main attraction was that an aquarium could be and should be for life. They are also very therapeutic and calming to watch. Also, possibilities with fish keeping are endless, in all area's.

My aim / goal now is to build my current tank with tropical fish up as much as possible, adding features & gaining knowledge on all aspects as I go.

The end goal being to have a massive saltwater aquarium, with lots of different, beautiful fish. 8) :D
I didn't really want a tank in particular. I was just a kid, maybe 6 or 7 and my best friend and I had gone to the local pond and caught some small bluegills. Brought them home in a bucket and my dad took pity on them and me and went out and bought me a 10g. One of the old steel framed jobs with the corner filter with floss and carbon. No hood, lights or heater (of course). This was set up on my desk next to the window. Some gravel for the bottom and a couple of plants and it was all set. To show you how ignorant I was of fishkeeping, I used to strip the tank down once a week! The fish and plants went into bowls (my mom didn't like that part too much), then I would scoop out 2/3 of the water with another bowl, then take the whole thing into the bathroom and rinse the gravel and glass (I knew enough not to use soap), changed the filter floss and carbon and replace all the water. I also knew enough to get the temp matched and to use the water conditioner too. Even though this was pretty drastic, I never had an algae problem, and I never lost a fish either. In fact, the bluegills grew so large, I would have to replace them every couple of months or so. I would turn the large ones back loose in the pond and catch me a new batch......
Nowadays, you wouldn't find me doing something so drastic unless I had a horrible problem. And unfortunately, I don't keep native fish anymore either. It seems everytime I have a new tank, it ends up being used for something else.
So now these many years later I'm up to 6 tanks at the moment, 3 salt, 3 fresh. I do plan on another tank, a fresh for some fish that will soon outgrow the tanks they are in. I'd also like to do another salt tank.....or 2.... :wink:
A trans pacific hobby

I seem to always have fish. When I was young we had a tank of goldfish. They all lived to a ripe old age and just basically swam around a medium size tank. Nothing too exciting.

When I started high school my friend and I got into Freshwater Tropical Fish. I had a couple of community tanks in my bedroom, and then got into breeding some cichlids. As i breed a "batch" I would have to find an aquarium that I could offload them on so I had room for more fish.

When I started traveling the world my fish took a back seat and my mother looked after them. Currently I believe my tank in Australia is fairly dead. I don't think mum was doing water changes. She did have my bristle noses breed, but they all died before my last trip home. I was pretty bummed as I had always wanted to breed those.

When we bought our house here in Des Moines Iowa (USA), I was amazed at how big it was, and always thought the big basement had a room perfectly suited to a becoming a fish room. However firstly I wanted a 55 gallon for my entry way as a display tank. The cost of a new setup that I could live with was going to run in excess of $500 so that put a hold on that.

Then I realised I could buy second hand. I ended up getting my display tank, stand, filter AND 4 more tanks of various sizes, and some fish for $400.

So this leaves me with a display tank in my entry way, it houses my 2 pairs of electric blue cichlids which I want to breed ( I know they have in the past) and 2 small pelcos for algae control. Another in my office (if you look at my webcam on my web site you may see it sometimes - it has a big Mexican cichlad in it). I also have started my fish room. So far I have two 10 gallon tanks which I plan on expanding to four or five soon. I also have two 20 or 30 gallon tanks (don't ask me specifics I am Australian and we use the metric system!). They house one huge pelco and at least 60-70 Yellow cichlids.

All of my fish came from the lady who sold me the tanks. In turn they were a legacy from her son.

So far I have upgraded one filter to a Tetratec with internal heater, which is nice but a little too noisy for my office so it went downstairs to the fishroom. It works great though.

I also want to get a canister filter for the 55 Gallon display tank, as then I can hide the piping more. I had Eheim filters back in Australia but they aren't as popular here. Fluval seem the best bang for buck in canisters.

Ultimately I want to have live plants too. I hate the fake ones. Yet currently I haven't found any local stores that have good ones. They all look like crap to me. Once I get a few decent ones I will be able to propagate them myself for all my tanks I hope (if anyone has some spare Java Fern or swords let me know!).

Anyway that is my journey so far. Marine doesn't seem to be my thing yet. It just seems to be more expensive to get into. When I do try my hand at it I imagine I will have a display tank with nice corals and the like. I see the fish in marines as secondary, but that is just my opinion.
I'm one of those people who'll get really interested in something (almost obsessed) and then get tired of it after a while. Well about 2 months ago, for some reason, I started wanting a puppy. I got so obsessed and my fiancee was ready to throw me out. So I started using our 2 year old as an excuse saying he needed a pet to play with...Well then I brought up a goldfish, said it'd be fun for him to learn to feed it, but secretly it was me trying to get my way. I'm a shopaholic too...lol...So I go out to Wal-Mart, and knowing nothing about fish, I bought a medium sized fishbowl, a feeder goldfish and a black moor. I went home, put the gravel in (didn't even rinse it off), put the water in (didn't dechlorinate or anything) and plopped in the fish (didn't float for 15 mins either). Well needless to say, I did everything wrong and 2 fish was way too many in that sad little bowl. Well the black moor was dead by the next morning. I kinda figured the goldfish would die too if i didn't do something so I went back to good old Wally World and bought a 5 1/2 gallon kit, not knowing it'd be a waste of money too since you can't really keep any fish in it since it's so small. So in goes the goldfish and then I figured he needed some friends. So not knowing you shouldn't mix goldies and tropical fish because of their differnces in temps, I bought 4 neon tetras. The goldy eventually died but the tetras are still here so I guess they're tough little suckers. I've since added on and now have three tanks, only one of which has fish...lol

I started with a black molly in a fruit bowl at age 14, started saving money to buy a 10 gal tank for about 3 months. I finally bought it at the end of November, just the tank, they sold everything seperatly back them.
Then in December i got another 10 gal tank as a christmas gift from my Aunt who didnt know that i had one allready.

I didnt know much about taking care of them, had mollies and guppys and a few catfish, after awhile they started multiplying and the color combinations were awesome, i got into buying all sorts of stuff to put in the tanks. Had 3 air pumps and a whole bunch of plastic tubing and two charcoal filters. I started to dred when it came time to clean the tanks, it used to take me hours to finish it, but looked great once i did. I got a blue flourecent light bulb that really made a spectacular show. The fish kept multipying and at one general clean-up i counted 102.

Needed to go off to the University so i started giving my fish away and even sold a few, population was a around 70.

Now 20 years later i started again, got a 10 gallon tank and this time put in other type of fish, trial and error, then sold the 10 gal and got me a 20 gal, and a few more fish. I had a red tail shark that grew about 2.5 inches long that looked great for 3 years and 2 angel fish that grew pretty big compared to the other fish, tetras, bloodfins.

So now i am ready for a 30 gal and keeping the 20 gal. Getting a made to order stand for each from a carpenter friend and still going with some trial and error, only this time, with all of your help, keeping the errors to a minumum.

my story

I love animals and specially cats but afer the death of my last one (he was 16) I decided not to have another one as the road near the house is really dangerous now. So I feed the birds in the garden and got a rabbit, but it's not enough so I turned to fish. I was advised to start with a fresh water fish tank and I started my tank a few months ago. Now, I have 10 rasbora hengeli, 6 kuhli and 3 ancistrus. I'm planning to add a couple of colisa lalia and a betta splendens. My tank is a 120 liter planted tank.
I love my fish. It's a great hobby, I read books on them, I do research on the Internet and I joined a club in my town.
Well, my story for this one is simple. I kinda always wanted to keep a tank, and one day my uncle gave me a 5.5 and some guppies, so that was that. I added some fishies and I've pretty much been keeping a tank since then.

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