Getting back into an older hobby of mine - tropical fish. If you’re into fish keeping (freshwater or saltwater) post your kit and related information for discussion here.
New 46 gallon tank just getting started. Going to try my hand at live plants/aquascaping. Starter fish and plants have only been in the tank a couple of days. Tank has been circulating for about 10 days.
More pictures as planting and set up progresses.
When I was a teenager, I started working at a tropical fish store. I worked for them, on and off until I was in my mid 30s. At one point I had a 27 gallon hex in my living room, a 55 gallon in the dining room, a 33 gallon in my den and a 45 gallon column in my bedroom. All of them were salt water.
Then I got supper busy with work and working on my masters. The fish store when under and I had to start paying retail for everything again. I sold them all off and haven’t had one in the house for years. I miss them but the one thing I did learn from having them, if it’s not in a room you spend a lot of time in, you will eventually lose interest in them and probably neglect them.
Thanks for posting.
Successful enjoyment of a decent-sized tank takes some commitment and dedication, for sure.
I love tropical fish. Had a tank when I was living in LA (Orange County). My problem was keeping them alive. It may have been the store I was buying them from, although I did try more than one source. I’m pretty sure it was velvet disease. Try as I might, I couldn’t seem to control it even with specialized off the shelf treatments. Frustrating. My current abode imposes rather strict constraints on fish tanks. Requires written permission and a guarantee of liability for damage if it leaks or otherwise winds up causing a watery disaster in my unit and the unit below me. Sad, I’ve always wanted to give it another go. It’s both beautiful when set up well and I always found it relaxing to watch them.
In my past life, I was deep into the saltwater reef tank. If you are into it, then you should have heard of these terms:
Live rock, live sand, soft and hard corals, clams, Angel fish, Tang fish, and cleaner shrimps. Yes, I had all of them in my tank one time or the other.
You should also have heard of these terms: protein cleaner, RO/DI filter, power compact light to duplicate sunlight, powerheads to create waves, calsium doser for growing corals, AC conditioner to keep tank cool, heater to keep tank warm, and a seperate macroalgae tank in the cabnet.
Here are a few pictures:
300 G main tank and 40 G macroalgae cleaner tank (my own design).
My most priced fish is the one at bottom left picture. It is called Gold Flake Angel fish. I bought it as a 1" baby and grew it to 6" (max size in tank). Angel fish eats coral. So i had to train them to eat flakes as babies. This one did not touch corals, but many still did.
This is another deep rabbit hole. I finally had to part away from it because it was too time consuming.
FWIW, my foray back into the hobby (I also used to have several tanks when I was younger) has led me to believe that, like Hi-Fi, we live in a golden age for the hobby.
The kit available is so much better than it was 20 years ago.
My new canister filter system is truly easy to maintain without fear of sloshing water around and is whisper quiet.
Today my surface skimmer arrived and it is also dead quiet; and so simple to install and operate.
Impatiently waiting for the plants I ordered to arrive…
Saltwater tank is 10 times harder to keep than freshwater, and reef tank is 10 times harder to keep than saltwater fish tank. The coral, live rock and live sand, protein skimmer, clams, and macroalage tank are all for disgesting fish waste. The reef fish needs coral to thrive! Coral release chemicals to keep the fish healthy and real ocean like in an enclosed environment. It is a small ocean eco system.
One of the most difficult hard coral to keep is this one:
I grew this one from 1 1/2 inch to 8" during 10 years. If this one is dying then it tells me the water quality is declining. Normally you can keep 7 to 8 reef fish in 300g tank, I was able to keep over 15 in my tank for 15 years! I still needed to replace 50g of saltwater weekly with all the filtration setup (among other cleaning work I had to do). That was a lot of work!
We had a lot of parties back in the days. All friends and families wanted to come to our home for music and reef tank watching. I had to get a wine cellar to feed time too. It was fun!!
Might rearrange a plant or two, but coming together nicely:
My reef aquarium hobby started more than 30 years ago, but I will not go back to it again knowing what I know later. More than 70% of saltwater fish, invertebrates, and stone corals would die from transportation. Another 70% who survived the journey would die in the aquarium from the stress and wrong care by their owners. It took me a long time to learn all the tricks to keep the tank in great condition. I quit it a long time ago because it was too time consuming.
If I ever pick up the hobby again, I will go with freshwater tank, so I do not need to worry about the deadly journey these animals have to endure.
Back in the days, I always wanted to have a rare fish called Conspicuous Angelfish, but few knew about their diet and level of difficulties to keep (before Google time). A baby fish was selling for over $1,500, and nowadays a healthy one will be selling for over $9k. This is how it looks:
I personally think the prettiest fish is the Emperor Angelfish. I grew mine from 1” baby to 6” adult. It changes color pattern from baby to adult:
The Reef fish is the most beautiful creature in the Ocean, and because of that many want to keep them in homes. Unfortunately, it is very challenging to keep them alive in a small, enclosed environment. Most of them are from Aisa, but they are least the cared for during transportation.
Might be room for one more piece of driftwood, depending on where pH levels stabilize.
Otherwise, time to gradually add critters. Current inhabitants in order of introduction:
Candy Cane Tetras (x7)
Candy Striped Plecostomus (x1)
Nerite Snails (x3)
Betta (male x1)
Fire Red Grade Cherry Shrimp (x5) are on order.