Aquarium Keeping - A Life Long Endeavor
I can't remember a time in my life that I wasn't taking care of at least one aquarium. It all started when I was eight years old. I saw my first tropical fish at a local department store. Long story Short, I talked my mother into it. To this day she says it was a real learning curve for her too. She never had an aquarium growing up. We brought home a five gallon slate bottom tank (MantaFrame) remember those. Bright blue gravel (that's really natural isn't it ),Heater, Air pump, Plastic box filter(sucks in all the food & gets real nasty), two neon tetras and a catfish. Back then they bagged the fish then put the bag in a box that looked like Chinese takeout. From that time I guess I was hooked for life. Yes” I admit a lot of fish gave their lives teaching me what not to do.
Then there was the tumultuous teenage years. As the average American young man, I endured many a female rejection. But when I returned home my fish were always happy to see me. (I think it has something to do with me being their food source).
At least one sometimes two tanks followed me through my years in higher education(crammed eight years into six). I remember many a late night studying for finals, over caffeinated and blurry eyed. I would look up from my text book. Look into the aquarium and life and purpose came back into focus.
I guess you know what's next! Home, Marriage, Family. During this period the aquarium became more like a piece of home décor. But as my children grew, it became a teaching tool. The birds and bees became – That's a boy guppy and that's a girl guppy. Yes! I know he has that big fancy tail and she is just a plain Jane But! Look baby guppies. Now where did they come from?
Now the kids are grown and gone. My wife and I decided to use our empty nest and get back into the hobby. We looked up a local aquarium society on the internet. And found out that there is a lot of people with lifelong stories just like ours. I encourage anyone that enjoys an aquarium, Look for a fish society in your area. Most have websites, monthly meetings, group trips, discounts at pet stores, fish shows – Yes I said fish shows (like a dog show but wet ), auctions (where you can get fish that you can't get in the stores). And the members have a lot of stories to tell. This will give you a start. The club we are members of is here www.yatfs.com There are links to other clubs and articles to show you what it all about.