Introduction

Catappa

Hi Fishy Friends! I've been lurking briefly and decided to join, as this is certainly a friendly and informative forum (unlike a few others I've looked at).

I am OLD, lol! I started with tropical fish back in the dark ages when I was a young teenager and learned all I could from books and magazines. I became so knowledgeable that I was consulted by owners of pet shops and I bred what were then "rare" fishes and managed to sell them to the shops, making a nice amount of money. Unfortunately, being so young, I didn't have any business smarts and it was only a one-time deal with each shop, as once they had the fish, they could breed them themselves!

I also experimented with catching fast-moving, tiny (nano-size) cold water Darter minnows and successfully kept them in unheated, very aerated tanks for a couple of weeks before releasing them back where I had caught them.

For a few decades, I continued to keep interesting and (back then) generally "rare" tropical fish in several large aquaria. Shop owners (by then, there were specialized aquarium shops) continued to consult with me, also about plants which seemed to fail with others but succeed with me.

Fast forward: lifestyle changes forced me to abandon the hobby for years. Then, chronic illness and a stroke caused cognitive challenges. In the meantime, the aquarium hobby has become quite sophisticated/complex! Back in the day, I used simple filters and could make all the connections for multiple aquaria, etc. There was no special lighting and as far as I know, no special substrates. I never had a problem with my simple set-ups.

I made several attempts a few years ago to restart my hobby, but it was too much, too soon. Now I'm jumping back in and... WHOA! I'm intimidated by all the new technology and products! So before I invest in the large aquarium I plan to have in my living room, I will give myself perhaps a year to get used to it all (again) and learn all the new stuff.

I have a small tank (it was my quarantine tank in the past). It's only 55 liters and is acrylic, but no scratches ever. I have started to scape it a bit and have a sponge filter that is also aerating it. I'm not happy with the lamps (this is such an old model, that it is almost impossible to find the lamps any more). I've just ordered a LED strip set up where I can glue the strips inside the hood (they are waterproof) and I purchased it as a kit with a timer/controller. I have a LOT of confusion about cycling. I've forgotten how I did it in the past. Before joining this forum, I purchased a large bottle of Tetra Safe Start (not yet used) and treated the water with Seachem Prime. I am "afraid" of CO2 cannisters and am hoping I can get away with something like Seachem Excel (I understand it is not CO2). I plan to eventually add fish. I will write about my long-lived blue Neon that is upstairs in an old tank in another thread.

I will be needing LOTS of advice, explained in the simplest, easiest to understand terms.

I apologize for writing such a long post!
 

BabsandLoon

Welcome to FishLore!!!
I’m glad you decided to get back into the hobby. I’m certain we could all learn a lot from you!
 

Catappa

Welcome to FishLore!!!
I’m glad you decided to get back into the hobby. I’m certain we could all learn a lot from you!
Thank you. There is also a lot I've forgotten, but I still have some of my books to help jog my memory and I had a subscription a few years ago to (the English language version) of Amazone magazine. I really should subscribe again. I have good memories of some of my favorite more unusual fish.
 

Berryblue

Welcome to fishlore and back to the hobby! Many of us have taken a long break from the hobby and returned. Not to worry, you will get back into. Will you make mistakes? Yes. But we all learn from them and that's the fun of it.
 

Catappa

Thank you for your kind and friendly welcome :)
 

Ouse

Welcome to Fishlore. Fishkeeping is much more advanced and easy than it was decades ago and I think that once you learn all the new products you’ll thoroughly enjoy the hobby like you once did. Enjoy!
 

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