There should be a sign above aquariums at LFS

Strider1520

That says - this is not a home decoration nor a hobby - it will become a change in LIFE.

Wife says, "didnt you use to have an aquarium 40 years ago? Why dont you get another one now - but it is your responsibility" Sooooo.......I am a "kind of" an intelligent person and I can read up on it in a few days - yeah, let's get one next week. This will be cool.

In the last month, I have stressed over a "fish in" cycle more than ANYTHING in a long, long time. I have made so many mistakes so far that I am amazed the little aqua babies have survived - but so far, so good - thanks to the help on this forum. I have never wanted to see orange nitrates so much in my life.

Doing API testing while I have my morning coffee and waking up in the middle of the night wondering what my ammonia readings will be in the morning, shutting down my iPad in bed at night reading about fish and tank maintenance, buckets and hoses stretched across the den while my wife is watching TV at night, reading this awesome forum 20 times a day, actually cleaning my reading glasses so I can better judge API color changes, standing in my yard holding test tubes up to color charts, going to the store to buy more paper and pencils to keep up with journals, test, test and test...........and start the next day in the same cycle......speaking of cycles........(haha).

This month has been a crash course in biology and chemistry (like Chemistry 401 courses). My brain has a "bacteria bloom" going on about the entire cycle of ammonia and ammonium, free ammonia, nitrifying bacteria, temperatures and pH relationships, chlorine and chloramine, carbonate and general hardness - (heck, I probably know more about my tap water properties than my water supply company does), heterotrophic bacteria, infusoria, diatoms, algae blooms, rock leaching, silicates in sands and more about Nitrogen-Hydrogen bonds than I ever knew before. Testing tank water, tap water and bottled water for comparisons - test, test, test.........

All of the research that goes into any thought - like, what if I do this? What if I move that? What if I change.....? All with the concern for the well being of the aqua babies in the forefront.

The stress of the first cycle is making me old before my time. This has been the longest 3 weeks of my life. For any new person, when asked if they know about the Nitrogen cycle - the answer is no.....not yet. If you havent gone through one - you do NOT know.

I am sooooo depressed over what my TOTAL lack of aquascape looks like. Just like old times - throw some stuff in , shuffle around a little and kind of think, "well this fake plant will hide my air hose and this one will hide my heater". Throw some washed rocks out of the front flower bed in for something on top of the substrate and even bought one of those pagoda things to put in along with things that dont even make sense (grabbing things around Petsmart and Petco and thinking that "Hey, this is colorful"). Nothing like something plastic that has fake red coral things on it next to the mountain stream stacked rock plastic cave thingie. Threw in some gravel on one side and some pool sand on the other - because I watched a Youtube video that said I could use pool sand and think, "Hey, I saw that thing on Youtube about those Cory things and they like sand." My gravel to sand transition is a total mess and now I look at these aquariums here and think (with great jealousy), "Man, how stupid was I? I almost wish I could just dump the tank, start over and do it right this time". But I have fish in it now.

Well, anyway, there should be a sign above ALL AQUARIUMS in LFS saying, "BEWARE! THIS IS NOT A HOUSE DECORATION OR A HOBBY! THIS WILL BE A LIFE CHANGE FOR YOU!"

Thanks to everyone here for all the help with EVERYTHING and making me so envious of some of your beautiful tanks. Well, back to reading forum and doing research.
 

pagoda

47 years ago when I had my first fish....no such thing as a cycle, no fancy chemicals, no fancy substrates...it was all DIY and a heck of alot less complicated, confusing and costly as it is now

I frequently wish things were back being simple again but back then fish were considerably stronger and way more hardy and disease free. Its thanks entirely to an explosion of fishkeeping that has weakened genetics on almost every species of fish. Especially Betta, Tetra and Gourami. They have been interbred to within an inch of their lives and genetically ruined, so they die of illnesses that they should be able to fight, that breaks hearts and causes dillusionment all round.

I wish the clocks could be turned back....seriously I do.
 
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Coradee

Strider1520 Love your story & it’s one I think we can all relate to as most of us have been in the same position at one time or another :)
P.s that store sign should also state ‘Caution, this hobby will empty your wallet“ ;)
 
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BigManAquatics

At some point, a lot of it will be less stress and more second nature! I do spend a lot of my time here when it is slow at work...and if not here, usually digging into youtune videos on something aquarium related or reading up on possible future fish! It is an addiction...
 
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GlennO

lol...that was a good read. Keep in mind...you're not alone, we've all been through it and still are to various degrees.
 
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alven

You're literally me right now. Ever since I got my first fish on the 9th of April this year, I've gone parent mode. While I'm in school, I'll be researching so many different things. Ph, fish care, what KH/GH is, what fishkeepers do wrong, etc. An aquarium is a lot of responsibility if you really care. For example last night, I literally fell asleep reading Betta care tips online. I even remember when I had my former Molly & Platy. I would wake up at 5am to see if they're doing okay. It truly is a change in life, at least for me.
You're literally me right now. Ever since I got my first fish on the 9th of April this year, I've gone parent mode. While I'm in school, I'll be researching so many different things. Ph, fish care, what KH/GH is, what fishkeepers do wrong, etc. An aquarium is a lot of responsibility if you really care. For example last night, I literally fell asleep reading Betta care tips online. I even remember when I had my former Molly & Platy. I would wake up at 5am to see if they're doing okay. It truly is a change in life, at least for me.
I really don't believe that people outside of this hobby will ever understand the amount of work and dedication that fishkeepers put into their hobby. It's really a world of its own to be the tank owner than to observe one.
 
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fallfever

Are you preparing for fish or getting the home ready for a baby :) Seriously, you are an outstanding fishkeeper. I greatly appreciate you and others on this board who see these pets as actual living creatures and deserving every bit of the time and effort we put into dogs and cats. It also makes me feel less crazy.
 
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DoubleDutch

Those are the words I had to repeat 100 times in my aquariumrehab-therapysessions. "Hey I am DD and I am an aquariumaddict. Hello DD"
 
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Diane 007

Thank you for my morning giggle! You have completely covered every thought and emotion new fish keepers experience. There is a plus side to all the stress.. when you set up tank number two, three and four ( and you will) you’ll be a pro!
 
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BigManAquatics

My wife still doesn't quite get it. She just knows i am consumed and am willing to do the dirty work so all she has to do is feed her platies and watch for babies!
 
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Strider1520

47 years ago when I had my first fish....no such thing as a cycle, no fancy chemicals, no fancy substrates...it was all DIY and a heck of alot less complicated, confusing and costly as it is now

I frequently wish things were back being simple again but back then fish were considerably stronger and way more hardy and disease free. Its thanks entirely to an explosion of fishkeeping that has weakened genetics on almost every species of fish. Especially Betta, Tetra and Gourami. They have been interbred to within an inch of their lives and genetically ruined, so they die of illnesses that they should be able to fight, that breaks hearts and causes dillusionment all round.

I wish the clocks could be turned back....seriously I do.

Yep! All they mainly sold was the baby blue gravel or the green gravel at Walmart or K-Mart (and it was really cool when you could find a bag of the dark blue gravel and mixed it with the baby blue and were known then as a GREAT aquascaper) and we kind of figured EVERYTHING we needed to maintain aquarium was in that bag filled with bright, baby blue water that the fish from K-Mart came in. That is why we would let it sit for about 15 minutes with the bag in tank (and thought we knew what we were doing because we had heard to do that) and then just dump the whole bag in the tank all at once with the fish - because that bag water had all the "good stuff". Watch the fish swim at the top of the tank for a day and hope it lived for the few months that the other ones did.
 
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SamMe

I enjoyed your post. It mirrors the actions and emotions of so many of us. Addict is an accurate word. Most of the fish in my 55g have died of old age and I found myself wondering if it was time to get out of the hobby since my 13g is usually only used for quarantine. Next thing I know, I'm online shopping for a BIG tank with plans of using the 55 as my quarantine. My husband tunes me out when I start talking about this or that South American cichlid and compatability and plans for the new tank. lol
 
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Kathylee

That says - this is not a home decoration nor a hobby - it will become a change in LIFE.

Wife says, "didnt you use to have an aquarium 40 years ago? Why dont you get another one now - but it is your responsibility" Sooooo.......I am a "kind of" an intelligent person and I can read up on it in a few days - yeah, let's get one next week. This will be cool.

In the last month, I have stressed over a "fish in" cycle more than ANYTHING in a long, long time. I have made so many mistakes so far that I am amazed the little aqua babies have survived - but so far, so good - thanks to the help on this forum. I have never wanted to see orange nitrates so much in my life.

Doing API testing while I have my morning coffee and waking up in the middle of the night wondering what my ammonia readings will be in the morning, shutting down my iPad in bed at night reading about fish and tank maintenance, buckets and hoses stretched across the den while my wife is watching TV at night, reading this awesome forum 20 times a day, actually cleaning my reading glasses so I can better judge API color changes, standing in my yard holding test tubes up to color charts, going to the store to buy more paper and pencils to keep up with journals, test, test and test...........and start the next day in the same cycle......speaking of cycles........(haha).

This month has been a crash course in biology and chemistry (like Chemistry 401 courses). My brain has a "bacteria bloom" going on about the entire cycle of ammonia and ammonium, free ammonia, nitrifying bacteria, temperatures and pH relationships, chlorine and chloramine, carbonate and general hardness - (heck, I probably know more about my tap water properties than my water supply company does), heterotrophic bacteria, infusoria, diatoms, algae blooms, rock leaching, silicates in sands and more about Nitrogen-Hydrogen bonds than I ever knew before. Testing tank water, tap water and bottled water for comparisons - test, test, test.........

All of the research that goes into any thought - like, what if I do this? What if I move that? What if I change.....? All with the concern for the well being of the aqua babies in the forefront.

The stress of the first cycle is making me old before my time. This has been the longest 3 weeks of my life. For any new person, when asked if they know about the Nitrogen cycle - the answer is no.....not yet. If you havent gone through one - you do NOT know.

I am sooooo depressed over what my TOTAL lack of aquascape looks like. Just like old times - throw some stuff in , shuffle around a little and kind of think, "well this fake plant will hide my air hose and this one will hide my heater". Throw some washed rocks out of the front flower bed in for something on top of the substrate and even bought one of those pagoda things to put in along with things that dont even make sense (grabbing things around Petsmart and Petco and thinking that "Hey, this is colorful"). Nothing like something plastic that has fake red coral things on it next to the mountain stream stacked rock plastic cave thingie. Threw in some gravel on one side and some pool sand on the other - because I watched a Youtube video that said I could use pool sand and think, "Hey, I saw that thing on Youtube about those Cory things and they like sand." My gravel to sand transition is a total mess and now I look at these aquariums here and think (with great jealousy), "Man, how stupid was I? I almost wish I could just dump the tank, start over and do it right this time". But I have fish in it now.

Well, anyway, there should be a sign above ALL AQUARIUMS in LFS saying, "BEWARE! THIS IS NOT A HOUSE DECORATION OR A HOBBY! THIS WILL BE A LIFE CHANGE FOR YOU!"

Thanks to everyone here for all the help with EVERYTHING and making me so envious of some of your beautiful tanks. Well, back to reading forum and doing research.
Oh I can relate to this so much! You'll get there! We all do one way or another. The number one thing I have learned on this forum within the past year- is that there is no "cap," limit on aquarium information. It's never ending & I'm always finding out something new!
 
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Bettaholic

My husband used to keep Oscar's. He went from a 20 gallon when the 3 were babies. Then he had to get a 55 gallon because they were growing and he finally went to a 135 gallon. I swear I could have taken a bath in it. The only thing that was in the tank was a thermometer and gravel. He tried some plants and rocks. They tore the plants out and ignored his carefully constructed rock cave. Chemical was one bottle of water rite. That's it. You vacuumed the tank until the gunk didn't show and dumped your water rite treated water bucket in and called it a day. They lived till a ripe old age. I have 3 bottles of seachem products an API water test kit that a chemist would be proud of and 6 weeks of daily care pampering for fish less the size of my pinky finger. My how times have changed!!
 
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Cherryshrimp420

The current aquarium industry is complete trash. I have some very strong opinions on the matter but better keep it off this forum :D :D :D
 
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alven

The current aquarium industry is complete trash. I have some very strong opinions on the matter but better keep it off this forum :D :D :D
You're not the only one with strong opinions. : )
 
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JustAFishServant

Good gravy, many folks can agree! Now, I've only been around for 17 years but it was even different when I joined the hobby 6 years ago! Now it's chemicals, fertilizers, aquascaping, stocking calculators, gh, kh, minerals, and fish rescues! My, how times have changed :)

I feel as if it's our job to adjust. Change is all around us and no one can change, well, the change! ;)
 
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Grixxly

I think it would be a fun and cheesy little sticker to put outside of the window, but It's totally fine to learn just enough to properly run a bare-bones aquarium with out any further investment in time learning or emotion. Since we are all on an aquarium forum it's safe to say that we are willing to invest more time learning and emotion into our aquariums. To me it is just a hobby though, I am in a pursuit of learning and emotionally involved in all of my hobbies.
 
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Tanked4Relaxin

My wife still doesn't quite get it. She just knows i am consumed and am willing to do the dirty work so all she has to do is feed her platies and watch for babies!
I swear my 11/2 yr old puppy gives me the stink eye now everything I go near the tank because she knows I'll be there for at least an hour, either testing water, counting fish, water changing, replanting planted plants that went rogue... :)
 
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BigManAquatics

I swear my 11/2 yr old puppy gives me the stink eye now everything I go near the tank because she knows I'll be there for at least an hour, either testing water, counting fish, water changing, replanting planted plants that went rogue... :)
The cats would...but they know that both of us stay put for awhile when it is tank time so that becomes prime time for kitty lovins and rubbins
 
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Rose of Sharon

Loved the post; brought back some not so fond memories....

Oh, it gets better...just wait for MTS to rear it's ugly head!!!!
 
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Tanked4Relaxin

MTS? The Mothership??
 
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Catappa

47 years ago when I had my first fish....no such thing as a cycle, no fancy chemicals, no fancy substrates...it was all DIY and a heck of alot less complicated, confusing and costly as it is now

I frequently wish things were back being simple again but back then fish were considerably stronger and way more hardy and disease free. Its thanks entirely to an explosion of fishkeeping that has weakened genetics on almost every species of fish. Especially Betta, Tetra and Gourami. They have been interbred to within an inch of their lives and genetically ruined, so they die of illnesses that they should be able to fight, that breaks hearts and causes dillusionment all round.

I wish the clocks could be turned back....seriously I do.
I second all you wrote. I've been keeping fish much longer than you.
 
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