Stangman - Fish Lore Member SpotlightOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Stangman
Hello everyone my name is Doug aka (StangMan). I started out at the age of 9. My mother had bought me a 20 gallon aquarium and housed guppies as a starter fish until they started mating and I could not control the amount of babies so I took all of them to a local fish store and exchanged them out for an array of fish. I also bought a few live plants but I don't remember what type they were because it was a long time ago. I am 45 years old now and that says a lot.
I started back up when I was about 16 and my Dad bought me a 45 gallon tank and it started all over and I was very happy with the choices that I had made for having fresh water again. I had tetras, a pleco and also barbs. I had that tank for many years and had so many different types of fresh water fish along with a brackish tank that I started. It was a 60 gallon that was really neat to have. I started with some archers, they were so much fun to watch and I enjoyed them so well. Then I started both tanks and had African Cichlids in both tanks and it was even better. I turned 21 and had to get rid of all my stuff and moved to Las Vegas to start a career in Landscaping. During those years I used my knowledge from having fresh water and started doing Koi ponds for residential landscape.
I then started to get back in to the hobby and I bought a 150 gallon that housed Oscars. My dear friend asked me to help him start a fish store so I did and what an experience that was. That was back in the mid 80's and at that time the saltwater applications started to happen. We tried doing things like the freshwater with under gravel filters and power heads but that was a total nightmare by all means. There were many fish lost let's put it that way. I started researching from Germany because I heard of people trying different techniques so I wanted to jump in and I did. I started hearing about the Berlin method and that was it. All the headaches diminished. To this day I still use these methods as well as many have. The thing that I miss the most was going to LA to pick out all salt water for the store - fish, inverts, corals, equipment those were the good ole days!
At one time I had 5 tanks in my house and 4 out of five were reef tanks with no fish just corals. I sold all my tanks except one which was a 29 gallon show tank which I started back with some fresh water fish. I had that tank for about 6 months and then started a reef tank.
I currently have two tanks a 30 cube that I built from scratch. The tank, stand, and sump the rest of the stuff I already had and I have a 75 gallon Oceanic reef ready tank that I found on Craigslist. The 75 gallon has been up for about a year and the other for a few years and both are doing very well. These days I only purchase frags for my tanks. I keep my tanks at 1.024 - 1.025 on salinity all other water parameters are within specs for reef tank usage. I am a huge reef enthusiast and have been for about 26 years and learned a ton of things about fish and corals and all that comes with the enjoyment. My wife will not let me have any more tanks at this time. She said I have to pay off all my other toys first then sell those tanks. In my plans is to do maybe a 300 gallon reef down the road but we shall see. I would even be happy with a 150 but time will tell.
I currently have 3 ocellaris black clowns, 2 Cherub pygmy angelfish, 1 Yellow tang, and a Maroon clownfish in my tanks. I usually feed every other day at evening time. I do water changes every two weeks religiously of about 30-40 percent per water change. I use R/O water from an Aquaticlife 5 stage setup which has been the best R/O (Reverse Osmosis) unit thus far that I have used. I don't use any mechanical filtration such as pads or carbon... Only if I absolutely need them will I use this method. A sump and a skimmer is all that I have used all these years and have had no problems with this method of reef care. At this point I use metal halide lighting. I have a 250 watt on my 75 and a 150 wat on my 30 cube. I do have plans in the future to change over to LED lighting to save on the power bill. I use Hydor and Tunze propeller heads for circulation and use Sicce and Tunze for return pumps.
I have very much enjoyed this forum and will continue to support the reef hobby and I enjoy helping those who have a desire to learn about this wonderful hobby. Sustainability is the key to success and it requires a lot of devoted time and knowledge to get to this point and beyond. The hardest part is to get past a year of time with a setup that has the proper equipment for reef applications. There is a great pay off during the years of enjoyment with many more to come. Things are changing in our oceans and it is up to us to keep it alive. So by all means if you have the choice, use fragments for corals and buy fish that are tank bred to help the reefs and the animals that we use for our enjoyment. Protect our oceans before they are gone.
I want to thank all my friends, Mom and Dad, my son and my wonderful wife that have seen and been there for me to keep going forth in this hobby that I love so much. It has been a strong passion for me all these years and will continue to be the rest of my life. CORAL magazine is my favorite reading material. Pick one up because you can't go wrong. This magazine is very informative about our oceans, fish, and of course corals and many other subjects that will help you in other aspects of this hobby.
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