Member Spotlight on SlugOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Slug (Matt)
Shortly after my first tank had been established I found that the internet was a wealth of information. This is when I became fully devoted and engulfed in the internet message boards pretaining to fish. Like myself I knew there were new people to the hobby and I wanted to be able to connect with them and give them some tips that I found helpful while also receiving any advice they might want to share. All I did whenever I had time was sit at the computer, studying cichlids, specific species, their needs, experiences with them, foods they like, everything. I was building my mental database, window shopping for the future. Not to mention making contacts and great friends in the hobby at the same time.
Around 2002 or 2003 I bought my first "big" tank. A 55 gallon monster compared to all of the others in the house. Discus had always been on my wishlist since I got into the hobby, just never a real possibility until I got my 55 gallon tank. I decided once again to swim upstream and ignore all the warnings of difficulty associated and dove head first. I bought some small discus at my LFS. I kept them sucessfully for 2 years until I decided to move on to another type of fish.
In Febuary of 2007 I took a large step in my hobby and setup a saltwater tank. I setup a 2.5 gallon pico reef. Something so small could still support amazing amounts of life. This tank has since migrated into a 10 gallon Nano reef. Supporting over 18 different types of coral from SPS, to LPS, to softies.
Its been just about 10 years since I first entered this awesome hobby. And for the past 10 years I haven't been without at least one tank running. Heres to another 10.
29 gallon: The Angelfish tank has been running for probably 2 years. It houses a single male angelfish and bristlenose pleco. The male angelfish's mate died of old age a few months ago.
20 gallon: Barebottom discus breeding tank. This smaller bare tank is home to a Cobalt X Blue Diamond pair of discus that I am currently working with. Temp is around 86, pH is about 7. Like the big discus tank, it gets the same feeding and water change schedule.
10 gallon: Nano Reef - Ah, my nano reef. My pride and joy. This tank is full of coral and 2 fish. It is my play tank, as I am always tinkering with it. Growing the coral, fragging the coral, rearranging. This tank is about 2 years old and houses SPS, LPS, Zoas, and Softies as far as coral goes, a Royal Gramma and Fourline Wrasse call the reef home as well. Out of the 18 types of coral I own, there are multipule color forms of each.
- Have patience, don't rush the shot. Fish are naturally curious and will approach you, they set up the shot.
- Stay in one place on the tank, don't chase the fish around the tank.
- Practice! Rome wasn't built in a day
- Know your tank. Know where your flash bounces back and avoid these areas, know what makes a good background in pictures and setup look at this area.
- Know your fish, know how they react and their patterns of movement.
- Finally, charge your battery and empty your memory card. Not only will you be sitting there a long time, but you will take hundreds of pictures and only find 10 useable ones. It happens, just be patient.
- House a Paretroplus breeding program (As well as other ACA CARES species)
- Own a fishroom/fish house
- Own and breed a group of L046 Zebra Plecos
- Advance my Discus breeding to a level that I can actually call myself a quality breeder
- Win with a showfish at the ACAs
To all those involved with local and national clubs, keep it up. This is where quality fish and the drive for the hobby starts and continues.
Fishlore, thanks for welcoming me and providing me a new "home" online as well as giving me a chance to be spotlighted. These sites are really what the love for the hobby is about. For people to take time out of their day to help others wanting to become involved is awesome. Fishlore is a great community, not just another book on the bookshelf.
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