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Aquariums tell stories that everyone interprets differently, what’s your story?


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Well I started with the intention of only having one and now I have three. (MTS)

Each Aquarium I have has a story and chapters not written yet. 

38g Bowfront-My first tank setup for my daughter and I to have something to do together during COVID, learned a lot with many trials and errors. Tank is doing fantastic. (First learning tank and now my main display)

10g-Setup a Walstad (dirted tank). Just finally got done cycling. Some fish are more resilient than we may think they are. Many chapters to go. (experiment tank)

20gal Tall- Eco-complete planted Aquascape. Just finished cycling. Learned there can be hitchhiker fish than come in on cycled filter media. (Aquascape tank) 

What story does your aqaurium('s) tell? Share your stories here. 




Edited by Garren
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Back when I was in middle school, I got my first pufferfish (f8). I had it for a couple of years until it died of an unknown cause. Fast forward a few months and my wrestling/ football coach and Steenfott aquatics (they were roommates and I had no idea) invited me to go on a trip with them to Aquarium co-op. They got me the fish in my profile pic, a spotted congo puffer, my dream fish (named mini Bob). I set him up in a planted 20g and after a couple years, I moved him into a more variety of plants 40g tank. He was thriving before, I just thought he would be even happier with more volume. After a steady 6 month in his new tank, my coach unexpectedly passed away. My community was/ still is heart broken. To me, the story is to keep his memory alive. The tank represents the memories I have forever. If you're reading this, don't take anything for granted, and take a picture of your good times. We were always in the moment and didn't take a single one. This story is more about the fish, but the tank makes it whole. 

bob behind plant.jpg

bob eating snail 1.jpg

bob biting snail.jpg

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The story playing out in my head for over a decade has been the Snail Wars. Since the beginning my tanks have been prosperous for the snails with many snail races competing for territory and food with at one time there being 7+ species in one tank. As the war raged on most species died out, leaving only three behind. To paralell it to LoTR

MTS or "The Dwarves" - an old and nearly indestructable race that retreat underground in times of hardship.

Ramshorns or "The race of Men" - A productive race that lacks durability but is strong willed and always finds a way.

Pond Snails or "The Race of Elves" - A race with unmatched efficiency and grace.

In the beginning of the second age of the snail after the great war which left behind only the three races, a great HOB was installed at the edge of the realm providing flow and great clarity. But unknown to the snail races a great impeller sat at the heart of the HOB demmanding death of all who dared to enter. The races of men and dwarves enjoyed the gifts of the great HOB, but paid it no reverence as they focused on the treasures below. The elves on the other hand determimed that the HOB was a heavenly realm that one could journey to if they could get past the great flow barrier. They started a great exodus to the HOB which was so unforgiving upon their arrival, none survived. With the elves gone there was a period of great prosperity for both men and dwarves, but they could not have forseen the coming danger.

Nearing the end of the HOB age the Great Fishkeeper aka (the provider for the entire realm) had to leave for a short time, leaving the lesser "Roomate" in charge. While then Great Fishkeeper was away the HOB died but the Roomate did not fufill the task of caring for the realm. The clamity that ensued killed almost all of the race of men while the dwarves managed to survive in greater numbers. Once the Great Fishkeeper returned he had mercy on the realm and prosperity returned.

And so ended the second age...

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I had a betta and some kind of algae eater long ago (decades), then jobs (full and many 2nd part time jobs), 3 kids, bad marriage, and not a dime of extra money, well you know the story. I worked for a lawyer who had fish, and I loved them. She acquired a betta in a bowl and I convinced her to get another aquarium and heater for him, as he was too cold and to me, a betta needs more than a bowl of water. This was upstate NY, indoor spaces are generally never more than 68-70 in the winter - too cold for a betta, Nancy!! I wanted fish real bad after that, but couldn't afford it.

Fast forward a few years. I moved down to Maryland for a better job a few years after my youngest graduated high school, and saved up enough money to be able to retire at age 60. I never knew any life as an adult except work work work, and I wanted to experience something else.

Then I said NOW WHAT? Covid took away alot of ideas, but I could surely get an aquarium and do well, right? So let's go! Did research for about a month...

Tank 1 - 45 gallon. Has my favorite fish - harlequin rasboras, plus otocinclus catfish, and recently, blue bolt shrimp. See post above by @TheDukeAnumber1 for my current BOTS situation! It's starting to improve through more controlled feeding plus manual removal. At least they do provide a service, just don't want 10,000 of them! I have concrete plans for 2 new surprise additions to this tank, and then it will be compete. I will probably have to remove the blue bolts to another tank and if so, I have a plastic 5 gallon minibow in storage for that. Sigh. Or maybe eventually in with betta if he is mellow.

Tank 2 - 20L. I started because on a whim I bought dwarf emerald danios and then found out they need cooler water and higher pH than the rasboras. An excuse for a second tank! Then came yellow shrimp tankmates. Currently waiting for more fish...

Tank 3 - 10 gallon. While looking for more fish for the 20L, I had a betta idea. So this is currently in build for a betta which I am planning to buy in the next few days. 

Quarantine/hospital tank - 10 gallon, not currently in use.

All of this brings me joy, keeps me busy, and forces me to do physical and mental work. I don't even want to do anything else right now, as I also enjoy just looking at them for hours at a time. Down time is something that was sorely missing from my working life. Fish have brought me true happiness. 

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