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My travels through the Tropical Fish Hobby

Carolyn N

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First, I will clue you in, this is going to be long winded and about my life with tropical fish. If curious, read on, if not, skip.

I have been around a long time. It all started with I was ten years old. Walking home from school I found an aquarium with one broken glass in a neighbors trash can. It was really cute, had little french legs. I took it home. My father cut a new piece of glass and we went to a pet store (?) and got aquarium cement. It was like black modeling clay. We repaired the tank. Yippee! I found a thermometer and cut around the tube and number scale and slipped it into a small glass test tube, sealed it with a cork. Walla, a floating thermometer. Got some Elodea and Hornwort and some Guppies. Set the tank on a bookcase in a North facing window. Also got a big typical fish bowl, and a couple of goldfish.
No problems. When we moved I was 15 and the tank and bowl did not move with me.

No fish till I got married. Moved to Seattle. Worked at the University of Washington School of Medicine. One of the Lab techs had a tank in her lab and had Guppies. I was looking at the fish one day and she asked me if I would like some. Yeahhhh!. Quick, buy a used tank. Soon after that I got a 25 gal show tank and stand. Nice size. Hooked!
Also, Good book, Wm T. Ennes, "Exotic Aquarium Fishes". I still have it and refer to it, as well as others.

Well, we moved, still in Seattle, to a three story apt. First and second floor and a full private basement, semi finished, with water and electricity. Well, at that time, Goodwill had a big recycling location. They dismantled many things and sold parts. Well, old refrigerators had metal liners. You could buy the liner, it was essentially a square box with one side open where the door had been and on what had been the back, it had some holes where tubing, etc. went thru. Those holes got filled with epoxy and now you had a nice big white enameled metal tank about 3 to 4 ft. long 2 ft. wide and 2 ft. tall. I bought 4 and lined them up on the floor with flood lights hanging above. I purchased one large thermostat and separate heaters, one for each tank, all running off the one thermostat.
I raised fish and aquarium plants and sold to the local drug store (they sold fish and supplies).

Moved back east, no fish, moved back to West Coast.
Several more moves later.
Got a beautiful 40 gal Show Tank and started again. Ended up with 17 aquariums, 2 gold fish ponds, and a Koi pond.
At this time we now lived in Tacoma, Wa. I joined an Aquarium club. They had regular monthly meetings with guest speakers, Aquarium home tours, Aquarium shows, (one year I won First Place).

Moved again, no fish. Another move and a couple of tanks. Another move, and doing some remodeling and the tank, complete setup, was on the Front Porch. Had a large covered front porch. Had scrap building materials in pile on front porch, and tank setup and stand. My nieces husband came by and asked if I would like him to take my trash to the dump. I said yes. Later, I went to the porch and my tank and stand was missing. He had taken my tank and stand, etc. to the dump. That was about 8 years ago. I'm still stewing about that. I finally got up the gumption to get into the hobby again.

I miss a club of local people interested in the fish keeping hobby. I checked, can't find one.

Anyway, I have a 10 gal setup, (this will be my fry tank) and a 5 gal setup for a quarantine tank (all used). I am shopping for a 20 gal setup currently. Also, a 3 gal.


Currently I just have some plants in the 5 and 3 gal and 3 baby platys, 3 Cory's, 1 swordtail. And that, is another story.

Well, have read this over, think I will just leave it as is.
 

Splashdaddy

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You've certainly had your ups and downs! I enjoyed reading about your DIY projects. What have been your favourite fish over the years?
 
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Carolyn N

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I have bred Black Lace Angels, Corys, Dwarf Gouramis (spelling), and Pearl Gouramis. I think the Angels were my favorite as far as breeding. I would say the Angels and Pearl Gouramis were my favorites. It is also fun watching the Gourami male putting the babies back into the bubble nest.
 
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Carolyn N

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Also, Koi are great fun. I had platform that extended over the end of the pond. I would lay on it and the fish would eat out of my hand and let me pet them. They also liked to suck my fingers.
I also raised water lilies and sold them to the local nurseries.
 

Splashdaddy

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If only we could all enjoy koi. It's too cold in our area. I would feel bad for them!
 

Munroco

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If only we could all enjoy koi. It's too cold in our area. I would feel bad for them!
It's not too cold up here for Koi so I think you'd be fine as long as the pond was reasonably deep. I only keep goldfish in my pond. They stay out all year long and do fine in the winter, but I know a few folk who keep koi in this area.
 

Retired Viking

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I gave my koi away to a friend, really liked them but I had them in a 55 gallon tank and I wanted a better life for them. It is very cold here in the winter with plenty of snow. My friend has an aerator and a heater and the koi have grown larger. There must be 50 or more in the pond so I know they have a better life now. ;)
 
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Carolyn N

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My Koi pond was in Tacoma, Wa. It was 38 inches deep with vertical sides and 18 ft. long. It froze over almost every winter. I would plug in an air pump and put an airstone in the pond that way there was always a small area that didn"t freeze. Never had any casualties.
 
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