So, i'm bored today and I thought this would be a neat idea. If anyone would like to participate, I would be very interested in reading your threads.
This is how my hobby life evolved.
When I was 14 years old my parent bought me a 29 gallon aquarium. We set it up freshwater, with an undergravel filter, an air pump, and carbon inserts in the uplift tube. We did exactly as we were told by the LFS, adding Stress Coat and Nox Ich to the aquarium every time we did a water change and every time we added fish. We never tested anything, but we did our regular partial water changes (using the garden hose). We had very limited success for about a year and eventually the aquarium was taken down. I remember having Red Swordtails and Black Skirt Tetras, but that is pretty much the extent of what lived well.
About 2 years later my brother set up a 10 gallon aquarium. This was 1989, if memory serves me correct. His aquarium was going well, with the help of a knowledgable man at the local LFS who really was a true hobbyist. Given his success, I dug the 29 gallon out of the basement. Being a little more mature and eager to learn, I lived at the LFS. I was there every day, just watching Tim take care of the tanks and talking his ears off. He was more than happy to let me participate and always willing to trade fish in and out. It was freshwater only at first, then a small number of marine fish to catch my eye.
Fast forward 3 years. I am 19 years old living in my parents basement. In my bedroom I have:
A 29 gallon African Cichlid tank.
A 55 gallon Cichlid Tank, way overstocked with large Cichlids. From memory, I had an Oscar, Jack Dempsey, 2 Pike Cichlids, 2 Jewell Cichlids, 1 Firemouth, and 1 Pacu.
A 10 gallon Saltwater tank. It was set up with a U/G filter and freshwater decorations. I kept a Coral Beauty Angel and a single Ocellaris Clownfish. I used baking soda as a buffer and did weekly water changes. Overall it was successful, but I got bored within a few months and went back to FW.
A 10 gallon freshwater tank, with basic community fish.
A 20 gallon freshwater tank, wtih basic community fish.
My mom was starting to get a little annoyed.
Fast forward 2 years. I am 21 years old living at home, and working at the LFS. In my bedroom I have:
A 10 gallon open top live plant tank with Cardinal Tetras and Albino Corys.
A 10 gallon species tank for a pair of Paradise Gouramies.
A 55 gallon with a Blood Parrot, Gold Severum, Green Severum, 7 Silver Dollars, and 3 Raphael Catfish.
FYI - the Blood Parrot lived 14 years.
A 29 gallon African Cichlid tank. I loved my Africans.
A 20 gallon long saltwater. It had a U/G filter and an internal protein skimmer home made out of a tennis ball can. It had several fake barnicle corals, 2 Clownfish, a Yellow Tail Blue Damsel, and a Domino Damsel. I had no problems with this tank, but was still not really interested in marine.
A 20 gallon freshwater community.
A 10 gallon Ram and live plant biotope.
A 29 gallon with Tiger Barbs, Serpae Tetras, and a Leporinus.
Fast forward 1 year, to 1995. I am 22 years old living with my girlfriend in a 1 bedroom apartment. We have:
A 29 gallon saltwater with Damsels, filtered by a Penguin Biowheel.
A 10 gallon saltwater with a pair of Clownfish, filtered by a sponge filter and an internal skimmer home made out of an old uplift tube.
A 29 gallon saltwater filtered by a Penguin with Clownfish and an anemone.
A 29 gallon live plant tank.
A 20 long live plant tank.
A 55 gallon saltwater with a Black Trigger, a Regal Angel, and a Porcupine Puffer. The Regal lived for about 6 months before I returned it to the LFS. It did not get along with the Puffer. This tank was filtered by a Penguin and a Skilter. Keep in mind, this was 1995. The internet was just getting its start and supplies were hard to come by. Information was slowly exchanged and sump systems were only used for the largest of aquariums. Weekly water changes were normal and live rock was not used in any of my tanks.
Fast forward 2 years, to 1997. My girlfriend and I now live in a 2 bedroom apartment. I am about to graduate college. We have a fishroom. Yes, we moved to a 2 BR apartment so that we could have a fishroom. We have:
A 90 gallon Asian FW tank. It was a square home made acrylic tank, 3'' x 3''. Very cool.
A 55 gallon saltwater, with a Black Trigger, Picaso Trigger, Maroon Clownfish, and Porcupine Puffer.
The saltwater tank now had a generic brand CPR type unit, with protein skimmer and bioballs. No live rock.
A 10 gallon mini reef, with live rock and dual light strip. It had mushrooms, Tubastrea, and feather dusters, along with a Yellow Clown Goby, Ocellaris Clown,and various inverts. It was a natural system with no filter, and eventually a skilter was added.
2 more 20 gallon tanks, 2 more 29 gallon tanks, and a pair of 10 gallon tanks, all various FW setups.
We also had a Turtle tank, a hedgehog, 2 Lovebirds, a Parokeet, a Cockatiel, and a lot of Finch.
Fast forward 2 years, to 1999. I bought my first home and turned the basement into a REAL fishroom. I will continue this part of the story later today, because now the hobby starts to really get fun!