The wall of text is just how I got involved in the hobby and how I got to where I am today. The current-day details follow.
I'm Will from North Carolina. I've been in the fishkeeping hobby for quite some time, but I am just now really getting into it. I suppose it started when I was very young, and my mother bought a 10 gallon fish tank that was right beside me whenever I ate meals. I watched it constantly and was amazed by the colors and beauty of the fish. A few years back, I started making my own tanks, focusing mainly on bettas. Of course, I didn't know nearly as much about the trade as I do now, and although I wasn't keeping them in tiny, unfiltered bowls or vases, the two-gallon aquariums I was using weren't much better (although they were a step-up from the hang-on-the-side cups they were in). So I did more research on them, and as my knowledge increased, so did the adequacy of the tanks they were in. I even went as far as to breed them, but the attempt failed as my male crowntail ate the eggs that were 2 days from hatching. Seeing more varieties of bettas, I decided that I preferred any fin type BUT the kind most commonly seen in stores (veil-tailed), so I ordered one: a black shortfin male that I named Alpha. He was great; I was more proud of him than any other fish I'd ever had. However, his tank accidentally overheated, and he died. I was very discouraged, but kept on with the hobby. I got a 10 gallon nano-cube that went from a freshwater tank (that Alpha was in before I moved him to a different tank; the water flow was too strong) to a saltwater tank, housing two small clownfish. Then after doing more research, I discovered that I was being cruel to these clowns by keeping the two of them in such a small tank, and took them back to the store not too long after Alpha had died. I was very discouraged, and completely dropped the hobby for quite some time. I did research on tarantulas, and purchased my first on March 28th, 2008. She lived for 11 months with me, and even went through a molt. However, after a trip to my school (I was attempting to educate people about spiders in biology), she got dyskinetic syndrome and passed a few days later. I was disappointed, but not completely discouraged, and I now have another Chilean Rose-Hair sitting beside me in the nano-cube. Eventually, the fishkeeping hobby caught my interest again, and I was determined to succeed.
Which leads to current day, and the stuff that's important!
I now have a 10 gallon aquarium housing a beautiful dwarf gourami, 3 black mollies, and various inverts.It also has Java ferns, hornworts, and some driftwood. I'm very happy with this tank, and I don't think it will be going anywhere anytime soon.
I hope one day I will have a larger tank, which would open up a whole new door to the hobby. I have seen so many different large species that are amazing.
I look forward to getting to know you all, and hope that you can guide me through the hobby as I progress. I'll try to contribute to the community as much as possible.