Member Showcase: SKAustin
User name: SKAustin
(My little sister and I - 2007)
What is your name?
Stephen K Austin
How old are you?
What is your location?
Upstate New York
What is your occupation?
Police Fire & EMS Dispatcher
How did you choose your user name?
I guessed at it!
My Fish Keeping
When and how did you become involved in fish keeping?
As a young child, my father had a tank with Oscars and other aggressive fish. A close family friend also kept SA Cichlids. At around 10 years old, my father, noting my interest, allowed me to buy my own tank. I saved up my allowances and money from odd jobs I’d pick up around the neighborhood, and within a few weeks, I had saved up enough for a 10 gallon starter kit. I started my venture into the hobby with a pair of painted glass fish (shame on me), a pair of tetras, and a Kuhli Loach. After a few years, My father’s fish eventually killed each other off until he was left with a lonely Wolf Fish, who apparently could no longer bear the loneliness that he had created for himself, so he jumped. Thus ended my fathers venture in fishkeeping. The tank was given to me where it went on to house many fish to come.
What kind of fish do you currently keep?
I currently have two 55 gallon display tank. The first is a Tanganyikan Cichlid community, the second a Mixed Reef.
What kind of setup?
The Freshwater Tank is a very basic setup; Standard 55 gallon All-Glass tank filtered by a Rena XP3 and a Whisper PowerFilter 60 HOB with dual Stealth 50w heaters, 30lbs of fine natural dark gravel and 100lbs of Lace Rock.
The Marine Reef setup is a 55 gallon Perfecto Reef Ready with a 700gph Cornerflo overflow. 120lbs of premium Fiji Live Rock, 50lbs of fine Aragonite sand, Custom 30 gallon 3 chamber Sump with 12 gallon Refugium, Coralife 125 Superskimmer, Tetra 100w submersible heater, Eheim 1260 Return Pump, dual Aquaclear 50 Powerheads modified and equipped with Hydor Flo Deflector Wavemakers,
What was your most challenging fish keeping experience?
The most challenging experience I’ve had to endure by far would be the 14 months of research I put in while preparing to start my first Marine Reef setup. The research itself was of little challenge, but resisting the urge to start prematurely was grueling. Without that valuable time to learn about the needs of a successful Reef system, I certainly would not have attained the level of success I have enjoyed thus far.
What advice would you like to share with the FishForum community?
Research Research Research! Especially when you are looking to start into Marine Reef. There is just so much information out there that, if you take the time to learn before you start making purchases, you will not only save yourself a lot of money, but you will be far better prepared to deal with the many questions, issues, and problems that will inevitably arise. Nothing beats thorough preemptive research
What would be your dream tank?
While I would love a 400 gallon reef tank with dual center overflows, I think realistically so that I can actually achieve my dreams. I am looking forward to a 150 gallon upgrade some time within the next few years.
What do your friends/family think of your hobby?
My friends think I am an addict. I think they might be right. My parents think it is a foolish waste of money, yet they revel in the beauty of my Reef and even brag about it to their friends. My sister likes the fact that she has someone to turn to when she has problems in her little community tropicals tank. My wife is almost as interested in the tanks as I am. My children are mildly interested in the inhabitants, though my 6 year old daughter can name most of the corals. The most rewarding is my step-son, who at 16 years old has stated he wants to become, and has already taken steps to becoming, a Marine Biologist. He loves the tanks, and always takes any opportunities to help out with them.
Do you name your fish? If so, what are some of the names?
Lets see, we have Nemo & Omen (False Percula Clowns), Dory (Blue Hippo Tang), Bubbles (Yellow Tang), Can y’all see where this is going? Every fish we have is named after a children’s movie/tv character.
What fish have you had the longest?
Sully, a Cyphotilapia Frontosa “Burundi” has maintained the longest current residency. He’s been with us for about 4 years now.
What is your favorite fish of all time?
I really cant pick one specific. I guess for FW, Cyphotilapia Frontosa, and for Marine, either the Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse or the Helfrichi Fire Fish.
One a scale of one through ten, how would you rate your interest in fish keeping? (1=I hate fish, 10=Completely and hopelessly obsessed)
Duh! I absolutely hate fishkeeping. Can’t you tell? Seriously, who wrote this question? Anyone filling out such a questionnaire would have to be completely and hopelessly obsessed.
How did you discover the Fish Forum at FishForum.com?
A good friend, A special young lady who’s maturity beyond her years, and her contributions to this hobby should be recognized. Thanks Brie. :)
What are your hobbies?
Besides Fishkeeping? Guitar, Photography, Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Bicycling, Skateboarding with my son, and just hanging out watching movies with my family.`
Do you keep any other pets?
We have a Parakeet named “Stewart”
What is your favorite music?
What are your pet peaves?
Ignorance, especially on the road.
What is your favorite film?
The Shawshank Redemption
What is your favorite TV show?
Ghost Hunters, CSI, NCIS, 2 & a Half Men
What is your favorite food?
Bacon & Pepperoni Pizza with Wings
What is your favorite holiday?
All Hallows Eve (Halloween)
What is your favorite color?
Take pride in what you do, for it is a reflection of who you are.
My 55g SW Softies Domanated Reef | My 55g FW Tanganyikan Cichlid Tank
Hi there Stephen!
I enjoyed reading about you and was excited to see someone else from Upstate, NY! Yay!!!
I loved your winning picture in the recent contest. Keep up the great work!
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