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Aquariums

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Aquariums of various kinds are my favorite parts of zoos, and I like the freestanding attractions and the tanks that show up in some stores, restaurants, and office spaces.

I grew up with tropical freshwater setups in the homes of my grandparents on both sides, plus our own. When he went into private practice, Dad added one to his office. The office tank was the pinnacle of our time in the hobby. Not only did we have beautiful fish of many species, we even had a nice array of live plants.

But after many decades in the hobby, for a variety of reasons, we no longer have one. Kinda miss it though, and I often check out the tanks in the pet stores when I’m shopping for my dogs. And I’ve checked out some of the high-end builds on Youtube,

Anyone else here into keeping fish & other aquatic life forms?
 

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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Heh. My wife has a smallish (20-gal) tank with roughly twenty fish--mostly smalls because she likes the visuals of the schools--and some live plants. I've been ... recruited as a maintenance assistant.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Back in grad school, one of my roommates came by a rather large aquarium that he put in our apartment. Our other roommate was allergic to things with fur, so he thought the aquarium was a good idea.

Of course, when he moved out, he left it behind, so I inherited it. Which meant I was keeping fish until they all died off naturally... and one, Schwa the Lichfish, carried on for several years. He's the only pet fish I know of that has stories about him...
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I loved large-scale aquariums. Very peaceful. Hopefully all the animals are being taken care of now, even in the absence of paying customers, like it was in Before Times.

I always thought one of the best setups was at places like the Boston Aquarium. View the aquarium, get up some hunger, and go to Legal Seafoods just outside. It was both so wrong, and so right.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The one at my Dad’s office was 90 gallons. We had it for a decade+ before he moved into a building with a clause which prohibited it. He sold the setup instead of bringing it home.

And by that time, we had gotten rid of the house setup becaythe new house we were in didn’t have a good space for one that didn’t also clash with Mom’s interior decorating goals.

So no more fish pets.
 

Eltab

Hero
My childhood doctor had an aquarium in the waiting room.
It gave the kids something to pay attention to, other than thinking about getting a shot.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I like fish. They are cool. And really passive pets.
The upkeep on tanks especially if you want a big fancy one for equally big, fancy fish though is rough.

We used to have on in our house and it was always unfun to clean. And you have to keep that regimented or the fish can come down with a variety of ailments. I have seen Ick and fin rot.

For now... well sorta... I just watch fish at the zoo or one of my favorite bars. Once they open again o_O that is.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
We used to do most of our disease control proactively by buying from sellers who knew what they were doing. One place we frequented usually did a good job of quarantining & treating his stock before sale. The only thing we KNOW that got past his measures was some kind of tiny, brownish soft-bodied invertebrate that roamed our tank for a month or so. Never saw it attack any fish, though, and after a while, it disappeared. (Probably someone’s dinner.)

We did have the odd ick problem, but the copper solutions* usually took care of that pretty quickly.


* as I recall- it’s been a while
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I might have sounded as though I resent helping my wife maintain her aquarium. I really don't mind helping her move water around once a week, and the fish are aesthetically pleasing. Not something I would have chosen for myself, but nothing I'd seriously complain about, either.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
No, I got ya. I’ve done my fair share of cleaning- and moving!- aquariums. The water is heavy, the tanks can be awkward to move. Sometimes, the fish can be less than helpful.

When we were moving the office aquarium from its original location to a different office, we had to break that thing down almost completely. Most of the fish went by styrofoam or Igloo Cooler.

But two were very difficult. We had a pair of Banjo catfish. They’re about 4-5” long, very flat, with big heads and skinny bodies. (They look somewhat like banjos from the top down, hence the name.)
1595447655666.jpeg


The thing is, they spend most of their time buried in the gravel. So there I am with an almost empty tank, just gravel and the last few inches of water, and I haven‘t found the banjos yet! I couldn’t just stick my net down into the gravel for fear of injuring the fish. I had to use one hand to sift gravel and the other to man the net.

It took forever. I did learn from that experience, though- banjo cats grunt!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Speaking of catfish, the biggest, long lived fish we had in our office tank were a pair of striped raphaels. Ours survived that aforementioned move, and grew to about 7” in length. Each lived more than a decade.

1595448135798.jpeg
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
We haven't moved the tank itself since we put the water in it. When I was talking about "moving water around," I was talking about swapping out about a quarter of the tank, once a week. It's not the worst thing in the world; where the tank is would be difficult for one person to wrangle everything, so I manage one siphon while my wife manages the other.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
I would love to have a large salt water tank (the big ones you see at pet stores, not sure what size exactly).

Unfortunately none of them automagically clean or maintain themselves....
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Aquariums of various kinds are my favorite parts of zoos, and I like the freestanding attractions and the tanks that show up in some stores, restaurants, and office spaces.

I grew up with tropical freshwater setups in the homes of my grandparents on both sides, plus our own. When he went into private practice, Dad added one to his office. The office tank was the pinnacle of our time in the hobby. Not only did we have beautiful fish of many species, we even had a nice array of live plants.

But after many decades in the hobby, for a variety of reasons, we no longer have one. Kinda miss it though, and I often check out the tanks in the pet stores when I’m shopping for my dogs. And I’ve checked out some of the high-end builds on Youtube,

Anyone else here into keeping fish & other aquatic life forms?
My wife works at her father’s auto repair shop, and they have a quite large tank with 3 red-eared sliders (turtles). They’re really cool, but the oldest one, Lenny, is getting too big for the tank.

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t stop growing in a small tank, they just start growing wrong. Her she’ll is getting taller. This happened before, which is why we got a double-the-size tank a few years ago.

We are going to see if the local wildlife place can take her, soon, and if not that we gotta find her a place to live that isn’t too small. My wife can’t take care of a bigger tank!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
We haven't moved the tank itself since we put the water in it. When I was talking about "moving water around," I was talking about swapping out about a quarter of the tank, once a week. It's not the worst thing in the world; where the tank is would be difficult for one person to wrangle everything, so I manage one siphon while my wife manages the other.
I understood- I was just thinking I’d share one of the worst tank maintenance duties I ever had to participate in.

Changing the water was a chore, no question. But the person who got the worst of that was my Dad. I did it most often, but he got unlucky one day when he decided to do it himself whil I was doing some other work in his office. A bubble of air was trapped in the draining tube, and he had to suck it out. We had the radio going.

In between songs, the DJ told this funny story about Air Supply’s first big tour in the USA. When Dad heard the punch line, he inhaled deeply to laugh...and simultanously cleared the bubble, getting him a mouthful of old tank water.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I would love to have a large salt water tank (the big ones you see at pet stores, not sure what size exactly).

Unfortunately none of them automagically clean or maintain themselves....
A lot of those places hire cleaning services. Some even have contracts for restocking or removing of fish, as needed.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
My wife works at her father’s auto repair shop, and they have a quite large tank with 3 red-eared sliders (turtles). They’re really cool, but the oldest one, Lenny, is getting too big for the tank.

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t stop growing in a small tank, they just start growing wrong. Her she’ll is getting taller. This happened before, which is why we got a double-the-size tank a few years ago.

We are going to see if the local wildlife place can take her, soon, and if not that we gotta find her a place to live that isn’t too small. My wife can’t take care of a bigger tank!
If the rescue place doesn’t have answers, call some veterinarians or pet stores.

Or schools. Lots of biology departments have aquarium/terrarium displays. My 2nd grade school- Tillicum Elementary in Tacoma, WA- used to have a large, full on saltwater tank with plenty of anemones.
 

pogre

Legend
I have two tanks - a 138-gallon and a 160-gallon. Honestly, big tanks are much easier to maintain and keep healthy. I also match my fish to local water's ph - thus I have tanks full of African Cichlids. One is Lake Malawi and the other is Lake Tanganyika. I have had the tanks for about nine years now.
 

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