How I got started in the hobby

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    It all started when I was 10 years old. My dad showed up with a 10G tank and introduced me to this world. </end Fresh Prince rhythm>

    He gave me a 10G Tetra starter kit that came with an incandescent hood and a Tetra HOB filter. I fell in love right away! I tried to do as much research as possible on my own, but I learned a lot through trial and error. There was no internet in 1986, and I didn’t have the ability to attend the San Antonio Aquarium Society meetings because of schedule conflicts for my parents. I learned a lot from my first fish tank. I was so influenced I thought for sure I wanted to be an Ichthyologist when I grew up. At the age of 10 I had read article after article in fish keeping magazines and tons of encyclopedia entries on fish species and fish biology. I even bought a copy of “Dr. Axelrod’s Mini-Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes” that I still have to this day.

    My first fish was an angelfish (P. Scalare). I picked one up at the LFS near me when it was still the size of a nickel. The next fish I got was a blue gourami (Trichopodus Trichopterus). I kept them for several years. The angel was big enough that it’s fins touched the surface of the tank and dragged on the gravel at the same time. The gourami tried to stake out it’s territory and lost it’s life as a result. The Angel was not playing around. During this time I tried all kinds of foods from catching bugs like flies and worms, and even using feeder guppies. It’s aggression probably grew from chasing the feeders around the tank, sorry mr grourami. To this day I still have a soft spot for angels and gouramis.

    The tank was up and running continuously for 4 years before disaster struck. While I was away on a hiking trip, the HOB filter clogged and drained the water from the tank killing my prized angelfish. At least that is the story my mom told me when we got back home. I’ve always suspected that there was foul play involved because it just so happened that we moved overseas a few months later. I did get another tank while we lived in Seoul, but that’s another story for another time.

    All in all I have kept fish for 25+ years. 🙂

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