Like many of us I had my first aquarium as a kid. Fish from Walmart or local fish stores were the norm, but usually fell away due to neglect. I got back in the hobby around 1998 running an African cichlid tank. That lasted for about four years, and I miss the days of hitting all the fish stores in Austin to pick up new fish and exotic plecos (one of my favorites). I was always too nervous about running marine tanks due to the perceived complexity.
That all changed several years later when I dated a woman who was running two small saltwater tanks in her apartment. I saw the tanks and loved them. Conversations with her, and a subsequent MAAST meeting held in South Austin that we attended together, convinced me to give it a go. I bought a 6g eclipse and was sure I would run it as saltwater. Uncontrolled temps lead to failure, but I now wasn't intimidated to try again.
Jump ahead to 2009. I had gotten married in 2008, and we went to New Zealand and Australia on our honeymoon the following Spring. We scuba dove for the first time on the Great Barrier reef, and I knew when we got back that I had to have a piece of the reef at home. My wife agreed, and we bought a 29g tank that occupied one corner of our living room. I spent every night up to my elbows in the tank, moving things, adding corals, and generally disturbing everything.
The little tank quickly became crowded, and I think within about 6 months we planned the upgrade to our 90g tank. The obsession grew, and in the meantime I took over running the Austin Reef Club. As I met more members and saw more tanks I felt an upgrade was in order. I convinced my wife that if she let me upgrade the big tank that I would get rid of several smaller ones around the house. She agreed, and we ordered the 230.
In the next few posts I'll replay the various tanks I had to get me up to the current day, and hopefully I'll keep this maintained from this point on. Hope you enjoy the ride (and learn from some of the various mistakes I've made).