Well, my story is similar I guess...anyway, here goes. When I was in my 3rd year of college, my roommate, his girlfriend and her roommate thought it would be neat to get a 10 gallon fish tank to take care of. I had never actually owned my own tank, but had watched them around my house growing up --- my dad had a 100g, 15 hex and custom-made 20g, all of which were basic community setups, or African cichlids. No live plants whatsoever. A few months later, my parents bought a used 40g setup for me as a xmas gift and I was very happy. Some of the fish fish I remember putting in it were 4 silver dollars, 1 or 2 angelfish, a couple gouramis, redtail shark, pleco and a few other tetra-type fish. I remember seeing plants at Petco and wondered, "How hard can they really be? The plants outside grow just fine and we had a couple house plants...Anyway, I tossed some cabomba, a sword plant, java fern and java moss in there with no Co2, no ferts and a single 18W light on the 40g tank. Needless to say, nothing really did well. The cabomba fell apart. The sword plants were munched down to the crown by the SDs. The java fern turned black and was also eaten off of a little, plus the moss was impossible to keep clean, so I threw it out. I finally decided to upgrade lighting, so I bought 3- 30W T-12s (actinic -- bad mistake) and started running them on the tank with a "lightly" planted scape. This was my first experience with green water. Well, I conquered that and learned a thing or two. Now, today, I just run my 20g planted with pressurized Co2, cannister filter w/ homemade PVC reactor hooked to the outflow, plus 110W of PCs. It's like night and day compared to back then. I'm looking to convert my 90g central/south American cichlid tank into a planted tank. I've had thoughts of heavily planting it and trying some Discus, or maybe just 2-3 shoals of 20-30 small tetras (rummynose, cardinal, etc) and have the main focus be on the plants. I'll leave it at that. Great stories everyone!
P.S. as a side note, I was quite a collector of sorts as well. I used to walk around the backyard as a kid, collecting snails, bugs and spiders. I even made my mom pick them up for me and once got her bit by a centipede! lol
P.S.S. I still find it funny when "newbies" come into the LFS I work weekends at and gawk at the redtail/rainbow sharks and bala sharks saying things like, "Cool! I want a shark in my tank!" I usually don't want to rain on their parade and say, "Well, its actually not a shark, like Jaws, but a catfish." I would probably get some confused looks. Or the sort of people who ask me if they can put an electric blue johanni with their neon tetras. I just politely say no, as we've all been there (newbie-ville).
Last edited by ringram; 05-16-2006 at 01:48 PM..