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I'm gnatster (Nathan)

This all started on a snowy night in January almost 28 years ago when my parents had promised me a tank for my 13th birthday. Birthday eve and I bugged mom and Dad for that tank so much they gave in and off to the lfs we went. Right inside the door of the mysterious shop who's windows were covered in condensation was, gasp!!, a Planted Tank. To my young eyes it was monster sized. Schools of Cardinal's darted to and fro while a pair of Angels floated heavenly above a carpet of green. The hook was sunk right then and there.

First tank was a community 20L and within a year my bedroom had a 30 and then a 55 SW tank. SCUBA lessons and diving vacations in the Caribbean set my resolve to become a Marine Ichthyologist. In high school for my senior project on genetics I learned how to breed guppies and was allowed to setup a dedicated fishroom in the house. Tons of culls had to go someplace so an Angelfish breeding system went in. All that languished while in college at U Miami (Fla) working on my degree in Marine Sciences.

The family business came calling after 3 years. That lead to a secession of various business ventures with the family. All the while a secession of tanks paraded thru my home. Got bit by reef bug and invested with some others in a wholesale marine enterprise. We made road trips to Fla and collected our own rock and sold that in the NE, then started importing fish and corals. One of our lfs clients went belly up owing a bit of money so now I was suddenly in the retail biz too, that along with the family business. Something had to give and family comes first, I sold out just in time, a month later the enterprise folded after a blizzard knocked out power to the warehouse for a few days.

Fast forward a few years, sold the family biz so parents could retire comfortably, and I went to work in a lfs/ Came in the door working the coveted Salt Water isle. A few differences of opinion later and I was at a competing lfs that had just opened.

All this time I became deeply immersed in reefs, culturing Burghia nudibranchs, breeding Banggai Cardinals and becoming very active in local Marine Aq Society.

While lfs work is fun, it's not great for paying bills, back to school. With MCSE in hand got a job doing tech support and moved away from the city to a farm. Unfortunately the farmhouse had crepe paper walls and was too cold to keep tanks, that and the electric service would die if the wind blew. So for 3 years it was no tank for you.

This past Feb the big co I was working for gave us all a very nice severance check. Moved out of the farmhouse to an equally small but nicer home and bought a 120 with the express purpose of creating a planted tank. Since then I have added 3 10's a 20L shrimp breed, 12 nano and have 2 smaller nano cubes coming.

I can attribute my success to the fine people I found at GWAPA and the forums online.
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