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Discussion Starter #1

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What a source of inspiration! I can only hope that my efforts will reflect but a glimmer of the beauty that is id=1639.

For, in the words of Socrates, "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."
 

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id 1190 is groundbreaking! That is innovation. What kind of substrate is he using? Ferts? Lighting? Filtration? Does anyone know who makes that castle?
 

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I can sense all those "Sillyscape" addicts from theplantedtank.com board heading this way..... This is a real attraction. Aquariums For The People!!

Andrew Cribb
 

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I hope noone gets offended by all those jokes.:-D

My first tank consisted of a 3 liter wine bottle full of tap water and housing a single red sword fish. I changed all of the water every few days by pouring it in the sink trying to not loose the fish in the process.

The glass was pale yellow, thick, and uneven. At the age of 9 I felt like the best aquarist ever.

Later a 1/2" sunfish was added to the same bottle. It was captured in a pond situated in the middle of the gypsy slums. I didn't venture to go there because such a visit usually meant a fight with the gypsy kids involving rocks flying from all directions. My friend that didn't like to think much about anything went there and got about 30 baby sunfish. I was fascinated by the "wildcaught" fish and by the picturesque explanation how the sewage from the houses formed aromatic ditches and filled the pond where the fish lived.

Later I heard about guppies living and breeding in colorful chemical waste pits somewhere in the former USSR. Some Russian tanks seem to get inspiration from sights like that :-D

Years later I saw wild cichlids in Africa. The fish occupied almost all the free space in the lake's water. Roughly one fish per gallon of water, many species, and all possible sizes.

Oh I also recall seeing wild sailfin mollies in Cuba, in a part of a river running into the sea (obviously brackish).

What were your first experiences with aquariums?

--Nikolay
 

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Growing up outside Fremantle, Western Australia in the oh-so-long-ago part of the Last Century, we always had fish tanks. My father was a doctor and one of his patients was a breeder/seller of fish. We visited him many times. His garden was devoted to ponds and to a large "fish house". I'm not sure if this was how my father met him, but he had a yard-long electric eel in a tank and made the error of putting a bare arm in there one day. The impusle almost killed him. He had crocodiles in the garden ponds and every sort of fish in aquariums, including Australian Rainbows. It was a wonderful place. He dug by hand a 100 foot well to supply the house and fish with water.

His full time job was as a prison warder. One day, there was an escape of several convicts and he felt responsible, since it happened on his shift. He went home and committed suicide with a shotgun. That was the end of a lovely relationship.

But we continued to roam the Outback and explore the ponds and the few streams in the bush for fish and plants.

Our fish tanks continued. When I moved to England in the 60s, we started native fish tanks with wild sticklebacks and plants. Every weekend we went collecting in local streams and rivers. The tanks were more like what I hear of Walstad aquariums than anything else and any inspiration for their design was purely from nature.

Many years pass and several towns... London.... Beijing..... Dalian.... Taipei..... and finally come to rest, perhaps not permanently in NYC, and the hobby crept back on me. Now I have two daughters sharing it..... and explorative trips and snorkeling trips in New England lakes....

Niko, your account is inspiring... we've come a long way.

Andrew Cribb
 
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