Aug 312008

Sunday is always my favorite day of a three-day weekend.  It feels the freest.  It feels unusually open for things I’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t—not chores, but enjoyable things that take a little time.

I started setting my larger saltwater aquarium back up this afternoon.  I’ve kept tropical fish pretty much since I could walk, but I only first tried a marine environment a couple of years before Lea and I got married (so, about 1995).  I had good success with it.  My charges included a marine betta and a regal tang that lived for more than five years.  I kept a flame angel happy for a couple of years, but she really did well only as long as I kept buying her live rock to graze.  When I decided that was getting too expensive, I traded her in.

My star attraction was my lionfish.  As spectacular as lionfish are to look at, they’re among the most undemanding of saltwater species to keep in aquaria.  The only real trick is to teach them to take dead food, which you can accomplish with a feeding stick and a little patience over a few days.  After that, make sure they get a decent meal a time or two a week, keep some water changed regularly, and enjoy the show.

I kept my last lionfish in a 29-gallon, which was on the small side.  This time I’m giving one the run of my 55-gallon.  I’ll post some photos in six or seven weeks.

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 Posted by at 7:41 pm

  8 Responses to “Back into aquaria”

  1. We used to have a nice salt water aquarium in our Fort Lauderdale house, but we were away so much, requiring paying someone for daily feeding, water addition, etc., that when we sold that house we decided not to do another tank.

  2. You’re not moving anytime soon, are ya? 🙂

  3. I enjoy watching aquariums, but I don’t have the talent to keep them. I had a boyfriend who kept a big salt-water aquarium for about a year, but when he left, so did the fish. I’ve been a cat lady ever since.

  4. Cool, enjoy. I just have a 29 gallon fresh tank going atm. It is also only home to a plec and a single cichlid of some sort. Have not had the gumption to do anything more.

  5. Gerry: Yeah, I don’t see how someone with two residences could do it. Depending on what you keep, some freshwater tanks could be fine unattended for as long as a month at a time, but it’s tough to get much past ten days or so with saltwater.

    Charles: No. 🙂 (Eight years ago we sold Lea’s old house before our new one was built, so we moved into an apartment for the interim. Charles helped me move five operational tanks twice in four months. Moving one established aquarium isn’t fun.)

    Mrs. Chili: If you ever want to give an aquarium a go, let me know. There are some aspects of the hobby for which you develop a knack and start acting and reacting on instinct (for lack of a better term), but neither magic nor a huge time commitment is necessary to keep a tank healthy. I can help you.

    Buzz: Yeah, thanks. I’m excited. I have a 20 tall set up in the sunroom (also Lea’s study) that I’ve cycled with zebras, and I’m ultimately going to put two or three angels in there for her as the sole inhabitants. (Well, maybe a Corydoras or two.) That’s my only fresh right now. I gave serious thought to doing an Amazon tank with my 55 (small tetra shoals), and I also thought about doing a brackish tank (I’ve always wanted to keep an archerfish). In the end, the lionfish won out.

  6. Yay! I miss the lionfish…..and y’all 🙂

  7. Yeah I am convinced, having tried to keep spotted puffers and bumble bee gobies, that brackish are actually harder to maintain than full salt.

  8. I like the lionfish. They are fun to watch. Stan… not so much. Can fish hate? I’m convinced he hated me.

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