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Thread: Evolution of your fish hobby

  1. #1
    Registered Member HappyFace's Avatar
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    Default Evolution of your fish hobby

    I would love to hear about how your fish hobby evolved and see pictures (if you have them). Did you start with a 5 gallon tank and it turned into a business with 50 tanks? Maybe 1 small tank turned into a big one over the years? Or your tank scape keeps changing and you add new fish so it looks different from when you started?

    Here is our storyboard of pictures below.

    It all started with our son Daniel's love of fish. We visited a local pottery place with a koi pond at least 2xs a week- which is why I now have tons of pottery and fountains in and outside my house. I finally decided to get my son his first fish. I sold the 2 small fish (and way too small tank) in less than 1 month, bought a fish net at Bob's Bait Bucket and we got Daniel's first koi. The koi was a gift from the pottery place to my son. A 65 gallon tank turned into a 125 gallon tank then a 150 gallon stock tank, a 200 gallon custom tank. I included a picture of me and my husband in Tyvek suits about to go under the house to put jack stands/reinforcement under the 200 gallon aquarium before adding water. The koi kept growing so we found a 500 gallon on Craigslist, rented a Uhaul and picked it up. Now we have a 500 gallon koi aquarium, a 200 gallon discus tank and this Spring/Summer we hope to build a wrap around deck and pond in our back yard.
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    Last edited by HappyFace; 01-05-2018 at 03:39 PM.

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    Registered Member SomeFin's Fishy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    My obsession with fish started when I was seven years old, when my parents gave me a ten gallon aquarium for my birthday. It was one of those slate-bottom aquariums with a stainless steel frame and some kind of tar for sealant at the edges. My dad and I raised guppies, mollies, platys and angelfish until the glass cracked, and all the water leaked out on the family room floor!

    Since that time, we have always had aquariums in the house, and all of our children have grown up with fish tanks in their bedrooms. The number of aquariums in the house has always varied, along with our level of interest, but over the years, we have bred Corys, Plecos, Angelfish, Swordtails, Guppies, Platys, Danios, and a wide variety of other livebearers, as well as an assortment of African and South American Cichlids. Along the way, we have also had a number of marine and reef aquariums ranging in size from 20 gallons to 125 gallons. But as a family, we began breeding fish “enthusiastically” in 2007. At the time, my (daughter (19) and son (12)), decided they wanted to try breeding Bettas. They were so successful, that within 4 months, our basement shelves were lined with plastic cups of Bettas! Everyone we knew had been “gifted” with a vase containing a beautiful Betta and a philodendron!

    Around the same time, my son and daughter and I went to a Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (GCCA) Swap Meet. My son was staring at a bag of silver angels on one of the vendor’s tables, and since it was close to closing, the man gave the bag of angels to my son. He took those fish home and put them in our 125 gallon tank. From those humble beginnings, our hobby was born. The first year, we started with two ten-gallon aquariums in our basement, and as every hobbyist knows, this is like an infectious disease, and you can’t stop with just a couple of tanks. Within two years, we had already outgrown the basement and garage, and were “forced” to build a separate dedicated fish room (garage) attached to our home. Today, we maintain approximately 70 aquariums ranging in size from 10 to 125 gallons.

  3. #3
    Registered Member HappyFace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    What an amazing story Mark! Thank you for sharing!

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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Your discus tank looking good �� from your story I remember my school days when I was in 8th Std I usually go out in recess to nearest pet store to just see the new fish's it's take 20min to come back again in school so I run from school to the pet store now I'm Dermatologist but still having same craze for fish so now discus breeding is my hobby & side business also

  5. #5
    Registered Member HappyFace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Thank you Dr. Shardul!

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    That story about koi ponds leading to a discus tank was one of the most interesting ones I've ever read, thanks. My own story is rather boring, but let me tell you about two old friends with an equally interesting discus tale. These were two ladies I met about 15 years ago when I was starting a discus club in the Twin Cities area.

    These two, who were bosom friends, were orchid fanatics. Not only did they raise orchids, but they learned that orchids grew better with R/O water than the hard water that came out of their tap. They then found that LFS sells R/O water. That's where they ran into discus people, who were buying R/O water for spawning. Before you knew it, they got into discus. They got large scale R/O systems for water changes, then used that soft, slightly fertilized, waste water for their orchids.

    We lost contact when both moved to Florida, but who knows if they'll pop up here one day.

    Willie
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    Platinum Member Larry Bugg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    I'm sure we will see a lot of similar threads running through all of our stories. In 1963 when I was 10 I got a 20 gallon tank for Christmas. I have has tanks ever since but up until about 12 years ago it was just one or two display tanks. I was always interested in planted tanks but never could figure out what I needed to do to keep the plants alive. Of course this was before the internet and it's vast supply of free info. Around 2006 I decided I wanted to put the effort and money into plants. I read all I could find on the net and started out with DIY Co2. Of course that didn't last long and I quickly moved up to high tech tanks with bottled co2 and high light. In 2008 the Aquatic Gardner's Association was holding their Show and Convention in Atlanta. I pestered one of the leaders enough that she asked me to help her run the registration table at the Show. What a great experience. During this time I probably had 7 or 8 planted tanks in the house. At the Show I met a bunch of members of the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association and they invited me to join and come to meetings. I was amazed at how many of them had actual fish rooms and were breeding all kinds of fish. I became friends with a member that lived near me who had a fish room in his basement and he bred primarily dwarf chiclids and discus. I was fascinated and found myself at his house about once a week. He had a bunch of 10 gallon tanks left over from the ACA convention and I ended up taking 8 of them home and building racks in my unfinished basement. A month later another 8 went home with me. I was hooked on breeding!! Then I got up the nerve to try discus. Hooked again. In 2010 I pestered John Nicholson and Jim Hall about the first NADA Show in Dallas. There really wasn't a lot for me to do at the Show but I had a BLAST. During one of the talks at the Show my good friend Chad Adams turned to me and said he thought we could bring the 2012 Show to Atlanta and we did just that with Chad and I as Show Chairs. Around the time of the 2010 Show I joined the BOD of NADA. Up until 2 years ago I maintained about 40 tanks with 2000 gallons in the basement. 2 years ago we sold the house and I closed down the fish room. We moved to Central Georgia out in the country on 120 acres. During the time the house was being built I kept a few of my discus and angels to start the new fish house. No basement here so I bought a 12 x 32 building to be a fish house and added on a 8x10 extension as a utility area. I finally move fish into the new fish house in March of 2017. I currently have 33 tanks 20 to 125 gallons and two 330 gallons storage tanks. Half the fish room is discus and the other half is dwarf cichlids and angels. The discus pairs I'm working with are wild and F1's. I just set up the dwarf tanks and currently have 5 pairs of apistos and a pair of orange head EB rams. Probably about 100 one month old rams growing out. I have a line of Philippine Blue angles that I kept from the move and after 9 months in the new fish room they are finally breeding again. I'm really enjoying working with the angels again. I also have some Pb marbles from that are just starting to pair off. Along with breeding them I will also mix them in with my original Pb line. Here are a few pics of the angels.

    Smokey Pb
    20171215_215257 by Larry Bugg, on Flickr


    Platinum Pb
    20171215_215715 by Larry Bugg, on Flickr


    Smokey/Platinum Pb pair
    20171216_221256 by Larry Bugg, on Flickr

    Pb marble

    20171231_211753 by Larry Bugg, on Flickr

    20180101_175712 by Larry Bugg, on Flickr
    Larry Bugg

    NADA BOD Member
    Atlanta Area Aquarium Association - BOD

  8. #8
    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Gorgeous angels, Larry. You can always tell when a discus guy works on angels. Their angels have that near perfect diamond body shape and great finnage.

    Willie
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  9. #9
    Registered Member HappyFace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Thank you for that great story Willie. I agree those angels are amazing Larry. Do you ever ship them?

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Larry Bugg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Gorgeous angels, Larry. You can always tell when a discus guy works on angels. Their angels have that near perfect diamond body shape and great finnage.

    Willie
    Thanks Willie. When people come over to the fish room I always get asked how I grow my angels so big. The ones in the pics are 8 to 9" from the top of the dorsal to the bottom of the anal. My answer is that they get treated just like my discus..............lots of big water changes. Lots of people also don't realize that you need a tall tank for angels so the dorsal will stay tall and straight and not bend over.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyFace View Post
    Thank you for that great story Willie. I agree those angels are amazing Larry. Do you ever ship them?
    I have never shipped before but am considering starting this spring.
    Larry Bugg

    NADA BOD Member
    Atlanta Area Aquarium Association - BOD

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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Beautiful Angels Larry.

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    Registered Member LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Mr. Bugg, you have good taste.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    I think it's time for an updated video of your fish room Larry I think we would all enjoy it.

  14. #14
    Platinum Member Larry Bugg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
    Mr. Bugg, you have good taste.
    I take that as quite a compliment Liz. I have always admired your angels and know you are demanding when it comes to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick S View Post
    I think it's time for an updated video of your fish room Larry I think we would all enjoy it.
    I never quite seem to have the new room like I want it for a video, lol. Our internet here is REALLY slow also and anything more than a minute or two seems to take a day to upload if at all.
    Larry Bugg

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    Atlanta Area Aquarium Association - BOD

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    Default Re: Evolution of your fish hobby

    I'm sure it will be worth waiting for Larry, take your time.

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