I got (back) into aquariums
Like the title says, I got back into aquariums and fish keeping recently. One could say it started with our recent move to Orinda. Going from roughly 950 square feet in our San Francisco condo to almost 3000 sq ft in our new home had a large say in the matter. Our living room had an odd corner that we were not quite sure what to do with. The space laid largely bare for months as we thought about several options.
I reflected back on my youth and my fish/amphibian/reptile-keeping hobby and remembered how much joy it brought. I really was into those critters. I could just zone out (sans medication) and watch fish for hours. I could watch turtles pop around and slowly watch newts change into true amphibians. I remembered how much it relaxed me and what a stress reliever they were. Seems like a great idea during a stay-at-home, always with your family 24x7 pandemic!
Don't get me wrong, it aint all roses. I still freak out when a fish swims a little sideways and instantly dread, "Does it have swim bladder problem? Could it be fungal? Oh crap is it bacterial?" And that's just the first 30 seconds. These critters are my babies. And in this latest round, I've amped up my game. I've added live plants and shrimp. First things first, back to the start.
In case you have been living in a hole or hate animals, you probably know that everything pet related is massively sold out or in short supply during COVID19. People need companionship, and if we can't fill that with a human being, we'll fill it with a dog/cat/bird/snake/turtle/guineapig/fish/snail/etc. I dove into research on trying to find something that would work for the the space and fill my needs. One of the biggest things was how much things have changed since I was 15 years old. Virtually no one sells undergravel filters any more. Hang-on-back (HOB) filters are almost looked down upon and canister filters are almost the bare minimum. Technology and productivity advances have jumped ahead so much. The gear you get now is incredibly better than what we had back in the 80's. And cheaper! Massively cheaper! Sure, you can still nerd out on Euro gear or go super paying-for-the-badge-ADA stuff, but your run-of-the-mill stuff from Petco/Petsmart is really good and very well priced.
I'll follow up with another post about my setup and all that, but I wanted to write this: fish keeping is better than ever and you should look into joining the hobby. You'll be better off. I know that I am.
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A NOLA native just trying to get by. I live in San Francisco and work as a digital plumber for the joint that runs this thing. (Square/Weebly) Thoughts are mine, not my company's.