“I Know Funny. I’m A Clownfish.”

Marlin from Finding Nemo

So I consider my aquariums to be one of my two hobbies:  Warhammer 40K is the other.  Currently I have three aquariums in full operation that I maintain with parental love and the muse is upon me to up my game.  It is not that I am going to have four aquariums, but that my smallest aquarium will go to live with my oldest daughter and I will set up a bigger tank in its place.

What a glorious way to dispose of that disposable income.  I love to tease my daughters that they need to love the fish since they are what I have bought with the money that should be going to their inheritance.  One daughter laughs and the other daughter does not.  I laugh both ways.

So back to the plan – after all, I am the “Man With The Plan” in how I choose to live.  The African Cichlid tank is mature and looks great- if a bit bland.  I am in the process of adding more fish to it now but that is a minimalist exercise at best and is the work of five minutes and $50.00.  What I do need to do with this set up is to replace the tank.

This was a tank and stand that I purchased second hand and the plastic rim on the tank has begun to split which is creating issues with the cover fitting correctly and could lead to the structural integrity of the tank being compromised by the water pressure within.  Again this is just a matter of time and money and while costing more than just adding the fish, it is not overly excessive.

The only question that really needs to be answered on this phase of the project is whether or not to move the tank into the dining room.  This is the spot that will be vacated by the smallest aquarium and a 55 gallon tank and stand will fit in their just fine.

This opens up my prime location which between the dining room and living room.  Ideally I would find a used 75-90 gallon tank and stand to go in this location.  Currently my discus are in a 46 gallon tank and if that size of discus tank looks good then a bigger tank would just be better.

Considering that I already have the bogwood, the plants and the fish, this is quite feasible to do on a limited budget.  I would need to add another filter and a decent CO2 system but these are easily and locally obtained so “no big whup”.  This brings me to the subject of the soon to be available 46 gallon tank.

What is it that is uttering a siren call to me to put in there?  I am looking at building a coral reef tank.  I have never messed with salt water and my pal Eric at the fish store thinks that it shouldn’t be too much more of a stretch beyond what I am already doing.  I, on the other hand, am more than a little bit dubious about this.

So I do what I always do when confronted with a new project:  reading and research.  There are books winging in to me from every corner of the Washington County Community Library system.  The ones that have already been picked up look really intimidating (and they all contradict each other).

But then again, the greater the risk, the better the reward:  and I am saying this as I sit here with my four discus fish swimming about their fully planted tank.  The discus’ colours are amazing with blue and black stripes swimming around with a red and turquoise snakeskin and the orange and black fish messing about with the white discus with the pigeon blood markings and blue fins.

Why do I rhapsodize about the discus tank so much?  It is because it is fantastic.  And fantastic as this tank looks, it would pale in comparison to a coral reef tank.  I know some of the fish that I want.  I have to have some clownfish:  anyone who ever saw Finding Nemo would want to have a clownfish.  And since there will be corals and anemones, there can be clownfish (hopefully they are not the “crying on the inside” sad clownfish).

And there would need to be a starfish – probably a blue sea star as these can live compatibly with the coral and the anemones.  As a starfish is the favourite creature of one of my closest friends, it would be cool to have one.  But this one will not be friends with a sponge or be named Patrick.

Really the biggest question on the reef tank is whether or not to build a three chamber sump tank at work to handle the skimmer and such.  But these are some of the technical questions that I will answer as I get more and more into the “technical development” phase.  Right now it is all about the dreaming phase (this is followed by the reality phase (budgeting)).

So let us summarize to conclude.  The small tank goes to my daughter then the cichlid tank gets a facelift and moves into the dining room then the discus get a new habitat and a prime location and then their old home gets a complete scrubbing and makeover complete with sump tank, live rock and sand, corals and other select invertebrates and then some small reef fish.  It’s a done deal: piece of cake!

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