It may be impossible to accurately describe the fervor which struck when deciding to start a saltwater aquarium. Trips to Barnes and Noble, endless hours on Amazon.com, and evenings spent poring over pictures and articles on the Internet left me ill prepared for the reality of a saltwater tank. I am adrift in a 90 gallon all glass aquarium. Retrospectively there are worse places one could be. The cats however, do not seem quite as pleased now having realized they were not being built a personal sushi buffet. Tuna flavored cat treats have done nothing to deaden the pain they exhibit every time I begin playing with the tank.
I have started this blog because I have realized exactly how cheap I am; I refuse to pay for a paper journal to record the nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and pH in the tank. I also find the very idea I could collect my thoughts and observations in four little lines per day offensive. Really, who do these publishers think they are dealing with? In addition, it just seems foolhardy to carry paper around a tank filled with water and expect it to stay dry. Well…at least around me.
On the note of frugality, I don’t think people – real, average people not obsessed with aquariums – have any idea how expensive this hobby is. They do not know the pain of dropping several hundred dollars on a few rocks and a bag of sand and trust me; you need special rocks and sand. Then there’s the water (hundreds and hundreds of gallons) and you need to put salt in the water, and buy Hydrometers, and test kits, heaters, chillers, pumps, sumps, the list goes on and on while the price goes up and up. You want to fix the flagging economy and encourage consumer spending? Get the average person involved in the saltwater aquarium hobby.
You know the saying, “It can only get better”? Well buddy I’m here to tell you that it’s only going to get worse. Worse of course, meaning more costly. Oh so very, very, costly. Of course once you’re in it, you’re stuck. The madness creeps up on you in the middle of the night, skulks across the bedroom floor; clambers onto your mattress, under the sheets, and into your ear like one of those terrible insects in The Wrath of Khan and then you’re screwed. Not that pleasant grip the sheets gasping and moaning type of screwed either. Think of this as a prison shower bend over and pick up the soap good ol’ fashioned screwed where when they’re done your assailants make off with your credit card and savings account leaving you shattered on the subway tile floor like a made for Lifetime movie victim. Then you realize you kind of like it.
I know there are thousands of websites that will tell you how relaxing it is to have a saltwater tank, to watch your fish swimming elegantly through their perfectly aquascaped environment. They mostly omit the sleepless nights, the terror of every power outage, the hours of planning, that horrible feeling in your gut when a fish seems just a little less perky, and generally every other pain that accompanies your tank. This, ladies and gentlemen is a spectator sport. Find a person with a saltwater aquarium and become their best friend, live vicariously through their misery, bask in the ultraviolet light their tank emits, and never ever allow them to drag you into this wet and watery world.
Now, on that deeply ominous note, I would like to say “Welcome to When Cats Fish”.