As every Tropical Fish Hobbyist reader knows, there’s no feeling in the world like buying a new aquarium. To an aquarium hobbyist, a new and pristine tank is equivalent to a painter’s blank canvas, a sculptor’s marble slab, or a potter’s lump of unshaped clay. In the hobbyist’s imagination, that tank is already brimming over with exciting possibilities—even before a single drop of water has been introduced. That’s the mental state I found myself in last September when I was able to convince my wife, Melissa, that I really needed a new 125-gallon marine tank to further my aquarium writing
career (“But honey, I’m running out of things to write about!”).
Truth be told, she didn’t need much convincing. While not as
fanatical as I am, she gets almost as much enjoyment out of my
aquariums as I do. Nonetheless, when your spouse agrees that
setting up a new aquarium—especially one as large as I had in
mind—is a good idea, you strike while the iron is hot (in other
words, before she comes to her senses). So we plunked down
our money for the tank, the accompanying pine stand, a wet/
dry filter system, and a venturi protein skimmer. The rest of the
equipment and substrate material would have to be purchased
later as cash flow allowed.