Thursday, July 5, 2012

our own piece of the ocean

Did you know that a swim with the fishes.. 

can easily turns into this?

My brother Cullen, has a new hobby. Saltwater aquariums. And in spending a week with him in Florida we got to hear all about his aquarium and his saltwater friends. I'm blaming him (and also thanking him) for he started all of this, but the real push for the aquarium happened on our last day in Key West. Snorkeling. 

Snorkeling in the keys was so much fun. And like I said, Thomas was in his element. It was by far his favorite part of the entire trip. So it's shouldn't be much of a surprise that in spending the week by the ocean and talking with my brother the idea of owning a fish tank was in his plans. In landing back in Tennessee this was among our first purchases.. plus I never need an excuse to wander a bookstore or two ;)

At this point I was nervous, there is a LOT in replicating the ocean in the comforts of your own home. Nitrogen cycle? Nitrate vs Nitrites? Protein skimmer? What the heck. But I lost it when Thomas showed me the first paragraph of one of the books we were reading.. "did you just recently enjoy a relaxing vacation by the ocean? Perhaps you were able to see the depths of the sea with your own eyes and want to create a piece of the beauty in your home." 

Huh, well that sounds familiar. 

A little bit of reading and quite a bit of talking and it was decided! Only three days after leaving the keys, we were going to attempt at successfully owning a saltwater aquarium. A good 29 gallon tank should do the trick. 
But ohhh how I was mistaken. 

In arriving at Aquatic Critter (an awesome aquarium shop in Nashville) they had a steal of a deal on a 75 gallon tank. That would be seventy-five.. not twenty-nine (times that by two and you're almost there). This 75 gallon tank had all the bells and whistles Thomas could have hoped for and the kicker? It was only $50 more than the twenty-nine gallon tank we had in mind. 

Enter the nerves. This baby is huge. Well, huge in comparison to the cute square little 29 gallon tank. And I have to say the guy helping us at Aquatic Critter (who we now know by name) was super helpful and calmed me down a bit by telling us that it's easier at tacking a saltwater aquarium with a bigger tank because you're bound to have less hiccups and issues with your water. 
Well, it was a good thing we brought the truck..

Soo enter three weeks later and we finally have lights...

A much prettier improvement from this hot mess.. 

Not a single fish.. I wasn't joking when I said there was a lot in dealing with a saltwater aquarium. Apparently our water isn't up to snuff yet. Bummer. Here's hoping this weekend we'll be able to add some critters in there! I'm itching with excitement to get some fishies.
And so the adventure of the saltwater aquarium continues on.. I don't even know how or what to feed the fish when we actually get them.. still need to read up on that chapter. :)

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