Love of the hobby

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Paul B, 22 Nov 2011.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Getting into this hobby was easy for me. My family owned a seafood business and I grew up playing with dead fish so it was natural for me to start a tank. Of course at 2 or 3 years old I needed a little help.
    On fridays my Dad would bring me to the Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan which was the place that supplied seafood for all of New York.
    The place was huge and the ships would dock there and the fish would be off loaded right into the street. There would also be huge sea turtles that were (unfortunately) destined to become soup.
    Anyway, every once in a while in that mountain of fish you would find some small animal still alive like a crab, shrimp or even a seahorse.
    My Dad would let me take those animals home and put them in some water. I only had fresh water so nothing lived more than a few hours but at least I got a taste of how amazing it was to actually take a living piece of the ocean and transport it to my home where I would stay up all night watching and probably trying to feed it.
    I had more luck with the freshwater animals like catfish, eels and diamond back terripins. At least I could keep those animals alive.
    In those days even a lot of the common freshwater fish we have now were not for sale.
    I remember my facination when ever I would go to an aquarium store and see something new. Fish were originally sold in toy stores and called "toy fish"
    There were no strictly aquarium stores because even the freshwater hobby was not common before WW2.
    There were also no plastic bags so fish came in those little cardboard containers that Chinese take out places sell rice in.
    When saltwater fish came out in 1971 I was in total awe and the only fish were blue devils. Imagine seeing a blue devil when for my entire life the only blue fish I ever saw was a blue gourami or a neon tetra. Blue devils blew my mind and I had to have them.
    I would sit for hours starring at them just as I did when I was a todler looking at a dying crab in a glass of fresh water.
    To this day I am still facinated by anything from the sea, especially something that I have never seen before. Thats the main reason I started SCUBA diving, that and finding lobsters. Now, at my age I have seen just about everything you can see related to the hobby but I still frequent stores in the hope I will find something new.
    In a store I don't look at the dozens of yellow tangs, the schools of surgeon fish or the angels, I look behind the rocks and in sumps for the rare specimin that came in with other things and no one knows exactly what to call it. That is what I am looking for.
    I have a few fish in my tank now that I don't know what they are and they are my favorites.
    I am even more facinated by crustaceans. I put on my magnifying glasses and check out the shellfish (yes I look very wierd, it's a good thing I am married because this behaviour does not attract a lot of supermodels)
    Hermit crabs are extreamly cool, they go to great lengths to get to obscure places looking for food even though they would probably do better just sitting on the bottom.
    They hang up side down and seem to be struggling just to stay put. But I can see where they are coming from, we humans scale mountains just for the fun of it and do wierd things to attract a mate. They are such facinating creatures and so much more advanced than we are in certain traits.
    I still have no idea how they find food but they find it all and never make a mistake. I have a bunch of them, I don't know how many but if I drop in a few pellets or a piece of clam and I see it on the gravel, in about 10 seconds I see all the hermit crabs change direction and head for the food. It will most likely be gone when they get there but how do thay do it? I doubt they see very well and the water in the tank is swirling all over the place. How do they know what direction it is? It goes right over my head and this is the stuff that keps me up at night.
    I am amazed by all of this stuff. Why don't fish crash into the glass? It's their lateral line system but imagine having a radar system like that. A school of tangs can instantly dive into a stand of acropora coral and not one of those fish will get a scratch.
    Maybe it's me but I love this stuff.
    How do you people feel about this hobby? :blush:
     
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  3. Annoying

    Annoying

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    You took the words out of my mouth... not the killing of saltwater fish when I was young:lol:, but the entire fascination of the hobby is to find that piece of magic you haven't seen before...
     
  4. SteveZi

    SteveZi

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    For me, it is the adventure of finding something new, learning something new, experiencing something new.
    I hope I never lose that.
    The ocean holds a lot of mystery that fuels the passion and imagination.
     
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