06 November, 2020

My first aquarium

It's amazing which videos YouTube suggests that I watch. Some of them make sense, like the ones on a topic that I've been watching recently. But it's the odd ones that I'm talking about here. You know the ones I mean? Those wonderful little videos from leftfield that seem to have nothing to do with my search history, but they fascinate me all the same. They turn out to be a pleasant surprise. Take the following video for example. It comes from the channel Foo the Flowerhorn

Here's someone who has setup a small low-tech aquarium. In it is a variety of plant and animal life. The video starts with a clean-up, and then goes on to a feeding. They place a slice of boiled carrot into the aquarium, and we get to see the shrimp feasting upon it. 

If anyone had tried to convince me to watch a video like this, by describing what was going on in it, the chances of me actually watching it would have been pretty slim. But I watched this one all the way through. And then I started watching more videos from their playlist. I was hooked. Proper hooked. As in, I'll watch three or four episodes of Ozark in a row kind of hooked. That's a pretty good show by the way. I highly recommend it. But I digress. Foo the Flowerhorn's videos not only captured my attention, but they also motivated me to get my own aquarium.

So begins an obsession with aquariums. I started Googling every thought, question and idea that I had about the life aquatic. Not the Bill Murray film, mind you. I poured over pages of information about setting up aquariums. I started daydreaming about how I want to create my own aquatic wonderland, and what would populate it. Ideas evolved and changed until I decided on what I want. Then with a shopping list in hand, I went to my local pet store, and got it all together. And despite going in prepared, I have already started to see how much I don't know what I'm doing. But it's a learning experience and a part of the fun.

I decided to setup a 30 litre low-tech experiment. I say experiment because I have learned just enough to get me into trouble, and I'm sure that I am about to face a steep learning curve. Things could go either way, success or failure. My hopes and dreams for my aquarium are already being challenged by my doubts. I think that I've put too much gravel in the tank. I don't quite like where I've put the plants. I should have bought more plants. Maybe my light is too bright. My test kit doesn't measure ammonia levels. And on it goes. It's only been a day since I put the plants in, and I'm already concerned for the well-being of my aquarium and its future residents. It's interesting to see how I'm already caring about it.

There aren't any animals in it yet. I am trying to get the environment balanced and favourable for whatever gets invited. I have been thinking about some Red Cherry Shrimp, along with a few tiny fish. The jury is still out on the fish species. I'll see how it goes. I think that it might be a month or so before I add any livestock. I'm excited to see how it all goes, sink or swim. 

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