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Thread: Hello Everyone! 👋

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Just Planted GreenThumbScapers's Avatar
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    Brian Stewart
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    Smile Hello Everyone! 👋

    I just climbed out of my insta hiding hole and realized I haven't posted here yet! Better late then never right? Hope everyone had a great Easter holiday with family and loved ones. Some of you may know who I am (we are, it's a family thing). For those that do not, my name is Brian and I am along with my wife and children a Greenthumbscaper. Instagram has been our stomping ground since 2017 sharing our scapes, fish, frogs, and gardens with anyone interested in tagging along. I thought it might be fun to join some discussions here and go pit deep in our favorite topic, our planted aquaria.

    How did you get started?

    For me, my parents placed my crib infront of a fishtank and it was over from there. I went from days daydreaming of being a fishy to keeping 2 tanks at 5 years old. Doing water changes weekly (totally the wrong way with the right schedule), and keeping a heinz 57 mix of fish was just the intro for me. Things soon escalated to taking bus rides and finding anyone to drive me to the local library for information on all things fish related to expand on my daily excursions down the local creek beds and water ways (no internet then).

    At the time my excursions would take me miles from home, almost always with my parents unaware of my walkabouts. I was a quiet kid, like really quiet, no one had a chance keeping track of me . When I was 9 my family was planning a move and the eventual demolition of our home. We had a huge pool there and my folks let me turn it into a gigantic pond! That was so much fun! I had fish, turtles, ducks, frogs, clams, crayfish and all sorts of random aquatic plants that I gathered on my little trips down the creek. I got to keep that running for 2 years before finally releasing the animals and emptying the pool. Everyone was shocked to find I had more to release than I had gathered. My goodness the crayfish got big! From there more tanks became the normal, indoors and outdoors.

    My interests would eventually see me working at fish shops, service and design companies like living art aquatic design, import/export companies such as Dolphin International, spending mornings on 104th Street browsing tank after tank of treasures as a buyer, and eventually running my own service company for a time before illness/injury forced me to take a long break from my heavy physical work load. I even played my hand at coral farming for nearly 10 years supplying many shops, and training store staff at many. 33 years since my first tank, and I never gave up the hobby. I am fortunate to be able to share what I love with my family and friends still, and if it inspires anyone to feel love for aquariums and the incredible flora and fauna we have the privilege to care for then that's just icing on the cake.

    These days aquariums are my happy place. A way to relieve stress, unwind, and a tool for healing. They offer a window to the natural world often overlooked and connect us with our true selves in a world inundated with shock, agression, confusion, and distraction. With today's social climate I see an even greater need for this connection than when I was young.

    This natural connection is a two way street. It helps us a lot to be sure. It also helps nature. It evokes a sense of stewardship towards our planet and the fragile environments we take for granted every day. Out of sight, out of mind rings so true. Aquariums help us focus that sight on nature's majesty, connects us with our natural state again, and places attention on the wild environments these beautiful creatures and plants originate from ensuring these places will not be forgotten, and with any amount of luck may also be protected and cherished for what they are.

    Aquarists and home hobbyists are some of the best minds the scientific community has. I have seen garage and greenhouse set ups that can put the most state of the art commercial systems to the test using the simplest methods with undeniable results. To this day some of the most jaw dropping tanks I have seen came from the most unexpected places (always hobbyists). We are the pioneers, the dreamers, and the advocates of a world behind the curtain. Dream on, scape, and inspire! The world is ours to shape .

    P.S. I will happily upload some photos of our displays, need to resize them it seems. Still figuring the forum out.

  2. #2
    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Kim
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    Hey! Nice to meet you! I started with the fishy world when I came home from elementary school one day and my mom had purchased and set up an aquarium! I don't remember how big it was, either a 10g or a 20g tall. It was a total surprise for me! I looooved it! Eventually she upgraded to a 55g with some angel fish and one large Plecostomus! I spent many, many hours watching this aquarium! When I met the guy I would eventually marry had a 20g tall. He eventually upgraded to a 40g with African Cichlids. That was a great tank! About 20 years ago we moved into our house and never set up any of the tanks! They all ended up in the garage! I got the Betta Fever and bought a 2.5g that held several bettas until I upgraded to a 10g in 2013. I kept two 2.5g tanks with bettas along with the 10g community tank! Eventually I also set up a 4.3g rimless tank for just my shrimps. I finally got the upgrade fever a couple of years ago. I bought a 20g long and it sat in my garage for about 2 years! I set it up early this year and it cycled quickly. It's been up and running since February and I'm pretty pleased with it so far. I have a betta in there and he terrorizes everyone, so I'm going to set up a 5.5g for him. My tank does have Ich right now. I'm treating it with an herbal remedy that seems to be going well.

    So, that's me! I hope others share their stories, too!

  3. #3
    SCAPE Member Just Planted GreenThumbScapers's Avatar
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    Brian Stewart
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    Hello! Nice to meet you as well. It's amazing how quick tanks multiply isn't it? Like mitosis I swear! Yes, not all bettas will be chill around other fish, they truly are best kept in a species aquarium, and even better yet under biotope conditions if you want to see them really shine. If all of your fish are eating, one way to knock out ich is to thaw frozen food with metronidazole powder on it, I always used this method with excellent results, no losses. It takes care of the parasites quite efficiently if treated early. Garlic extract can help with paletability, as metronidazole can have a bitter taste. Stir in and let soak for 15 min before feeding. Metronidazole can be found under the name "Metroplex" by Seachem. Using "Focus", another Seachem medication as a binding agent for the meds and a secondary treatment for bacterial infections is also a good idea. I hope you knock it out without issue.

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