• Welcome to ScapeCrunch!

    We are a friendly, online community of people interested in planted aquariums. We support and help each other learn and grow. It is our sincere hope that you will join us and find our tight-knit community valuable and fun!

    ScapeCrunch is different than Facebook Groups. Here's how:

    • It is a place where you can make long-term friends in the planted aquarium hobby and have long, multi-day talks on specific subjects.
    • Unlike social media, online communities like ScapeCrunch are much better at curating collective knowledge and in fostering deeper relationships.
    • They lend themselves better at long-form discussions.
    • You can maintain a thread on your personal aquarium with pictures and details. Other members can comment, help and ask questions. You can do the same with their Member Tank threads.

    Where Facebook is more like a large city-wide party, ScapeCrunch is more like your neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came." It's always fun to go to large parties but it's at the local bar that you feel people really know you. The great part is that you can and should go to both!

    Please consider joining to become a full fledged member of our growing community of planted aquarium obsessed enthusiasts. Let's grow together!

    Join Us!

Hello Welcome, DDio

Thanks for the warm welcome! Very happy to be here.

As my "hi everyone" post, I'll go a little into my background to today. I look forward to learning a lot and sharing some of what I've picked up over the years.

I first got into fish keeping when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My mom took me to (and I'm going to age myself here) Woolworth and we got a 5 gallon tank.

I became so infatuated with the fish I was keeping that the 5 gallon turned into a 10 gallon pretty quickly.

Eventually I used my Christmas money to buy a 38 gallon tank and kept community fish for probably close to a decade.

I've kept nearly everything in freshwater that was commonly available at the time...African cichlids, SA cichlids, piranhas, discus, angels, and various oddballs like snakeheads and freshwater barracuda.

During that time period I did try live plants, but like most around that time, they just melted. This was back in the early 90's.

Around freshman year of high school I was introduced to saltwater and I completely took the tank down, cleaned it, and then set up my first saltwater tank. At this time I worked at an LFS so I had access to whatever fish I wanted at wholesale prices, along with dry goods. I picked up a wet/dry, then bought a 29 gallon and had two marine aquariums running off the same system. Corals began interesting me so I decided to try a reef in one of the tanks. That failed miserably because the only successful reef keepers were people who could afford MH or HPS lighting. I decided to return the tank to fish only.

I eventually went back to a community tank and at some point wanted oscars. I kept them for a few years and after moving I picked up a 46 gallon bow front tank. I moved the oscars into that tank and eventually they outgrew it so I had to get rid of them. I picked up parrot cichlids because of how colorful they were and kept them for a number of years until they had grown large enough and were making tank maintenance a nightmare because they were aggressive and attacked you when you were vacuuming the gravel lol. It didn't hurt, but it was startling enough to make a mess on the floor with the water you just splashed onto it.

I went back to a community tank and I think it was sometime in 2009-2010 that I began really taking an interest in planted tanks because of how many people were having success with them. I bought the very first Fluval Edge and the tank did great. After that experiment I decided to go full blown planted with my 46 gallon. I picked up a T5HO light fixture, CO2, and went at it. This tank ran for about 3 years.

In 2011 I started getting interested in reef tanks again seeing how people were also having success there, and converted the Edge to a nano reef, that eventually turned into a 10 gallon reef, all the way to taking down my 46 gallon and buying a 60 gallon reef ready cube. At one point I had 3 reef tanks going at the same time.

Fast forward to July of last year and I bought a house and needed to tear my last reef tank down. I had no intention of setting it back up after moving so I remained tankless until February of this year having bought a 30C and set up a small high tech planted tank. It did well so I quickly bought a UNS 120U and here I am today.

I plan to start a build thread, likely this evening, but I'm very much looking forward to learning, and contributing where I can. I've done a lot of great things over the almost 40 years of keeping aquariums, but also a lot of dumb things that can hopefully prevent someone else from having to deal with.
 
Welcome and excellent post about your past history. Looks like you are a lifelong aquarist which is pretty cool.

I look forward to hearing about your new set up. I am sure your years of experience should be helpful to many people here.
 
Welcome and excellent post about your past history. Looks like you are a lifelong aquarist which is pretty cool.

I look forward to hearing about your new set up. I am sure your years of experience should be helpful to many people here.
Thanks. Aquariums have been one of the few constants throughout my life. I went from the end of July last year and made it to February of this year without a tank and couldn't stand not having one. There are times where I'm begrudgingly doing maintenance but when I'm burned out from work or just life in general, I know that the work I put into it pays off when I want to do absolutely nothing but decompress, and staring at my tank and fish seems to meet that need perfectly.
 
Hey @DDio So glad you decided to join us here. From following your thread on the other forum I think it will add alot to this community as well as benefit from some very advanced folks here that don't take themselves too seriously. Should be fun!
 
I've done a lot of great things over the almost 40 years of keeping aquariums, but also a lot of dumb things that can hopefully prevent someone else from having to deal with.
Love it, Dom! You're going to fit right in here! There are plenty of us that fondly remember Woolworth's!

Your story is very similar to mine. Like you, and all of us, we've learned the hard way along our journey and are more than happy to share best practices with others.
 
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