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T-SQL Tuesday #99 – Dealer’s Choice With Passion

The topic for this months T-SQL Tuesday #99 (hosted by Aaron Bertrand Blog/Twitter) is:

Dealer’s Choice – write about something you are passionate about (outside of the SQL / tech community) OR write about T-SQL bad habits

I opt to share with you a passion I have had for years.

Passion for Aquariums

Finished Aquarium

I am passionate about aquariums! I’ve kept fish for most periods in my life and am happy to pursue this hobby. It started with Goldfish in a 10 gallon aquarium as a child and progressed to the 125 gallon tank you see above. Thus far I’ve only done freshwater tanks. I really enjoy freshwater plants. Maybe, in a few years, I will branch out into saltwater tanks.

I feel the same passion for aquariums as I do for databases. They are both their own contained world that I administer and develop.

Why Am I Passionate About Aquariums?

Why are any of us passionate about certain things and not others? I think some of it comes down to the way we are wired. For me I am wired to enjoy building, maintaining, and even cleaning my tanks.

Some of the things I enjoy about this hobby are:

  • I find it rewarding to watch the plants and fish grow and flourish. I take satisfaction in knowing my efforts are directly leading to their success.
  • Stress reduction – spend some time daily looking at a beautiful aquarium just breathing and you will feel less stressed. We have difficult and sometimes intense jobs therefore we need a healthy outlet for the stress to exit
  • It never bores me because it is living and always changing.

Like most habits, aquariums are difficult to get started (or teardown) and easy to keep going.

I feel the same passion for aquariums as I do for databases. They are both their own contained world that I administer and develop. There is a level of satisfaction from performing a job well done that you can see the impact.

Progression of Tanks

I have improved at building tanks during my hobby. I no longer have pictures of my first 10 gallon tank as a child but I have some decent pictures of more recent aquariums I’ve tended to.

Here are some pictures that show the progression of some of my tanks.

Starting fish tank
Everyone has to start somewhere. Like many beginners I went with the fake plants and unnatural blue stone gravel bed. The aquarium holds 55 gallons of water
Side view of aquarium
Side view – the angelfish don’t know what to make of this artificial environment.
Angelfish swimming
Angelfish are a favorite. Cichlid behavior is unique and fun to watch.
75 Gallon Aquarium
This was my next tank – 75 gallons. You’ll notice there is a natural looking substrate along with live freshwater plants! Unfortunately I still kept the fake background though…
Rebuild 75 gallon aquarium
I rebuilt the 75 gallon aquarium. Goodbye artificial background – hello new tiger barbs! Stepping up the plant game too – a better substrate along with a more powerful light for growth.
Side view of tank
Side view – the plants are getting thicker.
plants growing on driftwood
Java moss grows on the driftwood
Crinum calamistratum
Crinum calamistratum – a medusa like plant which looks cool. There is a faint current and the plant sways back and forth.
another aquarium rebuild
Moved and rebuilt it again to a different room. Starting over can be fun but teardown and setting up is a lot of work.
Moved apartments and setup again
Moved apartments to set up again. Very good flourish of plants here.
Lemon tetras and rummynose tetras
Lemon tetras and rummynose tetras
Pencilfish hanging on the glass
Corydoras catfish grazing off the wood
Corydoras catfish grazing off the wood
Scissortail raspboras
Scissortail raspboras

Bolivian ram patrolling the bottom
Bolivian ram patrolling the bottom
Lots of hiding places
Lots of hiding places

Hiatus From the Fish Game

In 2012 I moved from Pittsburgh to Raleigh. It was too much to bring my aquariums so we had to sell them and move on. Fish gone – owner sad. That’s how I knew I really was passionate about aquariums.

Glorious Return!

Last year I got back into tanks. I prepared a 125 gallon tank with freshwater plants and small peaceful fish.

Empty tank ready to be setup

New house - back in the aquarium hobby
New house – back in the aquarium hobby
Setting the driftwood and plants
Setting the driftwood and plants
New house - back in the aquarium hobby
Empty tank ready to be setup
Halloween tank lights
Spooky tank for Halloween! The LED lights for plants can change colors.
Christmas lights
Getting festive for Christmas!

There is No End

Please take time to develop yourself and pursue hobbies. It will make you a better, well rounded, less stressed individual.

Our technical jobs can be enhanced by sometimes looking away – just like when you realize the answer to a coding problem only when you look away or are in the shower.

We are never done – there are just new beginnings. I leave you with these 2 videos of our Kribensis successfully having fry.

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

If you liked looking at the fish photos then have a look at my Ethernet Home Wiring Project. There are tons of good photos of the work.

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