Late in 2005 Sam and I took a leisurely walk around Cartimar. We were thinking of getting an aquarium again, like we did a few years back. Back then we had a 20-gallon tank that housed freshwater fish, which required minimal care, and took up little but quite attractive space in our small living room. When we were in Cartimar amidst all the pet shops we saw something that we hadn’t thought of before, aquarium that could house saltwater fish.
It was fascinating, to think that we could bring the sea into our home. We did a bit of research on the internet to see if we were up to the actual work entailed in setting up and maintaining a saltwater tank. Looking back on it now, I suppose we were driven more by the newness of having a shared hobby, optimistically thinking that we could handle whatever lay ahead in our hobbyists’ lives.
We talked to a few shop owners and got a few quotes. After a few more days of thinking and looking at how much we were going to put into the activity we decided on a 75-gallon tank with all the attending equipment. And fish. We left it all up to the dealer, who had extensive experience setting up aquaria in some of the posh places in Metro Manila.
That was in December of 2005. After half a year of constant internet research, trips to BioResearch, buying monitoring equipment and water treatment substances, we experienced the first major setback, a contagious disease had spread through the tank and decimated its inhabitants. We had to wash the tank out with vinegar and leave it out to dry.
And then we tried again. After a few months of a revitalized tank, Typhoon Milenyo happened, and the several days of no power and not enough pumping of air by hand through the aerators sent the aquarium inhabintants to fish heaven. After that we accepted defeat and took everything down and put them away in boxes.
We still have the tank in the garage, though. We don’t have plans of selling it or the quarantine tank or any of the aquarium equipment which we still have in storage. I’m thinking maybe when Sam and I retire, we can spend all the time the aquarium needs from us. It’s no easy job, and next time we’ll know better.