One day while I was a young boy, I caught some fish from a local stream. I brought the fish home and placed them in one-gallon pickle jar where they lived for many weeks. My father noticed my interest and a few months later took me to a local fish farm where he bought me a five-gallon aquarium. My skill grew, and a year later on my birthday, Dad bought me a 30-gallon aquarium.
For many years I practised my skills, raising and breeding many species of live-bearers eventually getting the family involved. My "baby" brother started a pond in the back yard, and when we went off to college, we all started keeping fish tanks. At one point, my mother's apartment in Queens housed three fish tanks.
It stopped for a while when I went off to graduate school and while I lived on my own, but I rekindled the hobby when I was married. My wife indulged me but did not like the sound of running water and freaked out about the amount of money I spent on the hobby. She was especially pissed off one day when we came home from a business conference to find that the heater for the tank had failed, killing $200 worth of Discus.
That was the end of the hobby for a while until we moved into our current home shortly after the kids were born. We've kept a tank with everything from guppies and mollies to swordtails and neon tetras.
The tank is quite old now and is a bit neglected. This year I want to start over with a new larger tank that I plan to fill with African cichlids.