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New Marine Depot Staff Member Junior’s First Months on The Job Were a Trial By Fire

I vaguely remember my dad having a huge aquarium (huge for me at 7 years old anyway) and my memory has failed me here as I cannot remember whether if it was saltwater or freshwater. Since then, my only experience with aquariums was an attempt at a freshwater tank because my daughter wanted to have Bikini Bottom in her bedroom which came in the form of a Sponge Bob Pineapple aquarium, but that was years ago.

On my first day at the Marine Depot Customer Service Center, I was intrigued but quite overwhelmed. Terms like protein skimmer, sump, refugium, copepods, and ATO, Kalkwasser were completely foreign to me and were tossed around like everybody on staff was an aquarium curator. I was asked if I understood, and to be honest, I simply nodded. In reality I was clueless and I went home that night with a full understanding that I was in deep water. So I did what any young fella’ trying to keep his job would do, hopped onto the trusty ole’ Google machine and began researching.

For the following weeks, I ritually visited the Marine Depot Blog which is, in fact, where I gained a majority of the knowledge I needed to start my adventure in helping out fellow fish enthusiasts. Everybody here at Marine Depot is infatuated with everything aquarium, from freshwater to saltwater. This awesome crew of co-workers was also a huge help in helping me overcome the intimidation of starting a saltwater aquarium and finding my niche here at Marine Depot.

To my surprise, one sunny SoCal afternoon I was awarded the supplies to set up my very first saltwater aquarium. An Innovative Marine Nuvo Concept Abyss Panorama Aquarium, an Innovative Marine Ghost Protein Skimmer, AquaMaxx Rock, a 15 pound bag of CaribSea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand, and AquaticLife EDGE LED Aquarium Light Fixture. Boy was this a treat!

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The next day, during my lunch break, Manny (our resident Customer Service Expert and Manager) helped me build the aquascape.  The drop-off style aquarium was a little tricky so we employed some AquaMaxx Reef Welder to get the rocks just right. I am truly a beginner, so I was glad he was willing to guide me through it.

After finding a suitable location in my home and filling the aquarium with sand, I couldn’t help but to overthink the depth of the sand bed. I sent a photo to a few of my more experienced coworkers seeking their approval. I couldn’t stop staring at the tank that night.

The next day, I returned to work and mixed up some Red Sea Coral Pro Salt Mix to fill my new aquarium. After staring through a refractometer 1,000 times, I finally reached the 35 ppt I was told to hit. I filled a couple of water jugs and went home that night with a smile on my face knowing the time had come for this tank to come to life.

A coworker was generous enough to donate a bottle of the 250mL Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7 to help jump start the cycle. The aquarium has been cycling for 10 days now (but who’s counting? LOL). I have since added a Hydor Koralia Nano Powerhead to increase the water flow. I know this may sound silly but I find myself constantly staring at the empty tank and tinkering with the equipment. Sometimes I just sit and turn on the moonlights for no particular reason.

I can’t wait to add coral and fish. I’m leaning toward softies, LPS, and possibly NPS. I really like Mushrooms and Zoanthids. Also, I want to add a Blood Fire Shrimp, a Pom Pom crab, and some Clownfish. As I have come to understand choosing livestock is quite exciting, especially for new hobbyists like myself so I trust the list will change.  Everyday I learn more and I have truly fallen in love with the hobby.

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I will continue to post about the evolution of this new aquarium right here on the Marine Depot Blog and please follow along with me.  Leave me some comments below with questions or just let me know what you think.

By the way, I found out what type fish my dad housed: PIRANHAS! Imagine that!

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