Yesterday we had Brian Broughten, the founder and owner of Advanced Aquarium to our house to get started on a bid to build a custom aquarium. He was here for about 90 minutes of good geek fun regarding aquarium stuff. Those that have known me for a long time know that I had a saltwater tank for the first half of the 1990s. In fact, my "Early Days" site still has the web page about it. I really like aquariums but I stopped for two reasons. First, I was a (relatively) poor student and couldn't afford to do it right. I never had good lighting, and everything was DIY. Nothing against DIY, but that also meant somewhat crappy solutions for many things. The second issue was that I got sick of lugging buckets of water all the time. Now that we live in a house, I could have it plumbed straight in and not have to worry about pals and hoses.
The funny thing about the visit from Advanced Aquarium was that I used to shop at Brian's store all the time. Broughten used to run a store out of his basement. My friend Mike and I would make somewhat regular trips there for stuff, but mostly to pick Brian's brain and admire new fish and other creatures. When he came over I confirmed that that was in fact the same guy, and he actually vaguely remembered me as well.
Anyway, in a couple of weeks I'll get a quote for the tank we worked out. I started getting so excited just talking about it. It would be 8 feet long, 2 feet deep and 30 inches tall -- a whopping 300 gallons! All filtration and reserve water systems would be in the utility room. Out of sight, and sound. It would have dual pumps moving 3,000 gallons per hour through the reef. And it would have those magnificent metal halide lights that I could never afford before.
I'm trying not to get too excited, but I'm eagerly awaiting the quote.