Everyone knows Mrs Fringe is a salt fiend. Salty food, salty snacks, salty water and salty details in fiction. Nothing like a little blood or snot to have you immersed in a story.
The tank is now mostly filled, leaving room for displacement from rock and sand. This means it’s time to add the salt. I ordered it, remembered to order a pump for mixing, heater, and thermometer. By yesterday morning I had finished leak testing the tank (all good, yay!) and was ready to begin turning my super duper pure RO/DI water into saltwater. Here comes the confession.
I’m not enjoying this part. I’ve always had used systems in the past, which meant things were all pretty much put together, and there was little to purchase at one time. But this time, I need just about everything, and these things don’t come assembled. I opened the box containing the pump for mixing the water.
You could say with reef keeping I’m playing at being an underwater gardener, chemist or a marine biologist, you could even say I’m playing God, trying to recreate the ocean in a glass box. I’ll be honest, each of these hold their appeal. What I’m not interested in being is an electrical engineer. Sure I know the equipment I need and want, know what each thing is called, why each piece is necessary or beneficial, and what role it’s mimicking from nature. What I don’t know is how to put this crap together. Not intuitive for me. Not even looking at the diagrams on the instruction sheet. It’s like being faced with the 8000 piece Lego kits Man Child would ask me to build with him. Umm, I kept him company while he did it himself. Sort of. For about 5 minutes until I got bored and dizzy looking at the little pieces and went to make dinner.
Luckily Husband is a good sport, and put the pump together for me this morning. I wouldn’t say this is a hobby we share, and despite the fact that he enjoys when the tanks are up and running and looking beautiful, he’d be just as happy (maybe happier) if we had no creatures outside of two legged ones in the apartment. But we’re all interested in doing this safely, not having an 80 gallon saltwater tidal wave in the living room or electrical fire from equipment not installed or placed properly. That’s almost the same as sharing the hobby, no?
I will be relaxed and happy once I have everything I need, the tank is completely filled and salted, rock and sand in place. Then I can and will spend hours watching the tank–which is amazing long before the first fish goes in or the first coral is placed. Checking parameters, seeing evidence of bacteria thriving as the water cycles and rock becomes “live,” those first pods and bristle worms are honestly thrilling–“look, LIFE!” But right now? Kinda like new puppies, adorable for 10 minutes, but by the time they’ve peed on the floor for the 12th time in 5 hours and nipped the hand of every person who reached to pet them, I’m fantasizing about how much I’m going to love them when they’re finished being puppies.
*Not true for me with babies, by the way. Ohhh, those new new babies, nothing better. Until they’re teenagers, because yes, I’m just that kind of weird, and as a parent I enjoy the teenage years. I wonder what the equivalent of a 15 year old is in reef time?