Everyone who is married and keeps topical fishes understands what my friend, reef aquarium author/lecturer Tony Vargas, calls "The Spouse Factor!"
You know, you need to get the "approval" of your significant other to move ahead on your plans for that new aquarium, fish room expansion, re-configuration project, etc. Oh, there are those of you who say that you don't need it- but let's be honest: When you re-do the rock work on your 125 Mbuna tank, your allegedly fish-disinterested spouse will make note, perhaps with just a causal comment, like "Hmm..I noticed the rocks looked a bit different." Or, if your spouse is more engaged than you might think, a comment like, "I though that you wanted a cave towards the CENTER of the tank?" Not a bad sign, because it indicates that your spouse perhaps sees the aquarium as more than just a "placeholder" in the otherwise orderly living room!
It's important to engage your spouse in the decision-making process, even if they seem to have little interest. Example, if you're selecting between two very different looking fishes that will play a big role in your tank- run it by your spouse first! Trust me, he/she will have a surprisingly strong opinion one way or another! If you're adding a piece of equipment (pump, filter, protein skimmer, etc.) that could potentially make sounds- you MUST run it by the spouse.
And an observation. Why is it that the ONLY time you spill water on the hardwood floor is the ONE time your spouse happens to walking by the tank while your doing a water change? "Honey, if the siphon hose is in the bucket, why are your feet getting wet?"
Smart aquarists know that a spouse who's at least semi-on board with your aquarium project is the best ally that you have- so do your best to be understanding, accommodating, and appreciative of the tolerance your spouse shows for our wet hobby!
If you're really lucky, like me, your spouse might play a more active role. This was exemplified the other day when my wife told me, "You really should get a couple of new tanks in here! I mean, you own a coral facility and a freshwater company!"
Wow. Pinch me, I'm dreaming.
Stay wet...ur, dry..