Hitting the "pause" button...

It's an interesting thing in aquarium-keeping; we're almost never completely satisfied with our aquariums. I mean, sure we love our tanks; we're very satisfied with them- but typically, you'll almost always find at least something that we wish was better...

Yet, there are moments...

Have you ever just looked at your tank one day and thought to yourself, "This is IT! It can't get any better...I don't want to change anything...I just wish I could freeze things like they are now permanently..?"

You know, those moments when you catch glimpse of something in your tank. Or you just take in the entire tank and drop what you're doing to admire. Moments when you forget all of the algae problems you've had, the hardware failures...the disease outbreaks, etc.

Moments of pure awesomeness.

Moments when you want to just sort of "hit the pause button" and make the tank look like this forever.

I can't personally state that I've had those moments all that often...but I have had quite a few in a lifetime of fish-keeping. Perhaps they're random moments in time...times when you just did a water exchange and the fish are looking "just so" and the water is sparkling...yeah...moments.  Maybe it's when you look at your tan k"just so" and it reminds you of that underwater pic you saw from The Amazon.

Maybe it's when that pair of wild Apistos spawns. Or maybe, it's seeing that plant, which was struggling for months and months, finally starting to grow majestically.


Other times, it's simply the culmination of many months or years of "evolution" and growth.

A process.

And if you look at an aquarium as you would a garden- an organic, living, evolving, growing entity- then the need to see the thing "finished" becomes much less important. Suddenly, much like a "road trip", the destination becomes less important than the journey. It's about the experiences gleaned along the way.

Enjoyment of the developments, the process

These moments...when you want to "hit pause" and simply savor. Are they the "finish line"- or just another moment in the journey?

IS there even a "finish line" to an aquarium? 

 I mean, to most aquatic hobbyists, what's more important? The end result, or watching the tank evolve over time? Do you covet rapid growth of plants and fishes, their daily appearance, or some other factor? And why? I suppose if I ask 100 hobbyists, I'll receive 100 different answers, but I am more curious about the prevailing attitudes among hobbyists about what constitutes a "moment." 

And a "great moment", in the context of an aquarium, is open to debate, right?

The reality is that an aquatic display is not a static entity, and will continue to encompass life, death, and everything in between for as long as it's in existence. What is it that really happens in a truly "mature" aquarium? Perhaps, there might be some competition between fishes, plants, or corals that results in one or more species dominating all of the rest...Or does diversity continue to win, with lots of different life forms eking out an existence in your artificial microcosm, just as they have managed to do for eons in nature?

Do they "bloom" or "express" themselves at various moments...or consistently "shine?"


Or perhaps, it's just that they connect with us on those truly amazing moments when you really want to savor them...to just "hit the pause button."

Savor them.

Stay motivated. Stay excited. Stay patient. Stay focused. Stay diligent. Stay enthralled...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics


Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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