As part of the Saltwater Aquarium Blog 3-year birthday celebration, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect back on some of the blog posts written over the past three years. Here are the most popular, worst and my favorite blog posts from the last three years.
Most Popular Saltwater Aquarium Blog Posts
- Five Saltwater Starter Fish Every Beginner Should Avoid. I wrote the article in 2009 in an attempt to help those of you who were thinking about setting up a saltwater tank avoid one of the biggest mistakes I made. I had been keeping freshwater fish for years before I dove into saltwater fish—and I was a little intimidated by the cost. As such, I focused on buying inexpensive fish at first that just led to problems down the road. That article is intended to help you avoid some of the fish commonly sold as starter fish that have no business ending up in your tank. I hear about people making this mistake all the time—so please, read this and don’t make the same mistakes I made.
- Five Saltwater Starter Fish for Beginners—I wrote a companion article to the one above titled: Five Saltwater Starter Fish for Beginners. In this article, I offer a straight-forward approach to picking hardy, easy-to-care for saltwater starter fish. This is a list of ‘can’t miss’ fish sure to liven up any saltwater tank. It is solid advice and an easy read.
- DIY Aquarium Rack for a Fish Room—The third most-popular blog post, ironically was a post in the middle of a series I wrote about a DIY Aquarium Rack I built for a Fish Room in the basement. I’m proud of the DIY Aquarium Rack, because I’m not generally a handy-man type of guy. It was probably the first major thing I’ve ever built from scratch. If you are interested in building your own DIY Aquarium Rack, check out the first blog post in the series.
The Worst Saltwater Aquarium Pages
I am not joking here—these are literally the worst blog posts I have written. In fact, they may be the worst blog posts in the world. If you spent time coming to this site and read these posts when they were written, I’m so sorry. If you found them somehow via search engine results and thought they would inform you, I’m sorry. If you are reading this article now and want to see what a train wreck looks like on a blog…read on. In all seriousness, I’m trying to reflect back on these posts, make sure I take accountability for writing them…and learn a little something from them. In the meantime, please enjoy this moment while I wallow in my own inept writing.
- News and Science: Possibly the worst page I’ve ever seen online—it attempts to combine two awful looking things—a news feed from Underwater Times, a news site that has its own merit and was just butchered in execution by me, as well as a handful of blog posts (written by me) that are slung together under the weak premise that they are either fish science or fish news. Apparently I was not very comfortable adding pictures when I wrote this. The only thing I can say is…I’m sorry. Check it out in all its splendid awfulness. I may hate this enough to take a picture of it to show what it used to look like…so you can see it, but then fix it so it isn’t quite so terrible.
- Fighting like cats and fish—not sure what I was thinking here. At home, we were all adjusting to the new baby (2 months old at that point) and I must have been sleep deprived. I was trying to keep up with a semi-regular posting schedule, and I think I posted this for the sake of posting something. Oof. Sorry. I wish I could call a mulligan on this one.
- Earth Day 2010—woo-hoo. Who doesn’t remember Earth Day 2010. That was a big day when… aw…I still don’t care. Nobody does, nobody did. Who even knows when Earth Day is? Sorry about this one too. I apparently was taking my Environmental Awareness vitamins that week.
Please, if you decide to follow any of those links and read the actual posts—do so at your own risk. They aren’t pretty, they aren’t well written, and they aren’t that interesting. If you are going to go to the trouble to check them out anyway (how could you resist after such an honest introduction), at least do me the favor of openly heckling me in the comments section. I welcome all your jibes, jabs and mockery. Just keep it clean, make sure it’s not offensive to anyone, and I’ll approve it. But please, let me have it. I deserve it, and your ridicule will only help me become a better writer (and maybe we can all have a good laugh at the same time).
My Favorite Blog Posts
I will attempt to regain some of your confidence and a little of my own self-esteem and leave you with the three blog posts that were my favorite to write. These are posts that I am proud of, and hope more people will find helpful by calling them out here:
- Moving Your Aquarium—I have moved my aquarium more times that I wish to remember. I have packed and unpacked that beast more times than I care to think about. While not an expert mover by training, I developed a bit of a system, out of necessity and shared it in this series. I milked it a bit into 4 posts—so it’s a bit long, but I think there is some good stuff in there—and it is written from first-hand experience.
- Reef Aquarium Lighting—Color Temperature Experiment—Another multi-post blog series, I had so much fun doing this experiment. I had recently converted my old VHO lights to T-5 HO lights. One of the site’s long-term sponsors, ZOOMED Laboratories had launched a new line of T-5 lamps in four different color temperatures. I had been a long-time reader of Tropical Fish Hobbyist and Aquarium Fish International magazines—and remembered an ad that ZOOMED use to run. In the ad they showed how the color temperature of their T-8 lights changed the appearance of African Cichlids. Inspired by that, I tried my own Color Temperature Experiment. In the end, I didn’t have enough lamps to really pull the experiment off well, but it was a pretty cool series—and some of my images were really cool too—in fact, one image was re-published in a west-coast publication, they liked it so much.
- The Five Dumbest Things I’ve Done as a Saltwater Aquarium Hobbyist—I’m sure I could fill pages with the dumb things I’ve done. It felt good to get a few of these things off my chest. I would love it if you would read this and then leave a comment and let me know if you think I’m a big dope—or if you have anything to confess yourself. When I first published this post, I was having big-time issues with the comments feature on the site—it should be super easy to comment now. Check it out—see how dumb I am and feel better about yourself.