Deb Susan’s Fishy Habits

As usual, this week’s topic offered me many options. I’m a wriggling ball of bad habits, from procrastination to worrying to drinking far too much coffee and eating far too many french fries.

But one habit in particular costs me more money – and more of my time – than any other.

13B Full tank

Yes, I’m dragging out my aquarium again.

I visit the fish store once a week (at minimum). I have to go to buy premixed salt water for water changes and frozen fish food to keep the reef well fed. I buy liquid foods for the corals and, sometimes, live ghost shrimp for a special seahorse treat.

But it doesn’t end there.

My name is Deb Susan, and I am a coral addict.

The owner of the reef store is a friend of mine. He breeds rare corals himself, and understands my passion for finding new and pretty additions to the reef. He goes to coral shows regularly, and often returns with prizes I can’t resist.

Things like plate corals (which the seahorses tend to mistake for real plates…),

13A Seahorses eating off plate coral

green sun corals,

13B Green sun


13B Pagoda

and fancy zoanthids in every color of the rainbow.

13B Zoas

I’m much the same way with invertebrates, too. I have an odd appreciation for snails, and shrimp, and crabs of all sizes.

13B Peppermint Shrimp

I don’t have a passion for shoes, or clothing, or jewelry. I can pass a makeup store without looking twice. But show me a pretty coral or an unusual little crab and it’s GAME OVER where my willpower is concerned.

If there’s room on the reef, and if it’s a type that plays nice with my current inhabitants, I can’t resist bringing it home.

Have you got a habit-forming hobby? I’d love to hear what YOU like to bring home!





17 Replies to “Deb Susan’s Fishy Habits”

  1. Your post brings me back to my own contention that every so-called bad habit has a flip positive side. Your aquarium obsession brings great joy into the lives of the rest of us. My day is already happier for seeing the pics of corals first thing in the morning. So carry on. Obsess. We love it.

    1. I’m glad nobody’s groaning that I trotted out the fish again! In fact, I’m delighted to hear that they brightened up your day. They always make me smile, too. I think you’re dead on with the idea that every bad habit has a flip side, too, and I can definitely see the flip side of this one is the joy it brings (to me and to anyone else who likes seeing it!).

  2. These photos are so pretty! My friend is a marine biologist who specializes in corals (specifically, the depletion of coral reefs), and I always love seeing her on-site/underwater photos. I’m sure she’d agree your habit isn’t a bad one at all!! 🙂

    1. What an interesting job, Dana! The man who owns the store where I buy all my corals is very concerned about conservation too. He buys tank-raised corals whenever he can, even though they are more expensive, and he farms his own as well. A lot of his customers (me included) farm corals in our tanks, which we then return to his shop for him to sell on consignment. We get some store credit, he gets to pass on a much more sustainable resource. Please tell your friend I hope she starts seeing some reversal soon. One thing I’m happy about is that my reef is almost 100% tank farmed corals, and the few that are wild “caught” I’ve actually been able to grow to a level that I’m now sending tank-raised specimens of them into the trade, thereby reducing the number that have to come out of the wild. I’m not selling many yet, but every one helps!

    1. I think they’re lovely too. It was surprising to me – I thought of salt as a lot “harder” than freshwater, but the advances in technology make it much easier than I thought! In fact, my tank tends to stay a lot cleaner than my freshwater tanks used to. Part of that is probably strategy (balancing the reef ecosystem right) but I think salt water is also just a lot easier than it used to be!

      Blogging is definitely habit forming, too – it starts small, but boy does it grow on you over time!

  3. Your tank is so pretty! My weakness is yarn. I’m a crochetter and love it! All the yarns in all the colors! I like to make blankets, even though we need another one like a hole in the head. lol. It’s a relaxing hobby and gives me time to work out plot problems. Bonus for me, not so much the rest of the family.

    1. Melinda, I totally understand your love for yarn! I don’t crochet or knit, but I can barely resist buying those fluffy, pretty balls of yarn even though I’d have nothing to do with them. Crocheting sounds like a great way to think through plot problems – it makes perfect sense that you’d be able to do some great thinking while your hands are occupied. What a great idea!

  4. This sure is a rare hobby. I bet you like snorkeling? Since you could enjoy the pretty coral view.
    I bring home paper bags. I have a wide collection of paper/plastic bags. 😉

    1. Thanks Mary – and I do love snorkeling! Actually, both snorkeling and SCUBA, though I haven’t been able to go SCUBA diving for years. (I do go snorkeling though!) One nice thing about having them in my home is that the fish aren’t nearly as scared of me as they tend to be in the wild – instead, they know when they see me it’s feeding time!

      I seem to be starting a paper bag collection myself … I don’t like just throwing them away (even in recycle) so I keep them, thinking I’ll use them…and suddenly I have an entire cabinet full!

  5. This is a unique “bad habit”. Coral is so pretty and I’ve heard that natural coral is suffering a lot. I went to the Great Barrier Reef in 2012 and the expedition I went on told us how they were having trouble keeping the coral alive. Too much interaction with humans. People who go snorkeling would recklessly touch it, step on it, and just do general damage. It’s sad. It’s a privileged to be able to see that natural beauty.

    1. It’s so true, Kim – I love scuba diving and snorkeling, and the reefs are suffering badly from human interference. That’s one reason I buy only from a reputable shop that stocks mostly tank-raised corals and specimens that are wild captured in sustainable ways. It’s definitely a privilege to see these amazing creatures every day, and it’s given me an even greater appreciation for them to watch them so closely.

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