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About the First Tank Guide

Aquarium Help Guide and Aquarium Set-Up and Maintenance Information

(The First Tank Guide)

How It Started

I started putting together the information that first became the First Tank Guide in 1993, and used that aquarium care information as canned responses to send to Usenet users posting some of these common questions on the alt.aquaria.* and rec.aquaria.* newsgroups.

Getting On the Web

Late in 1993, a friend of mine recommended that I make a web site with that information in it, so I didn't have to keep posting the same thing to the news groups - and could direct people to the web site where they could read it on their own.

Of course, at that time, the "web" was a relatively new concept, and web browsers were just starting to come around. I was able to track down some free hosting space on the Honors Student Council web server in exchange for some assistance in administration of the server. Early in 1994 I started to get some pages up, starting with a list of aquarium equipment, which was quickly followed by information on acclimating fish to your fish tank and information on cycling your new aquarium.

I didn't know that this early exposure would turn into a long and productive career as a web site developer working for myself and a friend at Paydirt Design LLC.

Why Aquarium Information?

The reason I started gathering this aquarium information together to send out on Usenet was that I was surprised at the number of people who had gotten started with a fish tank and did not work with a good local pet shop like I had, and therefore didn't know the basics when they got started setting up their fish tank. Coupling that with the number of bad, misleading, or unclear answers people were getting made the experience frustrating.

I wanted to provide people with a clear, accurate, helpful source of information so they could get started on the right foot and have a pleasant experience with their aquariums. With over a decade of experience already in helping other people get their aquariums started successfully, trouble shooting people's fish tank problems, and caring for my own tanks, I felt I was qualified to help and provide quality and reliable aquarium care information.

Starting with information on common equipment, the nitrogen cycle, and introducing fish, the site has grown over the years to over 100 pages, all based on actual questions that I really get from real aquarium hobbyists.

I hope you find the web site helpful. I know many people before you have, because they've told me how helpful it is.




"Thank you for your sound advice. If I had followed other people's advice regarding tank maintenance I know keeping this tank clean & healthy would have turned into a chore for me 2.5 months ago."
June 20, 2006
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"I came across your pages by internet search after reading about 4 other sites, and I have to say that your site is by far the most informative (I've added it to my favorites). I do not need to go any further. I have learned that taking care of fish should be easy, once my biological filter is established. Now I know that I just have to be patient, and [then] enjoy the crystal clear set up for many years to come. Thank you for every word in your pages, you probably saved the lives of 5 little fish, and another tank from the trash."
June 9, 2004
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