Setting up a saltwater aquarium has been consuming much of my free time since January 14 when I poured the first bucket of sea water into my 55 gallon tank. Since then I’ve tested, tested, and tested the water, saved money for needed supplies and researched what I need to do. I’ve learned some marine biology, some chemistry and looked at dozens of photos of beautiful tanks in the evenings and weekends.
Right now I have all the sand and rock I need and am waiting for the chemistry of the tank to settle. Once that happens, and I have enough saved up, I will purchase my first fish: two clownfish, and some snails and shrimp to act as a “clean-up-crew”.
“You’re playing God, you know,” Dad said, watching the lightning whelk crawl across the side of the glass. “You’re trying to recreate what He’s already done, setting up this little mini-ocean, trying to do everything God does in nature.”
He was kidding, but it is one way of looking at it, I suppose. But I don’t really think that’s it. I think of it as setting up a little cube of ocean in my living room, understanding what God does on a massive scale every day, understanding all the processes and requirements that we take for granted so often.
Early into this I decided that setting this tank up would be a good project for me in appreciating Creation, and a good project for the kids to learn about the ocean, about biodiversity, about pollution and, well, stewardship of the world. That is what human’s first job was after all, to name the animals, tend the garden and generally look after the place. What is sitting in my family room is an undersea garden.