Meet Czado


Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
Hi, I'm Joe, and I may be typing more than you wanted to know about me and what I think. :)

I entered the hobby in Nov '04, and am an intermediate aquarist. I grow plants but am no aquascaper. I long ago completed Chemistry 101 and 102, and, while still slowly learning many concepts, find this hobby has provided a better understanding of basic chemistry than either class. I also like playing pretend scientist, have a scale, and do calculations to 4 significant figures even though it's unnecessary. I generally pick good gurus, am willing to try anything they try while learning, and understand enough to know I know little. I am certainly no guru. I find pruning fun and relaxing, so don't mind high maintenance a bit and think stem plants rule. I like odd plants and half-heartedly fight collectoritis. (I like to collect things in general.) I think it's silly to hide mistakes. My grammar sucks, I'm prone to hyperbole, and often type fractured thoughts, but I'm working on it.

All my tanks are small, with the largest being a 20long. Having many tanks keeps me busy and I enjoy the flexibility enough to avoid a single large tank. I think almost every fish I've had is boring, but I like the spazes, Loaches especially. I find most schooling fish annoyingly stupid. Inverts are my favorite by far, and I am considering saltwater simply for the variety available. I tend to prefer to lurk and search archives, am a fan of great threads with low noise, APC, APD, and AA, who held my hand when beginning this hobby. Tom recently stating his goal is to get us all aquascaping instead of troubleshooting is inspiring to me, though I find my interest in aquascaping waning a bit. Right now, I'd rather just grow plants and dream about the next tank.

My current favorite plant is Eriocaulon "from Guang Zhou," which in the end looks like a big E. cinerum with a cooler name. Rotala rotundifolia is in my top 5 easily, and despite it's popularity I think it's underrated -- it's easy to trim and keep dense, you can bend it into neat shapes, it looks great and is an indicator plant... what's not to like? I think Riccia is way overrated. Emersed growth is an interest of mine with the goal to flower a stem or Crypt, but my main setup is mostly a failure except for it being the only paludarium that doubles as sump, as far as I know. I don't know why more people don't use sumps. I have affection for floating plants and open aquariums, too. I think softwater is up there on the list of ways to make this hobby easier, and, despite my being cheap and liking DIY and everything, think Aquasoil is great. I think most people overstate the difficulty of DIY CO2, but I've never tried pressurized. I want to learn to get more brilliant/vivid/intense colors without 9325K or Photoshop/The GIMP/etc, and I've tried different stuff with varying success, but keep the faith.

I work with open source software, find it immensely rewarding, and philosophically support open information. One of the appeals of aquaria for me is how similar you all are to my like-minded professional peers. Information should be free. We learn, and then we share while we learn more. We adopt something akin to the developer's tribe, with our gurus, our brilliant rule breakers, the informed, the contributors, the newbies, and so on, most eager to learn, advance, and help. I think ego, drama, and commercial interests should be secondary at best. I believe those continuing this tradition ensure our learning curve will never end.

There's other stuff too, of course, but that's the gist in regards to this hobby.

Thank you.