GREENVILLE - Joe Janowiecki’s 500-gallon aquarium holds saltwater fish, some of which are tropical and coming from Indonesia, Philippines, Hawaii and Florida.
This particular tank has been in place for three years, but he said it has been a hobby of his for 30 years.
Janowiecki, who buys his fish at Gerber’s Saltwater Warehouse, said a personal issue he had with depression has now waned because of his work with the fish and his aquarium.
“I almost got rid of it [the tank], but the doctor said no,” he said.
An electrician by trade, Janowiecki also helps other people out with the same hobby.
“I pass it forward since someone helped me,” Janowiecki commented. “I do volunteer work at a children’s hospital, servicing their aquariums.”
His aquarium weighs 900 pounds empty. It is 8 feet left to right, 4 feet front to back and 2 feet tall. The glass construction is 3/4 inch thick on front, back and sides, and 1 1/4 inches from top to bottom.
At one point in time, he had four or five other aquariums but his wife suggested they cut back on them to save on their electric bill.
“We combined everything in one big tank,” he said. “We’ve saved over $100 a year.”
It was made by Glass Cages out of Dickson, Tenn. He learned about them from visiting glasscages.com.
Janowiecki’s aquarium contains 1,000 pounds of rocks, 500 pounds of reef sand in a live sand bed, 13 fish, 100-plus corals, 30-plus snails, 15-plus star fish [the clean-up crew], hermit crabs and shrimp. Full of water, rock and sand, it weighs approximately 6,100 pounds.
“There are compatibility issues with fish,” he said. “This is a community tank. Everybody gets along with everyone. Aggressive tanks are those that hold eels, sharks and lion fish.”
He said some fish cost $300 retail, but noted that he gets a discount.
He said he also ended up with a lot of things that grow on their own in the tank. And, he plans to add to this.
“It’s like a garden; you plant as much as you want, depending on the space you have,” he said. “I clean it once a week with 50 gallons of water.”
He said it features 3,200 watts of metal halide light on timers to simulate sunshine. The filter is a homemade, 125-gallon glass aquarium, featuring two ultraviolet sterilizers and one protein skimmer.
The water, he said, is purified by reverse osmosis. He puts in 50 gallons a week to take the toxicity out of the water.
Janowiecki has lived in Darke County for 16 years, and moved here wanting to raise trout as a food source.
He started out with 25 brown speckled trout and ended up with 16 or 17.
Should the power ever go out, the Janowieckis have a propane generator that takes care of the entire house.
“It was too extensive,” he said. “Trout like cold water and I didn’t want to run the well all of the time.”
At one point, Janowiecki worked with freshwater fish but, after he kept passing by a saltwater tank, enjoyed it, switched and has never gone back.
Yes, his aquarium may have even helped with his depression issues.
“The light provides Vitamin D for me,” said Janowiecki, who likes to sit in an easy chair, drink coffee and watch his fish. “Who would have thought you’d have part of the ocean in Greenville, Ohio?”
He invites those who want to see his aquarium to call him and set up a time at 937-423-3233.