This all started in 1978 because my landlord wouldn't let me have a dog... ...But before I get too ahead of myself, let me first welcome you to my website.  My name is Michael G. Moye (more about me later) and I really hope you enjoy your time spent here because this is the most work I've ever put into something I couldn't actually date.
I began keeping saltwater fish back in 1978 when, living in Los Angeles, I decided I needed a diversion from the stresses of my job.  Y'know, something that would be waiting for me when I got home that didn't shop.  So I asked my landlord if I could have a dog.  He said that pets generally weren't allowed (with the exception, of course, of his wife's little banshee of a cat) but he'd make an exception for fish since they were quiet and wouldn't befoul his verdant 1/250 acre of front lawn.  Now, I'm not usually the spiteful sort but knowing full well by 'fish', he meant something small like a molly in a bowl with pink gravel, some marbles, and a plastic diver with bubbles coming out of his head, I came home with a 60g showtank complete with a cabinet, hood, UG filter, and all the decorative dead coral skeletons I could carry.  I also made sure he was watching when I brought inside the Instant Ocean.
Of course, it wasn't as though I knew NOTHING about saltwater fish.  I knew they had cool colors.  I knew they had cool shapes. And thanks to the nice young salesman at the LFS, I 'knew' they weren't really any harder to keep than freshwater fish.

Needless to say, there were quite a few casualties.  (Un)fortunately, the salesman wasn't one of them.
Three things kept me from getting out of the hobby forever at that point:  One, having always been an inveterate reader, I began to bring home books (as opposed to more fish, then more medication, and then more fish) and, more importantly, I actually began to READ them!   At last, I felt like I was getting some real information.  Heck, I even began to realize the root of my problems.  It was my LFS.  So after several weeks of searching for a good one, finally, some fifty miles away in Fountain Valley, CA, I found Tis Tropical Fish. Not exactly a 'L'FS but 180 degrees from the place I'd been going to.  In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find a place with such a knowledgeable and courteous staff today!  Sadly, they're long gone now but because of all the help they gave me back then I consider them the second reason I stayed in the hobby...
The third was it annoyed my landlord.
A lot of people (hobbyists included) thought I was nuts to drive that far for fish or in some cases, the very same supplies I could purchase much closer to home. But to tell it truth, it was all becoming much more than about spite for me. I was actually having success keeping many of these creatures alive... 
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©2006 Michael G. Moye