I've had the pleasure...ok, mostly pleasure...of keeping fish alive for 35 years. I currently have four tanks, and am planning a fifth tank with malice aforethought, much to my wife's eventual chagrin. Currently I have:

125 planted community tank that currently houses a messload of fish include a very large syn. decorus, two 10-year old dwarf banjos, a silver veil angel, a Siamese algae eater, a few red topminnows, some blue-spotted sunfish, a dozen mixed small tetras (gold, silver tip) and cherry barbs, a mystery fish, four corys, a gold dojo and a khuli loach that we see every few months and...2 apple snails. I am expecting a dozen green fire tetras this week and that should do it for a while. The water has a low ph which hasn't seemed to bother the Decorus one bit. The main plants are java fern that I started with all those years ago and red root floaters, which I can't seem to throw out fast enough, and some other bits and pieces of plants I've picked up along the way. I do like the lilly and banana plant I have in there, too, and I did stick a sweet potato in there as well. Amazing how well the potato grew. A pothos now resides where the potato once was, and is no where near as fun.

50 gallon tank that has three leleupi, one dom male sulphur-head calvus, a sub male of same, six cobalt blue zebra (three male, three female), a pleco, two syn. petricola, and the nastiest fish of the lot, a chinese algae eater who beats the snot out of any fish he so chooses to headbutt. I have some anubis in there that look awful, and a pothos as well, but growing anything in crushed coral substrate is impossible for me.

15 gallon with what was branded as a "nemo candy half-moon plakat betta" and was a gorgeous orange, sparkling turquoise and white fish. Now Angust Part Deux is a sullen blue and red betta with no particular distinction. I feel quite annoyed at this color change and one would not believe it is the same fish at all. The tank also has a few corys and a feeder guppy that came with some neocardia. Its also planted with the same mix as the 125, excluding the potato and including 6 moss balls, riccia fluitans and christmas moss that co-mingle in the most sinful of ways.

5 gallon mostly Walstadt-method that was inspired by Foo the Flowerhorn on Youtube. It has two dario dario, an alleged tiger dario, an oto, five Elassoma Okeefenokee, two dwarf crayfish and misc neocardia shrimp. This tank is just six months old, and it has dwarf sagittaria, marsilea hirsuta, perhaps some hornwort and stuff I grab from my yard and stick in it just to see if it will take root in the clay deep inside the holes of the ohko stone.

And soon...a 9.7 gallon that will be dedicated to neocardias. Although I have had my eye on this one metallic green alien spadetail betta (similar to https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7YGMEgqIRrg/hqdefault.jpg) that might win out. But probably not. Maybe not.

I watch a lot of aquarium porn on Youtube, and my tanks have never been pristine like that. I'm the worst type of aquarist in that I don't test the water, I just change 25-30% every 3-6 weeks. The last time I tested the PH in my 125 it was so low that API refunded me the $5 and asked me to not to buy their kit again. That color yellow is reserved for the sun and the urine of dehydrated people with excess vitamin B. The fish I buy just seem to live a long time, particularly in the 125, where I had a syn. eupterus named Big Momma for 27 years. I always presumed it was a she, and she'd come to the surface, roll on her back and I would hand-feed her tubifex worm cubes or pellets. Pre-9/11, she'd fly in my carry-on luggage when I moved, which always caused some delight and panic at the security checkpoint. Today I would say its my emotional support fish and of course should be allowed on the plane. I could sit next to the lady with the ostrich.

Anyway, my tanks are usually a tangle of plants, wood and rocks, which is how I envision it to be in the wild. Except for some brazilian ironwood, everything else in the tanks I've collected from my travels, be it weird pieces of wood or rocks from wherever. Every 7-8 years or so, I do something stupid like two water changes within a week, which causes climate change, and a pandemic of ich breaks out and wipes out half the fish. But generally, outside of some FHLLE (hole-in-the-head or lateral line erosion) a few years back, my tanks are disease free.

So that's pretty much the G-rated story. Anything more salacious involving a rubber worm and a bichir shall go unmentioned.
Fiscal Disciplinarian


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