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Member Spotlight on TheEssigs

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Laura Hello Fishlore! My name is Laura Essig. I am just one part of the five that make up "TheEssigs". The Essigs are comprised of myself, my husband Donald, and our three children. Growing up, I had been introduced to aquaria by my brothers. They kept freshwater tanks with mainly Oscars and various catfish (and whatever unmentionables they found in the local creek!). When I was able, I had set up a 30 gallon freshwater community aquarium. That tank was running about 2 years before having to tear it down. That was about 18 years ago... for me, fish keeping was all but forgotten, until 2007, when our family jumped into the hobby!

Don and I began fish keeping Easter weekend of 2007. We thought that getting our children a pet for Easter would be much better than just 3 baskets of candy. We decided on a fish tank. (12 Tanks later - I'd say the joke is on us!)

Don So, off to pet store we went and picked up our first tank, a Marineland Eclipse Hex Five fish tank. On the box it pictured 6 fancy goldfish, so we thought "Great! We can get three goldfish, one for each kid and have room to spare." Little did we know (literally)... and boy, were we about to find out.

Since then it has been a whirlwind of experiences. Everything from beginner mishaps to full blown multiple tank syndrome. It has been quite an adventure. Finding FishLore was a great discovery. Not only did we find a community of fish lovers, that didn't think we were totally nuts, but we found an immense resource of information and advice.


We currently have 12 tanks: Ten up and running, 1 empty and the other is a current work in progress.
  • 2 Gallon Eclipse Acrylic Explorer
  • 2.5 Gallon All Glass QT (empty)
  • 5 Gallon Eclipse Acrylic Corner
  • 6 Gallon Eclipse Acrylic Bow Front
  • 10 Gallon All Glass
  • 20 Gallon All Glass (to be replaced with a 30 gallon or so corner tank)
  • 26 Gallon All Glass Bow Front
  • 40 Gallon Wide Breeder
  • 45 Gallon Tall All Glass
  • 46 Gallon All Glass Bow Front
  • 65 Gallon All Glass
  • 125 Gallon All Glass (work in progress)
Aside of the Eclipse "everything under the hood" fish tanks, we are currently running Marineland Penguin Powerfilters of various sizes on all of our tanks. We do have one Hagen Aquaclear filter on our 40 gallon that was purchased as an experiment, to see if we liked it. I didn't like the new filter and my husband is indifferent. Each tank also has a Marineland Stealth Heater and a thermometer. In addition, the 40 gallon, 45 gallon, 46 gallon and the 65 gallon have air pumps running either stones or discs.

Recently we had an issue with our 26 gallon. In early December we did major reconstruction. We removed the fish, added new decor, did a 50% gravel vac and the tank mini-cycled. Since then, we have had a bacterial bloom that had morphed into unsightly green water. We believe it was a combination of the bloom, overfeeding and too much light. Since the water parameters, according to our API master test kit, were all in the normal range, to remedy the problem, we had lessened the light by few hours, did small, but frequent, water changes and had added a phosphate filter pad. The situation improved, but it was a slow process. We finally have a clear tank. Fish

The Fish

The various types of fish we are currently keeping are as follows: We currently have a menagerie of foods that we feed our fish. In particular, I like the Hikari line of fish foods, especially the frozen varieties, as I trust that they are as "pure and nutritious" as possible. I also like New Life Spectrum. I find the pellets to be very well received by the fish and the food to be of good quality. We also feed the fish various brand flakes, crisps, shrimp pellets, wafers and occasionally freeze dried.

Future Plans

We are currently in the planning and plotting stages of our current tank project. Our 125 gallon tank. Aside from aquascaping and cycling this giant, there will be a lot of fish shifting to come. The fish that are in our 40 gallon are going into the 125 gallon. The fish from the 20 gallon are going into the 40 gallon. The 20 gallon is going to set up and put on stand-by in an undetermined location, and in the space that occupied the 20 gallon we will be setting up a new corner tank. Anyway, it should be quite a ride! Daunting, yet exciting. I'll be sure to post pictures!

Fish and Aquarium Photos

2 gallon aquarium 5 gallon aquarium 6 gallon aquarium 10 gallon aquarium 20 gallon aquarium 26 gallon aquarium 40 gallon aquarium 45 gallon aquarium 46 gallon aquarium 65 gallon aquarium Quarantine Fish Tank

To see more pictures check out TheEssigs' Fish and Aquarium Gallery


First and foremost, I would like to thank my husband, Don. Not only has he enabled me to expand my love for fish keeping and putting up with my MTS, but he has joined me in the trip. When we started this endeavor, I wasn't sure that he was going to enjoy this hobby as much as I do. Not only does he enjoy the hobby, but he has been bitten with MTS bug as well. The enthusiasm that we both bring into this hobby makes fish keeping a true joy.

I would also like to thank FishLore. This site has been an invaluable resource. Kudos to the Administration (Mike) and the Moderators for creating and maintaining such an enjoyable, safe environment to obtain information, exchange ideas and to give or get advice.

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