Aquarium Fish

AlyeskaGirl - Member Spotlight

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - AlyeskaGirl

Introduction
Wow! I am truly honored to be nominated for a Spotlight! So here is a little about myself. My name is Christine. I am 37 years old, born and raised in Southeast Alaska. The First City in Alaska with no roads to the outside world. This is the rainy part of Alaska known as the Panhandle where I currently live. I've never lived anywhere else.

I grew up out at a remote fishing lodge located 50 miles from town and my playground was nothing but wilderness. Only transportation is a boat or floatplane. I spent my Summers kayaking, hiking and fishing off the dock. Loved to hunt for Toads too. I am definitely not a city girl. Heck, I don't even know what it is like to live in a real city or the down south life that you have access to anything.

Other then keeping fish and aquatic plants. I have a cat named Alyeska and dog named Kita. As you can see where my user name comes from. I am not married but have a significant other and I have a 8 year old daughter and a soon to be 6 year old son.

How it all started
I've been keeping fish 15+ years. My first attempt was a fish bowl with Guppies when I was a teenager. I changed the water but they didn't last long. It's amazing how the store clerk sold me a bowl and putting a few Guppies in it! I graduated high school and my next tank was a 10 gallon at one point. Ready for my stocking: 2 Angelfish and a Common Pleco. I managed to keep them alive for quite awhile and the Angles laid eggs! I didn't know about the Nitrogen Cycle process but I did know about the ammonia, that it was a bad thing and doing water changes would remove it. So I had some knowledge that I did gain from the fish store in the past. Lets skip ahead to getting a 20 gallon tall that I stocked with a Jack Dempsey, 2 Pictus Cats, Firemouth, Gold Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollar and of course a Common Pleco. I know, I know, what in the world was that all about! I maybe did a large water change once a month if that. The best part about this is I still have that Silver Dollar! I've had him for about 8 years now.

November 2009 I ended up with a 55 gallon. The 20 gallon tall was still up and running with the Jack Dempsey, Firemouth, 1 Pictus Cat and a Silver Dollar. I still didn't know about the Nitrogen Cycle and I moved them into the 55. Lost the Firemouth and Pictus cat. I then found Fishlore and learned about the whole cycling process; nitrite and nitrate that there just wasn't ammonia. Got through that after a rough start. I ended up stocking the 20 gallon with smaller fish and a few live plants. Re-homed the Jack Dempsey.

May 2010 I got a 125 gallon 72x18x22 for my 3 Silver Dollars I had in the 55 gallon and upped the school to 7.

My Aquariums
55 gallon freshwater planted, duel T5HO fixture 6500k and Rosette bulb, filtration is a Rena XP3, AC50 power head for extra circulation and fine gravel substrate with root tabs. I dose dry fertilizers daily. Plants include Amazon Sword, Green Melon Sword, Red Melon Sword, Crypt Wendtii, Dwarf Hairgrass, Bacopa, Wisteria, Water Sprite, Jungle Val, Chain Sword and Narrow-leaf Micro Sword. Fish include Angelfish pair, Bolivian Ram pair, Cardinals, Gold Tetras, Black Neon Tetras, Glass Catfish, Otos, Bronze and Albino Corys and Bristlenose Pleco.

125 gallon non-planted, 2 24 inch single bright LED fixtures, filtration is an FX5 and AC110, gravel substrate, 2 pieces of driftwood, fake plants and other decor. Fish include 9 Silver Dollars, 4 Pictus Cats, 6 Bleeding Heart Tetras, 7 Giant Danios, Firemouth, Green Severum and Albino Bristlenose Pleco. I feed New Life Spectrum Thera-A exclusively along with Omega One Algae Wafers and fresh lettuce twice a week. Occasionally Omega One frozen Blood Worms and Brine Shrimp.

Aquarium Pictures

Aquarium Aquarium 2 Aquarium 3 Aquarium 4 Aquarium 5

Silver Dollar Care

  • Larger the tank the better - 55 gallon minimum but is only a starter tank in my opinion.
  • Larger the school the better - I've noticed they are much more happier, again the larger the tank the more happier and active too.
  • They really like subdued lighting. Single Bright LED with moonlight works well on a 125 gallon to achieve this.
  • Good tank maintenance is a must as they are prone to fin rot; clean water.
  • Adequate filtration
  • No sharp decorations, don't decorate heavily as they spook easily, dart and run into things including tank walls
  • Foods - will pretty much eat anything and fresh lettuce is a must
  • When stressed they will most likely lay propped up on decor and fake plants. Don't be alarmed. Mine do this when I do a water change. Don't expect them to act like a school of Tetras all laid back during a water change or when rearranging things. This is not the case.

Aquarium Tips
Success in fish keeping can be a hit or a miss. It all can go well then disaster can hit. But you just pick backup and learn from your mistakes or just a natural disaster. Remember we care for an enclosed ecosystem and it can't be perfect.

The first step to success is learning about the nitrogen cycle. Followed by adequate filtration, proper stocking, nutritious diet and maintenance; water changes being the most important.

Acknowledgments
I would like to thank my significant other for his support but truly he is the enabler. If it was not for him I would not have my 55 gallon and 125 gallon as he is the one who got them for me. When the power goes out he hooks my tanks up to a generator and will stay up to make sure all is well. He is a great guy.

I would like to thank especially Dena (Catsma) for her help and all of Fishlore. I have learned a lot here and continue to everyday!

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