Member Spotlight on PandoraOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Pandora (Jen)
As a child, I had the usual string of sad goldfish in a tiny tank (we moved around a lot when I was young, so the old tank was lost or sold somewhere along the way). Eventually, my sister and I got a 10-gallon tank for Christmas and so began our first foray into tropical fish. Since many of the first fish were livebearers, it didn't take long for MTS to strike. After some desperate begging, my parents kindly provided a second 10-gallon tank to house the fry, and then a third.
Eventually, in a chemical and stress-fueled moment of insanity (had 2 chemistry labs in one day during my second year of university), I decided I wanted to try breeding something a bit more challenging than guppies and swordtails. Also taking genetics at the time, I was fascinated by it, so settled on Betta splendens for their array of colour forms, and fascinating breeding behavoiur. Since I had announced to my lab partner I was going to be breeding Bettas, my pride ensured that I actually had to go through with this crazy scheme. So, after many months of research, and carefully selecting my prime breeding stock from the local pet stores I was ready. Amazingly, my very first spawn was successful, though I only managed to rear 15 fry. After that it was just a short time before I ordered my first breeding pair online, and joined the local aquarium society, and was drawn further and further into the addiction.
Over the years what the bettas and solvent fumes started, has led to me filling my parents' house with tanks ranging from 2 gallons to 40, breeding several species of cichlids and other fish, a few wild betta species (imbellis, mahachi, pugnax and channoides), visiting the ACA convention, and a trip to South America to collect fish (specifically, Suriname... which I had never heard of before being informed that's where I was going!), as well as meeting lots of great people who share the addiction.
Fish, Plants, Invertebrates
I have a black thumb with aquarium plants, so most of mine are silk, with some Java moss and Anubias in a couple of the tanks. I think there may still be some sort of Cryptocoryne clinging to life in with the channoides.
Definitely, though, I'm never going to get bored of Betta splendens. With new colour types still emerging, there will always be something to work on! There's still so much to learn about the beautiful, personable little guys.
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