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Lynda B - Member Spotlight

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Lynda B

My name is Lynda and I live in Connecticut, with my husband Michael, our 4 fish tanks and our 3 rescue dogs. I blame my husband for my introduction to fishkeeping. A few years back, out of the blue, he mentions that he has always wanted a fish tank. So, we bounced the idea around. Given that neither of us has other hobbies that are cost-intensive, we decided to go ahead and set him up. So, he starts researching tanks. I stumble across Freecycle.Org, where someone has listed a free 30 gallon tank. Michael wants new, not used, but hey, I'm big on shopping at the "curb", so we go pick it up for me. Within a short time, Michael finds a 26 gallon he likes and so we order that, plus all the filters, heaters, etc. that go along with maintaining healthy tanks. He's "Mr. Research" so I felt that we were entering this hobby with an absolute wealth of knowledge under our belts. The complete falsehood of that belief would come to smack us upside the head in short order. Yeah, I can see you all nodding your heads in agreement already.

I started off with my 30 gallon. We had joined a local fish club, and I was getting free tanks left and right from club members or Freecycle so, at one point or another, had a couple of 10's, a 15, a 20 high, a 46, a 75. Even, I'm ashamed to say, a 3 gallon unheated, unfiltered bowl with two bettas in it, a male and a female. After hearing all the horror stories about how to properly house bettas, I know now how very lucky I was that my male and female were cranky only when separated. They actually insisted on living in the same environment.

75 Gallon - Start Date: 3/27/11 (upgraded from existing 46), Filter: Rena XP3, air stone, Heater, Temp: 80

46 Gallon - Start Date: 3/27/11 (upgraded from existing 30), Filter: AC70, air stone, Heater, Temp: 76

16 Gallon - Start Date: 10/10/10 (upgraded from existing 10), Filter: AC30, Heater, Temp: 75, Stock: Since my first tank, I have cycled using seeded media, so my readings rarely fluctuate. All are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5-20 nitrates. The tanks are maintained with Prime, API Master Kit and a Python water changer.

Fish, Plants, Invertebrates
75 Gallon - Stock: Blood Parrot Cichlids, African Featherfin Catfish, Emperor Tetras, Turquoise Rainbowfish, Long Finned Albino Bristlenose Plecos, Japanese Trapdoor Snail

46 Gallon - Stock: Bamboo, Amano and Ghost Shrimp, Ember and Rummy nose Tetras, Flame Gourami, Endlers Livebearers, Kuhli Loaches, Gold Inca and Leopard Snails, Platys, Guppies, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Long Finned Albino Bristlenose Pleco

16 Gallon - Stock: Red Cherry Shrimp, Assassin Snails, Juvenile Long Finned Albino Bristlenose Pleco, Otos, Endlers Livebearers, Peppered, Pygmy and Loxozonus Corys

All of my tanks get a varied diet consisting of Ken's Fish cichlid flake mix, spirulina, algae wafers, shrimp pellets, and a variety of other flake foods. They also get frozen foods like plankton, bloodworms and brine shrimp, as well as cucumber and live seasonal foods like mosquito larvae, earthworms and the like. The live foods are carefully sourced to ensure they are free from chemical contamination. Twice a week, I soak the food in Garlic Guard or Vita-Chem. At the moment, I'm feeding every other day. I tend to feed the 16 gallon RCS tank daily and whenever I have fry in a tank, they are fed small meals multiple times per day.

I'm not all that good at growing aquarium plants, although it's not for lack of trying. I do very well with marimo balls and java moss! I've learned not to plant much in the 75 as the blood parrots were apparently landscapers in some previous life and never approve of my aquascaping. I've learned to utilize a mixture of silk and live plants in their tank as it takes their mind off the "seek and destroy" mission.

I adore driftwood and have a combination in all tanks of Mopani, Malaysian and also branches or wood I've scouted out from the woods behind the house or at the nearby river. Since I love the "natural" look best, I like to use interesting or pretty rocks in my tanks.

I've never really had an issue with compatibility issues, probably because I'm such a firm believer in research PRIOR to purchase. My goal has always been peaceful community tanks and I've accomplished that. Through the years, I did try various species that weren't my cup of tea. Tiger barbs were too aggressive, zebra danios were too psycho. It's taken some time and tweaking to finally achieve the great balance I now enjoy in my stock.

Favorite Aquarium Pictures

Blood Parrot Cichlids Corydoras and Killifish
Freshwater Shrimp Baby Fish with Mom

Future Plans
I love my tanks and am very content with what I currently have. Because of that, I don't tend to daydream about "what if". It's taken 7 or 8 years to get to the point where I have really healthy, peaceful tanks that are easy to maintain and now my tanks offer me the "zen" I had always been looking for.

First and foremost, I'm grateful to my husband for saying "you know, I've always wanted a fish tank". I know I never would've even thought of keeping fish if he hadn't planted that little seed.

I have the utmost respect and gratitude for members of forums like FishLore for sharing their knowledge and hands-on experiences so freely. Without being able to learn from their mistakes, I know I would've made a lot more of my own.

Thank you all.

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