Member Spotlight on TedsTankOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - TedsTank
My name is Ted Dutcher and am living in Southern Maryland with my wife of 39 years. I was raised not far from here so I have a place in my heart for the Chesapeake Bay.
My first aquarium like experience was many, many years ago when my parents got me a Brandy Snifter bowl with a Neon tetra. Needless to say that didn't work out too well, but, planted the seed for having aquariums for the rest of my life!
Then of course we always wanted to keep a brackish water tank from the Bay. We did ok with Stickle Backs, Blennies, Gobies and Mudcrabs.
As a young teenager I got a job at The Chesapeake Biological Lab at the Exhibit Room in Solomons, Md. There we had tanks that had a constant exchange with fresh bay water (brackish). I caught some seahorses out on the oyster beds and what a hit that was! One of the boys released his babies! Well we did as best as possible with feeding with baby brine shrimp... forgetting that we had constant water exchange... so the dear things were slowly release back into the bay.
BUT, the memory of that Neon Tetra and the Brandy Snifter never left me. A short time later I ended up with a 20 gallon long tank, and the world changed. 5 convict cichlids, and by age 15 we were overwhelmed with babies. I gave them to our local fish store.(sort of local, it was 40 miles away.)
I was headed down the path to tropical Fish and this Forum. I'm so glad we didn't have internet then! (We were able to buy a house, cars, start a family etc., before I met all you at FishLore, and all you MTS characters.)
Today I have 5 tanks, from 55 gallons down to a ten gallon. (20 gal long is the only one I had to buy) Most of the tanks are from free-cycle and the 55 was from family who had to move, gave away 2 monster Oscars and gave the tank to me. I also have a 2100 gal. Koi Pond with my monster pets living in it.
My main interests have been and always will be with the South American fish. I have done my stint with the apisto's and am moving on. Just couldn't find that one stunning species of fish. It's still the TETRAS, must always have some. I have kept discus before and even had unsuccessful spawns, until PH shock killed them all. Today I'm using an RO water mix and most of the problems in keeping these fish have gone away. I do strive to keep my fish relatively close to their natural environments (although thru years of breeding most do adapt to a wide range of water parameters). My 55 gallon currently has 3 young discus, 12 rainbow tetras and 2 cory's and I still find the tetras the most fascinating.
All my fish keeping experiences have been an incredible road of learning, and, everyday if you will sit and watch your fish closely you will learn something new. My setups for the tanks are set the same. I keep a PH of 6.6 range, temps at 78 to 80F. I have live plants in all the tanks. It seems the SA species really do nice with plants around, even their temperaments and colors are always in top form.
All my fish get a good mix of foods from frozen brine shrimp, red worms, mysis shrimp, saltwater cuisine, flake food, pellets, and seasonal mosquito larva. I feed them smaller portions 2 - 3 times a day and at least one day of no food!
My goal (someday but not soon) is to have three approx 110 gallon tanks, planted and cycled (ha... of course) with the SA fish and large schools of different Tetra's in each, plus the assorted little thingies.
My advice to everyone keeping fish, newbie's and experienced, is to always research more than one source, on the fish you think you might want, and go slow!!! It has been my experience to even come up with a theme for you tanks and above all... Don't get bogged down AND PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO ENJOY THIS HOBBY!
My dad got me started in this hobby 46 years ago. My family and FishLore are filling the gap without him. Thank you everyone!!
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