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Isis - Member Spotlight

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - isis (Nandi)


As most of you know my nick name is Isis, what most of you don't know is that my real name is Nandi. I am the first in charge of three children. I have a younger brother and sister. I'm from Johannesburg in South Africa.

I grew up on a farm in the Limpopo province in a small town called Levubu. Levubu got its name from the language the natives speak there, Venda, and because the Levuvu river flows through this little town. Levuvu means hippo... and yes there are actual real hippos in that river. So I grew up in the valley of the hippo.

As you can imagine, growing up on a farm leads to some serious exposure to nature and lots and lots for mischief! I remember having all sorts of animals, from the usual dogs and cats to ducks, rabbits, rats, pigs, bush babies, monkeys... we even got our hands on some wild caught rock pythons! Having said that, my first memory of a pet fish was a gold fish - I was about 3 or 4 years old at the time. It did not live very long though. Shockingly, when it died I tried to cook it over a mini self made fire - as you can imagine it did not go down so well. Thankfully I grew out of the 'Huck Finn' stage and realised that cooking your dead pet fish is kind of not the way it is suppose to be done, and that there are better ways to dispose of the dead fish... toilet! A few years later I got into the fish thing again with a batch of about 5 guppies. Now, the water on the farm comes directly form a spring flowing down the mountain. So I guess the water contained all the nutrients and good bacteria the fish needed, because I never ever cycled my tank and they lived long and healthy lives. (it was so easy!)

I moved up to Johannesburg about 6 years ago. Unfortunately my fish did not like it here. It was too cold and water changes did not go down so well. Not knowing that I had to get rid of the chlorine in the water or that I needed an aquarium filter, I would just add the water, plonk in the fish, and expect them to live. As you can guess that did not happen. So I eventually gave up.

A few months ago I dug out my old tank and started again. My experience with fish on the farm did not help at all. Where I could just dump them in the water and they lived, they now just kept dying. I could not understand it and got so frustrated! That is how I started doing research and came across our beloved site. Suddenly I was bombarded with this nitrogen cycle thing and dechlorinating your tap water etc. To tell you the honest truth it was extremely overwhelming at first. Never mind overwhelming... it confused the living daylights out of me. It must have taken me a week or two to finally understand what the nitrogen cycle was and how to put it to work. Unfortunately I lost all my guppies and my beloved Betta, Bruce. But I can say that I have also now, with the knowledge I have obtained, been able to give proper homes to many fish. I have been exposed to ich and fin rot (to name only two) and I have conquered them! I have grown from having one tank to about 6 now. And that is not to mention my self-confidence that has spiked! I was also presently presented with a challenge by adopting a sick Betta that I'm trying to nurse back to health.

Not only have I leant so much on how to properly research your fish and how to care for them, I have also made some awesome friends! One is so caring and always so helpful... but then there are the influential ones who convince you to obtain cute little puffer fish! Yes... you know who you are!

Getting to know all of you is such an honour! Thank you so much for all your help and patients and opening up to become true friends!


The first tank is 122 x 46 x 46 - (~ 69 gallons). Had it for 4 months now. This tank was such a challenge for me - still is to be honest. It took my about two months to get it cycled (I was still so new with the cycle business) and since then I have not really had the guts to stock it. I would love to have Discus fish, but up to now I have just not gotten that far. So I have (for now) about 40 Neon Tettras, 2 Clown Loaches, 1 Pleco called George, 2 cories, 2 ghost fish, a paddle tail eel and 1 real big golden apple snail called Deloris in that tank.

4 tanks are 30 x 22 x 22 - (~ 4 gallons). 3 of these tanks are my Betta boy's tanks. I have real big red and blue crown tail called Jacky and I have a turquoise and white butterfly half-moon called Spartacus. My 3rd tank is my brackish water tank for my naughty little Green Spotted Puffer called Pickle. The 4th is my hospital tank that is home to a sick Betta I'm trying to nurse back to health. He is a bright blue vailtail -unfortunately no name yet.

The last tank is 45 x 22 x24 - (~ 6 gallons) This poor tank is not really a specified tank - yet. For now it is home to 2 Dalmatian mollies and their 3 babies, 3 corries, 2 female Bettas and a little 3 cm baby Pleco.


I honestly don't know what plants I have but here are a few I was able to identify:
  1. Alternanthera reineckii
  2. Aponogeton crispu
  3. Ceratophyllum demersum 'Foxtail'
  4. Hydrocotyle verticillata

Future Plans

My 200 liter tank needs to get sorted out! I'm planning to make it home to some discus fish. Plenty of research is still to be done though. I've had a failed attempt to breed with my Bettas. That I will pursue in due course. I would also like to try out a salt water tank one day. But I will take it one baby step at a time.


Google is your friend! I cannot even start to tell you how many hours of reading and research I have done using Google. Then I have to thank Lucy for all her patients and help with all my questions. I might have added a few grey hair with my constant and repeated questions. And I should not forget Allie either. But really you all are such great help. Even for the new guys... never underestimate! And for a good laugh Pinkfloydpuffer will try and convince you to fill your whole house with puffers!

I've mentioned only a few, but really, you all rock!

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