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Member Spotlight on Lifesabeach

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Lifesabeach


I am the humble servant to more than 80 fish, mostly inhabiting a pond I created almost 4 years ago. I have named each and everyone of them and they answer to their name - Nemo! Not that my association with food has anything to do with it!

Hi, I'm Ron, and I thank you for aiming the spotlight at me - I'll try not to duck and weave too much! Don't read too much into my Username. I simply live a stones throw from North Haven Beach in Adelaide, and absolutely love the fact I can take a quick walk to the beach to escape suburbia. For me, lifesabeach, but at the end of the day, you still die! (you know the saying? never mind if you don't) I vaguely remember my older sister setting up a goldfish tank when I was barely in my teens, and you've all heard the same story before - poor fish! Apart from that brief experience, I'd not had the time or any real inclination in the hobby of fishkeeping, only being impressed by others' abilities to do so.

I am now in my 21st year married to my wife, Chris, with two children - Alexander, 11 in June, Leah aged 8, and a pet dog called Sandy. I have been running a cabinetmaking business for about the same time in Adelaide, South Australia - Australia (our forefathers couldn't think of a decent name for our state!). My interest in fish arose when deciding to replace my brown patch of lawn with a 1500 litre pond, using pondliner, initially stocked with 12 Comets and Shubunkins, then some Zebra Danios, and White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Still a work in progress, nothing better than to sit in the garden and watch them go about what they do. They see us well before we get to the pond and always come and greet us. We did start only with a few! Unfortunately, a resident seabird has accounted for a few losses recently. Our dog Sandy is good for chasing off sparrows and doves, but he's not silly when the beak is almost as long as his body length!

Approx. 3 years ago, a relative of mine moving interstate offered his 3 remaining fish from his tank - an odd mix of one Angelfish (now deceased), one Clown Loach and one Goldfish! Chris had a 60 litre tank from before my time where she had kept turtles. We bought everything we needed to get the tank going. We knew something about a Nitrogen Cycle from the LFS. After a week, those three were in. Within a month, we added Dwarf Gouramis, Guppies, the Molly, Silver Dollars, and two Bristlenoses.

Without going into too much detail, looking back, we had issues with algae and no doubt poor quality water, but we didn't lose any fish initially. Then we did the research! Realizing that we either had to get rid of some fish, or go for a bigger tank, the choice for me was obvious - the bigger the better, but Chris needed convincing!

Now here's a thought, and please don't think that I condone this in any way: You almost have to make all the mistakes you make as a first time fish keeper, because if you did the research first, you probably wouldn't get started! Anyway, this is when I stumbled upon Fishlore. I saw these crazy people with so many tanks each - now I am envious of them! (they're still crazy though!). I must say, I learnt a lot in the first week of reading as a guest than I did in 3 years of fish keeping, and the research helped swing Chris to my way of thinking! Mind you, I had to give up season tickets to see my beloved Adelaide Crows for a couple of years as a trade off!

We built the house we're in around 1990. We relocated our original kitchen area to the dining room almost 3 years ago,creating one large dining area where the kitchen/meals area previously was, and this left an alcove which in all this time I could not decide how best to use. It finally dawned on me that this was the ideal spot for our new tank and went about designing the cabinets for it. I am determined not to make the same mistakes as I did with our 60 litre tank, to the point where I am overly cautious. I am really enjoying the experience - some people have stress balls. I have a fish tank!

My Pride and Joy

500 Litre Tank 6x2x2 - only just started The Fish - all from my 60 litre tank.
  • 3 Clown Loaches
  • 2 Silver Dollars
  • 2 Kuhli Loaches
  • 1 Black Molly
  • 1 Bristlenose Pleco
The Goldfish, approx 11 years old, is now in the pond, and looks like a whale amongst the other inhabitants - so now we have 'FatBoy and the Nemos'.

Food - Mainly tropical flakes, pellets, wafers. Occasional greens and worms, and now snails that hitched a ride with the plants!

Plants - Wisteria, Milfoil, Amazon Swords, Java Fern, Vallisneria, Aluminium Plants and Purple Waffles (I know - both bog plants), and a recovering Anubis plant from my 60 Litre tank.

Rocks - Kanmantoo Slate, Blue Slate

Heating - 2 x 300 watt

Canisters - JHW 303B with UV light, Eheim 2213

Parameters - PH 7.5, Ammonia and Nitrite 0.0, Nitrate 10 - 15, Temp 27C

Lighting - Total of 127 watts - possibly not enough, with plenty of reflective material.

I expect to do on average 100 litres of water change every two weeks - my outdoor plants also benefit!

60 Litre Tank - just decommissioned.

Preparing to set it up as a quarantine tank before purchasing any more fish - a must!

8 Litre Tank

Currently housing my 2 baby BN Pleco, and a few snails - I really want to put those BN's in the big tank!


fish tank Fish Pond

Future Plans
Although I have learnt much, I have much to learn. Not thinking past the immediate future - I want to be confident in the control of my new tank, and then become a bit more adventurous with different fish species. I don't think Chris will allow MTS to set in, so I guess future unknown! I would love to be in position to offer advice as has been offered to me, and that will come in time with experience. And of course, making friends - it's not a plan, but with such a 'feelgood' site, it will just happen.


I thank the Moderators and Members for their input to date, otherwise my tank would still be empty - it has certainly increased my awareness and gives me confidence to ask more questions, as trivial as some of them (probably all of them) are, and of course my wife for putting up with me!

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