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Disc61 - Member Spotlight

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Disc61

Hi Everyone,
My name is Tom (you know me as Disc61). I received a note asking me to put something together about myself and this wonderful hobby. Well first, I was quite surprised and honored that Mike and the Staff would ask me to do this. So, here goes nothing. I don't have a long story to tell, But I think I always enjoyed fish and aquariums. You could always find me wandering towards the Aquatic area of a zoo, or walking into a Fish store years ago when I didn't have a fish to speak of. So, our Kids (3 of them) are all grown, married and out of the house. As My wife and I begin this new journey of our life (those that have reached this point know what I speak of). We begin to do things that have made our Kids say "what's wrong with you two?" but the biggest Question has been "why Fish Dad?". Not sure I can answer that except like I said above, I think the interest has always been there.

The Hobby
How did I get here? Our two oldest grand kids were about 4 years old. Brilliant idea, I decided to get some fish. (you see, telling grandma your doing this for the kids is a sure selling point). Well, not to drag this out as you know how this story goes. You buy the tank and fish and everything in one day, you get this fish, and that one and those three, etc. everything is doing well, then yeah, that nitrogen cycle you know nothing about happens. OK, let's jump forward a little bit, those two grand kids are now 9 years old. I have done more reading and research in the past 5 years than I ever did in school. But what is the neatest part of this is I have done a lot of this with my oldest Grandchild at my side. She sits down at the computer with me and says "what ya doin pap?" and trust me, I could go on for pages about those moments and this hobby the past 5 years with her. We have learned a lot together, and still her interest is there and wanting to know what the next project is.

My interest has been deep with Cichlids, starting off with Mbunas, some Angelfish, some convict cichlids, then one day, while doing some research, my granddaughter says, oohh Pap, what's that called. It is all about learning, so I said, well pronounce it out, "Dissscusss". Yep, that's right, Discus. And as her interest began to grow with this fish, so did mine. But no, I couldn't take my time and research this properly, I figured I know enough, we'll get started. Wrong, and I learned the hard way. So, slow down take your time and try again.

My granddaughter is visiting this weekend and will see the new Discus for the first time (after a year and a half), we have been building and planning it for over a month now, many I am sure have seen the project unfold on Fishlore. I have enjoyed them the past 10 days, but this weekend will truly be a joyous occasion as we celebrate our efforts to get to this point with our Discus together.

Our Tanks
I have had 9 tanks running at one point and will get back to that quickly and then grow from that point. My wife and I moved recently, so most tanks have been torn down. We kept three running and moved them when we moved. We are back up to 4 at the present with empty ones sitting ready. Fish range from Serpae Tetras, Head and tail light tetras, cherry barbs, rosey barbs, cories, one Angelfish, Gouramis, numerous different African Mbuna species, Convicts, bristlenose plecos and of course Discus. Our largest tank is a 55 gallons (although I am avidly looking for a 75 gallon) and our smallest is a 2.5 gallon. I switched one of my tanks to sand a few years ago and now I use nothing but sand. Either play sand, quartz or pool filter sand. Love it. I use canister and HOB filters. I also use power heads for our Mbuna tanks when they are running. I use nothing to change the parameters in the water. PH is around 7.6 all the time, with Nitrates ranging from 5-15 depending on the tank. I look for consistency not exact.

Aquarium Pictures

Aquarium Aquarium Discus Tank Discus Aquarium Discus

Future Plans
Well, the Discus tank is up and running. Next on the agenda is an African Mbuna community, then considering an African tang community. I would like to do a FOWLR tank. And my granddaughter and I have sight on a seahorse tank. But, Definitely more Discus. I would like to have another Group as well as maybe a few pairs down the road.

In Closing
I would say that the most important thing I have learned is do your research, don't be afraid to ask for help. Fishlore has been instrumental in my learning of this hobby. And too the many, many members that I have either talked to or read some of your threads, I thank you for your support and help along the way. Your patience (ohh, I spelled it right, inside joke) and your politeness on this forum is why this is the biggest and most used out there. Fishlore has given me a hobby that I am sure will last the rest of my life. But more than that a relationship with my granddaughter that is priceless. I thank you for that.

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