MJDuti - Member SpotlightOnline Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - MJDuti
My family has grown up with all sorts of pets, from cats and dogs to lizards and fish, and anything in between. Sadly I did not take as heavy an interest in them as a child as I should have. When I met my wife we both didn't have any of our own. Then when we moved in together we decided to get something. She always mentioned fish, among many other ideas. I honestly didn't want them at the time and knew little about them. So I ended up getting a 26G bowfront with a mirror background for a Christmas gift a few years ago. And that's what started the addiction!
This was more of a trial and error community tank. We tried many of the usual popular fish, some suited, some not. Our bleeding heart tetras survived our fish-in cycle (which never happened again). We had a bristle nose pleco grow some bristles, and even a breeding angel pair. We fought ICH, fungus, bacterial infections, black bear algae, a mini-cycle and our angels eating our neons... 6 times. Later we even tried some inverts and plants. Needless to say, this was a learning experience. Then when we thought we had it under control the tank burst from the bottom due to a bad stand. The pros to this are that this opened up our world to new tanks ideas, small and large.
While this tank was up I had my own 5 gallon betta tank that I could do anything with. This eventually took on an African dwarf frog. This in turn turned into a 10G so I could make it another community. This 10G is still going strong but went through several changes and helped me learn about the whole nano scene. I soon found out that smaller tanks are sometimes harder work to keep healthy. Water parameters are just more susceptible to sudden changes in smaller volumes. However this really keeps you on top of your water change routine. After my first attempt at a chaotic community, I turned everything over towards dwarf shrimp. The original plan was to breed red cherries to sell online and locally. After a planaria outbreak I lost a huge chunk of a great colony I had grown. And this is when my other tank broke.
I first thought I was defeated but then did some more research and got some motivation from the members here to carry on. This lead to my real interest: puffers! I finally found some dwarf puffers at my LFS and that's where I'm currently at. Plans are for rare breeds, larger species, and hopefully breeding eventually. Once I get my new stand built, my next puffer will be a step into brackish: a figure eight! This will also help me get used to prepping water for tanks. I'm also currently in search for a rarer dwarf puffer species, carintetraodon irrubesco, or a red-tail red-eyed puffer. I also have a tank that I want to eventually put a congo puffer in. The whole lurker-species interests me. The wife is now very fond of the puffers too, but this may take some more work.
This is a hobby of patience and constant re-education. It combines science with art. There is always so much changing in the hobby as well. Between newer technologies to rarer species becoming more readily available it is sometimes hard to keep up. This is not a hobby where you can be an expert on everything. There is just too much info for one individual. That is why we have such a large helpful community among ourselves. You will have your ups and downs. This site, and others, have shown me that we need each other. My real appreciation of the hobby is that no matter how much you research and prepare no fish or setup will ever be the same. It is truly your own special world that you create.
Below is a picture of my current 10G heavily planted dwarf puffer community!
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