Aquarium Fish

Member Spotlight on Rbacchiega

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Rbacchiega (Randi)


Discus Fish First off, it's an honour to be asked to write a profile for the magazine. I'm not on here nearly as much as I'd like to be, but still make time to stop by and see what's going on.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Randi Bacchiega (it's Italian, don't try) and I'm 22. I live on an acreage just outside of Strathmore Alberta Canada and have been keeping fish for over 13 years. When I was 9 my parents bought me a 2.5 gallon hex which was home to some ghost shrimp, an otto and a betta (I know, I know) I was hooked. I quickly bought my own or was given a 10 gallon, 33 and a 55. I started with simple fish, guppies, tetras and barbs but by the time I was 17 I was keeping various african cichlids as well as discus and harder to keep dwarf cichlids. I worked at the local LFS store for 3 years and when I left I was city manager for the fish sections in the chain. Although I still have the so called normal tanks, I've grown interested in the more advanced aspects of fish keeping. I now focus mainly on my reef setup as well as my saltwater predators and the so called "monster" fish.


I have recently downsized in the aquarium department, opting for a few larger immaculate tanks, rather than so many smaller ones. I only have 5 tanks up and running at the moment, with plans to even get rid of one or two of those.

10 gallon Nano:
Has been setup for just over 2 months. It's barebottom, with 20 lbs of live rock, 96 watts of power compact light, an old aquaclear 300 that has been converted to a hob refugium and a 50 watt heater. I maintain it at 1.023, 78°F, and 8.2 pH. Currently it is home to:

Corals include:
  • Torch Coral
  • GSP - Green Star Polyps
  • Trumpet Coral
  • Pink/Green Ricordea
  • Polyps
10 gallon Freshwater tank
6 neon tetras, 3 ottos and 3 dwarf corydoras. This tank is actually in my office, and is the one tank where I never have any problems with (knock on wood). I maintain it at 77 and do 15 percent water changes every second week.

33 Gallon Peacock Bass growout tank
Yep, you read right. Bass. Currently this is home to only four 3 inch bass and whatever special live feeder treat they might be eating at the time. I keep them at 78°F and do 20 percent water changes weekly because they have such a high amount of protein in their diet. I run a fluval 304 and have to rinse/change the media once a month.

90 gallon Monster growout tank
8 inch Florida Gar, 7 inch Red Tail catfish, 8 inch Tiger Shovel Nose, 9 inch longibarbus catfish, 6 inch bucktooth (vampire) pleco, 6 inch ornate bichir, 7 inch senegal bichir, 8 inch clown knife, 4 inch thin bar datnoid.

These guys all get well over the 12 inch mark, with most of them reaching 2.5 to 3 feet in length. The tiger shovel nose and the red tail cat with both get up to 4 feet long and the red tail cat can weigh over 50 lbs. So obviously these guys will not be in this tank for long. Currently because there is so much protein going into this tank (up to 1 pound of food a day, fed every second or third day) I run two filters. I have an rena xP3 and an eheim professional II series. Also, to keep the water oxygenated, I have two power heads rated at 400 gph each as well as an air stone.

90 gallon Reef Tank with 33 gallon sump
This tank is just really starting to get to the point where I am ready to add corals to it. Currently it's just a FOWLR setup, maintained at pretty much the same readings as my nano tank setup. I have a metal halide unit that houses two 250 watt halide bulbs as well as 4 65 watt powercompacts and 6 moonlights. Great light unit, wouldn't chose any other way. There is 80 lbs of white aragonite sand and 115 lbs of live rock. Movement is provided by a koralia 4, two koralia 3's and a quietone 5000 pump. This make my water movement at about 35 times the tank volume, which is enough to keep the basic corals happy.

Living happily in the tank are:

  • 15 hermit crabs
  • 15 trochus snails
  • a pair of maroon clownfish
  • a sailfin tang
  • a black lionfish/scorpionfish
  • a small (less than 8 inches) juvenile indonesian grey bamboo shark
Aquarium Photos

10 Gallon Fish Tank Reef Tank Discus Fish Tank Dwarf Cichlid Tank Monster Fish Tank Nano Saltwater Aquarium Ricordea Star Polyps Torch Coral YoYo Loach

Future Plans
Because I am more interested in the larger fish, it'll be hard for me to keep them in tanks without spending an arm and a leg and possibly giving up my first born LOL. Hence the reason why I am going to have two large ponds and only my two 90 gallons within a year.

The first will be my saltwater shark pond. The bamboo shark that is currently happy in the 90 will grow to be nearly 3 feet long in about 2 years and, although they tend to be fairly slow moving animals, still do require quite a bit of room. Enter the heated quanset. I will be converting a swimming pool (18 feet diameter and 4 feet deep, roughly 9,000 gallons) into a saltwater pond and will have the bamboo shark and possibly two or three coral cats. Because the quanset is heated, it wont be overly hard to maintain the temperature where it needs to be. Filtration will be another matter and I still honestly haven't figured out quite what I'm going to do in that department. But it should be fun!

I will also turn an already dug trench into a pond in the quanset as well. It measures 14 feet long, 8 feet wide and 5 feet deep, giving me about 4200 gallons. Again, filtration isn't quite figured out yet, but this one will be home to the three catfish that will get over 30 inches (longibarbus, red tail cat and tiger shovelnose) as well as the gar and clown knife.

Should be fun!


My parents got me addicted to the hobby, so their a huge part in my fish keeping career. Also, in terms of setting up my reef tank, Gozer and agsanoo were incredible in helping me figure out what needed to be done. Everyone here at fishlore has helped feed my addiction of fishkeeping and was there for me when I needed some cyber shoulders to lean on. Thank you all for your help, you know who you are.

Best of luck, and take 'er easy,
Randi Bacchiega

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