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Member Spotlight - Dino

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This month's Fish Lore Aquarium and Fish Forum Member Spotlight is on Dino!


Dino's Fish House Hey folks, Dino here. I volunteered to be the first member spotlighted.

I am on the other side of 40 and have been keeping fish since I was 12 years old. My first tank was a 29 gallon tank that was a birthday present from my grandmother.

I have a bachelor of science degree in biology, which I do not use in my job at the post office. My senior year in college, a local government agency cut 180 biologists from their staff, leaving me with an over crowded job market when I graduated. I was lucky enough to get on with the postal service and have been there for almost 16 years.

One of the main attractions of this hobby is the never ending possibilities. Even after 28 years, there are many aspects of the hobby that I still have not explored as well as I would like. As a side bar to this, another attraction is that is not to possible to ever know everything about even a single species of fish, let alone the hobby as a whole.

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Aquariums and Fish

My tanks

Currently I have about 120 tanks set up in my fishhouse. They range in size from 3 gallons to 200 gallons. I also have two 1500 gallon in ground ponds, two 1000 gallon cattle watering troughs, five 150 gallon watering troughs and six 100 gallon kiddy pools set up with hardy pond plants, goldfish and koi. Most of my tank setups are very low tech. I do not use any lighting for most of my tanks, as 1/2 of the fishhouse's roof is clear plastic. As well, I use very few heaters, as it is cheaper to heat the whole building as to heat individual aquaria.

Most tanks are stocked at a level most hobbyist would be very frustrated with. Most tanks are stocked at 1/10 of what they could be stocked at with filters. Most of my filtration is done by the plants in the tanks and frequent water changes. (This is known as the Dutch Method. I do not reccommend that most people do this, as in most cases, it is better to have as large a safety margin as possible, ie: aquarium filters that are rated for more than you have in your tank.) I am able to get away with it because I understock and do waterchanges on the tanks on almost a daily basis.

I have well water. I do not think I would have as much water as I do, if I had to depend on treated water. My water is 7.6 -7.8 pH. Higher Ph in the summer and lower in the winter.

My water holders

1500 gallon in ground pond for hardy pond plants, koi, goldfish

1500 gallon in ground pond for work in progress, Butterflies rhino pleco, hardy pond plants

1000 gallon watering trough for water lilies, hardy pond plants, gambusia

1000 gallon watering trough for water lilies, goldfish

150 gallon watering trough for water iris, gambusia

150 gallon watering trough for water lilies, gambusia

150 gallon watering trough for assorted pond plants, goldfish

150 gallon watering trough for assorted pond plants, gambusia

150 gallon watering trough for assorted pond plants, gambusia

150 gallon watering trough for assorted pond plants, gambusia

(6) 100 gallon kiddy pools for banana plants, hardy saggitaria, umbrella palm, graceful cattail

Inside the fishhouse:

200 gallon glass tank contains black belt cichlids, geophagus braziliansis, lasiancistrus

112 acrylic tank for assorted african cichlids, yellow labs, danio kerri

75 gallon for purple moscow guppies, lasiancistrus, koolie loaches

75 gallon for monti swordtails, L107 juvies

55 gallon for neolamprologus pulcher, common pleco juvies

55 gallon for assorted male african cichlids

55 gallon for angels, clown loaches

55 gallon for L107 breeders, brochis, cories, crazy betta (he flares at snails)

55 gallon for neolamprologus helensis, juv common pleco

38 gallon tall for breeder angelfish

38 gallon tall for growing out angels

So, without this getting too crazy, there are another 50 or so tanks 30 gallons or smaller containing: guppies, several species of swordtail, various African and Central American cichlids, other livebearers and 3 species of shrimp.

Future Aquarium Plans

I hope to be opening a retail store in about 3 years. We are currently selling fish/plants/shrimp/foods from the fishhouse to both people online and locals. This week, we are going to Alabama to pick up another 40 tanks, which will have us about half of what the fishhouse will hold.

As we get more and more tanks set up, we hope to get more livebearer species and other new stock. As things become available, Fishlore will be one of the first places they will be seen for sale.


My parents: for putting up with all the trips out of town, aqauria taking over their house, and for support way beyond what I could ever pay back.

Butterfly and Gunnie (and their husbands): For getting me into and out of more trouble than I care to mention and for being my friend thru all these years.

The folks at Fishlore and the other sites I work at: for keeping the hobby fresh for me and reinforcing that it is impossible to ever know everything about this hobby.

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