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About Rikostan

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  1. I lived in Mesa for a good 20 years. My in-laws still live out there and send us pictures of the place all the time, sooo many changes since we left Welcome to the forum, love those guppies!.
  2. I was a member of a gaming forum for 20 years, but I stopped going a couple of years ago. Most of the good people had left and all that was left was extreme toxicity. It started out as a forum for an MMORPG called Asheron's Call. The company that started the forum got bought out, then that company got bought out too, by IGN, so it was moved to their forum system. The game is where I got my name from too. My friends were already called me Rico, because of the Rico Suave song from the early 90s. The game suggested you use something medieval sounding for your character and suggested adding "stan" or "mad" to the end of a name. I became Rikostan and have used the name ever since. I've ben using forum type systems for a long long time though. Pre-internet days it was BBS.
  3. I don't remember what caused me to first get into the hobby. It was the late 60s. I think it was the only pet my parents would let me get and I loved anything to do with "nature" but I wasn't allowed to go camping or fishing or hiking... or well pretty much anything. When I finally broke free from that life, I dove into all those things I wasn't allowed to do. I went camping as often as I could and I lived for a good hike. I fell in love with kayaking, birdwatching, etc. I was always out in nature in some way. Get me away from people and civilization and that's when I felt most alive. Then a few years ago I got hit with an incurable auto-immune disease. My body was/is eating itself. Suddenly doing all those things that made up a huge part of who I was, just weren't possible any more. I retired from work and pretty much from life too. I'm lucky in that I have an amazing wife and three adult children who have all been incredibly supportive, but I still felt lost. I no longer had a purpose and I couldn't really do a lot of the stuff that made me happy. Then I saw a twitter post from a comic book writer I follow who's name is Greg Pak. He had recently got back into fish keeping too and was posting about his fish tanks. I remembered all the joy I got out of keeping fish when I was a kid and I knew we had a 10 gallon tank in the basement, so I had one of the kids bring it up for me and I set it up in my office. Then I started to learn. Suddenly I had something I could focus on and even on those days when I couldn't get out of bed, I could still read about the hobby and discover different ways of doing things. That was 4 months ago. I got my first guppies about a month after setting up the first little tank, and now I have a 55 gallon, two 45 tall tanks, and two 20 gallon tanks. I have guppies and shrimp in two of the tanks and some CPDs in the little 10 gallon, which is now my QT tank. I have some mystery snails coming this Friday and some Boesemani Rainbows are ordered too, but they haven't shipped yet. Now I can have that little piece of nature right by me. Even when I can't walk, I can still experience it and my quality of life has gone way up in the past four months. My wife has said she sees a big improvement in my outlook and I just don't feel as resigned to my fate as much any more.
  4. Welcome to the forum! I built one of those wood and block stands too. I went with eight foot 2x4s instead of the 10 foot ones, but it currently holds a 55, two 20s, and my 10 QT tank. I just tacked some toolbox liner on the top 2x4s to give me a place ot put smaller items that might fall through the spaces and make it look just a tad bit better.
  5. Hey there Gompka. Not sure if it's juts me, but I can't see an image on your post. Welcome to the forum!
  6. WOOT! Bought my Boesemani Rainbows today from a seller on getgills. My third tank is starting to come together!
  7. Country Max is a local feed store that is on the Aqueon list too. It's only a half hour away compared to over an hour away for petco. Hopefully they will order one for me. I won't be ready for it for art least a month anyways, so maybe I'll just keep looking on the yard sale type pages until the Spring and if I don't see anything by then, pull the trigger with which ever place will order one for me. You gave me some food for thought though, thanks!
  8. Thanks! I did see the petsmart ones before, but they don't seem to sell them without a stand and you can't get them shipped, so I'd have to rent a truck to go get 'em … although I'll probably end up renting a truck when I finally find one anyways. I did not see the aqueon one before, but nobody has anything larger than a 75 around me, that still helps though. Maybe I can work something out with the closest Country Max store to bring one in. Thanks again for the links!
  9. I don't have a budget... I mean I'd rather not pay thousands, but if that's what they cost, that's what they cost. I'd prefer to get a newer tank rather than used at that size, but I am open to a used tank or two. I'm not willing to drive very far at all, but that doesn't really matter since I no longer have a truck, just my wife's little Malibu. It held a 55 gallon with no problem, but I imagine the largest tank I can fit is a 90. I have looked about 200 miles from home on CL and the market though and haven't really seen anything. I'm in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY.
  10. I don't mean huge, but like 90-225 gallon tanks? I don't have a LFS, and I don't see any large tanks anywhere near me on craigslist or facebook market. I'll soon have some extra space in my office, so I am going to put together another of the cinder block and wood stands. I can go one level with a 5 foot tank or two levels if I do 4 foot tanks, but the largest I can seem to find around me is 55 gallon tanks.
  11. I only have guppies, shrimp, and a few CPDs, so I don't have a lot of different foods yet. I have that Hikari fancy guppy food that I mixed with some Omega one flake and the Xtreme nano pellets that seem to come as samples in all the fish I buy online. I also have some freeze dried brine shrimp. Oh and the sera shrimp food from the Co-Op. I've only been fishkeeping for the past 3 months, I'm sure my collection of foods will grow quite a bit over the coming months.
  12. Sure thing! But please take this all with a huge grain of salt. I am still very new to the hobby and figuring out what works for me. I've also noticed that there seems to be a lot of different plants called hornwort too, so I'll include a couple of pics, so you can see which one I am working with. I found the steps by just searching for "bleach rinse aquarium plants" and found this site. 6 Easy Steps to Bleach Dip Aquarium Plants BUCEPLANT.COM 6 Easy Steps to Bleach Dip Aquarium Plants by Bryson (@unso.fish.ticated) There are reasons why many of us aquarists choose to buy tissue culture plants: no snails, no algae, an abundance of healthy plants. However... I follow their steps, but I don't use a dechlorinator after they are done soaking and I only let it sit in the bleach mix for 75 seconds. We have well water so no chlorine in it. I just rinse it really well for a minute or two then let it soak in the well water for awhile. This is some of it I brought up from the bay today. And this is what it looks like after couple of weeks in the tank and the bleach rinse. That piece was floating in the guppy tank for a week, well 6 days. I pulled it from the QT tank last Friday. {EDIT} I'm not to worried about snails, I like to have them in all the tanks, but I just dip the plants to make sure there isn't any other type of parasite from the bay water.
  13. Today I walked down the hill to the bay and grabbed a bunch of hornwort. Our property goes to the high water line, so I can legally pull stuff that's on the shore, but I do sneak into the water a bit. 😉 I bring it up, rinse it really good, then put it in a 20 gallon tank that just has pond snails in it. I've found if I just mess with it for a few minutes every day, I can clean out the ugly parts and after some time in the tank it starts to get bright green and looks nice. I just keep trimming off the ugly stuff and after awhile I have a nice looking plant. The ones I pull out of the tank , I do the bleach rinse on and then put them in the tanks with fish.
  14. LOL wrong thread... Move along people, nothing to see here.
  15. Welcome to the fourm! Nice looking tanks there. I am sorta following in your footsteps a bit. I just came back to the hobby about 3 months ago after decades away from it and started with a tank of guppies too and now I have 5 tanks as well, but only three with fish in them... so far. I'm really enjoying the planted tanks too. When I had tanks before, the only real plant I ever saw was hornwort, so it's nice to add that whole other level to the tanks. I haven't gotten into C02 yet though and don't think i will till maybe next summer. Do you have access to some decent local fish stores in South Africa?
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