Jump to content

Greetings from Virginia


Recommended Posts


Quick backdrop into what got me into the hobby. 

I spent just over a year in Hawaii some time ago. I fell in love with swimming in the ocean. It was the hands down, my favorite thing to do. I could spend entire days swimming in schools of hundreds of fish. The first time I swam next to a turtle took me away. It was like the greatest gift I had ever been given. I've seen so many beautiful creatures... I was in love! Sadly, it was a love I had to bid farewell to. 😢 Now I'm back home in the dark turbulent north Atlantic. It had become such a significant part of my life that I became withdrawn, just seeing the ocean made me sad. Having grown up in Virginia Beach I never experienced such a thing. I always loved the water but It was never so personal as it was now.

After after about a year and a visit to a large Aquarium, It was suggested that I look into the hobby of fish keeping. I guess the thought never occurred to me. Started with a small 10 gallon and I quickly realized this was the best next best thing to swimming with them in the wild. It's not the same, and I never expected it to be, but it has become the thing I am most proud of. I love my aquariums. I have become so invested in their livelihood. I'm so very new to this world but i've meet so many passionate people, who love their aquatic companions.

Anyway, enough rambling. 🙂 Before you wonder, I have only freshwater aquariums. I've only been in this hobby since Jan 4th of last year. I haven't been ready to tackle salt water yet. Thinking of starting with a small reef and a pair of clowns at some point this year, maybe.

So the 10 has come and gone and is ultimately a hospital tank/growth chamber for plants. I only have a 20 and a 40 currently. After I move I'm looking into getting a large aquarium and better designing my aquascapes. I've made a fair few mistakes over the year and I've learned so much. Never realized how intricate the world inside an aquarium really is. Every single cause and effect. My tanks are far from perfect, and I acknowledge that. I look forward to righting the wrongs and bettering everything for them. 

The 40 has been the my primary teacher. It's a bit of a jungle right now 😄 


Started out with a single log and some plants. 10 months later it's chaos.796861932_40g10months.jpg.17316984f74c45c1972070f28d35d4d9.jpg

I have to tear it all down before it even hits a year old. Moving very soon. At some point I was watching a youtuber who was growing fruits and veggies out of their aquarium I wasn't trying to do anything that crazy but I looked up what can grow out of an aquarium and came across Pothos. Now, It wasn't originally my intention to have it vine up the wall but Pothos isn't exaclty a slow grower and It needed a lot more space that I was willing to give it above the aquarium. The fish and shrimps all love the roots. It also keeps everything completely in check. Pothos is a monster water cleaner. I wouldn't be surprised if it's stunting the growth of the other plants too. The roots are all the way into the substrate. I haven't entirely decided how I want to make this work when I get a larger aquarium. I would like to make a mound and have the roots partially exposed before rooting in, a few inches below the surface of the water. That being said, I also know the fish feel safest inside those roots.🤷‍♂️1403330749_40g3moLivingwall.jpg.58743b3be390e2cc459ac0f1ad29e565.jpg1557003588_Livingwall.jpg.9c9895aa3a18335bd8796e4b07f9d15c.jpg

The 20 Is only a few months old. I wanted to experiment with sand. hindsight, white sand was not the move. 😐 Looks great, until someone poops 5 seconds after you just finished siphoning 😮.20g.jpg.b81cc54b901245e7db5dfa83672cbd65.jpg

I have been playing around with ideas for a future large tank and recently discovered African Mopani wood. I love the rugged shapes, grooves and holes in every piece, so unique and cool looking!1018201737_Futurethoughts.jpg.89af93e55ac9e66b3f83d23a31fc572f.jpgBut yea..

You could say this was my unintended COVID hobby. Looking forward to future adventures. Bigger and better! 

Thanks for reading my blurb!


Edited by Shmaty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guess I didn't really describe the occupants. 

The 40 has Panda Garras I love these guys, they are like underwater doggos. They love to pounce on each other and follow each other all over, They also have a dominance dance quite similar to dogs when they hit maturity. Lot of fun to watch them. They are joined with a few Zebra Loaches. The LFS had two kept alone in a tank for a few months and I hated to see them alone for so long. I figured the loaches and them would likely get along and they do. Often times they herd around the tank. I think the loaches genuinely think they are Garras too. I've seen them try to attach to the glass alongside the Garras before. They can often times be seen playing hide and seek. The lot of them just plop down on top of each other and dog pile a lot!

Now I am sure i'll get some dirty looks here, But I also have shrimp and snails. I love snails, I have trumpets, ramshorns, bladder and rabbits. The only snail I dont tolerate are the evil pond snails. They eat everything...and everyone! As for shrimp I have some Malaya and Amano shrimp, as well as some Red Rhili in the 20. The Amano/Malaya are actually quite brutish. My wife has a betta, I've seen them outright headbutt the betta. He never bothered them. The loaches dont bother them either.(again that may be in part because the Garras indoctrination)

As for mid/top fish, there are some harlequin rasboras and blue eyed black emperor tetras. I am looking to separate these two post move. The LFS store told me the tetras would be good for a community tank, and to a degree they are, but they turn into demons under the right conditions. I love floating plants and little did I know(because I was inexperienced at the time) that floating plants stimulate their drive to reproduce. Emperor Tetras with floating plants become little douche-canoes every time they start feeling frisky. I want them to have their own tank in the future. The Rasboras know to stay clear but I want them to roam free as they please without fear of a body slamming, horny tetra 😐 The only other fish is in the 20 only and that is the super enigmatic noodles. Khuli loaches are so cool, when they aren't derping around like drunken pasta or hiding in every conceivable nook and cranny! We have a few adopted Live bearers that we're still deciding what to do with for now. They are currently in the hospital tank(yes they were in the 40 as of the picture but I didn't have the 10 set up at the time) pending a permanent home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...