The Underwater Zoo

NOTE: These are the tanks I had in high school and undergrad. I do not currently have any of these tanks running.

My fish keeping ventuers began as a small child with a small fish bowl and several goldfish. I am suprised now that they even survived. When I started junior high, I managed to talk my parents into getting me "just 2 guppies". One was a female which didn't even wait until we got home to have several young baby guppies. And thus the odyssey began.

First there was the 10 gallon tank for the goldfish which surely was not happy in its little 2 gallon bowl. Then another 10 gallon later on for the guppies which were growing with an alarming rate (both in size and numbers). From there it has blossomed. I now have 10 tanks set up. I am very easy going with my fish. Some people seem surprised to hear I feed them only every other day. Most people do not realize how little fish really need to eat. My fish do quite well with such a feeding schedule. The only fish that get fed constantly are the fry (baby fish) because they need many feedings to grow well. By not overfeeding, the water conditions stay more stable and the fish are healthier.

With alot of my tanks, I'm either pushing the extremes of tank size in relation to the aggressiveness of the fish or walking the edge of a mixture of preferred water conditions. I will try to note these in the descriptions. I by no means would encourage others to do this. It is hard to keep all happy in such cases. If you want suggestions on how to set up a tank mail me and I'll give you some more sane setups.

Click on any of the following to see the descriptions
100 gal Cichlids 29 gal T. duboisi 20 gal long Albino kribensis
20 gal long Guppies 20 gal N. brichardi 10 gal Candystripe Pleco
10 gal Normal kribs 10 gal N. gracilis 10 gal Melanochromis
10 gal Guppies Other fish sites Need another tank for this spot :)

Tank Descriptions

100 gallon (370 liters): South/Central American Cichlids

This tank is the one I saved up for a long while to set up. It started out with just the larger of the inhabitants. The pink convicts were put in as feeders but as fish have a tendancy to do, a few hid and survived. Now the tank is a little more crowded than I'd like. Time to start saving up for the 250 gallon I suppose :)
For the most part, this tank is fairly peaceful. Alot more so than one would think considering its inhabitants. The CAE does not cause many problems other than the occasional attempt to attack the slower fish. I wouldn't recommend people keep CAE's though. The only thing that keeps mine in line is the urophthalmus who doesn't miss a chance to chase the CAE back under its rock.
The biggest problem with this tank is keeping up water quality. I have set the tank up so that, with a nice long tube on my gravel vacuum, I can drain the tank out a window into a border in my garden. This makes water changing a bit easier even though I still have to haul the water in a 2.5 gallon bucket to fill the tank back up. These fish are messy as well. Keeping their filter clean is a hassle. If I had the money, I'd add a cansiter filter to help keep the tank clean. That was my original plan but I never got the money for the filter (silly things like text books seemed to take it all first ).

29 gallon (110 liter): Duboisi playground

This tank is by far my favorite tank. The dubiosi were given to me in July 1996 by my friend Jeff (Horus online). And to think, I wasn't even sure I wanted them then. Sometimes I can be so short-sighted . This tank used to have convict cichlids until the duboisi outgrew their 10 gal quarentine tank. The convicts left ample supplies of algae on the glass for the little duboisi to eat, and eat they did. I think duboisi must be the little piglets of the cichlid world. They are constantly begging for more food. I can't enter the room during the day without them all swimming up to the top and begging for another little treat. Not even the convict cichlids ask for food as often. They are just now starting to change from their juvenial to adult coloring.

20 gallon long (75 liters): Albino kribensis

This used to be the home of my goldfish Ollie, but he died in August 1997 after eatting a piece of sponge (silly fish always did have eyes bigger than his stomach.

The tank has been converted into a breeding tank for my albino kribensis (previously housed in a 10 gallon tank). Several plants decorate the spaces between the two terra cotta pots that are the "caves" of the kribs. Water wisteria, crypts, aponogen bulbs and java fern dominate the left side of the tank while elodea is slowly taking over the right side. The kribensis pair has shown signs of spawning but so far there has been no fry. They have only been in the tank a few months though.
I have always loved albino kribs. I had a pair several years ago which never succeeded in producing fry. I got this pair winter 1996, after many months of waiting, one of the local stores finally got more albino kribs. They were so small, it was hard to sex them. I was reasonably sure I had gotten a pair with my first 2 selections but chose a third just to be sure. The third turned out to be another female who did not survive when the other female turned violent. The guppy is the last remnants of the target fish put in to divert the dominant female's attention.

20 gal long (75 liters): Guppies

Finally got rid of the convicts I had in this tank *breathes sigh of relief* Now this tank is back to being my guppy tank. The tank is still a real bear to keep clean. Guppies are messy. Still wish I had a spare power filter to put on this tank to help with mechanical filtration.

20 gallon (75 liter): Community tank

This tank used to house my brichardi, but they have passed on (shortly after I sold all their older fry of course). This tank has had many combos of fish over the years. The bleeding heart has been in it the longest, well over 5 years. I am frankly still suprised it is alive especially since it's "brother" has passed on. For a while, this was my kribensis tank. Then I moved the kribs to a breeding tank and added the danios and black neons. That was in summer 1995. The setup has been pretty much the same since except for the period of time I had the brichardi in here.

10 gallon (37 liter): Pleco tank

This pleco was the companion of Ollie the goldfish. He's currently in extended quarentine to be sure that, if Ollie actually died from a disease, this fish is not infected. So far he seems fine and he will probably be moved back to the 20 gallon long soon.

10 gallon (37 liter): Kribensis tank

These two kribensis have gotten along better than I could have hoped. When I first got the female, she was less than half the size of the male and she still bullied him around. As she got older, they settled in together and have since gotten along well. The female has been mature for about 7 months now. So far, they have produced fry at least twice. The second time, they hid the fry so well, I didn't even know they had them until smaller fry started to swim up with the first group of fry when I fed them.
The tank is set up with plenty of low maintainance hiding places. One whole corner of the tank is filled with plastic plants. The fry like to hide in there. Several broken flower pots give the adults places to breed and hide. The 2 zebra danios were put in as a distraction for either of the adults if they started to get aggressive. The tank has been fairly peaceful except for the occasional fight between the pair.

10 gallon (37 liter): Neolamp. gracilis

These fish I also got (along with the duboisi) from Jeff. This was the quarentine tank that I put all the fish in when I got them home. This tank is far too small for the gracilis. Only alot of rockwork keeps them from killing each other.

10 gallon (37 liter): Melanochromis tank

This is probably my biggest time bomb waiting to happen. Two melanochromis in such a small tank is pretty much asking for troubles with aggressions. So far, I have minimized most problems by giving each seperate places they can call their own. One is a flower pot which has only one opening. This opening faces away from the rockwork which is the other place. As long as they stay in their spots, they can't see each other and get along fine. This tank has been pretty stable aggression-wise since summer 1996, much to my suprise.

10 gallon (37 liter): Guppy tank

This tank is fairly self-sustaining. It started out as a cull tank when I was still breeding fancy guppies. The numbers have stabilized over the years at around its present number. There's not much to say about this tank.

Thanks for visiting the aquatic portion of my zoo.