Hi, my name is Barb, and I am new to these fish forums, but not new to the hobby. I've had fish and tanks since I was about 8 years old, when my inital sad little guppy in a bowl led
to a 5 gallen tank, and then a 20 gallon tank, and then 2 20 gallon tanks.
I was the kid who took care of the tanks, so i learned about test kits and water changes long long ago. I had everything from easy fish to Oscars. Yes, the Oscar was a mistake, although I may have one again someday, in a MUCH bigger tank. He was very cool.
My husband and I set up a 140 gallon tank about 20 years ago, and we kept it as a freshwater community for all that time. We successfully kept quite a few fish. The last few years it was home to just one 15 year old Marbled headstander, and one 10 year old kuhli loach. During a 5 day power outage we lost them both (sob). My husband decided to take the opportunity to set the big tank up for cichlids. He just finished fishless cycling the cichlid tank this week.
I finally decided to bite the bullet and set up a 55 gallon tank for brackish fish, which I'd been wanting to do for years. He had me try out bacteria in a bottle for my tank. So far so good, the 6 mollies look fabulous, but I am still a bit skeptical, and not adding my Bees or Orange Chromides until I'm sure the tank is really cycled. I am still gradually increasing the salinity (from 1.0002 to 1.0005) so it's not ready for them yet.
I also plan on getting another tank between 75-125 gallons as another community tank, probably this fall. I am planning on either one elephant nose (or many) as well as a few other fish compatible with them.
I still have one of my original 20 gallon tanks - now it houses our 25 year old female tortoise. We also plan on setting up a 20-30 gallon tank for when/if his cichlids grow up and start breeding.
In addition to all the fishy stuff, we also have 3 dogs, 2 Saint Bernards and a Newfoundland that we show in obedience trials, 2 of them (the saints) are also shown in conformation.