I joined like 2 months ago and forgot to do this...oops.
This is kinda jointly shared with my mom as our big aquarium is both our project. I'm a girl, in college, a chem major (which is freaking AWESOME), a huge genetics nerd, and I've had fish for just about forever.
We started out with cheapo feeder goldfish..not sure WHAT happened to them because I was really young.
Then we discovered African Dwarf Frogs and bettas, which have become a passion of my mom and mine. We kept them (together, no issues ever) for several years. We stopped due to the live black worms, which made my mom uneasy, but we're hoping to find a good LFS
in our area where we can get some happy, healthy ADFs and have them again.
In 7th grade, I got 2 convict cichlids from my bio teacher and they did what cichlids do. Long story short, the last one died around Christmas (I'm a sophomore in college!) of natural causes (dropsy brought on by old age) and we were left with a big, empty, cycled tank. The convicts left us with a bad taste about cichlids and aggresive fish in general, so we decided on a classic beginner's community aquarium.
Years ago, my mom saw and fell in love with "mickey mouse" platies. So we knew we were going to have some of those. Neon tetras were a natural choice. We were charmed by the BN pleco who had managed to stay completely hidden at our local petsmart [which actually has an amazingly knowledgable fish section right now...but we also take their advice with a large grain of salt] for a while (we never knew they could change color!). Being the betta lovers we are, we naturally had to have one to compliment everyone (he's a hoot). Then the ghost shrimp were irresistable. Sadly, one of our female platies was harassed to death by the male, so we got two female swordtails (due to a lack of good mickey mouses)...the big girls scared our male half to death, so we got another platy. And that completed our happy community...we're already looking at upgrading!
At school, we're limited to 10 gallons or less, so I just have a small tank with a betta and 2 otos who are very happily feasting on the algae left over from the water at home (love the well water, but hate the algae it seems to spawn). Unsuccessfully tried to keep a snail, but the water just seems to be brutal out here, even with conditioner.
This place is terrific and just reading through everything has helped my mom and I have a happy, healthy community tank. Along the way, I've learned a lot I hope to share.