I've been an aquarist off and on for 30 years. Mostly I keep cichlids, primarily African. I find them quite entertaining. They can be destructive though and now that I am dabbling with natural planted tanks I know that the cichlids will live in a veritable desert. I started a smaller peaceful tank a few years ago and the German blue rams are doing well. I lost one to swim bladder disease a couple of weeks ago. So sad. We withheld food and added epsom salts ( 1tsp/4gal water) and we thought she would survive but she disappeared. Recently I bought 3 black kuhli loaches from LFS
and in 2 months I gave 6 back and still did not get them all. Very prolific and the small ones burrow through the substrate and are impossible to catch. I had to get them out to avoid overpopulation. After cleaning the tank from that me ram got sick. Tank seems fine now though. In my 10 gal
NPT I have a male betta, 2 African dwarf frogs and 5 amano shrimp and that tank is so healthy I haven't cleaned it in weeks. Before I got the shrimp I was doing 50% water changes weekly to control algae but now all is fine. Shrimp are great housekeepers.
Aquariums are fun but can be heart breaking while learning the hobby. And we are always learning. Even my wife enjoys watching the beasties in the tanks.