First-- Hi to Brenna!
Second-- I am also new to the site and from Indy so I figured I'd just post here too.
We've had fish tanks all my life so I've always been around them, although we did have a span of time that we probably shouldn't have had due to lack of time to take proper care of them.
I am soon to be 29 and we have an irridescent shark that is 27 years old in a 75 gallon aquarium. The tank has basically become my project, as I seem to be more interested in it than my parents, as far as upkeep goes. For the past several years there've only been up to 5 other fish in the tank. Usually 1-3 plecos and then at various times we've had a large silver dollar, cory cats, raphael catfish (some of my faves), and at one point there was a large angelfish. The silver dollar and angel didn't fare well when the shark blitzed out and destroyed all the tubes for the undergravel filter we used to have and they were between him and the tubing.
For the past year, well... let's just say I'm surprised the shark has made it. I went to basic training back in the fall and my parents forgot about him all the time so he maybe got fed once a week for quite a while. I felt bad for the poor thing when I got back home and have had some time to invest in the fixing of the tank, myself. The tank was in poor shape overall because it hadn't been cleaned in months. We had the shark, a clown loach, an emerald cory cat and 3 plecos (2 small whatever generic kind you can normally find cheap, and 1 rubber-lipped pleco). We had down graded and shut down our 29 gallon aquarium and kept talking about getting rid of the 75 gallon tank but really would like to see how long the shark makes it.
After breathing new life into the shark by regularly feeding him again as well as cleaning the tank, I've gotten several fish for the tank (admittedly too many but it kind of snuck up on me because I got them in 3 different trips spread out over about a month). My goal is to hopefully either get one of our smaller tanks set back up and separate out some of the fish, or luck out and hopefully they won't grow too rapidly before I can get them into a larger tank (may be a little bit because I'd also like to buy a house myself someday!). I didn't have much of a problem with the new fish purchases because a lot of them were on sale at my favorite local fish-vender and we've really not had fish thrive for more than 5-6 years.
So what we've ended up with (ridiculously extensive... like I said--working on it, bear with me!): 2 clown loaches, 5 cory cats (1 emerald, 2 green gold, 1 spotted, 1 albino), 3 tiger barbs, 4 albino tiger barbs, 4 angels (very small right now), 2 bala sharks, 1 rainbow shark, 1 albino rainbow, 2 cherry barbs, 4 rosy barbs, 2 red-blue tetra, 2 skirt tetra, 2 blue guoramis, 2 dwarf guoramis, 2 silver dollars, 2 plecos,1 rubber lipped pleco, 1 great big irridescent shark, 2 striped raphael catfish (about an inch long right now).
If any die--the only ones I would replace are: clown loaches, raphael cats, cory cats, silver dollars, angels and the rainbow sharks. There's a lot of plastic plants and rocks and some miscellaneous decor in there so a lot of them hide down in the plants and kind of made me forget how many I had in there already too. It is VERY nice however actually have new life in the tank. The shark is a lot more peaceful than he used to be and I enjoy watching the cory cats swim around him all the time. Sometimes they even seems to be cleaning his skin like you see with sharks in the ocean. So much personality in those little fish.