I'm Jredmartin and new to this forum. Im a Hospital Maintenance/Safety/Security Director for a small local critical access hospital. I live in a small west Texas town close to the edge of the Chihuahua Desert. It's usually hot and dry here and aquariums bring a little aquatic escape from the dry terrain since there are no streams or watering holes around this area.
I am getting back into aquariums after being out for many years. In my younger age I kept several aquariums as a teenager and bred green swordtails. Later having to sell everything off to go to college. Now years later with a wife and 3 children Im getting back into the aquarium world because my children want pets but due to rental restrictions we cant have dogs on the property. Sorry cat lovers- Im not trying to be tacky - but I cant stand cats and cats dont like me (besides they dont last long here in the desert due to the coyotes, cougars, and bobcats and I will not have one in the house -they stink things up too much!) - So cats are out but aquariums and tropical fish are in. And the aquarium brings in a little moisture to the normally arid air.
I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank filled with RO
water (municipal and well water here is way too hard - rating over 360 + gpg hardness). I run a Marineland - Penguin Bio-wheel 350 with the refillable media cartriges and a 1" filter floss material instead of the standard size C carbon cartriges. I run the marineland carbon/zeolite blend media in one filter frame and SERA super peat in the other filter frame. A tetra heater, a yeast/sugar powered CO2
reactor for the live plants and a 12 inch air bubble bar. I have 11 neon tetras, 10 glowlite tetras, 9 zebra dainos, 2 peppered corydoras, 1 plecostumus (please forgive me if I spelled any of these wrong). As far as the live plants: Water Lilly's, Aquatic Onions, Apogenoton, and some kind of purpleish-green leafy plant that looks more like a tree limb that I cant remember the name of right now planted in a mix of Florite and pecos pit gravel rock (a mix of stone between large pea size to golf ball size rocks native to this area) for the substrate. I also run a Marineland H.O.T. magnum with a micron filter (occassionally) to help clear up the water after things get stirred up after a tank cleaning and partial fresh water changeouts. The old water is reused in the potted house plants and in the flowerbeds around the outside of house.
I also have a small 5 gallon tank kit used as a hospital tank/nursery that was a purchase from a nearby town's Wallmart christmas special sale for the kids christmas present. Usually we dont keep anything in it unless I'm attempting to breed a pair or nursing one back to health. This is the tank we used to get us started back into aquariums, soon afterward I was given 2 - 30 gallon tanks and hoods by a neighbor who had upgraded to a 120 gallon tank at her house. Im only using 1 of the 2 - 30 gallons since the house is small and no room for a second anywhere in the house. (Besides my wife would have a fit if I tried bringing it in from the garage. But I would love to have the room for a 150 gallon tank stocked with some kind of catfish or balashark.)
I am considdering building a 150 gallon insulated plywood/fiberglass tank for the back porch to experiment with. I just have to figure out how to keep the local wildlife out of it if I do build it.