My other hobby: Tropical fish

by Lala

I started keeping tropical fish in 2009 when I got a bright red Betta fish (aka Samurai Fighter) in a too small rectangular tank for my desk at work. As I got to learn more about fish I dragged my husband into the hobby, and we along with our friend Peter went down a very long and expensive path into the amazing world of fishkeeping. We have all gone through periods of MTS aka Multiple Tank Syndrome, and were active members on the now defunct SA Fish Forum. At one point I had two tanks at work and three or more at home. We bought our biggest & current active tank at the height of that frenzy.

We had this 3 foot cabinet tank especially made, adapted from a marine tank design. I am very grateful that we didn’t get into marine tanks…that is a very expensive option that I will pursue in my next life or after my kids have finished college.

Apart from this being a relaxing hobby when one can sit back and admire a well aqua-scaped tank, it is also a great opportunity to put one’s highschool biology to work. There is a lot of science behind the filtration systems, nitrate levels, various types of soils, live plants, bio-loads , lighting (which can get extremely costly) and more. Although it is hard work, I do enjoy spending hours cleaning, re-arranging and stocking the tank when needed.

We have been through several tanks and many changes of species and bio-topes, as we moved house and changed interest.

Right now I am extremely lazy. I have a mostly South & Central American tank with Angel Fish and Swordtails. The lazy part is that I no longer have live plants. I added plastic decorative ones when I revived the tank at the begining of the year, after it was empty for short time.

When summer comes around again I may add live plants once more. They are very beautiful but do require lots of maintenance. The only live plants in there now are mosses.


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