robotropolis

Does anyone have an aquarium?

robo (z6a)
9 days ago
last modified: 9 days ago

I needed a new pandemic hobby that wasn’t as expensive as jewelry —- so I am now proud owner of a 37 gallon aquarium and about $500 worth of accessories BEFORE the stand, the plants or the fish!


(so it’s turning out almost as expensive as jewelry! Ha!)


I am enjoying learning about aqua scaping and fishkeeping.


Anyone else?

Comments (32)

  • localeater
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    We always had one growing up, and my brother had one for many years, not sure he still does or not. Are you doing freshwater or salt?

    I could see getting into that as a pandemic hobby. I wonder if I can convince DH?

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Freshwater for me -- I am starting with ONE tank and EASY (short lived) fish to see if I can handle the maintenance. Lots of plants seems to be the thing nowadays.


    Originally I thought maybe a fancy goldfish or two because I love koi so much, but in reading about the poop situation I think I'll pass for now.


    My dad had one when we were growing up! I remember a snail invasion, neon tetras and lots of buckets.

    My son was at the eye doctor the other day and was absolutely fascinated by the fish, but I don't expect him to help of course -- he's three years old and a total handful right now.

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  • pudgeder
    9 days ago

    My daughter has one. I know nothing about them... except she has the cutest little fishes called "Micky Mouse" fish. (freshwater)

    Looks a lot like this one:

  • maddielee
    9 days ago

    Enjoy! Find the prettiest, sturdiest fish offered.


    We had one many years ago. What I remember is that the more plants, the more upkeep. ( Start with algae eaters.)

  • jojoco
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Uh oh... Mtn's about to get an aquarium.

    Robo, my brother had a saltwater aquarium when we were kids. It was huge, 125 gallons. I was completely mesmerized with it and if I had someone who could maintain one, I would get one in a heartbeat.

    eta: my kids had goldfish for awhile when they were really little. Here's my tip: Never, EVER, buy unique-looking fish (unless you want to explain swirly burials and fish heaven to sobbing toddlers.)

    robo (z6a) thanked jojoco
  • l pinkmountain
    9 days ago

    I've maintained them for work, but never had room at home. I've wanted to though. Supposedly a very relaxing hobby, according to research. A great way to bring nature indoors during the cooler months, which where I live, is a long time. But I am very short of room, so it's out for now . . .

    Having dealt with the live plants , . . I have to say I'd go with fakes in a heartbeat . . . although I'm sure if you are into all the maintenance tasks, plants are part of the deal.

  • Fori
    9 days ago

    I have a couple aquariums. Aquaria?


    Get good grow lights if you're growing plants. Have plants before you turn on the lights (you need plants to compete with algae). Research fishies to be sure you can accommodate their needs and compatibilities (temperature, pH, etc.). Get a good water test kit. Splurge on a good filter. If you use algae-eater fish, research them too. Some eat plants, some get too big, some are aggressive, some have finicky needs, etc.


    I have a 29g tank with fancy guppies. It's near windows but heavily planted so algae is not a concern. Guppies bear live young which is fun. I bought their ancestors about 8 years ago. In the past, it's been a great betta tank. They are actually very active little guys if you give them filtration and space. You can put several females in together and they're not quite as fancy but still pretty. Very compatible with plants.


    My other tank has goldfish. I love goldfish. :) But the 120 gallon tank is at max occupancy with 2 of them. They take a lot of space and require good filtration and healthy ones will live longer than a dog or cat. Gotta commit. Goldfish are more challenging with plants because they like to dig but it's worth the effort.

    robo (z6a) thanked Fori
  • artemis_ma
    9 days ago

    I will admit, goldfish and koi grow very very fast once they get used to living in the aquaria. My other housemate had a 50 gallon koi tank in his bedroom. They were beautiful, but when he realized he was going to have to move out (the job was too far away for commuting) he sold everything. He had them for around 7 or 8 years. I would get smaller but growing fish that don't end up like koi or the biologically similar goldfish.

    robo (z6a) thanked artemis_ma
  • jmck_nc
    9 days ago

    My DIL has a tank. She started out with 2 goldfish but recently had to euthanize one. It was very upsetting to her and now she wants fish that are not quite so delicate. It is quite a lot of work keeping the tank clean (esp. as it is on the smaller side for goldfish). She is going to turn that tank into purely a planted tank and get a larger tank for the remaining goldfish and any others she may acquire. I love looking at fish tanks but don't want to take on the maintenance!

    robo (z6a) thanked jmck_nc
  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    9 days ago

    Here’s the beast after an hour or two with vinegar and an algae scraper.


    I am enjoying watching aquascaping videos on youtube.....soooooo relaxing. Check out foo the flowerhorn or the cinescaper.

  • localeater
    9 days ago

    @artemis_ma I have thought about a betta for my work from home desk, could you recommend what to look for to get a decent container.

  • ladypat1
    9 days ago

    When the kids were 11 and 12 for a few years we had a 30 gallon freshwater tank. We raised angel fish. We would buy them dime sized and raised them to the size of your palm. And then trade them in. It was nice, but lots of work. Water on the floor no matter how careful. Lots of buckets, as stated by another.

  • blubird
    9 days ago

    Nice tank, Robo. We,ve had several tanks over many years, all freshwater. We raised fancy guppies and platties (see Pudgeders pic above), catfish, tetras and zebra fish and lots of others. If you’re planning on livebearers such as platties, guppies and the like, be prepared with plenty of camouflage plants for the tank so the young ones have a decent chance of survival.


    For the past 20 years in this house we have a 30 gallon wide and we're down to a single occupant. He, Laslah (don't ask, my grandsons named him when they were little) is an upside down catfish who is now at least 26 years old. We have had him since he was about 2. A friend had bought him in '94 but moved to Florida in '96 so he (the fish, not the friend) came to live with us.


    He doesn’t ask for much and seems to prefer the lights off in the tank. I guess it more closely mirrors his natural environment. He responds to the lid being raised on the tank for feeding and even if you come close to the glass.

    Hard to make out, but he's just left of center. He's about 8 inches long now.

  • Ded tired
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Robo, I hope you enjoy it. My dads hobby was fish tanks ( and their residents) when I was growing up. He had one fancy tank on the main floor and a bunch of working tanks in the basement. As others have said, maintaining the environment and keeping them looking nice takes some dedication. I lobed looking at the school of neon tetras and the angelfish. As I recall the betas had to be kept separate because they fought. Later my son had salt water tanks and he worked hard to keep them nice. They lasted many years, especially one cichlid. He was so upset when that died and that was the end of fish tanks for him. What I remember most was my pet hamster fell into one of my dad’s tanks and was hanging on for his dear little life when he was discovered and removed with a net.

  • localeater
    9 days ago

    It is heartbreaking when your fish die. Do you lose power often? My brother lived in an apartment in NYC for many years kept aquarium and all was fine. But then he moved to a house on LI and first there was Sandy and he had no power for over a week. He rebuilt, then there was some ice storm, he rebuilt, then there was something else and he said not again.

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    9 days ago

    Working on my tank interior decorating!



    I know the loss of beloved pets although I haven’t had fish. When my last cat died my husband and I agreed no more cats for a looooong time. We had three pass in about three years (all older).

  • texanjana
    9 days ago

    One of my sons had several when he was growing up. He became quite accomplished and his final tank was a 125 gallon cichlid tank. Then he left for college...I enjoy aquariums, but they are lots of work. Supposedly looking at them lowers your blood pressure.

  • lascatx
    9 days ago

    We had an aquarium for a few years -- until we got a new fish that survived quarantine but then was sick and infected another (or the replacement was also sick) and the treatment threw off the water chemistry and the downward spiral began. Got rid of the tank -- got the boys a puppy. The boys are grown and out of the house, but we still have her and the one who followed along 3 years later.

    I'd love to have a koi pond and have even threatened to turn the pool into a pond -- but that would have been rough this past week, Maybe nevermind there. But we did donate an aquarium when the local children's hospital was being built -- I've always liked watching them and found them a good way to pass time in waiting areas. So that's my aquarium now. And I don't have to clean it.

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    8 days ago



  • blubird
    8 days ago

    Very nice arrangement, Robo. Just make sure whatever you have it sitting on is very sturdy, as that tank will be super heavy once filled with water. You’ll also need electrical nearby for filtration and lighting.

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Yes I just bought a stand — I’m spending an awful lot of money to keep 30 bucks’ worth of fish alive!!!



    the stand actually matches my IKEA besta tv furniture pretty well; it looks something like this:




  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    8 days ago

    Have fun with it! My husband has both kinds. He travels a lot in non pandemic times, and I much prefer to take care of the freshwater one. I feel like I would need a degree to take care of the reef tank. He has all kinds of skimmers, Reaktors and chillers around for that one. Plus with the freshwater one, it’s just throwing in some flakes for food. With the saltwater I have to thaw all kinds of frozen krill and shrimps. Here are my favorite fish in the freshwater one

    here is a picture of the saltwater tank. Sorry, it’s getting dark in there. Even the lights are programmed instead of going on and off. At times they even stimulate a thunderstorm.

  • Lars
    7 days ago

    I had one in the past that I made from acrylic, and one thing I remember is that you have to de-chlorinate the water first. Oddly enough, I did not have to do that for my outdoor fish pond.

    Friends in San Francisco had one in the 1980s, and when the Loma Prieta quake struck, the first thing they did was rush to the aquarium to prevent it from falling over. Water gets sloshed around a lot during earthquakes, but for me, that only happens in my pool now.

  • artemis_ma
    6 days ago

    Localeater - for a betta I would get a one gallon tank, and an air bubbler. A little smaller will also work. Bettas are very territorial, so don't put more than one in a tank at a time. Fish tank gravel, and faux plants work well, although I did use real plantings at some point. Do regular water changes (non-chlorinated water).

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    From what I was reading a low 5 gal with places to hide is a nice size for a betta and gives him room to swim around

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Iris what beautiful photos! I wish my husband was into fish tanks and I could just watch the fish 😂


    Settled on a tank layout. I was hoping to buy plants today and turn the whole thing on but I was exposed to Covid on Friday so I’m waiting for a test result before I can go out. Argh! The first restaurant I went to in months and of course the person was there the whole time we were.


  • schoolhouse_gwagain
    6 days ago

    Iris, those two favorite fish - do they have names? They appear to have lots of personality.

  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    6 days ago

    Oh no, Robo! I hope you will test negative. We didn‘t have a place nearby

    to find the right plants when we started, so ordered a lot of them online. We certainly didn’t order some sort of water Lily, but it must have come with them. Too big for the tank, and it’s a waste since you can’t see it with the tank being cabinet style. But it’s constantly blooming it’s little heart out. This is from today.

    Schoolhouse, we have only one named fish left in the tank (when my girls were small they named some of them). The kissing gourami definitely has a lot of character. He must be about 18 years old. Not the average lifespan. We lost his partner years ago.

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    We did test negative, thank goodness!!


    planted her up - now to learn about the nitrogen cycle.



  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    3 days ago

    This is looking great! How did you attach the plants?

  • robo (z6a)
    Original Author
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    Superglue and fishing line! I learned way too late that superglue dries white....so those plants have to fill in quick to hide the residue!!