I've always had a fascination with aquatic flora and fauna ever since I was little. Growing up in a small town in the '90s, there were no pet stores at that time. So what we did? We have to catch the fish from a pond or a small creek. I remember one time where I caught wild Gourami, then a perch, and a small snakehead. My first fish tank was a large mayo jar.
Then, during high school days, there was a backyard fish farmer who was selling carps and red swordtails. Those were my first bought pets. I then created a small pond made of concrete and was shaped like a skull. I also bought an aquarium, complete with filters and fake plants for the goldfish. But after high school, I was living away from home for college. So I had to let go of my pets. My pond was demolished, and the fishes were given away. Then, I forgot about having aquatic pets for years.
Now, many years later, I got many aquariums because I decided to go back to keeping aquatic pets. And this time, I got interested in keeping aquatic plants and do simple aquascaping. Lucky to have a wife who also has the same interest in what I am doing. So I will share with you the tanks that we have and fish bowls.
First, we got a nano tank and did a very simple setup, it was two years ago. We used white pebbles on the ground and only got two aquatic plants at that time, Vallisneria Spirallis and Hydrilla. Since our tank was small, we used a filter enough for its size. We got three guppies where my wife gave them names, Fishtea, Fishcatte, and Fishy. We also placed small driftwood and simple lighting. One week after, we added Gertrude, or Spotted blue-eye. Then two months after, we added more aquatic plants. These were Water Sprite, Amazon Sword, Moneywort, and Red Ludwigia. And we added Neon Tetra, Cherry Shrimps, and Ramshorn Snail.
A month after, we were able to visit local breeders nearby and decided to have a fish bowl. We just did a simple setup for it. We placed substrate, with driftwood and stones, Moneywort, Vallisneria Spirallis, and Hornwort. It became a home for our Cherry Shrimps. We also added more aquatic plants to the nano tank. These were Anubias, Rotala Rotundifolia, Ammania sp. Bonsai, Hornwort, Monte Carlo and Duckweed. That time, we decided to rescape the tank to accommodate the new aquatic plants. Then, we also added Blue Dream shrimp. After the makeover, we observed the tank. The plants grew healthy and also the fish. Though algae were present, we managed it. Since we already had a lot of aquatic plants in the tank, we made a DIY CO2 and installed it in the tank.
Seven months after, we decided to transfer some of our aquatic plants in our DIY pond, since we also started propagating aquatic plants a few months after since we got a nano tank. This time, we rescape again the tank. Since we removed some plants, we added a new one, Hydrophila polysperma "Sunset, Pennywort, Java moss, and Hairgrass. That time, we also set up a new tank, a bigger one, Iwagumi inspired. We only placed Cryptocoryne Becketii or Water Trumpet and Pearl weed where we thought, it was a Monte Carlo, with stones. We added Yellow Tiger Guppy and Black Neon Tetra, with wild shrimps.
A year after, we decided to have a fighting fish, Betta. So we placed it in the Nano Tank. But the first two died. So when we had the third one, we rescape the tank again. We changed the substrate for the plants, Amazon Sword, Water Trumpet, Pear weed, Hydrilla, and Christmas moss. We still used the same driftwood and stones, and still have the CO2 for it. This setup was done a month ago and we are happy for the outcome. While the bigger tank, 1 year and 2 months old, we retained the Water Trumpet. And it is the home for Neon Tetra, Black Neon Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora, Chinese Algae Eater, and shrimps