Freshwater Aquarium/Expert Profile


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returns 12/01/2017

I can answer all questions related to freshwater aquariums. Fish care, fish behavior, feeding, and diseases are my specialty. To be specific, I am most familiar (though I am familiar with most species) with Livebearers, Tetras, Barbs, Danios, Loaches, Goldfish, Angelfish (freshwater), Catfish (corydoras, plecos, etc.), Bettas, shrimp, and aquatic snails. I can help out with questions regarding new tank setups, the cycling process (nitrogen cycle), acclimation of fish, and general care. I can also answer questions regarding many species of freshwater plants, including fish compatibility with plants. Additionally, I can lend a hand when it comes to aquarium support equipment questions, such as those regarding filters, heaters, and thermometers. Questions about aquarium water conditioners and products are also accepted. I will try to answer your question to the best of my abilities, and if I do not know an answer, I will do my best to find out. I do not have much experience in saltwater aquariums, advanced breeding techniques, or pressurized CO2 systems, so I cannot answer any such questions. Best wishes, and good luck to your fish!

Experience in the area

I have kept freshwater fish tanks for many years, and I am experienced with a variety of different freshwater species and invertebrates, such as Tetras, Barbs, Danios, Livebearers, Goldfish, Bettas, Catfish, Shrimp, and Snails. I am very familiar with aquarium products and equipment. What makes a good home for tropical fish? Well, all tropical fish, like guppies and Bettas, require filters, heaters, and a good-sized tank. Healthy fish should be actively swimming and feeding, with defined fins and clear eyes. Take a random check of some of your fish daily, to make sure they're thriving!


I own a collection of aquarium-related books and magazines, and have read all about, and I am experienced in, many aspects of humane and proper fishkeeping. Through these books and other articles, from reliable internet sources, and from personal experience with fish, I have a thorough knowledge of freshwater aquariums, fish, and freshwater plant species.

What do you like about this subject?

It's truly amazing to watch fish carry out their daily activities, whether breeding, eating, or just, simply, hanging out. Fishkeeping gives you the satisfaction of a job well done. Watching fish is scientifically proven to reduce stress. Really! If you're feeling down, just look at your little underwater buddies!

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I still hope to have more experience with marine (saltwater) aquariums. Also, I hope to educate more people that throwing a fish into a bowl with water just isn't going to cut it. Fish need a proper habitat, at least 5 gallons, even for a Betta, and all fish need filters. Happy fish give a better sense of satisfaction to you!

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Filters for freshwater fish: Yes, you do need them. Why? a filter will help remove toxic substances, and will house beneficial bacteria. In most cases, fish will die unless you have a filter. A good filter will have a water turnover rate of at least 5-8 times your tank's volume, (50-80gph for a 10 gallon tank). Canister filters are best, but a power filter is perfect for smaller aquariums <30g.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

No fish bowls: Fish bowls are not a suitable home for fish, especially goldfish! Bowls do not have filtration; and the waste from the fish will contribute to toxic ammonia/nitrite levels, which will eventually kill the fish. A goldfish will be very unhealthy in a bowl. In comparison, goldfish can live up to 25 years! Goldfish must be kept in a 30 gallon or larger aquarium, or preferably, a pond.

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Michelle12/05/15101010Extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
Dedra10/01/11101010Thank you so very much for the .....

Recent Answers from Nathan

2016-12-02 plant:

Hey Charlie,    Without a picture, it's hard to tell, but chances are, if you bought the plant recently, it might be a small plant (of another variety) that could have tagged along with the plant when

2015-12-05 re: Transporting Yellow Cichlid:

Hi Michelle,    The 3 or 4 mil bags should be fine. You could try asking your local fish store where you normally buy your aquarium supplies if they might be able to give or sell you a couple of them,

2015-12-04 re: Transporting Yellow Cichlid:

Hi Michelle,    Thank you for your question. In my opinion, the bagging method works best. Most buckets don't have lids that stay on tightly, and water sloshing around in a bucket on a bumpy trip isn't

2011-09-30 Tall vs. long tanks for goldfish:

Hi Dedra,    The 170 gallon tank will do just fine. Surface area in your case is not as important, as the tanks in question both have a considerably large volume. The question of surface area is only a

2011-01-24 Betta Tank:

Hi Whit,    That's perfectly fine. Most tanks should have no openings in them, and most openings like that are covered by a lid or something to keep out dust (and curious pets!) If the opening has a rim


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