Hello, fellow aquarists! My name is Michele Taylor, and I am a homeschool mother of six children, which includes five boys and one girl. My kids range in age from five-years-old to eighteen-years-old.
Growing up, our family had a large aquarium with angelfish, goldfish, and lots of different varieties of neons. We also had a “suckerfish” that grew to be about six inches long. Unfortunately, we lost all of our fish when hurricane Alisha hit Texas back in the ’80s. We lost electricity for over a week, and our poor fish just couldn’t survive the outage.
We are a family of fish, reptile, and animal lovers. We have two labrador retrievers, one very large Maine Coon cat, a bearded dragon, an iguana, a turtle, several hamsters, and two canaries. Sometimes I feel like my house is a zoo, and we could charge admission.
Not including the reptile tanks, we currently have two fishbowls with Betas, three 10-gallon freshwater tanks, one 25-gallon tank, one 54 gallon tank, and one huge 150-gallon tank. We also have a koi pond in our backyard.
Our biggest tank is our community tank and has angelfish and one of the “suckerfish” that we had growing up. It’s a tiger pleco. Our big tank also has swordtails, mollies, cory catfish, pearl gouramis, fire mouth cichlids, cherry barbs, a kuhli loach, guppies, platies, danios, goldfish, glass catfish, and neon tetras.
I read somewhere that if you keep your tanks between 5-20 nitrates, with 0 ammonia and nitrites, your fish will be more active and colorful as long as the nitrates don’t go above 20. It seems to work, too. My fish are vibrant, healthy, and active.
Our koi pond is stocked with some of our larger fish that have outgrown our aquariums, as well as plenty of koi. We do have a redtail catfish, a couple of clown loaches, a bala shark, and goldfish in the pond.
Not only does keeping fish and maintaining the aquariums help my children and me to bond, but it also teaches them so much! As a homeschool mom, I love this. Our aquariums and trips to the fish store are excellent opportunities to learn all about the world of fish.
For each child’s birthday, they get to pick out a new fish after having done their research to make sure that the fish will be compatible with the other fish, and easy to care for. For my birthday, the kids will pick out a fish and add it to the aquarium without telling me what it is, and I have to find it and identify the fish. The kids love doing this. It’s a fun game for them!