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I've been keeping fish for a grand total of 4 years. Back before I knew anything about anything, I impulse-bought a betta fish from walmart and kept him in a .5 gallon undecorated, unfiltered tank. My dad saw my pitiful setup and immediately helped me set up a 5 gallon home for my boy. I was woefully unprepared, though, and didn't know enough about fishkeeping to even know I needed to research. My poor fish died after a few weeks, and I replaced him with another one. I added a snail. That betta survived for a couple months, and the snail lived for maybe a year. After the snail passed I gave up and donated the tank to my brother and took a long hiatus from anything fish related.

Cue 2020. Quarantine hit. I had no friends, my school swapped to completely online, and I decided I needed a new friend. After a "quick" trip to petsmart and a stupid amount of money later, I had a brand new 10 gallon tank stocked with a dwarf gourami, a red wag platy, a dalmation molly, and enough fake fluorescent plants to make a grown woman cry. I wanted my little friends to be happier than my poor experimental betta fish and the research began! From the second I read my first article on the nitrogen cycle I was hooked.

Looking back, I have no clue how any of my fish lived as long as they did. They somehow survived a fish-in cycle with absolutely no plants, weekly 25% water changes, and no gravel vacuuming. But they did survive! The more I looked into fishkeeping, the more the complicated world of water chemistry, live plants, and happy fish friends drew me in.
After a year of intensive research, countless hours of aquascaping youtube tutorials, a devastating DGI casualty, a sick platy brought back to health, and a rotating stock of decorations, I finally made the leap to planting my tank. Then I invested another ridiculous amount of money into a rimless 5 gallon and started a fully planted tank from scratch.

Honestly, I still don't really know what I'm doing! I found this community when I was looking for information on H2O2 decomposition and found some excellent threads populated by people way smarter than me. I like having happy fish and happy plants, but the minutiae of water chemistry is what I'm currently hyper fixated on.

Current tank setups:
10 gallon Topfin tank with included HOB filter and heater. Stocked with 3 red platys, 1 mystery snail, 1 rabbit snail, and a cute infestation of ramshorn snails. Planted with jungle val, dwarf alternanthera reineckii, s. repens, rotala rotundifolia, anubius barteri, anubius nana petite, an extra hunk of floating crystalwort, and a pothos propagation. Substrate amazonia with a cap of inert mixed gravel.
5 Gallon rimless tank with sponge filter. Stocked with 2 dwarf shrimp (lost 8 after the GH Travesty of 2021) and a nerite snail. Substrate fluval stratum. Planted with dwarf alternanthera reineckii, s. repens, dwarf hairgrass, rotala rotundifolia, anubias nana petite, and a piece of driftwood covered in crystalwort.
I do not run CO2, but am dabbling with some DIY liquid dosing.
 
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