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Tropical Fish Aquariums

When I was a child, of course I had that round glass bowl with a goldfish. After a few months the gold fish would die and the bowl would go into the basement and forgotten.

In my teens my father got the aquarium bug and bought a large tank with all the items needed, the filter, aerator, the gravel, artificial plants and of course tropical fish. He did not specialize; he just had a few of different types. As well as I can remember he had guppies, black molly’s, swordtails’, neon’s and others I cannot remember.

He would sit for hours just looking at his little fish. If a female looked pregnant, out came the breading tank to put the momma to be in to save the little babies.

We did have a neighbor who was into the fancy fantail guppies. He would keep track of which females and males would develop fish with the longest and brightest tail fins. He also would enter them in competitions.


Eventually all the work cleaning and maintaining the tank got too much work and his tank joined my little glass goldfish bowl in the depths of the basement storage area.

Well about a week ago Elena decided she wanted an aquariumdscn2610 for the house. We went to the mall and looked at the sizes and costs. We picked a 6 gallon tank with a complete setup including tank, light, filter, gravel, plastic plants and 2 figurines. We also bought a “janitor fish” 2 tetras, 2 swordtails and 2 tiger barbs.

All was well until we noticed the female swordfish was dead and most of its tail nipped off. Researching the fish I read the tetras might nip at tails of fish with flowing tail fins. Then one of the tetras died, maybe of eating too much of the swordfish tail. (Joking)
We decided we would replace the missing fish and ad a few more. We bought 3 swordfish and a replacement of the tetra. Today we bought 2 black mollies to join the family.

I am surprised with myself, when I was young I had no patience or found any enjoyment watching little fish swimming around but now when in the Sala I just listen to the TV and watch the fish. Elena and our nieces will sit there and watch them for long periods too.
I know that fresh water aquariums are easier to maintain but maybe someday I will graduate to a sale water aquarium if they are available here. Some of the salt water fish have brighter vibrant colors but the care of that kind of system is a lot of work.

If you are looking for a decoration for your home and need something to look at and relax, an aquarium might be the thing for you.

11 Responses to “Tropical Fish Aquariums”

  1. jan says:

    Hi Bruce, and Elena,
    What a nice tank with fish you have. Feed tjem well untill they grow big. They taste good sweet and sour….. (just joking).
    Some advise:
    I happen to know a lot about tropical fresh water aquarium, my father used to have a large specialized aquarium and pet shop. You have a tank of 6 gallon (about 30 liters). Take care that you do not over populate the tank. About 10 to max. 15 of those little fish must do. And do NOT feed them more than they eat in a few minutes, every other day. That way you will enjoy them a long time. The black mollies might have young ones (male are smaller than females), because they give birth to live young ones sometimes more than 100, no eggs. The same with the sword tails and guppies. The young ones are usually eaten by other several kinds of adult fish.
    Tetra’s are not predators, so they do not eat other (dead) fish. There must be an other reason for the dead of those.

    By the way, tetras usualy live in schools. So it would be wise to add 2 or 3.

    Have lots of fun in watching this “living painting”.

    • Bruce says:

      Thanks for the comment, but the family will not eat the dead ones, too big, they like the smaller fish.
      Last night we had 2 more dead, we drained 1/2 the water and replaced with water we have had out for a week to remove the chlorine. Today all but the 2 tetras and the janitor fish died. I will need to go to the pet store and get some answers. Also see if they have water test kits. I do not want a “Living painting” where I have to replace the life part every few days.

      • jan says:


        I told you in my first comment that I know a little about having an aquarium because of my fathers business. I used to assist him a lot in cleaning the tanks and so on. That how I learned a lot. Aside from that I used to have a large aquarium myself (over 400 liters) when I was still in Holland.

        Now about your problem:
        There must be a bad bacteria in your aquarium.
        Did you put some old dead wood in the aquarium?
        If so this will probably be the cause of the dead fish. This piece of wood need to be cooked for at least 1 hour to kill all the germs in it. Those germs are producing a kind of poison as their shits. So they need to be killed. (use an old kettle to cook, because the water will color red because of the dead germs and other stains.
        Further it might be in the stones that you have put on the bottom of the tank, better cook them also to clean. Actually there could be bacterias in all materials you have put in the tank and they need to be desinfected first. These kinds of tropical fish are very vulnerable.
        After you have desinfected everything, you might fill the aquarium again with ordinary water from the tap (a little chlorine in it is no problem). Put on the filter and pump and leave it for a few days. After those few days without fish, it might be time to put a few fish, start with just two mollies. If they do fine after a few days you can add a few more.
        Check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels every two weeks. Your aquarium shop can sell you a test set.

        maybe this site will also help a little:

        and there are many more sites about having an aquarium.

        Good luck with it

        • Bruce says:

          Thanks for the link and the info. With all the dead fish, the Blood Tail Tetras are alive. I had read they are aggressive to fish with flowing tails. I will try adding a few fish from the same tank at the store and see. If not, I might dump the tetras and try some ore docile fish.

  2. Riza says:

    I tried to maintain an aquarium of fish once, but my children thought it was fun to fish them all! so they would improvise hooks and then try to fish, anyway, I guess it was not at all good for the poor little fishes they all died because my daughter’s hand would chase them around the aquarium, now, that changed my mind and replaced the aquarium with teddy bear hamsters, but the teddy bear hamsters committed suicide because apparently when they are overly excited by something -meaning, my children throwing them up and down like a tiny ball, they held their breath, so they died. yeah they lived in the same small aquarium too, no water of course lol.

    • Bruce says:


      Maybe you should have put the kids in the aquarium. If you still have it, it can be renamed the box of death. (joke)
      Well if you read my reply to Jan’s comment, mine fish are dying too.

  3. LITO P. says:

    Hi Bruce,
    Nice aquarium. We used to have one in our office. By the way, I might not be always commenting in your articles but I do read them. I spend much of my time online looking for jobs though. Something came up to my mind and if you will email me, discreetly we can discuss it and it might help both of us financially.


  4. BrSpiritus says:

    Bruce I can look at your setup when I get home and try to pinpoint problems. We kept aquariums all through my life including saltwater so I am willing to dispense some advice for the cost of some San Mig 😉

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