Skip to main content

#MyTankMonday - Andrea Freel

Name: Andrea Freel

Age: 39

Location: Glasgow

After missing last week, I am happy to bring this weeks MyTankMonday. Andrea comes from the Czech Republic which has a huge aquarist hobby scene. Like most of us, Andrea was around fishtanks from a young age. Her parents kept south American cichlids when she was in pre-school. At the age of 7, the family aquarium was moved into Andreas bedroom and changed into a community tank with mainly Tetras.

More tanks followed this one, either for breeding or experimenting with different species and so on. The hobby stopped when Andrea turned 14 and it took 25 years for her to return to the hobby. foFour years ago Andreas son was born and she called him Oscar! The love for fish never left her and last year she returned to the hobby officially with a liking for Apistogramma and the love her favourite Tetras.

The latest "work in progress" is a very stylish display which consists of two (yes two tanks) TMC Optiwhite aquariums which sit on TMC Stands. Each tank has its own separate external Sun Sun filter and external Hydor heaters. These are both intended on hosting a pair of Apistogramma Elizabethae Sao Gabriel in one tank and a male Apistogramma Miua in the other one.
This stye of aquascaping is ofter referred to as the Diptych style.

Andrea has a strong passion for tetras and this stems from breeding neons as a child. heres the current collection.

Wild Caught Hyphessobrycon red-blue peru tetras
Knodus Borki (blue tetra)
Hyphessobrycon Amanda (ember tetra)
Hyphessobrycon Megalopterus (black phantom tetra)
Hyphessobrycon Heliacus (kitty tetra)

Amongst the Tetra you will also find some Corydoras Schultzei Black, Corydoras Pygmaeus and Apistogramma Agassizii.
each aquarium has the exact same equipment. All external for a minimalist look
Apistogramma Elizabethae Sao Gabriel female

What appeals to Andrea are the smaller fish. She enjoys keeping small american cichlids in pairs or large shoals of smaller tetra. Its the personality that comes with a pair cichlids that attracts her to them. 

For the future, Andrea has her eyes on some more wild caught Apistogramama and other dwarf American cichlids such as Dicrossus or Biotoecus species. Something that has always been an idea is an Asian tank filled with hundreds of of Rasboras.

We all know things do go wrong from time to time and Andrea recently had her fair share of that. She lost her female Apistogramma Miua along with some corries after a bad batch of pellets. Now she is stuck with two males ( in separate tanks) and has not been successful in sourcing another female yet.

Also, when she was young, she used to do many things wrong. washing filters with soap for one. This could have been a disaster story but intact this was at the time she successfully bred neon tetras (by accident). 

When asked about her favourite aspect of fish keeping, Andrea explains that she likes being able to mix the different kinds of science and art. The also enjoys getting to know other hobbyists. 

I have to admit, I have been inspired by the current work in progress and Ive been following the updates. I may even get some Apistogramma once I've got my next setup ready.

Well, its good to have another MyTankMondy for you all to enjoy. Remember, if you would like to feature next week, contact me on

Hope you all enjoyed this and a big thanks to Andrea for managing this so quickly and being ill at the same time.

bye for now


Popular posts from this blog

Betta 1050 Canister filter review

Hi Guys,

For most of us money dictates which direction our hobby goes. Wether its opting for a lesser adventurous fish or a smaller aquarium, Money always has the final say. If we could visit our local store and take whatever we wanted, our homes would be filled with shiny new aquariums running of the biggest external filters you could imagine.

When I first started fish keeping, everything I was able to get my hands on was preowned. Aquariums should always be passed on when your done with them, I think anyway! I was young when I started and with a lack of free cash, the chance of a new (to me, anyways) filter was always welcomed.

Its great to be able to buy the best but sometimes your fish keeping funds just don't allow that and we have to look for cheaper alternatives.

There is a few brands out there that are working hard to offer products that can compete on functionality and quality while trying to keep the price tags realistic. One of those brands is 'Betta'

They offer …

Barilius Bakeri - The Blue Spotted Hill Trout

The Barilius Bakeri or Blue spotted Hill Trout is a shoaling fish you won't see very often in the local fish stores. Originating from the Western Ghats mountains in southwestern India, these Cyprinidaes offer an appealing alternative to the usual barbs/danios.
You may see these fish being sold under several names like 'blue-dotted mirror fish' or 'royal danio' all sporting the catching bluish-green spots along the length of the body. These spots begin to fade slightly as the fish ages. a paper white flick is also present on the tip of the dorsal and anal fins.

In the aquarium they should be kept in groups of five or more. This will allow the species to develop a pecking order and prevent other smaller fish being targeted. If kept in a smaller group, the smallest fish could become a continuous target for the more dominant fish and if kept individually, they would eventually become aggressive to any similar looking fish in the aquarium. With this in min…

Tri-Spec App controller - Review - *updated*

Hi Guys,

Lighting is a key factor in a successful planted tank. Some plants require a lot and some prefer less. knowing your plants needs is just as important as knowing your fish needs and having the right lights for your aquarium is a must. It is also important to consider the amount of time you have your lights switched on for too. This is called the "photo period" and the general advised length of time is a maximum of 9 hours.

For years, the best way to achieve a regular automatic lighting routine was to employ the services of a socket timer. These nippy little buggers consisted of a dial in which you would pick out the relevant time slots for whatever time you wanted the socket to power on for. Ive personally used these for CO2 setups and they do what they are supposed to do. I personally didn't like the extra space they took up, but maybe that was just the style I had.

It wasn't until LED light units started being introduced to the hobby that we really had a mod…