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My Tank Monday - Sarah Rutherford

Name: Sarah Rutherford 

Location: Falkirk 

How long have you been keeping fish: Since September 2017

How did you get into the hobby? I wanted to for a few years but my requests to be allowed a tank were always met with refusal from my other half. Eventually it was my mum who let me set up my first tank at her house. After proving my dedication to that tank my hubby eventually gave in three months later when I set up my 240l at home!

Can you describe your current setup: 
I have four currently. The main one being my Fluval Roma 240 community tank in my living room which is becoming quite heavily populated with plants interspersed with some nice pieces of wood with black substrate. I am running the Fluval Aquasky lighting system which the plants love and me both love! 
Currently swimming about in this aquarium I have:
Sarah’s main aquarium in her house
  • Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora trilineata)
  • Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)
  • Black Phantom Tetra (Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
  • Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon Palmeri)
  • Ceylon Killifish (Aplocheilus dayi)
  • Red Breasted Acara (Laetacara dorsigera)
  • Golden Dwarf Cichlid (Nannacara anomala)
  • Cherry Barbs (Puntius titteya)
  • Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras schultzei)
  • Elegant Corydoras (Corydoras elegans)
  • Kribensis (Pelvachromis pulcher)
  • Stiphidon Goby (Stiphodon semoni)
  • Rubbernose Pleco (Chaetostoma formosae)
  • L006 Pleco (Peckoltia oligospila)
  • Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus)
  • Juvenile Blue Pinoy Angelfish x 3(Pinoy paraiba)
  • Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
  • Powder Blue Gourami (Colisa ialia)
  • Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leeri)

The second biggest setup I have is the one at my Mums house.  This is my first setup and its a 160 litre tank. Again, a community style tank with black Limpopo sand, stone and wood with plants here and there. In this tank I have:
Sarah's first setup over at her mums house
  • Red Breasted Acara (Laetacara dorsigera)
  • Neon Tetra (Paracheirodo innesi)
  • Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
  • Golden Tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi)
  • Horse Faced Loach (Acantopsis dialuzona)
  • L333 Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.)
  • Platys (Xiphophorus)
  • Dwarf Suckermouth Catfish (Otocinclus)
  • Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras paleatus)
  • Bronze Corydoras (Corydoras Schultzei)
  • Julii Corydorus (Corydorus Julii)

I also have a 30l mixed freshwater shrimp setup in my dining room. This includes:

  • Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
  • Blue Diamond Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
  • Red Rili Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda var. red rili)
  • Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)
  • Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentada)

Lastly, is my other shrimp tank. Its only 19 litres and sits on my Mums kitchen bunker. I have just planted a carpet of Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' which is growing like wild fire. This tank is currently home to some Amano shrimps but I do want to add more this this tank soon.
I have discovered that I really do like the community set up instead of single species tanks, so a fish shed breeding fish would hold no interest to me.

Have you found a liking for a particular species yet? I love gobies and kuhli loaches without a doubt my favourites.
The much cherished "lord long" the Stiphidon Goby
Whats your most cherished fish right now? That has to be "Lord long" my Stiphidon Goby. He is my favourite boy. He's such a wee cutie.

Whats on the wish list of fish? Puffers and more goby, puffers would probably be the only species specific set up I would have but they are adorable.

Do you have any plans to change your set up? Maybe more tanks, a bigger tank maybe? I think any fishkeeper always strives for bigger set ups, quantity wise I have enough so the only way is up!  Would love a marine set up but I'm nowhere near ready for marines. Maybe further down the line I might try a nano reef.

What has been your high point so far? Being asked to do this interview for sure!

We all make mistakes, even the most experienced Fishkeepers have disasters from time to time. Having only been in the hobby for a short time, have you experienced any yourself?  I make lots but learn from them, not researching more before I started my first tank and suffering cloudy water and new tank syndrome because of it.
Whats your best advice for someone looking to get into fishkeeping?
Research, research, research! that plus understand the nitrogen cycle and don't rush that part. Also if you are going to keep fish try to stay away from garish plastic ornaments and plants. Aim to make their environment as natural as you can. There is a huge difference between fish surviving and fish thriving so give them the environment they will thrive in and you will get far more enjoyment out your hobby.

So guys, this is Sarah's story so far. I hope you enjoyed reading. It doesn't matter how long your have been keeping fish or what experience you have, your journey is your own and always worth sharing with the rest of us. To share your story with the Lothian Fishkeeper Channel, email to find out how.

Thanks for reading everyone and be sure to look out for more of Sarah's fish in her very own photo album in the Lothian Fishkeepers facebook group.

Bye for now


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