My name is Brian. I’ve been keeping fish for about fifteen years. The first thirteen of those years, I wish I’d had a site like this one.

See, there’s “keeping fish” and then there’s “fishkeeping”. The former is where you toss some fish into an uncycled tank, you clean it every other month or so at best, you rarely check toxin levels, or maybe you over or under feed. You place semi-aggressive or aggressive fish into community tanks. You feed only those generic “rainbow-colored” flakes. Your pH levels are all over the place. You have little to no plants. Algae takes over your tank as disease sets in and the fish begin dying off, one-by-one in dirty-green water.

Sound familiar?

Then there’s “fishkeeping”; an enthusiast’s hobby. You properly cycle your tank. You check toxin levels regularly and/or you perform regular water changes that keep nitrates below dangerous levels. You maintain a consistent pH level. You don’t place incompatible fish into the same tank. You fill the tank with plants and fertilize them to keep them healthy and vibrant. You design aquascapes with the needs of the tank’s inhabitants in mind, while keeping the aesthetics eye-catching. You feed high-quality dried food along with frozen or fresh food. Your fish live for years, healthy and disease-free.

A fishkeeper shows off his tank when guests are over. A simple “keeper of fish” apologizes for his tank.

You can have a tank that you can be proud of, and it doesn’t have to be a crushing burden to maintain it. You can have a tank that’s a joy to own, a tank that enriches the aesthetics of the room. A conversation-starter. An awe-inspiring experience for grandchildren.

It does require consistency and mindfulness, but enthusiasts have these qualities in huge supply. There’s no panacea, but here I offer a guidebook. All this stuff, I learned from trial and error. Hour upon hour of Internet research and hundreds of dollars down the drain have taught me important lessons about this hobby. This is all stuff I want to share with you.

What’s special about this place? Here we focus on only one kind of tank setup. A large (55 gallon), freshwater community tank, filled with live plants and peaceful fish. What’s more, this site focuses on “over-stocking”, or what I like to refer to more accurately as “heavily” stocked. There are special considerations when it come to keeping more fish per gallon than the “1-inch-per-gallon” rule of thumb allows. Here, you’ll learn how to do this and not negatively impact the lives of your tank’s inhabitants or your own.

So have a look around. I’m fleshing the site out now so there’s not much content, but more will be coming over the following weeks. Stay tuned.

Take it easy,