the upstairs bathroom, and two of their
progeny in a 5-gallon tank up there.
The 110-gallon tank has a huge growth
of Rotala indica in the middle of the tank,
and the bottom is thick with Java moss.
The toads are fed once a week or so,
alternating between catfish chunks and
live feeder goldfish.
A variety of koi housed in the indoor pond.
FIRST 120 GALLON
This is my rainbow tank, with one
school of about 20 red Irian Jaya rainbows
Glossolepis incisus, with an even ratio of
males to females. The males are a burning
red/maroon color, and the females a more
muted reddish orange.
The other school of rainbows consists
of Boesemans Melanotaenia boesemani, of
which about 15 are males. I think these
fish are as colorful as any marine fish. I
do a water change every Sunday morning
on these tanks, and the displays by the
male fish are truly amazing. The red Irian
Jayas blush deeper red and then pale a
little, only to blush again even deeper.
But the Boeseman’s are truly amazing.
The males court the females by flashing a
wide blue/black stripe that runs from the
dorsal fin straight down the top of the
head to the mouth.
There are thickets of Rotala and Ludwigia,
and in addition to the bunch plants, there
are many different Cryptocoryne plants in
individual pots all across the bottom of
the tank. The rainbows are fed a variety
of dried foods—most of which are high in
carotenoids—and frozen bloodworms.
A view of the “fish niche,” a U-shaped section in the downstairs area made up of a 150-gallon tank,
two 120-gallon tanks, and a 110-gallon tank.
and spilled oil over the entire pond surface.
After slapping myself in the forehead, I
cleaned everything and refilled the pond.
The pond is now once again stocked with
both koi and goldfish, and one of the koi is
approaching a foot in length.
at what would be the bottom of the “U,”
and a 110-gallon tank as the remaining
side. The current inhabitants of the fish
niche tanks are:
The Fish Niche
With the pond and waterfall on your
right, you come into the main part of the
house, and of course there are lots of fish
there. The kitchen is on the right and on
the left is what I call the “fish niche.” It
is a “U”-shaped area composed of a 150
making up the right side of the “U,” two
4-foot, 120-gallon tanks next to each other
In this tank I have five adult Surinam
underwater toads. I don’t know why I love
these creatures so much, since all they do
is just sit there, come up for a gulp of air
every half hour or so, and forage or lie in
wait whenever live or dead fish are put in
for food. I just think they are incredible
animals, an amazing testimony to how
creatures evolve. In addition to the toads
in the 110, I have a pair in a 30 gallon in
SECOND 120 GALLON
This tank houses a breeding colony of
daffodils Neolamprologus brichardi. I started
out with six adult fish, and over the past
few years the colony has increased to 30
or 40 fish, ranging in size from the alpha
male all the way down to tiny babies.
The rock piles in this tank were enough
for two female caves, maybe three. It is
fascinating to see the babies increasing in
size as they move further out from the
breeding cave. The alpha male positions
himself in the top middle of the tank
and is constantly supervising things and
asserting his position as head of the group.
In addition to the large shells and hunks
of coral, most of the bottom of the tank
is covered with a mixture of Java moss
and hair algae, which I leave there simply