Something More About Me

After nearly three weeks without any blog post I finally managed to sit down again and write a bit. We had tons of stuff to do here plus I turned thirty this month and thus I had no motivation to do any blogging related work. However things calmed down and I managed to convince myself that nothing is really different after turning thirty.

My upraded refuge

Some of you might remember the blog article I had a year ago titled “Something About Me” in which I showed you my little refuge. That place is very dear to me as I have most of my books all around me and most importantly also my computer. This time I will show you one more time a picture of my refuge as it has a new addition since my birthday in form of a Lego Tie Fighter, indeed it is looking great here (though Molag Bal might be sad as I had to move him a bit more to the right to make space). Besides that little addition in my refuge I have something more to share with you about me.

Come shrimpy shrimpy

At some point I managed in some blog post (I really don’t remember when it was and in which article) that we have few pets. For one we have two bunnies which had already their introduction nearly two years ago and then we have some animals which prefer to live under water. Somehow I was able to convince my wife to get one aquarium when we moved here however the number increased within short time to three tanks.  When I was a kid I had also one aquarium and I loved it but had to get rid of it once I started going abroad for an exchange year during my high school years. After that I always wanted to start again but never had the space, time and money for it. Ever since we decided to move to Germany I made plans to change that situation and get myself an aquarium immediately after moving.

My main tank

My main tank is a small 60l (~16gal) Optiwhite Aquarium and is standing right in our living room. In that aquarium I focused heavily on the appearance with rocks, roots and a lot of different plants. To get the most out of the plants I have a strong LED lights, a CO2 system and I am fertilizing with special products. Besides all those plants I have also several shrimps, snails and fishes (Octocinclus affinis and Trigonostigma heteromorpha). The other two tanks are each 30l and I got them to them to have another home for my shrimps. They are also filled with all kinds of plants however I am not doing anything special with them and in the past two years I did not even need to cut the plants whereas in the main tank I need to swing the scissors every week!

One of the Trigonostigma heteromorpha

The pictures of the main tank are appearing a bit blurry as the CO2 is getting into the water with a diffuser which created millions of little bubbles. To be honest I did not want to show the main tank as it is not ready and I have the feeling it will never be ready. Just in the beginning of the year I had to cut down everything to a bare minimum and throw out tons of plants due to a heavy Cladophora infestation (nasty nasty kind of algae). Though I still have few Cladophora nests left in the aquarium and the plants haven’t recovered 100% I decided it is time to take a few pictures. In case I would ever compete in some aquascaping competion (yes there are competitions for that!) I would need to wait another few months for all the plants to recover.

A small growing Bucephalandra sp. (no idea about its name)

I do hope I did not bore you too much with this post but it is a hobby I have been doing since we moved to Germany and I just loved it. For me it is just so relaxing and pleasing to create little landscapes under water and give the animals a nice environment to live in. I even have big plans for new and much bigger tanks in the future but that will have to wait till we move into a big house or something like that.

What are your hobbies you do in order to relax?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

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37 thoughts on “Something More About Me”

    1. I love to do these things so much to relax. At my parents cottage I started last year building a stone wall consisting off all the big rocks from their property. Sadly I wasn’t able to finish it (hurt my back a bit there…) so finishing it will have to wait till next year a I won’t be able to go there this summer

  1. Something quite relaxing and meditative about aquariums and watching fish swim about. A pet activity everyone in your family probably can enjoy..though one realizes the aquarium needs to be kept clean.

    Cycling is my go-to relaxing activity.

    1. My wife does not really care too much about my fish tanks except when friends of hers are visiting us and are complimenting her about it 🙂
      I must say I do not watch the fishes so much, for me it is mostly about creating that underwater landscape and keeping it in shape (in the pictures here it is a few days before trimming everything so it looks rather wild now)

  2. When my children were young, we had many pets. We lived in the Philippines then, so we had maids to help care for them. One year, my husband, never one to do things halfway, suddenly developed an interest in animals of all kinds. His friend and colleague, a Sri Lankan agricultural expert, was the one who sparked his interest. We visited Mr. Seneviratne’s house and saw a dozen large tanks in which he was breeding spectacular varieties of guppies. When we left, we had bags of guppies, and had to rush off to the pet store to buy a tank.

    We never put the work into our aquarium that you did. Your aquascapes are gorgeous.

    Mr. Seneviratne also had prize-winning English beagles, and he gave us a pair of his puppies. Bullet and Mindy were delightful dogs. A Thai friend gave us a pair of Siamese cars, Sinoan and Sisawad. We bought a mina bird and a hanging cage at the market. He liked bananas and made a big mess, so we didn’t keep him long enough to teach him to talk.

    Next my husband had a big walk-in cage built in the yard which we stocked with silky chickens, quails, and parakeets.

    I don’t have any pets now. The last pet I had was a cat. I do love cats.

    1. I always loved to have pets but except the fishes I wasn’t allowed to have any when I was young ( my parents had several dogs but after the last one passed away they didn’t want to go through the pain again).
      When I had an aquarium my in my younger years I had a very simple tank without considering too much how the plants are growing and so on. Only few years ago I stumbled upon aquascaping and have been a fan ever since. It was “developed” by the late Japanese Takashi Amano who was also a professional photographer. He tried to recreate natural landscapes in the aquarium and he also developed the methods to supply the water with CO2, before that plants never reached their maximum possible growth (smaller leaves and growing very slow)

  3. Yeah, nothing ever changes much after 30 😊😂 That is quite impressive those 3 tanks you have got going there. Main tank looks a bit like an underwater jungle, probably a maze for all the creatures to weave through. Hopefully all the different creatures and species don’t fight it out for food and space in the same tank.

    The only exposure I had with pet sea animals was my cousin’s turtle. It was a quiet pet but it’s poop was stinky 😂 My hobbies are usually very boring. Just sit around and relax, do nothing. Listen to music. Watch YouTube. Or if I have the energy, go hiking 😊

    1. Originally I had planned for a 400l tank in the beginning but I got this awesome deal from a Hungarian aquascaping shop for the compete 60l set which I just couldn’t ignore. Anyhow the main tank does not always look that wild like a jungle. As i am trimming the plants latest every two weeks it looks then very different. Especially the reddish plants in the background are formed like hills.
      It does take a lot of work for the main tank but the two small tanks are like 20min of work every second week (I only feed the animals once or twice a week!). I took care back then to have only few fishes / shrimps so they don’t fight or suffer

      1. LOL. It sounds like the plants grow very fast, and they are intent on making that wild jungle 24/7. Imagine if you go away on holiday and how wild it may be if you got no one to trim it…

        It sounds like the tanks need a lot more food now…

  4. Happy belated birthday! 🙂 Hope you had a good celebration.
    Your aquariums are gorgeous! My boyfriend also got an aquarium last year and he has shrimps and snails so far. He was thinking of some kind of a water lizard (don’t know the English name..) but he hasn’t got it yet. His father loves fishing and he owns an aquarium with lots of fish too. My family had one when I was a child – but it was a lot of work and we couldn’t save all fish. 😦 I think watching fish swim is very relaxing. I read and go to the swimming pool and sauna to relax myself when I am having a stressful time. 🙂

    1. Thank you , the celebration was rather calm as we only went out eating with the family.
      I know what you mean with water lizard. Was fascinated with those creatures as well but in the end I decided to have as few different species in the main aquarium as possible and to provide the right water quality (fishe, Shrimps, snails from different regions need different kind of water e.g. Soft water or more hard water etc).
      Anyhow I also love to fish and this weekend I have a big fishing trip to Denmark together with my brother and cousin to fish in the Baltic ocean

      1. Wow exciting!! My boyfriend’s dad is also often going to Baltic Sea in Poland for fishing but apparently he really wants to go to Norway for a big trip one day. Hope you have an enjoyable fishing trip in Denmark! 🙂

      2. I have been only fishing in Finland and here in Germany it is impossible (you need a real fishing license which requires 30 theoretical lesson, practical lesson and exams costing several hundred euros whereas in Denmark and Finland you only purchase a license for a day, weekend, quarter of a year or year for much much less money). Hope it will be fun 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂
      I just love to create little landscapes / habitats for the had fishes. I try to make it appear as natural as possible but with my main tank I wanted something different e.g. The layout of the rocks and roots (which are less and less visible due to all the plants growing non stop)

  5. Your refuge looks so neat, very different from most man caves I have seen. I love your fish tanks too. Was thinking of getting one myself but can’t imagine the hours I may have to put in to keep the fishes happy.

    1. I always feel to uncomfortable when my “place” is not more or less neat. Besides it is so annoying when I have to search for important things because they are covered beneath tons of useless stuff 🙂
      To have an aquarium can be much work as in my main tank but also very low maintenance as in my two smaller tanks. The two smaller tanks I only change water every second week and feed the shrimps twice a week and that’s it. The main tank on the other hand has so much equipment to get the best possible plant growth that I spend each week two to three hours trimming, cleaning and and and

      1. Indeed a smaller tank is much less work however the system is also more sensitve to changes compared to the bigger ones. However it is fairly easy to maintain a nice looking tank without any special lights, CO2 systems or fertilizers, at least it works in my two small tanks.

    1. I never really had a garden but each summer I plant tons of flowers on our balcony. In Finland where my parents have their cottage I never really cared for gardening, probably because flowers can only really grow there for a very short time period and because I was always too busy helping out my dad with construction work

  6. That’s an interesting hobby! I had a couple of fish in a fishbowl when I was in college and I could spend a long time just looking at them. But after college I didn’t get any more fish.

    I love the tanks with the plants, they look amazing!!!

    1. A real fishbowl? You mean those round things as in some old TV shows? I have never seen those around but could be also because they are banned here for 40 years :p
      The whole thing with the plants really fascinated me when I saw it first time back in 2012/2013. Sure I had plants in my old ones as well but nothing as amazing as I saw suddenly all over the internet. Aquarium keeping surely developed in the past decades a lot

  7. Nice one Timo! I love aquariums and the relaxing feeling it brings to me but I never had the chance to have one for myself. I think it needs a lot of maintenance just like kids Haha..and I don’t have the energy to tend to both since my hands is already full for my daughter’s!!

    Beautiful aquariums you have, and your choice of decor & fish.
    Does’nt Nathan grab those?
    I think if I have an aquarium maybe my daughter will put toys inside it.
    It is very important that we have a personal space, even if its tiny, as long as we can have a place to do what we have and have some R&R. For me, I can’t paint while my daughter is awake, even my laptop she knows how to open now :p

    1. An aquarium really needs a lot of maintenance when you try to do something like me. My smaller two tanks are really easy to take care of as I only change water every two weeks thats all 🙂
      Nathan has the bad habit to “surprise” the fishes and shrimps at evening time and thus some jumped out already and died 😦
      When Nathan is around it is just impossible to do anything on your own. Also work is just impossible for us so he spends most of the day with his grandparents where is is usually very calm but as soon as we come he turns hyperactive!

    1. Ah thank you. The yellow shrimps are the same as my blue ones / the dark looking mixed one in the picture. In fact some of the shrimps have even some yellow and red spots so I always have to “select” the not so good looking and put them into the smaller aquarium. Shrimps certainly are some funny animals

  8. taking long walks. this is all i do to relax. or napping with my cat. when i nap with my cat, i could be laying there for some 15-20 minutes and feel like 2-3 hours passed by.

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