Merry Fishmas!!

Some of you may remember that I went a little crazy last February and ended up with a 30 gallon aquarium that I just HAD to have.  I still don’t know why.  But … I’ve still got the aquarium.  And then some. 

So I thought I’d update you a bit and let you know what’s happened since.  What’s happened is, I’ve gone even crazier.  Now, in addition to the lovely 30 gallon tank in our kitchen, I am also the proud owner of a 90 gallon tank that I set up in my office.  I have many the zen moment watching my fish … and many the moment doing tank maintenance, let me tell you.  But like any hobby, the work is worth the rewards and I want to share some of my fishies with you today.

This tank below is the original 30 gallon.  It is home to some lovely Colombian Tetras, some serpae tetras, little cory catfish, a pleco, 2 lunker snails and just recently a pair of German Blue Rams.  More on that later.



Because I liked the 30 gallon so much, I bought a 90 gallon for my office.  I bought the tank and stand used, refurbished it and now it looks gorgeous in my office.  This is the tank before I filled it.  I can sit at my desk and watch the activity.  It’s very entertaining and peaceful.

tank 007

This severum lives in the 90 gallon.  He’s a south American cichlid and is already lot bigger now than when this photo was taken and will get about 6 – 7 inches when he’s fully grown. 

severum 088

This is one of my 3 little blood parrots.  She likes peas.  I shot this photo after I’d fed the tank their Sunday veggies and she took her pea and ran and hid behind some plants then peeked out at me.

peas 005

This is Pearl.  She’s a smoky blue marble Philippine pearlscape  angelfish – very unique.  She too will get around 6 inches.

angel 007

Here’s a photo of the tank stocked with the 3 blood parrots, the severum, pearl and a school of congo tetras

totm 030


This is Pong.  One of a pair of snails in my 30 gallon.  Yes, the other one is Ping.  Pong is having a very zen moment balancing on the rock.

snail, new angel congos 001


This little guy is an Electric Blue Jack Demphsy.  He will eventually go into the 90 gallon but he has to grow up a bit first.  He’s so mellow he won’t compete for food so I’m keeping him in the 30 until he gets a little more size on him.

baby bp 032


Okay.  This is an albino bristle nose pleco.  He REALLY likes veggies as you can see here.   He’s wedged himself upside down and is sucking on a carrot that I put in the tank for him.

baby bp 080


This is one of my pair of German Blue Rams.  I’ve only had them for 10 days and they are really little gems.  Haven’t named them yet …

gbr 014


The second of the pair.

gbr 050

And finally, if you’d like to see the 90 gallon in motion, here’s a video link.


Clearly, my impulsive purchase of a 30 gallon fish tank has turned into something much larger than I ever expected.  Learning about aquariums, keeping fish, what fish are compatible, how to care for them … it’s become a very consuming hobby that I really enjoy.  Oh … and I still have the 5 gallon with my betta in it.

What impulses have you followed lately that lead you somewhere you hadn’t expected to go?  And if you haven’t followed an impulse, what’s stopping you?


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at
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24 Responses to Merry Fishmas!!

  1. Willa says:

    Great video – love the Blood Parrots . . such a gorgeous orange colour 😀
    And the little stone hidey places are fab – looks like Stonehenge on the bottom!

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    Hey Willa. I love my blood parrots! they always have such sweet, funny expressions. They are also pigs and will come to the top of the the tank and eat out of my hand.

  3. Linda says:

    I envy you your fish tanks! They are very peaceful to watch but without my being home more then 3 days a week not something I could take on. The only impulse I have followed lately would be photography.. I have always liked taking pictures but this summer I purposefully set out to take photos and do something with them. I have posted , most of them on FB but also have made a book of the best shots and will be giving them as Christmas gifts.

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      Nice, Linda. Nothing better than a gift that came from the heart. I’ve seen some of your photos on FB and theiy’re stunning.
      And yes – the tanks are a time commitment. Saturday mornings are dedicated to water changes and cleaning. Never dreamed when I started that it was such a technical hobby. Still learning and loving it.

  4. Cindy Smith says:

    Hey Cindy,
    Loved the post so much I had to share it with my daughter….she has a 3 gallon tank with a pair of tetras named Billy and Ambelina at college. So, now she is working for accessories to place in the tank….like feeders so she doesn’t have to worry about them starving over the weekend or breaks. She loves the zen quality of watching them swim around too! Hopefully that will translate when it’s time to take a final!

  5. michelehauf says:

    Who would have thought fish like veggies? Cool! Looks like a fun and rewarding hobby, Cindy, thanks for sharing!

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      I know! But all my fish love them. They eat peas, zucchini, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and watermelon is a favorite. When you think about it, their natural habitate is full of vegetation so it makes sense they’d enjoy veggies. Some are true carnivores but most are omnivorous and eat both meat and veggies.
      You should see my snails and the pleco fight over a piece of watermelon. Yes – snails fight. It’s very slow, but it’s fighting LOL

  6. MJ Heather says:

    What fun! The boys keep begging for fish, but all I see is the work involved in tank maintenance. But man, the 3 yo would love it.

    As for impulsive hobbies, I taught myself to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off from a little pamphlet from the craft store. That was all I knew how to do for years until I rather impulsively agreed to go with a friend to a knitting group. I was happily knitting away at my scarf – the only thing I knew how to make – when they corrupted me. I make socks and sweaters and mittens. I have a closet devoted to yarn and a Rubbermaid bin devoted to needles and other tools. I dream about wool and alpaca… It’s a disease…

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      MJ – you could get them a 5 gallon tank and put a male betta and a snail in it and it would be hardly any work at all. And gorgeous. Maybe 15 minutes for a water change each week. The key to keeping fish is they cannot be kept in a bowl (even a betta or a goldfish, that’s why they always die in bowls) because they need filtered water and a heater. If you decide to do something like that, let me know. seriously. e-mail me from my website and I’ll tell you exactly what you need and how to make sure stay healthy and beautiful for you all to enjoy.

      • Exception to every always–we had a betta who lived for 5 years in one of those big bowls shaped like a fish–you see them at Petsmart. No heater, no filter. But you do have to change the water every week. I’m pretty sure Red–yep, name was Red–died of old age.

  7. loisgreiman says:

    90 gallons. I’d have to quit writing just to find time to take care of it. But wow…they are beautiful.

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      Nah. It’s really not that much care. Maybe 1 hour on that one per week. I’m guessing you spend lots more time with your horses. Every hobby is worth the work if you enjoy it.

  8. Cindy, thanks for the dose of morning Zen. Video is especially lovely–didn’t know you could do that with Photobucket. I’d love to have a tank in my little office.

    Have you seen the show “Tanked”?

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      You’d enjoy it Kathy … once you get the tank cycled (meaning a chemical transference from ammonia to nitrites to nitrites – not nearly as complex as it sounds) your water will be rock solid stable and all you have to do is a weekly water change. My 30 gallon tank takes me about 20 minutes. the 5 gallon takes me about 5 minutes.
      I have seen that show. I love it … but it worries me that people will see it, go out and get a tank then just dump fish in to it. It doesn’t work that way. There’s a LOT you don’t see on screen.

  9. leannebanks says:

    Cindy, I LOVE YOUR FISHIES! So beautiful!!!! I wouldn’t exactly call it an impulse, but I’ve decided to volunteer. My orientation is tomorrow!:)

  10. Quilt Lady says:

    We have a 75 gallon tank in our living room with chiclids mostly peacocks. We use to keep angel fish but we got to where we couldn’t keep them they all died.

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      Angels are delicate and sometimes difficult to keep. Usually the reason angels don’t do well is because there are too many in one tank. they are very territorial cichlids and do a lot of bullying to other angels unless you have a matted pair. Most advise not keeping more than 1 angel in a tank. You might be by with 2 in a 75 if they are a mated pair or if you have a lot of obsticals (plants, driftwood, rocks) for one or the other to hide in. Most of the bullying, I’m told, goes on at night when the lights are out so you don’t see it, consequently you don’t know you have a problem. I’d LOVE to have more than one angel in my tank but I’m afraid to risk it.
      Peacock cichlids are gorgeous. I think they are African cichlids. They wouldn’t work in my tank as I have south american cichlids.
      Wow. That was WAY more information than you wanted to know LOL

  11. Cindy Gerard says:

    Kathy said: Exception to every always–we had a betta who lived for 5 years in one of those big bowls shaped like a fish–you see them at Petsmart. No heater, no filter. But you do have to change the water every week. I’m pretty sure Red–yep, name was Red–died of old age.

    Kathy – before I got my 30 I had 2 betta in a small bowl. Changed the water every week. Thought I was really doing well by them. Then I was made aware that a betta in a bowl is like me living in a bathtub. It’ll work but it’s not the best situation. So now my betta has a 5 gallon tank with his snail LOL

    But you’re right. 5 years is a long time for a betta

  12. I love this one: Electric Blue Jack Demphsy.

    • Cindy Gerard says:

      Hi Judy. He’s a sweetheart. He’s only about 2 1/2 inches now but when he grows out he could be up to 8 inches. And he’s a very pretty boy. the truth is, he’s not a top quality specimen … top of the line are pricey and multi colored but I like little Jack just fine :o)

  13. roxanne rustand says:

    I read and enjoyed the posts before and after this one, and somehow missed yours. oops! I LOVE your photos, and that you name your fish. And who knew that tropical fish would love peas and carrots?! I never would’ve thought! What fun!! I’ll bet your office is just so lovely and peaceful with those fish drifting gracefully in their tank.

  14. Pingback: One Fish, Two Fish….Red Fish, BLUE FISH « From the C-Sweet

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