Hello AquaHabit readers! Welcome to another instalment of our popular quick-fire interview series #5minuteswith, today we meet James Dyer AKA @fishtorque whose Instagram account not only demonstrates his love of fishkeeping, but also of cars. Sounds interesting, so lets find out more about him....
Hi James, thanks for taking part, I'm also a car lover so I'm looking forward to hearing your answers! To start things off; how long have you been interested in the hobby?
Hi Matthew, I'm honoured to able to do this so thank you for asking me to take part and share my love of aquariums! My dad has had fish tanks for as long as I can remember, but I've never been interested in them until he was moving house about 4 years ago. He asked me to look after them, moved the tank to my house temporarily and it all began from there. It was a generic sort of tank with plastic plants, pink gravel and fake ornaments, so I started looking into tanks and how I could make it look better and how I could grow live plants. Eventually my dad wanted his tank back so I went on eBay and got the cheapest tank available which cost me about 5 pounds, and ever since then I've been hooked! Sometimes I get worried about how obsessed I am with planted aquariums haha, but I've been learning and experimenting ever since.
Haha there's no such thing as too obsessed! I love that you started out with a cheap second hand tank, it proves you can start this hobby without having loads of money! Do you have any plans for more aquariums?
I have just set up my second tank in the last few weeks, which is a 30cm nano. This is a dry start iwagumi style scape and I'm looking forward to filling it with water soon. I don't have any plans at the moment to upgrade my 200L aquarium, I've got to try and convince my partner first!
That sounds like it will be amazing, I look forward to seeing it finished! Now that you're a more experienced fish keeper, can you share any algae busting tips or tricks you have with us?
Unfortunately I wish it was that easy to deal with algae but there isn't a secret I've found yet! I know this gets said a lot in the hobby but a strict maintenance routine is key to having a happy tank for me. Doing weekly water changes, waving your hand above the substrate to disturb the waste organics and every so often adding some liquid carbon will help to keep the tank healthy.
That's some really good advice, thank you! You say you are setting up a new tank at the moment, so what guidance can you give the readers on the process to follow when designing and planning a new scape?
Firstly, you need to judge how much time you want to be spend on maintaining your aquascape. A low energy system (no Co2 and light that produces under 50 par) will be less time consuming in the long run because the plants will not grow as fast. A high energy system (Co2 and lighting above 50 par) will require more maintenance and upkeep on the tank. Once you've decided, you can then look for inspiration for ideas on tank design. I'd recommend going to an aquascaping specialist where you can trial different materials and how you want the hard scape to be positioned.
That's so true, designing a new scape will always depend on the amount of time and effort you have to give to the tank. Speaking of varying lighting levels, how many hours of light do you provide your aquarium with per day?
My current lighting period is 9 hours long. 3 hours sunrise, 3 hours at full power and 3 hours sunset.
Sounds good to me! Now, we couldn't let you leave without asking a car related question so, what car would you buy if you could only have one but your budget was unlimited?
Without a doubt a McLaren P1! It's fast, stunning to look at and its going to appreciate in value. I know you only said one but can I sneakily add in a Lamborghini Urus for my partner to do the school run in 😉.
Haha fair enough I'll let you seeing as they're good choices! Thank you James for sharing some of your aquatic journey with us today and we wish you all the best for the future.
Stay tuned for next weeks interview coming soon!
All images copyright @fishtorque