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Introduction to Robyn

Last Updated: 12/14/16

About Robyn
About Robyn's Web Pages
A Note About My Counters
A Note About My Last Updated Notations
Linking to Robyn's Web Pages, Linking to Your Web Page, and Using Information on Robyn's Web Pages
The Fishpondinfo Stores

How I Got Started Keeping Animals, Aquaria, and Fish

See my contact page for more about, contacting me, and how you can help out.

About Robyn

Hello! I am Robyn of Central Maryland, USA. I am a female, born in 1972. My life revolves around my animals. I currently love and care for 4 cats, 1 rabbit, 4 guinea pigs, 2 dwarf hamsters, 1 red-bellied turtle, 3 freshwater fish tanks, 2 saltwater fish tanks, 6 to 9 ponds (depending on the time of year) with hundreds of animals, and lots of feeder insects and worms (crickets, mealworms, and sometimes other animals too). I have a complete current list of my animals here. Of my 12 non-aquarium/non-pond/non-feeder/non-wild animals, 5 are girls and 7 are boys. I have extensive knowledge about these animals, many other plants and animals both domestic and wild, aquaria, and ponds. My parents (mother died 2013), brother (moved out in 1998), and I have lived on five acres in the suburbs since 1977. I predominantly have cared for our menagerie of animals since 1982, and I have read hundreds of books on various animals. I also do all of the yard (mowing, weeding, mulching, pruning) and house work. Since about 1996, I have read hundreds of pages of information on the internet. I am a preservationist and received my Masters of Science in Analytical Chemistry in the Spring of 1996. I worked at a food testing lab from December 1997 until the end of December 2011 when I was laid off. I did not get a new job until June of 2013 when I worked in a secretarial-type job in a company that does chemistry. In May of 2014, they started training me as an analytical chemist. My high school peers voted me smartest female but, wisely, not most likely to succeed.

Cover Letter and Resume

About Robyn's Web Pages

All information provided is, to the best of my knowledge, correct based on my experiences, reading countless books, participating in newsgroups, and surfing the net. Some information is my opinion. Thus, I cannot guarantee that everything herein is 100% true. I cannot be held responsible for any difficulties or pet losses resulting from the advice herein. Some things that do or do not work for me may have the opposite outcome in others' experiences. If you find any information which you believe to be false, please contact me. Please send your suggestions and additional information relevant to my pages as well. I had a guestbook from March 1998 until 4/2/12 when they deleted it without notice. Thousands of entries were lost! Except for my brother's defunct web page, being a former member of NWF, MAKC, NFC, and BCI (and probably more places now!), subscribing to some magazines, and participating in some newsgroups; I am not associated with any of the sites to which I refer. Thank you, and I hope that you will get something useful out of my web pages.

Web sites constantly are moved or deleted. If you really want to visit one of the pages to which I link that no longer works, then go to and enter in the web site in question. They keep archives of web sites (snapshots) taken every few months since 1996. You can go back and see what my web site (that is my old site, or any web site looked like when it first started! Plus, you can see any site that was moved or deleted as it used to be.

A Note About My Counters

My site was moved from UMBC to in September of 2003 and opened in October. From that time, this site only had a total counter which was shown at the bottom of every page up until 5/7/06. It showed unique visitors to all my pages. If you visited all 149 pages (as of the opening), it would show as one count. I hoped to add counters to my fish, pond, goldfish, and turtle pages to keep track of those pages since I kept totals at the top. My web host provides me with traffic information but it is hidden from visitors.

While my site was at UMBC (1997 to 9/03), I had counters at the six pages listed at the bottom of every page [index, resume (used to be at the bottom but not anymore), master, animal, fish, pond] which are mostly indices to link to my individual pages. I also had counters on my rabbit, goldfish, turtle, aquababy, sailfin, and pond book pages. To save space and UMBC's counter memory, all other pages were without counters. Thus, if someone directly visited my turkey page or rosy red minnow page and not any of the index pages, their visit would not be on any of the counters. The counters also logged my visits and return visits so that they did not correctly reflect the true number of visitors. At least twice, the server reset the counters to zero so a true count was only estimated based on monthly records I kept of the page counts.

Update, 5/12/06:
My bottom counter on all my pages was removed on 5/7/06 because hackers were using it to get into my site repeatedly. Since then, I have used that base number and added what my web host says the site gets once a week to the main footer only (only main index pages). The web host counts all web page hits (they call it "page views") and not unique visitors! That means if one person visits 10 of my pages, it counts as 10 hits. So, instead of 5000 to 7000 daily hits I was getting, it gives about from 10,000 to 14,000 daily hits depending on the time of the year. Thus, the count is not accurate (for unique visitors) but the best I can come up with today. I hope to put up a few single page counters but with over 700 html files on my site, it will not serve much purpose.

A Note About My Last Updated Notations

At the top of each web page, there is a "Last Updated." This date is the last time that I changed any information on that page. This is not the date when the web page was last altered on-line. For example, I might change some information on Monday using WordPerfect but not put it on-line until Friday.

Also, just because a page was changed just yesterday, does not mean I edited the page fully. Usually, I am just changing or adding one small thing. Most pages I have not had any time to re- read so that a large portion of the information on my huge site is out of date, or I would add a lot to it IF I had any free time of which I have zero! I wish I had time to really update my site.

Linking to Robyn's Web Pages, Linking to Your Web Page, and Using Information on Robyn's Web Pages

Linking to Robyn's Web Pages:
You are free to link to any of my web pages. If you are linking to a page that is related to my pond or fish pages, you can use the fish and pond banners to link to my site. For the fish banner, see the bottom of my fish page and for the pond banner, see the bottom of my pond page. For a generic fishpondinfo banner for any of my pages, see my main page.

Linking to Your Web Page:
If you think that your web site would be of interest to those who come to my site, E-mail me for me to consider adding your site as a link from my site. You can also add a link to my instant links page yourself by going here.

Using Information on Robyn's Web Pages:
You are free to use any information on my web pages for any non-profit purpose, personal use, web site, or magazine articles. I would prefer that you provide my web site address along with any published article or web site. I would also like to know about any published articles or major web site postings so I can read them. For factual information, giving me credit is not required. For example, "Goldfish grow to 12 to 15 inches." Otherwise, providing my web site or at least my name is fine to give me credit. If you want to use a portion of the site as is (word for word), please contact me to let me know. You should put that section in quotes and provide my name and web site information. If you would like to use my information in something that will generate you profit, please E-mail me, and I will get back to you. Do not worry; it is not my intent to require monetary compensation, as proper acknowledgment is usually fine for me. Please note that I can not give permission for use of photos that I did not take that were sent to me in good faith to be used on my web site alone.

Note on Plagiarism:
IF YOU COPY PORTIONS OF MY WEB PAGES WORD FOR WORD WITH NO MENTION OF MY NAME, E-MAIL, OR WEB SITE, WITHOUT CONTACTING ME, AND CLAIMING THE WORDS TO BE YOURS, THAT IS PLAGIARISM!! At least nine of my sites (older versions of tank setup, plants and driftwood, UV sterilizers, fish health, fish feeding, water chemistry, danios, bluntnose minnows, and rosy red and fathead minnows) WERE plagiarized at that I discovered on 1/28/02 after someone told me how great their site was (which was because I wrote most of it!). The person (who has yet to return my e-mail) cropped out anything personal about me, my links section, etc. On a few of the pages they mention my old URL and say "some" information came from that site with permission. I gave no such permission! Some of the other information on their site was also stolen from at least one other site (PetsMart). Update 10/7/02: This site no longer works (yea!) and is on sale for $10,000! (any takers!).

My Aquababies boycott page was also plagiarized at . The e-mail on the site does not work anymore. They even left my e-mail in the text that they copied which confuses things.

Someone informed me on 8/1/04 that a photo that is at the top of my turtle pond page was stolen, shrunk, and put up at near the bottom. The photo was not even one I took. It was sent to me by Judy with her permission for it to be on my site (but not elsewhere). She is the victim in this case. That particular site sells turtles and hatchlings they claim through some loop hole around the 4" law. I have read people saying that they got some, and they were very sick. I do not like being associated with a business that is "iffy" at best if not illegal/immoral.

PLEASE DO NOT PLAGIARIZE MY SITE! While my site does not generate much income for me (in fact, I pay money and get basically nothing back!!!), it does hurt a person to have their work stolen for someone else's profit and/or recognition. By LAW, all web sites are automatically copyrighted when put on-line (assuming that they are original works and not plagiarized). Unfortunately, it costs more to sue than could ever be reclaimed for something so "insignificant."

The Fishpondinfo Store

I was alerted to a site that will let you sell stuff with your logos and graphics at no cost to you. I started the Fishpondinfo Store on 3/20/04 and sell fishy shirts, mousepads, postcards, and tote bags to start. I will add more stuff. If you want to start your own store, click the banner below. Please check my store out! Thanks for buying stuff! [Update: 8/29/06; it has been 2.5 years; I have sold one thing to someone other than myself; it was an ornament that my mother bought me! Update 4/3/14: I bought a few things but still not a single person has bought anything from my store. ;-( ]

The Café Press Fishpondinfo Store!

Design and Sell Merchandise Online for Free

I also now have a Amazon Fishpondinfo Store.

In 2013 when chronically unemployed, I set up an Ebay Page and began selling my life's belongings in order to keep the animals. I sold some animal/aquarium/pond supplies as well as other things (antiques, toys, you name it). I pretty much stopped once I got another job.

For a complete list of the stores that give me a percentage, see the shopping page.

How I Got Started Keeping Animals, Aquaria, and Fish


Since I was born, we have always had animals, from dogs to turtles to doves to rabbits. When I was nine, my parents let me adopt my cat Bootsy who meant more to me than any of my animals (except maybe Gino). She died May 1996 after fighting breast cancer for two years. My mother or myself gradually bought or adopted (from relatives, pounds, etc.) rabbits, Dwarf Siberian hamsters, guinea pigs, bobwhite quail, ringneck pheasant, wild turkeys, a sailfin lizard, African pygmy hedgehogs, chickens, turtles, and I do not know how many other animals over the years.


We had had a number of goldfish in an old 20 gallon tank complete with a slate bottom and metal edges (I still have this tank, now 50 some years old, used to keep my lizard in while cleaning her tank). Then, in the summer of 1993, I worked at a laboratory as a free intern. I was supposed to be doing chemistry but they stuck me in the biological testing side. For two months, I helped fathead minnows live and breed. Then, their fry were tortured in water of various toxicities to determine how toxic the water samples were. The other workers (I refused to do it) would snap their backs after two weeks and microwave them to determine their final mass. All of this made me sick but I had to go through with the short internship. I did learn a lot (but unfortunately at the expense of some wonderful fish). After my internship was up, I could not resist taking about a dozen juvenile fathead minnows home to rescue them on 7/19/93. I put them in a 5 gallon, slate bottomed tank (the companion to the above tank).

Of course, they soon filled that up so I got my first 10 gallon tank. After the few females died, I had to find the amorous males a mate. I noticed that the rosy red minnows at the pet store looked identical except for color so I got some. Although I had no documentation at the time that they were the same species, they soon spawned. Their young hatched but died soon afterwards due to my inexperience. Soon, I started trying other fish with the minnows, including white cloud mountain minnows (8/10/95 to present), various danios (1994 to present), and guppies (around 1994 to 1996). Fathead minnows will always have a special place in my heart. I like them too much to use them as feeder fish (although some get eaten in my pond by other animals). As for bait, I do not catch fish with hooks. In fact, I do not eat any fish except tuna (hey, nobody is perfect). I also never euthanize or cull (fancy words for kill) any of my fish because they are sick, or I have too many. I often buy another tank!

A few years later, after I bought my lizard a 40 gallon breeder tank, I realized my goldfish in the 20 gallon tank might like a bigger tank that did not look like it would crack at any moment (it was, after all, very old). Thus, they got a 50 gallon tank. Once the plecostomus, who had come from the 10 gallon tank and lived with the goldfish for a year with no problem, started attacking the goldfish, I had to find a place for him. The 10 gallon was too small, thus a pulled out the lizard's old 20 gallon tank and put the plecostomus and 10 gallon fish in there. After a few weeks of this, the poor 10 gallon fish were almost pooped to death, so I moved the plecostomus into the 10 gallon (which was WAY too small since he was up to 10 inches long, I cleaned it constantly). Of course, I had to get the plecostomus out of there. In addition, I had raised some 30 additional danios and white clouds in my 50 gallon pond. No one would buy them so I had to keep them in a 5 gallon tank temporarily. Finally, I bought my lizard a new 120 gallon tank. Then, I converted the lizard's 40 gallon tank into a tank for the plecostomus and 23 longfin danios (21 zebra, 1 albino zebra, and 1 leopard).

Well, during the Christmas of 1999, Marineland came out with the Eclipse 3 filter which is a little 3 gallon acrylic tank. I had absolutely no room for another tank but this tank was small enough that I could stick it next to my 20 gallon tank. I got it and then went to the store after the tank ran for a week. I was not sure what species I would put in it but considered a male betta or some small gouramis but ended up with neon tetras and pygmy cories (the male bettas were in horrible shape in their tiny bowls). I fell in love with these new fish!

In the spring of 2001, the three goldfish in my 50 gallon tank suddenly all died over a month from tuberculosis that they had carried for many years. I moved the fish I had in the basement pond and my 20 gallon tank to the 50 gallon tank after it was disinfected. Over time, eventually, the fish in the 3 gallon Eclipse moved to the 20 gallon. I bought a few more small fish for these "new" tanks.

I got a turtle in 2006, bought a 65 gallon tank (actually two as the first cracked) in 2007, put the 40 gallon fish in the 65 gallon, and gave the turtle the 40 gallon. Thus, that is how I ended up with my current 50, 65, and 20 gallon freshwater fish tanks.

In 2008, I set up two saltwater nano reefs of 6 and 12 gallons.


As for my ponds, it all started with a trip to the local park in the summer of 1996. There in a drainage ditch were some tadpoles. I thought, "It'd be neat if I took some home and watched them morph into frogs." So, we caught them. After looking for a suitable container, I found an old plastic kiddie pool. There the tadpoles, snails, insects, and weeds I had collected thrived in partial shade. The tadpoles were gray tree frogs and soon left. At some point, I bought two comet goldfish and put them in. I cannot recall why I did that now since it seems dumb. [Jack and Jill moved to my large pond in 1997 and grew to 14" before the heron got them.] Of course, we know you cannot keep goldfish in a kiddie pool year round. It would freeze. I searched far and wide for something cheap (I was unemployed). After finding a 50 gallon rubbermaid tub and sealing the hand holes with silicon, we buried it. Soon, an electrical outlet was put in and voila my first pond! That winter I researched ponds and local businesses that could build me one. By the following spring, I had made a deal with a local landscaper, and my 1800 gallon pond was installed in May, 1997. Extra liner was made into a tiny pond that Fall, and in 1998 I could not resist a few tub ponds. In 1999, a 50 gallon lotus tub was buried. We then replaced the old collapsing 50 gallon rubbermaid tub with a 153 gallon liner pond. A true ponder cannot stop at a single pond! Oh, and I forgot the 20 gallon basement pond (for the tropical plants and pond white cloud mountain minnows during the winter), making seven ponds! Oh, and the two gallon pot pond so sometimes, I have eight ponds! Make that nine if you include the new 20 gallon mosaic pond I got on 9/13/02. In 2008, I got a 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank to use as an indoor pond in the winter instead of the 20 gallon tub pond. In 2012, I built a new small 30 gallon liner pond and removed the 16 gallon liner pond. See this list for information on all of my past and present ponds.

My pond web pages were such a hit that I started a free pond e-newsletter and turned the pages into a book!

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