Can you help one of my students?
I hope you don't mind me using my Dad's log in to ask if anyone can help me.
I have a student working with us who is at UNI studying for her D.Sc. in marine biology.
She is writing at the moment on why people love or are attracted to the hobby of fish keeping.
How did you start? has it become obsessive? why choose fish? etc.
I would love to find all about your hobby,,,,not so much about the fish or equipment, but about your love of water related creatures.
Hope you can help (no names, or personal details will be used)
Love to you all and take care of our fishy friends
( DVM, KCB,FRS. FRSE. FRSGS. B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D, D.Sc.)
I'll start! We had our fist tank when I think my brother and I were around 8-10-12 years old... can't remember exactly. And my first turtle I'd say around 11-12years. Both my brother and sister where allergic to anything and everything with fur and feathers. Fish it is! Mom hated that tank... algae, over run with snails, having to fish out the dead. Eventually it went away and we had nothing. Needless to say I have owned many animals since moving out. Fish and tanks have come and gone depending on where the work load and attention in my life has been focused. New babies consume your attention. Now I'm an "empty nester"... and the tank I bought for my kids to experience growing up has exploded into an addiction. Not only fish multiply.. but tanks do to!
And now I have a turtle... omg... I can't take my eyes off her!! My first fully planted thriving tank ever! And I'm sure my first SW will come some day... right now I know I am not organized or disciplined enough to do the scheduled maintenance. However I am currently planning my next tank purchase!
Plus moving your interests on to your siblings.
My Uncle Joe's aquarium got me hooked at about the age of 5. It was only a ten gallon; however, to this day, I haven't seen a tank that is as beautiful and natural as his was. I could stare at that aquarium for what seemed like forever to a 5 year old. Uncle Joe was a simple and gentle man who just had a way with living things. Since that time, I probably haven't gone for more than a year without having some sort of tank running. Besides Uncle Joe's inspiration, I think that the idea of providing a total environment and all the aspects that entails are what attracts me to the hobby the most.
I've had just about every animal in the book at one time or another, even though I'm only at the ripe old age of 19, haha. When I was younger my family helped do wildlife rescues, so our house was always full of raccoons, possums, wild rabbits, and squirrels (both grey and flying). Occasionally we would get an abused domestic animal from someone, that we would rehabilitate and work with to get them as happy as possible. We got ferrets, pigs, bunnies, and even a hamster. We also constantly had feral kittens that I specifically took care of and worked with to become lap kitties. We also have had our fair share of dogs.
Even as kids we had lots of animals, guinea pigs, an assortment of bunnies, dogs, and cats. My family has always been surrounded by animals, mostly rescues.
Now that I'm older though, and consequently my parents are older, we don't have the time for so many. We have 3 cats and a dog right now (2 kittens still left over from feral kittens I rescued from a drainage pipe, still trying to adopt one more out, haha). It's a lot less than I've been used to.
We've also had ponds when I was a young kid, we used to have a huge one that I went swimming in, it was full of goldfish and koi. Unfortunately it fell apart years ago, and we haven't had any fish since then.
So with all that experience behind me, I was browsing the internet one day and saw a picture of a planted tank, and I fell in love. I though, hey, I've had all this experience with mammals, how hard could a fish tank be?
3 weeks later I was still researching. I had no idea the amount of effort a small closed system had. Our ponds had been massive, several hundred gallons, and we didn't really do much besides feed the fish and the turtles, and clean the excess algae every once in a while when we trimmed the plants.
I think I fell in love with the challenge. It's one thing to have a dog, or a cat, or something that shares your living space. It's completely different thing trying to create an entire world within a glass box, to replicating sunshine, daytime, and natural conditions. There is a huge margin for error. I love that everyday there is something new to learn, and I can watch a piece of nature working inside my very own home.
I've made mistakes, we all have. I've lost fish as well. I've learned so much just from observing them, trying to figure out what they like and what they avoid. I've also spent hours just researching and educating myself, and I've learned more than I ever thought I would. I never really thought about ammonia, didn't even know what nitrites and nitrates are, and thought all light bulbs were the same. I didn't truly realize just what different needs different fish had, I thought they were all just thrown in. I'd never had experience with fish besides goldfish and koi. I didn't know that there were different kinds of driftwood, that there was such a variety of aquatic plants. All I'd ever known was water lettuce, lilies, and anacharis.
I think I started it for the sheer challenge of it, to work out and 'solve' the puzzle as to replicating an environment. I'm far from being where I want to be, but I'm falling in love with the journey.
What a lovely story, both having the joy of having aquariums and it being linked with a loved one:thankyou: for sharing it.
:thankyou: for sharing your lovely story our student will definitely appreciate everyones input.
hello there :-)
well we've always had animals of some sort,and the fish i guess started from
the poor old gold fish you won at the fair ! sometimes they lasted a couple of months,
sometimes less than a week,and thinking back,the poor things must have suffered
greatly,as i think they just went back into the bowl with tap water :-(
then we advanced as my brother went into fish big time,and we had a big fancy
tank in the living room,and i would watch in amazement the care he took,when
cleaning and adding new fish,sometimes i thought it was such science,the water
had to be just so,he had this amazing chemistry set (i was only about 11 :lol: )
we learnt along with him,and even tried a pond in the garden,with a couple of fish.
well,once i had my own place i got a tank,killed loads,read loads,killed some more,
joined a forum,took my time,matured some more,and got by and managed
a tank that ticked along well.
i wish you student every success :-D
This might take a few posts as I am posting from my phone...
I have a friend who is totally fish obsesed. I thought it was silly, but I must admit that her zeloesness rubbed off on me and I decided to look into it. She told me how her Loaches each had a personality and after researching I decided to get my own tank. It sounded like it would be a good stress reliver and as my medical condition causes me lots of pain, anything that could help is worth it.
I settled on a 10-15gal. It would be just big enough to enjoy, but not too big for me to take care of. I settled on Cory Cats, Kulii Loaches, and a female betta...
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Amanda told me I could get some of my supplies for cheep at WalMart. I decided to check it out to price everything and see what it would cost to set it up. I was going to get the fish later and do research to get them from a good breeder or lfs. And then, I saw Gus and that plan went out the window.
He was this pitiful little half dead Betta in 2in of water in a jar. He was so pale and his fins were amonia burned so badly, his fins were skinny and fraied. His gills were also burned. He was mislabled as a crowntail, but he was obviously a veiltail that had seen better days (see my profile for his pic!)...
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