Thoughts On The Fishkeeping Hobby
Everybody we’re gonna start out by looking at my Gourami tank here but we will probably make our way around the room a little bit and look at a few different tanks. I just wanted to share some thoughts about the hobby of fish keeping and I use the word hobby specifically. I have a lot of people ask me you know don’t you ever get overwhelmed with all the tanks you have and don’t you get tired of doing water changes and I’m not gonna lie you know it’s not always fun doing all that kind of stuff. It does become a little bit like a chore from time to time but for the most part the answer is no I don’t mind doing it at all because it’s all part of the hobby of keeping fish and I’ve always thought about other hobbies.
I’ve always likened it to say someone who builds models or even someone who simply collects stamps. The fun of that isn’t looking at the model on the shelf after you’ve built it or looking at stamps in the book it’s the doing part of it. It’s the putting the model together, it’s the getting the new package of stamps in the mail and lining them all up and getting your book out and you know it’s the Activity part of keeping stamps it’s the Activity part of building models or putting puzzles together doing crosswords or fishing you know. Look at the trophy fish on your wall or the pictures of your fish or whatever. That’s all well and good but going fishing is the fun part of it and keeping fish for me is the same way. It’s a hobby, it’s not that I don’t know it’s not the same as my other pets. I have cats and I have a dog and I don’t consider them hobbies, I consider them pets. You know keeping fish to me is a little different than that. I suppose technically you could say these are my pets they are live animals under my care but again I just sort of think of keeping fish as more of a hobby and because it’s a hobby I think about it as my activity.
Now the real reason I wanted to talk about that is because I totally understand when you first get into fish keeping and you’re early on you really do want to do stuff all the time. I’m still subject to that as silly as it may sound on a day like today for example. It was a rainy day, I was unable to work, so I basically have been sitting around the house all day and I have not spent much time in here in the fish room at all. I’ve been just kind of deliberately avoiding hanging out in the fish room because what happens is I’ll sit down for five minutes and I’ll look around and before you know what I’m doing stuff, I’m cleaning glass, I’m doing water changes, I’m feeding tanks you know. Early on that was problematic. I didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t understand that doing massive water changes every other day could be detrimental, it could be okay. Depends on your tank. You know I just I didn’t realize that a lot of the stuff I was doing in a lot of cases was disrupting my tank more than it was you know maintaining it and while in all of my eagerness I thought I was doing a great job and keeping on top of my tanks what I was really doing was preventing them from ever finally settling in and balancing out. I just tinkered with them too much so it’s actually kind of a relief for me to have incorporated shooting video and taking photos. I do post a lot of photography on Google+
If you don’t already follow me on there you might want to look me up I do a lot of pictures and gifts and stuff like that in my fish a little short videos that never make it to my Youtube channel and that’s all part of the hobby for me so instead of coming in here and messing around with my fish tanks I can come in here and just shoot some video and chat or you know do whatever I can incorporate shooting video into the work. In doing so a simple water change now becomes a project and I’m shooting videos and various segments and then I’ve got all the activity of you know editing the video and putting it together and that all becomes part of the hobby. I actually looked up the word hobby before I started shooting this just so I you know would know what it says and I would find out I wasn’t completely off-base or something and it actually does say that it is an activity that one performs in one spare time for pleasure. You know again that doesn’t really apply to my cats or my dog. Those are like members of my family that’s not something I do in my spare time for pleasure. My fish is. You know I’ve got some free time. I want to come down here and enjoy my fish. That’s an activity I do in my spare time for pleasure just like going fishing or collecting stamps or you know, so again I’m not. Really there’s no point to this, really I’m just kind of airing my thoughts on the idea of the hobby. The reason it always comes up is just because I get asked questions a lot about all of the stuff I have to do with tending to all these fish and keeping track of everybody and making sure everybody gets fed and you know again the answer is no I don’t mind doing this at all in fact I have to sort of keep myself from doing too much of it because I can easily over feed my fish, I can over maintain the tank, you know I can do too frequent water changes, do larger water changes.
When I first got started in fish keeping I did all kinds of stuff, I mean I was crazy with setting up tanks and building new tanks and I was buying 10 gallon tanks every other day it seemed like and you know I had tanks up and running everywhere and I was constantly moving fish around and changing the decor around and taking fish back to the store and getting new fish. I just went nuts with it for a couple of years and I really had a lot of fun. It was awesome, I learned a ton of stuff but it was always the activity of it. It don’t always struck me as odd when people said like why don’t you know, isn’t that over, what like no it’s not you know. I will say that my hobby of gardening did get a little better of me when we were younger and moved out here. You know we very enthusiastically planted lots of gardens and now that we’re older and you know the joints ache and it’s just been years of taking care of the same property. We you know the gardens have become a bit much out in the yard and someday I’m sure this might become problematic having all these fish and all these tanks to take care of man, but for now it’s not. I will also offer a word of warning if you’re new to the Hobby and you’re all excited and enthusiastic and you realize that you can have more than one tank and you go out and you start buying you know little ten gallon tanks and and you get your stuff set up with you know various things and you want to try a brackish tank and then you’ve got a tank that’s half land, half water and you’ve got crabs in it and like me I wanted one of everything. I wanted to do experiments with all the different fish and all the different types of habitats you could set up for them and build for them but you can burn yourself out you know. A lot of people do that. A lot of people get into fish and they get really into fish and they get really excited about them and three years later they’re getting rid of all their stuff and they’re selling off their tank and you’re just tired of it. They’re done you know they’ve turned it into a job they’ve turned it into a chore that they no longer enjoy, so pace yourself you know you can burn yourself out pretty quickly on keeping fish, if you don’t just relax and enjoy it. Don’t make it a job for yourself.
So far I haven’t I have people suggest to me you know you should do this and you should no no not really you know I know I’m kind of done I don’t think I’m gonna really set up any more tanks and make it any bigger or expanded any further. I don’t want to reduce the size of it again, I’m very happy with my fish room. I like the way it looks, I like the fact that I’ve got like the full surround of tanks and everything but I’m done that’s that’s what I wanted. When I started keeping fish a long time ago you know I sort of joked about one day I could imagine myself sitting in a room surrounded by fish tanks and about three years later I was doing just that and it’s awesome. I love it it’s not something I’ve burned out on at all. I’m always learning new stuff. It’s a hobby, it’s a hobby for life for me. It’s just you know I can always keep learning stuff and learning new things and it’s just it’s a great hobby it really is, I really like it a lot but all-in-all that’s what it is ,it’s a hobby it’s an activity I do in my spare time because I enjoy it. So once again to answer the does this you know get old and how do I keep it it’s my hobby I enjoy it. I do this because it’s fun so there you go that was a little sort of around the world update while I didn’t actually really talk about any of the tanks we looked at. I am still treating my poor little angel fish here. He has still not moved his bowels as far as I can tell. I did do a big water change on this tank this evening and I got the epsom salts that were in the tank out so tomorrow my daphnia will arrive. I will start feeding them that and if by tomorrow afternoon I haven’t really seen any change then we’ll probably do a epsom salts bath directly for him. I’ll make it up in a bucket and I’ll make it a higher concentration and I’ll treat him specifically for about an hour and we will see what happens from there.
So once again in this case all part of the hobby but this is not part of the hobby that I enjoy doing because I have a sick fish and I now have to medicate it, but it also means I have to learn about medicating. I have to understand what’s going on and it’s all new experiences for me. I continue to learn and grow in this hobby with each day and with each new experience it’s always more stuff and that’s why I just never get old, it’s always new experiences for me so I hope you enjoyed listening to me ramble on. If anybody ever asks you if you ever get tired of doing water changes and whatnot just explain to them but that’s why you do it. that’s the fun part, it’s the hobby. so thanks for watching please subscribe if you’re not already.