Children And Fishkeeping

heeerefishyfishy

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I've noticed from cruising around here that I'm not the only one who has children helping out with their tanks. The more I think about it, the happier I am that I got back into this hobby while my boys are still young. After being away from it for a while, I now realize I knew very little years ago and was full of misinformation until not so long ago. I still have a whole lot to learn, too. With pet stores and retailers spreading false information just to make a buck, I think it's really important to raise kiddos who know better! The fewer goldfish and bettas kept in tiny bowls, the better.

So!

How old are your children?
-Mine are 1.5 and 4. Obviously the baby doesn't really help, he just ooh's and aah's at the fish.
At what age did they start helping you with your fish?
-I got a tank for my son's room just before he turned 4. Obviously it's not his responsibility but he helps.
What are their duties?
-His most important job is naming fish! He also feeds the fish (from pre-measured plastic shot glasses of prepared food) and helps me pour cups of fresh water into the tank during partial water changes.
-Are they as interested in the hobby as you are? I can't really properly answer this because the littles one is barely more than a baby and even my oldest is still just a preschooler, but I can tell you that my 4 year old knows all about snails and guppies and what they like to eat, and he's always keen to help when I'm working in his tank.

I'd like to hear from anyone else who would like to share
 

BottomDweller

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HI I guess I can't really answer these questions properly since I don't have children myself but I have kept fish (well maybe helped to keep fish lol) since I was 5. I'll answer the questions for what I did when I was 5
1. 5
2. I fed the fish and my dad helped me clean them out
3. I was even more interested than my dad! I was the one who asked for fish, he never kept fish before I was born.

My (much) younger sister used to like my fish. She went into school and did a presentation on keeping and breeding goldfish! She would her school friends why they shouldn't be kept in bowls and what they like to eat When her friends would come round to the house she would show them the fish tanks and point at each fish and tell them what type it was. Her friends were very interested and I think she was quite proud of the tanks!
 

KinsKicks

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Hello!

Although I don't have kids (lol waaaaayyyy too young) I have siblings and babyish cousins whom like to come over, watch, and sometimes help.
-One of my siblings (10) really likes fish, (but she's more into hamsters) and she really LOVES naming fish. Her favorite are my angels and she likes corycats as well (going to get some for her). I helped her with a school project and brought my betta sorority (Bunch of pretty colorful fish+ heavily planted, kid heaven) to her class for her presentation on biology/ecology and the nitrogen cycle (teacher was impressed and she got an A++)

- My other sibling (12) helps me with weekend WC when he comes over (I make him suck in the siphon for my tanks that are too far for the python. Mwuahahaha). He likes the arowana and discus.

- my baby cousin (4)like feeding fish (his favorite in the arowana and the two bettas+betta sorority) as they attack food and he enjoys their splashing. Although, he always asks to swim in the aro tank because it's so big (he's convinced it's an indoor pool :rolleyes
 

CraniumRex

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How old are your children?
-My daughter just turned 9
At what age did they start helping you with your fish?
She asked for a betta when she was 8. I had one years ago I kept for 4 years in a 5 gallon tank.
What are their duties?
She is responsible for feeding them and she has started helping with water changes. She also picked the name for hers.
Are they as interested in the hobby as you are?
She is very interactive with the fish - we now have 4 - but the additions are my passion, not really hers. I will say that feeding them is something she actually does without me asking.
 

Kat Cetera

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I don't have any children but I got my first fish tank when I was 3 years old and have had one ever since. I remember my first chores being to properly feed them. Mom would tell me how many pellets to drop in one by one and emphasized that overfeeding could lead to sick or dead fish. I would also help her clean the tanks, and by the time I was 6-7 I was doing the small desktop tank by myself (emptying out the fish and half the water into the clean bucket, and dumping the other half in the sink, rinsing out all the poop etc.....) It's something I've really enjoyed all my life.
 

Terabyte

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Welp I don't have any children (As I am a child despite what my profile may say) but my mother got me started on tanks when I was 4. I also just named fish and prior to getting me a tank my mother only had a betta in one of those evil wall hanging bowls....... But she really liked them cause my grandmother used to have like 8 100+ gallon tanks
 

tyguy7760

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I have 3 kids. 10 (11 this month) 4 (5 this month) and 2.

My 10 year old is not interested in the fish at all. Unless I'm going to batter and fry them he's oblivious. My 4 year old likes to help feed the fish from time to time. I'll put the food in her hand and she'll put it in. That's about the extent of it. My 2 year old obviously doesn't help but I can tell he will probably be the most interested in the fish out of the 3. He's all about them, all the time. He watches me do the water change, he sits on the couch and talks to them. My male T-bar cichlid even comes up to the glass when my youngest approaches now. He won't do that with anyone else other than me.
 

Celestialgirl

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My little guy just turned 3. He feeds both the dogs and fish. With the dogs he knows how much to feed but I obviously help with the fish. when I first got the fish he said goodnight to them every night. So sweet! He loves his animals. We also have a bird feeder and squirrels that we feed!
 

vikingkirken

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I have five kids, ages 11, 8, 6, 4, and 2. I just got back into the hobby a year ago, after years where staying afloat with all those little ones didn't allow much in the way of outside hobbies!

Our tanks are part of our homeschooling. The two oldest kids have learned a lot about the various fish, including their natural habitats, social and breeding habits, water requirements, etc. Occasionally they do fish-related artwork or writing projects. We have an ongoing breeding tank that currently has rainbowfish fry in it. They recently built a baby brine shrimp hatchery that we're using to feed those fry.

My 11yo cares for her betta tank on her own. My 8yo is expected to help with water changes on his 20g. We rotate each week on who gets to help feed fish, a much-coveted privilege, particularly for the 2yo My kids are allowed to help name the fish, but I have veto power, otherwise all our fish would be named Lucy (because my cute-and-she-knows-it 4yo would win every naming war--and no her name isn't Lucy!) The older ones have helped choose some of the fish in our two display tanks.

My kids aren't as obsessed as me, but they do enjoy watching the tanks and following the growth of our fry.
 
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heeerefishyfishy

heeerefishyfishy

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vikingkirken said:
I have five kids, ages 11, 8, 6, 4, and 2. I just got back into the hobby a year ago, after years where staying afloat with all those little ones didn't allow much in the way of outside hobbies!

Our tanks are part of our homeschooling. The two oldest kids have learned a lot about the various fish, including their natural habitats, social and breeding habits, water requirements, etc. Occasionally they do fish-related artwork or writing projects. We have an ongoing breeding tank that currently has rainbowfish fry in it. They recently built a baby brine shrimp hatchery that we're using to feed those fry.

My 11yo cares for her betta tank on her own. My 8yo is expected to help with water changes on his 20g. We rotate each week on who gets to help feed fish, a much-coveted privilege, particularly for the 2yo My kids are allowed to help name the fish, but I have veto power, otherwise all our fish would be named Lucy (because my cute-and-she-knows-it 4yo would win every naming war--and no her name isn't Lucy!) The older ones have helped choose some of the fish in our two display tanks.

My kids aren't as obsessed as me, but they do enjoy watching the tanks and following the growth of our fry.
Wow, 5 kids and homeschooling? I don't blame you one bit for getting out of the hobby for a while. I'm actually amazed you're back at it now!
 

Littlebudda

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I have 3 kids. My daughters are 11 and 9 and my son is 5.

My eldest has been involved basically her whole life. Since I am colour blind she has always done all my water tests ( keeps a written log book of tests water changes and any ferts etc. added) and bought her first tank with her birthday money when she turned 8.

My 9yr old is an animal lover and has to have every animal she is always hand feeding the fish and names every fish is always wanting to sleep where she can watch the fish.

My 5yr old son just tells everyone how the big tank is his not daddy's.
 

vikingkirken

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heeerefishyfishy said:
Wow, 5 kids and homeschooling? I don't blame you one bit for getting out of the hobby for a while. I'm actually amazed you're back at it now!
I needed an interest of my own to putter at, to keep my sanity! Integrating it into our homeschooling has worked really well. I get to do fish stuff and the kids learn something while we're at it. It's been the main part of our science curriculum this year.
 

NavigatorBlack

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My kids are in their early 20s, and haven't gotten the fish bug in spite of aquariums when they were little. One has a serious houseplant thing going though - she calls it the Dad gene.

I was the kid in this story, like a few others. My parents got me into fish. I think kids who get into fish are personality types, just like adults who get into fish are. I was into bugs, birds and fish for as long as I can remember. Living things, and all animals fascinated me - especially the differences between them and how that played out. I knew every type of grasshopper, ant, mantis, and caterpillar around my house when I was little, and I loved reading about them all.
Fish were an extension of that that made no one in the family scream.

My great grandfather bred goldfish, my grandfather bettas, and my mother loved hatchet fish. So I had the kind of guidance you guys are providing your kids.
"My adults" provided me with information and books, took me to obscure local stores so I could see fish, repaired leaky old aquariums so I could use them, built shelves, and provided a small budget. They were pretty wonderful.

At 8, I fed my fish, and (sometimes) cleaned their tanks. By 10 I was breeding metallic green guppies, and running my little no budget set up on my own. By 12 I got kicked out of church for asking the pastor about evolution. It was the guppies.

I had fishkeeping friends in elementary school, and I am sure very few have tanks now. Most drifted into other interests. I think a fishkeeping kid is one who likes to take care of things, but can also deal with things they can never completely control. It's not every kid who will get into it.

I tried with my own kids, and the curiosity took a different direction with them. I think they learned a lot from aquariums in the house though. We'll see what they do...
 

Discusluv

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I didn't know anyone that had a fish-tank ( family or friends) growing up...until I was in my twenties. It was "intrigue" at first site. Since I was 23 ( I am almost 50 now) Ive had one to two tanks running continuously. But, I have also had dogs, cats, animals surrounding me. Many family members shake their heads at my "jungle" house, state it must be because I didn't have kids. Maybe so...
 

Bruxes and Bubbles

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I'm still technically a child myself, but I've got to say, you guys are awesome! I don't have many friends outside of my immediate family who understands my love for animals (I've got one who kinda gets it, I guess. I mean, he doesn't laugh when I say I'm on a fish forum or when I ramble about the fish species my LFS had in stock.)
He seems to like reptiles, so he's coming with me to the next reptile convention in our area. I'm going to try to catch his interest with the snakes and lizards and creepy crawlies if nothing else. For scientific purposes of course. XD

Seriously, though, you guys rock!
 

BeanFish

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I don't have kids but I do have a very annoying sister. She is 10. The only thing she likes to do is handfeed the fish. I tried to get her into liking fish (so instead of asking for dolls in christmas she would ask for fish tanks) but it didnt work. She knows about fish, when she goes to the pet store with me she is good at playing "ID the disease" but she does not care about having a fish tank and caring for it. Some people simply don't enjoy fish as much as we do.
 

Littlebudda

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BeanFish said:
Some people simply don't enjoy fish as much as we do.
It's funny like that I love nature hence why I'm a landscaper by trade, I just love working with stone, timber and plants and I love building a natural ecosystem that mimics nature for the animals/fish to live in. Luckily I came from a family of artists and horticulturist. One grandmother was a horticulturist and painter, her husband was a photographer, my other grandfather breed guppies in a group of outdoor bathtubs (yes guppies once were that tough) and all his breeding ponds were surrounded by vegetable gardens and orchid shade houses so I was always destined to be into fish and arts etc.
 

Discusluv

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Littlebudda said:
It's funny like that I love nature hence why I'm a landscaper by trade, I just love working with stone, timber and plants and I love building a natural ecosystem that mimics nature for the animals/fish to live in. Luckily I came from a family of artists and horticulturist. One grandmother was a horticulturist and painter, her husband was a photographer, my other grandfather breed guppies in a group of outdoor bathtubs (yes guppies once were that tough) and all his breeding ponds were surrounded by vegetable gardens and orchid shade houses so I was always destined to be into fish and arts etc.
That's an interesting thought... the connection between art, nature, and fish-keeping. I wonder how many people are artists of some sort on this forum and ( depending how old you are, of course) have spent a lifetime of keeping fish. I was a floral designer for many years ( 20 appx.) and was always interested in bringing together natural materials to contrast and complement various colors, textures, and shapes. Maybe there is some type of co-relation or affinity between the desire to artistically render nature : painting, sculpture, landscaping and floral design, etc... and fish-keeping. It would make a good poll question...
 

Littlebudda

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Discusluv said:
That's an interesting thought... the connection between art, nature, and fish-keeping. I wonder how many people are artists of some sort on this forum and ( depending how old you are, of course) have spent a lifetime of keeping fish. I was a floral designer for many years ( 20 appx.) and was always interested in bringing together natural materials to contrast and complement various colors, textures, and shapes. Maybe there is some type of co-relation or affinity between the desire to artistically render nature : painting, sculpture, landscaping and floral design, etc... and fish-keeping. It would make a good poll question...
It would be interesting to find out the stats on that.

I'm 44 by the way and got my first tank when I was 10 (30gal with 5 common goldies) I didn't know better and we sure as heck didn't have places like this where we could learn
 

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