How did you start your fish hobby?

How did you start your fish keeping hobby?


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Gel0city

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Hello Fishlore!
With quarantine and all that I was interested in how many of you members started your fish hobby.

Here's mine: I was told by another experienced fish keeper that having fish was not as hard as it seemed (freshwater) and they gave me some materials to start. Luckily, I received some information from them but I had many mistakes that I learned from. Started with a 10 gallon and guppies (the classic). Boring, I know.

What are your stories?
 

PenguinTetra38

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geez, 13?!?!?! you must be a pro carnival gamer.

The most I've ever got from a carnival was 3
 
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Gel0city

Gel0city

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Prest12 said:
I got 13 (yes thirteen) goldfish from a carnival and the best I could do was a 6.5 gallon tank.
Thirteen goldfish in a 6.5 gallon!! A crazy way to get into the fish keeping hobby IMO lol.
 

NevermindIgnoreMe

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I grew up with a tank in my house as a substitute for a 'real' pet. Around 10 I wanted to breed my goldfish, and then I just started to learn more and more and fell head over heels. From there on I took over the family tank and well, I am still very much in love with my fish to this day. I am a type 5 enneagram and if you know about type fives we thirst for knowledge and I mean I get obsessed with stuff real quick and study that until I know all I can know about it and yeah I love it. I have always been obsessed with animals and can't remember a time I wasn't.
 

Falena

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I was launched into the hobby because of a general compassion for animals.
A neighbour was putting a filthy, stagnant, stinky and mostly empty 5 or 6 gallon?aquarium in their front garden and I asked them what happened and why they were just throwing it out like that?
She told me it was just too much work and she THINKS all the fish are dead but I was welcome to take it and check if I wanted.
Of course, I was concerned there might still be something living in the few inches of black sludge ( I knew absolutely nothing about keeping aquariums) but I took it home, anyway. Just in case!
Once home what do I spot? A little fish! I had no idea what on earth it was but went on a frantic cleaning spree of the tank with this little fish sitting in a jar looking a bit worse for ware. Got everything cleaned up, plopped him back in the tank (Didn't know about dechlorinator either)
Once in the tank I got on the internet to find out how on earth to care for this little guy. Turns out, he was a little zebra danio, from there it all started.
I researched for several days invested in a larger 20 gallon aquarium, got equipment, and found a store that sold fish to get him some friends after reading everything I could about keeping them .
Started with plastic plants ( hadn't even seen a real planted aquarium before lol) learned about the nitrogen cycle and just fell in love with the hobby! The really personal and special part of this all though, is that I was going through a rough time battling an alcohol addiction.
And the fascination and time spent learning to maintain and care for my first aquarium got me sober! And I barely even noticed it happen because I was so distracted.
So a humble zebra danio stopped me from throwing my life down the drain and kick started a new addiction. But one I am proud of! That was almost 10 years ago and I'm equally , if not more passionate about the hobby than I've ever been :)
 
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Gel0city

Gel0city

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Falena said:
Just in case!
Once home what do I spot? A little fish!
That's amazing the danio was surviving during all that time, can't believe how difficult it was for him. I'm glad you still checked the tank though, and giving that fish a chance :)
 

Cody

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Back when Walmart sold fish(at least in my area) I would walk past the tanks and I was always interested.

One summer day when I was 12 or 13 I rode my bike to Walmart and bought a Bala shark(I think it was during Discovery Channels Shark week) and brought it hope and filled the 5 gallon tank we had in storage from when I was very young.

And you can guess the rest from there - the crazy part was that the bala shark stayed alive through it all and only died after I later moved it to my upgraded 20 gallon tank and deiced to put an African cichlid in there with it(another great beginner choice) and it had its way with everything else in the tank.
 

Inner10

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I also got a goldfish from a carnival. Then bought a fishbowl for him. Then my father went to a pet store with me to get supplies and got talked into a 50 gallon tank.
 
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Gel0city

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Inner10 said:
I also got a goldfish from a carnival. Then bought a fishbowl for him. Then my father went to a pet store with me to get supplies and got talked into a 50 gallon tank.
Sounds like your LFS knew about goldfish LOL. Most stores just sell materials to get profit off of beginners, glad to hear that your experience started with some good information :)
 

Falena

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Gel0city said:
That's amazing the danio was surviving during all that time, can't believe how difficult it was for him. I'm glad you still checked the tank though, and giving that fish a chance :)
I know! So am I :)
I didnt realise how amazing it was at the time. Zebra danios are stupidly tough little critters and I think that's part of where I was inspired tbh. I no longer keep them but they'll forever hold a special place in my heart!
 

SeaMonkey06

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We live in a rental so I really wanted something to care for, but obviously I couldn't get a dog, so why not fish? I got 3 WCMM (I now breed them in a much larger tank) in a 5 gallon and then began to do more research. Now I have 7 tanks, a 40Gallon being my largest :hilarious: Got me fast, and I'm not done yet!
 

Inner10

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Gel0city said:
Sounds like your LFS knew about goldfish LOL. Most stores just sell materials to get profit off of beginners, glad to hear that your experience started with some good information :)
Funny enough I grew up pretty poor, and my father buying the tank still blows my mind to this day. When we got home I think my mother was going to kill him. Problem was none of us knew about keeping fish, and a fish from a cup in the middle of the summer is anything but healthy.

About a decade later my mother admitted to me that when the fish died she took the dead fish to a pet store and found a similar one and replaced it before I got home from school. But that being said I have no idea how many times that happened before she gave up.

Within a year I no longer had a goldfish, so I caught some tadpole in a nearby Creek and raised them until they were baby toads and released them. I did a few batches of tadpoles and I must have inadvertently scooped up a little fry. One day in my empty tank I saw a tiny little fish in there.

I named him Uno as he was one little fish all alone in this big tank. He lived about 3 years and got just over an inch long. I have no idea what species he was. Then one week he developed white spots all over his body and died. Being a kid at the time in an age before internet I didn't know what he had or how to treat it.
 

Mongo75

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I started around 1997 with a 30 gallon tall aquarium. I was always intrigued, but never settled down enough to try until then. I thought all the freshwater fish were dull and colorless, so I chose to go FOWLR. I visited a half dozen fish stores and talked with as many saltwater stores as I could. I ended up with a couple of Damsels and a Yellow Tang. I kept them until early 2000 along with several S/W (don't remember which ones) shrimp, when I just burned out on running water through a de-ionizer, mixing salt, and all the other work involved. I traded in the fish and live rock for credit at one of my LFS and after cleaning everything out, converted to freshwater. I started with African Cichlids and had a pretty good setup going. In 2001, I upgraded from the 30 gallon to two 120 gallon tanks. One was dedicated to the Africans and the other was for Angels, all sorts of smaller community fish and one beautiful Oscar. I was in hog-heaven :). It's amazing how dull, colorless fish can take over you life and change your attitude towards them, lol. That lasted until about 2006 when I found myself in the unemployment line, and had to sell everything off, just to make ends meet.

I retired in 2018 and moved in with my son, his wife and my granddaughter (notice, NOT their daughter, lol). Last July, I decided it was time to take up the hobby again. We all thought it would be a fun experience for my granddaughter as well. I started small, only a 20g, and against my better judgement let them pick out an Angel, 4 Mollies and four snails. Everything went fine until February, when I lost 3 of the mollies and 3 of the snails over a two week period. All my parameters were perfect and none of the fish showed any symptoms. I did unplanned water changes after each death, but didn't have any symptoms to act on, so there wasn't much else I could do. They just died. The Angel and remaining molly are still strong, and the remaining snail is trying to keep up with his chores so I really don't know what happened.

This past Saturday, I broke down and bought 7 Zebra Danios to replace the ones that died, and so far everyone is looking good and tank parameters couldn't be better :). I'm waiting a few weeks before replacing the snails. Gonna see how everything else goes first.

And that's my story :)
 

flyinGourami

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Long story short: I got a goldfish when i was younger.
Long story well, long:Okay so basically, I was that kid who wanted pets but couldn't have any. My family went to china, and while I was there, my grandparents overheard me talking about wanting a pet. Obviously, my parents said no. But my grandparents said yes and I literally went crazy as I loved animals. My grandpa went out and got two goldfish so that my brother and I could each have one, blah blah blah. We put the goldfish in a small, plastic bin. My grandparents did know about acclimating tho so we floated the bag for a few minutes and let the goldfish out into the bin(that keep in mind we used to use to wash things), the only thing we bought was some pellets, we didn't even know what brand of pellets lol. One of the goldfish is still alive right now, the other one either died or we gave it away, idk. We did water changes every other day, the fish's fins got long and flowy and they are beautiful. One of the goldfish did turn kind of whitish(I'm not sure why, but whatever maybe it got old since we did have it for years). I only cared for the fish when we went to china for vacation though. For the water we just used tap water and let the chlorine dissapate for 1-2 days. I remember once I didn't let the water sit and just poured tap water into the bowl. But the fish survived and I was so happy(since my parents told me I can't use tap water and I thought the fish were going to die the next day). So yeah that's how I started fish-keeping. I got my own tank a few years after that, since we owned hamsters but that never worked out :(. But i'm glad I gave fish keeping a real shot, since its amazing(as all of you probably know :)).
 

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