Helpful Hints for the Advanced Hobbyists; Research, Observation & Patience
By: Eric Bodrock / All Oddball Aquatics
For those who have been in the hobby for years on end, tunnel vision sometimes sets in on the way we do things and the way we think. Sometimes it is best to step back and take a fresh look at things.
I often evaluate things in the hobby by using two methods of thought. First the “Can it help me or hurt me” approach where I simply, & often quickly, compare the pros and cons of a situation in the aquarium or with a particular fish or scenario to see what is the most beneficial action to take. Second, my idea of “Be the fish” where you think of this fish (or animal) as it would be in the natural, wild setting. Things to consider: Surroundings including landscape, substrate, co inhabitants, changing environmental conditions and available food sources. The avenue of thought is endless if you just “Be the fish”.
Research is one thing that we need to do as we take a fresh look at things. With the internet, local aquarium societies & clubs and social gatherings of hobbyist like the Aquatic Experience here in Chicago, people are pooled together to exchange information, thoughts and ideas. It never hurts to hear what someone else has to say, even if their ideas don’t fit your needs, often it will trigger your own thoughts to fit your applications.
Observation is another thing to consider. As we find that we have less & less time to sit and watch our aquariums, there is no doubt we are missing a world of information that the inhabitants are “telling” us. Take a few minutes every now and then to simply watch what is going on, you’ll be amazed! Remember, we all started fish keeping as a hobby; to be fun, enjoyable, entertaining and educational, you know the saying….all work and no play…well…is WORK!
Patience is something that I find I have less of as I get older, or maybe as I get more fish & aquariums! But nevertheless, when it comes to breeding many fish, you simply need to have patience. Once you’ve achieved the correct water conditions, diet & set up for your fish, you need to let nature take its course. Over a period of time with no positive results, then tweaking may be necessary. Try one thing at a time and be patient!
I know these things can be hard to practice, but if you give them a try, you just might open some doors of success for yourself!