How Do You Know When To Increase Formula Amount How to Increase Your Fishkeeping Fun

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How to Increase Your Fishkeeping Fun

Are you really getting the full amount of enjoyment out of your fish?, Or are you hindered by small worries and anxieties?

Do you sometimes worry about spending too much time with your fish? I often hear people say that even though they enjoy their hobbies, the caregiving tasks involved get in the way of the fun.

In this month’s article we will explore how we can increase our happiness by taking a different approach to those common things that are very important if we want to keep our fish in top condition.

Make a plan

When you find time to spend with your hobby do you go through a kind of mental conflict wondering what to do?… and by the time you decide to make a decision, half of your time is already gone.

WELL…you are not alone, many aquarists have the same problem. BUT … it is possible to overcome this problem, to double your enjoyment of fish keeping. HOW? Well, certainly not by adding more tanks or spending more time on your hobbies… the answer lies in a change of mind, a change of approach.

Have you ever noticed that some people always seem to be on top of their work?, their fish rooms and tanks are always clean? always seem to have a lot of time to enjoy their hobby? Yet others never have a moment to live, they always seem to have so much to do and yet nothing seems to get done. The most important ingredient in our formula for increased fishing pleasure is planning.

Most of us lead busy lives, holding a full-time job, and taking care of family obligations etc. Without a plan it is very easy to put off our fish keeping activities until one day when life is less busy. Unfortunately, many times life doesn’t stay busy and our maintenance activities grow until our tank(s) get dirty and our fish begin to suffer.

This is when the pressure starts to build.

Involve the family

This can be even more difficult when your partner does not share your love and passion for entertainment. It is natural that they will have more important things in your time than you and if harmony is to be maintained then some sort of agreement must be reached. Having a plan that includes both family needs and your recreational needs goes a long way in ensuring that everyone’s needs are met. The biggest obstacle to overcome in any hobby is distraction. It is very tempting when we have time to spend with our fish to spend that time on unimportant things or even praising our fish.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not suggesting we don’t take the time to admire our fish, after all that’s the reason we started keeping fish in the first place. What I am suggesting is that there are good times to sit and love our fish. We can benefit from time spent on vacation with the family, for example.

What I am saying is that in those precious moments where we can devote some time to maintenance, we should focus on maintenance activities only. The most important ingredient in making the most of our precious time is one of mental focus and organization. Thinking clearly about your fish is the key to getting the most out of it. No matter what your hobby or interest is, there can be no joy in it if it causes anxiety and depression. Your entertainment will only be fun if it brings you satisfaction and relaxation.

Be reasonable

Ask yourself… is your thinking clear about keeping fish? Maybe when you have time one evening get a pencil and paper and write a few notes along these lines. Have you ever thought about how much time and money you can afford to spend on your hobbies? Think about it and write it down. You might think, for example, …I can work 2 evenings a week, 3 hours each evening and 5 hours every Saturday. ……I can spend £10 a month or £20 a month. Be as specific as you can even though changes may need to be made at any given week. The key is to have a clear idea of ​​the time and financial commitment. These will be different for every aquarist, of course. The important thing is that they are commitments that you feel comfortable with.

One of the common traps most of us fall into is letting our entertainment get out of hand. We get involved in keeping fish, perhaps by visiting a garden center, pet store or through a friend and setting up a tank in the living room. Soon the bug takes hold and we bring in another tank, then another and before we know it, we find we can’t cope with water changes and glass cleaning etc. !

One of the temporary measures we may need to consider is to close one or more tanks, perhaps as a temporary measure until we are better organized.


The next step is to set a specific goal for yourself and your fish keeping. This doesn’t have to be immediate but it should be clear.

“Keeping and breeding all kinds of fish” is probably the dream of many farmers but there is no clear goal. When setting your specific goal, save your time and money. The great thing about keeping fish is the wide range of goals you can pursue. If you are a fish breeder for example, you can specialize in one fish and set a breeding program goal. If you are not a breeder but enjoy collecting you can try collecting all species within a breed. Whatever your passion is, make sure you narrow it down to a specific goal, one that works for your time and financial goals. It can be “Collect as many species of Dwarf Cichlids as possible”, “Develop a species of albino Discus” or set up a tank housing only species from a certain geographical area – a Madagascar tank for example.

After you have made a decision… think about your first step in achieving this goal. This is your short-term goal, something that will be achieved in the near future.”Find a good source of young cichlids and buy one pair” or “Keep adult discus alive for x months”.

Think about it but write it down and remember your previous decisions at all times.

Ok, Next step…

With your new goal in mind, go and check your setup. Ask yourself – “does everything in my current setup contribute to my short-term goal?” The answer will definitely be NO. There will be problems and endings of fish and equipment that have nothing to do with your purpose. NOW comes the hard part….Everything that does not contribute to your goal must be sold or sold and the proceeds put toward your goal. When you achieve this you may find that you have multiplied your tank space without buying a single tank!!….


Make a list of priorities

Most aquarists have routine tasks that they do over and over again. Daily activities. Yet we spend a lot of time deciding what to do, often every day. I’m sure many of you can relate to the situation;

You come home from work, take care of the priorities quickly, sit down to dinner, finish at 7.00 pm. Maybe now you have 2 hours to spend with your fish. So now you’re in the process of deciding what to do tonight. We can lose 15 precious minutes every time we pause to decide what to do next.

How can we overcome this? As we noted above most aquarists have regular jobs and a few special ones. Keeping our short-term goals in mind, write each task on a separate piece of card.

For example a fish farmer may list the following 7 items:

Feed the fish

Expand the settings

Cut the small fish and put them in the big tank

Clean the filters

Establish new breeding pairs

Look for disease; handle any object seen

Look at the water; change if necessary

This is not an exhaustive list, of course, you will end up with a longer one but 7 things will serve as our example of how to set priorities.

Now look at the list and rearrange things like this: Any disease can spread quickly and if left untreated can wipe out your entire tank – it only takes a minute.

Make a demonstration of unusual behavior … hanging on corners … stuck wings … tearing etc

So No.1 on our list is:-1. Look for disease

Check out the rest of the list. What should you do next? Feed the fish? Well…maybe…but can you put food in the tank that covers us??

No, so it is better to check the water and if there are clouds, change the water.

So No2 on our list is:-2. Check the water – change if necessary

You may ask, can you change the water before cleaning/changing the filters? Yes, I would. It is important to remove dissolved solids and debris (bacteria) from the suspension that can create harmful nitrites before changing the filter media where the debris is partially dissolved. It is important to change the filter media as time permits but not before the water has changed in my opinion.

We mentioned feeding the fish above and this is very important and only things 1 and 2 above should come before it.

So our No.3 is:-3. Feed the fish

Followed by:-4. Clean the filters

Now the last three.

-Cull young

– Place new pairs

– Expand settings

Having completed this task we now have an important list to work on.

To set that up, whenever we get a few minutes to spend with our fish we start at the top of the list and work our way up.

Look for disease; handle any need

Look at the water; change if necessary

Feed the fish

Clean the filters

Cut the small fish and put them in the big tank

Establish new breeding pairs

Expand the settings

We have eliminated the delays caused by having to decide what to do each time. In the 15 minutes we could have wasted trying to decide what to do we could be halfway through our list. The priority list will be different for each aquarist but the principle will be the same.

Finally….make a habit of keeping a diary of all your fishing activities. This will provide valuable information about the frequency of operations and when things like water changes are needed. Time has a tendency to go by so quickly that several weeks can pass since our last water change but without having a reference point, and often, it seems like last week.

Make your plan, work for it and replace worry with happiness.

Enjoy keeping fish!

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