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The Amazing Benefits of Fish Keeping
Unlike many who started the hobby at a young age, I started keeping tropical fish when my career slowed down and I suddenly felt the need to find a passion in life.
Over the past four years my hobby of keeping fish has grown in size and depth. Not only have I grown from one to seven fish tanks to date, but I have also experienced breeding a variety of cichlid species.
In my observation, many people are discouraged from taking up the hobby because of the perception that maintaining fish and fish tanks is a chore. However, my experience tells me that the benefits of keeping fish far outweigh the work it entails.
1. Brings a piece of nature into the home
There is always a rush of joy when I see shoals of fish in a reservoir or lake. As I was engrossed in watching the fish, I was slowly brought to peace of mind. Water and fish have a unique ability to calm the mind and create immense happiness. I have always been curious about fish behavior and am always tempted to have a more intimate experience with fish.
Keeping fish at home provides an opportunity to see the fish up close and personal. I can study the unique behavior of fish in a tank, which I cannot do in a reservoir or even a pond. For less than a hundred dollars, it is possible to create a miniature piece of nature at home. It is really a wonderful and creative hobby. I can appreciate the beauty of tropical fish whenever I want.
It also fulfills my desire to gain a deeper understanding of fish behavior as an aspiring aqua scientist. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of successfully breeding more than ten species of cichlid fish. I consider it a precious and exciting experience not only for me but for my family especially my seven year old son.
Keeping fish also provides another way to develop my creative talents – aqua landscaping.
Occasionally, I get to use my creativity in landscape design by changing the rock formations in the tank. The whole idea of doing this is to create a new environment for the fish and allow the fish to re-establish their territories. This is actually necessary when new fish are introduced into a tank whereby all territories are occupied by the current group of fish. After changing the entire reef structure, swimming relentlessly in and out of new reef formations, trying to familiarize themselves with new land and trying to establish new territory for themselves, the fish will reward you immediately.
When I’m free I’ll sit in front of the fish tank and observe the fish, sometimes for an hour. It is interesting to note that fish exhibit a variety of social behaviors that closely resemble human behavior in the corporate world. I will try to write another article on more details of this social behavior of fish.
Watching the fishes swimming gracefully in the tank with their brilliant colors can really put one into a deep relaxation and even trance state.
When I see fish, my mind instantly feels more relaxed. As I let my eyes follow the fish and be captivated by the beautiful body movements and moving colors of the fish, I drift deeper into relaxation. It is very therapeutic. It’s a great way to take my mind off work and recharge my batteries. With the stress we inevitably experience in our fast-paced lifestyles, creating channels for relaxation is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle to keep stress at bay and maintain good health.
Along with exercise, meditation and music, fishing has added another way to enrich my life, helping me live a fuller and healthier life.
3. Education for children
Most children become fascinated with fish when they first see fish, usually in the form of a trip to the local fish shop or fish farm. Keeping fish at home can teach kids some great things:
* They will learn about fish habitats and other aquatic life.
* They learn how to care for small aquatic animals and plants.
* When they start keeping fish, they develop a sense of responsibility towards another living creature.
* They learn and understand the basics of water treatment and how to maintain proper water quality to stimulate fish survival and reproduction. This knowledge will serve them well in the future when they study science and chemistry at school.
* They can see the life cycle of fish species, giving them an appreciation of biology.
* Most importantly, they will enjoy watching the fish exhibit a variety of personalities. By observing the complex characteristics and behavior of fish, children will improve their observation skills.
* Caring for fish is a great learning experience for kids. When a child is able to take good care of the fish, they will often be able to see successful fish breeding. This will increase their confidence in the hobby as well as their abilities.
4. Create energy flow at home
I use an overhead filter for some large tanks in the living room. Water flows down the pipe from the filter box, creating a quiet water-dripping sound in the living room. Water bubbles form as the water stream hits the surface of the water. These bubbles are perfectly synchronized with the sound of flowing water, like the constant playing of a piece of soothing instrumental music.
Visually, it creates a constant flow of energy in the various corners of the living room where the fish tanks are located. From a metaphysical or feng sui point, it creates a non-stop working energy field in the home.
I started this hobby four years ago. The immense joy this hobby brings to my life and to my family makes me wonder how I was so blind to this incredibly rich and affordable hobby all these years.
The more I discovered about this hobby, the more addictive it became. There is no doubt that fishing will be a lifelong hobby for me. The vast species of fish, with their interesting and diverse actions, would take more than a lifetime to fully appreciate. Life is truly wonderful and rich because of fish. Life for me started with just keeping fish.
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