Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fishkeeping : Part 1 My Hobby

There is always an oil mark on the glass of my fish tank when I was young. It was where my forehead landed as i pressed my face to the tank to see the fish up-close. They never cease to fascinate me.


**The next three blog posts will be on fish keeping with an overview of the hobby and better instructions that most capitalist fish store would care to educate their customer. More fish die = more purchases = more business.**

Learning
I learned many things because of fishkeeping. I learn to love the dentist because I would be able to blackmail my mum saying, “I'll go to the dentist only if you will buy
that RM 6 ringgit molly!” At that time, it was a premium for me to pay for a single fish.


With a container full of coins, I once bought a RM30 Arowana. Yes through fishkeeping I also learned finance and dissapointment. The Arowana jumped out and died three days later.

I also broadened my English vocabulary because of fishkeeping - I could always be found at the 'Mohd, Yahya and Sons' magazine store in Wisma Saberkas, browsing through the Practical Fishkeeping magazine. I will save every dollar I had to buy the magazine and I carried it everywhere I went. Eventually I started a pet club in my school for fellow fishkeepers from which I learned organization and people management, both of which still come in handy when I direct.



A hobby grows

From one single tank, my hobby slowly grew as I asked for a new fishtank everytime my birthday or christmas came along or even when I scored well in an examination.


Fishtank aside, any container that can be filled with water will do as a pet enclosure. It looked very makeshift but I think it’s much more fun to grow your hobby this way than to buy an overpriced mini aquarium with ready-set lights and filter package. You learn nothing from those. Eventually I knew fishkeeping so well I started building my own tank with filtration design. I was thought how to build a filter by N.C. Aquarium in carpenter street who taught me how a biological filter(more of this in part 2) works.. I also started to have a pretty good collection of specimens. As I grew ever more confident in the hobby, I would even buy sick fishes to enable me to afford expensive specimens which would otherwise be out of my range. Sometimes, I traded excess stock with friends who had equal fanaticism for the hobby. I always enjoyed showing friends my fish and telling them about curious observations I made. It was definitely more fun to learn science that way, and i also made some very close friends.

My hobby eventually branched to an interest in marine fish, birds and small animals. This took up half my porch, one spare room of my house, the garden and the back area behind the kitchen.


It became a hobby with about 28 fishtanks of various sizes, one 10ft by 10ft birdcage, one fiberglass pond, three 4ft by 3ft turtle enclosures. I had electric catfishes, salamanders, piranhas, lionfish, red eared sliders, kingfishers, budgerigars, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, seahorses, crabs …….the list goes on and on.


my marine tank.the technology wasn't available in kuching then but
i did whatever and it worked.
I was about 15.This is 14 years ago.
an iguana swimming in my pond
my guinea pig run.they sleep in cages at night but are free to roam in
this movable grass deck by day.organic lawn mowing

Then fishkeeping do a few other things for me: I never took drugs, smoked, drank or mixed with the wrong crowd. My mother never even had to tell me not to, because I was always home tending to my pets. I also learned compassion for animals, which I have till today.


It’s unfair how environmentalists simply dismiss pet keeping. True, there’s the danger of wild caught specimens threatening wild population and also the danger of invasive species from pets freed to the wild. It’s a double edge sword I guess. I am willing to bet many environmentalist and ecologist, their love for nature probably started from pressing their head on a fishtank.







6 comments:

sharon said...

i like this post linus. i was so impressed with your collection as a kid... and i've always told stories about you to my friends who found it difficult to believe you had such a massive collection. i didn't care so much for your tarantulas though... haha. hope you are well!

Linus Linnaeus said...

thank you sharon. how have you been?
I could not axcess your blg anymore so it ha been ages since that i've updated myself on your n going. do pop me an email.

RyoKenzaki said...

Hi Linus, Ryo here dropping by =p
Nice marine fishes u got there, really impressive collection

Anonymous said...

Curiously, and the analogue is?

Emerson said...

AAA do you remember me Emerson. PET SHOP!!! remember? never mind I like fishes.

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Living Life to the full...I hope to live by the principle that success doesn't mean making a tonne of money though I am blessed that i do make a decent sum...but success equates to appreciateing all the God given wonder this world has to offer before my time is up...