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What does success mean to you?

Hi Guys, 

Snakeheads are the kind of fish some of us only dream about.
This Channa ornatipinnis belongs to Alex Carslaw.
Fishkeeping is one of those things where the longer you do it the better you get no matter who you are or how you start. Wether your starting with a basic understanding of it all or if you don't have the slightest idea what fins are, your pretty much guaranteed to progress along the path to success.

A perfect example of successful aquascaping by Andrea Freel
Success means different things for different people. For some of us, achieving crystal clear water and with an immaculate aquascape is the ultimate goal. While for others, successfully breeding wild caught rainbows could be how you measure success. All of us are different, and thats good, but one none of us begin our fish keeping journey at the top of our game, thats for sure. 

I have seen some of the Lothian Fishkeeper achieve some amazing things over the years. Ive seen aquarium setups that would make your jaw drop, monster fish that would give you goosebumps and some of the fish our dedicated breeders are producing now days are world class. However, with all the massive aquariums, fish rooms and specialist breeding projects around, it can be easy to overlook the other end of the spectrum.

Debbie Touhey has the nano
aquarium technique perfected
Most of us start off small, and either increase the size or the amount of aquariums we have. For some of us however, more isn't always an option. Now don't be fooled by those cute little 20l nano cubes with the pretty plants. Don't dismiss them as easy by any means. Keeping a smaller body of water is challenging. The water quality is something you can have a constant battle with if your not careful. Then you have the maintenance of the plants. Aquascaping an area as small as one of these little cubes can be pretty awkward to say the least. Growing healthy plants is the next challenge and finally trimming and maintaining these plants by means of fertilisers, CO2 and other methods all add to the water stability challenge. So for some fishkeepers, having a gorgeous looking lush planted nano cube is a massive success - and rightfully so! I've tried it and struggled my first two times, learning with each fail. 


No matter which path you take to successful fishkeeping, we can all benefit by remembering the following:

  • Research your species - the more you know about your chosen fish the better. matching the natural diet, water chemistry and other factors gives youth best chance of keeping healthy fish.
  • Buy the biggest aquarium you can afford - Its human nature to want more. Almost everyone wants a bigger tank after a few months. Changing your aquarium once its up and running is possible but its stressful for the fish which could cause some fish to perish. It is also easier start off with a bigger tank. larger bodies of water are more forgiving and gives you more time to resolve spikes in ammonia etc.
  • Have patience - Nothing happens over night in the fish keeping world. Don't rush into buying fish only to have your aquarium crash due to the biological filtration not coping with the fast increase. If your aquarium looks a little empty, try adding some plants instead of more fish. Remember, your fish will grow eventually.
  • Make Friends - The more fish keeping friends you have the more advice you can get. Joining groups like Lothian Fishkeeper on places like Facebook is one way of connecting with likeminded fishkeepers. Joining your local aquarist club is an even better way of learning from other fishkeepers. You will pick up some brilliant bargains at their meetings too.
  • Never stop learning - It is impossible to know everything there is to know about keeping fish. always keep an open mind and be willing to listen to other people who have experience in areas new to you. This information could be the key to your happiness one day.
  • Have fun - Don't forget that this is your hobby. Even though it can be challenging and heartbreaking at times, you need to remember this is supposed to be a fun activity and try to enjoy every aspect of our hobby otherwise, when it gets challenging, it will be difficult to keep going.
Id like to know what successful fish keeping means to you so please leave a comment below and let me know. 

Thanks for reading.

Bye for now

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