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How to Improve the Hobby

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How to Improve the Hobby

Post by Fishypastor on Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:23 am

This is a hijack of another thread which I think deserves a new thread (mods, I hope you are cool with this). To read the original thread go to: http://www.canadaquaria.ca/t1750p15-what-is-the-most-controversial-topic-in-the-hobby

This thread slowly morphed into a discussion on the state of affairs in the hobby today and a sense that the hobby is well, decaying. But there were hints in the discussion on ways that we, as aquarists, could improve the hobby, so I think it would be great for us to have a separate discussion on that. Namely, how do we improve our hobby and make it sustainable and enjoyable for the next generation?

I'll start.

1) Praise and encourage and dialouge with fish stores when you get good service and knowledgeable staff (even if they are the big box stores). Case in point. Was at Petland yesterday and the young guy helping me was knowledgeable, helpful and concerned about which fish I was buying and who it would be housed with. He took the time to get to know me, my tanks and what I was looking for AND for the well-being of the fish. When I told him I appreciated his knowledge and service and how most times I've come in here the staff were not so helpful, he was apologetic and said he is working with the other people to get them better trained and was sorry for my experience. Can't fault the guy and with that attitude I'll definitely go back.

2) Talk to lots of people about the hobby and why we do it... especially the young. I think the more we inspire and involve the young, the better chance they will get on board early and into the hobby. I think we can often come across harsh and uninviting when we go on about knowledge of cycling, stocking levels and water changes (all important yes) but we must first inspire them about the hobby, before showing them the ropes. Tell them about the beauty, the breeding, the fascinating behavior, the live plants, the colors, the therapy they give us, the rewarding things... then we can teach and train in the ninja ways of poop vacuuming and flooded carpets.

I've got more to say... but will leave it at that for now.
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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:41 am

No problem fishypastor. We may look into splitting and merging some of the previous thread here. Continue though. Good point of discussion

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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by GaryE on Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:20 pm

I think we need to talk, especially to each other. It can be a solitary hobby, and I admit, I like that. But we have to share our experience and learning on places like this. We have to make an effort to make them work.

We have to support local stores that support the hobby. I see the centralization of store ownership as a potential killer - Petland type operations are moving to a monopoly in much of the US, and I assume they are moving in Canada too. Good, locally owned resources need to be supported, as we need some choices. Smaller or local stores can beat Petland by actually offering choices beyond the set and rigid list the chains buy from. Maybe.

Really, I can see a wave of problems coming our way, and I think the aquarium "industry" is on its heels in North America. We aren't the industry though, and as hobbyists, we have to share, exchange and support. It's all we have.
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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by CAAIndie on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:18 pm

@GaryE wrote:I think we need to talk, especially to each other. It can be a solitary hobby, and I admit, I like that. But we have to share our experience and learning on places like this. We have to make an effort to make them work.

We have to support local stores that support the hobby. I see the centralization of store ownership as a potential killer - Petland type operations are moving to a monopoly in much of the US, and I assume they are moving in Canada too. Good, locally owned resources need to be supported, as we need some choices. Smaller or local stores can beat Petland by actually offering choices beyond the set and rigid list the chains buy from. Maybe.

Really, I can see a wave of problems coming our way, and I think the aquarium "industry" is on its heels in North America. We aren't the industry though, and as hobbyists, we have to share, exchange and support. It's all we have.  

I am very pleased to see that in Calgary, the largest aquarium store (and probably the best one) is a private one. It's certainly the exception to most towns and cities I've been through. They get a lot of interesting fish, and have by the far the largest selection of plants in the entire city. I'm always happy to support this store.

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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by guppyguy on Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:29 pm

There are so many things we can do. One of the biggest is share your knowledge freely. Those who will not share there secrets to success on for example breeding a certain type of fish or where there source fish and plants is etc. And these people take there secret to the grave with them and there discoveries die with them and forever lost.

Also be active in the aquarium hobby community if you can. Join and support local aquarium societies and others that are near by if you possible. Go to fish auctions and support the small LFS that bring in the unique and beautiful fish species we don't want to lose. I try very hard to support my LFS and they get nearly 85% of my business and i am rewarded with by that with them bringing in unique fish and plants as often as he can. It is a more personal when your greeted by name and they know the kinds of fish you have and the tanks you keep.

If you have children try to have them interested in the hobby to keep your aquatic legacy going and eventually they will start one of there own. And finally if you really don't know the answer to something just say so and don't give out bad or false information that will do more harm than good. We want to succeed at what were doing not fail. Be honest with triumphs and your fails. Enjoy this great hobby and all it offers.

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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by charlie1 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:10 am

@guppyguy wrote:There are so many things we can do. One of the biggest is share your knowledge freely. Those who will not share there secrets to success on for example breeding a certain type of fish or where there source fish and plants  is etc. And these people take there secret to the grave with them and there discoveries die with them and forever lost.

Also be active in the aquarium hobby community if you can. Join and support local aquarium societies and others that are near by if you possible. Go to fish auctions and support the small LFS that bring in the unique and beautiful fish species we don't want to lose. I try very hard to support my LFS and they get nearly 85% of my business and i am rewarded with by that with them bringing in unique fish and plants as often as he can. It is a more personal when your greeted by name and they know the kinds of fish you have and the tanks you keep.

If you have children try to have them interested in the hobby to keep your aquatic legacy going and eventually they will start one of there own. And finally if you really don't know the answer to something just say so and don't give out bad or false information that will do more harm than good. We want to succeed at what were doing not fail. Be honest with triumphs and your fails. Enjoy this great hobby and all it offers.
Very well said.
I will add that LFS should be more involved with their local clubs.
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Re: How to Improve the Hobby

Post by guppyguy on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:16 am

Very true Charlie and good point. At least in my area a few of the stores have some involvement and offer my aquarium society members discounts.

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