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How did you start?

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How i started the fish hobby...

My story is a bit sad.

Because I was in a very bad and oppressive relationship (for 1.5 year), felt isolated, miserable and sad and couldn't go out with friends (also wasn't allowed to - what jealousy can do...), i needed a pet, something to keep me busy and some company.

Since no animals where allowed in my place, i turned to something less noisy, less attention demanding, and would bother anyone and also didn't took much space.

I bought a small cube aquarium and my first goldfish. Then more and more goldfish. It became an obsession! But most of the fish had parasites (was not experienced then) and died slowly slowly after 1-2 months.

So i bought new goldfishes, bought books on goldfish, searched the internet about goldfish, learned a lot of stuff and here i am today, after 8 months from starting this new hobby, and also single, happier and free for 4 months now.

Keeping Goldfish is a hobby that made me a bit happier and watching the fish swim reduced my stress and made me forget my problems.

Unlike Koi, i preferred Goldfish as there are so many different types and colourations and are not as demanding as other fish. Also Goldfish are very kind and smart. They come to greet me and know to go to the same place when it's feeding time before even placing the flakes in the water (no they don't have a 3 second memory).

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I love this thread! I agree Spyro, keeping fish does help reduce stress!

Back in 1978 my uncle had a 10 gallon guppy tank. Whenever we visited him I got to sit on the side of the couch that had the aquarium beside it. The tank had silver metal trim and I remember it being so shiny. The male guppies had huge solid orange tails (so beautiful). I remember I named one of them Sam. You could not have dragged me away from that seat! My uncle taught me how to do water changes, how to dechlorinate the water and how much to feed. He only had that tank for a short time.

After one of our visits to his home he sent ME home with his tank. It really was like a miracle to me because my father didn't allow any kind of pet whatsoever in his house. My uncle got in my dad's face and said, "I'm giving this to Rhonda and she IS taking it home."

The tank went in our kitchen which was painted orange. It sat in the corner from our kitchen table. I took care of that tank for several years. It was severely overstocked. And what was really funny to me is there were times when I caught my father looking at the fish. I cannot remember what ever happened to that tank but I do remember I was so proud of it and knew I'd always keep fish. It's now 2012 and yep, I still DO have fish. :clapping:

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Thanks you guys I really dont want people to feel sorry for me or anything. I really like hearing what made other people get into fish as well. I feel everything happens for a reason. I also know that if something like that would have happened to myself. Mike would be sharing a very similar story with you all as well. Before that point I really wasnt sure what i wanted to do with my life. I sometimes get that feeling of being watched while in my fishroom. Its never an uncomfortable feeling though and i always just write it off as Mike paying me a visit to see how things are going :) I spend alot of time in the fishroom because it is one place that i feel at total peace.

That's a great testament to your friendship with Mike...thanks for sharing it!

I'm glad you find peace in the fish room...I also find it very peaceful to hang out with fish.

mj

Edited by mjbubbles

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Patti and Spyromom, thank you for sharing. I'm glad the fish are bringing you some peace. :hug

My story is pretty ordinary. My neice and brother-in-law are highly allergic to cats, and I love cats. Almost 4 years ago, we moved in our home to be close to them -- I can see their house from my kitchen window, and the kids can walk over there. So we felt that it was wrong to have a pet that caused them so many problems, and I rehomed the cat. But I got lonely for a pet, so I started researching ... and researching ... and researching. After deciding against a $1,600 potentially low-allergen cat ($1,600!!!), I settled on goldfish. I figured they were more pet-like than other fish, and that's what I wanted for me and the kids. I've had tropicals before, but I was clueless, and I got tired of taking care of the tank.

This time, I did my research first, got a used tank and headed to Petsmart. As soon as we started looking, I realized I wanted a fish too. We came home with three, and I immediately started shopping for a bigger tank.

That was June, and I'm pleased to say that we still have the original three, despite the major holes in my research (cycle?! types? there are fancies other than the kind at Petsmart?! filter media?). We lost three also, but two came from poor conditions and one didn't show obvious symptoms. We also gained a bunch and a second tank. It was the right choice. I love these little kritters. :)

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just read this thread and Patti, props to you. your story almost made me cry haha, and I don't cry easily!

uum standard story with me I guess. first year of uni, new flatmates and I decided that we'd get some goldfish (bonding experience woo!). went to the LPS and I picked out the cute little speckly fella swimming at a funny angle. obviously I didn't understand about swim bladder problems and just thought that it was an adorable quirk. we'd asked the pet shop employee what the smallest tank we could get to house 3 goldfish (one being a common!) and she just handed us the 15 litre plastic tank. it sure looked big enough so we just got that, some gravel, a net, and standard flake food. of course we were never told to buy water conditioner, or a filter, and were never given any sort of advice at all. needless to say, of course two of these fish popped their clogs within a week. luckily it wasn't my fish, but my flatmates didn't seem too put out, since they accepted the sad myth that goldfish have extremely short lifespans. with just the one fish in the tank, and I wasn't all that interested, I just left him to his own devices, doing very occasional water changes and feedings. somehow he survived in this sort of condition for over 2 years, but I figure it's just because he's a survivor. also he probably lived off the copious amounts of algae that grew in that tank...

one night, I had the most glorious dream about goldfish. I don't even remember it anymore, just that it was amazing. and life-changing, for both me and my fish. hoping it wasn't too late to save his life, I immediately went on google and looked up what he needed, and asked on another forum I frequent for advice. I was directed to Koko's, where all the learning magic happened. he's still with me now, and will hopefully live out the rest of his life happy. :)

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I started in goldfish when my high school boyfriend won me a common at the county fair. I named him Bob. Naturally I kept him in a bowl (that's what goldfish are supposed to live in, right?). Incredibly, Bob survived through the rest of high school, all of college, and a year beyond that. He was 4 stunted inches and never did get upgraded from the bowl. :(

What changed things for me was the arrival of the internet (dating myself here, I know). I got online in 1997 and learned how to really care for goldfish. I acquired a used tank, selected some fancies, and the rest is fishy history...

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I woke up one morning and decided for no reason what so ever that I wanted to keep fish. So, I went down to Pets at Home to buy a fish tank. Unfortunately I was unaware of how much fish tanks cost. Soooo, to cheer myself up I went to my local shop (the one that now, years later, I work at) to cheer myself up and buy some comics. I happened to mention my experience to the bosses wife who happened to be behind the counter and she said that I oculd have hers for £5! So I bought it, picked it up the next day and then got to work setting it up. It was 30-35L and I still have it! Although my sister is using it at the moment. I then went on to get a bigger tank which I used for tropicals instead of goldfish. I sold that tank to my mum and put that towards a bigger tank for my goldies. Then we got a pond where Death, my first ever goldfish along with the late Dandy, was moved to after getting too big for even his new tank. And just now I've got an even BIGGER tank.

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He died April 20 2009 and from that day on I made it my personal mission to carry on our plans. Although our team is one guy short now i wake up everyday knowning that i am going to continuing to strive to accomplish all the things we set out to do together.

Sorry about your friend Patti. Life is unpredictable.

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Years ago when I was in grade school we went to visit my aunt in CA. She had a beautiful orange comet in a 2 gal bowl on her coffee table and it was love at first sight for me. Soon after that she gave me the fish, bowl and supplies. After this fish passed other relatives kept buying me gf for the bowl and one was a shubie that ended up living in it for 9 years!! After he died I didn't get anymore fish until about 5 years ago. That came about because my bf and I started trout fishing. I wanted to catch and release but he wanted to keep them all. I enjoyed watching the fish and really felt bad about them having to die. So I asked my bf if I could keep some live fish at his house and he said sure. Then we went to a local garden shop and picked out 2 little one inch feeder goldies and 2 little half gal bowls for them to live in! :o The water got cloudy pretty quick and I had to change it about every other day--there's a surprise--so we got the infamous 10 gal starter kit and a stand. My bf couldn't believe that a simple request for fish would turn into a $100 expense--and that was just the beginning! :D I now have 8 tanks, 5 goldies and numerous tropicals. Only have 4 tanks up and running and will be giving some to Goodwill as I don't really have time to maintain so many right now. But it has been a very rewarding and fulfilling hobby and it's a real pleasure to just pull up a chair and watch the fishies. Love taking pix of them too. :)

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Fun to read everyone's stories!

We had a tropical tank for a year or 2 when I was a kid back in the 60's, so you know it was one of those cool Metaframe or Pemco stainless tanks. I also had a 10 or 15g tropical tank in college that moved with me from design lab to design lab quarter.

The Goldfish experience started when my mom was out for a visit and gave our daughter a 1g "Fish TV." l was not happy about it, because I knew I'd be the one taking care of it, and dealing with a sad kidlet every time a stupid 25 cent feeder fish died. So, to the LFS we went, and 50 cents later, came home with 2 stupid feeder fish.

A few months later, one of them died. We replaced it. Then, a few months after that, the other original one died leaving us with just the one replacement fish. I was still not loving the Goldfish experience, and the Fish TV sat on our daughter's dresser, with that fish being ignored other than getting a sprinkle of "goldfish flakes" a few times a day, and the water changed when it was merky.

Well.......time passed, and that replacement fish grew, and continued to survive us not caring about it, and terrible water conditions, and that small 1g bowl. Picture a water change where I'd net the fish out, put it into a tupperware bowl with some fresh water, bleach and scrub out that 1g bowl, refill with tap water, and put the fish back in. Notice I don't mention treating the water for chlorine!

That fish continued on, year after year. Never getting sick, and never getting any attention.

Then one day at a yard sale, I saw one of those 2-1/2g horizontal fish bowls and thought maybe it was time for that fish to have a bigger bowl, and maybe sit on the kitchen table and get some attention. I put a little live plant in the middle, and eventually a little bubbler with a tiny air pump. Actually, my father-in-law supplied the bubbler and pump when they were fish sitting for us during a vacation.

We soon discovered that the fish like our attention, and we noticed it seemed to splash when it wanted something........attention = food, right? So we'd give it a tiny pinch of flakes when it splashed. Wasn't long after that, that I trained it to swim next to my hand, when I put my hand on the outside of the bowl.

Well, the more I interacted with it, the more I started to empathize with it. A 10G starter tank from WallyWorld was the next step, and a new place in the kitchen, up on my vintage mangle iron, and right in the middle of the action. Within a month she outgrew that tank, and I purchased a 20G, and a friend for her. It was obvious they were outgrowing the 20, so I brought home a used 30G setup..........and stumbled across another fish that I just had to add.

It was about that time I started learning about vintage aquariums and because our entire home is period vintage everything, I had to have one. First a 55, and then 2 months later, I stumbled across the current 70G and began a full blown re-glass restoration on it. That was about 2 years ago.

What brought me to Kokos was during the changes from 10 to 20 to 30, our original Comet got sick. She'd never been sick and honestly, I didn't even know they could get sick. She wound up with a bump on her lower lip like a white pimple, that then burst and had red skin, and then sluffing skin as it healed, and at the same time, migrating red streaks in her tail. Kokos to the rescue and I learned about how to actually care for Goldfish correctly.

I don't remember what year we purchase our original fish, but probably about 7 years ago. She's huge now, as are her 2 pals. The 3 of them are just as much a part of the family are our 2 dogs, and they remain in the kitchen, at the heart of all the activity. They are constantly on the look out for us and give a big "We're over here.......OVER HERE....." dance when they see us. The last 2 years has been a lot of fun with the 3 of them and you folks at Kokos have been very kind and expedient in dishing out the advice when I've been in the need. I really appreciate all the help, both in the articles stored here, and in the personal help you've given.

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I love that story, Austinado. :heart

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I posted this in my "new member" thread but I thought it may be more appropriate here :]

We always had goldfish in a bowl when I was REALLY young - think toddler. I guess they actually did alright (read: lived a while) but now I look back and cringe at the treatment. Allegedly I killed off one of them by wanting to share my WHOLE cookie with fishy.

I got my first "real" tank when I was about 10, as a bribe for me to cut my hair. I had awsome long hair but my dad wanted it short. So as a compromise he bought me my first tank. It was 20 gallons and contained fancy guppies (one called Banana) and one large calico fancy goldfish called Pal. I cried and cried and cried when he died.

When I was old enough I got a job at PetSmart and worked there all through highschool and part of college. I worked in the "Specialty" section which basically means the fish and other live animals. The education I got while working there was actually pretty accurate. I don't know why people keep getting bogus information from these conglomorate pet stores, but we did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. The one thing we didn't get any useful informatino about were plants. While I worked there I had allll sorts of tanks and fish. Anything freshwater community that you can imagine, and also some Pacus at one point.

Graduated, moved around a LOT sans any tanks, and finally have fish now and it's like falling in love all over again.

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