friendly forum: who all's a young aquarist? (0-18 yrs?)
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
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friendly forum: who all's a young aquarist? (0-18 yrs?)


i was wondering how many of you friendly folks are "young aquarists," from 0 (lol) to 18 years of age? i know there are a few on here, myself included.

of course all these questions are optional, just some conversation starters i thought of-
1. how old are you?

2. when did you first get into fish/aquaria-keeping? when did you get your first planted tank? what inspired you to have a planted tank?

3. are/were your parents supporters/helpers of your hobby, or do you have to fund everything yourself? if you do, has funding everything yourself made progress in the hobby slower? by how much? if not, did your parents introduce you to the hobby? or do they help more or less grudgingly?

4.if you're in school, what grade are you in and what's your favorite subject? do you find yourself relating it to fish/aquaria-keeping? often?

5. what do you want to be when you "grow up"? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)? if you're not in school, what's your job? is it what you want to do forever? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)?

i dunno, i know some of those questions are kind-of dumb xD.
i was just thinking, a lot of this site/forum's community is pretty close-knit. maybe, if you're interested, we as the site's "youth" could be a little closer, too.

i'll start, then, and answer all my dumb questions...

1. i'm sixteen,

2. i got into fishkeeping when i was little (in pre-K or kindergarten, i think), i had two feeder goldfish in an unfiltered bowl as my first pets, and probably overfed them. they didn't last a week. oops. but, on the up-side, that heartbreaking episode prompted me to learn more about fishkeeping.
i kept a number of bettas in unheated, unfiltered bowls- but at least i did water changes- over the years, and some of them lived a number of years. others died of freak accidents (one of them smushed its eye against its' container's plastic...eww).
i also kept wayyy too many fancy goldfish in a filtered but too small tank (even for one! was it 2.5 gal?), they lived for about three months but died i think of worms. oops again. i also kept a lot lot lot of feeder guppies in a measly 5.5 gallon for a number of years.
more recently, i finally wised up and did my research (wowwww, took me long enough) and now have a HAPPY betta in a heated and cycled, well-filtered 5.5 planted tank. i started it early this year. finding this site inspired me to plant my tank! also, my poor betta ripped his tail on the plastic plants i had with him, which made me get the real ones a bit faster.
i think that now i'll do everything right for my aquarium livestock. it's cruel keeping fish the way most kids do!

3. my parents support my hobby to some extent, but i was the one who wanted to have fish/pets at all in the first place. it's more or less a grudging contribution from them, haha.

4. i'm a sophomore in high school, my favorite subject is zoology. before that, it was probably biology. i love science, and it relates to fishkeeping in pretty obvious ways

5. i want to be a marine biologist, focused primarily on marine zoology, when i "grow up," and have wanted to on and off since i was in pre-kindergarten; i'm looking at colleges like the university of miami and the university of alaska in fairbanks that are noted for their contributions to the field. my high school is HUGENORMOUS, and i'm lucky enough to go there- since they have a SCUBA club! i haven't joined it yet, but i've thought about it strongly for the past two years and i think i'll finally take the plunge (haha! no pun intended, really!) next year. again, this relates to fishkeeping preeetty obviously.

so, if you can't tell, it's no huge surprise that i got into fish/aquaria-keeping. being from a land-locked state, i find the ocean- but really just water and the things that live in it- fascinating and i want to have a lot to do with it for the rest of my life.

now that i've shared (whether you read it or not- can't blame you if you didn't!), why don't you?

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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Here's a list of people's ages I'll answer your questions once I'm done with my hw...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...et-1000-a.html
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:37 AM   #3
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1. How old are you?

17.

2. When did you first get into fish/aquaria-keeping? when did you get your first planted tank? what inspired you to have a planted tank?

I got my first aquarium when i was 8. It was a 12 gallon bowfront. My parents would always bring me plants in tubes that you get from Petsmart and they always didn't do well, so i started doing some research when i was a little older and i found TPT-- which got me hooked on planted aquariums. I think the biggest draw that i have to aquariums though is their therapeutic qualities. There's nothing that calms me down more after a stressful day at school than sitting on my bed and staring at my aquariums.

3. Are/were your parents supporters/helpers of your hobby, or do you have to fund everything yourself? if you do, has funding everything yourself made progress in the hobby slower? by how much? if not, did your parents introduce you to the hobby? or do they help more or less grudgingly?

My parents, especially my mom, are huge supporters of my hobby. They don't like the mess or how much money i always spend on aquarium-related items, but generally they're pretty supportive. I have to buy about 90% of aquarium-related items with my own money. Christmas and birthday presents help a lot too though. I guess you could say that my mom introduced me to the hobby since i don't believe i ever asked for that 12 gallon aquarium for my birthday in the first place. It sure was a great gift though!

4. If you're in school, what grade are you in and what's your favorite subject? do you find yourself relating it to fish/aquaria-keeping? often?

I'm a junior in high school. I really enjoy Spanish and hope to be fluent one day. I also enjoy math the majority of the time (i despise trigonometry). Not a huge fan of history, physics, or english, but i go back and forth with my favorite subjects every year (the difference between good teachers vs. bad teachers always changes my top 3 favorites). I try to relate this hobby to my schoolwork since that's how i really tend to remember things, and it's also a great motivator for me to get my assignments done. I recently did my last history paper on invasive fish and plant species in the United States, and how these species impact our local and national economy. I definitely blew through that paper quite easily.

5. What do you want to be when you "grow up"? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)? if you're not in school, what's your job? is it what you want to do forever? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)?

Eventually i'd like to own my own small business, probably an aquarium shop. I currently work at a LFS on the weekends and that has really made me want to have a store of my own. I hope that by the time i'm ready to open up a store the economy will have turned around a bit for the better, but only time will tell.



Great thread! I'm interested to see the similarities as well as the differences between us. Maybe there are some trends?
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:52 AM   #4
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i really shouldn't be doing this now... so much hw... but...

1. 17
2. I got a pickle jar of feeder guppies and a stem of elodea from my 4th grade teacher after we did that stupid project where you put a fish, a gallon of water, and a plant in a jar and watch it for a week. The next week, after learning about the wonders and mechanics of photosynthesis, I decided I liked the elodea vastly more than the fish. Never looked back from there. I think i was 8? dunno. Ironically, I still have the offspring from the original guppies to this day. Not sure how/why, but they are there, breeding like rabbits.
3. My parents have always made me pay for everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Like I pay for an appropriate part of the electricity and water bills. In the beginning it was REALLY slow because I didn't have enough money to buy very much aside from a filter and a 10g tank. Pretty much 80% of all my stuff is used or DIY. My parents don't really care as long as they don't get tank water on them, I don't blow up the house, and I pay for everything myself without tapping into the college funds. Since I upgraded to higher tech, and am able to sell some of my clippings to the lfs or sns, my mom has been showing a slight interest in the hobby, but to say she is supportive is pushing it. On the upside, it's nice to not have to ask them to buy things for me. When I need new clothes or books or something, I have to justify each and every purchase with my parents and honestly, that alone is a pain.

4. I'm a hs junior and I'm drowning in work. (enjoy soph year while you can) Damn all these APs. Except biology. That is my absolute favorite subject, hands down. I'm working on a independent study next year in biology too. I detest Chinese and am partial to both math and english. (is trig really that bad?) History's ok, but government and social sci is better.
5. I'm another of those crazed ambitious kids. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. I've worked in a doctor's office and been on a medical mission and I will vouch that nothing beats the feeling you get when you help people like that. not to mention I figure I'll need a decent profession to fund the hobby...

and hey, what about coming to UH for that degree? I know we're pretty isolated but I have to say: reefers here have the best livestock available to them... And man, the weather here sure is nicer than in anchorage... but all that aside... uh... hw. NOW.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:11 AM   #5
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This thread has officially made me feel old.. Thanks...

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:33 AM   #6
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1: I'm 17 as well, turning 18 in a months though, Boo.

2: I've always had an interest in animals, and have looked after at least one aquarium since i could walk, started with a 10 gallon with a feeder goldfish, neons, corys and a few others- obviously i have learned more things about this hobby since then! As a side note my little goldfish lived to be 25 years young.

My first planted tank started a little over a year ago as a 20 gallon which i still have running.

3: My parents don't understand the "pet thing", however they support me in the sense that they let me fill my room with aquariums, as long as i pay for everything and don't bug them about it. I have supported my hobbys since i was a 10 year old paper carrier. :P

I now work at the only petstore in the Yukon and i am the soul care taker of the little ones as well as orders, sells, cleaning etc at the store, i look after 15x 25 gallons, 3x 160 gallon sump tanks as well as the salt waters, bettas, etc. Then i come home and look after my many aquariums and other animals and enjoy every minute of it!

4: I quite school in grade 9 and and have resumed schooling through correspondence and am working through grade 11. So i am a year behind, but hey! Worth it.

5: I have no job in mind, i plan on moving down south and taking business courses as well as sciences and criminology, just to open my options.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:06 AM   #7
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1. 15 (or, almost 15. Couple more days!)

2. I started when I was about 11. A crayfish and a little 1 gallon triangle tank is what I started with, and I gradually worked my way up from there. I got my first planted tank at about 12. Just some run-o-the-mill java ferns and Anubias. A really cool book, "The Natural Aquarium(?)" by Peter Hisock(sp?) got me into it all. It had pages upon pages of beautiful planted biotope aquariums, which inspired me to try my hand as well.

3. Although my parents support my hobby, they understandably do not pay for it. It's my hobby, and paying for it is good training for the future. It really, really slows my progress. If money wasn't as big of a problem, pretty much everything would change!

4. Freshman, and either biology/science or history. It really depends on what I'm learning. I've gotten pretty good at writing and use it in conjunction with my hobby pretty well. I've had a little blog up and running for a while (just a handful of little articles and thoughts on the hobby, not much at all (www.thejakearium.com)). Last year I also ventured into writing for magazines. Got two articles published via TFH and RedFish. Hope to get a few more out sooner than later as well.

5. I honestly am not 100%. I'd really like to major in some sort of field of science, with marine biology/limnology being my first choices. Thinking of "serving my time" via the ROTC program. The military way of life and training really gets me excited for some reason...
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:20 AM   #8
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1. how old are you?

I'm 15. Turning 16 in August.

2. when did you first get into fish/aquaria-keeping? when did you get your first planted tank? what inspired you to have a planted tank?

Eh, I had had tanks on and off, year before last, I got a blue crayfish and put it in our 29 gallon fish tank. Yes, it was a fish tank. Anyway it started eating fish, and so I got a 2.5 gallon for it the day before freshman year in high school began. I stocked it with I believe 7 goldfish, an oto, and the cray... it survived about 3 months off the fish. It jumped 3 times over its life, and the last time it ended up under my bed... where I found it a few days later. While this bothered me, I was fascinated with the concept of new stock options. Yes, that was a pun on real stock options. The kind CEOs, etc. get . But anyway, I experimented with a few things until I decided to get some red cherries, shrimp fascinated me more than anything. Small, freshwater shrimp. At this time, my parents were paying for everything. Although I will say I come from a pretty well off family, the value of money is taught very thoroughly in this household. Friends see how froogal I am and are pretty surprised when they come to my house for the first time. But anyway, point was that I remember exactly how much it was for these shrimp even though it wasn't even technically my own money, but my parents'. It was $21 shipped for 10 shrimp, 2 Endlers, and like 4-6 different plant trimmings. I kinda threw them under a desklamp which was not a CFL, and the plants kinda yellowed off, the shrimp didn't breed, and the whole thing was kinda a disaster. But exactly one month after my first shrimp came in, I got my Ebi, and that's when I really began experimenting with shrimp. And now, even though my view of the hobby was centralized around shrimp, I couldn't appreciate the beauty of simple iwagumi scapes and nature aquariums. This isn't really a hobby. It's not a distraction. It's not an addiction. It's an experience.

3. are/were your parents supporters/helpers of your hobby, or do you have to fund everything yourself? if you do, has funding everything yourself made progress in the hobby slower? by how much? if not, did your parents introduce you to the hobby? or do they help more or less grudgingly?

As I said before, my parents started me off in the hobby by paying for everything; however it wasn't as much or as nice as the stuff I can buy by myself now (i.e. ADA tank, higher grade CRS, etc.). Basically, my parents invested a couple hundred or so initially, and now I pay for everything myself. It bothers me, though, when parents try to interfere and tell me I can't buy something and stuff like that. Do you guys' parents do that? But my parents certainly express intellectual interest in the hobby and always are telling people about how their son (ME) sells shrimp online and makes a business about it, etc. And love marveling about how much I know about it. Too much time, spent on TPT rather than HW XD

4. If you're in school, what grade are you in and what's your favorite subject? do you find yourself relating it to fish/aquaria-keeping? often?

Sophomore in high school, although I'm on the younger side and made the cutoff by just a few days. So I was 10 when I started middle school, 13 when I started high school, will be 17 as a freshman in college for a few weeks. Anyway science has always fascinated me. I'm in a magnet program of 35 kids which is math and science oriented. I have, historically, hated math. Last year (freshman year), I had a few bad teachers. One of them, I know, I'm going to laugh at one day. School is not my "cup of tea." I learn and think different, and I couldn't applaud my parents more for understanding this. I'm gonna just throw this out there that one of the reasons I really disliked that teacher was that she was a very strict (not a problem for me; I've always been a rule-follower within reasons and was somewhat teased in middle school for being a "suck up" ) and traditional teacher, whose sole philosophy screamed of "my way or the highway." At the teacher meetings that they always have, she basically flamed my parents and told them that I was a terrible student and that I was ADD, which she seems to believe is synonymous with terminal cancer. Which is fine. I've since been "diagnosed" with ADD and it's fine. I love noticing things differently than my peers. I've always been told that I think ahead of my age; I've always preferred to talk about current events or politics with adults than talk nonsense with peers (the story of middle school). But anyway, high school has been an adventure so far. But it's really interesting to me to see how, in math, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite subjects now that I'm back on the right track with it... doing math problems (precal at the moment) I love to do things differently than others. That's one thing that really appeals to me. Wow, this paragraph, does it even answer the question? lol I hope so. Bottom line: I like science (especially biology) and sometimes math.

5. What do you want to be when you "grow up"? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)? if you're not in school, what's your job? is it what you want to do forever? does it relate to fish/aquaria-keeping? how (if it's not obvious)?

I want to start my own tech company with a few ideas I'm trying to work on getting patented. But I also want to be a doctor, as I always have wanted to. But I'm a tech kid at heart (no pun intended; and both of my parents are computer sci majors, so it makes sense ). So basically a wannabe entrepreneur who dreams of a Silicon Valley start-up who also wants to be a doctor.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:28 AM   #9
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sweet! wasn't expecting to get this many replies this fast; it's neat to hear from all of you! i feel bad, i've seen most or all of you around, but i don't know your names... ah, well. i should really be asleep but i CAN'T. grr. anyhoo...

jkan: whoops! sorry for kinda? making the same thread as you! i guess it's not quite the same thing, though xD eager to hear from you!
AZ: it's awesome how much of your life seems to be fish-related! i wish i could say the same for mine...
aweeby: hey, we did that same guppy thing at some point... we got snails with ours too, i remember because mine got knocked onto the floor and everything came out... not happy! i think the snail and guppy survived that, but not for long... you've got harsh parents! i can see how being self-reliant is satisfying, though. i need a job already (a car would help)! oh god, i already know how AP/accelerated courses are already... D: sooo little free time! but better than sleeping through regular courses (and still getting A's!), i think. i'll check out UH, thanks!
NWA: soooorry! ;u;
bree: wow! good job with that goldfish! and your job sounds demanding, but fun! i'm a bit jealous xD
ripariumguy (is it jake?): ah, i forgot- i kept crayfish too! good times. silly money! gifts keep my tank running, if my parents just bought everything, my house would be overrun, haha. another prospective marine biologist! COMPETITION...jk, we're all friends here :>. ROTC would be neat! i'm not so physically cut out for it though, haha. not sure if you'd be interested, but a navy veteran recently told me that a great way to get a degree in marine bio is to join the coast guard. worth a thought!

also, it seems i should have clarified- most of my fish money comes from my parents, but it's in the form of birthday/christmas/good job on your grades gifts- dad's a lot more picky about just giving me things for no good reason. hence my having only one 5.5 gal, low-tech tank at the moment.

thanks for all the replies! keep 'em coming...
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:41 AM   #10
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oops, ninja'd!

kiran! i love your mini-s... inspires me to do great things, as soon as i have the cash xD
that is a long-lived crayfish! they're seriously hardy though, it's pretty neat. you're right about aquaria-keeping being more than a hobby, i've learned a lot from it, in many more areas than just "how to keep some plants and animals alive in a box of water," which a lot of people feel the "hobby" amounts to. but yeah, it really is a series of life lessons, or an experience. hmm... seems like a lot of us are by nature attracted to the sciences. cool! wow, those are some big aspirations, but i bet you can do it- maybe go into medical equipment/technology? big money in that!
thanks for the response!
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:57 AM   #11
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Kiran- I was diagnosed with severe anxiety/ panic disorder as well as some pretty bad depression. Teachers hated me and thought i was mental- hence the reason i quite school early on. And anyways, what you were saying regarding all that sounds so similar to my situation, i couldn't care to socialize with the others my age as they were all interested in like...the latest fashion magazines and crap. I was always been told that i thought to much into things and was advanced for my age. haha Weird.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:26 AM   #12
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Ah, yes that was not to say I don't socialize well; it's just that sometimes I'd rather socialize with "grown-ups" about stuff kids my age don't usually talk about. But that was mainly in middle school, now the magnet program I'm in I've got 34 like-minded (to a reasonable degree) and also talented kids who don't talk nonsense or do some of the incredibly stupid things that other people our age do. Yeah, teachers for the most part do like me. Some, though (i.e. conventional, usually elderly, sometimes bitter teachers) don't. Which is okay.

The way I see it there're 2 types of teachers. I see both. All teachers are overworked and underpayed. But when I see, say, my biology teacher, married with twins, both her and husband teachers; that's crazy. I have the utmost respect for people like her. She's nationally acclaimed for her teaching but still, great teachers don't get anywhere near exorbitant compensation for their work. They work to teach and teach students to LEARN, not regurgitate information. Because that's what makes a country better and pushes humanity forward. Burying themselves under a pile of student loan debt and raising 2 kids to do that is crazy. But respectable. Then they'res the other type which I mentioned. I have no respect for them, really. If they don't make an effort to teach a class, why should I make an effort in their class? My radical opinion, at least.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:31 AM   #13
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like what bree and kiran have said, i've been unofficially diagnosed with a number of mental disorders, ranging from ADD/ADHD to autism, a psychiatrist "diagnosed" (or really just decided and told (is that a true diagnosis?)) me that i have schizophrenia, i show symptoms of severe anxiety disorder, and i probably have/will have depression or bipolar disorder, which my mother and father, respectfully, have. i had real problems focusing on school- especially math- in middle school especially, and a lot of teachers came to seemingly hate my guts. i also have uh, social difficulties with those my age.
that's an odd- and unfortunate- trend...
sorry if replying to everything is bugging anyone, i could really use a life (at 2:30 AM on a monday?); anybody have a spare? :'D
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:34 AM   #14
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Ah, I didn't mean to start a huge conversation on this, I just got off on a tangent about how ADD can interfere with school but show you another side of thinking that others don't have. An abstract mentality that can be golden when it comes to aquascaping.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:38 AM   #15
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maybe that's it, abstract mentalities. i'm a strong "right-brain" kind of person, i do a lot of art stuff and i'm good at creative writing. i haven't quite got the hang of aquascaping that's not on paper yet, but i do think my creativity reflects in my aquarium (i had a design, it just didn't turn out?). sorry for building on the tangent!
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