The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been asked by a few non-hobbyist extended family members that think that fish keeping is throwing a goldfish in a bowl of water and calling it a day. When asked "what kind of fish do you have?" how do you usually respond? I responded with "rainbowfish" but then was given the response "oh, you mean like the ones in Finding Nemo?" I was like "no", then she said, "oh c'mon, you mean you don't have some goldies in there?"

I didn't even respond and kept walking, but at the same time, didn't want to be rude (my wife's aunt, who has the best intentions).

Even without that kind of response, the most I get are, "oh, that's nice," then the conversation dies there. When a non-hobbyist asks you, how do you usually respond without getting into technicalities?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lol. I've only got 2 tanks. I post pics on facebook to track the progress of the tanks (because I get sentimental like that and like to see how things change over the years) and that's how my wife's aunt knew about them. I love it when people ask thoughtful questions, because it shows a real interest in the hobby, and I can get into the specifics, but I feel like most people are just like my wife's aunt lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
Ehh, just gotta remember not everyone has the same interests. She was probably just being polite in trying to start up a conversation with you, though she lacked real interest in the subject, it might have been the only topic that came in mind. Yeah those awkward conversations that die off quickly happen.

I know before I got into the hobby, I could care less about this or that fish or this or that plant and the specifics. I've always been an animal lover though, so I am curious to look at fish, dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, etc, but don't always care to learn the details about them. Like if you had a friend who kept reptiles or arachnids (spiders/scorpions) sure you might ask them about it, but you might not want to really hear them educate you about them. Just different strokes for different folks.

But to answer the question, if someone asked what "what kind of fish do you have?" and they are not a fish person, I might just say "little fishies" :D or just tell them the common "guppies" or "neon tetras" just to get them out of your hair haha
No one has ever asked me :( hahaha (besides people that are in the hobby/know about fish)

I've never really "persuaded" people to get into the hobby unless they showed a genuine interest. I'd rather only bring in people that would take the hobby somewhat seriously so at least they would research some on how to properly keep fish. That way there isn't as many people who really don't care, putting fish in awful living conditions.

Speaking of "Finding Nemo", "Finding Dory" is actually coming out in June haha (serious)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
lol. I love it when people ask thoughtful questions, because it shows a real interest in the hobby, and I can get into the specifics, but I feel like most people are just like my wife's aunt lol.
Oh heck, I think most if not all of us here would be thrilled if every non-aquatic person that walked through their house would be mesmerized by our hobby/obsession. After trudging through life long enough you accept that it isn't happening. Some will be bored to tears, some will be terrified. The trick is to quickly read what's sincere interest, what's small talk (sounds like your aunt), who thinks you're a nut case without using the words. Then deal with each on the appropriate level. Not as hard as you may think.
 
  • Like
Reactions: thedood

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
HAHA this is great, I know exactly what you mean by the frustrations of "The Aquarium Ignorant People." I have worked in the restaurant (Bar) industry and would talk with my customers about my fish tanks and they probably think I am a huge nerd! I normally try to initially use the common names, but once they ask me a secondary question about the hobby then its game on. I go into full nerd mode, break out scientific names, explain my water chemistry and the plants I am trying to grow. I then have to show pictures on my phone or they look at me like i waste my time and money. Occasionally I get the returning customer that asks again, at which point I continue a more in depth story about keeping Pseudomugil Gertrudaes and trying to raise fry... they eventually stop asking because they don't know what I'm talking about or I get frustrated and change the subject... ha good times!

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,741 Posts
I explain in detail and get a look like I'm speaking Latin, or if on the phone with family just get this dead silence, but I'm not dumbing it down. My husband is the only one here that understands (most of) it.
I keep a lot of bettas (separate tanks for all) and of course as soon s I say "betta" everyone thinks "oh nice little 0.3g 'tank' no heater, no filter, something to look at but otherwise boring"... NO.. just.. just no... they are like freaking underwater puppies in a heated, filtered, planted tank, so addictive! But its hard to convey that to non fish keepers... I think some don't even understand the concept of fresh water aquatic plants..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts
What gets me is when you lose one and you mention it and they either say or look at you like 'its just a fish'. Yep folks not in the hobby just dont get it. Sometimes people who have aquariums dont get it after all they are just fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
It could be worse. For years, I had one fish. ONE. a 6" S. decorus. I had one fish because everything I put in there with him wound up dead. So people would walk in, stare perplexed at this 4' aquarium and ask, do you have anything in there? I didn't shed any tears when HE died. I cleaned it out thoroughly, and started looking for new occupants - that would all get along. :)

It was about the same thing when I found myself in possession of *a* bolivian ram and *a* albino bristle nose. Only time I ever saw them was at feeding time. Rest of the time? You got any fish in there? I *almost* get why people like tetras - if they're hiding, you have a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
You have to know your audience lol. My answer will vary greatly depending on whose asking. If its someone who is just being polite I'll try to downplay my fishroom and just say "freshwater fish". If its someone who seems to know even a little about the hobby I might go into a bit more detail about my various tanks. I keep fish for my own enjoyment and really dont care to brag unless its someone that cares to hear it and actually understands. One of the best compliments I got was a prospective tenant who was looking at my basement apartment. Brought him through my fishroom and he made a nice comment about all the tanks. Figured that was that. A little later we were in a different room and he couldn't stop talking about my breeding pair of discus going on and on about how hard it must be to care for them and how much money they must have cost. Turns out his family used to be very involved in the hobby and owned a pet shop! He didnt take the apartment but we talked fish for quite a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,846 Posts
When my nephew was about 2, I asked him what kind of fish he saw. The reply was "big fish, little fish, and yellow fish".

In other words, your never going to be able to explain this to a non-aquarium type person. Just make a general response like smaller tropical fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,702 Posts
I now respond with colors.
Black fish, yellow fish, and red fish etc...

I also own horses, same theory.
Brown, black, grey etc...

Non-hobbyists trying to make small talk is always a problem.:laugh2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the great stories guys :grin2: Here's the thing, if you don't want to hear about it, then don't ask. Simple as that! That's what spouses are for, right? :wink2:

We all went to the zoo over the weekend, because it was a very balmy 57F in the Midwest, and we were walking through the aquatic building. I only commented on the fish in the building, but it was my wife's aunt that asked me about the fish in my tank. So I told her, and I almost felt like she was completely downplaying my tank or fish or response or whatever. *Finding Nemo* *Goldies* I almost felt embarrassed, like the only fish people own are ones from an animated movie (RIP all of the eleventybillion clown fish that died soon after every entitled 6 yr old wanted a Nemo of their own), or gold fish you win from throwing a ping pong ball into a cup of water and a fish at the carnival.

I'll be a little bit more clever next time someone asks. I thought my generic response of "rainbowfish" was simple enough. :icon_roll
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
I jump right into scientific names and details on my setup. Talking about the micro fauna I've introduced, and how they keep my dirt substrate healthy. How my filter system works, and my water parameters. The different needs of my plants, and how they grow. I pull out my phone and show pictures. I turn it into a science lesson. Then I can tell who's really interested. Conversation usually ends with them saying" well maybe I should set one up"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
Thanks for the great stories guys :grin2: Here's the thing, if you don't want to hear about it, then don't ask. Simple as that! That's what spouses are for, right? :wink2:

We all went to the zoo over the weekend, because it was a very balmy 57F in the Midwest, and we were walking through the aquatic building. I only commented on the fish in the building, but it was my wife's aunt that asked me about the fish in my tank. So I told her, and I almost felt like she was completely downplaying my tank or fish or response or whatever. *Finding Nemo* *Goldies* I almost felt embarrassed, like the only fish people own are ones from an animated movie (RIP all of the eleventybillion clown fish that died soon after every entitled 6 yr old wanted a Nemo of their own), or gold fish you win from throwing a ping pong ball into a cup of water and a fish at the carnival.

I'll be a little bit more clever next time someone asks. I thought my generic response of "rainbowfish" was simple enough. :icon_roll
Wait until the sequel! Apparently the large farms have been going crazy trying to breed purple tangs so they are available for the oncoming surge of people looking to buy Dory! They learned the hard way the first time around when everyone wanted a nemo and supply could not meet demand.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top