Be individual - If the hobby is generally moving towards a path which does not interest you as much then do not follow it. For example, if the hobby is trending towards nano planted aquascapes (which are extremely popular now), but your interest is to care for, and breed goldfish then stick with what you enjoy. Do not give into peer pressure within the hobby, this goes for equipment as well, if you prefer sponge filters over canister filters then stick with them, do not let other people’s opinions control you! This is a hobby which can be tailored towards your individual tastes. After all you are the main person who will be enjoying your aquarium. That said, do not be afraid to stray out of your comfort zone once and a while, especially if your passion for the hobby is growing, you might find other areas you also enjoy. This leads me to the next piece of advice.
Do not be scared to try new avenues of fishkeeping – This is something I see a lot of. Fish keepers who become stuck in their way keeping one type of fish and then start to lose interest. For example, if you have kept freshwater fish for a long time but never tried saltwater fish and it interests you, give it a go! If you are finding yourself less interested in the hobby, then maybe that’s a good sign it is time for a change or more of a challenge.
Think twice about where you get your information from – This is something which we see a lot and it can be frustrating to see as an experienced fish keeper. Websites, forums, people, and videos are all great sources of information and inspiration, I advise you use them, just be careful about it, always remember anyone can make a video or write something online. When it comes down to who you should listen to look no further than their own aquarium, does it look great? Yes? Listen to them! All too often we hear that a family friend had offered advice, but their aquarium is in a bad state, or worse yet maybe they do not even have an aquarium, taking advice from a bad source can end badly for your aquarium! The internet has become filled with fish keeping advice, some great, some not so great and some completely wrong! A lot of people like to repeat things they have overheard, even if they have no experience with that matter, for example that person offering advice about pygmy pea puffers on a forum may have never actually kept one themselves! Always check at least two or three different sources and think about who is creating the content. For example, there are some incredible reef aquarium professionals creating content online, think twice before you disregard their advice for something someone put on a forum. Forums are very useful tools though, just be ready to do a bit of sifting as unfortunately good fish keeping knowledge is hard to find. Remember just because something works for someone else does not mean it will work you, aquariums are very individual and are all different in some way.
Do not give up and learn from mistakes – Fishkeeping can have its challenges; things can go well, and things can go wrong. Learn from the mistakes you make and try to help others. All too often I see enthusiasts take a break from the hobby only to come back after a period and usually they regret the fact they quit. If you are struggling with algae issues or disease, do not give up, we have all been there. Research the issue and ask others for help, do not be afraid to ask on forums, generally people will be more than happy to lend their advice.
Have patience – Things happen relatively slowly in the fish keeping world, whether its waiting for your aquarium to cycle before adding fish, waiting for your fish to breed or battling algae problems. Always keep in mind these are not quick processes.
Always keep the fish in mind - Whenever setting up an aquarium always keep the fish in mind and make sure their requirements are met. You will get far more joy from keeping fish long term in a suitable setup than a temporary incorrect setup. Always aim for longevity in your aquarium setups be it an aquascape or breeding setup.
Enjoy your creation - Whether it is a simple beginner aquarium, reef aquarium or a high-tech planted tank make sure you enjoy it! Take time out of your busy day to watch your tank and enjoy your fish. Aquariums can bring a great sense of peace in a short amount of time. They are a perfect visual escape for someone living in an urban area. I always like to have an aquarium on my desk at home, it is interesting, beautiful and calming.