In my constant bid for new and greater heights, I find myself scouring all of the resources so amply provided and easily accessible to the modern fish gal. From Aquabid to Craigslist to Petsmart visits and Drs. Foster and Smith catalogs, I leave no stone unturned. The thirst for an ideal set-up is ongoing. My biggest issue as of late being a great deal of disorganization. Which I inevitably feel can be solved with the gathering of more and more useful items for upgrades and replacements of current inefficiencies. I feel so close to this goal after the installment of a third fish rack of nine 2.5 gallon aquariums. More space for fry and pairing up small killifish or livebearers. It’s both exciting and exhausting. Because in my pursuit I forget that school is important or that work needs me precisely on time or that maybe I should call my mom and arrange a visit. I understand perfectly well what needs to be done long-term. But short term I’m all about maximizing my time to commit to personal projects.
I’m making good progress, it’s true. I can be happy with that most days. As of now (the last day of the first month of 2014), I am well on my way to completing a number of pre-assigned resolutions. One being the shrimp colony set-up (I have a decent number of inverts again). Another goal is set up a C.A.R.E.S. species for absolute commitment and maintenance. My dwarf chain loaches should be arriving today (my fish of choice). I have a beautiful group of rare Malawi cichlids to play with. My tanks are pretty much where I want them. I have 2-3 new spawns geared up with 2 already witnessed in a bid for breeder awards with GVAC. And lastly, I have submitted an article on dwarf danios for my club newsletter. It’s good to be writing again. It’s good to feel like I am truly doing what I was meant to do. Even if I have yet to figure out how it benefits the whole.
However, I am very broke in the fund department as I sit awkwardly between paychecks. Twiddling my thumbs with what I have to work with and praying the gas tank doesn’t run dry. Such is the lifestyle of an overly ambitious hobbyist.
Rather than living day by day….it is more that I am living deal by deal. Climbing an acquisition ladder of sorts on my college student wages so I can live the dream of a productive fish room. What I’m learning as I go along is that quality supplies can completely transform the success of the hobby. I’m learning not to cheap out…to shop around and go for the deals, but be informed and ultimately spend my last dollar on the things my animals actually need as I kick myself the next day wishing I could buy one McDouble at the end of a long shift at work. Oh how I would take back that dollar…..
I’m not unlike the starving artist. My expression in fish tanks. My expression in species. My expression in bartering and dealing with others to fill my lofty canvas which is still largely blank. One day, I want my efforts to make real strides. I want to raise tons of batches of rare fish and preserve the genetic diversity at the same time. I want to do talks on my experiences. I want to be that distinctive voice hollering over others at a fish auction as I serve an association of my fish geek kin.
But first I must get a nicer air pump…….so that my new rack of fish tanks can be supplied with sufficient oxygenation. Of course. Then the magic happens, I tell myself.