The joys of fish keeping: Create your own aquatic world

The joys of fish keeping: Create your own aquatic world



Keeping a pet is no doubt one of the most rewarding and interesting experiences out there and fishkeeping is one of the most beautiful. Besides the typical image of huge habitats recreated at commercial aquariums and zoos, aquariums make it possible to have a thriving, healthy aquatic ecosystem populated by colorful shrimp and stunning greenery… AND it fits on a coffee table!

The options of the types of environments that can be replicated and the experimentation that goes on during the process of keeping an aquarium are things that appeal to me most about this hobby.

While the level of equipment and know-how varies dramatically, aquariums can be home to large, exotic cichlids, tiny shrimp and adorable freshwater pufferfish, or mesmerizing saltwater reefs.

Fish aren’t the only centerpiece of an aquarium, either. Huge varieties of underwater plants are out there to add color and a great environment for the fish to explore and people to enjoy.

Being detail-oriented is a trait that a fish keeper picks up with more and more experience. Steady monitoring of water parameters is important when changing something in the environment, and it’s important to be mindful of how the environment is changing.

This also leads to some experimentation, to find ways to keep the water consistent or remove waste. Currently, I’m experimenting with using anaerobic probiotics to reduce maintenance, and using a cocktail of yogurt, yeast, sugar, and fermented soybeans to boost plant growth.

Keeping an aquarium has allowed me to learn more about the intricacies of underwater environments while enjoying a relaxing environment from my dining room. Fishkeeping is a hobby that I definitely recommend, and stores like the Wet Spot in Portland have stunning displays that will keep you hooked.


Shion Britten is a senior at Southridge High School and enjoys playing the trumpet, baseball & hiking.