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What Does the Future Hold For Me?


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I have been doing some serious thinking about my future lately and part of that relates to my betta keeping/breeding endeavours. In the past 3-4 months I have pretty much burnt myself out with work, club committments, the Ekka and preparations for the big international show. On top of that, I have had a few real life wake-up calls that have caused me to take a step back and re-evaluate things.

What is missing is the fun I used to have in keeping and breeding my fish. This has been replaced with worry about whether my fish will spawn, will my fry will be big enough to show, whether any will be show quality and if not, where can I purchase enough fish to enter and most of all, do I have the spare time and $$$ to dedicate to fish keeping. You know, the kind of questions we all ask ourselves at some stage of our hobby. Some of you may have noticed I don't post on here as much as I used to. To be honest, I try to read posts daily, but don't always have the motivation to post. I am sure at some stage, I will be back to posting on every topic, but until then, I am keeping up to date with what you are all up to.

What I have decided is that I am going to try and get a little more balance in my life. Stop trying to breed the next show champion and have some fun again with my hobby. I will spawn my fish when it feels right, not because there is a show coming up and I NEED to have some fish to enter. I have a spawn or two to do in the next couple of months of fish I bought for the show in September. Although they are not part of my breeding goals, it would be a shame to let their genes go to waste. I have achieved one of my long time goals of having a CT spawn, so I am over the moon about that. I just need to focus on what I had planned before I got show fever :) by the end of the breeding season, I will be back on track. I am also not going to worry what the betta snobs have to say about VT's, If I want to breed a spawn or two of VT's, that's exactly what I will do.

To pull myself out of my betta rut, I am downsizing a little on the bettas and branching out into a couple of different fish species. Some of you may have noticed that I have finally got my hands on a pair of the guppies I have been holding out for. I have an 80lt tank for them to populate. From there, I may decide to attempt an outcross to another strain - the mad scientist in me wants to play *lol* I have also decided to keep some killies and see how I go with them. My 3ft tank has been sitting in the loungeroom half complete for months. I have about 10 rummynose and a few betta females living in there ATM. The plan was to scape it along the lines of the 4ft tank in the fishroom (still looking great too :D ) and get some angels and once paired up, put them into a spawn tank and let them breed. The plan has now changed. I can't believe I am about to say this, as I never saw the fascination with these fish, but I am now planning on getting rainbows for that tank. I stumbled into a store here that has one of the largest collections of natives and rainbows here in Brisbane. Talking with the owner and seeing some of the rainbows starting to come into their breeding colours changed my mind about these fish and I am looking forward to finishing the scaping of the tank and making my first fish purchases for this tank.

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Good luck with your future plans Jarrod. Some times we have to take stock of what's important to us, and not worry about what everyone else expects or wants from us. This is a hobby after all and hobbies are meant to be fun. Keep what you want to keep, and phooey to anyone else.

Looks like I wasn't the only one having a sleepless night. Though knowing you Jarrod, it's probably been a sleepless couple of months.

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I hope the future hold lots of fun and laughter for you mate, whatever way you go. I can understand where you are coming from and can relate to the "pressure" of the show scene. I have found that it is much more fun now I am only keeping fish I like, not worried about selling fish or showing (well maybe still a little concerned about getting a show winner eventually).

Either way mate, I have enjoyed the ride and am happy that I met you 2-3 years ago. You need to look after yourself and your family first, everything else comes next. You are a rare find in today's society, heart of gold, nice guy and maybe a little bit too "nice". I am glad you have made some decisions before it changed who you are.

Take care mate, unless you change your number, you will still get your regular calls from me. Lol. :-)

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Think you've made the right decision. Once something becomes a chore, and the enjoyment is gone - it isn't a hobby anymore, but a job. That's when something definitely has to be done about it.

Hope you will find your future plans fulfilling. Glad you've decided to keep in contact - things wouldn't be the same around here without you.

Rainbows would have been the last thing I would have thought of. Must admit, a few of them are quite nice though... should go well. I've recently acquired a few killies too, only eggs/fry.. but I enjoy it, and I think you will too.

Good luck! Hope work and general life settles down for you too. :)

Edited by Sarah
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entirely - YES.

It's been a mad-dash to learn over the last 2 years, I think we both landed on the forum at a similar time, along with a few others - and the momentum has been tremendous! So have the learning curves, the errors, the tragedies and the mad-professor moments (talking dodgy DIY and outdoor spawning plans)

I get it, and the definition of a "hobby" is something enjoyed.

Just like everything else in your life, you gotta follow the happy... and even if like Adam.. that means taking the pressure off and hanging with the dog more, you just do it.

None of us expect you to keep up with an invisible deadline, participation or attendance, so just do the thing thats right for you - fish need to come in and enrich, not drain our lives.

I've had a shift of late too, while a few have spawned I really don't have the insane drive as I once did.

It's great to identify Why you breed, How you want to go about it and What your expectations are.

Personally I bred because HMs weren't readily available when I discovered them many years ago.... now they are.

I also wanted to improve form, but my fry just aren't nearly as good as their imported parents... well... some... but not all.

How I go about it involves heaps of work, and I'm already doing that more and more in my professional life.... it's getting hard to maintain.

So now I just scream SQUEE when something is wrapping, they get love and attention but I'm not loosing my mind over it anymore.

I've also decided to indulge in some down time after these current spawns are out in the world and do some time with just one display tank for a while.

Maybe even get me a Fluval Edge and scape it up a bit... ya kna? throw some tetras and watch them school.

I'll downsize, until I feel the breeder itch again and drag all the tanks out of the shed and start over.

Follow the happy J.


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My advice is to forget about the breeding altogether for a while and go back to the roots of what fish keeping is all about and that is enjoying the relaxation they bring by being able to watch them in your own home. I can sit and stare at my tank for hours (which I do not realise is hours at the time) and gives you that relaxed calm that only watching fish swim can do.

Go back to breeding once you feel the need or bug to do it again as just swapping species of fish to breed I dont think will revive your breeding passion. I have had a very similar experience with another hobby of mine and I found taking a step back from it helped to no end as a few months down the track I started to miss it and regained my enjoyment of the hobby once I took it up again.

I think this is a common thing with hobbies/passions that go to more indepth lengths than the average hobbyist would go to. It is not something that is ever planned, it just seems to eventuate and before you know it the work outweighs the enjoyment and you start to question why you are doing it. I feel ya pain!

Im looking at getting some boesemani rainbows as my next tank addition, they are a beautiful fish once their colours come out. LFS do not do them justice, they colour up 10 fold once you get them into a better enviroment.

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Thanks guys. I'm not disappearing all together. And I still want to continue breeding bettas, just on my own timetable, not for shows or for sale (not that I was ever in it for the dollars :) )

As for swapping breeding one species for another, that isn't what I am planning on doing in a big way. I am throwing a male and female guppy into a tank. If they spawn, then any fry lucky enough to survive will live to see another day. I am certainly not planning on getting overrun by tanks trying to separate male and female guppies. As for the rainbows, I'm not getting into them to breed. They are purely for my enjoyment. If they breed, then good on them :D It means they are happy and that I am doing something right.

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I've gone a bit the same way. I have made a big plan up of what direction I want to go with my fish and have decided to get rid of anything that doesn't fit into that plan. So much less hassle and keeps the hobby fun for me.

I don't know how some of you manage to keep up with multiple spawns and grow-outs and hatching those bloody BBS every day until the end of days *lol* I nearly died when I was working full-time and coming home to clean and maintain all my tanks. Now I'm unemployed I still drag my feet about it.

Also showing isn't the be all end all. My mum shows dogs and honestly, it's a beauty pageant no matter how you look at. It's just someone's interpretation of a standard and it is so subjective sometimes that I can't even take showing all that seriously. Yes it is good to be able to see how your breeding program stacks up against competition, but there is so much more than just that. So many people think breeding anything VT is wrong, and yet your Jewel Box spawn to me, had some of the most gorgeous bettas in it I have seen.

I say kick back, try something new and who knows what direction that will take you.

Me I have just discovered how cool licorice gouramis are. They were never a fish I could see myself owning and yet now I find myself glued to the front of their tank watching them go about their daily business. I think they are all male so no breeding, but you know what, I don't even care. I am happy to have my bachelors taking up valuable space on my shelf just because they are fun.

Edited by Wild Nut
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Good for you Jarrod :applaud:

It is all about the pleasure of fish keeping! I can relate to what you are saying as went through the exact same thing with birds. The stresses we put ourself under are insane. I am glad to hear that you have taken stock and realized before you gave it all away completely (like I did).

Now take the time out to enjoy your fish keeping and if there is anything I can do to help just let me know.



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