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Hi all, I'm in the outer eastern 'burbs of Melbourne, had fish as a kid, then recent-ish-ly I decided a few goldfish in a pond would be nice. I got a few 3cm uncoloured feeders, then my ex gave me his 65L curved front aquarium that his fish had outgrown and, sucker that I am, I bought the goldfish inside that winter so they wouldn't get too cold... They learnt to beg for food, a year later they're now brightly coloured ~7 inch long piggies (yes, the tank is overstocked, I'm upgrading the pond to something significantly bigger and booting them back outside). I've got a 2 foot dirted planted tank as well, mosquitoes decided to take an interest while the plants were establishing so I bought 6 feeder guppies to eat the mosquitoes and a day later, 3 of them decided to have half a billion babies. (For a bunch of feeders, they certainly make some very pretty babies. And yes, buying feeder fish and keeping them as pets is a theme.) I've since gotten two pre-loved tanks (3 and 4 foot), resealed the 3 foot one and have just recently set up a deep sand bed with Matten filter and a straight-trunked forest hardscape in it. The chemistry side of things interests me greatly, and I'm more interested in functioning ecosystems needing minimal input than pristine display tanks (pest snails and duckweed are deliberately added to all my tanks, and I use the duckweed to make my own fishfood), which is why the idea of a deep sand bed was so appealing. The 4 foot tank will need Some Work to get it to a point where I can reseal it, and I have no idea what I'm going to put in it (guppies?!) but I'm sure I'll work it out... I feel like a lot of people aren't interested in my level of fish-nerdery, but if anyone knows of IRL groups local to me, let me know?

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Welcome Sig. That’s a classic and not uncommon getting started story. I think you’re going to enjoy this hobby a lot. The Eastern Districts Aquarium Society hold meetings at  the Whitehorse community centre in Nunawading on the last Friday of the even numbered months. Next meeting in February.  They are very closely linked to the Aquarium Society of Victoria who hold meetings in Clifton Hill on the odd numbered months. Next meeting Friday 31st January. You should try to get along to those. There’ll be a guest speaker, trading table, and supper afterwards. You don’t have to join as a member until after you’ve gone to a few meetings.  

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