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Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:45 am
Cichlidiote420 Level 2 Member
Level 2 Member

Posts: 27
Just some thing I was pondering is our hobby alive and well or is it fading it seemed for awhile there every one I know had 4-5 fish tanks. Now they have all faded out. Also noticing limited stock at most lfs. Except one who has some nice fish and good selection. Your thoughts sorry for my choppy text :mrgreen:

Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:01 pm
lifelinefish Level 7 Member
Level 7 Member

Posts: 913
Location: chaska
Some get into deep and to fast, burning out and selling or downsizing, self included. You get overwhelmed quickly, things start deteriorating and frustration and burnout sets in and so long fish and equipment. You have to know what you can handle be it one 20g long with some shellies or six 20g longs. You have to ask yourself what is your motivation for setting up 4 or 5 tanks? For just pure enjoyment, breeding an endangered species, or do you think it's going to be a money making adventure which 99.9% of the time it will not be. Sure you can trade in some fry for store credit but usually you have more into them then you will see in credit. You see it quite often on the FS sections whether it be livestock or equipment, once again self included.
Fish stores I can't really comment on. I do know there are seasons for collecting so it depends on what time of the year it is.
And you know what? Sometimes life just happens, circumstances beyond our control. One day I hope to setup some more tang breeding tanks(because I love these guys) but not anytime in the near future.
This is just my observation, experience, and opinion. Did it answer the question? I don't know, maybe.

Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:27 pm
loverland User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin

Posts: 1300
Location: Eagan, MN

There seems to be less buying and selling than there was 6-7 years ago. I think the hobby was much healthier then. I think the popularity of larger fish from Central and South America the past 3 years has had an impact. Larger fish means fewer fish in a tank; larger fish equals larger tanks which often equals fewer tanks; and larger fish can be harder to sell. A few years of that, and it's had an impact. Now, that is purely an opinion of mine.

Traffic on this forum is also down this year. Below are the total page views in the month of November the past six years.

Nov. 2009: 204,932
Nov. 2010: 282,793
Nov. 2011: 222,257
Nov. 2012: 270,694
Nov. 2013: 221,970
Nov. 2014: 176,654

2014's traffic for November is down 28% compared to the average of the previous 5 years. Now, November is a slow month on the forum. Dec-Apr is always the highest period of traffic, and usually the high point for the hobby. It makes sense. We're all stuck inside during those months. People typically sell of fish/gear in the summer months and buy fish/gear in the winter months, and forum traffic matches that precisely.

The forum seems to be more about the sales sections and less about the discussion sections this year. Less community and discussion is bad for the hobby.

I usually don't go to the MAS meetings, but I'm curious if attendance is down.

Post Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:40 pm
Cichlidiote420 Level 2 Member
Level 2 Member

Posts: 27
Interesting info and opinions. I do keep and always have kept large central amarican cichlids some times for breeding in the past, but now I am going to keep them in large community tanks one in the living room one I the bedroom and I am going to give my daughters my 60 for there room. 3 tanks and I think it will feed my hunger. :mrgreen:

Post Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:41 am
Bigbobsguide Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 152
Location: Hastings. MN
The hobby is well. I talk to a lot of people Aound the U.S. and the minnesota market is flooded compared to other areas. For me to trade a fish in at a lfs it has to be 2"+. for me to sell that fish locally I have to charge around the same price or less than wholesale. Most Minnesotans are too cheap to pay for quality fish at a quality price. The same fish I'm selling here for $2 each are on aquabid for $10 each. The mbuna scene here has died, peacock males will always be popular but nobody likes brown females, and tangs are too expensive and delicate for most fish keepers. I think most of the younger people have shifted more towards facebook. I sell quite a bit on there. It's easier to post adds and pics, messages are instantly on your phone, and there are about 10 groups just for minnesota. I belong to about fish keeping groups on there. All I have to do is post a quality picture and people volunteer to buy fish as long as you will ship. I know of a few people that have made a career out of selling almost solely on facebook.

Post Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:26 pm
MplsGuy Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 137
Am I crazy in thinking that things have advanced so much in the hobby in recent years that some of the equipment/trendy tanks people THINK they need can appear prohibitively expensive? I had fish growing up as a kid, kept a 10 gallon in college and then took a break from 2004-2014. When I got back into it this past spring, it was a major reeducation.

I don't really know if that plays a role in attracting/repelling people from the hobby. It's just something I noticed about my own feelings when I jumped back in. Keeping plants seems even more involved than ever, too. I realize that the cheap options have and will always be out there, but when you're reading up on how to set up a tank, you still might think: Maybe I NEED that expensive light/CO2 device/trendy new tank/unique fish/etc.

I love all the options and all the advancement, and I'm sure it actually draws a lot of people in, too.

For the record, my set up is pretty low-tech and basic, although I did opt for a nice LED light.

Post Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:57 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12233
Location: apple valley, mn
My sense is fish keeping has declined some over last 10 years. I do not think it is a problem.

What is important is:
As number of fish keepers decline then local options for trading, buying and selling decline.
If the decline is across the country then availability of livestock will decline. No matter how much one is willing to pay, if fish are not there, they are not there.
Developing an intrinsic enjoyment of fish independent of extrinsic factors (read on).

What is not important is:
Anxiety about state of things. Who knows why fish keeping trends up, then down, then up, then down, it just happens. Attempting to determine what is causing loss of interest in keeping fish and attempting to turn it around is probably wasted effort. If one wants to write about fish, publish images about fish, give talks about fish, attend fish events, just do it. Do not set up any of these things as attempt to save fish keeping for future. Just doing these things without the hype may interest new folks in fish keeping but hype will not.
IMO, the best thing is to find intrinsic enjoyment in keeping fish. With this value system we can enjoy our fish and enjoy others fish when fish keeping is declining and when hobby is expanding.

What is sad:
Moreism. Moreism is when keepers do not find enjoyment in the fish but joy comes from having more. When more is achieved then the next step is more and more. Eventually the size of fish, the colors of fish, the aggression of fish, the price of fish, the bigger than, the better than reaches a pinnacle. The only way to go is down which is typically getting out of hobby and moving on to some other form of moreism.
Like a complete unknown

Post Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:24 pm
MplsGuy Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 137
Passionfish wrote:
My sense is fish keeping has declined some over last 10 years. I do not think it is a problem.

What is sad:
Moreism. Moreism is when keepers do not find enjoyment in the fish but joy comes from having more. When more is achieved then the next step is more and more. Eventually the size of fish, the colors of fish, the aggression of fish, the price of fish, the bigger than, the better than reaches a pinnacle. The only way to go is down which is typically getting out of hobby and moving on to some other form of moreism.

I really like what you have to say about "moreism," and it's very true about our consumer culture in general.

Post Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:13 pm
Cichlidiote420 Level 2 Member
Level 2 Member

Posts: 27
never realy thought of fish like that as I do not view them as possession's. but kinda a very true point maybe that's how u wind up with 20 tanks ha. I wound up that way breeding fish years ago. slowly down sizeing as life wife . :mrgreen:

Post Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:37 pm
mrmann Level 8 Member
Level 8 Member

Posts: 1262
Location: Prescott
I have noticed a decline in activity on this forum as loverland showed proof of but I think a lot of people have moved to facebook like someone else had mentioned here. I can easily sell fish on facebook probably because I do ship. However, I do not sell fish locally unless someone comes looking for fish nor do I buy locally very often. This hobby has always been about the fish for me, not about what is trendy and what fish is cool to keep. I keep what I love and leave it at that. Passionfish was totally correct in his entire post. Also, we cannot forget the economy has affected quite a few hobbyists and that is the reason for their downsizing.

Post Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:07 pm
fasttalon94 User avatar
Level 10 Member
Level 10 Member

Posts: 2434
Location: Richfield
Interesting to note that there has been an increase followed by a decrease every other year. (2014 being an anomaly)

I am a winter fish keeper. Yes I keep fish year round but I have several other hobbies pulling at my attention during the summer. I like to hide indoors in the winter and spend time with my fishy friends during the winter. That being said November is the kick off of the "Holiday Season" which could be an explanation of the hit or miss activity on the forum.

I work in a quazi-sales type of environment and I sit back and marvel at the societal trends. Monday and Tuesdays as well as Friday mornings are great for sales. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are the worst. Also February- June are the best sales months, the rest of the year there is a large down turn, November being one of those hit or miss months. Sometimes its great, sometimes it dead. Interesting that LoveLand's data reflects exactly that for the month of November. This year, my company struggled this November. My wife works in sales of a completely different nature and her finding are very similar. Trends are an interesting thing!
If you don't put a location in your for sale ad that must mean you're willing to deliver.

Post Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:31 am
rummynose User avatar
Level 8 Member
Level 8 Member

Posts: 1058
Location: Anoka
I would say the hobby is alive and well. Was just at the Aquatic Experience in Chicago a few weeks ago. It was the 2nd year of the event and their attendance was up 30%. The MAS plant meeting was almost standing room only a few days ago double the attendance of last year.

Think some of the decline on MFK is simply that there is more choice/options like facebook etc. That and many of the people that used to post on here a lot call and talk on the phone instead. I for one mainly visit and just read or pm.
When you pass a few moose crossing signs and a couple of mounted police you're almost here!

Post Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:22 pm
jason User avatar
Level 11 Member
Level 11 Member

Posts: 2572
Location: inver grove heights
will I have always done my own thing doing Victorians. I rarely sell on here anymore I ship to people all over the country. its taken me years to get known for vics know people all over the world and have sent fish to 4 different country's.blah blah blah enough of me crap

this year at the oca I sold over 1000.00 in pre sales didn't put up an for sale ad till late because of not knowing if I was going to have enough room for extra fish. once we were set up in the hotel there wasn't as many people just buying fish out of impulse like years past
people are paying more money for what they want not think look cool like before. weeding out the hybrid people which the has been a crap load of them all over the u.s

and for the mas meetings I haven't been to a meeting all year but the last 2 just to drop off fish. why should I stay when haven't had a cichlid speaker all year. should fly in Lawrence kent he goes to Africa to help famers to get the most out of there land with a ton of other stuff. in his down time he goes to the lakes and rivers to collect fish and take photo's of them he' been all over there.
upper midwest victorian preservist

Post Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:18 pm
MrsIHguy User avatar
Level 3 Member
Level 3 Member

Posts: 62
Location: Hastings
Everyone has very valid opinions! I have been keeping fish for 20+ years and it does go in cycles for me. Currently I have 2 beautiful display tanks set up well stocked with mature Discus. Now a year or 2 ago I was upgrading equipment and buying and selling on this forum as well as Facebook and ordering in from out of the area. But now I am well stocked and just enjoying them! I have found that I can have too many tanks... (don't tell my husband I just said that!) With work and kids and everything else life throws at you sometimes simple can be better.

I agree with fasttalon94, I am also a winter fish keeper, it's my slow time at work and I tend to hide indoors in the winter. So now is when I would spend extra time online in these forums and doing any upgrading to my tanks or growing out fry.

Although I am moving in July and will need to figure out how I'm going to move all these guys safely otherwise I would be doing more (planning to take this winter off).

I can say I have been helping a young new fish keeper recently. So they are out there!

Post Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:04 am
Bigbobsguide Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 152
Location: Hastings. MN
Well said jason. The club will always be a touchy subject for most people. It is a very clicky group and I do really like some of the people in it but I breed more fish in a month than quite a few do in a year and feel looked down upon because my fish will eat theirs and I don't have to mess with water constantly to make my fish happy. Whenever you say you like Africans though most just roll their eyes. I have told friends that have been in and out of the hobby for years that I'm back in the club and they have all asked 2 questions. 1. Is it still the same people? Yes mostly 2. Is it still their club? Yes very much so. I was at bobs for last months board meeting ( I needed some fish so figured I would go) I thank him very much for his hospitality. But when I had something to say I got a few dirty looks from some board members. Now this is supposed to be encouraged for member to attend board meetings and I can honestly say that I won't attend one again. I will still go to monthly meetings because I get some very nice fish at very good prices because I'm generally the only person there actually interested in Africans but really have no interest in 90% of the speakings. I'll still go to auctions for the same reasons.


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