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5152081611_49e95185da Michael Barkowski

Seven Deadly Sins of Fishkeeping

Are you a Fishkeeping angel or a fish-killing sinner?

Are you a good, honest fishkeeper or do you allow the other voice in your head to dictate how you keep your aquariums? Do you respect your livestock and regularly maintain your aquarium or do you overstock and under-maintain? How many of these deadly sins do you commit and will you go to Fishkeeping heaven or hell?

Count how many you currently commit and give us your score in the comments form below.

1. Lust

Lust is normally considered to be a word meaning excessive sexual desire; however its original meaning encompasses a desire for all manner of things. Besides, we fishkeepers are too busy trimming our aquascapes and feeding our Cichlids to be reading gentleman’s literature.

So are you a lustful fishkeeper? You certainly are if you spend your time looking at fish you know you can’t keep or visit your aquarium store four times a week without ever needing to buy anything. You’re also sailing close to the wind if you spend more time than you should thinking about all the enormous aquariums and fish houses you will buy just as soon as you get round to winning the lottery.

2. Gluttony

Gluttony is defined as consumption in excess to the point of wastage. Any of you naughty fishkeepers regularly overfeed your fish or over-plant your tanks? Maybe you prefer to overstock your tanks to such a point that your fish start to suffer and die. Either way, gluttony is your crime. Owning so many tanks that you can’t possible maintain them all correctly also leads to waste and deterioration in the quality of life for your livestock.

3. Greed

Whilst similar to gluttony, there are slight differences; greed is the pursuit of materialistic goods. Greedy fishkeepers are likely to have far too much equipment, tanks, chemicals and food for their own personal needs. Whilst in no hurry to use it all up like a glutton, this sinner still needs to slow up on their spending spree. Many perpetrators of this sin also put fish tanks in every last nook and cranny of their house, often to the detriment of their marriage.

Photo: Nat Tarbox

Photo: Nat Tarbox

4. Sloth

Sloth is also known as laziness and entails an aquarium owner that just doesn’t get round to accomplishing all of those chores that go with the responsibility of owning fish. Their tanks are rarely a shining example of dedication and patience, but rather an algae-covered tank of detritus and muck. Extreme sufferers of this vice allow their filters to become clogged and only react once the noise prevents them snoozing on their sofa. It is the primary believe of this fishkeeper that everything in their aquarium will sort itself out.


5. Wrath

Did that fish really need to be flushed? Did every little snail that made its way into your tank have to be chemically eliminated? Maybe you suffer from wrath. Fishkeepers bold enough to commit this sin even target themselves with their own rage. Have you ever been angry with yourself because your 97th re-working of your tank wasn’t quite perfect? If so you need to add wrath to your aquatic confession list.

6. Envy

It’s all very good looking for inspiration when carving out your very own aquascape, marine rockwork or cichlid background, but making it your sole goal in life to achieve something you’ve seen on an aquarium forum of choice isn’t normal. Finding it necessary to compare every single photo you see of an aquarium to your own efforts benefits nobody either. The envious fishkeeper doesn’t spend a single second enjoying their fish or the wonderful tank they’ve created, but rather lamenting the fact it doesn’t match what they’ve seen elsewhere.

7. Pride

Last but not least, and definitely not least, is pride. This hideous and dishonourable crime to humanity is a foul and unwanted character trait. Yes, you’ve created something to be rightfully content with, you have a nicely pruned aquascape or a marvellous tank full of colourful corals, but is it really necessary to troll every forum in existence to tell everybody about it? Have you sent 300 emails to Practical Fishkeeping asking them to publish your badly taken photo, busily wondering why they have yet to reply? Is everybody secretly plotting a clove oil attack on your tank? If so, give yourself 2 extra sin points.

What’s your score?

0 excellent, please continue

1-2 not bad either, just polish off your act and enjoy a job well done

3-4 there’s still some hope for you, but please seek advice before practicing with live animals

5-6 maybe fishkeeping isn’t for you; have you tried stamp collecting?

7 time for a long walk off a short plank

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