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aquarium fish

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New Member
Jul 23, 2004
Hey, our family is building a house in ireland, very close to the ocean, and i am going to have a large aquarium in my room. I was wondering if anyone has any good sites for information on keeping wild fish that i can catch from the ocean. I wouldnt be talking about huge ones, probably very small, to medium. Thanks in advance, its going to be awesome.
I hope the aquarium would be pretty huge, other wise it's a torture for the poor fish to transfer from the ocean to your aquarium.
Though I could be mistaking and they might like it.
But that's how I see it.

(And I held this point of view years before I ever saw Nemo.)
Could very well be.
Or it could be:"what happen to my territory? it is so small. I keep bumping into walls which I don't understand. It's mating season, why am I not attracting any female? I'm lonely." etc...
There's free food and no predators in jail also.
Originally posted by DeepThought
I'm lonely." etc...
There's free food and no predators in jail also.

Lonely? Are you serious, or pulling my leg? He's not talking about dolphins and whales....have you looked at the size of a fish's brain?
Fish have barely enough neurons to 'understand' (I use that term loosely) that they must eat or be eaten, and occasionally squirt sperm or eggs into the water in the general vicinty of another fish....usually followed by eating half the eggs and then eating many of the young that survive the intial feast.
I love animals and even fish, but be serious....fish in an aquarium are at least not going to end up on the end of my 8mm spear.
Erik Y.
Last edited:
Originally posted by dcfreediver
Hey, our family is building a house in ireland, very close to the ocean, and i am going to have a large aquarium in my room. its going to be awesome.
Post some pics when you've got it running. Aquariums are what got me interested in the water in the first place when I was a kid, and I still love to see nice ones. A cold water aquarium would be awesome: a little different than the usual tropical stuff.
Erik Y.
No Erik, I'm not serious, yet I'm not kidding as well.
I just don't think we can know very much about the concepts of pain/consciousness/urges/etc for those creatures.
I know they are about 300 million years back from us on the evolutionary scale. And last time I cought a fish, I think I didn't even find it's brain.
Just saying that it migt be possible.

Though dcfreediver's aquarium might be a good rich environment, it might also be just a 3 liter fish bowl with a few fish where they'll just exist till the next time the water will get dirty or some one will forget to feed them. Then they'll end like most fish usally end in aquariums.
I saw so many aquariums, from small fish bowls with treated tap water to half cubic meter salt water ones with thermostats flouresent and all the other works. Most of them don't let a year pass without a mass death among the fish. There are exeptions ofcourse.
But that's what made me think aqariums are not just a pretty thing to look at.
Fish and Pain:

Theres been a crapload of studies and lots of papers, and the "evidence" at times "suggests" a "tentative link" between stimuli and behaviour indicative of an emotional pain response. But nothing firm, and nothing that can be called conclusive.

The problem is that we humans like to relate to animals by projecting our own emotions, fears and feelings onto animals which have no capacity for them. One fruit loop suggested in a recent article that a fish's face expressed fear. Not bad for an animal that doesnt communicate with facial expressions, and has no discernable facial control.

Aquariums can be healthy places for a fish to live, as long as the owner knows what he/she is doing. Which is the main reason why I dont have one... :eek:
I can see both sides of the story - many animals in captivity have long and happy lives, without predators, lack of food, bad weather etc., but I have also seen the terrible suffering caused to animals by the pet trade, when people don't know how to look after them properly or don't bother to find out.

I have kept pets for all my life, all sorts ranging from insects to fish to birds, and they have mostly bred successfully and lived to a good age.

As for the feelings of fish, I have this quote from the book "King Solomon's Ring" by the renowned animal behaviourist Konrad Lorenz:

"And regarding the alleged cold-bloodedness of fishes; I am familiar with many animals and with their behavior in the most intimate situations of their life, in the wild ecstasies of the fight and of love, but, with the exception of the wild canary, I know of no animal that can excel in hot-bloodedness a male stickleback, a Siamese fighting fish or a cichlid."

I think this is true, having observed many kinds of fish, and he is also right about the canary.

He also says:

"A man can sit for hours before an aquarium and stare into it as into the flames of an open fire or the rushing waters of a torrent. All conscious thought is happily lost in this state of apparent vacancy, and yet, in these hours of idleness, one learns essential truths about the macrocosm and the microcosm. If I cast into one side of the balance all that I have learned from the books of the library and into the other everything that I have gleaned from the "books in the running brooks", how surely would the latter turn the scales."

I have spent a large part of my life like that, both outdoors and indoors. There are countless things I have seen, far too much to write here.

If you are planning to have an aquarium, please find out as much as possible about the types of fish you are going to keep and whether they are suitable or not, and good luck!

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Heard the story about the zen master, his student, and the fish?
They were standing by a small stream and saw a school of fish swimming around in the fresh cold water. The master said "ah, look at the fish.. they are so happy".
"But you are not a fish, you cannot know that they are happy" replied the student.
The master looked at his student and softly said "but you are not me, so you cannot know that i don't know how the fish feel"

To feel like a fish, isn't that what's freediving is all about? I have seen fishlife from the predators perspective when i one time chased a big school of fish.. An amazing sight.. Now, i guess i have to go south africa, throw a bucket of blood into the water and then swim down to face a bigger fish chasing me.. Would be quite a feeling..
Hey dc,

Tanks are a blast and great way to find some serenity at the end of a stressful day. I've had several ranging from 10 to 180gallons. All marine. There are some great sites out there w/ lots of helpful hints and strategies. Make sure you do your reading before you begin because there's no pause button once things are underway.

One of your best sources for knowledge is your local pet store; at least ones that sell marine fish. Those guys/girls will test your water and give you tons of tips and suggestions for free.

Good luck,
It's been over a year I think since I was respected with blank unsigned bad karma. Amusing. :)
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I have two aquaria - a plant-filled 10 gallon containing too many, perpetually-reproducing fancy guppies - and the other, a 25 gallon containing four Kribensis, a dwarf african cichlid.

It was a scuba diving buddy of mine, who had made a trip to Africa for the purpose of gathering up wild ones, who got me intrigued by the African lake cichlids. These are fish with "personalities" - some days mellow, other days spoiling for a fight. They have a very distinctive style of moving through the water and can stop and hover on a whim, with nothing moving but their fins. Fascinating to watch, and often reasonably interesting in color as well.
Originally posted by DeepThought
It's been over a year I think since I was respected with blank unsigned bad karma. Amusing. :)

Shitty. Have some good stuff,
Erik Y.
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Getting back to the original question, the first thing y'gotta think about, dc, is that the fish you're taking out of the sea are adapted to cold water. If you think keeping a tropical marine tank warm is a bit pricey, look into what it costs to operate a refrigerated one. Years ago there was a science-buff teacher in the next classroom over from me who had a collector's license from the Calif DFG and a refrigerated tank in his classroom . . . that never worked! You'd think that the same technology that keeps the beer cold would work on the fish prior to fillets, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Back from Africa, with scars.
What you might want to consider this about running a cold salt water tank:

With room temperature warmer than the tank, you will get constant condensation on the outside of the tank, which will run down the glass and make a mess. To avoid this you need a very expensive double paned tank. Also, cold salt water tanks will eventually corode every metal surface in the room, and mold all others. Don't ask me how this happens but this is what a few pros at Vancouver aquarium told me when I enquired about doing what you have in mind.

I went with a tropical freshwater community tank in the end and now have a 45 gallon one. If I ever live near some warm salt water again I would try it for sure though.

Hope this helps.

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