How to deal with..

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Lalo J.

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I'm sure it has happened to many of us, how to deal with demotivation or discouragement within the hobby? It has happened to me on many occasions, especially in my beginnings with failed attempts at angel and butterfly tanks, which are all consequences of doing things wrong and many mistakes of a beginner aquarist, that is when you want to throw the tank out the window, but right now I feel a little discouraged since apparently I have been scammed, I'm just a fish guy, so approximately 6 or 7 weeks ago I bought one of my favorite fish, the Multibarred angel, unfortunately the fish arrived dead in the shipment and the seller immediately agreed to replace the fish, that seemed magnificent to me so a few days later I paid for a second fish, unfortunately it seems that the guy has disappeared since I tried to contact him even at his place of work (a lfs ) and they told me that he hasn't worked there for months, the guy is elusive with text messages, I don't care if I lost money, but the emotion that the wait to have these fish is over and it suddenly takes over is for me a feeling of frustration, I live in Mexico and it's not so easy to get these species, beyond the money lost, and although it is possible that the guy appears, he will most likely have to look for the fish elsewhere. So has anyone had an experience like this? or demotivated situation due to any other situation?

multibar.jpg
 
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NoodleCats

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You know, I think we all go through things like this. That's a really cruddy situation you are in, I'm sorry someone had to treat you that way.

There's been times I've wanted to just give up as well, times I've been super frustrated or bummed with the hobby. When I lost many many fish to the hand sanitizer my kid got in one of my tanks a couple years back, it was a sudden and very heavy blow. Leaves you shell shocked and feeling so many heavy negative feelings.

What has helped me, because there are more good things that help me feel happy in this hobby, is take a step back.
Don't quit.
But just quietly take a little break. Feed the fish, water change, but maybe just try to have some quiet times where you aren't adding anything, moving anything, and as long as there's no dire need to actively work on something, let it be. Who cares if a little algae works up while you take a step back--you can correct that when you feel better. Don't neglect the needs of the living fish, but don't worry too much about the polishing work for a little while.

Focus on the little things that bring you happiness in the hobby and make that a little bubble for awhile. Don't strain yourself, just focus on the happy things while only doing the necessary stuff at the time.

Take a walk, watch videos of cute animals, just silly little things. It gets better.
 
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Lalo J.

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Hello Noodle, thank you for taking the time to respond here, you are very right and it works when handled that way, personally it's always motivating for me to read articles, reviews and also threads from my favorite aquarists, but currently I want to rest a little, I'm not given up and I have always had a clear mind that I will never leave the hobby, but sometimes it's necessary to put the tank and everything around it on autopilot and think that everything I want to achieve here will arrive when the time and life allows it, so in the meantime rest. I also like other hobbies so a busy life will also help, I have a 7 year old son and a little girl that my wife and I are looking forward to.
Lately I have been focusing on thinking about my freshwater projects, I miss my previous tanks, it's something that I love about this side of the hobby as I see it as an "scape valve", there are so many great things about freshwater tanks that it's inevitable not to love them , and at the end of all I think that the vast majority of aquarists are in this hobby because we once started with freshwater aquariums, so have fun :).
 
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Lalo J.

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Today I tried to contact the seller and he simply ignored my messages, I was really scammed, wow the money is gone but the opportunity to have the fish is also gone, I'm very discouraged right now, maybe I will regain confidence in a couple of months or I don't know.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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This is life-


If we dwell on the unpleasant things that do happen to all of us, life can be miserable.

This year I had the worst fish disaster in my 23+ years keeping fish:
1. Maid got cleaner into a tank in the bathroom holding 21 zebra plecos. Lost 10 before I completed a major series of water changes.
2. A heater got stuck full on in my Budrovcan line 236 breeder tank and wiped out all 10 adults and about 30 offspring.
3. Accidentally got bleach in changing water and wiped out 2 tanks- one held 100 amano shrimp for cleaning algae off of plants the other contained 23 zebra plecos A person had asked to buy.
4. Tried an experiment of shipping many fish in a giant bag. left iit set up overnight and killed about 15 of 25 :173 plecos.
5. Lost about $4,000 selling value of fish in a year due to toxic shipping bags.

And reading the above you would think it could not get too much worse.

I had a breeding group of wild caught L173. They have been actively breeding and I knew I had a lot of assorted sized offspring in the tank as well. Other fish and life considerations caused me to neglect the tank for what turned out to be too long. When I finally went to get caught up on maint. and possibly pull offspring, I discover dead fish all over the tank. In the end I removed at least 75 fish from recently free swimming fry to 3+ inch fish. I added amquel before I began pulling fish, once the dea were removed, I did two massive water changes, returned minimal decor/caves to the tank and added huge pieces of PolyGilter to both AC hang-ons. I also rinsed out the 4x4 20 ppi cubefilter.

The next day I removed 2 more dead fish including one of the breeders. I estimate I also saved about 10 assorted size offspring as well as the rest of the breeding stock. But I fear that what killed the fish likely also left the survivors unable to breed successfully. I won't know for some time, but I am not hopeful. There are not a lot of folks breeding this pleco and even fewer who might have stumbled into wild stock as I did some years ago. The only good part of it all is I got a lot of offspring into the hobby with folks which have since been able to spawn. And, I still have other offspring not involved with the tank crash.

So as gutted as I was when this happened, I still love what I do and i still have the responsibility to care for my other fish. So I continue to accept when I an the bug and to enjoy it when I am the windshield which is most, but not all, of the time.
 

fishorama

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Lalo, I'm sorry you've had this happen to you, but it does happen in various ways sometimes. Not always or even often with the "ripped off" angry feeling that you've had but with the sadness & guilt of thinking "I should" have known, done better or researched more.

I knew this year was very rough for you TTA but maybe not all of it 😭 It might be it's seeing it all in 1 post that makes it seem so much worse.

I've had disasters, major disappointments & heartbreaks over the years but very rarely anger at a seller. Not as terrible as TTA & Noodle but enough that I too took a "time out" for a while. I'm lucky that my husband often has picked up the slack even when he's sad too.

NoodleCats has it right, take some time doing the bare minimum for your fish to keep them while focusing on other things that make you happy, like your kids. Much of our lives is a roller coaster ride of up & downs of all types of emotions...it happens with fish tanks too.

Don't give up yet, the good part of fish keeping can come again. Maybe your son will have an interest? Not the same as yours but still good!...
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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That long list was over the prior 23 years, the 173 loss was this year.

And never forget, we don't really keep the fish, the fish keep us ;) (happy, healthy and often relaxed).
 
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Lalo J.

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Hello again, thanks for taking a look at this thread and thanks for the advice. TTA I'm sorry for your massive loss of fish, they really are some of the most special fish I know in freshwater, I can't imagine how complicated it must have been, but we are still struggling in this hobby, I think forever, it seems that there are situations in which the ones where you have no control and it just sucks but sometimes there is nothing to do, fishorama thanks for your message, I'm a little more focused on freshwater aquariums right now and relaxing little by little. Unfortunately my son and wife don't share the hobby with me as much, they just tolerate it, lol 🙃 . I'm going to have a daughter in a few months, so I'm preparing myself so that she can continue with the hobby in the future and she can accompany me from her early years. As I mentioned before, I'm concentrating on freshwater now, I want to make many improvements including increasing the capacity of my tank maybe massively, I have not had much movement there and I'm stuck with few fish and no plants, I want to change that but still studying the way to improve.
 

Annetti

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I'm sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. Dealing with scams and setbacks can be disheartening. Remember, you're not alone. Many hobbyists face similar challenges. Keep searching for reputable sellers and don't lose hope. Connecting with local communities or forums might offer valuable support and advice.
 
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fishorama

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Hey Lalo, feliz ano nuevo my friend!

How are you doing these days? New daughter huh? Congratulations! She probably needs some baby fish toys soon to help her be a daddy's little fish girl :D or will she be a mermaid?
 
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