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[Killietalk] Levels of killifish zen...
While it may not be unique to chemists we used to say that when you attained
your Bachelor's Degree you thought you knew everything. When you obtained
your Master's you realized there was a lot to know and when you got the Ph.D.
you realized you didn't know squat.
So when do you become a killifish zen master? I know it is possible to be in
this hobby 30 years and still be an idiot (and I know others, mind you!).
The first great realization comes when you discover you can't become rich off
of these fish. The second comes when you discover it is hard to get what
species you might like. Another is realizing keeping more and more species
is like juggling more and more plates. Another is when you think everything
is going right with a species and you pay it less attention, it bites back
and/or some unplanned mishaps cause you a major setback with the species.
Another is when you have your regional Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Office
number on your cell phone directory and know the inspectors on a first name
basis or know what a form 3-177 is. Another might be the ability to apply
Latin grammar in naming conventions and never studied Latin or aren't even
Maybe the real test is being able to say that you have decided which fish you
want to focus on, actually obtain them and maintain them for 2 or more
generations and discover you still like having them in your tanks.
I don't want to pile on Fred but in a club show naturally the sponsors like
the ability to generate money from the fish you sell. They like you wish it
was more money and I know they feel sheepish when they send you a check that
after postage gets you a buck or two per fish for your efforts. If you want
money maybe one should consider sending something more rare or unusual. If
you are going to send something common, then it should be winning material,
maybe a prize candidate but if not that, then send an entry buyers want to
use to introduce quality into their own stock.
If you are providing fish for a club box exchange, think a little, if that
bag was coming in a return shipment to your club would you be jumping out of
your seat to get it or are you just hopeful they have one or two members who
haven't tried it yet? In both of these cases remember the reason for
providing fish in the first place is to invigorate the receiving
Almost 10 years ago while on business I had a hobby altering experience
thanks to a visit to see Bill Gallagher in San Mateo. It wasn't a mind
blowing number of species or even show stopping specimens that altered my
perspective. I had realized I was approaching 50, my son was half way
through college and didn't appear like he was going to permanently camp out
in my recently purchased home. I had been keeping killies for over 20 years
and kept saying I would work on this or that when I finally settled down. In
Bill's fishroom I saw many of the fish I had long planned on working on when
this day arrived. Not only did he have this or that fish but he had some
unique processes in place and a few contraptions built to make his fish
keeping lifestyle a little easier. Knowing I had always had a bunch of ideas
in the back of my head that I wanted to try they were also on the "back
burner". It was then when I left Bill's place I realized I was at that day
#1 when I would stop putting things off.
So, I don't chant when I pick eggs but I don't curse when the mops are empty.
I still feel bad when something dies on me and even worse when I notice
something one day and put it off only to find that next day was a day too
late. But I am happy with what is in the basement...
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