Dogs are to companionship as fishes are to spectacle. That fish make a great show is the main reason why aquarium fish keeping as a hobby has grown in popularity in the last 30 years. In its simplest sense, aquarium fish keeping is the act of keeping and caring for fishes in a water-filled tank called aquarium. The aquarium, which may be made of glass, plastic, or acrylic, is designed both to hold fishes and to simulate ocean habitat. People who engage in aquarium fish keeping are formally referred to as aquarists.
Aquarium ecology is the most important aspect of fish keeping. The ideal aquarium ecology recreates the equilibrium found in ocean, river, or sea within the smaller confines of an aquarium. Use of large volumes of water is the first step into creating such equilibrium. Eliminating waste produced by aquarium habitats (fish, fungi, bacteria, etc) is also necessary to maintaining balance in an aquarium habitat. Aquarium waste comes in the form of nitrogen. When concentration of nitrogen waste in water becomes high, they become toxic to fishes and other aquarium inhabitants. Hobbyists must include organisms that eliminate or metabolize waste products produced by other aquarium organisms, such as nitrifiers (a kind of bacteria) and aquatic plants. If an aquarium doesn't have enough nitrogen-neutralizing bacteria for maintaining healthy aquarium ecosystem, the problem can be addressed by integrating filtration system into the aquarium.
History of aquarium fish keeping: Records show fish keeping dates as far back as the antiquity. The earliest record of fish keeping was by Sumerians (2500 BC). The Babylonians (500 BC) also held accounts of fish keeping. During antiquity, however, fish were kept for consumption. The Chinese were the first to breed fishes (carp and goldfish) for decorative purposes during the Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279 AD). In 1691, ornamental goldfish made their way to Victorian England, triggering a craze that had people setting up aquariums at home. Since then, experiments and studies were conducted on how to keep fish live longer indoors. The first major achievement on the area of fish keeping is Robert Warrington's discovery that changing the cycle of water is essential to maintaining sustainability of fish tanks. Modern aquarium fish keeping as we know it began only in the 1920s, when entrepreneurs began breeding fish for business.
Aquarium fish keeping as a Hobby: Fish keeping as a hobby is regarded as an activity for pleasure as opposed to keeping fish for consumption. Aquariums do not only add beauty to one's homes, watching fishes swim in a tank is regarded by many to therapeutic, too. With the development of better aquarium technology beginning the 20th century, hobbyists have greater chances of success at fish keeping.
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