Prepare for a full blown rant my fishy friends…

Along with the rest of the world, here in the UK we have been on lockdown for what seems like forever! I think we are just about to go into week 9 here now as I write this.

It’s been tough. Not seeing family and friends, not being able to enjoy my Friday night pints at the local, not being able to get out on the horses… it’s genuinely hard going on your mental health.

I am fortunate enough that I have managed to keep working throughout this pandemic, but my partner has not been so lucky. He has had no work, and we are not entitled to any help from the government, so we are a wage down in our household, which means things are tight financially, but it also means we are spending WAY TOO MUCH time together.

Everyone is in the same boat. We are all bored. Some of us (myself not included in this, unfortunately) have some extra cash laying around from paychecks that haven’t been spent on days or nights out. So their answer… start a fish tank. THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA!

Now is not the time to join this hobby

I have seen countless posts on social media, all starting with the same phrase:

Now I’m furloughed, I have time to start a fish tank...

Fantastic. I’m so pleased that now you are bored at home, with nothing to do, without having to go to work, without normal life getting in the way, you have “time” to start a tank.

Bored at home

What happens when you go back to work? IF you go back to work!

That cash may be burning a hole in your pocket now, but let’s face it, eventually life HAS to go back to some sense of normality. Maybe not exactly as we knew it, but eventually the world has to start turning again and you will have to go back to work.

Will you really have the time to look after a tank properly when you go back? If you didn’t have the time before this pandemic, then what makes you think you will have the time to properly care for your tank when we all have to go back to work?

It doesn’t make sense to make a decision about joining this hobby based on you being bored now and having a bit of extra cash.

Careful Consideration

You have to remember that your whim of wanting to own a fish tank is potentially putting animals, and their lives, at risk.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no animal activist and it makes me squirm writing this sort of post, but people’s lack of knowledge, care and consideration for these animals is really beginning to annoy me.

Setting up a fish tank is not just something to do while you are bored. It is a long term commitment. You really do need to put careful consideration into this hobby and know that you are going to be able to find the time and finances after the lockdown is lifted, to be able to maintain a healthy aquarium.

Job Losses

I really hope I am wrong in this, but I strongly believe that once this is all over, there will be an influx of unemployed people. Why? Because we are about to lose a whole bunch of small & medium sized business, including god knows how many pubs, cafe’s, restaurant etc., who just don’t have the finances or the backing from the government to help keep them afloat during this time.

The government can’t support everyone. There is no need to be sour about it, they are doing the best they can, for as many as they can, but the reality of it is, lot’s and lot’s of households & businesses are going without help. Some of them will not survive this.

Where I am in Devon, the county would normally be teaming with tourists at this time of year. These tourist’s often provide enough income to support businesses through the tougher, much quieter, winter months. These businesses now don’t have that backup for the winter.

I really hope that we are all allowed out for the summer, not for my own sake, but for the sake of these small businesses. But if it isn’t safe to do so, we won’t be let out & if even if we are let out, will people be brave enough to go out. That is something that none of us can answer at this point in time.

Job Loss
Job Loss

If you have been furloughed, what’s to say your business will survive this? Yes, most of the big chains will survive, but in reality, I honestly think there will be a mass job loss, in turn flooding the job seeker’s market… who’s to say you have more chance of getting a job than anyone else? Your job may not be as secure as you think at this time.

With that in mind, save you extra cash. Don’t blow it on an aquarium just because you are bored!

The future

If, once this is all finishes, you find that you still really want to set up a tank, and you have the time and funds available to dedicate to it, that’s fantastic! I really hope you do join the hobby, and that I am still in it to help if I can.

It’s a very rewarding hobby, but it does take up your time. You need to be sure you have the time once you go back to work.

I hope that most of the local fish stores will survive this pandemic, and I will be there to support them when it’s all done, I hope you will be able to say the same thing!