Intellectually Stimulating

I’ve waited months for this on-line class I signed up for to start.  It’s over at Coursera, (, and called “Human Evolution: Past and Future”.  It’s one of those subjects that my grandfather got me interested in when I used to spend the summers with them.

At any rate, I was watching one of the introductory videos and this lady was stating how her field studies were “Intellectually Stimulating” by making her broaden her interests.  That’s when it hit me.  That is exactly what has kept me in the fishkeeping hobby all these years…  it is very Intellectually Stimulating.

Now don’t laugh, but I’ve been looking for the best way to describe what makes this hobby so great to others for almost 50 years now.  You know with some hobbies, at some point in time you just reach the end of the fun and it’s time to look for some other means of entertainment. That never happen with the aquarium hobby because….. It’s Intellectually Stimulating.

Mouthbrooder imageHow’s this, just after I got over the wonder of livebearers and raising my first “baby” fish, I found Convict cichlids.  These fish lay eggs and then guard the eggs and the fry until they are big enough to fend for themselves. Just as that was wearing off, I was introduced to  Oreochromis mossambicus, the Mozambique Tilipia.  These fish are mouthbrooders.  The eggs and then the fry are held in the parents mouth.  If you have never seen hundreds of tiny fish disappear into their mother’s mouth at the first sign of danger, then you my friend are in for a treat.

Well in the course of all that, I also learned about water chemistry, and the all the nuances of tank lighting.  About substrates, and biological filters, and culturing live foods.

To sum it up in two words, keeping an aquarium is Intellectually Stimulating and it can be as involved or as laid-back as you choose to make it.  Broaden your interests and expand your enjoyment of the hobby!