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Is this mainly a guy hobby?


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Not that it matters, but I'm curious.

I just realized I often hear of wives who want their husband to stop getting more tanks, but not much about husbands who want their wife to stop getting tanks. (I realize not all partnerships are M/F, nor are individuals, but I'm thinking statistically here.) Is the aquarium hobby more often a guy hobby?

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Posted (edited)

I’m my experience it’s much more balanced than my other hobbies. Mountain Biking, Fly Fishing and Boating are overwhelmingly white males. Gardening is mostly female and from my perspective the aquarium hobby has a good mix. 
My mom got me into the hobby as a kid. My wife bought our fist planted tank during lock down. My daughter is always ready to feed our goldfish or take a trip to the koi farm. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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Posted (edited)

This might be easier to answer via a poll?  Not sure how to set that up though... 

Anyway... I’m a 44 year old woman who set up her first 40 gal in August 2020. Not necessarily due to Covid - my BIL gave me the tank a year prior (he upgraded and has 10-12? tanks, maybe more) and I finally moved to a house where I could set it up. Fast forward to now and I also have a betta tank and a 75 gal African cichlid tank. My other half let me get rid of the couch to make room for that one 😊 He’s tolerant, supportive, and likes to watch them - but the work (and expense) is all mine. 

Edited by LaurieinIA
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I'd assume, just by seeing how much content on TikTok alone there is of a woman/girl with bettas, that it's not really the situation.

However, I guess guys are more prone to the multiple tank syndrome because many of us are materialistic people, and we want more of the things we enjoy. I know for sure I'm never satisfied with the amount of tanks I have. I've been into this hobby only for a few months, and I already have 3 tanks. I just want more and more aquascapes, breeds of fish, and different sizes of tanks. Basically I want to have the experience with as many fish and tanks possible.

This is only me speaking about myself, but it has been shown on researches that men are more materialistic than women, so this might be the reason you hear of a wife who wants her husband to stop buying tanks more often than you hear the opposite.

 

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My hubby will go bonkers if I get another tank for...plant grow out ..quarantine...hospital...fry grow out because he knows they are all turning into permanent aquariums. ROFL. THE last one was but honey the bigger tank would mean less water changes so often if I keep same fish so the water bill will go down.....yeah more fish more snails more gallons....

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3 hours ago, LaurieinIA said:

This might be easier to answer via a poll?  Not sure how to set that up though... 

I actually was about to set one up, but knew I needed at least three categories, and honestly couldn't think of the right way to do that. I'm putting the "ner" in "nerm."  😂 (If any of you would choose a third category and want to educate me, I'll listen.)

2 hours ago, James Black said:

From the social media perspective, yes. There aren't a whole lot of Women Fishtubers. There is Joanna (primtime aquaitics) Lisa (KG Tropicals) Taylor (Simply Betta). But the majority of the fishtubers are men. And on instagram I see mostly men with aquarium related instagrams.

Good observation.

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13 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

I actually was about to set one up, but knew I needed at least three categories, and honestly couldn't think of the right way to do that. I'm putting the "ner" in "nerm."  😂 (If any of you would choose a third category and want to educate me, I'll listen.)

Good observation.

male

female

and

other 

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When my male relatives had tanks their emphasis was "cool" fish and dramatic aquascape/decor setups. Like an aquatic sports car 🙂 The female fishkeepers I've known in person have had either more of an interest in creating a natural environment focus or more of a "these fish are my babies" approach with highly interactive/friendly personality fish like bettas, pacu, fancy goldfish. One of my adult kids is a fish/shrimp keeper and she definitely sees herself as the 'mother' of her fish.

Online we have access to more people than in real life and I'm always happy to find more variety/exceptions to the above, like Cory praising guppies.

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2 minutes ago, PineSong said:

When my male relatives had tanks their emphasis was "cool" fish and dramatic aquascape/decor setups. Like an aquatic sports car 🙂 The female fishkeepers I've known in person have had either more of an interest in creating a natural environment focus or more of a "these fish are my babies" approach with highly interactive/friendly personality fish like bettas, pacu, fancy goldfish. One of my adult kids is a fish/shrimp keeper and she definitely sees herself as the 'mother' of her fish.

Online we have access to more people than in real life and I'm always happy to find more variety/exceptions to the above, like Cory praising guppies.

it is one of those hobbies that has something for everyone. 

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  • 2 months later...

I know this is an old post but I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I wondered the same thing when I was first getting into fish. When I started doing research (mostly on YouTube), I did start to worry that this was mostly a guy’s hobby because I just wasn’t seeing very many women fishtubers. The whole “wife isn’t happy with my aquariums” trope was part of that impression, too. As well as the emphasis on equipment and stats—water parameters, lighting parameters, gallons per hour, sooo many stats. Sometimes reading other forums, I felt like I was listening to guys talking about sports, throwing out each player’s stats left and right. (Nothing wrong with that—just seems like a guy thing to me for some reason. 😄@Irene was the first woman fishtuber I found, and it was a bit of a relief—“oh, I could fit in! It wouldn’t be weird if I kept fish!” ❤️ 

Still, when I joined the forum, I chose a name that would leave my gender anonymous because I was worried I wouldn’t be taken as seriously if people knew I was a woman. I’ve done this on other forums too—sometimes the internet isn’t kind to women. 😛 I need not have worried though! Once I got to know everyone, I never felt out of place. This forum seems very diverse, and I’m sure the emphasis on kindness is part of what makes all sorts of people feel comfortable here. Our forum’s membership shows that the hobby itself is very diverse too, even if the public face of the hobby is less so at the moment.

And now I’m one of the women who’s husband is always despairing about how much money/time/space/resources I spend on fish. So I’ve come around to really appreciating that trope. 😄 

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On 8/20/2021 at 12:58 PM, Hobbit said:

I know this is an old post but I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I wondered the same thing when I was first getting into fish. When I started doing research (mostly on YouTube), I did start to worry that this was mostly a guy’s hobby because I just wasn’t seeing very many women fishtubers. The whole “wife isn’t happy with my aquariums” trope was part of that impression, too. As well as the emphasis on equipment and stats—water parameters, lighting parameters, gallons per hour, sooo many stats. Sometimes reading other forums, I felt like I was listening to guys talking about sports, throwing out each player’s stats left and right. (Nothing wrong with that—just seems like a guy thing to me for some reason. 😄@Irene was the first woman fishtuber I found, and it was a bit of a relief—“oh, I could fit in! It wouldn’t be weird if I kept fish!” ❤️ 

Still, when I joined the forum, I chose a name that would leave my gender anonymous because I was worried I wouldn’t be taken as seriously if people knew I was a woman. I’ve done this on other forums too—sometimes the internet isn’t kind to women. 😛 I need not have worried though! Once I got to know everyone, I never felt out of place. This forum seems very diverse, and I’m sure the emphasis on kindness is part of what makes all sorts of people feel comfortable here. Our forum’s membership shows that the hobby itself is very diverse too, even if the public face of the hobby is less so at the moment.

And now I’m one of the women who’s husband is always despairing about how much money/time/space/resources I spend on fish. So I’ve come around to really appreciating that trope. 😄 

I know what you mean in feeling out of place. I’ve never done other internet groups.  Until I started learning to “surf the internet” I never felt this hobby was gender preferenced but you are very right in a lot of things I read sounded like hubby talking football.  I was very intimidated to interact on the forum figuring everyone would just think cooky eccentric old lady…then I remembered I am a cooky eccentric old lady and I am good with it. I found folks on here exceptionally welcoming and friendly.  
Hubby says so many years of sucking on siphon tubes (didn’t know the nifty dip and lift trick until Corys video) has cause fish to get sucked into my head that now swim there endlessly.

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My wife is the one who kick started our current planted tank hobby. My mom was the one who introduced me to the hobby in the first place. When I was in high school she volunteered at the national aquarium and would we would have the women biologists over for dinner. My 18 year old daughter doesn’t always admit it but she’s a budding nerm. Her TikTok stream is full of guppy videos. 

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In my anecdotal experience of buying used tanks and equipment on marketplace over the last 6 months, it seems to be mostly women in the hobby in my area.

Though having said that the people in my area who are so into the hobby to the point of fish rooms and breeding, attempting making a living out of it etc were all guys - probably because we are less sensible! 

Edit: come to think of it, I have interacted with a bunch of people on this forum (mostly asking for and getting advice!) and most of the time I have no idea if the person is a man or woman - kind of like it that way! We aren't male/female/American/European/old/young here, we're just Nerms hanging out! 

Edited by KentFishFanUK
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On 8/20/2021 at 10:43 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

In my anecdotal experience of buying used tanks and equipment on marketplace over the last 6 months, it seems to be mostly women in the hobby in my area.

Though having said that the people in my area who are so into the hobby to the point of fish rooms and breeding, attempting making a living out of it etc were all guys - probably because we are less sensible! 

Our local groups seem to be about 50% female and also of diverse ethnicities. 

The local garden club, on the other, hand is about 90% female. I bet that’s different in England.

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There are probably more women out there observing than posting.  I think it’s more of a guy thing to “show off” his stuff and that may also help explain the apparent imbalance in fishtubers.  Plus a lot of women tend to protect themselves with gender ambiguous forum names.  As @Hobbit points out, the internet can be very unkind to women.

I had to delete my LinkedIn account years ago as it was not helping me at all but somehow attracted several male followers that had absolutely zero connection to my actual profession.  It doesn’t take many weird messages to convince you to hide your gender on line.  And it’s not like I’m some hot young thing, I’m nearly 60 now and that was only about 10 years ago.  I can’t even imagine the messages one would get if they were an attractive, young woman!

I see as many women at my LFS as men, but have also noticed some slight disparity in what interests them.  I see loads of women in some of the Facebook groups but how and what they post does appear to show some mild gender disparities compared to what men post.

I’ve found this forum to be much more amenable and polite with no shenanigans allowed.  But it took some lurking before I posted anything that would reveal my gender.  I’m a tough skinned old coot, but I just didn’t want the hassle of dealing with anything nasty.  I’m glad this forum is tightly moderated.  It’s a relief from the hassles of Facebook bull.

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On 8/20/2021 at 6:51 PM, Patrick_G said:

Our local groups seem to be about 50% female and also of diverse ethnicities. 

The local garden club, on the other, hand is about 90% female. I bet that’s different in England.

Probably, I have no experience of actual gardening clubs but just enjoying gardening as* a hobby seems to be pretty well shared between men and women here - though can't say the same about generations, it's definitely not a popular hobby amongst young people. 

Fishkeeping however seems to be an even spread of ages. 

All anecdotal obviously, and even then limited to my area. 

As to ethnicities, unfortunately my area is not very diverse to begin with and obviously that's reflected in the hobby. I imagine it would be very different in London (which is only like 60-90 mins drive away but still)

Edited by KentFishFanUK
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On 8/20/2021 at 10:59 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Probably, I have no experience of actual gardening clubs but just enjoying gardening as* a hobby seems to be pretty well shared between men and women here - though can't say the same about generations, it's definitely not a popular hobby amongst young people. 

Fishkeeping however seems to be an even spread of ages. 

All anecdotal obviously, and even then limited to my area. 

As to ethnicities, unfortunately my area is not very diverse to begin with and obviously that's reflected in the hobby. I imagine it would be very different in London (which is only like 60-90 mins drive away but still)

Not sure if it's the same in the UK but gardening is an old person's hobby mainly because young people can't afford houses with gardens. I've been renting my whole life and doing guerilla gardening around apartment buildings just to scratch the itch. We have finally managed buy a house and I can't wait to "dig in"! 

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On 8/20/2021 at 7:08 PM, gjcarew said:

Not sure if it's the same in the UK but gardening is an old person's hobby mainly because young people can't afford houses with gardens. I've been renting my whole life and doing guerilla gardening around apartment buildings just to scratch the itch. We have finally managed buy a house and I can't wait to "dig in"! 

To be fair even 'young' people I know who own their own houses with gardens (myself included) see gardening as mostly a chore. I think that's probably partly due to time constraints of working full time and raising a young family etc, if I was retired and my kids grown up and I had more time for it I would probably enjoy it quite a bit. I certainly enjoy being outside in the garden anyway! 

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On 8/20/2021 at 11:08 AM, gjcarew said:

Not sure if it's the same in the UK but gardening is an old person's hobby mainly because young people can't afford houses with gardens. I've been renting my whole life and doing guerilla gardening around apartment buildings just to scratch the itch. We have finally managed buy a house and I can't wait to "dig in"! 

I was thinking the same thing. I didn’t start gardening until we bought our first house when I was 30. 

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In my school system, the teaching staff is made up of more women than men, especially for younger grades, and many of those teachers have classroom aquariums. I would hazard a guess that more children are introduced to aquariums by female fish keepers!

This forum seems pretty inclusive and welcoming. We also seem to have a mix of young aquarists.

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On 8/20/2021 at 3:10 PM, Streetwise said:

In my school system, the teaching staff is made up of more women than men, especially for younger grades, and many of those teachers have classroom aquariums. I would hazard a guess that more children are introduced to aquariums by female fish keepers!

This forum seems pretty inclusive and welcoming. We also seem to have a mix of young aquarists.

Some very knowledgeable young aquarists like @James Black, @CorydorasEthan and twenty somethings like @Isaac M who add much to the forum. 
 

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