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Fish keeper from Finland

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Hi all!
I'm not exactly new here, I've been following the forum for a while, but I never got around to introduce myself. At the moment, due to limited space and resources, I have just one 240 liter (55 gal) tank with Lemon tetras, Sterbai corys, a Bristle nose catfish and a lot of snails. I try to keep a good amount of plants, mostly easy slow growing ones like Anubias, Crypts etc. I have had an aquarium for quite some time, but I still wouldn't consider myself very knowledgable about the topic. When I was a child we had a smaller aquarium for ten-ish years, but in the teenage years I stopped for a good while, and then I got the one I have now in 2016.

I have background as a biology student and I was a couple of summers also working with Finnish fish. Nothing too fancy, but I was two summers working with Three-spined sticklebacks and one with Nine-spined sticklebacks. Lovely and interesting fish for sure, but there wasn't a career there for me to be had. At the moment I'm again studying something else, so that I might become something else in the future.

Most of the topics here are quite a bit out of my league, but I might chime in if there's something I just happen to know. Otherwise I'll just lean back, relax and follow the interesting topics you all post here! Thanks for reading, have a good one!

Edited by Dreams of Aquariums
Misremembered the year I got my 240l, oops
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On 2/6/2024 at 7:44 AM, Schuyler said:

What's the hobby like there in Finland? Is it hard to get fish shipped in during the winter? Are there many local fish shops?

As I said, not really an expert, but I'll try to answer as best as I can... I think it's fair to say that the hobby is quite small scale, though it's far from being bad. I think there are a handfull of clubs and the biggest ones have maybe a hundred or so members (of which maybe some ten-twenty are active). There are one or two "large" aquarium themed auctions in Southern Finland per year, otherwise it's just local club meetings and some excursions. I think the highlight of the year for many is when they take a ferry to Sweden to see how the aquarium hobby is done in the "big world" 😆 I haven't unfortunately had myself time to participate in this, so my highlight is usually the big auction in Helsinki. The fish club in my city has unfortunately gone on a hiatus, so I'm actually a member of the capital area fish club. I don't participte in person too often though, since it's a two hour drive there and the metings are a bit too small scale for me to make that effort.

I have no clue about shipping, I have not done that myself and I haven't asked either. I do know that products and plants are shipped, but even with plants the winter shipping can be risky. There are some quite strict laws and regulations governing animal shipments, so it might be hard to get stuff shipped. With a quick googling at least the postal service and FedEX straight out refuse to ship live animals. Because of the laws and the finicky weather I suspect that it's not very common for hobbyists to ship fish to each other. It might be just easier to drive somewhere yourself and pick up what you want, most people live somewhat nearby anyway. I might be wrong though, I'll try and ask someone who might know better once I see somebody in the know.

As for shops, there are local fish shops in at least the bigger cities in the South, and then there are quite good pet stores, that sell aquarium fish and other products. Most of the shops are really small, nothing more than a small room, so we don't have the widest variety at our hands. The shops do get fish in, mostly from Germany or otherwise from Sweden or locally, so the better ones at least have rarer species in their inventory too. The local fish stores can also often order fish in, so I suspect the easiest way to get the fish or plants you want is just to ask your local store to order them for you. Because of the somewhat strict laws and regulations on animal wellfare, the fish stores and pet stores are pretty well run, with usually healthy fish and plants. The personnel also do in many cases ask about your aquarium and try to persuade people to not buy things that grow too large for their tank or that otherwise might be bad choices.      

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Thanks for the detailed response!

On 2/8/2024 at 12:45 PM, Dreams of Aquariums said:

Because of the somewhat strict laws and regulations on animal wellfare, the fish stores and pet stores are pretty well run, with usually healthy fish and plants

I'm sure that drives up prices some but that still sounds really nice.

I just saw in a keeping fish simple video that in Australia the wholesalers are legally required to quarantine. With how often sick fish are sold in the US that seems like a good idea.

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