||For new aquarists, fellow club members can offer a wealth of advice born of years of experience. They can save you (and your fish) from many of the beginner’s mistakes that can wipe out an entire tank and leave you frustrated and discouraged. Club raffles and auctions can help you build up your collection of livestock, plants, food, and equipment at rock-bottom prices (and you’ll be helping the club at the same time.) Club members can suggest types of equipment (or at least what to avoid); tell you which shops have the best deals, the healthiest fish, or the widest selection; and walk you through various solutions to problems you may run into.
For experienced hobbyists, clubs can help you network so that you can finally get your hands on a hard-to-obtain species. More advanced members (or those who specialize in a particular family) can give you tips on breeding and other more complex aspects of the hobby. Horticulture and breeder award programs can provide challenges and keep you interested in the hobby. Finally, club members provide an attentive audience for your “fish stories.” Your friends might not understand what’s so amusing about the killifish that’s in love with your cory catfish, but other “fish people” will get a chuckle out of the tale.
There is much that you can learn from other club members, and much that you can offer, regardless of your experience level. Old hands love to help newbies… any reason to run our mouths about our favorite fish is a good one! Because the Cleveland Aquarium Society is an all-species club, it will give you the opportunity to learn about species aspects of the hobby that you might not have heard of otherwise. And, of course, it’s fun. You can hang out with a diverse group of people who have one interest in common and maybe make some new friends out of the deal.
The Cleveland Aquarium Society meets on the first Tuesday of each month in the Cleveland Zoo’s education building. Come by and check out a meeting. You never know what you’ll find!