The joy of being a "beginner...again"

Perhaps the beginner knows something we don't.

I think I- we- that is, more "advanced" hobbyists...know too much. 


And I don't mean that from an arrogant perspective or anything.

I think that I, like so many hobbyists at my level of experience, tend to overthink every aspect of the aquarium hobby, particularly during the new tank startup phase, rather than just letting ourselves enjoy the moment- the wonder, and the awe that comes from doing something special, beautiful, and, let's face it- incredibly cool!

I mean, setting up a slice of nature in your own home?

This IS something amazing, huh? 

Something that nine tenths of the world will never get to experience or even comprehend.

And perhaps- just maybe...we know too much.


We understand all of this stuff.

We experienced it many times over the years, and have watched- and even reassured- others that "All of this is normal" and to, "Just be patient and it will pass..."

You know- "aquarium stuff."

Outright beginners actually have it much easier in this regard, I think.

I mean, when just having a glass or acrylic box of  freshwater or saltwater in your home is a novelty- a cause for rejoicing! You tend to live in a bubble of gentle "ignorance" (eeehw- that's kind of harsh)- okay, let's call it "blissful lack of awareness about some things" that some of this stuff really sucks...

And that's actually a beautiful thing- because a beginner is taken by the sheer wonder- and joy of it all. They don't stress out about stuff like algal films, detritus on the substrate, micro bubbles and the occasional falling piece of wood in their aquascape. They're not worried about that yucky algae or water moment or any other of a dozen minutae like we are, because they don't KNOW that it can linger a long, long time if you don't manage the tank correctly at this phase.

They're not "handcuffed" by their past experiences and the knowledge of having set up dozens of tanks over the years. Rather, they're just stoked as all get out by the thought of Lowlight Tetras, Amano Shrimp, Glass Catfish, and ultra-common Bettas taking up residence in the new little utopian microhabitat they just set up in their New York City apartment.

I think it's entirely possible to release ourselves from the "burden" of our own experience, and to allow ourselves to enjoy every aspect of this great hobby, free from preconception or prejudices. To just make decisions based on what our research- gut, or yeah- I suppose, experience- tells us is the "right" thing to do, then letting stuff happen.

In other words, taking control of the influence that our own experience provides, rather than allowing it to taint our whole journey with doubt, dogma, second-guessing, and over-analysis of every single aspect.

And relaxing.

Embracing the sheer joy of being a beginner. Again.

Sounds like fun to me.

We should all try it some time.

Stay excited. Stay engaged. Stay blissful. Stay grateful...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics


Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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