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The hobby of ornamental fishkeeping is very popular, with millions of enthusiasts around the world. The first people to keep ornamental fish were most likely the Romans, although the Chinese were producing goldfish from carp species by 350 AD. By 1200 AD goldfish were quite common pets in Chinese homes, and around 1500 AD goldfish were taken to Japan, where the species were selectively bred further. Ornamental fish were being kept in an aquarium in Europe by the mid 1600s. These fish were probably paradise fish and not goldfish; in fact the first goldfish did not appear in Europe until around 1700.

Fishkeeping is certainly relaxing, as the fish are admired by watching them glide gracefully amongst the aquarium décor. The hobby is also educational, teaching adults and children about animals and plants from different countries, along with general biological principals. Aquarium clubs, with their local, national and even international meetings, make fishkeeping a social activity.

The most important advice for any new freshwater aquarist is to learn as much as you can about the fish or group of fish you want to get. The majority of aquarium failure's can be atributed to the owner's ignorance about the fish they are trying to keep. Never be afraid to ask questions about the fish from your aquarium supply dealer; good suppliers will give you good advice. One thing that you can do is to enjoy keeping fish without specializing in rare species or breeding your own. Actually many aquarist just go into the hobby for the beauty and interest of the fish. The most important thing is to be successful with your aquarium.

There is a lot you can learn about freshwater aquariums, even veteran aquarists are continually learning new things. So keep educating yourself as much as possible, there is an enormous amount of information that can be gathered either in books or on the web.

If you have any comments or additions that will improve this site, please let us know by contacting Freshwater Aquarium Guide. Thank You!

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