Photos by MANUEL YAP
When I first started taking care of Fishes, I used only plastic candy jars that could contain about half a liter of water. I vividly remember having three jars where I placed Black Mollies, Angelfishes, and Swordtails given to me by my uncle. A few months later, I had to use plastic pails and water bins as I learned more about Fish care.
Next, I purchased a single five-gallon aquarium that turned out to be insufficient. My biggest aquarium back then was a 35-gallon one made of glass. The small apartment I was staying in couldn’t handle the number of tanks, so I had to use our backyard. As I grew in experience, so did the number of tanks.
Both my office and home contain multiple tanks and ponds. I realized that I had acquired an odd trait now popularly called multi-tank syndrome (MTS). It is a term used by aquarium hobbyists to describe the urge to acquire multiple fish tanks, ponds, or other fish enclosures.
PROS AND CONS
MTS has both positive and negative effects. People who have it tend to spend huge amounts of time and money, often to the detriment of other areas in their lives.
Those who have MTS often cannot resist the impulse to constantly purchase and set up new aquariums.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
Below are some of the things you might experience if you have multi-tank syndrome.
This syndrome can lead to a significant amount of time, money, and effort being spent on aquarium maintenance, and can also cause problems with space and overcrowding.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If you do have MTS, here are a few things you can do.
THINK ABOUT YOUR ELECTRIC BILL!
Currently, I have around 100 tanks and 30 ponds. The electricity expenses are no joke, including the feeds, equipment repairs, and replacements. I have also hired two personnel to help my tanks and ponds.
ARE YOU DOING IT FOR AN EGO BOOST?
Be aware that one possible reason for having an urge to accumulate tanks is to brag to others.
The presence of social media can be an outlet for those taking care of Fishes — it might trigger us to show off about how advanced we are in our research and execution.
I always remind Fish guardians that someone with real knowledge and expertise remains a student who acknowledges that there is still much to learn.
WORD OF ADVICE
Having multiple tanks is fun, similar to having an art collection. However, it’s important to keep it in perspective and prevent it from becoming an obsession. [Besides, unlike art pieces, Fishes are sentient creatures who require committed care. -Ed.] With responsible practices and a focus on balance, you can enjoy the benefits of multiple tanks without letting MTS take over your life.
MTS can be both beneficial and detrimental. While it allows you to expand your collection and explore new challenges, it can also lead to excessive spending, neglect of existing tanks, and added stress to yourself and others around you.
By maintaining a balance, such as by setting a budget and prioritizing responsible practices, you can enjoy the benefits caring for Fishes without letting it consume and adversely affect your life.
“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV For questions, please email [email protected]