My aquarist rant

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Jun 25, 2007
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OK, I'll attempt to re-ignite this dormant but interesting thread.

These days it really is not hard to learn about fishkeeping if you really want to. The internet is full of good advice if you look for it. I think the problem is simply that many folks think you just fill a tank, add filter and heater and fish, and that's it. The ones who really want to succeed at it have a wealth of knowledge available these days. The info is out there if you care enough to look for it.
The problem is that there is still more BAD advice out there. How can a beginning aquarist know which advice to take? Most will simply default to taking the advice of the employees who sold them the fish -- a bad idea since that person's motivations are suspect. How can advice be properly vetted?
 
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biondoa

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Well it can't. In my opinion, if a person decides to get into the hobby, the best way to go is to get into one of these online forums prior to purchasing anything. That of course would be in a perfect world. Once they have started a tank and start running into trouble, I still think the best way is to go online and find information. It is not that complicated once you learn about the nitrogen cycle and keeping your tank clean. You will still run into some problems. We all do, but understanding the cycle makes a huge difference. The cycle and not overstocking. Those are the most important things to be learned and that info is all out there.
 

Zardra77

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There may be a lot of bad advice on the internet, but if you do your research you will see a lot of information overlaps and eventually you'll be able to tell what really needs to be done, like cycling and water changes.
 

Tifftastic

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If you don't gravel vac regularly, which you should, or have a sand gravel mix substrate though goldfish can be messy. They do like to pick up pieces of substrate and move them around in their mouth which can increase turbidity. Its part of the problem of goldfish being introduced into some of the local lakes where I did my undergrad. Fish and Wildlife had multiple studies they cited that showed just how much goldfish increased the turbidity in artificial environments that were made to replicate the natural lakes. Just a thought I had. Not saying anyone is wrong and if you properly maintain your tank I don't think of them as much messier. Though I did read a few things that said that because its harder for them to move their bodies and process food the fancy goldfish do produce more metabolic waste than other fish of a similar size. . .
 

Rbishop

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this here...

"Though I did read a few things that said that because its harder for them to move their bodies and process food the fancy goldfish do produce more metabolic waste than other fish of a similar size."

I also think it has a lot to do with the mouth shape on goldies of all types and plecos....more of a smash and inhale than a bite and swallow..lots of debri....
 
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Duckie

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Well it can't. In my opinion, if a person decides to get into the hobby, the best way to go is to get into one of these online forums prior to purchasing anything. That of course would be in a perfect world.
[...]
The cycle and not overstocking. Those are the most important things to be learned and that info is all out there.
Double edged sword. If you do your research and learn about the cycle and not overstocking prior to starting you will keep researching potential problems down the road. Why not? The information is out there and easily accessable, right? Except if you look online for good examples on how to run a tank, then you want one yourself that looks like it. So you would need to start out with a pretty much tricked out high tech setup. And you would get scared to spend that much money. In the longrun it would have been cheaper to just do it anyway since fixing problems later will be more expensive than preventing them in the first place. If you prevent most problems, and never struggle, you will wonder if everything you did was really needed. Instead of one tank you set up 2 tanks (main display tank and a qt tank). I suppose it is not that hard when you know already that having for example a QT tank and follow strict quarantine routine will end up being cheap in the long run. Except when you just start out, you will need to start with adding fish if keeping fish is the goal. You have to go slow - since shocking the tank is not good. If you go slow AND follow good QT, you are looking at adding a little bit every 6 maybe 8 weeks. You say: oh absolutely, it is worth it, done it twenty times. Difference is while you set up your 2nd, 3rd, 4th tank you still have your first tank to look at. Seeing the end result of a tank that has been established over years does not explain in any way that it took months, maybe a year or more, to get to that point.
 

wesleydnunder

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Double edged sword. If you do your research and learn about the cycle and not overstocking prior to starting you will keep researching potential problems down the road. Why not? The information is out there and easily accessable, right? Except if you look online for good examples on how to run a tank, then you want one yourself that looks like it. So you would need to start out with a pretty much tricked out high tech setup. And you would get ...
Not necessarily true. You make assumptions which may apply to you but not everyone. Everyone has a different idea of the aesthetic that pleases them. That's why petshops still sell day-glo gravel and decorations, along with more realistic-looking scape materials.

...scared to spend that much money. In the longrun it would have been cheaper to just do it anyway since fixing problems later will be more expensive than preventing them in the first place. If you prevent most problems, and never struggle, you will wonder if everything you did was really needed. Instead of one tank you set up 2 tanks (main display tank and a qt tank). I suppose it is not that hard when you know already that having for example a QT tank and follow strict quarantine routine will end up being cheap in the long run. Except when you just start out, you will need to start with adding fish if keeping fish is the goal. You have to go slow - since shocking the tank is not good. If you go slow AND follow good QT, you are looking at adding a little bit every 6 maybe 8 weeks. You say: oh absolutely, it is worth it, done it twenty times. Difference is while you set up your 2nd, 3rd, 4th tank you still have your first tank to look at. Seeing the end result of a tank that has been established over years does not explain in any way that it took months, maybe a year or more, to get to that point.


Do you really need to "explain" to yourself why your first set-up was a success?
Confused by most of this post, Duckie.

Mark
 

Fishfriend1

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Just want to say I read the original story on this and it was awesome! It's cool to see someone who found a fish they love way back when they started and they still love it almost 50 years later. I tip my hat to you :)

And poor Mr. Goldfinger xD

(I skipped everything after the story sorry).
 
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wesleydnunder

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Just want to say I read the original story on this and it was awesome! It's cool to see someone who found a fish they love way back when they started and they still love it almost 50 years later. I tip my hat to you :)

And poor Mr. Goldfinger xD

(I skipped everything after the story sorry).
LOL thanks, man. If you get time, look through the rest and see if there's anything you want to contribute. You may have an alternative viewpoint on something that hasn't been brought up. :)
...or you may have something about which you want ranted.

Mark
 

Fishfriend1

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tl:dr - Bunch of fish stuff and opinions and experienced based opinions and such.
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Not sure if this was mentioned already but way back on page 4 (for me) you guys all mentioned stocking. My opinion of stocking is simple: If the fish are healthy & happy, it's ok! Mixing fish from different bioms? Sure, so long as they can live together. Putting goldfish in a tropical tank? Been there, done that, the black moor did lovely until I had to rehome it due to size. 9in pleco in a 75gal tropical community? That's why I have 3 filters and do weekly waterchanges. So long as the fish themselves are healthy and their needs are met, I believe that you can stock as you please. Overstock it a little, that's fine. Push the limits a bit for some fish - well, as long as they don't suffer that's fine too.

This is contrary to many opinions I've found over the years that basically amount to "This fish can't go with that fish because [Insert Generalized Statement Here]. Each fish is unique - I've had betta that were completely passive and tetra that tried to kill everything they encountered - and what kind of tank they can go in depends on the fish themselves, not on a general statement or species-wide generalization.

I've been guilty of this myself, but I do try not to judge people based on having fish of different temperaments or environs in the same aquarium. So long as none of the fish are suffering from it, that's fine in my eyes.

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On to big fish in small tanks! I'm part of like 8 different fish-related Facebook groups, and a year or so ago I saw a post with an 8in fancy goldfish in a 30 gallon tall. There were no decorations, plain white gravel, and a plain blue background. I confronted the guy about it and his response was that the fish was fine in the tank and that it was healthy. I never actually asked myself "is that the fish's future then?" because I hadn't thought of it that way at the time. Looking back, I can honestly say that was a depressing tank to look at, but that the owner truly cared for the fish and took good care of it.

That said, I don't agree entirely with the idea that a fish needs to have as perfect an environment as possible. The fish certainly doesn't know that it's home is anything less than perfect, and so long as it's needs are met (places to hide, space to swim, food to eat, clean water, companions if they need 'em) than it won't live a lesser life, at least, no less a life than a dog lives rather than a wolf. Yes, it's not a perfect imitation of nature, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing - it's more an owner preference. So long as the fish is happy and healthy, the environment it lives in is entirely up to the owner.

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On the Eat or Be Eaten - YES! This. Even if the fish may not live as 'natural' a life as it would in the wild, it will still live a long and healthy life. It's genes may not be passed down, but the chances they would have been passed down in the wild are slim anyway. I cannot bring myself to euthanize a fish, even if it's clearly not doing as well as it could be. Hunchbacks, for example - I have several fish that are hunchbacked. A mosquito fish and my golden dream killi are the ones that haven't passed on after living long, pleasant lives in my tanks. Now, a diseased or dying fish... I still dont like giving up on them, as I've had fish I'd given up on and decided to euthanize "after just one more day" recover fully from their illnesses... but at the same time I've had some that don't. I just don't think that I should kill them - let them fight to the end. Some may disagree. Good for them, but my opinion and thoughts on the matter won't change. I'd rather be alive and crippled than dead.

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Salt. I don't get why people think salt is needed in a freshwater aquarium. I haven't used it since my noob days. I only medicate my fish for things like ich, and I haven't had any illness in my tanks in over 4 years so I don't even have medication anymore xD

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On Advice: I think that the massive amount of advice out there is an inherently good thing. Yeah, not all of it's going to be accurate, but if you look at 20 different sources and average out the information you'll be more likely to have a success than if you look at one source. One source can be faulty - 20 are much less likely to be faulty. One or two in the 20 may be faulty, but overall they'll be accurate. Asking advice on forums or facebook groups is also useful, as the people there who have experience and knowledge can help newer keepers - even if they may disagree on how to help them.

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I think that's everything! This thread was both fun and interesting to read, and I hope my giant post doesn't bother anyone XD
 
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