Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

This repository is for research only. New discussions take place in our current Tropical Fish Forum.

Archivarium 2004
Repository of our 2003/2004 Topics
 
  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Myths, Facts, and Practices
 Forum Index > Aqua Lounge  Search Board
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mlody
Advisors


Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, USA

PostPosted: 2005.01.19(Wed)17:56    Post subject: Myths, Facts, and Practices Reply with quote

As some of you have noticed, I have been away for a long time (back once in a while and out again), for various reasons. This has given me something that I never really expected, a chance to test and try out a lot of "tricks" or methods that are suppose to improve a problem. This unfortunetly lead to the total infestation of algae within my planted tanks, but the good side is that no fish were harmed in the process. Smile

Most of the methods I tried were related to plant keeping. I have noticed that many things such as, Keeping the macronutrients abundent with the CO2, light, and dosing micronutrients leads to disaster. Other things such as using diffrent foods does not help a phosphorus situation. There are other things that I have got to experience thanks to lack of time. Mad

My point is, its funny how dependent we've gotten on things out of a book, or just because someone said that. There are so many complex reactions inside the aquarium that sometimes it is extremely hard to find a problem, yet other times it may be as simple as doing more frequent water changes. This to me resembles the Human Diet Recommendations, which are exactly that... Recommendations.

Does anyone else have thoughts on us hobbyists taking other people's words for it instead of trying a few things out for themselves? Or just overall the topic of experimentation. Would you experiment with your tank, or is it too precious?
_________________
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jbtalt6
Members


Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Location: Middle Georgia

PostPosted: 2005.01.20(Thu)12:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personal experimentation is how I find out information about the fish I keep. I believe too many hobbiest are quick to put out info they have read, heard, or thought they read or heard somewhere. You can look on the web right now and probably find 5 different sites with conflicting information about compatibility, maintenance, feeding etc.

For the most part, I have broken all the "Fish Keeping" rules, (stocking, feeding, maintenance, compatability etc.) and have had great success with every aquarium I have set up.

Not to say that all info shared in our threads is untrue or worthless, some of it is tried and true. On the other hand, not all fish are the same. I have kept Melanchromis aurautus on two seperate occasions and they were completely different behaviorally. One (presently) was very aggressive, yet the other one was very timid. Both times they were in with other mixed mbuna.

I think one of the most important pieces of advise a new hobbiest should follow is not to mix fish that require different water parameters. Unfortunately, they can't even rely on LFS's for proper advise. I've seen fish requireing soft acidic water and fish requireing hard alkaline water being sold from the same display tank.

JM2C

P.S. weekly 20% water changes are over-rated and unnecessary!

JBT
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mlody
Advisors


Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, USA

PostPosted: 2005.01.20(Thu)13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
On the other hand, not all fish are the same. I have kept Melanchromis aurautus on two seperate occasions and they were completely different behaviorally


I totally agree. It is interesting how, like humans, fish have their personalities. Although, all it takes for one species to agressive is "one bad apple." Its funny how we classify fish in similar maners as many other things in life.... such as sterotyping people.

Quote:
think one of the most important pieces of advise a new hobbiest should follow is not to mix fish that require different water parameters


In my opinoin, this may be true for certain species but this also should not be generalized. It is possible to keep african and south american cichlids in 1 tank, even though the parameters are diffrent. This makes me think of another topic... How do one standardize something that cannot be.
_________________
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.02.03(Thu)9:28    Post subject: Re: Myths, Facts, and Practices Reply with quote

mlody wrote:
This to me resembles the Human Diet Recommendations, which are exactly that... Recommendations.
Shocked Never noticed this post until today...

Lets take the rules/ recommendations on human diet, then the regular water changes...
FACT: There is an optimum diet for a human being.
Opinion: The optimum diet is acheivable with grocery store purchases.
Recommendation: buy pink grapefruit, cranberries, etc.

Now we can dismiss recommendations easily: I am alergic to 'X'.
We can doubt opinions: "too many pesticides are used on the grocery store items"
But you cannot go further and say there is no optimum diet for a human being because you can't acheive that knowledge.

Same goes for fish. jbtalt6 has kept hardy fish only. He has kept Severums, mBuna, CAE etc. He has found that these fish can adapt to less frequent water changes than any golden rule. He now seeks to apply that to Discus. He will find out that Discus are not as adaptable.
20% water changes once per week will result in a balance of waste in the tank versus removed by 20%. This high level of nitrates and other wastes that form at 20% regular intervals makes him believe that all fish can tolerate this level of pollution because his mBuna can.
The recommendation of 20% water changes once per week was a recommendation based on the real factual need of removing wastes. Because jbtalt6 has found an exception, he seeks to make a new generalization.

Ever hear of Logical Fallacies?
http://datanation.com/fallacies/unrep.htm
_________________
Discus Man is gone... I remain... #6... I am not a number I am a free man!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
@-McP
Regulars


Joined: 24 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.03(Thu)9:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discus Man you sound a little bit like confucious Laughing

I would agree that some people take what they hear and repeat it without trying it, but I think the bigger problem is when someone thinks they understand something and start advising on it when they only understand part of what they themselves are teach8ing Wink but there are also some tried and true, and foreward thinking innovations that get disregarded because people didn't want to hear said answer...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.02.03(Thu)11:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

@-McP wrote:
but I think the bigger problem is when someone thinks they understand something and start advising on it when they only understand part of what they themselves are teaching
But that would be all of us. Not only is knowledge limited, but so is any interpretation of knowledge.
for example: Activated Carbon will not remove nitrate. FACT
Also fact. Activated Carbon will remove Nitrate.

An argue ment could go on for weeks since the two above facts seem to be contradictory.
It isn't until the definitions of activated carbon are examined and people begin to understand that there are hundereds of types of AC, impregnated, coated, made from different materials.

In the world of aquarists, one should accept the standard thinking even when one can find or follow the exceptions. Example: Even if I have a goldfish and an Oscar living together, the advice to give others would be, no, please don't mix these fish, it is highly unlikely to work out.

The express purpose of this board, as written by Marcos, is to encourage responsible fish keeping, and to debunk the myths of the hobby.
A Myth is defined as "A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology."
This does not mean we throw out the baby with the bath water! Half truth means, revamp the 1/2 that's in error to the best of your experiential knowledge.

Mlody, I do nothing but experiment with my tanks... its why I am in the hobby. I care for my pets, and tinker with the setup. Before I do anything, I check to see what others think of my insane ideas.
Its amazing how often a Steve Hampton, or Huntress, or someone totally unexpected has a very valuable insight. Many a time someone like Mario has stepped in before I dump Potassium Gluconate into the tank!

Sorry for the soap box, but this thread just feels like the opposite of the very purpose of this board.
Simply blows me away...
_________________
Discus Man is gone... I remain... #6... I am not a number I am a free man!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2005.02.04(Fri)7:21    Post subject: Re: Myths, Facts, and Practices Reply with quote

mlody wrote:

Does anyone else have thoughts on us hobbyists taking other people's words for it instead of trying a few things out for themselves?


This is one of my pet peeves. I don't think anyone should ever be satisfied with reading a single book, reading a single answer posted on a forum, or listening to a single person's view face to face. I prefer to assimilate and collate as many sources as I can find and arrive at either a consensus opinion or the opinion that seems most grounded in logic and scientific evidence. The Internet can spread good information or bad information with almost exactly the same speed. It's my opinion that you should always check any information you receive online with multiple sources both online and printed.

But, there are also some folks online that have proved themselves over the years to offer good solid advice that when precisely followed produce repeatable good results. It's those people's opinions that matter most to me. I can trust that the information they are giving is firmly based on science and personal experiences...that's the real key, is the experiences based on a single attempt or is it repeatable time after time. What one needs to watch for are the others who don't follow the directions given precisely and then try to degrade the longstanding repeatable advice because "it didn't work for them"...those folks are just as dangerous as those that repeat poor or incorrect information.

Quote:
Or just overall the topic of experimentation. Would you experiment with your tank, or is it too precious?


The great thing about this hobby is it's ability to be enjoyed on many different levels. Some folks want only to be able to relax and enjoy watching their fish. Working the tank and doing experimentation is not at all an interest to them. Others want to know everything and try to control everything in their tanks. Neither is right or wrong...just different. Personally I fall somewhere in between those two types, while I like to understand and know what's going on, I don't feel the need to control everything about the tank and now I rarely ever run tests on any water parameters. I also think people go through "phases" where experimentation is a big part of their learning experience and as they gain experience they rely more on visual indicators and the "artist" side of the hobby takes over. Less dependency on test kits, more on "feel". Less on science, more on art. Of course not all follow this path, some never want to test and just want to enjoy having and watchin their pets remain healthy and happy.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LittleMousling
Advisors


Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Location: WNY, USA

PostPosted: 2005.02.04(Fri)8:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there debatable aspects of the hobby? Of course. There are always rules to be fudged and shortcuts to be taken.


But ignoring tested and true advice because you want to try something else is just another way of willfully endangering your fish.
I'd never keep, say, Angels and oscars together. Have I ever "tried it"? Well, no, of course not! I don't need to endanger the lives of a bunch of angels to know how absurd that setup would be.

It's long been my experience that many more people choose to ignore known factors in order to "try new things" in fishkeeping than there are people who hold too firmly to the facts.
Don't get the answer you want when you ask a compatibility question? Well, the people answering don't know what they're talking about - after all, *they've* neer kept Discus and oscars together in a 10 gallon tank.
Gee, I wonder why not?

Face it: nearly every combination of fish you can imagine has been tried, and from those that haven't, the existing information is plenty to make an informed decision. Have Pseduotropheus lanisticola and the most recently-discovered Apisto ever been kept together? Probably not. Do I know how badly it would go if I mixed them? Heck, yes. I don't need to "experiment" by endangering the lives of my fish.

Discus man has it exactly right. Maybe you can get hardy fish to survive in terrible communties or completely wrong water conditions - for a while. But show me that Frontosa supposedly adapted to acidic, soft water in five years. In ten years. Or show me the JD and the Kenyi happily living together five years from now, or ten. Might it appear to "work" (depending on how loosely the term is used) for a while, maybe even a year or so? Yes - but fish, like (some) humans, continue to mature throughout their lives, and eventually whatever youthful balance they struck will dissolve and you'll have a ripped-up JD bleeding to death or hide half a Kenyi against the filter intake. Or that Front will slowly waste away from the osmotic stress.

Here's my question: Why do it? You're not advancing knowledge; we already know plenty about fish, their systems, and their behavior to know what works and what doesn't without subjecting them to this sort of VERY unscientific knowledge. We already know why fish with radically different dietary needs can't safely be mixed. We already know what affects massive osmotic changes have on fish cells and kidneys.

This kind of willful endangerment doesn't help anyone or advance any knowledge. It doesn't make the owner look better informed or like a better fishkeeper than those that follow rules; quite the opposite, in fact. All it does is needlessly expose fish to dangerous, unbalanced, unhealthy conditions, on the pretense that they can take it.
My dog can "take" Arctic conditions but I don't tie him in the snow to freeze.


And the worst part of it, by far, is the bragging - there's just no other word for it - of "look what I'm doing with my tank and it's *working*!" No one's impressed; at best, we're worried, at worst, horrified. I'm not sure if the owners of these bad mixes are in denial or merely hiding fish deaths, excessive illness, and the stressed behavior of the inhabitants from an online community that lacks a window into the torture chamber.

Can many fish survive horrible tankmate choices? Sure. And what a great life that would be. Feed them well enough and I might survive living in a lion enclosure - ooh, fun. But one day they'd miss a feed, or I'd fall asleep in the wrong place, or some lion would have had enough of me and - well. Perhaps it's merciful, when fish in these tanks go quickly; after all, the stress of life in the wrong water conditions with completely incompatible tankmates must be far worse than being ripped apart or slowly starved.
_________________
-Molly
Finsout.com! Shelldwellers.com!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
number6
Moderators


Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.02.04(Fri)9:14    Post subject: Re: Myths, Facts, and Practices Reply with quote

Steve Hampton wrote:
I prefer to assimilate and collate as many sources as I can find and arrive at either a consensus opinion or the opinion that seems most grounded in logic and scientific evidence.

In the length of time it takes to form that opinion, run a few tests, or research further, I just hope people err on the side of caution and listen to those with more experience until they have enough info to truly doubt what they are being told...
_________________
Discus Man is gone... I remain... #6... I am not a number I am a free man!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
@-McP
Regulars


Joined: 24 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.04(Fri)9:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve thats pretty much what I was trying to get at but you made more sense of it. And I agree that people who don't follow the directions exactly and then say it doesn't work are in the wrong just the same as people who report the wrong information. Look at the saltwater side of the hobby. how long has it taken DSB's to take off because of critics? The problem is when there is a tried and true process, like say fishless cycling... One person will interperet an article in a certain way and spread the word to whoever has a question about fishless cycling. The problem here is when they missed part of the instructions and then the people that they have given advice to have bad experiences... As far as limiting experimentation id say for fish compatibility you can make educated guesses but some things you have to experiment with... where would planted tanks be if someone hadnt experimented with CO2? Id say the problem is making the distinction between when to experiment and when to go with the tried and true. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Aqua Lounge All times are GMT - 6 Hours Search Board
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L