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Old 08-10-2010, 12:58 PM   #41 
Ashkeldir
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Originally Posted by Kittles View Post
The fact is, a betta can thrive or suffer in a half gallon of water the same way it can thrive or suffer in five, ten, or twenty-five gallons. It's not so much the volume of water as it is the expected maintenance that matters. Obviously, smaller volumes require more strict upkeep, but if one is managing then who are we to criticize proper care?
Perhaps I misunderstood, but I got the impression that the OP intended for this thread to be a place of reference for those newbies who have little (or no) experience to first visit, to learn the most important things they need to know right off the bat.

I think your statement above is a perfect example of exactly what the OP intended (again, I'm only guessing, but I think that is what was intended).

Your statement tells the newbie that regular maintenance is necessary, and the amount of maintenance varies based on the size of the tank (as well as the types of plants, filters, fish, etc)

And that tiny little piece of information is far more critical to a Betta Splenden's health and happiness than the actual size of the tank, because the size of the tank is all based on 'opinion' (though my opinion is that it should be in a bigger tank, because I hate to see anything in a 'confined' space, and because the 1" per 1 gallon rule exists, from what I understand, because that allows the amount of waste the fish produces to follow the traditional water change 'rules' - not because it allows the fish to 'exercise and be happy'. I personally believe the minimum for any fish should be 10 gallons, and even that is small - because they don't have that much room to swim around - though they do get more exercise than in a 5 gal...

Again, perhaps I misunderstood, but I believe this thread was intended to be about agreed upon facts - things like, Betta Splendens are tropical and therefore require heat; min temp should be 76deg F, and 'ammonia can kill them, as can nitrites, so careful monitoring of water parameters is necessary, and proper maintenance will make for a happy fishkeeping experience'.

Opinions don't matter if you're dishing out facts - but then, maybe I misunderstood.

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Old 08-10-2010, 01:15 PM   #42 
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Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
I've gone through a lot of "Just Getting Started!" threads, and what people usually end up wanting is a list of things they should buy, and a simple explanation of why one product will help them more than another.

A separate thread should discuss proper housing and how to maintain that housing, another should discuss proper diet, one with common illnesses and their causes, and another should discuss tank mates. That way as the new person goes through each of the forums, they can get an overall view of betta care in chapters rather than going up against a huge block of text when all they want to look at is a very narrow topic. They are more likely to go to the forum whose name corresponds with their question than they are to refer to one sheet at the beginning. Say one person comes in, and all they look at is the Betta Habitats forum, because that's the origin of their question. They'll immediately see the sticky and have a better idea of what to do.
I concur, this would have been a god-send when I first came here a week ago. I did eventually find most of the information I needed/wanted - here - but I am also visiting a couple of other sites (I don't just blindly accept the opinions on one site without verifying that info elsewhere) - and it would have been nice to see everything Adastra wrote in that post right off the bat.

I did read the FAQ v3.0 and found plenty of good info, but I think it would be even better to have a few of the most important rules at the forefront - and IMO, the ammonia/nitrite (water quality) issue (which ties in with tank size and the amount of fish in the tank and the amount of maintenance required for said tank based on the above and other factors like live plants, beneficial bacteria, etc) should be the very first thing on the list. It would allow people to decide from there on out what size tank they might want, and why.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #43 
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Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
Telling someone their lethargic fish doesn't need a heater is just
irresponsible, and cruel.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #44 
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I was thinking more along the lines of ignorant--after all, the person probably just got the wrong impression somewhere along the way. He or she probably had good intentions.

I don't really understand your post, Ashkeldir, that is in response the post made by Kittles. Are you trying to argue the weight of opinion over fact? Or perhaps that these "facts" are also subject to opinion based on factors other than water quality? If the latter, then I would agree.

After all, there is more to it than water quality--the fish needs adequate heat, space to exercise and express its natural behavior, and environmental enrichment. In containers less than two gallons, heating is often problematic, there is less space for exercise, less space for hiding places where the fish can feel secure, and less places to explore and patrol. One could also argue that the shape of the container also plays an important role--vertical space doesn't have the same value as horizontal space, after all.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:14 PM   #45 
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Yea, to go purely based off of facts would be a difficult thing to accomplish on a topic that hasn't been scientifically research over. I mean, try and search "Scientifically proven facts about betta fish", you might find yourself chewing at odds and ends. Where there is quit a bit of facts that we can draw apon, there is an equal or larger amount of opinionative thoughts in which will produce 50%+ of what we need.

I'm sure it would be more then possible to maintain a bettas fish entire life trapped in a .5g tank, but would this be plausible? In a factual world, does the contentment of the fish actually matter? In which case, would we just assume the minimal treatment for a betta fish, Ash? That could be as presice as a .5g tank (or even small) with a 100% water changes everyday and a source of heat (weather that source be efficiently thurough or not, a source regardless)

I agree that we need facts in aras which it is most needed, or even a disclaimer regarding the diffirence between facts and 'ehtical minimal practice'. Though I do see the profound need for the opinions as well. Perhaps I was mislead by your post though, the term "Agreed apon facts" looses me; in the sense that if it were a fact that there would be no need for agreeance? Like Adastra, I'm also lost on the clear point of your post, Ash.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:44 PM   #46 
dramaqueen
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By the way, the breeding sticky was meant to be a general guideline for breeding.Jackie and Floridabettas. I would welcome some good info to add to it. Or, if you feel something needs to be taken off of it, let me know.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:18 AM   #47 
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There's some solid discussion going on in this thread, however a couple of the comments have me a bit worried.

Setting aside the fact that there is more than one way to keep a fish (and surely many ways to keep one poorly, or for not very long), I think that setting "standards" for care is a dangerous road to take. I think our responsibilities as fishkeepers include not only teaching newcomers how to care for their pets, but why certain fishkeeping practices are better than others. It pains me to imagine seasoned forum members replying to "bad advice" with a link to a sticky and a comment along the lines of, "excuse me, Mr. Incorrect, but that information doesn't meet the Bettafish.com Minimum Care Standards." Even more painful is the thought of silencing posts, or worse yet, banning people for earnestly giving out advice they feel is adequate yet which doesn't meet our standards (of course, purposefully giving out bad advice intended to cause harm to members or their pets and property is a different matter altogether).

Instead, shouldn't we respond to instances of "bad advice" not only with counterpoints offering good advice, but also some sort of reasoning as to why our advice is better? Which sounds better to you:

Quote:
Sorry, bettas need to be kept in heated tanks. It's in the forum standards for betta care. Here's a link: (link to stickies).
Quote:
Bettas require heated tanks. Bettas, like all fish, are cold blooded creatures that are unable to regulate their body temperatures. Instead, their body chemistry is determined by the temperature of the water they are kept in. In water that is too cold, even room temperature water, biochemical reactions such as immune response are affected negatively and can result in sickness or even death for the fish.
Having all of that information in a sticky saves time, sure, but telling people why they need a heater is always more valuable to the member seeking advice and the community in general than silencing bad advice with only the Forum Standards as justification for your arguments.

As a final point, I think it's important to remember that fishkeeping has undergone a lot of changes in the years and years it's been around and there are many practices today that are seen as "the right way to do things" that would have had the experts laughing you off of the forum (or out of the room or off of the telegraph or whatever it might've been) however many years ago. Current care guidelines are a great resource, especially when backed by the opinions of (current) experts and scientific data when available, but for the above reason as well as others I think it's important to allow the free exchange of information. Whether the moderating team decides it's best to enforce minimum care guidelines or not is ultimately up to us but I would personally be upset to see members chased off the forum (or scolded, or told that they're wrong, or whatever) under the guise of Forum Minimum Husbandry Standards.

In short, it shouldn't be about "stopping the spread of bad info" but rather about encouraging good husbandry and making stronger arguments than the proponents of said "bad info."
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:09 AM   #48 
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I agree completely iamntbatman...well said......
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:46 AM   #49 
Ashkeldir
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Originally Posted by Adastra View Post
I don't really understand your post, Ashkeldir, that is in response the post made by Kittles. Are you trying to argue the weight of opinion over fact? Or perhaps that these "facts" are also subject to opinion based on factors other than water quality? If the latter, then I would agree.
I was commenting on Kittles' comments.

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Originally Posted by Kittles View Post
this isn't a black and white issue.

As a community, we should work towards helping people with what they have. To provide appropriate advice and information that is specific to their situation - not apply a finite 'standard' to all scenarios by which to judge. There will always be a difference of opinion, and it should be accepted, respected.

The fact is, a betta can thrive or suffer in a half gallon of water the same way it can thrive or suffer in five, ten, or twenty-five gallons. It's not so much the volume of water as it is the expected maintenance that matters. Obviously, smaller volumes require more strict upkeep, but if one is managing then who are we to criticize proper care?
My point in regards to this was that it was more important for me as a newbie coming to this site to know that the water quality (and thus the frequency of changes) was the reason behind why the fish might thrive in a 25 gallon tank or a 2 gallon tank.

In everything Kittles said, the most important word is maintenance, which ties in with the ratio of water volume to water change ratio, as well as other factors like bioload, live plants vs fake, and so on.

I wasn't arguing that those are the only factors, simply that the maintenance is one of the most important factors that newbies likely don't understand, and from what I'm hearing about the emergency thread, I'm guessing correctly.

My brother in law came over on the weekend and he was asking me questions - they've had an aquarium for two months - but he's been doing 100% water changes, cleaning the bowl completely, etc - I guess he never researched it - but if he had, would he have found the most important point right off the bat? If he isn't someone who is willing to spend a lot of time on the internet, like some of us, he may miss the most important point - water quality.

Other things like 'room to exercise' and 'horizontal space vs vertical space' are important, but not critical to a fish's survival. I'm not saying don't list those things - I'm saying that the facts should be listed as facts, and the most important should be first, and the explanation for those facts should follow - and I can see you are all already on the right track, as far as that goes, so you don't really need my input anyway. :)
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #50 
Ashkeldir
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Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
I think that setting "standards" for care is a dangerous road to take. I think our responsibilities as fishkeepers include not only teaching newcomers how to care for their pets, but why certain fishkeeping practices are better than others.
I think that the word 'standard' can not be applied in this instance, other than to list the facts that are already presented in the FAQ. I have to therefore agree with the second statement above. People tend to remember when they understand 'why'.

I think the only thing that can be done is to list available options, explain why those options work, why some people find some options to be better, and to explain why some options are disliked by some (or many). It would be better to leave it to facts rather than opinion - so, when mentioning that the fish might survive in a .5g tank, one would mention that it will not thrive, and that daily water changes will be required to have a healthy fish - but one should not mention that 'most people here on the forum' or 'responsible fishkeepers' prefer to see the minimum acceptable tank size as 2g - because it is better to argue the positives rather than the negatives.

For example, if we mention water quality as being important to the fish's health, that ties in to tank size, because it ties in with water changes and regular maintenance - and the tank size ties in with a happier fish, because it gets to show off, exercise more, etc. I believe this is already done quite well in the FAQ, though I would make some adjustments to get the more pertinent information to stand out more

If I were to write about tank size, (besides writing about the mud puddle myth, and the small bowl size in which people usually see them at the pet store) I might say something like :

Many experienced members of this website house their Betta Splendens in 5 to 10g tanks, or even bigger tanks, for various reasons. *** here is where we talk about the how/why of water quality*** and *** here is where we talk about the how/why of regular maintenance to maintain water quality*** and that leads us to why it is advantageous to the owner to have a larger tank, because of the need for less frequent changes, and why it is better for the fish to have a larger tank, because of less stress for the fish, more room to exercise, better water quality on a regular basis, more room to hide/explore/show off, etc etc.

After all of the above was explained, I would mention the .5g tanks, the tiny bowls, etc, and comment on how daily water changes are required for tiny bowls, how the fish can't exercise, has no room to explore, etc

- but the first thing I did in all of it was mention that the 'experienced members here do x' and then educated the visitor as to why - then I can point out why the smaller tank is a bad idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
In short, it shouldn't be about "stopping the spread of bad info" but rather about encouraging good husbandry and making stronger arguments than the proponents of said "bad info."
I suppose I could have just quoted the above, but then I wouldn't have been me ... :P

Last edited by Ashkeldir; 08-11-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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