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How important is it to understand the mechanics of your fish tank

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please vote - on a scale of 1-10, with 1 meaning "I don't want to understand the mechanics of my fish tank" and 10 meaning "there's nothing more important than understanding the mechanics of my fish tank", how important it is to you? This is an anonymous poll.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The science behind keeping fish is what I mean. A broad question, encompassing everything from the cycle to water chemistry to lighting and more. Thank you for asking that.



I guess those on the app can't vote in the poll. If you aren't concerned about maintaining your anonymity, then you can just post a number in the thread :)
 

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It's hard to make a judgement here. I personally want to know everything and anything I can find out about my aquaria and how to be a proper caretaker. Knowing about the fish, the water, the plants and the bacteria, what they do, how they interact, the give and take going on, all can give me clues as to what my role is in the equation. Having said that, though, there are many who keep aquaria successfully with only the basic information.

In the end, I do believe the more I know, the better off my plants and fish will be. Whether it's required to be a successful hobbyist is another matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's hard to make a judgement here. I personally want to know everything and anything I can find out about my aquaria and how to be a proper caretaker. Knowing about the fish, the water, the plants and the bacteria, what they do, how they interact, the give and take going on, all can give me clues as to what my role is in the equation. Having said that, though, there are many who keep aquaria successfully with only the basic information.

In the end, I do believe the more I know, the better off my plants and fish will be. Whether it's required to be a successful hobbyist is another matter.

I agree completely.

So this isn't a matter of what level of Interest is required to be a successful fish keeper - it's just a measure of the membership base. Do think about all the facets of fish keeping (not just the ones you are interested in), but don't think too much :)
 

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well, this is a simple question that is not so simple......understanding the cycle and water chemistry is pretty important, and with water chemistry is knowing which kinds of fish is best suited to the water you have....the lighting,filter, and other gadgets are not so important
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree that filters in and of themselves aren't all that important, comparatively speaking, but filtration as a whole is a pretty important aspect of fish keeping, though obviously not so important to those that choose to not filter their betta tanks.

Lighting can be pretty important for those with planted tanks. So I hear. Not having planted tanks, I don't change bulbs till they go out. Clearly not important to me :)
 

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Do you want us to answer for OUR personal fish tanks only? Or for fish tanks in general?

Many people on this forum have unfiltered tanks and do frequent water changes to maintain the water quality. Others have filtered tanks. Still others have opted for NPTs. Each of these has differing requirements, meaning that differing amounts of knowledge are required in order to maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

For example, say someone has an unfiltered 3 gal tank with silk plants, and a single Betta. They do one 100% (or close to it) and one 50% water change per week. I would say that this person's fish could be perfectly happy and healthy, even if the person had zero knowledge (or interest) in cycling, filtration and/or lighting.

But if someone has a NPT and/or relies on a filter to help maintain water quality, then yes, they should have an understanding of the mechanics. (Ammonia, ammonium, nitrates, nitrites, the types of nutrients or lighting required for plants, etc.)

IMO, asking how important people consider the "mechanics" is the SECOND question that should be asked. The FIRST question should be "What type of tank do you have?"

(As a final thought, when you say "the science behind fishkeeping," would you also include knowledge of diseases and conditions, or the signs/symptoms associated with them? Because then we could discuss bacterial or parasitical growth rates at different temps, parasite life cycles, gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, anaerobic and aerobic bacteria. And after that, we could discuss medications, the effectiveness of different medications at differing pH's, whether they treat internal and/or external conditions, etc.)

OK, I'm done being a troublemaker now. And no, I haven't voted yet. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You're thinking too much :)

How important is it to you to understand what's going on in your fish tank?
 

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I think it's important to know the "mechanics" of your aquarium, in general. For me, it's very important...but then again, my tanks are a bit more complex than your average betta tank. There are some things I really have no use knowing, though. I voted 8. :)
 

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Sooo .. To say more simply .. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you care to learn here? Right? Would that be the simple way to word it clearly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sooo .. To say more simply .. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you care to learn here? Right? Would that be the simple way to word it clearly?

Ummmm, not exactly. I think there are people who just want to be told what to do and there are other people who are here to LEARN. And everything inbetween.
 

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Sooo .. To say more simply .. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you care to learn here? Right? Would that be the simple way to word it clearly?
About care and maintenance of a tank? Or about aquatic diseases and conditions that can occur within a tank and the effects on its inhabitants? (Albeit that the care/maintenance can have a direct result on the prevalence of diseases and conditions.....)

Because while I have zero interest in the mechanics of cycling my tanks, I could spend (and have spent) a huge amount of time discussing bacterial and parasitical growth rates at different temps, parasite life cycles, gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, medications, the effectiveness of different medications at differing pH's, whether they treat internal and/or external conditions, etc.

So how do I vote in this poll if what I "care to learn here" is topic specific, and includes only some topics, but not all?

Again, not trying to be a troublemaker, but for example:
I have no interest (currently) in cycling my tanks or the lighting required for plants. But I DO have an interest in other aspects of water chemistry, such as [NH3]/[NH4+] interconversion at different pH and the biological effects of [NH4+] versus [NH3] in the body, the effect of pH on medications, etc.....

I'm concerned that if I vote for a high number in the poll, it will not be interpreted as I want - which is I want to learn about and discuss the medical/biological aspects of what occurs in the tank, but have less interest (currently) in learning/discussing other mechanics such as the filtration/cycling aspects of it.

Yep, there's a troublemaker in every crowd. :-D
 

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You're thinking too much :)
It's not the first time I've been told that. Are you surprised? :)

How important is it to you to understand what's going on in your fish tank?
While they're healthy? Or when they get sick? I think for many of us, it's less important while the fish are healthy. We assume that things are good, and don't worry about the details. (I did say "many of us," not all of us.) If the fish start getting sick though, this becomes much more important, meaningful and urgent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How important is it for YOU to understand what's going on in YOUR tank? Are you obsessed with understanding every little thing (that's applicable to your tank)? Vote 10. If you have some algae in your tank and you don't really care about figuring out the imbalance that's causing it, then maybe you vote 7. If you just do what people tell you to do and don't care to understand why things happen, then vote 1.
 

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I haven't voted yet, but I put myself about halfway so probably a 5 based on the criteria in post #17 .

I do spend a lot of time reading and researching and have a decent knowledge base to draw upon, but I don't actually put a lot of it into practice and am not someone that spends time obsessing over their tanks.

In actual fact, I don't even know the pH of my tanks and it's been months since I last did an ammonia test on anything but my goldfish tank.

For example to answer your question in post #17, I have algae in all my tanks. I know why I have that algae and what I could do to prevent it, but I don't, because to me that isn't important.

All of my decisions are basically based around my fish and their behaviour. If my fish are thriving that's great and I just do my weekly water change and that is it. However, if my fish are sick or obviously not doing well, that is when I start to put my aforementioned knowledge base into practice and figure out what is going wrong and how I can remedy it.

I suppose I could say that I am a lazy but somewhat knowledgeable fish keeper.
 

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Jaysee may or may not like this post ;-)

You have no clue how similar your fishkeeping sounds to his. He knows a lot .. But does only what he needs too .

This doesn't make Jaysee a 1 by not putting his knowledge into practice .. Nor does it make him a 10.. But closer to a 10 then a 1 for sure.


Sent from Petguide.com App
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I evaluated myself at 6.5. I was kind to myself and rounded up :)
 
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