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

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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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Well I "believe" that having an understanding of cycling and water chemistry and knowing to choose the proper fish that can handle your water is very important like a 10, you would not want to put a pair of $300 dollar discus into a tank with a high Ph, now as far as lighting, well that depends on do you have plants? and if you do is the tank high tech with co2, if not is it just for the fish appearance? so unless you do no research and just like throwing money away you can get this part going with not near as much research as water chemistry, filters is more about making sure the filters are rated for the size of tank you have, and if you want HOB, canister, or sponge, or well the whole sump/ wet dry thing which would require learning how it works, but would be overkill for a betta tank, but if you had a huge barracks set up then maybe it could be useful, the hard part is learning what works with you water as far as fish and plants go.....believe me on the plants end Peachii and I have tried tons of plants in our water and we have crashed and burned, had some spectacular failures, and some amazing success despite what the databases have said about the plants and what conditions they need, and yes I would say that most of the plant database is maybe 75-80% right and that varies from source to source, sometimes you just need to roll up your sleeves and try things
 

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most fish they give you a ph they should be kept in, but that number is really more about spawning, most fish can tolerate a not "ideal" ph, but some fish can not, so when buying fish you need to know this, plants can be the same way, we has bad luck with some of the easiest things like mosses and java fern believe it or not lol where we have high dollar buces that we are having great success with that according to the "requirements" we should be failing, water sprite is another that does not do well, but a lot of this depends on what the water was like that the plants came out of, usually if you can get plants form people in your area they do very well, a lot of plants do not do well with excel, anacharis is one of them but if you go slowly with how much you dose and work your way up to a full dose it will do fine, it helps if you buy from someone who uses excel if you plan on using it.. especially with mosses and anacharis
 
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