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Re: Salt, Ich & Quarantine

Kevin Reavis wrote:
"James, I appreciate your passion and obvious knowledge of our hobby - but
this is a hobby.  Most of us have learned through trial and error and from
each other.  Our resources and life circumstances are all different and
directly impact the level of intensity and time that each of us is able to
apply to the wonderful world of fish-keeping.  There was no reason for you
to belittle me - I hope that was not what you intended.  I did need your
advice, I didn't need the condescending lecture. Just the same, I appreciate
your help.  Thank you."

You're welcome, I think.....

I've just re-read your original post, and my initial response to it. I'm
sorry, but I didn't mean to sound condescending, nor to belittle you, and
neither of those epithets were intended by me. You asked a question, I
answered it to the best of my ability. If that answer went beyond what you
wanted to read, well, again, I'm sorry.

Quite often, questions get asked here that are indicative of widespread
practice - in this case, it was the common practice of introducing new fish
into a tank without putting them through a period of quarantine first to
ensure that they are healthy and free from disease and/or parasites.
Medicating a fully planted tank can be difficult and is best avoided if at
all possible. Because of the "widespread practice" (of course, only my
perception, but several follow up posts seem to add weight to that
perception), I thought it best to give you (and anyone else who doesn't
quarantine all new fish) as complete an answer as I could. If that turns my
responses into "lectures", then I guess I'm guilty as charged. I've never
been one for quick, pat answers to anything.

Part of that "completeness" involved thinking of some of the possible
arguments AGAINST quarantine in advance, before someone else could jump in
with the "I've never quarantined a fish in my life and I've never had a
problem....you're full of XXXX!" I've been in this hobby and on this list
long enough to realize that for every recommendation I or someone else can
make, there are probably half a dozen counter recommendations that people
might put forward. The remark concerning the affordability of either a box
of Discus and/or a separate quarantine setup was more to head off the
inevitable "too expensive, too much trouble" arguments I expected from other
people, not necessarily a sermon from me directed specifically at you.

Your statement regarding your lack of experience with salt as a treatment
and your worry about the initial period of elevated temperature made me
think that perhaps you either haven't been at this for too long (not a bad
thing, just that both practices have been in common use for at least 50
years and are mentioned in many books). This only reinforced my belief that
any "good" answer to your question ought to be as complete as possible,
giving reasons and backup for anything I might suggest.

While this might only be "a hobby", it is one which deals with living
creatures and we (hopefully) ought to be endeavoring to provide the best
possible living conditions for our pets. In some cases, that means going a
few steps beyond what is easiest or most convenient for us as hobbyists and
going the extra mile for the sake of our fish. At least, that's the approach
I like to take on this "hobby". The suggestions I made need not be expensive
from a financial point of view nor require that you have a whole room
devoted to aquariums - I suggested that a quarantine tank could be stored
between uses and also suggested a relatively inexpensive power filter to
keep it clean.

I stand by my initial comment that if you ("or anyone else") can afford to
buy a box of Discus, you ("or they") can afford a spare tank and an extra
power filter for it. If that means that you (and again, "or they") had to
buy one less Discus, the safety factor you (and finally, "or they") would be
able to provide the remaining fish would be well worth the effort. If there
was a "lecture" anywhere in my response, that was it. End of sermon, AMEN!

Again, I apologize if any of this sounds like a lecture - it isn't meant as
one. Communicating via e-mail is fraught with difficulties and more problems
are caused by brevity than by completeness. Far too many questions here get
answered briefly and without sufficient backup - when things get glossed
over or go unmentioned people can get the mistaken impression that essential
parts of the initial advice can be ignored safely. Feel free to pick and
choose what advice you decide to follow and what you decide to ignore. I
reserve the right to say "I told you so..." after the fact <g>.

James Purchase