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Re: [APD] Stocking Levels

"Bill" discussed the properly esteemed Dr. Innes' thoughts on stocking:

>In his classic, "Exotic Aquarium Fish", William T. Innes proposed that the
>surface area of the aquarium be the determining factor.

Then he went on to detail some of the proposed surface allowances, not
repeated here.

>He opined that aeration and growing plants would reduce the surface area
>requirements.   He also emphasized that his figures were the minimums
>required.  He thought that the fish would grow better and be healthier with
>double or triple the surface area.

But despite Dr. Innes' many advances - such as the then-radical concept of
water changes - we cannot ignore the fact that those ideas represent the
beginnings of understanding of aquarium biology and kinetics, not anything
approaching a culmination.  Even the simpler "starter" kits at the big box
stores are technically generations advanced from Dr. Innes' era.  Give him
credit for saying that double or triple his suggestions would be a likely
improvement.  That, as so often is the case of pioneer's projections, turned
out to be understatement.  I even have hopes that someday the average
hobbyist may even catch on to the concept that "minimum" is suited to
quarantine tanks, but "optimum"" should be the minimum goal of long-term wet
pet keeping.

We have the information, techniques, and technology available to do almost
whatever we wish with aeration, current, filtration, feeding, water
management, lighting, planting, etc., through the whole gamut of tank
management practices.  But hobbyists still do manage to stunt fish,
suffocate fish in planted tanks (no mean trick there), kill fish in uncycled
tanks, set incompatible and overstocked Noah's ark tanks, and somehow fail
to get the message that captive aquatic critters should be bigger, stronger,
healthier and far, far longer-lived than their wild kin.

But there is hope for us and our wet pets.  IT and forums and lists such as
this one are big helps.  We are making progress. While the good doctor would
I suspect be aghast over the sad state of many hobby fish in the trade today
(Seen and good sailfin mollies lately?), I also suspect that he would be
very pleased with, and would likely adopt for himself, many of the
improvements we have made and adopted.


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