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Re: Non-standard aquarium methods
>My first post relates to the Quakenbush discussions. Many of you are still
>missing the point about aquarium keeping! I think it is very naive to assume
>that certain gadgets or methods are absolutely necessary or even important
>for successful fish keeping or plant growing. (Let's put discus and other
>special cases aside ;-^).
I don't think anyone is missing that point. The only point I see that's
being missed is that Quackenbush thinks everyone can do it his way and we
know that's not possible. Conditions are not the same everywhere. We all
don't live in his town. No I'm not misunderstanding him either. Not only
does he phrase it that way but I know he believes that because he's told me.
--------------Part of the text of the earlier conversations is included for
The problem with stories like this is that they are often somewhat dependent
on "conditions" in the area of the user. The stability of the tanks without
tweaking alkalinity or adding CO2 may be due to an aspect of chemistry of
your tap water, not
necessarily shared by readers around the country. The fact that you get by
without heaters may be because the temperature of your house is better
regulated than some, or that the mean temperature is higher or lower. Which
one? I don't know. Or that you keep fish that are pretty tolerant. Live
bearers are almost nuke-proof compared to discus. The Dupla crowd has a set
of standard methods from which to work.
Plus you said you didn't use a heater. I can understand this as you live in
Florida. I live in the "warm" part of Canada on the West Coast. Even so, in
winter the house temperature drops to 60 degrees or lower (furnace doesn't
run all day and won't come on unless it gets down to 57). As my aquarium is
near a window and our 50s house doesn't have double-paned windows I don't
think the fish would be too healthy without a heater. My point is that
while *you* can get away with not using a heater due to were you live, you
shouldn't phrase it to sound as though a heater is an unnecessary, hi-tech
frill for everyone.
I can tell this is a Southerner speaking.<g> My winter daytime temperature
PEAK at 68F, and in the downstairs area drop to 55F during the night. This
is _not_ unusual for those of us who live in colder climates and must pay
$$$fuel$$$ bills. I don't know _anyone_ in New England who keeps tropical
fish in unheated tanks outside of a heated fish room. In fact, we had
trouble with Robbie's fancy goldfish until we threw a heater in the tank
set to keep the tank from dropping below 68F.
One of the other things that we all have to keep in mind when assessing
whether a particular method will work for us are the ENORMOUS differences
in water chemistry and climate in various areas of North America.
>Nevertheless, don't believe everything (anything? <g>) on face value that
>you read in an aquarium book, aquarium magazine and especially on this list.
We >are not talking about peer reviewed methods <g>. But at the same time,
>keep an open mind and respect the views of others.
This is so true but they do give us a set of standard methods from which to
work with. I do have an open mind and respect for others views but he
doesn't. I know this from first hand experience.
>In a home evironment, heaters are NOT generally essential for healthy fish
>or plant tanks (The one caution are the few fish like clown loaches who are
>sensitive to sudden swings in temperature and can succomb to ich.... this
>has happened to me and I now try to make sure that the heaters are working
>in my clown loach tank during the transitional month of Oct when my indoor
>home temperature drops from 80 to 70. I personally know many aquarists who
>do not use heaters.. some that maintain the temperature in the fish room,
>but others who let their tanks fluctuate. In fact, I maintain several of may
>tanks without heaters. Fish can tolerate fluctuations in temperature, pH,
>and water chemistry. Certainly, Fish farmers don't heat their outdoor
>ponds, and except under extreme temperatures, the fish survive. The
>important thing is to allow for gradual change and to avoid extremes.
To each her/his own. I think they are generally essential more for the fish
than the plants. It's much easier to heat your tank and get the temperature
you want than to heat your house and get the temperature you want. I like my
tanks to be 77-78 and I can't do that without a heater. I would rather use a
heater than take the chance my fish could get sick. The cost of a heater
which lasts for years is better and cheaper than having to buy medications if
your fish get sick. I think there are more than a few fish like clown loaches
who are sensitive to sudden swings in temperature and can succomb to ich.
>The successful aquatic gardener discovers the correct balance of lighting,
>nutrients, CO2, etc. to grow plants without uncontrolled algae. Many people
>will accept moderate amounts of algae or will deal with it in different ways
>(scraping glass, use of algae eaters, etc). Although many aquarists in this
>group use a lot of equipment, this is not synomomous with success.
I think this should include a balanced temperature too unless maybe the tank
only has plants in it. Even then there is a limit. Although I don't think all
of this is necassary for success I think it does put you in the position to
be more successful. With a balance fish and plants have a better chance of
being and staying healthy. If you agree that's fine and if you disagree
that's fine also.