Okay, so I'm sure everybody has seen commercials for the plethora of aquarium TV shows that are starting to come on TV. I have never watched one until the other day and now I want to boycott these shows... I don't remember which one I watched, but it was on the Travel Channel.
Anyway, the episode I saw was a famous basketball player who wanted an aquarium for his living room. He called this company that builds aquariums and maintains them (which is the company that owns the show too). They came to his house, gave him and estimate, and did all the work for him. All he did was write them a big check and looked at his tank like a picture frame on the wall... He didn't know anything about the fish, he didn't clean the tank, he didn't know what to do when something went wrong - he just called up this company and paid them more money to fix it so he could have a "cool aquarium to look at".
I'm sure there's lots of people out there who pay to have their tanks maintained, but I'm personally against it. Fish are pets, not displays. Yes, you can make the tank look beautiful and it definitely adds something to your house, but they are PETS. If you want to buy fish, research what they are, set up the tank yourself, and do it yourself.
The problem I had with the show is that they were giving information that I feel is false or not recommended. For example, they recommended getting plastic corals and reefs for a saltwater tank because it's cheaper, you don't need heavy lights and it's easier to maintain. Saltwater fish NEED live rock, live sand, live corals, lots of light, etc in order to survive. You can't build a thriving community with plastic rock, plastic corals, and play sand. Nor can you make an aquascape with plastic plants.
I just feel like these TV shows are going to be like all the other crap on television. When the storage auction shows became popular, everybody started going to yard sales and storage auctions. Now everybody is going to want fish, but they are most likely going to go to the local Petco, buy a 10 gallon aquarium kit, basic flake food, and 15 incompatible fish to overstock it.
I have two tanks - a 36 gallon planted community and a 10 gallon shrimp planted tank. Both are several hundred dollars worth of stuff and require maintenance every few days. They require testing the water, dosing vitamins, feeding a variety of food, maintaining CO2
levels, administering chemicals like Flourish, water changes, heaters, air stones, live plants, and LOTS of research. You can't just walk into Petco, buy the 10 gallon "kit", basic food, and fish and expect to be successful. The "kits" only come with a light (most likely incandescent), tank, and crappy filter. They don't include things that all fish need like a heater, oxygen air stone, substrate, etc.
Maybe it's just me, but I can't stand to see these ignorant fish owners. We've all seem them at the pet store... "I'll take two of those algae suckers (common pleco), two of them red ones, and six goldfish" when they have a 10 gallon tank that's supposed to be a tropical community.
What are everyone else's thoughts? Are the television networks smart by showing these programs? Not once did the people on the show mention the word RESEARCH. Personally, I think the so called "experts" needed to do a bit more research themselves because they were saying some things that just aren't true.
I'll stop ranting now and leave this open for discussion...