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Old 10-01-2003, 10:36 AM   #1
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Your "Philosophie de Fish"

(Also posted in FW General Discussion, but I want to get some SW opinions, too.)


I thought I'd create a thread along a more philosophical vein. Care to indulge me?

What is your fish-tank philosophy? When you think about your present tanks, or imagine a new tank, what role do these play in your life?

My tanks fulfill several roles in my life. Some, I like to think, are honorable; some are not. Here they are in descending order of importance. (Disclaimer: this philosophy is not a judgment of other philosophies, and I am not attempting to hoist my opinions upon you. No one has to have a philosophy, but it does make keeping fish more interesting and rewarding.)

1) My fish tanks should be as close to a natural environment as possible. No treasure chests, no fake rocks, no pink gravel and no SpongeBob figurines. I like to have rocks, wood, plants, and a natural-looking substrate. If I could redo my tanks, I would make them into biotopes, as these are the best approximations of natural habitats I know of. I'm not an idealist, though. I know that, just as there are no completely objective journalists, there is no completely natural environment in a tank with lights and a heater. Nonetheless, I think it is worth emulating a natural habitat, trying to make the fish most at ease, even if the goal is ultimately unacheivable in full.

2) I like my fish to be happy and feel relaxed. I don't stock aggressive species with non-aggressive species, and I don't own any fish that are even remotely too big for the space they are in. I refuse to buy any fish over 6 inches in length for my 55 Gallon, and if I wanted to buy larger fish, I would obligate myself to house them in a larger aquarium.

3) I like my fish to be cathartic. When I sit in front of my tanks, I want to feel deeply relaxed. Whenever I am having a difficult time motivating myself, I make sure to take a few minutes, or an hour, with my fish to encourage myself to work.

4) My tanks should be brilliant showpieces. I don't like having a tank which is in disarray, and I don't like having water which is cloudy. When my friends come over, I want the tank to inspire conversation about moral/ethical conflicts, environmental issues and anything else that springs to mind.

What about you?

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Old 10-01-2003, 05:12 PM   #2
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I am the God of the Ocean...my philosophy is simple....care as much for the bristle worm and the copapod, as you do the clownfish, corals and tangs

Poseidon ~ The god of the waters, earthquakes, and horses, and brother of Zeus.
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Old 10-01-2003, 06:53 PM   #3
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Great question. I'm a freshie, can I respond here ?

I feel much the way you do about achieving as close to a natural environment as possible for our fish. I believe they deserve nothing less. Like you, I more appreciate aquariums that look like the underwater of a river or stream, with things that can be found there such as wood, rock, sand, plants, etc, with gentle water movement. Fake decorations with neon colors and unnaturally-colored gravel to me looks very busy and artificial. I'm not knocking anyone who has their tanks done this way, it's just a matter of preference.

I also believe in keeping my fish healthy the natural way and preventatively... thru the boosting and strengthening of their immune systems with a healthy, varied diet close to what they would eat in nature ... worms, bugs, and algae, etc instead of using the "reactive" approach of using medications AFTER they get sick. Like humans, fish are susceptible to diseases when they are under stress so I try and create as stress-free of an environment for them as possible with good stocking choices, pristine water quality, and lots of free swimming space.

I believe that if we take care of our fish, they will take care of us by providing for us an underground wonder to enjoy ... one that will reward us for years after with a calm, relaxing view to watch either as we fall asleep at night, or to have to show off when people come to the house to visit.
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:49 AM   #4
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My phillosophy is simple as this.

Attain natural instinct and behavior from the fish. While I'm not totally there yet, I am partway there.. Since as I have a betta thats happy enough with his new tankmants to blow bubblenests, crabs that molt, and everything else
30gal; Bala Shark, Pl*co
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:14 PM   #5
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For most of my tanks, much the same as above. All my various watery worlds are important to me, and I want my fish to feel at home.

However, i am in the process of setting up a tank for my neices and nephews to enjoy. Bright fake plants, Glaring Blue gravel, Sponge Bob, Squidward, and some bubbling pirate seletons! Thinking about those laser light thingies too. If I get them intesested in this, they may someday come to enjoy my big planted tanks, and perhaps want to take up the hobby themselves.

Also, to a large degree, I don't think many of our capitve-bred fish will care about plants and decor so much as good water quality, and a high quality diet, which I will provide.
Old 10-02-2003, 01:15 PM   #6
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Other then plant eating fish, Fish don't much care about the plants at all I wouldn't think. as long as the plants give a good place to spawn/hide/sleep I don't much think they care. :p
30gal; Bala Shark, Pl*co
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:02 PM   #7
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I actually like the look of our blue gravel in our 20gal - it livens up the tank and offsets the fish colors well. We have fake plants and lively fish in here (danios, tetras, guppies) who make this tank fun to watch. There are 'fake' decorations but all are supposed to look 'real' - no treasure chests or mermaids here either. *grin*

Our 50gal has more 'natural' colored gravel and live plants along w/ a large rock w/ holes in it for the fish to swim through. This houses more agressive fish too - mostly Barbs w/ one algea eater and a huge pleco. Not heavily planted since the fish are pretty active and don't hide much in the plants that are in there.

I couldn't tell you which tank I enjoy more. On different days, they both appeal to different senses. I love the larger tank because the fish are tons of fun and they come to the top to nibble on my fingers when I feed them... but I like our smaller tank too because the fish are, again, lots of fun to watch and there is more variety in there - lots of different colors.

So my philosophy is simply to keep my fish healthy and happy, and to enjoy the tanks as much as possible. If I didn't enjoy the maintenance or if I felt the tanks were becoming a burden, I wouldn't keep them.

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Old 10-02-2003, 04:16 PM   #8
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well Poseidon, I can think of a few things you can keep....aiptasia for one. Kind of like the darn mosquito.

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