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The Loach Forum Archives (1)

water quality part 2

Posted By: tom b w <waltzek@neuro.fsu.edu>
Date: Tuesday, 15 September 1998, at 1:32 a.m.

Alright, gotta make a stand. I want to state clearly and concisely (me concise-sure!!!!!!!) what I think the best (not the best for everybody for reasons discussed numerous times in other posts) way to keep and BREED tropical fishes is. This is a message for those of us interested in trying to simulate nature in an effort to breed and have our fish look there best etc... (not a shot at those not interested in this or who feel they have worked out the most appropriate tech). I disagree with the idea that this endeavour takes excessive time, money, requires info. not available, and is doomed to fail. How long would it take you to look up the country of origin of a fish, ph, hardness, plant species found in that area (O.K. aquarium lit. is not perfect nor is this type of general info). However, You might be surprised that many authors agree on these values and species dynamics (especially in lit. of non-aquar. jour.) The money aspect: I use aquar. pharm. deionizer for my fish tanks currently. I get about 200 gal. in Atlanta per cart. of pure water (purer than r.o. water). Our water is soft so I get a pretty good deal out of this). They cost $12 a piece=.06 per gallon. Or a person could mix 50% d.o. water with tap water to get even more in areas with more dissolved salts (this will eliminate the fluct. in ph. which are often encount. when using acids to reduce the ph of water-reduces buffering capacity). Caveat reduced buffering capacity of course means less stable ph and thus requires much attention to create extemeley soft acidic env. (e.g. discus water). Seems that a person could set up say a prexisting 55 gallon tank and use this d.o. water very cheaply (there's an idea-have a fun biotope tank and keep the others the same or make them biotopes also). This is just an example and I'm not saying that using this product is the solution to all problems. But, what else do you need other than information? -not much that you don't already probably have. About the exact info. (as discussed earlier), it can be hard to find but much can be learned from this sight, a local lib., or aquar. lit (use multiple sources-many times the info. is consistent across ref. and valid). Is such a tank doomed to failure? Failure? Success sounds more like it to me. Now, there may be some problems in the intial period but many of our tanks experience this. Again, it just makes sense: fish will do better if you simulate their natural env. while following all the other golden rules (keeping this env. constant being paramount). One last thing regarding breeding fish. I've seen it stated that this guy breed such and such in normal tap water over and over again (even hard to breed species). Well this may be true but dissect this statement and what does it really tell you-nothing. What are these particuliar tap water conditions?-maybe they already approximated fishes conditions (Tall. has great Afr. cichlid water- hard and alkaline). This is not to say that fishes will not breed when placed in conditions other than natural conditions. But think about it, how many people have breed clown loaches? You can count them on 1 hand. And who has had repeated spawnings? Now, how many people have fish of the size which could breed (I think alot-many pet stores in display tanks, public aquaria, serious and not-so-serious hobbyists past and present). The consesus should be that something is missing. The two best known cases (in my mind) seem to have many parallels one of which seems to closely approx. info. for keeping clowns. Alright that's it if your still awake. Remember, I'm not advocating this above all other tech. It is simply my opinion on the optimal way to captive raise and breed fishes (heck, the entire process is fun!). I haven't submitted my patent on knowledge yet, so I'd love to hear constructive counter views and the like-Tom

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