Being A Beginner Sure Isn't Easy!
Our first, and perhaps, only aquarium we will ever have. It's a Marineland 5 gallon and NICE! Will have only one male Betta, a Moss Ball and perhaps a couple of Ghost Shrimp. Have replace two artificial plants with a Anubias Congensis and will replace another artificial with a Java Fern. Taking the advice of some experienced people concerning live plants!
Now, the only thing is......after many hour of internet research (being retired can be beneficial), have figured out that fish-keeping isn't that easy! Cycling, water tests, water changes, choosing fish that get along, number of fish to have, size of aquarium to have, etc., etc..
Don't know if Fairs still have the Goldfish game where a person would try to toss a Ping-Pong Ball into a Goldfish bowl floating in a child's pool and win a Goldfish, but I remember it! Get the Ping-Pong Ball into the bowl and get a small Goldfish to take home (not the bowl). Take the fish home, put into a clear glass bowl (or buy a Goldfish Bowl), buy some Fish Food and that was it. No cycling, testing of water, plants, toys.......just a water change once in a while and fish food! Simple!
I really wonder how many Beginner's feel this way and how many experienced Aquarist's remember those "Beginner days"?
I started out with rosy red minnows in a bowl. At least I had the decency and common sense to change water daily so I guess that is why they all survived. I eventually got smart and they all went out into a pond.
Fish are so different and their environment is so different that we often cannot really relate to them as beginners. With a dog or cat, they eat food from a bag and poo and generally resemble us in terms of basic care, so it is pretty intuitive. With fish you have to worry about hardness pH, temperature, nitrates and a whole bunch of other stuff that just doesn't come intuitively which is why many beginners start out on the wrong path.
Beginners also feel that their fish lived for a month and thus died of old age. A betta in good care should last on average 2 years, many tropical fish will live between 2-10 years, and the #1 beginner favorite, the feeder goldfish will live past its twentieth with good care and has been known to exceed 40. One month? Old age?
Any "fair" that has the "goldfish game" will not be attended by me or my family....proper fishkeeping is not difficult with a little patience and alot of research
Last edited by Slaphppy7; 02-09-2014 at 05:38 PM.
I guess you won't be attending any of those small carnivals or even the Houston livestock show and rodeo (the fair had that game as I recall from my youth attending it)
Don't be discouraged Cody. Sounds like you've given your betta a great home. Keep his tank heated to around 80F, don't over feed him, give him nice fresh conditioned water (about half new) every week and your betta can live a long time. If you have an API master fresh water test kit, that would be great. Check the ammonia and nitrites - if both are 0, you are golden. if not, you're tank is not cycled and you simply make frequent water changes until both read 0. Then, check your nitrates. if they get above 20ppm, you may be over feeding, or you may need to vac up a little poo or food waste from the bottom, or you may need to increase your water changes. That's it.
There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to the hobby. You can learn as much or as little as you want to know. And it can absolutely be daunting because the more you read, the more you worry that you don't know what you're doing. I started in the hobby 2 years ago this month. I knew nothing. but I found the AC. Best thing that could have happened to me and my fish.
If you have concerns - just ask here. Someone will gladly help.
30 g FW planted:corys, ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, kribs, & nerite snails
15 g FW planted: crown tail betta, neons, snails
90 g FW semi planted: EBJD, congos, rainbows, ABNP, peppered cories, apple snails
90 Gal Journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=93939
Fishless cycling: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
Cycling with fish: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492
The "Fair Goldfish" certainly do not help with dispelling the misconceptions out in the real world.
For example, Goldfish are rather large fish (Some guy just last month caught a 3 pound, 15 inch Goldfish in Michigan) Any reasonable person can easily see that fish would certainly not fit in a bowl.
Which brings us to... the ever popular "Fish only grow to the size of their tank/bowl" myth.
The truth is... too small of environment on any creature leads to stunting, which is abnormal and unhealthy growth and leads to a lifespan that is far shorter than they would normally have. - So yes it will survive for a time, but its akin to foot binding or too small of collar on your dog.
The natural lifespan of ye olde common goldfish is longer than a decade. (Multiple Decades in the wild) but people are rather proud of keeping one for a couple years and believe that its quite normal.
And as to the last little bit... cycling and just adding water from the tap. Cycling was always happening, that hasn't changed. What has changed is our understanding of the cycle and our ability to limit the danger to our animals. That's what all that testing is actually about. Its preventing the "its normal to lose fish when your tank is new" or "You need to start out with these hardy types for cycling first" mindsets.
The water from the tap thing... back in the years prior water treatment was commonly done with chlorine. Chlorine is not very stable in water and will "off gas" from standing water into the air around it. You may have even heard of people drawing the water and then waiting a day before putting it in the tank as well. That was so the chlorine would off-gas. Because of this many places have changed from treating with Chlorine to treating with Chloramine, which is much more stable and doesn't just off-gas, keeping the toxic Chlorine molecules in with your fish. (btw Chlorine is Toxic to things much larger than Goldfish. Improper Chlorination treatment in pools sends humans to hospitals as well.)
So the good news is that the information is more accessible and available. The bad news is... its not yet to the general masses dispelling all the rumors and myths that cropped up in the interim.
It can seam difficult in the beginning, but once you have learned to apply the basics it will start to become a whole lot easier
I started out in the hobby 18 years ago so I can relate to some of what you are talking about
Last edited by Cliff; 02-09-2014 at 07:48 PM.
If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info
Clif is right, there is so much info on fishkeeping that it can seem intimidating at first...I have found that once you decide on a tank size and what type of fish you'd like to keep, it is easy to ask specific questions and learn what you need to know for your situation...then, you can choose what specific info you are interested in reading and learning...helps to narrow down and condense all of the available info that you need to succeed