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jaylach

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Personally I don't care what any others do with their tank as long as it is healthy. For instance my saying that I hated air powered deco was meant that *I* hated, not saying what others should do or not. As I've said in other threads the deco should be what the person with the tank likes, not what others like. The bottom line is what the owner likes as long as it gives what the critters need.

As an example I doubt that I would ever put a castle in a tank but such deco could actually make a cave system for such fish that need. Shoot, I have a fake tree trunk in my tank with several openings to make an excellent cave system. This is no difference that a castle doing the same. I just don't want the castle. That does not mean there is anything wrong with the castle, just that I don't like.

My cichlids love the fake tree trunk and are constantly in and out of the thing. Now if I had a larger tank the fake trunk would not be there as I would make a cave system out of slabs of slate but, in my little 20 gallon cube the trunk serves the same purpose while being more vertical than horizontal serving the same purpose and better fitting the tank.

Funny thing about fads is that a fad is a fleeting moment to some and a life style to others. For instance in today's aquatic world it seems that not many still use under gravel filtration so was such a fad? :dunno: To me it is still the best filtration as there is no other that has as large of a filter surface with the entire bottom of the tank being the filter media. Does that make people that think it bad wrong? No, of course not but it works for me. Even though my under gravel filtration is supplemented with a built in sponge filter I still consider my under gravel the superior aspect.
 

wasmewasntit

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Those "micro-nano" decor items I don't associate with nano tanks. Those are more decor items that people who think of fish as decoration set up, and that's happened for decades. Like those fish ball wall decor items *spits* that I associate with the 70s? But I wasn't around then so I might be wrong!
View attachment 313874


But when I think of nano tanks now, I think of 20gs or less. I consider my 15.5g tanks nano tanks, can only support small fish, and that seems to be the way the hobby is trending overall - moving away from teeny tanks and bowls, and starting at 5-10gs. I hope... the people that actually get into the hobby, anyway. I know a lot of those kids "starter tanks" which are basically just a plastic kritter keeper but with a nemo or Ariel theme or something are still sold, but generally I think the hobby is moving away from tiny tanks, and towards properly designed nano tanks. Like 5g shrimp only tanks, or carefully designed mini biotopes for teeny species like badis or chili rasboras etc.


Eh, they're cute for a kids tank! I kinda want to buy a bubble crocodile now and put it in an otherwise all natural, heavily planted tank :p
I don't personally like clown puke gravel, and always promote at least adding some real plants among the fake, or sand over gravel for cories, but that's for the fishes' welfare and to help the keeper have improved water conditions and healthier fish. But otherwise, I don't care how anyone ones to design or decorate their tank. If they love it, they're much more likely to get into it and care for it.

Besides, I've seen some awesome themed tanks! I intend to make one myself at some point!! Especially if they do a mix of real and fake. Like mixing some brightly coloured fake plants among real plants to add a pop of colour can looks amazing! Especially now that you can get much better quality silk plants. I might use something like a few of these mixed into my themed tank to add those pops of purple colour and the strange shape is cool:
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And I think any of these would make fantastic entries for TOTM:

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View attachment 313878View attachment 313879View attachment 313880
Gorgeous aquariums but they would never get anywhere in a competition cos regardless of how beautiful these are, the real plant purists will always downvote them due to the choice of using part or full artificial.

The artificial stigma will never be removed, the reason being imho is that people saw the artificial users as superficial cheapskates in past years due to the poorer quality of artificial decor back then. And despite the quality improving in leaps and bounds in recent years, that "oh yuck its plastic" and "another of THOSE fake decor aquariums...pppffffffttttttt" reaction is still alive and kicking and is always treated as 10th class.

Which is why I have tried many many many times...in private message and publicly on the forum itself...to ask very politely for an all artificial only TOTM without an aquarium size limitation once or twice a year.

It has been ignored or flatly refused every single time. And that is why I withdrew my entry a few weeks ago...along with receiving a few derogatory messages about the use of artificial not being "real" fishkeeping.

I do not know it it is plain snobbery or (a current fashionable label currently overused lately) unconscious bias against artificial.......but it needs to stop. It is about time that the bias against artificial stopped. There are many members on this forum, not just me, who have perfectly healthy fish in artificially decorated aquariums who would love to showcase what can be done like these examples from @AdoraBelle Dearheart but who do not feel comfortable or confident doing so thanks to the noisy biased miniority who personally dislike artificial but who make it their life's work to denegrate those who use artificial.

There are alot of fishy forums and they all show the exact same snobbery or unconscious bias against artificial decor aquariums.

This one is no different to the rest.

If this one was brave enough to do a TOTM once or twice a year for artificial and artificial mix aquariums, the activity levels and membership levels would increase cos then the forum would be fully inclusive. It may seem inclusive now but it isn't cos those with artificial in their aquariums are made to feel inadequate and bad by virtue of being downvoted when they enter the competitions and too afraid to even enter for fear of bias against them.

Artificial is NOT a fad or a style.....its here to stay and is just as much work as real decor to look after and design. It should not incur bias, unconscious or otherwise.
 

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Suggestions to have a decor-specific TOTM have been duly noted and discussed, but it probably isn't going to happen. TOTM is based on tank size, not on a particular decor style. There are many different styles of decor, and once we start down that road there would be no end of categories. We want to be as inclusive as possible, and that means keeping the contests general. Please accept that.

As has been pointed out several times in this thread and elsewhere, several past TOTM winners have prominently featured "artificial" decor, including one by the guy that runs the contests. There is no conspiracy and no official forum bias. Also, there is no way to downvote anyone in TOTM. People vote for the tank they like best, and the tank that gets the most votes wins. Simple as that. You can call it unconscious bias or simply call it popular opinion. That's just the way it works. It is supposed to be fun; no prize money is at stake.

I don't recall seeing anyone making it their life's work to denigrate those who use artificial decorations, except perhaps a few ex-members who have already been banned for such behavior. If you see anyone being denigrated, please use the report function and it will be dealt with. Voting for a planted tank in TOTM does not equal denigrating those who use artificial decor.

It might be helpful to point out that TFF has an entire sub-forum dedicated to artificial plants. It is one of many sub forums that sees little traffic, but of course we have no control over that. The nano-reef section doesn't see much action either; that doesn't mean there's a bias against nano reefs. It just means not that many people are talking about them.

I would also like to point out our rule that the running of the site "is not a debate and discussion will not be entered into. The administrators and moderators have final say in all areas and decisions." That would include the way contests are run.

OK...back to the initial topic...
In another thread, the question of fishkeeping fads came up and it got me thinking of the major ones I've seen come and largely go, often after much discussion. Here are the ones I recall, going back to the 1970s.
I'm not going by whether they are tasteful, cool etc. I mean fads that were big and have now declined or even vanished.
1. Old water. It was widely believed that old, unchanged water, pale yellow for some reason, had semi-magical properties for avoiding disease. That one got flushed early.
2. The Balanced Aquarium. It was to be your goal to create a no water change aquarium by creating a perfect balance of light, nutrients, plants, waste, feeding, stocking. Then somehow that balance would maintain itself in your tank. That still comes back, usually sold by white haired men with suspenders (for some reason) on youtube. It still begs the question of how you would maintain perfection unchanged. I was a sucker for that one in my teens.
3. The deep gravel tank, working with an undergravel filter. This one was a tech change, because with water changes, it worked very well. The drawback that killed it was the arrival of power filters, which meant you didn't have to look at 3 or 4 inches of coarse gravel anymore.
4. The shiny bare tank, with glass pots holding plants and almost daily vacuuming. It was awful for watching fish behaviour in, as many fish dig to eat, nest, etc, and was too much work to keep shiny. Some versions included submerged multicolour lights. Discus or Disco? You could have both.
5. The fancy substrate fad, ongoing. Iron laterite, cat litter, dirt of various types... It often worked, but had a way of going very wrong. The negatives seem to have outweighed the positives and it is becoming less and less of a thing. Diana Walstad did serious research and presented her method in a book most who followed her didn't read. Most just sort of set up according to what someone who said they read the book suggested they should do. There are great dirted tanks out there, but that one's now a niche.
6. The perfect zen scape - magnificent set ups that were works of conceptual art. Most were set up, photographed and torn down. Perfection is always temporary, and living things used as an artistic medium do what they need to do, not what the artists thinks they should do. It was great art, for a fleeting moment.
7. Tube tanks - side by side 1980s tanks with cylinder shaped connecting tubes so you could see your fish look like commuters trying to cross a highway to get from a bus to a train station. Even the acrylic ones must have been fragile to move, and fish aren't hamsters anyway.
8. The Sponge Bob tank - an ongoing alternative to natural, twinned with the ceramic skull tank, the sunken battleship, the sketchy mermaid or the freshwater Nemo. None can compare to my 1974 sunken Spanish Galleon tank. Sorry. It's how it is. It was the best, but I took no photos back then.

I don't know what the next fad will be, after the Glo-Fish tanks runs out of steam. Glo-tanks combined with #4, the disco tank?

Anyone have any others they've done or seen?
 

jaylach

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Suggestions to have a decor-specific TOTM have been duly noted and discussed, but it probably isn't going to happen. TOTM is based on tank size, not on a particular decor style. There are many different styles of decor, and once we start down that road there would be no end of categories. We want to be as inclusive as possible, and that means keeping the contests general. Please accept that.

As has been pointed out several times in this thread and elsewhere, several past TOTM winners have prominently featured "artificial" decor, including one by the guy that runs the contests. There is no conspiracy and no official forum bias. Also, there is no way to downvote anyone in TOTM. People vote for the tank they like best, and the tank that gets the most votes wins. Simple as that. You can call it unconscious bias or simply call it popular opinion. That's just the way it works. It is supposed to be fun; no prize money is at stake.

I don't recall seeing anyone making it their life's work to denigrate those who use artificial decorations, except perhaps a few ex-members who have already been banned for such behavior. If you see anyone being denigrated, please use the report function and it will be dealt with. Voting for a planted tank in TOTM does not equal denigrating those who use artificial decor.

It might be helpful to point out that TFF has an entire sub-forum dedicated to artificial plants. It is one of many sub forums that sees little traffic, but of course we have no control over that. The nano-reef section doesn't see much action either; that doesn't mean there's a bias against nano reefs. It just means not that many people are talking about them.

I would also like to point out our rule that the running of the site "is not a debate and discussion will not be entered into. The administrators and moderators have final say in all areas and decisions." That would include the way contests are run.

OK...back to the initial topic...
HUH?? :dunno:
 
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GaryE

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I don't know how decor specific contests slot in here. I'm not sure where that comes from.

As for @jaylach 's point about still using UG filtration - I still use plastic box filters, effectively. Some of the tech we've discarded works very well. Vinyl outsold cds this year (no one mentions streaming in that comparison), and diehards like us are in little eddies along the stream.

The contests here? If I don't like your tank, I won't vote for it. It's simple. I won't correct or criticize those tanks. If your gravel looks like unicorn droppings, maybe your plants will grow. You may look at my tanks and say they look like something that fell out of a moose. It would be rude of you, but you could have a point. Should you say it? No.

I hate skulls in tanks. I have a friend whose knowledge of salt is astonishing, and who loves finding old glass skulls for her tanks. No one is right or wrong on issues of taste. Other things, yeah. But not how we decorate aquariums that are run with the health of the fish in mind.

There was a mini-fad in the 80s, for air bubble mermaids that were painted as topless. Whatever.

The thread has probably run its course as there are people commenting who are not reading the whole thing. 3 pages in, things usually go wrong online.
 

wasmewasntit

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Whatever lights your candle I guess

Me...well....no fads here...just straight talking, no nonsense and cannot be bothered with the latest "big thing" or "must-have" claptrap

I do not give a rats behind about the blatant anti artificial unconscious bias...my time in this world is coming to a close anyway but those who come after me and who have artificial decor will always struggle to be heard and to be seen as good fishkeepers and that, my friends, is extremely sad....and oh so avoidable if the unconscious bias can be stopped by being fully inclusive. Sadly fully inclusivity isn't going to happen in my lifetime...if ever.

Enjoy your aquariums, love your fish, keep up the maintenance...as long as the fish are healthy and happy to reproduce like rabbits on viagra, then that is all that matters...cos the fish and inverts matter over all of us.

TTFN.
 

sharkweek178

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Gorgeous aquariums but they would never get anywhere in a competition cos regardless of how beautiful these are, the real plant purists will always downvote them due to the choice of using part or full artificial.

The artificial stigma will never be removed, the reason being imho is that people saw the artificial users as superficial cheapskates in past years due to the poorer quality of artificial decor back then. And despite the quality improving in leaps and bounds in recent years, that "oh yuck its plastic" and "another of THOSE fake decor aquariums...pppffffffttttttt" reaction is still alive and kicking and is always treated as 10th class.

Which is why I have tried many many many times...in private message and publicly on the forum itself...to ask very politely for an all artificial only TOTM without an aquarium size limitation once or twice a year.

It has been ignored or flatly refused every single time. And that is why I withdrew my entry a few weeks ago...along with receiving a few derogatory messages about the use of artificial not being "real" fishkeeping.

I do not know it it is plain snobbery or (a current fashionable label currently overused lately) unconscious bias against artificial.......but it needs to stop. It is about time that the bias against artificial stopped. There are many members on this forum, not just me, who have perfectly healthy fish in artificially decorated aquariums who would love to showcase what can be done like these examples from @AdoraBelle Dearheart but who do not feel comfortable or confident doing so thanks to the noisy biased miniority who personally dislike artificial but who make it their life's work to denegrate those who use artificial.

There are alot of fishy forums and they all show the exact same snobbery or unconscious bias against artificial decor aquariums.

This one is no different to the rest.

If this one was brave enough to do a TOTM once or twice a year for artificial and artificial mix aquariums, the activity levels and membership levels would increase cos then the forum would be fully inclusive. It may seem inclusive now but it isn't cos those with artificial in their aquariums are made to feel inadequate and bad by virtue of being downvoted when they enter the competitions and too afraid to even enter for fear of bias against them.

Artificial is NOT a fad or a style.....its here to stay and is just as much work as real decor to look after and design. It should not incur bias, unconscious or otherwise.
When I started, I had all plastic in my tank. The idea of live plants was a little intimidating. I took the plunge and it worked out for me. So now I'm all live. Except for my quarantine tank and that's for practical reasons. (Plastic won't hold any pathogens as well and plastic is easier to remove when it comes time to net the fish and move them to the main tank). But live is my preference now.
I'm not making the case for live here. I just sort of see how some people see it as a progression, with live being a more advanced level. I'm not saying that's a correct view or not correct. Just that I can see how some people see it that way. Maybe someone just doesn't have a knack for live plants or had a bad experience. Or maybe it just isn't their preference. They can still have a beautiful tank. As far I'm concerned, if someone's fish are well cared for and their tank makes them happy then who is anyone to judge?
 

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I’ll tell you one fad , if you want to call it that , that I would like to see come back. Really nice CERAMIC aquarium ornaments. Nice glazed ones made out of clay or whatever they were made out of and not this painted resin stuff they sell nowadays. I used to have this cool little Tiki Hut one that had a little porch on it and an open door that went into the hollow inside and it was built up on poles like a real Asian hut with a thatched roof. My Kuhlii Loaches used to go inside and peek out the door. That sight made me smile. But , I suppose it’s too labor intensive to make something nice like that. Resin is cheap and cheap is what drives everything these days. Maybe I’ll take up pottery. Either that or stopping at more garage sales.
 

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