green water - can I just buy Daphnia?

Metalhead88

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Totally! I love the discussion. There were just a few folks (read above) that went so far as to question my humanity. The discussion encouraged me not to waste my time on daphnia and pursue other things. I am totally curious about folks' thoughts on clams and if anybody else has them in their tanks.
There is nothing to prove because it has already been proven. Tanks need normal maintenance.

Through years of fish keeping, experimenting, and science - we have found the best way to attempt to mimic how fish live in the wild. It is up to us to provide the fish with proper tank size, water perimeters, setting, and keep up with maintenance.

Water changes must be done on a weekly basis. I personally take as much water as possible during my weekly water change. That means bringing down the water to the fish's back so they just enough room to swim. No matter how you look at it, water changes must be done. These toxins must be removed and the only way to get them out is through water changes. Not changing water in months or years is straight up neglect.

To answer your question - I have not kept clams nor do I know anything about them. It would be something cool and different though.
 
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Byron

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You have not indicated in what way my fish are not healthy. You have postulated that there's "only one way to achievee [sic] clean water and healthy fish, and that is regular substantial water changes". I disagree, and I think my tank proves the point. Give me a metric on a different way to measure fish health, and I will be happy to discuss; but until then my metric of normal and vigorous feeding, and general happy fish motion; indicates healthy fish. I am sorry that it the data does not fit your theory, but science is data driven.
Metalhead88 is bang on. But as you have asked how I know, I will do my best to answer.

This is a scientific hobby, totally. We are keeping living creatures within an environment that is as complex as any on this planet because it is totally aquatic. We must keep them in an aquatic environment and that immediately presents us with limitations and natural laws of chemistry and biology that will play out no matter what we do. We must research these and understand them, and accept that we cannot possibly change them, because they are crucial to the health and life of the fish, the bacteria, the invertebrates, the plants. These living organisms have evolved over thousands if not millions of years to function the way they do, in very specific environments that are crucial to the functioining of their physiology and metabolism. If any aquarist wants success, he/she must recognize this and accept it.

We learn how by listening to the experts. When I get sick I go to a qualified doctor for advice. I have the option of accepting it or ignoring it, but I am making a huge mistake if I do the latter without scientific evidence, for example the reasoned advice of an equally qualified doctor. There are biologists, microbiologists, and ichthyologists that have spent years studying their field, and contributing knowledge. We can easily know who they are, their credentials speak for themselves.

No aquarist can possibly say their fish are "happy" because you cannot talk to them. It is much easier to recognize happiness in mammals like dogs, but that does not happen with fish. We can however research what the fish species needs and requires and expects, and then provide that environment as close as we can. If we do this, then we can assume the fish will probably be in good health, and more likely "happy." Thinking that just because the fish is swimming and eating and spawning it is "happy" only shows that one does not even begin to understand the fish. Like all animals, fish have an inherent will to survive, and they will make every effort to do so no matter what obstacles we throw at them. Externally they may very likely appear no different, until they die either prematurely or from some disease they should have been able to handle except that we deliberately made their life difficult by not recognizing their needs and providing for them. And by understanding their internal life processes and ensuring those are possible without hindrance.
 
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pwilk

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Alas, my glee has come to a premature end. My 3-year-old fed the fishies ... dumped the whole jar of fish food in; and I didn't notice for some hours. Gravel vac'ing, water changing ensued. In short order two fish were dead and two others doing the back stroke. Now, a couple days later after more gravel vac'ing, water changing, the remaining three fish and clams are alive; but the tank has an orange hue. Interestingly I thought the floaters were goners, but they bounced back pretty quick - don't give up on 'em. I did some prophylactic chemistry, which probably helped. The fish are more or less happy, btw I am a little surprised some folks here can't tell the difference between a happy vs unhappy (stressed) fish; if you spend a little time just observing them you can get some feel pretty quickly for normal and abnormal behavior; but still we're talking about an animal with 100x less neurons than a honey bee, so it is a little hard to determine if it is ennui. Further thoughts on water changes, since tap water has buffering capacity, it probably does help significantly if folks don't think about pH shifting over time.
 
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pwilk

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I'm confused why you keep asking for help if you don't plan to take the advice anyway.

Good luck.
Oh, I don't know, maybe to share my experiences with others? Nah, that'd be crazy.
 

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