Water hardness and the not so often talked about killer....

Naterjm

Fish Crazy
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
368
Location
Canada
Much is made of cycling tanks properly, finding compatible fish to keep together, planted tanks, nano tanks, cichlid tanks, predator tanks, temperature of tanks, ph of tanks.

I have a feeling most of you experienced hobbyists have more than a comfortable grip on these principles. And there exists out there a ton of video channels and chat forums that are dedicated to teaching and sharing information on all of the above mentioned topics.

One could, as I did, spend months of research on what kind of fish and plants I wanted, in what size aquarium, and what type of lighting I should have, and what kind of filter I should have etc.

On the surface I would seem like I really did my homework and tried to do right by my fish. You would be right in the fact that I tried.
As great as a technology based life style we live can be, we are pretty much handfed information technology thinks we need. Be it YouTube tutorials or forum discussions, this technology is going to “feed” you all the information it seems to be important.

Stay with me here, I’m going somewhere with this.

say that you are in the early stages of keeping fish, and fish start showing symptoms of “x” and those searches bring you to a forum, such as this one, and now there is computer program that writes itself to bring in new users or clicks by associating the words fish and symptom x. Therefore generating more reactions, leading to more content.

how many new users on this very forum are joining because they have an issue with their fish, or their tank, or their plants.
Is this a bad thing? Probably not. I thought I had done everything possible to have my research done before I bought fish, but i now know that my hard water will in fact kill my fish eventually.

I’m not giving up on the little guys, my ultimate goal is to setup a water filtration system in some sort of solution that can provide them water they will thrive in.

however in all my research I did before buying the fish, or joining this forum, water hardness and it’s potentially deadly effects was not something that came up in my daily dose of stuff that was suggested. It very well should be, and there’s a reason our more experienced members ask for those details when people post problems.

the truth of the matter is we live in an era where information is available at our fingertips 24/7. Sometimes though, we need to go beyond what google or YouTube “sugggests” to get to our ultimate goal.

the reason I’m posting this in the new beginners section is because hopefully someone else with read it and avoid my mistakes.

That being said... I’ve been chatting with @NCaquatics and she knows I’ve been leaning towards some sort of filtration or RO system.

I love my tetras, and my cories. And soon to be otocinclus and more cories. So temporary solution is buying RO water to dilute my very hard water that has replaced my softened water. Water chemistry on the fly will make your head spin.

I am disappointed this topic didn’t come up more in my initial research, especially since I believe it in an important factor, but not I was totally immersed in until I joined here and had the privilege of having other more experienced members provide great insight into.
 

NCaquatics

Fish Aficionado
Pet of the Month!
2x Tank of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
7,808
Location
Canada
We all learn somewhere. And we should always embrace that there's more to learn and to realize even the experienced people will still learn something new as time goes on.
 
OP
Naterjm

Naterjm

Fish Crazy
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
368
Location
Canada
Agree on both accounts. But I’ve seen many trendy “click bait” articles that seem to get a lot of attention. As long as they aren’t causing harm to the industry, I’m okay with it.
There does seem to be a disconnect though, as from many of you I have learned more than any “top 10” article or video can provide...
 

itiwhetu

Fish Herder
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
1,972
Reaction score
1,263
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
Always remember that any advise is only a point of view, gathered from that persons experiences. It may or not work for you, fish keeping is not an exact science and you need to tread carefully.
 

mcordelia

Fish Addict
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
952
Reaction score
551
Location
michigan
It's interesting, I had basically the opposite initial experience than you. Like you, I had kept fish previously and then decided to get back into the hobby. I had previously been active on fish forums in a former life, so I was curious if my old forum was still alive (it wasn't), but this one is honestly probably more mature :D

Anyway (clearly, I'm getting long winded here too), I posted a plan of what I was thinking of my "first" tank here, and literally the first 5 replies were along the lines of "what are your water parameters / those fish don't mix due to hardness / post your GH/KH and we will help you" :D HOWEVER, I do agree with you that in scouring youtube and other literature about fish, though I ran into hardness parameters in the fish info pages, I didn't know their relative importance until learning about it from this forum.

At the same time, there's so much to learn with fishkeeping, that if you manage to get the nitrogen cycle down and your first tank has guppies and tetras together, it's not ideal but I would at least make the argument that it's a learning process and the person is trying. I think it's more on the pet store to responsibly guide fishkeepers, but that's also a difficult equation: do you not sell fish other than those suitable to the local tap water? What about if the person is committed to changing their parameters, then they will take their business elsewhere to get the fish they want.

I always think to myself what the equivalent situation would be for dog ownership. So many people still just "end up" with a puppy, and the first few days said puppy ends up eating out of a mixing bowl and sleeping on a rug somewhere because the person wasn't prepared. Then hopefully the dog will be fed breed-appropriate food and receive breed appropriate exercise, but we also know that all too commonly people just keep their dogs how they want to, not how the specific breed may be best cared for.

Here's another analogy: my son this summer was learning about the existence of bugs. Invariably, in his excitement, his pudgy little hands would squish whatever bug he had managed to get his hands on, and then invariably #2 if I wasn't fast enough he would then put it in his mouth.... Bad for the bugs, but as a mom I felt like the learning experience of watching the bug crawl and understanding how it moves etc was worth the risk of the squish. I of course reinforced to him that we need to be careful with the bugs because they don't like to be held too tightly, but it took quite a few iterations until that lesson stuck. Humans are a pretty destructive species at the end of the day, I don't know what else to say about all that.

This is going off on a tangent, but an article I read last night that I found interesting: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/new-aquariums-struggle-to-succeed/587938/
 
Top