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Cory coined this term tonight. While the context was fun, the concept is real.

Stable tanks with substrate, lights, plants, and inhabitants in balance, have so much resilience.

This is especially visible with any inhabitants for whom grazing is a nearly-continuous activity.

Edited by Streetwise
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This is very true. I have broken down and moved and reset up several tanks over the years, but I have a 55 gallon that has been running the longest. It's the tank I stash extra chunks of driftwood, plant trimmings, always have spare sponge filters running to grab and cycle new tanks, extra snails etc. Having a well established, seasoned tank around can make a huge difference when you want to set up new tanks, set up an emergency quarantine, or have some random surprise eggs or babies.  

I set up my new 14 gallon cube with borrowed substrate, driftwood, plants and a spare sponge filter all from my seasoned tank. Pull the sponge filter, replace it with another one. Seasoned tanks are very good for this. Aquarium coop sponge filters are especially good for this. 

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I think Cory was just riffing on TLAs (three letter acronyms), and was not suggesting a measurable new metric, or something to replace TDS. This was a livestream, so improvised, and in-the-moment.

I think TDS can be useful as a delta measurement. You measure TDS, you add or remove something, measure again, and that delta actually refers to your most recent change. Otherwise it would be like counting how many coins you have. A hundred pennies is different than a hundred dimes.

While we get advanced and intermediate advice from him, the forum, and other aquarists, I think there is always an instructional focus for folks new to the hobby. His warning about over-relying on TDS was simply to advise that TDS measurement may be a misleading metric for good v bad tank parameters.

The idea of Seasoned Tank Time resonates with me especially for keeping shrimp and Otocinclus, as they really need the side-effects of an established ecosystem: some mulm, some algae, some biofilm.

Cheers

Edited by Streetwise
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TDS can indeed be a flawed measurement, because by itself it is incomplete.

 In my 'high tanin' blackwater tank I also kept a bag of peat moss in the filter to help keep that pH nice and low. My TDS in that tank often sat around 600. Mind you, my water comes out of the tap around 250, thank you Florida rock water. Regardless, it was high TDS, and a significant part of that was from the peat. But if I just said 'TDS 600' how would you know that? Did that make it a bad tank? I don't think so, the betta  and angels (at different times clearly) bred in there quite happily. 

Likewise I think STT is an important concept, although not per say a measurement, as it helps people really think about how long and established their tank is. Is it really ready to handle that hard to come by sensitive species?

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Honestly this is so true. I think people focus too much on cycling bacteria, but really an aquarium has many more layers in the food chain that develop over time ("seasoning" ?).

If I shine a flashlight on my aquarium at night , there are tons of micro-organisms filtering through the water and crawling in the substrate. My substrate has layers of detritus that go from coarse on top to fine towards the bottom as it is broken down by these organisms. Wish I had a camera that could capture this. 

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