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Let the forum be the Judge


CJs Aquatics
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What’s up everybody, so scrolling on YouTube lately a lot of people are discussing the pros and cons of natural tanks and practices that go along with them vs tanks that utilize common items such as various filters weekly water changes and such. I personally value any and all information regarding things in the aquarium hobby which is why this forum has been such a blessing to me, even incorrect info has had its place. With so much controversy surrounding the topic, I thought it might be fun to come up with a lighthearted game of sorts perhaps helping us learn a bit about both from the best jury there is… us… The game is simple: ask the last person who shows up on your notifications tab how they feel about natural tanks vs more commonly practiced set ups, or any other question regarding the hot topic. If they have already commented choose the next person on your list who may not have had a chance to share yet. Anyone who doesn’t want to that’s perfectly fine as well, just an idea I think would be fun. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts, there is a valid place for all opinions and experiences in my opinion…

@Tanked what are your thoughts on natural tanks vs standard? Which do you keep and why? 

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I think both have there time and place. Advantages and disadvantages to both. But like @Fish Folk said I think for beginners it can be a pitfall without knowing the basics in the hobby. 

So for them they here no water changes and no filters not understand what's behind it and how to achieve the goal of a tank setup like this.

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I suppose it would be appropriate since I started this thread that I speak on my thoughts. I love everything that has been said, couldn’t agree more, and almost feel as though not only is traditional aquaculture as it was so eloquently put important to understand but in a sense necessary. When I started I knew nothing, I did everything wrong. Guilty of having a gold fish from 2nd grade Mardi Gras live in a bowl for 17 yrs, guilty of overstocking, of using untreated tap water, or not properly filtering heating etc. so many things. I went to the big pet store, took whatever advice they gave, thought oh that looks cool, put it in a tank, and watched. Overfed, underfed, the works. After diving deeper and deeper into the hobby, I learned so much. This wealth of knowledge, trial and error, just learning things helped me get to what I would say is the decent spot I am in today. I’ve tried and loved all kinds of filters, heaters, equipment products, water change schedules etc. It works. I currently run 12 “hybrid” tanks. I love natural ecosystems. I call them hybrid bc they are both natural and traditional dialed into my own specifications based on the knowledge I’ve accumulated. They are mostly natural and able to sustain themselves, but I help them, some with filters (hobs) (ugf) (ziss bios) etc. Then I also run traditional set ups. I water change when I feel necessary based on testing or visual inspection. I never would have the hobby I have without both, but it’s important not to skip any steps regardless of where they start for you in my opinion, and it’s important for people to understand how to take the advice given on platforms such as YouTube, it all has its place so long as you know where that place is for you. 

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I think the dirted substrate method is good in the short time (1 month) I’ve tested it (Walstad shrimp jar). I will not, however, bring leaf litter etc in from the wild. Lav from Lav’s snails got snail leeches doing this and they wiped out 8 of her tanks and hundreds of the snails she was breeding because they were resistant to fish hobby meds…

Edited by Chick-In-Of-TheSea
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On 4/21/2023 at 5:27 PM, Pepere said:

The idea of no water changes seems to be something to pursue for some

@Cory talked about that in his old tank syndrome video.

 Just topping off would cause a mineral buildup over time and the fish living in the tank would get used to it but when you add new fish they die. The reason for their death would not be determined by the usual parameter tests…

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I would argue that doing water changes is more natural than the "natural" tanks.

In nature you don't have the same kind of small, enclosed systems. There's water flowing in, rain falling, water and minerals leeching into the soil. Something you don't see in nature is a sealed jar.

That's the whole reason why ick can wipe out a fish tank but in nature it doesn't just wipe out a whole river system: it's enclosed.

That's why corys respond to cold water changes by breeding: they're not used to a closed system, they're used to living somewhere that new water can come in and tell them it's time to spawn.

I think that is good to try and encourage natural processes to cultivate a more robust and healthy ecosystem but your tank in your house is never going to be nature.

I think it's a fun idea to test your skill by trying to set up a tank and see how well you can keep it balanced without all the normal equipment but it shouldn't be touted as the "right" or "better" way of doing it. I mean basically that's what summer tubbing or mini ponds are.

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I'll never run a tank without at minimum an air stone and water changes. I've got enough experience and I do understand the deep sand methodology, but I simply don't enjoy that style of tank.

I much prefer a biotope or natural style with high flow.... Meaning pumps.

 

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On 4/21/2023 at 1:07 PM, CJs Aquatics said:

What’s up everybody, so scrolling on YouTube lately a lot of people are discussing the pros and cons of natural tanks and practices that go along with them vs tanks that utilize common items such as various filters weekly water changes and such. I personally value any and all information regarding things in the aquarium hobby which is why this forum has been such a blessing to me, even incorrect info has had its place. With so much controversy surrounding the topic, I thought it might be fun to come up with a lighthearted game of sorts perhaps helping us learn a bit about both from the best jury there is… us… The game is simple: ask the last person who shows up on your notifications tab how they feel about natural tanks vs more commonly practiced set ups, or any other question regarding the hot topic. If they have already commented choose the next person on your list who may not have had a chance to share yet. Anyone who doesn’t want to that’s perfectly fine as well, just an idea I think would be fun. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts, there is a valid place for all opinions and experiences in my opinion…

@Tanked what are your thoughts on natural tanks vs standard? Which do you keep and why? 

As usual, my thoughts are all over the map. Tanks that look natural, or incorporate a large degree of natural biology exist but truly natural tanks do not. In this hobby there is a dearth of absolutes  and a whole lot of "it depends".  At present I am keeping: a non planted community, a planted community, a semi planted single species, and my somewhat natural planted project tank.  Low tech would be more accurate. The choices were made by the occupants.  The project tank is top off only, and uses only a light, sand and snail poop to bring back plants that should have thrived in the planted community. The other tanks all have plant eaters.  

The problems with the project tank begin with the sand and lack of water changes. As detritus accumulates on top of the sand, and the sand no longer reflects light, the lower portions of the plants begin to die off, creating more algae and detritus...  Taking a quick look at multiple natural aquarium videos just now, I see an over abundance of plants and a lot of green water.  I prefer a natural looking standard setup with minimal water changes. I believe this  provides a much more stable environment long term, and I'd rather see the fish. 

I do have an outdoor pond that is natural except for the waterfall pump.  If left natural, it would quickly become an algae clogged bog. 

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