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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Neon Tetra
There's a source claiming 10 years as an upper limit. I've seen 8 year old neons that were still happy and lively. I suspect that most have very short lives in captivity due to the fact that most are kept by inexperienced beginners. People only achieve the ages we do as a result of arguably un-natural conditions as well. However, I'd still be concerned if a large population only lived to be 30 years old.
Thanks.

If dh is degrees kH then I do wonder about the article.

After all mine live in a pH of 8.4-8.8 and kH of 4 degrees.

But then I find that "discrepancy" true on all such fish.

Perhaps some overriding factor is at work in my tanks.

like low carbon dioxide for instance. *old dude

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
No way is the oxygen as pelentiful as it is in a tank that is filtered. You obviously consider the amount of oxygen in your tanks an issue. Otherwise, you wouldn't worry so much about what little oxygen a dechlor product would lock up.

I can see your tank actually having dead spots in it with absolutely no flow. Stagnet water in rivers/ponds always have low oxygen - that is a fact. Despite the fact that plant life around those spots are plentiful. I used to read about it all the time when I kept track of certain water types when doing freshwater fishing. Ask any marine biologist. Your plants put off oxygen when your lights are on and consume it when they are off.

There is no doubt your tanks are low oxygen.
Gee you mean my doubt doesn't count? *old dude


*r2
 

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Master of Algae (THE MOA)
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trivia question: what do you get when you cross a beaslbob build with good filtration and water flow?

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i DO change the water though... about every 6 months. my experience shows that dissolved salts tend to build up over time. i dont know of a good test for low levels of salinity, so i usually just drop 1cc of water from my tank on a microscope slide from time to time and let it dry. you can get a good idea of what type and how much salt is in your water by looking with a microscope at the crystals they form when it dries, just be sure to put them in the same drying conditions every time(humidity, temp).

too much salt is not good for the plants.
 

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Nice tank. (green with envy)

but a specific gravity meter will tell all. Including total dissolved solids.

I have a really nice one that I use to use at work but it was out of calibration by 2% and the cal service said it was not fixable.
so I am using a 3000.00 specific gravity meter that can take the temp also and do trending.
 

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If you are going for this old standard method beaslbob calls his own, beware of one key factor (which may be a good thing).
A fish is not a 'fish' - they aren't generic. A stagnant tank will work for swamp species, and species that are periodically trapped during dry seasons in stagnant ponds. Both groups will have evolved the ability to conserve energy and hover in filthy conditions. They often become quite jammed together as the natural pond evaporates, and can tolerate crowding for periods. In nature, if the rains don't come, they die. In a beaslbob, if the water changes don't come, they go into energy conservation/survival behavior. However, if you do a lot of reading and identify swamp species, you can be in business. Jtst don't plan on breeding anything.
90% of fish species react to current as a key part of how they live. They have evolved shapes to manage water movement, and lifestyles involving current. They absolutely love and often need water movement in order to thrive. The 'beaslbob' method denies the history of the fish.
My aquarium interest is watching fish behavior, and the beaslbob set-up is for looking at fish. You can have a garden with water flow, or cut flowers with this method. I've used variations on it for specific projects, but as a way of fishkeeping, it doesn't apply except to extreme specialists.

Walk to a river. Look at the water. Still as glass and unmoving? Walk to a lake. No waves? Look at a ditch - there you have it - no wait, ripples...
 

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Bob chose to interpret my previous posting by narrowing in on oxygen - a factor, but not the key. A tank is not just a chemistry experiment, Bob - it is supposed to be a dynamic artificial system.

Fish have tens of millions of years of evolution is flowing water, and still water isn't fish friendly. To me, with a stagnant tank with no water flow, you might as well dry the fish and hang them from monofilament for all you'll learn from the tank. Or, you can go one step beyond, become serious and research swamp fish and species that have evolved for dead water. They exist. Do your homework and include that information when you go on selling newcomers to the hobby on this brilliant build you've borrowed.

Right now, the main argument you advance is laziness - no maintenance. Have you got anything on Bororas, wine red Bettas, Parosphromenus, Rivulus, Umbra and the other (very few) fish that would flourish in a tank like you believe in?
 

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on a paternoster lift
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Just read this entire thread and I don't agree with any of the methods used by beaslbob, sorry.

It's just that stagnant water is nasty for the fish and for your house, personally I wouldn't want stale water stinking up my front room, whats more if any of my friends or family came and saw anything like in your picture, they'll probably report me to the RSPCA for keeping fish in filthy conditions.

Regarding the vacation issue. I can leave my dual filtered 24.9 gal (29US gal) tank for about 2 weeks, come back and it will be fine.

Water changes and glass cleaning take about 20mins max out of my day, which is nothing.

To recommend this method to budding aquarists who are just starting out is plain irresponsible IMHO.

:)
 

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And he would say....Everyone that uses Prime has a stinky tank already, lol. As if that was really true.

And now you know the reason he has never been allowed to keep a tank in the house.
 

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Master of Algae (THE MOA)
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i for one have set up numerous tanks without any form of circulation except what is caused by convection from a shop light heating only one side of the tank. while i would never recomend this for a regular fish tank, it tught me more about entropy and the process of ecological collapse than any text book ever did.

my favorite fish to use in these experiments was heterandria formosa. i measured the amount of energy going into the system, the rate of evaporation, the dissolved gas levels, nitrogen levels, etc. and just documented the the tank untill it seemed a balance was reached. to me, the whole process was fascinating, and the equilibrium the tanks reached was a beautiful state to behold. the tanks were certainly not thriving, barely eeking by would be a better description, but they werent dying either. i wouldnt even feed the tanks, as i had a constant culture of wolffia columbiana growing on the surface of the water that i trained the fish to eat, as well as a some species of ostracod(never could get a positive ID) that i found growing in a jar of cuttings in a local high school agricultural center. the population was able to sustain itself at about 20-30 fish in a ten gallon tank for about five years before i tore it down. now, i love the sight of a beautiful and healthy tank, but despite myself, i do believe that my "experiment tank" was my favorite. i learned so much from it, not just about ecology and entropy, but also some unexpected lessons in genetics. the environment certainly played a part in the expression of genes of the heterendria formosa. by the time i ended the project, the fish were less than half their normal size, but would actually live longer that they were in my circulated tanks. they would grow slower, reproduce slower, and reach smaller adult sizes. when i moved the fish into a 20 gallon tank with plants, circulation, and regular feedings, they would remain small for two generations. the fish i moved from tank stagnant to tank awesome would not grow, they would just color up a little. their offspring would reach slightly larger sizes, and by the third generation they were practically identical to the origional pre-experiental stock. from what i saw, it seemed that the females favored the smaller, more brightly colored males to the larger males during the time they were in the stagnant tank.

today, i am able to stock tanks well above what most would consider safe, with no loss of fish. the fish seem healthy, are extremely colorful, and typically live longer than average lifespans. i attribute my success today directly to what i learned through many years of "heartless" experiments. i have absolutely no problem setting up a tank from day one, fully stocked with fish and plants, because now i know how the tank will react. i know what kind of plants will pull out what kind of nitrogen, and i know how much CO2 and light they need to effectively do so.

right now i have a tiny blue spotted sunfish(Enneacanthus gloriosus) that is in a tank that is stagnant with nothing but green water for plants and a healthy culture of ostrocods, daphnia, and fairy shrimp. when the live food culture crashes, i will simply move the fish to another similar tank and "recharge" its last one by replacing most of the green water with distilled water. after a couple weeks, the fish will go back in. what is the result so far? this particular fish is growing faster and is showing more color than any of my other gloriosus fry, even the ones kept in similar conditions but with circulation added.

what was the point of this whole rant? just this: despite the way a stagnant tank looks, and despite the apparent affects it has on the fish that live in them, there is a lot that can be learned by simply observing a tank that breaks every rule that we as aquarists try to follow. on top of all of this, i for one am very proud of what i have learned in the process.
 

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An excellent read. I think that where Bob gets a negative reaction from myself and others and you don't is that you present what you are doing as an experiment. You document the size difference in the Heterandria (fascinating) and the low stocking levels. You present what can be learned from the system, and what the drawbacks are. That makes your posting a really good read, and something to seriously think about.
Bob gets on and tells beginners, who always want to overstock and generally ignore advice on fish load, to use "his" system. He presents it as ideal for all aquarists and all fish species, instead of as an experiment that demands careful fish choice and a recognition of limitations.
The "Aubanbuild" (sorry, could not resist) is really interesting as a narrow application. Your use of Heterandria in it is perfect they're an excellent fit. I'm really intrigued by the return to normal size of these already tiny fish, as I saw something similar when I kept them in lightly filtered and fed tanks for a few years. They are the fish that has withstood the densest population numbers I have ever seen, as my five became a huge colony in a small space in no time, and then maintained a stable, overcrowded population for years. The were becoming smaller, but growing to good sizes in other tanks with fry predators.
I'm sure you don't care how I judge your experiment, but hey, it was a very good one. You aren't on a crusade, but on an exploration. Thanks for sharing and analyzing it for us.
 
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