's Freshwater Aquarium Book HTML version

Courtesy: Andy Gordon of England, and Michelle Stuart of Ontario Canada
Reprinted, with permission, from their web site & Aquarticles
There are many different ways to treat animals inhumanly. The easiest to detect is cruelty
through violence or neglect. Putting any animal through such treatment is condemned, and
rightly so, without question or hesitation. But what about animals that suffer simply because
the owners don't know any better? Is that any better fate for an animal to go through? - After
all, the owners didn't know they weren't providing the proper care for their animals. So often
this issue is brushed aside with a shrug, saying that they really tried to care for the animals, or
that they had good intentions!
Fish tanks have been around for so long that one has pretty much become a commonplace
fixture in many homes. Nearly everyone can remember a time when they had a tank in the
house or visited a friend who had a tank. Since fish tanks are so commonplace, a lot of people
tend to underestimate the care and dedication required keeping a tank healthy and thriving.
Too many people, who have never had fish, believe that fish keeping is the simplest of hobbies,
just add water and go!
The most common time for fish to be placed in inadequate conditions is when hobbyists are
starting up their very first tank. They are unaware of the need for cycling the tank and going
slowly to allow for the required bacteria to grow in the tank, and the fish seem to die for no
apparent reason. They stock the tank too quickly since they want an instant showpiece for their
The second most common mistake people make is to overstock their tanks. They want to see
huge schools of fish living happily side by side without any room for movement, and don't know
that most of the fish they purchase are juveniles that will grow to many times their current size.
Other examples of cruelty through ignorance include common mistakes like:
? Keeping fish in an unsanitary tank.
? Not treating tap water to remove chlorine.
? Not acclimatizing the fish when transferring them to a new tank.
? Adding incompatible species of fish in the same tank such as Oscars in a community tank.
? Using a tank that is too small for the fish once it is full-grown.
? Feeding an unhealthy unvaried diet.
? Little or no water changes. Freshwater Aquarium e-Book