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The tank as an ornament: Where that thinking may lead?

This is a discussion on The tank as an ornament: Where that thinking may lead? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Misomie I think fish rather enjoy captivity. I agree - fish have very basic needs which are easily met in captivity ...

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The tank as an ornament: Where that thinking may lead?
Old 05-20-2012, 09:13 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Misomie View Post
I think fish rather enjoy captivity.
I agree - fish have very basic needs which are easily met in captivity - eating, not being eaten and spawning.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
 
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As the old saying goes "too each his own", I like the looks of a natural well planted tank. I have a 5 gallon hex with a crowntail betta , its full of green plants, java moss,anubias, horwort, looks pretty natuiral untill you see the small statue of Sandy from the spongebob cartoon that my 4 year old picked out for the tank lol hey what ever gets the kid interested makes me happy.

Living art? thats a great way of looking at it Jaysee.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #13
 
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i started out buying a sphinx, squidwards home and small fake plants. looked cool on the shelf, horrible in the tank. theyre in the closet now. i wanted more natural looking stuff. i got a rock cave and medium fake plants. i liked it a little better. my wife wanted more stuff in there, i didnt. so we got more stuff. now theres 2 fake tree stumps, rock cave, a bunch of big fake plants.it now looks more natural. i now see i want real plants and stuff that doesnt look quite so fake. but the important thing is my wife loves it. and though its fake, the fish are obviously much happier with 100 places to hide and glide through
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #14
 
One thing, that I personally believe, is that the fish hobby is evolving. I think that the people keeping fish today vs those years ago are different. Since the hobby has expanded in stock selection, so have the number of responsible hobbyists. I do not see as many goldfish giveaways as I did when I was younger and I do hear more people asking fish care questions at the store, although store salespeople may not give correct advice, but people are at least asking and will, hopefully, do a little research into fish care.

For ornaments and such, I believe you are right that things like neon colored gravel and plastic plants do cheapen the idea of caring for fish seriously, but I also think that even the kids who convince their parents to get fish and fall in love with fish are the ones that turn into some of the most careful and responsible keepers in the hobby. I also say this because the local petco's and petsmarts around me have been changing in how they manage their fish stock and selection.

Assuming that these companies understand their market, my local petco has moved into selling discus, celestial pearl danio's, a huge loach selection, and specialized tanks for different fish. I have seen similar changes in a nearby petsmart as well. I think this shows that people are starting to ask for more exotic animals, which are not only expensive, but also require the owner to really look into how to properly care for their fish. A 70 dollar discus is not a fish someone just buys on a whim. It is also not a fish a cheap store would want to carry since they need so much special care.

Personally, I love the natural look, dark gravel, lots of plants, tannin stained water... But I can also see the appeal of less natural styles. A friend of mine used to keep a 10 g with Colosseum Pillars, bright blue gravel, and a plethora of fake and live plants. He kept changing the water 20% weekly, fed daily, and trimmed the plants when needed. The decorations weren't my thing, but I knew, from the way he was taking care of the tank, that his fish were happy. Sure the lights were bright and the gravel brighter, but they behaved naturally, grew, and lived out a full life-span.

And of course, there is the increase of forums and websites like this that seek out fish keepers and create communities were we can share experience and advice to further our ability to care for these amazing animals.
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rhymon78 (05-25-2012)
Old 05-25-2012, 02:59 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
One thing, that I personally believe, is that the fish hobby is evolving. I think that the people keeping fish today vs those years ago are different. Since the hobby has expanded in stock selection, so have the number of responsible hobbyists. I do not see as many goldfish giveaways as I did when I was younger and I do hear more people asking fish care questions at the store, although store salespeople may not give correct advice, but people are at least asking and will, hopefully, do a little research into fish care.

For ornaments and such, I believe you are right that things like neon colored gravel and plastic plants do cheapen the idea of caring for fish seriously, but I also think that even the kids who convince their parents to get fish and fall in love with fish are the ones that turn into some of the most careful and responsible keepers in the hobby. I also say this because the local petco's and petsmarts around me have been changing in how they manage their fish stock and selection.

Assuming that these companies understand their market, my local petco has moved into selling discus, celestial pearl danio's, a huge loach selection, and specialized tanks for different fish. I have seen similar changes in a nearby petsmart as well. I think this shows that people are starting to ask for more exotic animals, which are not only expensive, but also require the owner to really look into how to properly care for their fish. A 70 dollar discus is not a fish someone just buys on a whim. It is also not a fish a cheap store would want to carry since they need so much special care.

Personally, I love the natural look, dark gravel, lots of plants, tannin stained water... But I can also see the appeal of less natural styles. A friend of mine used to keep a 10 g with Colosseum Pillars, bright blue gravel, and a plethora of fake and live plants. He kept changing the water 20% weekly, fed daily, and trimmed the plants when needed. The decorations weren't my thing, but I knew, from the way he was taking care of the tank, that his fish were happy. Sure the lights were bright and the gravel brighter, but they behaved naturally, grew, and lived out a full life-span.

And of course, there is the increase of forums and websites like this that seek out fish keepers and create communities were we can share experience and advice to further our ability to care for these amazing animals.
A good positive approach to this topic.... nicely put.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:04 PM   #16
 
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my wife wanted more stuff in there, i didnt. so we got more stuff. OMG Marshallsea, thats hilarious, sounds like my wife, she never had anything more than a betta in a vase untill I moved in with my 90 gallon, now she sits there trying to tell me what to add or remove and how to care for it, I just laugh at her. lol
As much a I dislike those Goldfish games at the fair, I think they do turn alot of kids and their parents on to the hobby so maybe its kinda of a good thing at the expense of ALOT of dead goldfish
Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...#ixzz1vwe4PlO2
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #17
 
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I've followed this thread to see how it would develop, and at this point I would like to offer a comment or two of a very general nature.

The actual decor is basically irrelevant provided it addresses the needs of the fish in the aquarium. There was a thread a couple of months back started by a member who had a sunken submarine on the substrate, and while this is not my "cup of tea" I thought the tank was very well done and beautiful, and saw nothing wrong with such decor. It provided something the fish expected...a sunken object on the substrate; while in their habitat it would be fallen branches and logs, here it was a submarine. Nothing wrong in that.

But the critical point is providing in essence what the fish need, and it is very important to replicate the natural environment by whatever method as closely as possible. There is not an iota of doubt that doing so will result in healthier fish, simply because it will prevent additional stress. And if you haven't yet read my article on stress, you really should, because this is the most important aspect of maintaining an aquarium with fish--avoiding stress as much as possible. Fish absolutely will be healthier and more free of disease. But it takes some thought to provide such an environment.

It can be more natural, as I personally prefer, with chunks of wood and/or branches for fish expecting these, rock for those fish needing rock, floating plants, etc. Or it can be done with non-natural decor. But the crucial thing is that it must be done.

But at the same time attention should be paid to colours, as these do affect fish. More dark and light rather than green or blue, but colour does matter. Aesthetically, using more neutral colours will show off fish colours more, and fish will themselves be more colourful over a dark substrate than a light one--I've had ample evidence of this myself--and with cover rather than openness. Fish behaviour is also largely determined by the environment.

And environment means everything inside the aquarium, from substrate, to decor, to water parameters, to tankmates. This hobby, unlike most others, deals with science; and that must be understood and appreciated if we are to enjoy success.

Byron.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
 
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I was in my LFS today buying some new plants and checking out their driftwood when I hear this woman calling out to someone, what should I get yellow or pink....

I look up and she's digging around in the bags of aquarium gravel.. This made me kind of chuckle to myself, as I thought of this thread.

Lucky little devils, i think she went with pink.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
 
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People choose pink gravel and wonder why their fish are so pale. -sigh-
Though I am not innocent of this. I had bright blue gravel and two fake plants in my blue gourami tank, with paradise fish and a pair of convict cichlids (and a common plec lol). My gourami were practically WHITE. As was the paradise fish. (The cichlids had amazing colour but they were clearly the rulers of the tank and like open spaces). When I got back into fish years after that tank, I was shocked at photos of blue gourami that were actually blue, and bright paradise fish.
So, yea, first hand experience of a bad fish tank.


Byron I have to ask- what is that fish in your avatar? Is it yours? I always figured it was some sort of puffer fish.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #20
 
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This is a very interesting topic, Fox - and I kind of go both ways on this one.

Though it may not be exactly 'natural,' I have black sand in my tank, and a black back-round - and a lot of plants. It does look more natural (to me) than what I have set up for my daughter (who is 4). She has blue, purple, and pink gravel, with a blue back-round and lots of plastic plants. . . most of which are also purple, and a 'pretty' plastic princess to tie the whole thing together! Both of our tanks reflect our personalities, and both of our tanks are full of happy, healthy creatures (with one exception in my case that really doesn't apply to decor).

As for what the fish think about it. . . it seems that a lot of this does depend on the types of fish you keep. As long as their needs are being addressed, the water is clean, and there is shade and places for them to hide should they feel threatened, most of the commonly bought 'beginner' fish don't seem to mind the garish coloration and plastic ornaments. . .

If the creatures within are happy and healthy, it doesn't matter what the tank LOOKS like, and I've seen people get slammed for keeping fish for decorations in their living room, as opposed to keeping them for the joy and love of learning about them and having a slice of nature in your home. Bottom line (to me) is that it doesn't matter WHY you keep them - as long as you keep them well.

Personally, as far as I'm concerned, it's a bit of both. I love watching my creatures and learning about their natures - I'm fascinated by them. However, I made some dramatic changes to my setup in order to ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing to me - because it is ALSO an ornament in my house, and as such. . . I want it to be pretty, especially to the other people who live here/visit and don't necessarily find the fish as fascinating as I do.

I also strongly feel that, as a general rule, people will be more likely to take better care of a tank they find appealing to their own tastes. It's just a given. . . if you like something, you look at it more, and want to preserve the beauty that you see there. For my daughter, plastic princesses and purple gravel capture her attention far more than my own blacks and greens. I'm okay with this, as she is learning from a very early age how to care for the creatures within properly, and I honestly don't think she would be as inclined to keep it up if it wasn't so. . . garish.

Bottom line is that as long as the fish are happy, healthy, and not stressed. . . I see no problem with bright colors and plastic ornaments. I'm actually a bit more concerned about the possible leaching of harmful chemicals and contaminants from the plastic and paints. To this end. . . the fish seem well, and that's all I have to go on.

The job of the shops, as mentioned above, is to make the sale and earn the profit. This can't be helped, and shouldn't be condemned. It is sad that these creatures are being sold to their certain deaths in the hands of inexperienced and unknowing fish-keepers every day - however. . . I have to point out that only a few months ago I WAS one of those people. I made my purchases based on the whims of my children, and didn't put any more thought into it than that. I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm proud that I've come so far - and there are MANY like me out there who have gone from one of those people to whom a fish should never have been sold to someone who is a dedicated and responsible owner. . . so to each his own, I guess!

Last edited by Chesh; 05-27-2012 at 09:08 AM..
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