I am new to this forum too.
In the last few days I have read some interesting post, though I have to say that I am of the ole school of fish keepers. What I mean is when a finned friend is belly up I don’t think of the nitrogen cycle or the ph or carbon to oxygen ratios. I say to myself “well pop adaptation and natural selection works the way Darwin said it might.”
I view my aquarium as an environment that flora and fauna that I select must adapt to or be selected by nature not to be viable. To think the environment should adapt to chosen flora and fauna is not a functional view that woks for me.
This shows my underlying belief that an aquarium strives for balance and not just a balance of biological processes but works to achieve a state greater than the sum total of all processes. This synergy created provides the pleasure I derive from my aquarium.
To acquire this desired synergy I do the following:
I checked the ph last march when I put water in the aquarium and plan to check again next march.
Never check the nitrogen cycle or other biological process. (nature always moves toward balance)
When the water has evaporated 4 inches below top of aquarium remove additional 10 to 20 gallons and replace with fresh water.
Keep water at 79 – 80 degrees.
Clean filter regularly. Note three of the four starter angle fish were not viable but the one that still lives is beautiful and one of the four Pearl Gourami failed to be viable.