What I learned
I like to think that knowledge is a thing you acquire through experience, but after the learning is done it is your duty to pass it on in good will of someone in need. I always hoped that others would share their experience to help others become better at what they are doing.
For me as a beginner aquarist it’s known that I’m going to learn through trial and error. Here are some things I learned that I would like to pass on to the next person in hopes that they could use it too:
First thing: You’re only human. Things happen that are beyond your control.
Instead of feeling bad and beating yourself up about it, learn from your experience so that it never happens again. Make sure you pass on the good word and share your story.
Next: Always place a mesh on your gravel vac or python.
Accidents happen. Many people have shared their horror stories about getting distracted and accidentally sucking their fish in the gravel vac causing eye loss or even worse; loss of life. Always make sure it’s covered with something to avoid it.
Next: Give up the bucket method.
I know the good old fashioned way of carrying buckets. I did it myself for months. Just don’t do it. Locate your tank somewhere conveniently to the tap that you change your water with. Invest in a python or similar product. You will not spill water on the ground or have to lug heavy buckets anymore.
Next: Baffle your filters when you have young fish.
Though there is never such thing as too much filtration, there is such thing as too much current. Current tosses your fish around and causes them stress. When they can’t rest it causes them stress and stress in turn causes your fish to secrete more ammonia and lower it’s immune function.
Next: Baffle your filters with bottles, not with filterpads.
I’ve learned this one the hard way. I had originally baffled my filter with a pad. It’s messy, and when it dislodges it creates particles in the water. It doesn’t look good in the tank. It’s not secure. It raises the water level in your filter creating a potential for an overflow. Get a plastic bottle. Cut the top and bottom off of it. Then cut it down the middle, wash it and boil it to keep it clean. tape the top of it to your filter lid and allow it to curl under the filter. This stops the current. Here is a how to guide on it.
Always enjoy your time with your fish. Never miss a heartbeat because you never know how long you will have with them in this brief moment of your lives where your paths have crossed 🙂