Conservative Fish-keeping

Adriifu
  • #1
Hello. I was just scrolling through the YouTube comment section of a Tyler Rugge video. In doing so, I came across several people who were either very liberal with fish-keeping (fine with bare-minimum tanks/care), very conservative (completely against bare-minimum tanks/care), and in between. Those who were conservative about it claimed that they followed Germany's standards for fish-care. For example, bettas need at least ten-gallons of water in Germany (w/ the exception of plakats, who need 15-gallons), while in America and Canada, they need at least 2.5-gallons (preferably 5-gallons). A lot of those who were conservative about this hobby said that absolutely nothing could thrive in a ten-gallon tank. Someone even said that they felt bad for bettas in something as small as a ten-gallon. Those who were liberal claimed that it ultimately depends on the individual betta's preference. They said that some liked smaller tanks while others didn't. They also said that bettas can easily thrive in at least five-gallons of water and that they'd be lucky to live in a ten-gallon. What do you guys think of this? Would you consider yourself conservative, liberal, or in between and why? Also, a lot of the conservative comments were very rude and dismissive. I think that this makes it much harder to agree with them. Please be open-minded and kind. Thank you
 
Dan12boy
  • #2
I'm definitely liberal
 
goldface
  • #3
I’d say I’m inbetween. It’s funny you mention German fishkeeping standards differing from the US. I know countries in Asia have much different standards as well. A 10 gallon goldfish tank is perfectly fine there. Just because people disagree with stocking doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this hobby isn’t mathematics. Everyone is going to have different results. Thus, what fish “need” is very subjective, as much as people don’t want to admit it. I like to keep an open, objective mind about many things, not just fishkeeping.
 
biotopebuff
  • #4
I'm not a not-nice conservative, and not a whole one. But I definitely lean towards that side. I understand the more liberal part though. I know some people like to keep it bare-minimum, but I would just prefer to keep my fish in the safest environment possible.

I’d say I’m inbetween. It’s funny you mention German fishkeeping standards differing from the US. I know countries in Asia have much different standards as well. A 10 gallon goldfish tank is perfectly fine there. Just because people disagree with stocking doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this hobby isn’t mathematics. Everyone is going to have different results. Thus, what fish “need” is very subjective, as much as people don’t want to admit it. I like to keep an open, objective mind about many things, not just fishkeeping.

Also agree with you. There is no absolute stocking rule. It depends on so much.
 
bettafanatic
  • #5
I'm siding with scarface. I'm very open minded because different things have worked and not worked for different people. I personally feel bad for any fish kept in 1 gallon tanks or even 5 gallon for that matter except shrimp or snails. I personally have never kept a betta in anything smaller than 10 gallon and even then that was only one time. I have owned several bettas and almost all of them I kept in 55g. I know I got a lot of lip about keeping bettas in 55 gallon on here from people saying bettas can't live in such large tanks due to them not being great swimmers and having such long fins. Let me tell you how untrue that is. My bettas would go to the top, bottom, sides, wherever they wanted without a problem. You just have to slow down the filter or use sponge filters so the current isn't too strong.
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I’d say I’m inbetween. It’s funny you mention German fishkeeping standards differing from the US. I know countries in Asia have much different standards as well. A 10 gallon goldfish tank is perfectly fine there. Just because people disagree with stocking doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: this hobby isn’t mathematics. Everyone is going to have different results. Thus, what fish “need” is very subjective, as much as people don’t want to admit it. I like to keep an open, objective mind about many things, not just fishkeeping.
I like keeping an open mind as well to these things, especially when it comes to stocking. However, I do think that there are certain standards that can easily be proven as unreliable and false. For example, the ten-gallon tank for a goldfish that you mentioned. Any species of goldfish will get massive. A ten-gallon tank simply isn't enough for them. They may be able to survive there, but they will certainly be more prone to disease and stress. I think it's very easy to create decent standards that provide an environment they can thrive in rather than simply survive.
I'm siding with scarface. I'm very open minded because different things have worked and not worked for different people. I personally feel bad for any fish kept in 1 gallon tanks or even 5 gallon for that matter except shrimp or snails. I personally have never kept a betta in anything smaller than 10 gallon and even then that was only one time. I have owned several bettas and almost all of them I kept in 55g. I know I got a lot of lip about keeping bettas in 55 gallon on here from people saying bettas can't live in such large tanks due to them not being great swimmers and having such long fins. Let me tell you how untrue that is. My bettas would go to the top, bottom, sides, wherever they wanted without a problem. You just have to slow down the filter or use sponge filters so the current isn't too strong.
I've kept a couple bettas in my 2.5-gallon tank. They got surprisingly big. So big to the point where the tank looked way too small for them. I haven't kept them in that tank ever since. Ten-gallon tanks seem much more suitable. This hobby is all about trial and error, but there are so many people that have already made the errors for us. I think we just need to learn from their mistakes and possibly ours in order to create decent standards that live up to our animals' needs.
 
Dan12boy
  • #7
True that
 
aussieJJDude
  • #8
I feel that I'm extremely liberal in most cases. Fish are biological systems, and like others said they not something as easy as a mathematical equation.

My view is that you can make a community tank in as small as a 10 gallon if you know what your doing, you just need to stock with appropriate fish! I never understood why people are so conservative, a big tank doesn't always equate to a better lifestyle IMO.
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I feel that I'm extremely liberal in most cases. Fish are biological systems, and like others said they not something as easy as a mathematical equation.

My view is that you can make a community tank in as small as a 10 gallon if you know what your doing, you just need to stock with appropriate fish! I never understood why people are so conservative, a big tank doesn't always equate to a better lifestyle IMO.
I agree. There are many factors that can help provide a fish with the perfect environment. Thank you for the response
 
david1978
  • #10
Me personally with my own tanks. I have some 10's and a couple 20's as well as bigger tanks. The 10's will never see water and the 20's are just short term set ups except for my snail tank. My 29 I had guppies in once. I prefer the 4' tanks for any fish. However I understand that not every one has room for a 55 or a 75 so I don't push my personal preference on others. I tend to go with the excepted norm that's agreed upon in the aquarium trade.
 
CraniumRex
  • #11
It's an interesting post you've made and it really made me think about how different countries approach things. Take, for example, car seats for kids. When I grew up my car seat was utterly unsafe by today's standards (and some folks had their mom or dad's arm). Today there are countries where rear-facing car seats are mandatory until after age 4, whereas in Canada you can turn kids around around at a year.

I happen to believe that some of the minimum care standards are driven by corporations who care less about the quality of care and more about selling/making a profit. Just ask anyone who has worked on vehicle recalls where a statistician works out what is more expensive, lawsuits from deaths/injuries or a product recall. I would expect fish are no different, and far less subject to public scrutiny.

I agree with aussieJJDude that bigger does not necessarily equate better, much as I have seen folks turned down for rescue dogs because they live in an apartment where you can tell the dog will likely live a better life than someone who keeps a dog as a so-called pet and leaves it chained up outside in a yard. A neglected large tank is much worse than a well-tended and appropriately stocked 10 gallon.

In the end, I lean toward what you have called conservative because I feel strongly that taking on any animal (and I have many - dogs, cats, parrots, fish, and rats) is a commitment not to be taken lightly and I owe it to them to provide the best possible environment. This is not to say I think that folks who identify themselves as liberal don't care, just stating my own reasons. Unlike dogs and cats, who historically chose to keep the company of humans, parrots and fish in particular are taken from their natural environments for our pleasure. No environment we provide can necessarily be perfect, although many captive species live much longer lives than in the wild. This is a testament to excellent care and what fishkeepers can accomplish.

I become a more strict conservative when I see the horrors inflicted upon fish because of the mentality that "they are just a fish." This makes me sad and makes me want to defend them, or try to educate at the very least. I would do the same for any animal but fish in particular seem to be regarded as expendable. I do think you are right that being rude or dismissive does nothing to help the cause; however, I wonder if it comes from the frustration. Not an excuse, just a thought.

I will end with a quote I have always loved, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
It's an interesting post you've made and it really made me think about how different countries approach things. Take, for example, car seats for kids. When I grew up my car seat was utterly unsafe by today's standards (and some folks had their mom or dad's arm). Today there are countries where rear-facing car seats are mandatory until after age 4, whereas in Canada you can turn kids around around at a year.

I happen to believe that some of the minimum care standards are driven by corporations who care less about the quality of care and more about selling/making a profit. Just ask anyone who has worked on vehicle recalls where a statistician works out what is more expensive, lawsuits from deaths/injuries or a product recall. I would expect fish are no different, and far less subject to public scrutiny.

I agree with aussieJJDude that bigger does not necessarily equate better, much as I have seen folks turned down for rescue dogs because they live in an apartment where you can tell the dog will likely live a better life than someone who keeps a dog as a so-called pet and leaves it chained up outside in a yard. A neglected large tank is much worse than a well-tended and appropriately stocked 10 gallon.

In the end, I lean toward what you have called conservative because I feel strongly that taking on any animal (and I have many - dogs, cats, parrots, fish, and rats) is a commitment not to be taken lightly and I owe it to them to provide the best possible environment. This is not to say I think that folks who identify themselves as liberal don't care, just stating my own reasons. Unlike dogs and cats, who historically chose to keep the company of humans, parrots and fish in particular are taken from their natural environments for our pleasure. No environment we provide can necessarily be perfect, although many captive species live much longer lives than in the wild. This is a testament to excellent care and what fishkeepers can accomplish.

I become a more strict conservative when I see the horrors inflicted upon fish because of the mentality that "they are just a fish." This makes me sad and makes me want to defend them, or try to educate at the very least. I would do the same for any animal but fish in particular seem to be regarded as expendable. I do think you are right that being rude or dismissive does nothing to help the cause; however, I wonder if it comes from the frustration. Not an excuse, just a thought.

I will end with a quote I have always loved, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
I completely agree. The least we can do for our animals is give them what they need. Thank you for the response
 
skilletlicker
  • #13
I never decided to become a "fish keeper." A year ago I was talking to a cooking forum acquaintance about growing basil indoors which led to a discussion of aquaponics, a thing I'd never even heard of. So I imagined growing enough herbs and vegetables to feed one old man with a weekly fish dinner, maybe tilapia, thrown in as a bonus. A 20-gallon aquarium ought to be plenty, I thought. Saw recommendations for 5 or 10 gallons per pound of fish. Bought a 20-gallon aquarium and two 13-gallon restaurant bus tubs for grow beds and then started to learn about what I was getting myself into. Might have been better to get some knowledge first, then the equipment.

Now I have two fantail goldfish to whom I've become amazingly attached. If I'm lucky and do a good job taking care of them they are likely to outlive me. They don't weigh an ounce between them and I think the 20-gallon tank is already too small. Would like to give them a 40-gallon breeder tank for swimming room but may have to settle for 29-gallons. Water quality is a reason often cited for larger tanks but that isn't an issue to my mind. The aquaponic grow beds do a tremendous job keeping their water clean and healthy. It's just a matter of giving them as much room as possible to enjoy their goldfish life. So I'm trying to figure out ways to make the space that they do have as interesting to them as possible. Keeping varieties of green leafy vegetables attached to the tank walls helps. Something to hunt would help too. Maybe shrimp could fill that bill. Sometimes I give them redworms for a protein treat. As the new red wiggler colony increases, I'll try to populate the grow beds with them. They might then occasionally drop down into the fish tank with the returning water. Sara and Maybelle would get a kick out of that.
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I never decided to become a "fish keeper." A year ago I was talking to a cooking forum acquaintance about growing basil indoors which led to a discussion of aquaponics, a thing I'd never even heard of. So I imagined growing enough herbs and vegetables to feed one old man with a weekly fish dinner, maybe tilapia, thrown in as a bonus. A 20-gallon aquarium ought to be plenty, I thought. Saw recommendations for 5 or 10 gallons per pound of fish. Bought a 20-gallon aquarium and two 13-gallon restaurant bus tubs for grow beds and then started to learn about what I was getting myself into. Might have been better to get some knowledge first, then the equipment.

Now I have two fantail goldfish to whom I've become amazingly attached. If I'm lucky and do a good job taking care of them they are likely to outlive me. They don't weigh an ounce between them and I think the 20-gallon tank is already too small. Would like to give them a 40-gallon breeder tank for swimming room but may have to settle for 29-gallons. Water quality is a reason often cited for larger tanks but that isn't an issue to my mind. The aquaponic grow beds do a tremendous job keeping their water clean and healthy. It's just a matter of giving them as much room as possible to enjoy their goldfish life. So I'm trying to figure out ways to make the space that they do have as interesting to them as possible. Keeping varieties of green leafy vegetables attached to the tank walls helps. Something to hunt would help too. Maybe shrimp could fill that bill. Sometimes I give them redworms for a protein treat. As the new red wiggler colony increases, I'll try to populate the grow beds with them. They might then occasionally drop down into the fish tank with the returning water. Sara and Maybelle would get a kick out of that.
That's actually really interesting Thanks for sharing.
 
sushifanta
  • #15
I think you have them flipped. Conservative usually means more withholding or sparing use, while liberal means more generous use. Example: be a little more conservative with the sand, it’s expensive!
Example: be liberal with the tank size, the fish will be happier in more space.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #16
I think you have them flipped. Conservative usually means more withholding or sparing use, while liberal means more generous use. Example: be a little more conservative with the sand, it’s expensive!
Example: be liberal with the tank size, the fish will be happier in more space.
Hahahaha exact the point I wanted to make. Goldfish in a bowl is the main example of changing fishkeeping-standards and thoughts
 
Bry
  • #17
I'm inbetween. I'd say as long as you're keeping the fish reasonably it's okay. By that I mean don't keep an Oscar in a 1 gallon bowl. Whether the tank is bare or ornate, I'd say as long as needs are met. Like if a fish needs a cave, provide a cave at least. If nothing else, that's fine, at least it would have what it needed to feel safe.
 
Dch48
  • #18
Hello. I was just scrolling through the YouTube comment section of a Tyler Rugge video. In doing so, I came across several people who were either very liberal with fish-keeping (fine with bare-minimum tanks/care), very conservative (completely against bare-minimum tanks/care), and in between. Those who were conservative about it claimed that they followed Germany's standards for fish-care. For example, bettas need at least ten-gallons of water in Germany (w/ the exception of plakats, who need 15-gallons), while in America and Canada, they need at least 2.5-gallons (preferably 5-gallons). A lot of those who were conservative about this hobby said that absolutely nothing could thrive in a ten-gallon tank. Someone even said that they felt bad for bettas in something as small as a ten-gallon. Those who were liberal claimed that it ultimately depends on the individual betta's preference. They said that some liked smaller tanks while others didn't. They also said that bettas can easily thrive in at least five-gallons of water and that they'd be lucky to live in a ten-gallon. What do you guys think of this? Would you consider yourself conservative, liberal, or in between and why? Also, a lot of the conservative comments were very rude and dismissive. I think that this makes it much harder to agree with them. Please be open-minded and kind. Thank you
I think those conservatives are crazy. To me a 10 gallon is way more than what a Betta needs. Nothing can thrive in a 10 gallon? That's ludicrous. For fresh water, I have never had anything bigger than a 10 and have kept many types of fish successfully. I'd have to go liberal on this which is strange to me because in other areas of life I'm very conservative.
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I think you have them flipped. Conservative usually means more withholding or sparing use, while liberal means more generous use. Example: be a little more conservative with the sand, it’s expensive!
Example: be liberal with the tank size, the fish will be happier in more space.
Whoops! Thanks.
 
Platylover
  • #20
I’m both, when it comes to larger tank stockings I tend to become a bit more conservative in numbers to ensure I don’t overstock. If later on I feel like I can add more then I will. But I think that a 5 gallon is absolutely fine for a most betta splendens, in fact, I currently have a betta that’s doing well in one currently. 2.5 is a bit of a stretch, but I still consider it a viable option. Granted there are certain bettas that wouldn’t work simply because they individually are very active or if it’s a giant it would need a 10g.
Overall I’m likely to be closer to the conservative side, but if a betta in a 5 gallon is considered liberal I’m also liberal.
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I’m both, when it comes to larger tank stockings I tend to become a bit more conservative in numbers to ensure I don’t overstock. If later on I feel like I can add more then I will. But I think that a 5 gallon is absolutely fine for a most betta splendens, in fact, I currently have a betta that’s doing well in one currently. 2.5 is a bit of a stretch, but I still consider it a viable option. Granted there are certain bettas that wouldn’t work simply because they individually are very active or if it’s a giant it would need a 10g.
Overall I’m likely to be closer to the conservative side, but if a betta in a 5 gallon is considered liberal I’m also liberal.
Agreed. It really depends on the situation.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #22
Is it a good idea to divide keepers in "conservative" (crazy I read) and "liberal" based on how they think about tanksize aso?

Is using or not using CO2, ferts, havibg an undergravel/HOB/Cannisterfilter, a heather, gravel/sand another sign of being one or the other?

Think we all want the best for our fish.
For one that is that and for another this.
 
goldface
  • #23
I think you have them flipped. Conservative usually means more withholding or sparing use, while liberal means more generous use. Example: be a little more conservative with the sand, it’s expensive!
Example: be liberal with the tank size, the fish will be happier in more space.
I was confused about this too. But I’ve seen the terms used this way before too many times to think it’s not a coincidence nor a mistake. Yeah, I don’t really get it either, so I understand the confusion.
 
aussieJJDude
  • #24
I think in this case, conservative applies to the ideal that fish keeping is a rigid idea, x number of fish per x gallons, this fish needs x gallons, and y conditions ect.... while liberal is more like, while x number of fish per x gallons applies, you can easily stock more/less, this fish needs x gallons, but can do fine in a smaller environment providing that its needs are met, and y conditions are great, but fish can tolerate a wide range of water parameters providing that's it constant....


You get the idea!
 
DoubleDutch
  • #25
Huh I like bigger tanks = conservative
I don't mind the gallons per fish calculation = liberal

I must be a Conserveral then
I think in this case, conservative applies to the ideal that fish keeping is a rigid idea, x number of fish per x gallons, this fish needs x gallons, and y conditions ect.... while liberal is more like, while x number of fish per x gallons applies, you can easily stock more/less, this fish needs x gallons, but can do fine in a smaller environment providing that its needs are met, and y conditions are great, but fish can tolerate a wide range of water parameters providing that's it constant....


You get the idea!
 
CraniumRex
  • #26
I think in this case, conservative applies to the ideal that fish keeping is a rigid idea, x number of fish per x gallons, this fish needs x gallons, and y conditions ect.... while liberal is more like, while x number of fish per x gallons applies, you can easily stock more/less, this fish needs x gallons, but can do fine in a smaller environment providing that its needs are met, and y conditions are great, but fish can tolerate a wide range of water parameters providing that's it constant....

You get the idea!

I read the OPs original post a few times to ensure I was answering as the OP defined the terms and I like very much how you have stated this but not convinced that is what the OP intended. The terms themselves are confusing! I didn’t want to get bogged down in the connotation of the terms and certainly tried in my mind to understand the intent of the post. I read it more that the OP’s “conservative” was more like erring in the side of caution, like expanding minimum tank sizes for minimum standards of care.

I think that experienced, diligent fish keepers can take liberties with standards of care (specifically tank size) based on their knowledge, both of aquaria in general and their own fish in particular. On the other hand, displaying rows of 1 gallon tanks (ha, I call them that facetiously) for bettas or a picture of 12 platys and a goldfish on the packaging of a 5 gallon in the pet stores implies an acceptable standard of care that doesn’t (dare I say shouldn’t) exist. With the numbers of novice folks who come to this forum who have major stocking or water quality issues I’d say, irrespective of the terms the OP used, moving up and advancing the minimum standard of care isn’t a bad idea.

I vote Conserveral!
 
Lacey D
  • #27
I personally dream of gigantic aquariums where I never have to worry about anything outgrowing anything every again Something like an indoor lake would suit

But as for where I stand realistically...I'm new to coming back to this hobby, and as someone who is US based I have been interested in how much certain things are STANDARD and REQUIRED...and how that just is tossed in there with the certainty that anything else is cruel. When I started 20 years ago, I didn't have the internet to tell me that having a dozen guppies in a 2.5 hexagonal tank was cruel. All I had were a book from the 80's, two fish who bred out of control, and ammonia spikes which were chemically kept under control. I did move to larger aquarium, and multiples, and to giving guppies away, and eventually to having to scrap my tanks due to a power-outage causing a massive die-off. But I never had a heater, barely checked water parameters, had under-gravel filtration, did water changes when things looked off, and basically everything that is 'wrong' according to both US 'liberals' AND 'conservatives'...and managed to have healthy, happy guppies for about 5 years.

I understand requirements when it comes to chemistry, and when it comes to fish hormones and behavior. But I also understand that there is a gulf between hobbyists and those who are maintaining display tanks, and those who are breeding the fish (and seemingly would be more familiar with their bare requirements?). I understand that my betta is happier in his planted 5.5 g long where he can do regular patrols than he was in his PetSmart cup. I also understand that I want to move him to a 10 gallon soon, and then from there maybe into the 37 community, and that in each place it will be the fish who decides his happiness, not his aquarium.
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #28
That feeling when you got into fish keeping as an escape because everything is so political these days, then you realize there's politics in fish keeping too.
 
Lacey D
  • #29
That feeling when you got into fish keeping as an escape because everything is so political these days, then you realize there's politics in fish keeping too.
Ditto... and yes. All we can do is keep as open a mind as we can, and try not to get too polarized, right?
 
SaltySeaLion
  • #30
I don't know what I'd label myself. I try to do what's best for the fish. I've kept fish in 10 and 20 gallon tanks, but they just looked like they needed to stretch their fins a bit, so I bought 40 and 50 gallon tanks for them. I only keep small fish, too (micro rasboras, dwarf cories, etc.) My take on the subject is that if I were a fish, I'd want to live in an environment where I could truly enjoy myself. So, if you can only keep smaller tanks, make sure to fill it with aquatic plants and maybe some driftwood, so that fish can stay busy by swimming through everything and amusing themselves. Keep their minds stimulated.

In my opinion, a bigger tank is a better tank for any fish, even ones traditionally considered small-tank fish, like bettas. You can never have too much space, really (unless it's a fry tank.)
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
I don't know what I'd label myself. I try to do what's best for the fish. I've kept fish in 10 and 20 gallon tanks, but they just looked like they needed to stretch their fins a bit, so I bought 40 and 50 gallon tanks for them. I only keep small fish, too (micro rasboras, dwarf cories, etc.) My take on the subject is that if I were a fish, I'd want to live in an environment where I could truly enjoy myself. So, if you can only keep smaller tanks, make sure to fill it with aquatic plants and maybe some driftwood, so that fish can stay busy by swimming through everything and amusing themselves. Keep their minds stimulated.

In my opinion, a bigger tank is a better tank for any fish, even ones traditionally considered small-tank fish, like bettas. You can never have too much space, really (unless it's a fry tank.)
I agree completely Thanks for the response.
 
Bando
  • #32
In my limited experience, my betta is much happier with a 20 long instead of her old 4.3 gal cube. It probably because the water values are more consistent.

As a novice, understocking - under 50% is better because it is easier to maintain. Is that conservative or lazy
 
Dch48
  • #33
In my limited experience, my betta is much happier with a 20 long instead of her old 4.3 gal cube. It probably because the water values are more consistent.

As a novice, understocking - under 50% is better because it is easier to maintain. Is that conservative or lazy
It's wasteful
 
Adriifu
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
It's wasteful
Oof. I guess it could be wasteful of that other 50%. If you’re not super strict about understocking and are open to the idea of adding fish, then I guess it’s just lazy. Don’t really know.
 
aBettaNamedRoy
  • #35
I have a baby betta who is perhaps an inch long in a fully planted, heated, and filtered ten gallon. I've spent $60 on plants alone. So I think it's safe to say that I provide my fish with more than they need. Though I don't disagree with bare bottomed or small tanks, as long as they can sustain the fish, I personally would like my fish to be very comfortable in a more natural setting. Whenever I get a pet, I always must assure that I can provide them with conditions that allow them not only to live, but also to thrive.
 
-Mak-
  • #36
I’m very polar about this.

After seeing TakashI Amano’s 40,000 gallon, 40 meter planted, largest nature style aquascaped freshwater aquarium in the world (what a mouthful ) I felt downright sorry for basically every fish in a home aquarium. The fish were so free, used so much of the swimming space, and had such natural behavior as I’ve never seen anywhere else. It was like they didn’t know that they weren’t in nature.

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, I don’t believe fish in smaller, bare minimum tanks are suffering. Far from it, I think they are decently happy if their needs are met, as much as they have the capacity to be. I’m sure more room would be used and enjoyed, but it doesn’t mean less (of the bare minimum) space is bad. Sadly the vast majority of us aren’t able to have a tank remotely close to the size of the one mentioned above.
 
david1978
  • #37
yep a severely understocked tank is lazy and wasteful but the maintenance is very easy and its very enjoyable. I love it. Lol
 
wrs2
  • #38
I am liberal about fish keeping! But then I am liberal with other philosophies, who why not fish too? Haha.
I will admit that I have a betta who lives in a 1 gallon tank. He was in a 5, but he has so many issues swimming and with swim bladder and getting stuck ob filters, that he just couldn't do well in that tank. Now he is in a 1 gallon tank and he is doing so much better! So I like to think about the fish and their specific needs.
Also I don't really mind over stocking as long as the fish aren't stressed. I do water changes very often. Mind you neither of my tanks are over stocked, but I say I am more liberal on stocking than probably some others.
 

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