"conservative" Fish-keeping

Discussion in 'Advanced Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Adriifu, May 28, 2018.

  1. Adriifu

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    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 :)
  2. Dan12boy

    Dan12boyValued MemberMember

    I'm definitely liberal
  3. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    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 10g 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.

  4. biotopebuff

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    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.

    Also agree with you. There is no absolute stocking rule. It depends on so much.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2018
  5. bettafanatic

    bettafanaticWell Known MemberMember

    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 10g 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 55g on here from people saying bettas cant 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 isnt too strong.
  6. OP

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    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'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.
  7. Dan12boy

    Dan12boyValued MemberMember

    True that
  8. aussieJJDude

    aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    I feel that Im 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 10g 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 doesnt always equate to a better lifestyle IMO.
  9. OP

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    I agree. There are many factors that can help provide a fish with the perfect environment. Thank you for the response :)
  10. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    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 thats agreed upon in the aquarium trade.
  11. CraniumRex

    CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    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."
  12. OP

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    I completely agree. The least we can do for our animals is give them what they need. Thank you for the response :)
  13. skilletlicker

    skilletlickerValued MemberMember

    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.
  14. OP

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    That's actually really interesting :) Thanks for sharing.
  15. Adrian Burke

    Adrian BurkeValued MemberMember

    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.
  16. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Hahahaha exact the point I wanted to make. Goldfish in a bowl is the main example of changing fishkeeping-standards and thoughts
  17. Bry

    BryWell Known MemberMember

    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.
  18. Dch48

    Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    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.
  19. OP

    AdriifuWell Known MemberMember

    Whoops! Thanks.
  20. Platylover

    PlatyloverFishlore VIPMember

    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 5g 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 5g is considered liberal I’m also liberal.

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