Resource icon

Cultural Difference In The Aquarium Hobby

  • Thread starter
  • Moderator

Mike

Fishlore
Messages
6,853
Reaction score
1,979
Points
633
Experience
More than 10 years
Mike submitted a new resource:

Cultural Difference in the Aquarium Hobby - An article on the cultural differences in the aquarium hobby.

Author: m5100

This article will not be a guide or useful tips, but rather something you may not be aware of, find interesting or strange. I’m going to talk about some differences I noticed between the European and American fish keeping hobby.

Starting from the beginning, about two years ago, before getting my first aquarium I did a lot of research and got interested in this hobby immediately. There weren’t many hobbyists in my hometown so my main source was the...
Read more about this resource...
 

Ohio Mark

Well Known Member
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
2,150
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Mike said:
Mike submitted a new resource:

Cultural Difference in the Aquarium Hobby - An article on the cultural differences in the aquarium hobby.



Read more about this resource...
This is interesting to me. I belong to a cultural minority and our way of life has a huge impact on my hobby. Thought I have electricity & a computer where I work, we don't have that at home, so I have gotten creative with how I run my aquariums at home. It's possible to keep an aquarium without electricity, but the one thing I've never been able to sort out the way I'd like it it a heater. As long as I stick to hardier fish, it's okay. But my office at work is in danger of becoming infected with MTS. Ha! There is also the fact that I don't really know other fish-keepers other than the goldfish-in-bowls type, so Fishlore is my connection to the hobby. Because we live in a rural area, I don't often get to a LFS, but since my computer access and ability came along, I can shop for things on-line.
 

Punkin

Well Known Member
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
2,522
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Ohio Mark said:
This is interesting to me. I belong to a cultural minority and our way of life has a huge impact on my hobby. Thought I have electricity & a computer where I work, we don't have that at home, so I have gotten creative with how I run my aquariums at home. It's possible to keep an aquarium without electricity, but the one thing I've never been able to sort out the way I'd like it it a heater. As long as I stick to hardier fish, it's okay. But my office at work is in danger of becoming infected with MTS. Ha! There is also the fact that I don't really know other fish-keepers other than the goldfish-in-bowls type, so Fishlore is my connection to the hobby. Because we live in a rural area, I don't often get to a LFS, but since my computer access and ability came along, I can shop for things on-line.
If you ever travel North towards the Cleveland area, I recommend RMS Aquaculture in Middleburg Hts. Their fish are kept, usually species only, in 40 gallon tanks that do not share filtration or water. I have been getting fish there for over 17 years. Their supplies are a bit pricey, but the fish are not and almost always healthy, rare to see a dead fish in a tank. The store is a bit outdated, but their fish care and quality is what is important to me. Have a happy New Year! :cat:
 

Ohio Mark

Well Known Member
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
2,150
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Punkin said:
If you ever travel North towards the Cleveland area, I recommend RMS Aquaculture in Middleburg Hts. Their fish are kept, usually species only, in 40 gallon tanks that do not share filtration or water. I have been getting fish there for over 17 years. Their supplies are a bit pricey, but the fish are not and almost always healthy, rare to see a dead fish in a tank. The store is a bit outdated, but their fish care and quality is what is important to me. Have a happy New Year! :cat:
Thank you, Punkin. I have not heard of RMS Aquaculture, but I definitely want to check it out sometime. Too bad I didn't know about it a few years ago; I used to go to the Cleveland Farmer's Market in Westlake every Saturday. An outdated store wouldn't bother me if there are healthy fish. It would be so enjoyable to actually see what I am buying.
Wishing you a Happy New Year also!
 

Punkin

Well Known Member
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
2,522
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Ohio Mark said:
Thank you, Punkin. I have not heard of RMS Aquaculture, but I definitely want to check it out sometime. Too bad I didn't know about it a few years ago; I used to go to the Cleveland Farmer's Market in Westlake every Saturday. An outdated store wouldn't bother me if there are healthy fish. It would be so enjoyable to actually see what I am buying.
Wishing you a Happy New Year also!
I used to work in Westlake and have some family members that live there. I know exactly where you are talking about, I think the farmer's market is at Crocker Park. We have taken a day trip to Walnut Creek several years back, it was quite enjoyable. Hopefully we can make another day trip there again!
 

Ohio Mark

Well Known Member
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
2,150
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Punkin said:
I used to work in Westlake and have some family members that live there. I know exactly where you are talking about, I think the farmer's market is at Crocker Park. We have taken a day trip to Walnut Creek several years back, it was quite enjoyable. Hopefully we can make another day trip there again!
Yes, it was at Crocker Park! Small world... I used to walk to the LFS at the shopping center not far from there. It's where I bought my first WCM's. Some of the staff were very helpful, though often too busy to answer all of my questions, and I get that. A day trip to Walnut Creek? That's where I live. The next time you do that, let me give you some suggestions for what to do & see in our area.
 

Wystearya

Valued Member
Messages
421
Reaction score
298
Points
88
Experience
5 to 10 years
Very interesting read!

You know, back before all the chemicals and such people had to keep fish alive *somehow*.

I find myself liking some DIY/home-made type projects. But being a 'red-neck' maybe it's just me. Why spend more if I can make something myself?
 

NHFarmer

Valued Member
Messages
379
Reaction score
310
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Hurrah! The articles are coming back! I remember reading this one before - it's still super interesting! Thank you, Mike.
 

Piaelliott

Well Known Member
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
1,297
Points
198
Very interesting. Occasionally I browse aquarium forums in my native language even though I don't understand half of it Those German fish names are tongue twisters and not even remotely close to the English names

However, I found out that here people are obsessed with the cleanliness of their filters, washing them out or even changing the media weekly, whereas in Germany it is recommended not to touch them unless the flow is compromised. The gunk is considered beneficial. Maybe that's the reason for the mini cycles I keep reading about.
 

flchamp89

Well Known Member
Messages
936
Reaction score
231
Points
98
Great post everyone should read.
 

NavigatorBlack

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,142
Reaction score
5,011
Points
298
Experience
More than 10 years
There are generational differences as well as national ones. I'm low tech. I find test kits unnecessary. I use no water conditioners (but have chlorine, not chloramines in my water). I immediately modify all new filters so they don't use inserts - a wide pored sponge can be cut to fit, and to make a version of a 1990s Aquaclear workhorse of an HOB out of any new cycle killing insert filter. I have bred close to 200 species, including some known for how delicate and sensitive they are. I have species here I've maintained for 25 years.
I'd call that success as a hobbyist.
My last API kit expired in 1992. I have never bought Prime. I use no bottled bacteria elixirs.
I do stock lightly. I plant every tank (40+ of them). I do regular water changes. I cycle with used filter media, and never have a problem. I have never worried about a mini-cycle, which I would call a maintenance breakdown.
I may sound arrogant, and that's not intended. I'm talking heresy here, after all, and that does make one start out a bit defensively. I follow sound principles and enjoy my hobby. I pay close attention to water hardness and tds, and I tend to ignore threads based on API master test kits.

I'm out of the loop to a degree. I certainly don't fit the profile of the American hobbyist, or the incoming fellow Canadian hobbyist, for that matter. I'll never tell someone to drop $30 on a chemistry kit when they could use it for a bigger, better environment to keep their fish in.

So yeah, I liked this article, and I hope a lot of people click the extra stage to read it and consider it. For freshwater hobbyists, there are some thoughts there.
 

Ohio Mark

Well Known Member
Messages
1,517
Reaction score
2,150
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Piaelliott said:
Very interesting. Occasionally I browse aquarium forums in my native language even though I don't understand half of it Those German fish names are tongue twisters and not even remotely close to the English names

However, I found out that here people are obsessed with the cleanliness of their filters, washing them out or even changing the media weekly, whereas in Germany it is recommended not to touch them unless the flow is compromised. The gunk is considered beneficial. Maybe that's the reason for the mini cycles I keep reading about.
It would be interesting to read a German aquarium forum. I'm guessing you are German? I can read & understand Hoch Deutsch, but the language (or dialect) we speak at home is Schwabisch.
 

Ladynoid

New Member
Messages
39
Reaction score
43
Points
28
Experience
More than 10 years
My old aquatic science teacher told me "if you aren't tasting it you aren't testing it" and was able to tell with amazing accuracy what was wrong with water by the smell. I do water tests but not regularly and only when something seems off so I can tell what I need to do to fix it.
 

Kapitalfisht

Valued Member
Messages
282
Reaction score
87
Points
73
Experience
More than 10 years
NavigatorBlack said:
There are generational differences as well as national ones. I'm low tech. I find test kits unnecessary. I use no water conditioners (but have chlorine, not chloramines in my water). I immediately modify all new filters so they don't use inserts - a wide pored sponge can be cut to fit, and to make a version of a 1990s Aquaclear workhorse of an HOB out of any new cycle killing insert filter. I have bred close to 200 species, including some known for how delicate and sensitive they are. I have species here I've maintained for 25 years.
I'd call that success as a hobbyist.
My last API kit expired in 1992. I have never bought Prime. I use no bottled bacteria elixirs.
I do stock lightly. I plant every tank (40+ of them). I do regular water changes. I cycle with used filter media, and never have a problem. I have never worried about a mini-cycle, which I would call a maintenance breakdown.
I may sound arrogant, and that's not intended. I'm talking heresy here, after all, and that does make one start out a bit defensively. I follow sound principles and enjoy my hobby. I pay close attention to water hardness and tds, and I tend to ignore threads based on API master test kits.

I'm out of the loop to a degree. I certainly don't fit the profile of the American hobbyist, or the incoming fellow Canadian hobbyist, for that matter. I'll never tell someone to drop $30 on a chemistry kit when they could use it for a bigger, better environment to keep their fish in.

So yeah, I liked this article, and I hope a lot of people click the extra stage to read it and consider it. For freshwater hobbyists, there are some thoughts there.
I'm 28, been keeping fish since I was seven years old, and much of my own successes are due in part to listening to inveterate hobbyists like yourself. Well, your description of how you maintain your aquariums is similar to many of the older (no offense) generation of fish keepers from whom I've learned a lot.
 

bgclarke

Well Known Member
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,162
Points
198
Experience
1 year
Opalescent said:
Very interesting read!

You know, back before all the chemicals and such people had to keep fish alive *somehow*.
Back in the mid to late 70's, my father had a huge aquarium.

It probably measured 4x3x2 (feet) and ran something like the Penn Plax Bubbler or Quick-Draw corner filter with charcoal and floss. All very low tech by today's standards.

Our water was very hard (well with exposed gypsum at the bottom).

I don't recall him having any difficulties with it, but I was just a kid back then.

I remember he had neon tetras, algae eaters, and small frogs in it.
 

NavigatorBlack

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,142
Reaction score
5,011
Points
298
Experience
More than 10 years
Every wave of aquarists makes its own mistakes. I'm 58, and was trained in the 'balanced aquarium" myth. Water changes changed everything, and radically expanded what could be kept. Improvements in filtration added even more possibilities. Access to information on fish habitats (which very few aquarists look at) has great potential.
Watching youtube videos of wild swordtails in Mexico will teach an observant aquarist a lot about water flow and decor. Ditto for underwater footage from the Amazon or Africa.
If you take a little from the old balanced aquarium era, recognizing it didn't work without a lot of intervention, a little from planted tank keeping without having to go for CO2, and high tech dosing, a lot from the information side, with accumulated aquarium knowledge and some artistic sense, then you have possibilities.
If you want a stark, bare tank, then you need test kits. That does currently seem to be the fashion in North America.
Fashions change.
 

NHFarmer

Valued Member
Messages
379
Reaction score
310
Points
63
Experience
More than 10 years
Ladynoid said:
My old aquatic science teacher told me "if you aren't tasting it you aren't testing it" and was able to tell with amazing accuracy what was wrong with water by the smell. I do water tests but not regularly and only when something seems off so I can tell what I need to do to fix it.
I'm not denying the intelligence behind your teacher's comment, but I must say that the mental of tasting aquarium water is a bit disturbing.... :vomit: Seriously, though, it sounds like he did a good job.
 

flchamp89

Well Known Member
Messages
936
Reaction score
231
Points
98
I think part of the beauty here is that there a bunch of ways to skin a cat. Whether that dynamic is generational or cultural. Sometimes were too quick or aggressive in our beliefs.

Being 46 I try to take an old school new school science based approach. I also try and keep my day job out of the equation. Often ill read a post and agree with 95 percent and say let me give my two cents. I reflect and say is what I have to offer that pertinent to the outcome. Often the answer is no.

Being older and not having tools like the internet when I started lol. I feel that everyone has a responsibility to educate themselves too. I think it makes for a more vested fish keeper.
 

psalm18.2

Fishlore Legend
Messages
11,427
Reaction score
730
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
I noticed that European tank stocking is higher than American stocking rules. European nanotechnology is way ahead of Americans.
 

NavigatorBlack

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,142
Reaction score
5,011
Points
298
Experience
More than 10 years
A lot of my German friends are horrified when they see South American, Asian and African fish on the same tank. There are a lot of fishkeepers who go for biotopes: trying to create showtank with only the fish and plants from one specific place. It's not just African rivers, for example, but they will work hard to have a tank with one certain African river. It's a level of detail I have never seen here.
It's kind of cool as they would have to learn a lot about biodiversity to do that.
I'm also told there are laws against 'cruelty breeding' - the intentional production of deformed animals likely to suffer from their deformities. Balloon fish are banned under that - a good thing.
The biggest differences I have found are with Russian fishkeepers, who have a totally different approach - at least the ones who emigrated here do.
 
Toggle Sidebar

New Threads

Similar Threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media





Top Bottom