Observations that contradict many things I've learned about fish

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LICfish

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So recently I returned to my home country where electricity is scarce. My parents have lots of fish and I wanted to share with everyone all the things I've observed which contradict everything I've learned about keeping fish.

Please keep in mind while reading this that there is no intentional cruelty towards the fish. The fish are kept in the best possible conditions considering the general conditions of the place.

1) Since electricity is scarce Freshwater fish (including discus) survive without a filter or bubbler running at least 12 hours in a day

2) One of the large discus attacked the others which eventually lead to the death of three discus. I've also seen a possible display of territorial attitude when my father added new discus to the tank which had one discus remaining.

3) Since water is much more natural (pumped from underground) cycling is not necessary. When tanks are cleaned, fish are sometimes removed from the tank.

4) Stocking and ammonia poisoning does not seem to be a problem at all. My parents have a large number of Angel fish in a possibly 40 gallon tank, with the filter running only half the time due to electricity, and the fish have been alive and grown for years. Same scenario with a 10 gallon swordtail tank.

5) Dwarf gouramis don't seem to mind each other at all. There's 5 of them in 1 tank. No deaths or attacking.

I hope everyone finds this as interesting as I do
 

LyndaB

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Thank you very much for sharing your family's experience with fishkeeping. It made for very interesting reading.

I would have to think that the fish that are available in that area are pre-conditioned to survive in that environment. Most likely, those fish would have to be very slowly acclimated to "our" way of fishkeeping and what we've been taught their requirements are if you were to bring them home to NY.
 

Meenu

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LICfish said:
So recently I returned to my home country where electricity is scarce. My parents have lots of fish and I wanted to share with everyone all the things I've observed which contradict everything I've learned about keeping fish.

Please keep in mind while reading this that there is no intentional cruelty towards the fish. The fish are kept in the best possible conditions considering the general conditions of the place.

1) Since electricity is scarce Freshwater fish (including discus) survive without a filter or bubbler running at least 12 hours in a day Surviving poor conditions is not the same as doing well or thriving. A dog could survive living in a cramped closet, but that doesn't mean that it's a good situation

2) One of the large discus attacked the others which eventually lead to the death of three discus. I've also seen a possible display of territorial attitude when my father added new discus to the tank which had one discus remaining. Aggression may be related to the fact that the discus are living in an uncycled, unfiltered tank. Fish act weird when stressed, just like humans do.

3) Since water is much more natural (pumped from underground) cycling is not necessary. When tanks are cleaned, fish are sometimes removed from the tank. I don't understand the connection between cycling and water pumped from an aquifer.

4) Stocking and ammonia poisoning does not seem to be a problem at all. My parents have a large number of Angel fish in a possibly 40 gallon tank, with the filter running only half the time due to electricity, and the fish have been alive and grown for years. Same scenario with a 10 gallon swordtail tank.

5) Dwarf gouramis don't seem to mind each other at all. There's 5 of them in 1 tank. No deaths or attacking.

I hope everyone finds this as interesting as I do
My random thoughts are in blue. I am not trying to knock a country that doesn't have elecrtricity. But I also don't think that what you are describing is a great situation for the fish.

Anyway, I agree with Lynda. This was interesting.
 

sirdarksol

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Different groups have different ideas on how to care for fish. One of the guys in the local aquarium society is Chinese, and one day he brought pictures of his family's business in China. They sold goldfish. They would bag the fish up, carry them out to the market, and hang them in little tiny bags over a huge board. There would be hundreds of fish, far more than could possibly be sold in a day. While this may horrify me, it's common practice. It's the culture. I'm sure that there are many things that I do that many other cultures find bizarre or horrible.
These differences occur within given cultures, as well. Many American ichthyologists have different ideas of how to care for fish than we do. I was kind of bothered by the blase attitude the most recent speaker had toward instances that caused the deaths of his fish.

Fish can survive a lot more than we put them through. Folks on Fishlore largely just advocate giving the fish the best conditions in which they can thrive.
 
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LICfish

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Thanks LyndaB. My thoughts exactly on how many generations of fish have been raised so they're able to adapt.

HI Meenu - with regards to the water, I mean it's like natural Freshwater. There's no need to cycle because it's never been treated with chemicals - if that makes sense. As for the conditions, it may not be the best but I guess considering even people don't live in the best conditions, it's the best possible.

Thanks also to sirdarksol. Yeah I'm sure there are many different methods people use. This is just one of them.
 

LyndaB

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I think it's important to keep in mind that the OP is simply sharing a foreign culture's experience in fishkeeping. We may or may not agree with the methods and environment but, in this case, we are not being asked our advice on how to make what we may consider a poor situation better. For its intended purpose, I found the post interesting.

I'm hoping that someone can post a note and let me know whether my alleged theory of the fish's home environment does make a difference here. I'm curious as to whether it's more than a theory.

x
 
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Lucy

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I think what Meenu was getting at is cycling has to do with the ammonia created by fish and the growth of bacteria to process that ammonia.
It doesn't have anything to do with the type of water or chemicals.

Lynda, I think you brought up a very good point.
Kind of like if I bought fish that were raised with a pH very different from mine. If I came home and plopped them in the tank without proper acclimation, they may not survive that shock.
 

Meenu

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LICfish said:
HI Meenu - with regards to the water, I mean it's like natural Freshwater. There's no need to cycle because it's never been treated with chemicals - if that makes sense. As for the conditions, it may not be the best but I guess considering even people don't live in the best conditions, it's the best possible.
I'm just not seeing the connection. Cycling isn't about the water source, I didn't think. If your water source has additives that are dangerous, conditioners take care of that. I could see if the argument was "The water source is natural, so no conditioners are necessary, since they don't add chlorine."

But that isn't your point. Your point is that it isn't necessary to cycle the tank because the water source is more natural. I just don't see the connection. Regardless of water source, the fish are living in a relatively small amount of water. Regardless of water source, they produce waste (ammonia). And so regardless of water source, that waste production triggers the nitrification process.

I guess I'm just really lost...

edit: I was ninja'ed by Lucy explaining my confusion better than I did.
 
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LICfish

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My understanding of the cycle is to establish the bacteria that break down toxins in watse. My guess is that the bacteria are already present in the natural water (fish do live in water from nature just fine). There is no chlorine or additives. I've spoken to a few other fish keepers in other countries that don't cycle either. It's just my guess that because the water is natural (already has bacteria) there is no need to establish the bacteria. But there's no scientific data so of course it's just conjecture.
 

Jaysee

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SDS - two of my chefs are asian (indonesian and chinese) and they both keep arowanas in 55 gallon tanks. It is good luck to keep an arowana, and that supercedes the care requirements of the fish in their cultures.
 

LyndaB

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I was watching a documentary recently that told how the masaI warriors believe that all cows in the world belong to them..... cultural beliefs and traditions can be absolutely fascinating, even if we don't understand or agree with them.

Ok, back to fish.
 

TedsTank

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Very interesting....and good info

They seem to have well established tanks, and their fish have adapted fine. I'm sure the tanks are cycled, but as stated their water is also untreated and instantly usable ...making cycling relatively fast, it possiblby already has bacteria. Really, have you ever had water from a spring when hiking?

Running for only 12 hours a day is good proof that our filters don't kill off ALL the bacteria when they stop for long periods of time. Sometimes in our culture we just over worry, and overreact sometimes.

Well Dicus are cichlids and can be territorial...my little ones were. We have good guidelines on how Discus raising can be successful...but just left to their own, can result in who knows what! Too many questions there!! 3 males and one female could be severe!!...or...or...or!

I think it is great that they are having success with fish in a natural way.
 

Tigerfishy

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I actually agree with Ted on this one. Very interesting info and proof again how different methods can be in different areas!
 
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LICfish

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Apologies for not being able to get back to Meenu sooner. Bad internet connection. I actually have no idea regarding the ammonia. Instead on point 4, I should have just written "the fish don't just drop dead and get diseases due to overstocking".

For the record, I just want to say that I follow every rule there is to follow on how we keep fish in the US. I definitely do not dispute anything ;D

I just find it so interesting that despite all my efforts, 5 of my fish have died while all the fish here being kept that way we say they shouldn't be, are still alive!
 

Meenu

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Oh, I wasn't trying to attack an entire country's fishkeeping habits. I was really just trying to understand the cycling/aquifer thing. Didn't see where you were going with it.

I do thank you for your answers.
 

TedsTank

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Just as a reminder:
There really aren't any RULES that must be followed (the exception is that ammonia kills).
We use guidelines based on other's experiences, throughout this hobby. If a few have a serious problem with different types of fish together...that experience should be a "heads up" when stocking tanks (other than the obvious pirahnas with guppies) ...still not a rule.

The enviroments that we provide the fish greatly affects their survival instincts....and just as stress can make us sick...is true for all living creatures.

Our tendancy to want to know "How many fish can I keep in a tank?" tends to cause us to start too fast with too many and push the habitat to it's edge!! IMO
 

btate617

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In the U.S. and other places the fish were kept in very close to the way she describes before the internet was in every home....... now many see it as wrong because there is so much info out that is easy to access. Some of the younger members should ask their parents how often they did water changes 20 years ago.


Meenu I think she is referring to conditioners, it would be the same as someone here not using any because they are on well water. I think anyways.


Brian
 

bolivianbaby

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LICfish said:
So recently I returned to my home country where electricity is scarce. My parents have lots of fish and I wanted to share with everyone all the things I've observed which contradict everything I've learned about keeping fish.

Please keep in mind while reading this that there is no intentional cruelty towards the fish. The fish are kept in the best possible conditions considering the general conditions of the place.

1) Since electricity is scarce Freshwater fish (including discus) survive without a filter or bubbler running at least 12 hours in a day

2) One of the large discus attacked the others which eventually lead to the death of three discus. I've also seen a possible display of territorial attitude when my father added new discus to the tank which had one discus remaining.

3) Since water is much more natural (pumped from underground) cycling is not necessary. When tanks are cleaned, fish are sometimes removed from the tank.

4) Stocking and ammonia poisoning does not seem to be a problem at all. My parents have a large number of Angel fish in a possibly 40 gallon tank, with the filter running only half the time due to electricity, and the fish have been alive and grown for years. Same scenario with a 10 gallon swordtail tank.

5) Dwarf gouramis don't seem to mind each other at all. There's 5 of them in 1 tank. No deaths or attacking.

I hope everyone finds this as interesting as I do
I found all of this quite interesting, personally.

Would you be willing to share which country this is? I'm always interested in learning and understanding other cultures, so it helps to know.
 

ariolex

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thanks for sharing LICfish, it is though provoking... is it possible to avoid ethnocentric and eurocentric standpoints?

Science, as any way of knowledge that tries to understand the natural world -fish and fish keeping included- is not detached from society. Actually, science is a product of modern western societies, a social construction, the religous belief of modernity if you like. There is a vast literature about the interface of ethnoscience(indigenous/traditional/local knowledge) and western science and about the 'otherness'.

Bottomline, just that we have ideas, standards about things, including how to keep our aquariums; while other social groups may have others (based on material constrains or cultural phenomena).
And you know what? Neither is necessarily correct or wrong
 

Meenu

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btate617 said:
Meenu I think she is referring to conditioners, it would be the same as someone here not using any because they are on well water. I think anyways.


Brian
Naw, LIC was talking about cycling. I brought up water conditioners. LIC's theory (I think) is that since the water source is untreated, beneficial bacteria survive in it enough that the tank does not need to actually undergo the cycling process. So water changes replenish the bacteria in the tank, which processes the waste. (Still a bit of a question mark for me, and I don't understand how the science would work behind this theory, since I've learned from FL that very little of the BB is freefloating, but makes for an interesting theory nonetheless. Anyway, I wasn't wanting to debate LIC's theory, just understand it.)
 
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