Seven Cardinal Sins

Discussion in 'User-Created Articles' started by jhnrb, Oct 2, 2005.

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  1. jhnrb


    Mar 9, 2005
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    Common Mistakes Made by Saltwater Aquarists

    By being aware of the mistakes that are most often made by other aquarists, they can be avoided. Here is a list of not all but seven of the most common mistakes made which we will call SEVEN CARDINAL SINS OF SALTWATER AQUARIA KEEPING.

    1. - MOVING TOO FAST - Patience is a requriement with just about anything that you do with a saltwater aquarium. Far too many aquarists report problems after they have put a tank together, because they are just moving too fast. Much too often we have read aquarists comments like, I need TEST KITS? What for and what kind? and, this is after they have had a tank for some time. A high percentage of aquarists do not take the time to read and study up on the hobby before getting started. One of the other top mistakes of moving too fast is OVERLOADING a tank with too much livestock and/or LIVE ROCK all at once, especially when a tank has not fully cycled, or doing so within days of cycling completion. Even in a well established tank, adding too many critters too fast can cause a puzzling problem with new tank syndrome. Slow down. Saltwater aquaria keeping is not a timed event, so take it easy and work on your patience skills.

    2. - MISDIAGNOSING DISEASES & OVER MEDICATING - When it comes to diagnosing diseases, saltwater ich is the biggest problem. It is easy to confuse Oodinium (Amyloodinium ocellatum - a.k.a. Marine velvet or Coral fish disease) with White Spot Disease (Cryptocaryon irritans). They are similar, but two quite different types of saltwater ich, and each responds to different types of treatment. Using the wrong medication to treat these diseases can be fatal. It is important to learn how to properly diagnose and treat these parasites, as well as other diseases. As far as using medications, way too often one or more remedies are just thrown at a problem without knowing what it is. Medications should only be used when necessary, and whenever possible, only in a Quaranteen tank using a remedy that targets the problem you actually have.

    3. - INADEQUATE FILTRATION - Having sufficient biological filtration is the one of the keys to success in keeping a saltwater aquarium. There are a number of filtration methods to choose from, but not making the right filter selection for the bio - load planned for your tank can lead to a wide variety of problems. It is always better to have too much biological filtration, rather than too little.

    4. - LIVESTOCK INCOMPATIBILITY - We have all heard statements such as my wrasse ate my hermit crab, or my tangs just won't get along are all too common. Purchasing livestock without researching whether or not they will peacefully reside with other tank mates can lead to dead or injured critters, as well as stress related diseases. Use common sense; learn about the compatibility of critters before putting them together.

    5. - PURCHASING LIVESTOCK WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO CARE FOR THEM - It is amazing how many people select new additions for their tank without even knowing what they are, or, how to feed them. If an LFS sales person can't tell you about an animal in their store, especially its dietary requirements, as well as demonstrate that it is eating before you buy it, then do not buy it. Never buy on impulse. Take the time to learn about an animal you want to buy, before doing so.

    6. - PURCHASING FISH IN POOR HEALTH - One of the easiest things to do when selecting an animal for your tank is to determine whether or not it is healthy. In a simple phrase: most sick fish don't eat. Once again always have your LFS sales person show you that a fish is eating before purchasing it. On your part, learn how to recognize the smptoms or outward signs of common illnesses so you know what to look for when inspecting livestock to buy.

    7 - LACK OF PERFOMING ROUTINE TANK MAINTENANCE TASKS - Well maintained tanks seldom experience high nitrate levels, bacteria outbreaks, or other common tank problems as a general rule. Therefore, to avoid the common pitfalls that may stem from this area, it is strongly advised that following a regular maintenance routine is a mandatory requirement for salt water tanks.

    The above 7 items are not the only ones for sure, but, represent the most common ones that affect the majority of aquarist that have problems with the common aspects of the hobby. The above is intended to give you a base line to start from but is not intended to be a complete list of things to do.
    jhnrb, Oct 2, 2005
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