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Top 10 Fish Keeping Myths, These Are Lies That Many People Believe

I’ve been keeping fish for nearly half of my life and it’s hilarious to me that the same myths that were in the hobby when I started are still out there to this day.

These are things that allot of fish keepers believe which are simply not true so to hopefully give you a little clarity here are the ten biggest fish keeping myths.

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Top 10 Fish Keeping Myths, These Are Lies That Many People Believe

#10 Your tank needs to sit for a month

The first thing that every needs to learn when they get their first tank is the nitrogen cycle. People not understanding how the cycle works has killed more fish then anything else in the hobby.

Unfortunately the nitrogen cycle isn’t something that can be explained in 2 minutes by the employee at the pet store when you’re buying your tank.

Allot of times the employee will be in a rush to get to other customers and they’ll say “just let the tank run for a month and you’ll be fine.

#9 Excessive cleaning is a good thing

It’s human nature to wanna give our stuff a good cleaning when they aren’t looking so good.

The thing is, with an aquarium this can be a death sentence for your fish.

This is one of those situations where you think you’re doing the right thing but in fish keeping it can be the worst thing you could do.

#8 Air pumps and bubblers are oxygen tanks

I should be able to just say aquarium air pumps are not oxygen tanks but I know you wont let me get away with that so here goes.

At the surface of your aquarium there is an exchange of gas, kinda like a human beings lungs. We breathe in Oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

The surface of the water in your aquarium does the same thing, oxygen enters the surface and carbon dioxide goes out. This happens no matter what but it happens at a much slower rate when the water is still.

#7 Bigger filters means you’ll need to do less work

We use to have a fish store and allot of people would come in and ask for advice on setting up their first aquarium. One of the most common questions was “if I put a bigger filter on it will I be able to let the tank go longer between water changes?”

If they asked John he would say “No, don’t be lazy” but if they asked me I’d be allot nicer about it.

Here’s the deal, a larger filter with process more water through all the media but it doesn’t relieve you of needing to do work.

#6 Catfish and Plecos are tank cleaners

How many times have you heard it, my tank is a mess, I need to get one of those sucker fish to clean it up for me.

Listen folks aquariums are work, it’s part of the deal. Most fish keepers that you ask will tell you that the work is one of the things they really enjoy about the hobby.

Fish like cory cats, plecos and algae eaters will definitely eat algae and patrol the bottom of the tank picking up small bits of stuff but they are not your maid service.

#5 Smaller tanks are best for beginners

This is a common misconception by allot of fish keepers and in my experience it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I guess the argument could be made if you have physical challenges you don’t have to move around as much or carry as much water for water changes but that’s about it.

#4 Transferring water from an established tank will cycle it faster

I’ve literally never ordered extra beans.

This is one that I’ve heard more times than I can count.

When I set up the new tank I’m gonna take water from my old tank and put it in the new one, this way it’ll be ready to go.

The idea is that taking water from an old aquarium will bring with it beneficial bacteria which will instantly cycle the new tank.

Not only does this not cycle the new tank but it’s a complete waste of time.

#3 Feeder fish are healthy for your fish

Feeder fish are a big part of this hobby, I get it. There are allot of people out there that aren’t like me and watching their fish eat another fish is entertaining for them.

I’m not saying these are bad people, we can all like whatever we want.

I’m just saying that the people who say feeder fish are healthy for the fish haven’t really thought this through very well.

#2 Some fish require feeder fish

Since we’re on the topic of feeder fish and we’ve already made allot of people upset let’s just throw more fuel on the fire.

I love the internet

I’ve heard from so many people over the last 25 years “my fish wont eat anything but feeder fish”.

I’ve even had people say “I don’t like feeding him feeder fish but that’s all I can get him to eat”.

#1 The fish will only grow to the size of the tank.

This myth has been around ever since we started keeping fish in glass boxes and it just wont go away.

Listen, it’s true that a fish will stop growing in a tank. It’s not like if you put a red tail catfish in a 5 gallon tank its eventually gonna get so big that the tank’ll blow up.
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