RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube




When ‘But I meant well’ proves to be the opposite of ‘All is well’

© Jérôme Picard

This is the “Foreword” to a planned series of short articles which are going to deal with different aspects of setting up and maintaining an aquarium.

My answers to the basic question: “How much does it need and when is enough too much of a good thing?” might cause some controversy. Concerning the subject of fish keeping in general, I strongly believe we tend to overdo things when attempting to do right, simply by A. having written our “to do list” bottoms up or B. by following bad counsel.

I could perhaps add a C. not applying our own thoughts and research but that would be rather unfair towards an aspiring/novice fish keeper.


For our very first tank at least, the usual sequence of events is as follows

  1. we somehow come into possession of an aquarium
  2. we go out and buy a filter
  3. some light
  4. substrate
  5. deco stuffs and of course
  6. plants
  7. we feel really good because
  8. we met that really nice salesperson at the shop who has
  9. really talked a lot and
  10. now we really know just about everything one single person can know about setting up a fish tank
  11. still feeling really good, we go home and
  12. start setting up that tank.The set-up of the tank takes a lot longer than we thought because
  13. the wife, girlfriend, mother (our valued female readers will please replace with husband, boyfriend, father) has vetoed the intended location of our jewel to be about umpteen times. Eventually all is done, the tank sits on a shelf, replacing some long forgotten tomes, it still looks a bit muddy but what the heck, now at last it’s time to…
  14. think about potential inhabitants

I believe it’s plain to see that all cannot be well in the State of Denmark if we followed the described sequence.

It can be difficult to know what advice to believe when it comes to setting up a new aquarium. © Barbara Nicca


Said bad counsel often comes from people offering solutions without any knowledge or experience behind them (sadly one of them is the really nice salesperson we met at the shop).

As good a thing as the internet is, including the multitude of different  forums, it also is a platform for people who seriously haven’t got the slightest clue of what they are talking about.

It is easy, it is anonymous and most importantly it is a major boost of confidence if suddenly that poor sod finds himself in the centre of attention even if it’s just by being shouted and sworn at.

But there are also basically good solutions unfortunately not always applicable to the set-up in question.

Please know that neither do I want to convince anybody to see things through my eyes nor am I saying “My way is the only way”. I do not want to discredit anybody who does things differently. But everything I am going to say and introduce has worked and still works for me (and others) and, most importantly, for my fishes.

Let’s call it “some food for thought” for all those who do not mind approaching things differently and at the same time, as a benefit, save some money and invaluable time.

The first part will deal with the subject, which basically has started this whole thing off, Temperature. I once made the statement here on SF that I strongly believe most fish species are kept too warm in our aquaria.

Of course I was asked to put my money where my mouth was and, I have to admit, legitimately so.

Subjects planned to follow are:

  1. Light
  2. Food
  3. Cleanliness/Hygiene
  4. Filtration
  5. Design/Scaping

…and let’s see what else comes to mind. I will do my very best to squeeze in one piece a week but already ask you now not to hold me to that time-frame.

So if you are interested, look out for the first installment.

Rüdiger Rautenberg

Category: Announcements, News | Tags: , | 2 comments »

2 Responses to “When ‘But I meant well’ proves to be the opposite of ‘All is well’”

  • mattcarr

    I’m looking forward to your article on Light as this is something I am having a discussion with myself over. How much/How long/When to switch on & off/Cost/What Type [i.e Progression or straight switch On/Off] & what effect this has on the fish.
    I have a BiOrb [insert yawn here] 60L and just have the straight switch On/Off that is kept on & am thinking of upgrading to the ‘Intelligent Light’.

    Looking forward to it 🙂

  • mattcarr

    Please ignore above where it says ” switch On/Off that is kept on” – my mistake, i meant to say that is kept on for around 8/10 hours per day

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Back to top