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Aquarium Myths, truths and more, Part 1 - by Carl Strohmeyer

Aquarium Myths, truths and more, Part 1

In this abbreviated article about aquarium keeping I will tackle a few myths/truths in aquarium keeping.

There are more myths than I have space or time to right, so I only address a few for now.

(1) All medications will harm your nitrifying bacteria: WRONG! True you should not over use medications in an aquarium for a variety of reasons, however many medications such as
Kanacyn are primarily gram negative whereas it is primarily gram positive medications such as Erythromycin that will affect the primary nitrifying bacteria such as Nitrobacteraceae.

Sponge Filters are only for small aquariums, breeding or hospital tanks; GENERALLY NOT TRUE. Yes not all Sponge Filters are created equal (the ATI Hydro Sponge Filters are superior to any others I have tried). However there are many sizes and densities of sponge media available with large sponge filter designs such as the Hydro Sponge #4 that can easily handle flow rates over 700 + gph. I have used Sponge filters successfully in Ponds, large aquariums (often in combination with HOB aquarium power filters, Marine Aquarium Sumps as a pump pre-filter, generally employing the Hydro Sponge #5 or Hydro Pond #4 (this is one of my favorite application in conjunction with loads of live rock, a Mud Filter/Refugium, a UV Sterilizer and maybe a Protein Skimmer).

(3) Speaking of Protein Skimmers, these are a good device for Marine aquariums, especially reef aquariums, HOWEVER I have maintained may marine aquariums (especially fish only tanks) without them, yet many in the self appointed marine/reef police state these are an absolute necessity which is simply not true. Healthy
Aquarium Cleaning procedures (Aquarium Cleaning Machines are helpful here), as well as Mud Filters/Refugiums, ample Live Rock and Deep Sand beds and well maintained filters can replace the need for these often troublesome devices that will often cause discouragement to newbie aquarists. That said, I DO recommend these devices as Protein Skimmers when functioning properly remove organic protein based wastes before they can enter the nitrogen cycle which will aid in the control of nitrates in the end. What is important is to get a Protein Skimmer that works such as the V-2 Skim Protein Skimmer. This self contained professional quality skimmer is easy to operate, and has a venture injection system which optimizes the perfect mixture of fine air bubbles and water and ensures intensive, efficient skimming.

(4) Calcium is only necessary for most community fish. WRONG! This is one of the worst myths out here as there is no truth to this yet mounds of scientific evidence refuting this claim. Even Discus benefit from Calcium in the water. Calcium is VERY important for osmoregulation, general health, even as part of the water chemistry in planted freshwater aquariums (Calcium aids in daytime pH spikes due to photosynthesis). There is much more to this topic, so my suggestion here is to simply read this article for more information about this s topic:

There are many other myths I can address, however I will leave at this for this particular article.

Professional aquarium maintenance experience since 1978 as the owner of one of the larger aquarium maintenance companies in LA, CA.

I have been in the hobby since 1969.



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