Stop Believing Myths! – Fish keeping & Aquarium care

By reefspecialty, June 19, 2015

Once you thought of keeping a beautiful fish aquarium in your home, you will try to get as many information as possible from your friends and neighbors. And yes, you will hear so many interesting and threatening facts in different angles from different people. Some will say one as correct other will say the same as wrong. All these will make you feel confused and end up re-thinking whether to go for fish keeping or not. But first understand most of these stories you hear about fish keeping are just myths and there is no truth in those. You should know the actual facts and then go ahead to setup your dream aquarium.


This page points you the revolving myths about fish keeping and actual facts that prove that those myths are not true.

Myth #1 Air pumps and Air stones are mandatory

Many would say that if there is no air pump or air stone in the tank, then the fish will not get enough oxygen. And because of that the fishes will not get healthy environment, which in turn might lead to death of the fishes in the tank. But this is not true.


The fact is required amount of oxygen will be present in the surface of the water. There is no requirement of any separate air pump or air stone to increase the oxygen supply in the tank water. Any agitation in the surface of the water will increase more oxygen supply in the water and this can be achieved even by pointing the outlet of the filter towards the surface. Unless you have filter which does not operate without out an air pump or any decorative tank ornament which operates by the air pump, there is no necessity of an air pump or air stone in an aquarium.

Myth #2 Growth of the fish depends on the tank size

It is been said over a long period as fish will not grow fully in smaller tanks. Oh no! Couldn’t understand from where people build up such story!fishsmalltank


Size of the tank is no way relevant to the growth of the fish. Until a tidy and healthy environment is provided, irrespective of the size of the tank the fish will grow normally. Smaller tanks need frequent water changes and cleaning. Also ammonia build up will be more in small tanks. Only these could be the reasons for affecting the growth of the fish but not typically the size of the tank. Also, number of fishes you keep in that tank also matters. If it is overcrowded then there are more chances that the fish becomes more stressed and in turn it affects their normal growth. If you take proper care, even in small tanks fishes will grow happy and healthy. But only experienced fish hobbyists can grow fish in small tanks well as it will be difficult for beginners.

Myth #3 Carbon filters are essential

People suggest to always keep carbon filter pads in your filters. They think that carbon filters are mandatory to keep the tank water clean.


Carbon filters are not mandatory for normal functioning of the tank. Carbon will be useful for removing unwanted chemicals from the tank water. So, if you have recently treated you water with any medication, then carbon filters can be used to remove traces of the medicines once the treatment is fully completed. And even sometimes carbon can cause negative effects to your tank. Yes! Over the time old carbons will start releasing the absorbed chemicals which again poses risk to the health of the fishes. Also, if you are regularly using liquid plant food or any medication for the fishes, then there is no use of keeping carbon filters as it will remove the benefits of those immediately.

Myth #4 Tidy clean tanks can be obtained by keeping tank cleaners

Just leave a tank cleaner fish in your aquarium and sit back relaxed. It will take your work of cleaning tankcleanerthe tank and helps to keep the tank clean. Don’t think you do not have to clean the tank at all.


Tank cleaners do feed on the algae build up in the walls of the tank. But that does not mean that it cleans your tank and changes the quality of the water. You have to wet your hands and clean your tank in a periodic schedule. You cannot treat tank cleaner fishes like an alien, think it is completely different and doesn’t belong to fish breed. They do need other food supplements like sinking food pellets, etc. As they are eating, they are likely to excrete waste which again adds to the tank’s dirt. And you have to understand that if you are keeping algae eater in your tank, then you have to leave algae un-cleaned in the tank for them to feed on. This will again make your tank looks shabby.

Myth #5 Add aquarium salt to the tank water

Always add aquarium salt to your tank water. It will help the fishes to live long time. What! Salt even for fresh water aquarium fish?!


Knowingly or unknowingly many started spreading this myth as they would have seen some results out of it. Actually salt suppresses the effect of nitrite built up in the water. Also, it treats certain fish diseases like ick, white spots, leeches, etc., in the initial stages. Seeing all these facts, you might think that if we always put salt in the water, then it will help to keep the fishes healthy. No! It is not true. Adding salt to the fresh water fish aquarium all the time will cause stress to the fishes and might lead to death of the fishes. If you see any fresh water fish affected by disease and if you want to treat it with salt water then you can keep them separately for few days in different bowl with salt water till the disease is cured. Fact is always keep fresh water fishes in fresh water and marine fishes in salt water. There are also brackish water fishes like Mollies which need minimum salt, so add medium level of salt than marine fish aquariums. Apart from these it is not a good idea to keep fresh water fishes in salt water.

Myth #6 Aquarium water pH level should be a fixed value

Many say that pH level of water should be maintained as a fixed value say 7.0. Some other says that this fixed value should be 6.0. So this shows the level of truth in this myth.


The fact is pH level of water can be any value within a range. The range is usually between 5.5 and 9.0 and it could be little above or below this range. Some fishes will flourish even in more alkaline (high pH) water. So, it is enough if you maintain a valid range of pH level of water for the well-being of the fishes in your aquarium. You can use a proper test kit to often check the pH level of the tank water and that helps to give a comfortable environment for your lovely aquarium pets.

Myth #7 Fish’s memory lasts not more than 5 seconds

Some say that fish do not have a good memory power. They will remember anything only for 5 seconds. People who consider themselves as fish scientists would have found this myth.


Fish hobbyist who have an aquarium in their home very well know that this is untrue. Many wouldfishtouching love to see their adorable cute little pets gathering near the surface of one corner of the fish tank exactly at say 8’o clock daily. Yes! They all know very well that it is the time and place where they will get their food for the day. After seeing this nobody can say fish that have only 5 seconds of memory. Also they know their owner and travel along with the direction of their finger outside the tank glass. They splendidly remember their hiding places in the tank and takes cover when a predator comes to attack it. It is because of this it is said that you should not change the positions of the decorative items kept in the bottom of the tank. Fishes would get confused of the changed environment and might become stressed.

Myth #8 Small tank is best for beginners

Are you going to start fish keeping hobby? Then go for a tank of size 3 or 5 gallons, it will be easy for you to maintain. Oh no! If you are going to follow their advice then you have very less chance of having a long time aquarium.


Saying smaller tanks are easy to uphold is not at all true. In fact smaller tank needs extensive fishtanksizemaintenance. Because of small space, the water gets messy soon. Also, ammonia and nitrite build up will be more in smaller tanks. These in turn increase algae growth in the tank. So, you have to often clean the tank and perform frequent water changes. If not done regularly then soon your first set of pets will become sick and might even die. Now do you think maintaining small sized tanks are easy? It is not, right? For the first time fish keeping, it is always advisable to start with 15 – 20 gallons size tank. In case of larger tanks, you can add next set of pets after sometime without going for any new tank. And also, it helps to have a long term fish keeping hobby.

Myth #9 Float the fish water bag before leaving the fish into the new tank

Once you bring in new fish from the fish store, float the fish bag in you aquarium water for some time before introducing the fish into the tank. That is enough for acclimatizing the fish to new environment. This is only partially true and floating alone will not help the new fishes to accustom to their new tank.


For acclimatizing new fish to your aquarium, just floating the fish bag over the water will not suffice. Releasing fish without following proper acclimatization process will cause shock to the fishes and might lead to stress and death of the fishes. There are basically two methods called floating bag method and drip line method, which can be used to acclimatize your new pets to their new environment. Out of these in the floating bag method, apart from leaving the bag to float in the water for about 15 minutes, you have to add small portions of your tank water into this fish bag in regular intervals. This has to be followed till almost all the water in the fish bag is replaced with the tank water and also, other water parameters like temperature, pH level, ammonia, etc., are matched. Understanding and following proper acclimatizing process is inevitable for healthy life of your fishes.

Myth #10 Leave the water to set for a day before adding fishes

Many would say that you need to leave the filled in tap water to set for at least a day before leaving fishes into it. But this is pretty old method and it is not required these days.


It is not necessary to keep the water a day or more to condition. Water conditioners available in today’s market are instant and work immediately in your tank water. And this neutralizes the chemicals faster. So, this eliminates the need for setting the water for quite some time. So, stop waiting and start fish keeping without any unwanted delays.

Still there are many stories floating around you about fish keeping and aquarium care. These myths might stop you from continuing your desire to have your own dream aquarium. To get rid of those, perform a small research about fish keeping via public network or any other means and then confidently build your aquarium. Also it is a well known fact that practice always makes perfect. So, stop worrying and immediately rush to grab your delightful pets which add aesthetics to your home.

Filters - Vacuum cleaner of your aquarium
Nemo in your home! – The Clownfish

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