by Chip Bridges
One doesn’t have to be in the aquarium hobby long to hear some strange and untrue myths repeated over and over! Many myths and wives’ tales are just harmless misinformation, but there are some that can lead to failure in the hobby – or downright animal cruelty. So here are some tales not to listen to!
Myth 1: Fish only grow to the size of their tank or bowl. Would a child grow to the size of its room? If fish waste builds up to unsanitary levels, the fish will fail to thrive and grow more slowly. If provided clean water, a goldfish will grow too large to turn around. Please, never put any animal in a small container thinking that the animal will stay small. It won’t.
Myth 2: Goldfish are short-lived. Goldfish have routinely been recorded living over a century. If yours they die quickly, disease or poor water conditions are the cause. Allow 50+ gallons per goldfish and with good care they should wind up in your will!
Myth 3: Your tank needs an algae eater. No. Algae can keep the fish alive in a neglected aquarium. Algae need nitrogen, which they get from fish poop. Algae pull the deadly nitrogen from your aquarium water, and they can’t do that if eaten by a snail.
Please see the care sheets on my website blueridgereef.com for more information. And please send your questions there, too, and we’ll try to answer them in a future issue.
Happy aquarium keeping!
Chip Bridges is the owner of Blue Ridge Reef & Pet in Black Mountain. He has over 30 years experience as an aquarium keeper and/or aquarium business owner.