Are we really advancing the hobby? Or rather, has the hobby really moved forwards over the last 80 years or so? Has it moved backwards?
That is an interesting and rather philosophical question. It is also a relative, that must be viewed in perspective. If you do this, then a sum of yes's, no's, pseudo's and neutrals can be added. Since there are still many more theories and questions than facts and answers in this hobby. Then I have to guess, the bottom line conclusion probably will be "Actually not so very much".
And what's actually there to advance in?
Yes. Mainly CO2 injection, growing of multiple species in very thick and lush growth. Better and more efficient lights. More reliable silicone, rimless tanks etc etc.has the hobby really moved forwards over the last 80 years or so?
Not sure about actual knowledge but access to good knowledge is much better now. However access to bad information is also better.Question is, how much has one's general knowledge advanced since?
This is a great description of the general human condition and doesn't just apply to fish keeping.In the end, we all believe in what works best for us individually.
There's nothing philosophical at all here
Perhaps, because we can't prove half the stuff we claim as factKeeping aquarium IMHO is very much a Theoretical Discipline
If I were forced to give just one example, it would be in the field of microbiology and the work done by the likes of Dr Tim Hovanec.
Yes, I think there have been many major advances in the hobby. If I were forced to give just one example, it would be in the field of microbiology and the work done by the likes of Dr Tim Hovanec. We now have a far better understanding of which organisms are responsible for processing fish waste (particularly ammonia). These are quantum leaps. As I understand it, this would not have been possible until the arrival of genetics and our knowledge of DNA.
But this is an advance in our understanding of how it works. But that doesn't make it an advance in the hobby.
You have to be a naive idiot that basses his knowledge on Disney's Lion King or Bambi to believe that to be true. A few liters of water between 5 sheets of glass will never be "a self sustaining ecosystem". Whatever that may be, because in nature ecosystems are always changing. It is nothing more then a romantic notion, that seems to be trendy...
Successful long term aquariums are based on the principle of controlled nature, natural processes closely monitored and corrected wen necessary. So get off that lazy ass and do a proper water change.