Jack of all trades, Master of none...

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by ulster exile, 29 Feb 2008.

  1. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I love the idea of a planted tank, but I also love the idea of a community tank, however I find balancing the two together difficult sometimes and I wonder if it is truly possible to excel at either aquascaping or fishkeeping without having to sacrifice the other (I'm not talking fish on a stone altar here ;) ).

    For example - I have changed the look of my large tank once in favour of a more 'aquascaped' look as opposed to just having plants in there along with the fish, but I couldn't do exactly what I wanted because I'd nowhere really to put the fish and even if I had, I wasn't keen on stressing them. Now, I'm not for one minute suggesting that I'm crap at this because I don't want to stress the fish (I'm crap because I'm crap!), but there's an element of truth there. And I can't help but think of the people who change scapes regularly.

    Similarly, my corys showed some spawing behaviour recently after a period of good feeding and a weekend of a lowered water level and as they aren't quite as easy to breed as the usual aeneus, I want to encourage this. But to do so, I've turned my CO2 off because I've dropped the water level below my spraybar to simulate rainy season conditions and I'll be doing frequent cool water changes for a while, so I see no need to waster the CO2 if it's going to be driven off anyway. However, this means I'll be risking the wrath of algae (again), so I'm sort of sacrificing the needs of my plants for my fish.

    So what do you true Aquascapers feel about your fish and this hobby? Are you in it for the plants and the 'scapes with fish being an accessory, or do you try and balance things more evenly?
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
  3. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Thanks George - interesting to read the opinions. When I get a bit further along the thread (work interrupts! :rolleyes: ) I hope to see your opinion in there ;)

    One thing does spring to mind just from reading the first two pages...Mr Chong is an inspirational character, isn't he? And I don't just mean his scapes.
     
  4. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Yes. I met up with Steven here in the UK when he came over. He's a very talented young man who takes aquascaping more seriously than I. I took him to visit my LFS and the PFK office. He's a nice guy as well.

    I've not heard from him in a while actually.

    This Steven (left) and Jeremy Gay in the PFK office.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Martin

    Martin Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    North Wales
    Compared to some of the members on here i am still a novice , but I have found that the more I learn and the deeper I get into the planted tank side of the hobby, the more the plants are dominating. Having said that the fish have to compliment the overall look of the tank. Also if you have the room I suppose you can satisfy your preferences by running several different types of tank. Having seen some of Steven Chongs tanks on other forums I am in awe at their brilliance :wideyed: .Isn't Jeremy's face funny in that pic!
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Jer looks the same in almost all his photos, it makes me smile. :p
     
  7. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Wow, what an interesting thread.

    I must say that Steve's attitude shocked me. I admire his frankness, but it still I couldn't imagine having the same mindset. I don't mean to make that a judgement on him - I'm not saying that it's wrong or right, it's just not a sentiment I could share. In saying that, I wonder what my tank would look like if I could release my ethical viewpoint of the fish and I tried to use them as a 'paint stroke'... (probably not much better, but maybe easier :lol: )

    Very interesting
     
  8. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I see fish as both - pals and paintstrokes. Simple as that really.
     
  9. Azaezl

    Azaezl Member

    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    cambridgeshire
    I have to say fish/inverts are far more important to me then plants, that's why my plants in my 18G suffered so much whilst I tried to find a fert with no copper in it(until george and a few others reassured me that there shrimp were fine with tropica + which contains a small amount of copper).

    If I had to choose I'd pick a tank with fish I adore & fake plants to a great scape with fish that don't interest me. For example as much as I love my corys they are a pain sometimes when it comes to plants because I have to leave space for them to forage / hang out and some of the bigger guys actually knock plants over. Wheras if I just had say tetras, that wouldn't be an issue, so it has crossed my mind to just have top / mid dwellers in a future scape but it's not going to happen because I love corys too much.

    I can't imagine buying a fish knowing full well it wasn't going to be staying long(apart from when it's necassary to make a pair like with oscars) they are pets to me and it is heartbraking having to let one go.
     
  10. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    My tank is pretty small at 60x30x30. I chose small fish so I could have a good number of them without overwhelming the scale/size of the tank. Plants were the same choice - I have chosen them because their size/scale fits the tank.

    If I had a bigger tank then I would have the option to scale everything up, using larger plants and perhaps larger fish, though I do like a big shoal of smaller fish, I see this as more natural than a smaller number of large fish which would normally shoal in larger quantities than most tanks could cope with.

    I don't rescape often enough to worry about changing fish all the time, though I did get rid of all the larger fish from this tank when I rescaped it a while ago, mind you I did feel a tad guilty and did like the fish, they just didn't suit the tank size or planting...which is perhaps hypocritcal, not sure :)
     

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