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  1. It is entirely possible that fish produce and exude a growth inhibiting hormone into their environment which causes stunting once it reaches a critical level. This hormone would be diluted by large water changes, so people who believe in it do these big WCs. It is a solid theory, but no such hormone has been identified by the scientific community as far as I can tell (from scanning scientific research documents pertaining to natural fish populations). Scientists do however have plenty of documentation of the fact that overgrown fish populations produce stunted fish; "growth plasticity", they call it. The most common theory offered by that community to explain the reason is quite general. They guess the overall conditions are poorer for each individual fish (that we know will cause stunting). They offer no guesses, that i have seen, as to the mechanism by which the stunting occurs. Something causes the fish to become resistant to it's own growth hormone, that they know, but what? If It is this mystery blocker released into the water then we can keep our fish bigger and healthier by doing Large WCs above and beyond the need to remove toxins and replace essentials, and by understocking. So, if population density causes stunting, and if it is by some mechanism other than a hormone blocker released into the water, or resultant lower overall general conditions, what other mechanism could it be? As far as i can tell, no one really knows. So, any theories? Any practical experience?
  2. That was my concern. Probably not worth it then. Here's a thought; I bet they crush the stuff at the factory then grade it to the perfect size. if so, and if you could get your hands on some slightly oversized stuff then tumble it you would have the ultimate black substrate.
  3. Yep, that is true. A great reason to always stock your tanks on the lighter side. Yeah. I agree. Heavily stocked tanks are fun, and I would love one, but I don't think its good for the fish. I have one fish in 30G and probably wont add more, in fact I think I'll give her a 60G soon. Then I'd like to give her some company. Besides the water quality issues, I don't think any fish would not appreciate more swimming room.
  4. Thanks. Will do. By the way, Do you think there would be any point in putting it through a rock tumbler to round off the grains?
  5. I do trust "tried and true", your logic is good there. I am starting to believe the growth inhibiting hormone thing, if not the unknown toxins. It makes perfect sense. Small ponds equal small fish. Gotta be true. Here's a thought! If it is true, heavily stocked tanks have a constant high level growth inhibitors, even with weekly 100% WCs. Oh yeah, back on the sand topic, thanks for the Moon sand vote Ashlee. I gotta try it.
  6. Almost all harmful bacteria are anaerobes, as far as I know, which is one reason i keep barebottom. none of my system has low O2, and before i add fish I'll add UV. I honestly can't see bad bacteria being a problem, but impurities, yeah, could be. I was using Purigen which claims to absorb dissolved waste, but stopped because It killed me that I had no way of testing if it really works... still reading Ranchu's post.
  7. Yeah Sakura, I have huge oxygenation too. I dose trace minerals and have really high KH, so the only worries are the hormones and/ or the untestable or unknown impurities. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you are wrong. If there's stuff in there I am unaware of, I want to know and will get rid of it.
  8. Am reading Ranchu girl's pinned water change post right now. I had heard about these growth hormones before but wrote it off as bunk at the time, thinking the real issue was either nitrates or tank size. gonna keep reading and considering it. By the way, I don't avoid large WCs because I don't enjoy doing them.
  9. one four inch fancy in a 30G, but my filtration setup and barebottom are also big factors.
  10. why do you say that? My parameters are great, my fish is healthy, and I do max %15/week. more only when my nitrates get near 5ppm.
  11. I was hoping that was the case with sand. Thanks. Score one more for sand.
  12. I feed pro gold and love it. its pretty well regarded but does not come with an expiry date. I always wonder about freshness with undated foods.
  13. So I'm a bit confused as to whether or not you can remove nitrAte by ion adsorption. A seachem rep told me that there is no such thing as a nitrAte specific resin, but you can buy cartridges for home water purifiers which claim to remove the stuff. So which is it, and does anyone use the things? I am almost certainly going to address integrated nitrAte removal one way or another, and simply replacing a cartridge once in a while appeals to me more than aerobic bacs or plants do.
  14. I kind of thought it looked like my moor was using scent to find her food. Ok, so no worry there. I like my bare bottom look too, more than pebbles or gravel, but maybe not more than moon. I dunno, I guess I'll just have to give it a try. I think my dislike of gravel may be partly psychological, based on having had to remove a lodged stone from a fishes mouth once. The trapped waste is a real issue though. I'm still gonna have to get over the trapped waste issue, cuz I don't wanna do regular 80% WCs and I don't like my nitrate to get over 5ppm. I am really hoping to come up with a simple way to clean the stuff.
  15. cool article. why buy diamonds when you can use grit? I like this guy.
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