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I Don't Think I Can Do This Anymore...


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Look at Tish, the 43 year old goldfish. You would say that something was done right in his case because he lived that long, right? But the things done for Tish in terms of housing would be called poor animal husbandry by most keepers. This is the line of logic that I am following.

No, the examples of fish living in bowls successfully are far and few, and serve as demonstrations of how luck and extreme resilience can overcome even the harshest conditions.

In the case of the gravel, it's not an example of an extreme like that.

You would be wrong to think that the two are similar, when they are about as dissimilar as they can be. In the case of gravel, you are being shown how you can have gravel, and how you can sustain that condition for essentially any fish. Is gravel 100% perfect. Of course not, but then nothing is. Is it a viable option for those who wish to use it as substrate? Certainly, but it comes with a list of do's and don'ts, just as it would be with sand or barebottom.

A lot of this is, to me, sounding similar to an "It would never happen to me." scenario, which is why I am getting a tad argumentative.

No, it's not...It was..."This is how I made it work..." :)

-

Alex, buy me that bowl. :o:rofl

Oh, I don't have to buy you one. Let me just give you one of by 12 spares in my storage. :rofl :rofl :rofl

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I am well aware of statistical models and how to perform a scientific analysis. Yes, that probably should be done for the gravel in general. However, I don't believe that we should be calling evidence of choking incidents 'anecdotal.' At least on this forum, there has been a very high rate of choking incidents with goldfish and gravel. To me, this constitutes a significance worth noting and warning others about.

How did you determine the rate of choking incidents on this forum? I assume the rate would be the number of choking incidents divided by the time the forum has been running. I think I remember one person reporting that they had picked some gravel out of a fish's mouth and another who got all upset because the fish had gravel "stuck" in its mouth, but the fish spit it out. What is your count?

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Thank you, everyone, for your replies regarding my progress...I will do my best to get the pictures up...

I need to run out to Petsmart to get a Y-adapter for my air pump feeds because one broke off yesterday during this gravel fiasco and I also want to try to exchange my Top Fin AIR 8000 pump for a new one because I think this thing isn't pumping like it used to (great policy Petsmart has regarding their "Top Fin" branded stuff). Meanwhile, Rubio seems fine, he's swimming and eating and the water has cleared up substantially since yesterday -- almost totally clear -- but I think some plant re-arranging is in order. You guys don't think -- and I know the pic of the tank I provided doesn't really show this hence why I'm asking -- placing TALLER plants in the CORNERS of a tank is better than them being in the middle?

Also -- if I do feel like the layer isn't thick ENOUGH now, can I drop some extra gravel from what I removed in there towards the back to kind of "build up the rear height" of the tank?

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No stats here, Sharon, but I have been surprised by the number of times it has come up on the Norwegian forum. That said, vacuum/python accidents are overwhelmingly more common here and elsewhere.

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Look at Tish, the 43 year old goldfish. You would say that something was done right in his case because he lived that long, right? But the things done for Tish in terms of housing would be called poor animal husbandry by most keepers. This is the line of logic that I am following.

No, the examples of fish living in bowls successfully are far and few, and serve as demonstrations of how luck and extreme resilience can overcome even the harshest conditions.

In the case of the gravel, it's not an example of an extreme like that.

You would be wrong to think that the two are similar, when they are about as dissimilar as they can be. In the case of gravel, you are being shown how you can have gravel, and how you can sustain that condition for essentially any fish. Is gravel 100% perfect. Of course not, but then nothing is. Is it a viable option for those who wish to use it as substrate? Certainly, but it comes with a list of do's and don'ts, just as it would be with sand or barebottom.

How would it not be comparable? The same thing can be said for any goldfish in a bowl, given the conditions are right. I can research "world's oldest goldfish' via google and come up with almost exclusively goldfish that have lived in bowls and tiny tanks. (Coincidentally, most if not all are in the UK) Apparently it can be done right.

A lot of this is, to me, sounding similar to an "It would never happen to me." scenario, which is why I am getting a tad argumentative.

No, it's not...It was..."This is how I made it work..." :)

-

Alex, buy me that bowl. :o:rofl

Oh, I don't have to buy you one. Let me just give you one of by 12 spares in my storage. :rofl :rofl :rofl

I am well aware of statistical models and how to perform a scientific analysis. Yes, that probably should be done for the gravel in general. However, I don't believe that we should be calling evidence of choking incidents 'anecdotal.' At least on this forum, there has been a very high rate of choking incidents with goldfish and gravel. To me, this constitutes a significance worth noting and warning others about.

How did you determine the rate of choking incidents on this forum? I assume the rate would be the number of choking incidents divided by the time the forum has been running. I think I remember one person reporting that they had picked some gravel out of a fish's mouth and another who got all upset because the fish had gravel "stuck" in its mouth, but the fish spit it out. What is your count?

Where would you come up with only two?

I can think of at least 8 incidences offhand, from various posts on the forum as well as statuses, in the time that I have been on this forum. (1 year, 8 months) Considering the number of us who have gravel-bottom tanks is very small and really has been since I have joined, I consider this significant.

Thank you, everyone, for your replies regarding my progress...I will do my best to get the pictures up...

I need to run out to Petsmart to get a Y-adapter for my air pump feeds because one broke off yesterday during this gravel fiasco and I also want to try to exchange my Top Fin AIR 8000 pump for a new one because I think this thing isn't pumping like it used to (great policy Petsmart has regarding their "Top Fin" branded stuff). Meanwhile, Rubio seems fine, he's swimming and eating and the water has cleared up substantially since yesterday -- almost totally clear -- but I think some plant re-arranging is in order. You guys don't think -- and I know the pic of the tank I provided doesn't really show this hence why I'm asking -- placing TALLER plants in the CORNERS of a tank is better than them being in the middle?

Also -- if I do feel like the layer isn't thick ENOUGH now, can I drop some extra gravel from what I removed in there towards the back to kind of "build up the rear height" of the tank?

Ct, I think that maybe it is something that takes some time for you to get used to. :idont

Alex's river rock suggestion sounds nice.

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Okay peeps...

Did the removal of the gravel (about half of what was in there) and removed the decorations, re-arranged the plants to "line up" across the tank as seen somewhat in that picture I provided (I'll try to take a pic of my tank), stripped the filters down, washed them out (not the media) with scalding hot water to remove gunk, removed the bubble bars, scrubbed them down, then got to work putting everything back together...the endeavor was EXHAUSTING and now I have to clean the mess I made during all this! I even managed to take a picture off the wall that was above the tank when I lifted one of the hoods...fantastic, huh?

I also snapped one of the T-bar connectors on my air pump so one bubble bar isn't working right now; I have to get a new one tomorrow. I flushed fresh Primed water into Rubio's tank after placing all the plants and the filters are up and running so I expect the horrifically cloudy water to clear up soon enough. Rubio seems to be okay, though he also seems to be wondering why his habitat changed so drastically...

All that said, I don't know how I feel about the new look...it REALLY looks bare and very "linear" the way the plants are positioned; but of course, this can be moved around/changed...I'm kind of missing (and I knew this would happen) the bridge and Asian gazebo, though they really did crowd the tank a bit...

As far as the gravel, the layer now is really super thin on the left side of the tank -- almost bare bottomed, to be honest and I don't know if I like it. I know it is going to take some getting used to but at this point I don't know what to do because if the thick layering of substrate was causing pathogens to harbor, isn't it best I got rid of a lot of it?

Anyway, I gotta go back to cleaning up the mess I made with this gravel removal endeavor...I will speak to everyone tomorrow I guess as I look forward to all your input!

Please keep an eye on your parameters after such a thorough cleaning. You may have a bump in your cycle.

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Building the gravel a little deeper in the back actually gives a nice visual effect.

That's what I was always under the assumption of as well, but no matter how many times I tried to "slope" my gravel this way I either failed or it would "de slope" after a certain amount of time...

Thank you Alex (and everyone else who confirmed) regarding the river rocks idea -- it shall be considered...

Edited by ClinicaTerraLTD
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I am well aware of statistical models and how to perform a scientific analysis. Yes, that probably should be done for the gravel in general. However, I don't believe that we should be calling evidence of choking incidents 'anecdotal.' At least on this forum, there has been a very high rate of choking incidents with goldfish and gravel. To me, this constitutes a significance worth noting and warning others about.

How did you determine the rate of choking incidents on this forum? I assume the rate would be the number of choking incidents divided by the time the forum has been running. I think I remember one person reporting that they had picked some gravel out of a fish's mouth and another who got all upset because the fish had gravel "stuck" in its mouth, but the fish spit it out. What is your count?

Where would you come up with only two?

I can think of at least 8 incidences offhand, from various posts on the forum as well as statuses, in the time that I have been on this forum. (1 year, 8 months) Considering the number of us who have gravel-bottom tanks is very small and really has been since I have joined, I consider this significant.

It's funny that this discussion is going on today. My fish actually had a piece of gravel stuck in it's mouth today. My daughter face timed me this afternoon in a panic. The fish was swimming around and running into the rocks and sides of the tank in a panic and it finally came dislodged. I am in the process of taking all of the substrate out of that tank since it is gravel and sand mixed together and I was worried about choking. I took out half last week and was going to take out the other half this week. Looks like I'll do it tonight.

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Building the gravel a little deeper in the back actually gives a nice visual effect.

That's what I was always under the assumption of as well, but no matter how many times I tried to "slope" my gravel this way I either failed or it would "de slope" after a certain amount of time...

Thank you Alex (and everyone else who confirmed) regarding the river rocks idea -- it shall be considered...

One way to keep the gravel sloped is to use larger river rocks to keep it in place. Here's a photo of what I've done:

IMG_2813_zps4b2f8334.jpg

It's funny that this discussion is going on today. My fish actually had a piece of gravel stuck in it's mouth today. My daughter face timed me this afternoon in a panic. The fish was swimming around and running into the rocks and sides of the tank in a panic and it finally came dislodged. I am in the process of taking all of the substrate out of that tank since it is gravel and sand mixed together and I was worried about choking. I took out half last week and was going to take out the other half this week. Looks like I'll do it tonight.

I'm very sorry that this happened. I'm glad the fish is OK.

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I would like to say on this is.. I think it comes down to the size of the fish and the size of the gravel.... I had large river stones with medium and my large Telescope got one stuck in his mouth. TD and I had to use tweezers to get it out cause it was the size of a pinky :) really scary.

Take that into account :)

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I would like to say on this is.. I think it comes down to the size of the fish and the size of the gravel.... I had large river stones with medium and my large Telescope got one stuck in his mouth. TD and I had to use tweezers to get it out cause it was the size of a pinky :) really scary.

Take that into account :)

Koko, I too have had fish with gravel stuck in their mouth. Once, I had to intervene as well. So, yes, this is a potential hazard of having substrate of a certain size, however slim the chances might be. I agree with this completely, and would consider this a very good reason to recommend away from gravel. It was the other unsubstantiated claims that I had such difficulty with.

In the end whether you choose to have substrate or not, there will be criticisms. Whether you choose to have substrate or not, there is a better way of doing it, or a worse way of doing it.

As Bronwyn had said, the trouble only begins when absolutism sets in. Very few things in this hobby are that absolute.

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I would like to say on this is.. I think it comes down to the size of the fish and the size of the gravel.... I had large river stones with medium and my large Telescope got one stuck in his mouth. TD and I had to use tweezers to get it out cause it was the size of a pinky :) really scary.

Take that into account :)

Koko, I too have had fish with gravel stuck in their mouth. Once, I had to intervene as well. So, yes, this is a potential hazard of having substrate of a certain size, however slim the chances might be. I agree with this completely, and would consider this a very good reason to recommend away from gravel. It was the other unsubstantiated claims that I had such difficulty with.

In the end whether you choose to have substrate or not, there will be criticisms. Whether you choose to have substrate or not, there is a better way of doing it, or a worse way of doing it.

As Bronwyn had said, the trouble only begins when absolutism sets in. Very few things in this hobby are that absolute.

:bingo:

Everything has its goods and bads... everything in moderation :thumbs:

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whew, this has been an interesting read everyone! :)

I do think gravel can be fine when done right (keep a reasonable depth, vaccuum it regularly and take into account the size of the fish's mouth in comparison to the gravel), but I also think that there are better substrates out there that may not have some of these concerns. It's similar to undergravel filters - sure, they work, they have some potential downsides though, and there are better options out there now :idont But then again, if it works for you, then it works. It's difficult to argue with success ;)

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By the time my fish grew big enough to get the gravel caught i had three instances in 2 months. Each time i had to wait until the fish was exhausted from thrashing, grab it at try get out with tweezers. All survived and are still ok 1 year later. I would not choose gravel again however if i did id choose a smaller grade so it didnt get caught. I hope your getting some useful info.

Since your original worry was the amount of maintenance in your tall tank... I wanted to mention with sand and bare bottom tanks allot of the gunk you find in the gravel bed will sit on the surface of the sand /bare bottom. If you aim the water flow down one side it will flow across the bottom pushing the debre and finally get sucked up by the filter.... Much less work!

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