1. All the possible consequences must be considered
before setting up an aquarium.
a) Planning a aquarium must presume that you have
conscience of daily, weekly and monthly care routines, independently from
tank environment complexity or conditions needed to recreate living
organisms proper milieu.
Long absences and vacations can be fatal to some living
communities. Occasionally your free time will be affected by indispensable
responsibilities to this compromise.
Somewhat that is in fact a pleasure for most, but it
also can suddenly turn in to a disaster to a few, namely when regular habits
and “ freedom “ become some how affected by the attention needed by an
aquarium… or several.
b) A water filled aquarium with minerals, decoration
objects, animals, plants and equipment inside, can represent a very heavy
unit when completed. Please consider it during the planning phase.
As large the capacity in water as great care must be
dedicated to the support bellows it. Even ground resistance should not be
forgotten, especially if we are talking about office blocks or city
apartments, in particular on certain aged constructions.
As a golden rule - while larger the aquarium, bigger
the precaution with it must be.
c) Aquarium placement must value some least conditions.
Although decoration is an important topic, the tank
location has to respect, in first place, biological and environmental
demands of living creatures restricted inside.
Along these lines, places submitted to smoke,
temperature sudden disparity and elevated thermal amplitude, direct cold or
heat sources ( like fireplaces, coolers and air-conditioned suppliers ),
concentrated odours, intense disturbance or movements around, noisy areas
and other disorders of non natural sort, are required to have in
consideration by the time of looking for a suitable place to install a
aquarium. Animals and plants should be very carefully planned for each
different environment. Ultimately you should try to find a solution to
decrease the above-mentioned disorders to an appropriate location for the
aquarium, if no other place can be available. The best choice is always
A solid base support and levelling are outstandingly
important. Any possible movement can be catastrophic to water filled
d) Space to store maintenance support stuff.
In addition to a solid base support, each aquarium
should be provided with extra space for preservation works tools, animal’s
food, medication products, chemical additives, equipment supplies, utensils,
environment support devices, and usual stuff handled.
Dissimulation of these spaces is under individual
criteria, but they are indispensable as near as possible, preferably
integrated on the tank compound.
Another important issue is electric wiring and air or
water pipe. It is entirely warned to keep at least 7 centimetres on the rear
to provide proper openings and spaces to these conduits.
e) Illumination must be adequate to living organisms
Aquatic living species health is quite dependent from
the type and duration of lighting. Respect for light cycles ( daily and
annually ) and night and day period, can affect very positively water
communities. This issue can make clear the difference between success and
Besides biological requests, a aquarium submitted to
sudden light after darkness period or placed near a television screen or
computer monitor, ( specially on a dark room after artificial illumination
goes off ), can become a torture chamber to many of aquatic species. As
result, usually stress and other negative effects can expose low resistance
to illness or unexplained fatalities, especially if night obscurity is not
respected at all.
Direct sunlight should be an art only attempted by
specialists. In very specific cases it is desirable, but you have to take in
consideration effects on water temperature, and significant algae
infestation, along with other hard to solve problems.
2. Decisions about what animals and plants will be included in a specific
tank have got to take in consideration local habitat conditions preferably.
Only with the proper practice and consolidated know how or expertise, higher
environment demanding communities must be tried, especially those with
particular needs very diverse from the obtainable.
a) Beginners or simply those who want to avoid expenses
or deeper compromise, must learn foremost what kind of environment a
specific aquarium can be after established.
First set up should be no more than water, substrate,
minerals and basic equipment. After a close observation, regular physical
and chemical parameters can than be discriminated. Don’t forget lighting
or the differences involving summer and winter circumstances.
After the assessment phase, based on recorded
parameters and taking in consideration water capacity, a convenient research
about what kind of animals and plants can demand or subsist in such
environment is than required.
Once this study is concluded you can start to prepare a
proper home to the new comers. Groundwork for biological cycles it’s
imperative and vital. Plants come first, animals after.
This practice is also the usual method to assure the
less support equipment and near as possible to an autonomous tiny biome. If
some basic rules of living inhabitant’s introduction will be accomplish,
soon you can get a power failure immune aquarium running. Otherwise, when a
black out occurs, you will stress straightforwardly to compensate some vital
live support apparatus out of work during energy cut. Without electricity,
the most specialized tanks are only capable to assure survival of some live
forms for no more than a few hours or days.
b) In very specialized specific tanks, very divergent
from local surroundings, more support and complex technology is needed to
assure proper live conditions. The furthermost altered and simulated
environment is shaped; further additional live sustain type artificial
systems are indispensable.
c) Anything alive that we place under water inside a
tank will affect establish equilibrium. Every related situation like animals
or plants introductions will produce immediate effects. All living forms
compete if not for anything else at least for space and oxygen.
3. Planning is the key word when thinking on aquarium setting. Any sort of
biotope replication assuming a correct association of live forms have to
depend on a conscious and premeditated decision.
a) Planning can be the essential difference between
success and failure.
Mix emotionally any animals or plants based on simple
esthetical human concepts is an almost sure a death sentence to at least
some of them. The expected consequence after a short period of dreadful
occurrences is the disappointment that leads definitively to disillusionment
and frustration. This quick and awful experience is the only one that many
have from the fantastic hobby of aquarium keeping.
b) A community tank conceptualization can be held with
some success if only a very careful choice of compatible species from
different proveniences is well calculated before. Some animals and plants
found in different continents can come from quite similar environments. If
physical chemical demands and behaviour can match, a convenient community
can be established with representatives from very far wild geographical
It is no doubt more educational and a far better
challenge the more ethical biotope aquarium. This noble intention is however
a lot more difficult to accomplish due to possible unavailability of
ecosystem living representatives on the market.
Single fish species is another secure choice. Although
ecologically a lot dispossessed it is, in some special cases, the only way
to keep some animals in captivity by inappropriate community behaviour and
c) Before bring home any species a good research has to
be done by any resources available, in particular with reference to biology
Always, when it is achievable, other keepers must be
questioned about the essentials and a society or other organization
dedicated to the target specie can also be under contact in search for help.
d) Space available and ability to provide proper
existence conditions must always be a priority before any new acquisition.
You must not ignore eventual consequences of more demanding species to your
tangible resources and fee time.
e) Very attractive unknown species can only be elected
to your tank after minimal maintenance conditions are all confirmed. As
important as physical and chemical parameters, adult size is another
essential topic to calculate preservation opportunity.
f) Clean and suitable water quality as feeding with
balanced food according to each species nutritional demanding is at your
responsibility while aquarist. A healthy existence must be provided to all
living forms in captivity, so plan in advance all the needs.
g) To fulfil minimum requirements there are some basic
rules on tank project and manufacture.
Deepness is not as important as water surface area to
maximum fish capacity.
A number of revolutionary designs, even if are capable
of achieving the same volume of water do not allow the same population
because water surface is minor.
4. A higher sense of responsibility must rule species and populations
custody. Reasonable limits have to be respected regarding captivity
a) Try to join animals with low rates of parentage in
the same small space of a tank. It is good ideas select them from distinct
breeders or pet shops. In this last case, always that it is achievable do
confirm provenience to avoid highly related fishes bought in different shops.
b) While emotionally attractive the idea of breeding
species must be well wondered about. Progeny conservation requires several
times more space and resources than parent’s maintenance efforts. Remember
that is your moral responsibility to provide healthy environment and proper
feed to a larger number of individuals.
Before mating and reproduction take place, search for
other hobbyists who are interested in keep some of the offspring. It is
important that all these candidates can show the suitable conditions to do
so. They also should be in such number that could receive all the raised
animals and plants that you can’t keep.
c) Spontaneous births that take place in your tanks
means that at least near ideal environment was produced in captivity to
those specific living forms. These are good news and work like compensation
by your efforts to provide satisfactory habitat.
Once again don’t forget that is your moral
responsibility to provide healthy environment and proper feed to all
inhabitants. In case of difficulty to assume such task is rather important
to act as soon as possible to avoid at any cost degradation of living
More space have to be supplied or a convenient destiny
to new raised generation.
d) In the majority of animal kingdom, genetically
related parents increase risks of small population’s genetic problems.
This carries lethal and dramatic health effects in merely a few generations.
All sexual species hold negative recessive genes. The
mating of very close relatives, called endogamy, offer best chances of
recessive genes meet in offspring. This means that detrimental characters
can often increase possibilities of become active and to cause harmful
effects on descendants.
The unwanted breeding amongst relatives produces always
decrease of genetic variability and species general debility.
e) A healthy population continuation in aquarium needs
frequent new members incorporation in to the group of breeders. In regular
basis is advisable to buy new reproductive elements or exchange some of
yours with other keepers and breeders of that specie.
f) Artificial selection to obtain new strains with
unusual mutations or attributes is not an acceptable practice at all. Human
esthetical concepts are rarely according to natural evolution tendency. The
most evident corroboration of this rule is the fact that human conditioned
strains are not capable to survive longer in natural habitat.
g) Hybrids induced by human interference must be
stopped at once. These are non natural procedures and the results of these
rarely well succeeded experiences are unnecessary freaks.
If re-introduced back to the wild, fertile hybrids can
mate with both parental species and genetically contaminate them, leading
some to plausible disappearance.
h) Industrial aquaculture assisted breeding techniques
must be used merely as last resources in aquarium procreation of threatened
species during very justified situations. This proceeding is only advisable
when number of individuals is becoming too small and ordinary breeding is
very unusual without intervention.
i) Progenitors must be selected only among individuals
exhibiting good health and perfect physical conditions. Also anatomic
abnormalities, unusual characteristics and handicaps can not be allowed to
5. Aquarium hobby living forms supply has to respect some basic
a) If quarantine of imported animals and plants is not respected in a pet
shop or any other business related, consumers should not buy on those strict
b) Never buy on establishments where national or international legislations
about animals and plants commerce are not respected. Display, buy and sail
acts must take place under the law.
c) All living beings genetically altered, hybrids, fish
submitted to artificial body coloration process, sterilizing practices, or
other procedures that deny the animal rights or plain ethical conventions
must never be purchased or maintained.
d) Do not trust or acquire in places here
identification of importation or wholesale entity are not revealed.
Bad hygienic surroundings, animals and plants displayed
under dreadful conditions and cruelty on handling should become excellent
pretexts to never revisit such business locations again.
Law disrespect, unprepared or unqualified personnel,
bad costumer assistance, unawareness about displayed species, lack of water
parameters exhibit in sail tanks, unrevealed scientific species designations,
interdict animals and plants selling, are enough to avoid even a visit.
Exposed unhealthy animals to sail, and dishonest
sellers can turn some pet shops or wholesales establishments in to discarded
e) Infected animals or plants may never been brought
home. If illness is only a few days after detected or declared at your own
thank, an effort should be made to warn the pet shop and other known buyers.
f) Never buy species listed on CITES - Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
– list. Be sure that if these animals and plants are available they come
only from captivity raised populations.
Even so, please check for a proper licence to sail
g) Buy newly arrive fish at your own risk.
Waiting a few days is good policy to avoid infected
fish unless you have a proper quarantine aquarium as well as if we are
talking about something really difficult to find or most wanted species.
Even so, a quarantine tank avoids regular lost over perfectly healthy fish
due to newest acquisitions disease carry.
i) Sometimes promotions or less expensive lots aren’t
what it looks like. Be careful about unnoticed problems or lower stock
6. Aquarium fish and plants must never be released in nature under any
pretext. Even the release of local species originally captured from the same
ecosystem must obey to the law and to a few basic procedures.
a) Never release unwanted illness infected animals or
plants to nature under any circumstances at all. Same caution must be taken
with public and private artificial water bodies.
b) Although theoretically it can be ethically fair to
release in the wild aquarium raised animals or plants from an assured origin
of that precise ecosystem, that is however a risk. Even if we are talking
about threatened species, without a veterinarian certificate there is always
the menace of fatal disease introduction with transportation water or even
with the animals.
c) Animals release out of original hydrographical basin
can become a threat of genetic contamination on local populations of the
same species. Differentiation resulting in thousand year’s separation can
be ruined by mixing animals from distinct lineages.
d) Never use toilet to eliminate death or alive animals
and plants. Even if they are weak or waiting for presumable certain fatality.
7. Information is conscientiousness best instrument.
a) Only throughout a permanent knowledge actualisation
it will be possible to accomplish the current ethical context in aquarium
b) Exchange of know how among hobbyists and involving
others in our own experiences are golden rules. Sharing procedures and
information is essential to widespread progress and definitively eradicate
some myths and half truths.
c) Information sources selection criteria is a key
factor. Unfortunately, in particular after the Internet big boom, countless
relatively imprecise and inaccurate facts are widening and replicate from
source to source without proper control and scientific worry.
d) Less correct or inappropriate practices, although
more naturally expected from new comers to the hobby, can only be eradicated
via knowledge and information switch over. Better procedures generally
result in improved captivity existing conditions for animals and plants
maintained in aquarium.
8. Respect for live can be learned and edified right the way through
a) All aquatic organisms kept in captivity must be esteemed as well as
incessantly cared with dignity and respect.
b) The best concern must be committed to assure highest
excellence in all required environment parameters. Space and adequate
nourishment requisites are also top priority while preserving living
c) Aggressive behaviour, killing or decoration
destruction resulting from certain species biology must be judged and
regarded prior to their introducing. It is not reasonable at all that
violence can be imposed to these animals in retaliation for their acts.
There are natural instincts that outcome from a long
evolution that can be amplified by captivity restrain.
d) Euthanasia can’t turn out to be a regular way of
purge unwanted specimens. Even when it happens to be the appropriate
solution please think twice.
e) Animals manipulation should only take place when
Capture, transportation as well as any other actions on
which living beings are submitted to agony, anxiety, pain, stress,
starvation, suffocation or other unusual aggression for the expected
standard of live must be avoided as possible.
f) Capture methods should never use cruel procedures.
Is entirely disagreeable the use of animals natural
instincts to attract them to catch, even if inside a tank their agility and
smartness can delay the operation or if the capture activities can cause
g) Aquarium hobbyists should be motivated to look after
sustainable development in addition to nature or wild species preservation.
This can be regarded as a least price to pay for a
small sample of nature at home that so much peace and pleasure can bring to
h) This pastime should inspire us to act in response to
vandalism acts and violence carried on animals.
i) Fishes confinement in little spaces like breeding
cages, fancy miniature aquariums, little containers, belligerent’s
separation in less significant divisions, undersized exhibition tanks as
well as many other similar situations, should be banished at once.
j) Living beings shall not be kept more than strictly
necessary out of their own physic and chemical standard parameters.
Especially near survival limits situations should be avoid as possible.
k) All aquatic living forms in captivity must be upheld
in best water quality as to required environment.
l) All living forms should be dignified with our
respect and admiration.
Colourful species, so splendorous according to our
beauty and esthetical concepts, are a minority in the wild.
Only the most adequate forms of live are able to
survive in the wild. Very rare are the ecosystems or ecological niches where
bright and effusive colours are not a death sentence.
Live forms aren’t toys or pieces of art. They can not
ever become human taste creations because we shouldn’t play god in
addition to most of the species are even older then ours. Animals and plants
must be admired by express the result of a millenary evolution process.
9. To do business, trade and deal with particular aquarium raised animals
and plants without a proper commercial licence it is illegal and ethically
can turn out to be not very well acceptable.
a) In most countries any commercial activity must take
place under the rules according to an officially permitted practice. This is
not the example of particular transactions among hobbyists and between them
and pet shops when money is implicated.
If any kind of buy and sell act does not result in a
proper legitimate document validating that transaction ( proof of payment ),
we are talking about black market and parallel economy.
Tax evasion, even in a very tiny scale, is universally
a crime. All other responsible citizens and trustworthy economical agents
have been discriminated while transgressors rest unpunished.
b) Aquarium hobby while evolving love and care on
singular animals and plants it doesn’t work like industry.
Breeding and keeping living forms for past time is a
privilege that is not compatible with business and profit. Only legalised
commercial entities should operate in the market under the proper economical
c) Aquarium leisure pursuit gets richer if more and
more hobbyists can access marginal and rare species rarely available on the
market. Exchange is an excellent way to accomplish that.
Offers to new comers ( newbies ), work more than a
compliment of welcome and can pay a lot as incentive, especially if we are
talking about youngsters with less financial autonomy.
For that same reason some societies, clubs and
associations promote most wanted species donations and exchanges amongst
members to genetic pool viability or for stock start off.
10. Species with especial needs of conservation should obtain more
attention and care. Endangered, threatened or already instinct in the wild
animals and plants should be assisted and treated with caution. Especially
these cases may represent a higher challenge on breeding as well need to be
a) Aquarium hobby is becoming increasingly species
preservation last resource for many occurrences. With careful management and
genetic viability future repopulation can be achievable when natural habitat
return to offer proper conditions.
b) Extinct in the wild or rare species must be
seriously take in consideration. Breeding and optimal custody environment
should play an important role.
c) Every successful breeding experience with threatened,
endangered or extinct in the wild species has to result on dissemination
amongst the largest number of hobbyists as possible. In this way rather
secure conservation potential can be attainable and genetic pool viability
d) Keeping and breeding
threatened national species must be prior to foreign. This is only not true
if your national species preservation effort must rely on wild captures.