Have you ever noticed that the environmental parameters that you track in your tank are typically the ones that are spot-on perfect all the time?
Yeah, I mean, it seems obvious, right? The parameters that you pay close attention to-that are typically easiest to monitor- are generally the best, most stable ones in your tank.
However, wouldn't it make more sense to figure out which parameters are the most important ones to monitor, even if they are not necessarily the least difficult or least expensive to monitor, as opposed to going nuts over the ones that we are already monitoring, which may not be as important? Perhaps redox IS important to you, even though a meter costs a lot more than any liquid reagent test kit. For that matter, maybe monitoring phosphate is important to you, even though the test is kind of a bummer to do? If it makes you a better aquarist and a more successful one, when all is said and done, wouldn't it make sense to perform the more difficult, yet more beneficial and correct one?
This logic extends to procedures, equipment choices, etc. For example, you may want to use a sponge filter in that breeding tank, but you know that you need to utilize some form of chemical filtration media- so even though it's more complex, expensive, etc., it just makes sense to go with a canister filter, right?
Need another example? If you're dealing with some delicate fish, and they need consistent, pristine water quality, the most effective way to maintain it is usually with water exchanges...Of course, water changes are not always easy, convenient, or fun for many hobbyists, despite the obvious benefits they offer.
How much better would your tank be if you could just squeak out another water change, or increase the volume of the changes you already perform? Sure, the is a trade off, in terms of time and energy expended, cost of materials, etc.- but isn't it worth it?
It's something that has a threshold that we each need to determine for ourselves.
That being said, I suggest once again that it often makes sense to be fanatical about monitoring the parameters that are important, doing the things that are necessary- not just the things that are easy or least expensive.
Something to ponder?
Stay thoughtful. Have fun. Be honest with yourself. Enjoy your fishes.
And Stay Wet