Reading between the lines...but not too much.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to over-analyze and overreact to stuff?

To read too far between the lines?

Case in point: I have a friend who has the opinion that every time you sneeze, cough, or have a headache, or display any overt "symptom" which could somehow be tied to a cold, flu, or other malady- that you've acquired said illness, and that you're headed for a week of bed rest, chicken soup, and Netflix. 

Super paranoid. Drives me crazy.

Yet, I see this mindset in other areas of our lives....

Like...our aquarium hobby!

I sometimes wonder if we as hobbyists tend to become just a little more paranoid than we need to be?

Like, have you noticed that, when you're looking at your aquarium, any sound, any behavioral change in your fishes, any minor appearance difference- can send you into a veritable frenzy of cross-checking, water testing, examination, etc? 

Oh, you may not admit to it; you might think that you're immune to the concerns, etc.

But you're not.

Let's face it, we are all sort of paranoid- and I mean that in the nicest way possible. We're damn concerned about the well-being of our fishes, the safe operation of our aquariums, and the overall health of the system. That's a good thing, unless we take it too far.

And some hobbyists do.

For some of us, any little apparent "anomaly" which deviates even slightly from what we know and are familiar with makes us at the very least, cautious and alert...Perhaps, uncomfortable, and at the worst- panicked.I know a lot of hobbyists like this. It's like a full-scale "disaster" when something different appears to be going on with their tanks. On more than one occasion, I've been at an out-of-town hobby conference when a friend cut short his/her weekend and flew home the same day because their spouse told them that. "The big coral colony...wasn't open this morning like it usually is."

That's too far, IMHO. That's not "dedication..." It's sort of- well...I think it's sort of crazy, really. 

Don't panic. Don't be uncomfortable. 

I mean, I get it. You have a lot of money and effort tied up in your tank. You care about your fishes. And it's always a good idea to check out anything that seems out of the ordinary with your tank...but to launch on a wholesale, dose-the-prophylactic medication-to-every-tank frenzy is just an extreme that you really don't want to do...such actions often lead to a real problem- far worse than whatever perceived one existed (if it did at all).

Just be...concerned.

Check it out.

See what's really going on. Keep a level head while doing this. Correct only if needed, and get on with your day. Maybe you'll catch a real problem. More likely, you'll have just suddenly realized that the weird humming sound coming from your canister filter is simply the normal sound it makes during operation, or the one that tells you that it's time for a cleaning.

Nothing signaling a pending disaster for your tank... 


Don't make this hobby more difficult than it is by "connecting the dots" and inventing problems that aren't there. Look, it's great to be aware, alert, vigilant about your aquariums. It's important to know exactly what "normal" is for them. It's important to intervene at the first signs of disease. It's important to check out that little trickle of water...

But you need to relax, for the most part. Maintain an "even keel." 

Because, just like every sneeze doesn't mean you're sick, every new sound that you hear in your aquarium-every different behavior in your fishes- every different turn your Cryptocoryne takes- doesn't necessarily mean that disaster is lurking around the corner...

An ultra simple, yet hopefully useful thought fir this Sunday...

Now, if you'll excuse me- I have to go check out why my tank is making that strange "gurgling" sound... Maybe it's... Ahh, never mind.

Stay alert. Stay Active. Stay positive. Stay calm.

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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