The things within our control...

I was talking with a friend the other day, who had a "mysterious" set of deaths in one of her tanks...After the usual fish geek analysis of the tank and the procedures used to maintain it, she realized that she had a heater go bonkers and cook her fishes, then fail completely.  We concluded that it was a circumstance that was  likely beyond her control.

Tough blow...but one of the many things we can't do much about in the hobby, right?

When you think about it, the aquarium hobby has a lot of things in it which are within our ability to control, many things which are a matter of "luck", and a bunch of stuff that were pretty much have no say in whatsoever, right?

I mean, we CAN control stuff like the size of the tank we use, the number of fishes we add, how we equip and manage our tanks, and what we feed them. We can control the, to the point where there is little excuse for mass fish "extinctions" except human error. 

We choose not to quarantine. We choose not to make that water change, add that one more fish, skip the filter cleaning this week, etc. The good (or bad) results that arise out of these decisions are completely on us, right?

Disease outbreaks from adding that ONE fish you skip quarantine on are totally your fault. 


Now, some stuff is not completely on us:

We can't control stuff like how our fishes were handled on the chain of custody between the collector to the LFS. We can't control the decomposition rate of botanicals within our aquarium. We cannot control how our fishes will respond to environmental changes.


We CAN control where we purchase our fishes, and make the effort to understand who their suppliers are and the quality control efforts taken to assure that our specimens arrive in the best possible condition, given the rigors of transport. We CAN  control how many botanicals we add into our aquarium at once. We can control the environmental changes that affect the well-being of our fishes...

The moral of this short and relatively simple discussion:

Do the best you can to control the stuff that you CAN control in your aquariums, and do the best you can to find out why something that was beyond your control failed. 

And by the same token, it's always great to figure out why you're having that spectacular success! And usually, a lot more obvious, too! And fun!

Today's absurdly simple thought.

Stay curious. Stay diligent. Stay engaged. Stay obsessed...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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