Top 5 Bad Advice Given for Freshwater Fish

We have the top 5 worse advise that Dustin's Fish Tank has heard people give about aquarium fish.


5 - Caution with Cory Cats & Substraights

"You better watch out for cory cats and glass or sand. You don't want too sharp of a substrate, cause the cory cats might cut their barbells or get scratched up."

Glass sub straight is not shards of glass. The glass sub straight should not have any sharp edges on it. If your sub straight has sharp edges that can easily cut you, then you should possibly consider replacing your sub straight. Standard glass sub straight sold for the aquarium industry should not cause a problem for Cory Cats.

As far as sand scratching the Cory Cats, this is also a none issue. In the wild Cory Cats are also found in areas with sand beds, and they will be fine in a sandbed. 


4 - You can't have long fin Bettas with Driftwood

"You better watch out for that betta fish. That Betta fish has long fins, that driftwood will hurt it."

Betta fish are extremely hardy fish, typically found in cups for extended periods of times at large chain pet stores. While I do not agree with this practice and usually betta fish are in poor health while in these small containers.

Bettas fins getting damaged by driftwood is not true. You do not have to worry about driftwood hurting the long fins on a Betta fish. No more then you have to worry about running into a tree. Could it happen sure, is it likely to happen, no.

[BTW - You have to watch the video for at least this segment, straight up thug, too funny]


3 - Pleco's will Reduce my Maintenance & Keep my Tank Clean

"I have algae in your tank. I'm just going to get an algae eater. It will eat all of the algae. - or - I'm going to get an algae eater, it will eat the poop."

Yes, Pleco fish/Suckerfish eat algae, but they are not the solution to an algae outbreak or lack of maintenance on your tank. They will also not eat up all of the fish's poop and leave your tank clean. Also, even if it did eat all of your fish's poop, what do you think would happen to it. The Pleco would just then poop it out, do you expect the Pleco also to eat it own poop?

Do your water maintenance and keep your tank clean, do not think that adding Plecos to your tank is going to be the solution to your problem because it will not be.


2 - Planted Tanks Need an RO/DI Unit

Great idea, use an RO/DI unit to make ultra-pure water that strips out everything, including the things that the plants need to grow. Then you are going to add a bunch of plants into the water that has nothing for them to eat. Now you have to re-mineralize the water to add the nutrients that the plants need. If you do not re-mineralize the water, your plants will not grow.


1 - Fish Do Not Need to be Acclimated

There are many people out there that do not acclimate their fish when they purchase them and sware that it is not needed. Will, the fish, survive not being acclimated, most likely.

First, whether you purchase your fish from a local fish store (LFS) or from online. You do not want to add te water that they are in into your tank. You do not know what is in it and in the case of online purchases, sometimes chemicals are added to subdue the fish to increase the likelihood of the fish surviving the shipping process. You do not want these chemicals in your tank.

Second, the stress from going from one water parameters to another entirely different water parameters instantly will stress the fish out. Will it survive most likely. 

When people drive from a lower elevation, let's say around 1,500' to a higher altitude such as 6,800' let's say within 4 hours. You could consider this a quick acclimation period. Yet many people (not all) will suffer from side effects to these altitude changes, side effects like denseness, headaches, difficulty breathing, and nausea. Will they survive, they will, but until their body acclimates to the changes, they will be miserable.

Now let's say you live in an area with an elevations level of about 1,500'. Within a blink of an eye, you are now in Colorado at an elevation of 6,800'. How do you think your body will react. That is how your fish could feel the further apart your water parameters are the bigger difference in elevation change. Now think about if the fish is not feeling well and another fish starts to pick on them, the amount of stress that fish will be in is enormous. 

Why put them through that, acclimate your fish.

I am not saying to acclimate your fish for days. Have one drop of water per second, until the water matches your water values or until you have doubled or tripled the original water volume the fish was in.


A few popular comments:

Anthony Bogucki

"Buying an algae eater to clean your tank is like buying a dog to clean your dishes."

Rob Krahn

"Me: ya I have a Betta in a 10 gallon with some neon's. "Fish expert" at PetSmart: wow, that's too much water for a Betta. Then continues to tell me about the puddles they live in."

matthew willson

"I agree right up until the last one. It depends how long the fish have been in that bag. From your local pet shop, fine drip acclimate it. Been shipped, as soon as you open that bag that water turns super nasty. Float the fish and get them out the bag as soon as you open it."

Percival Reborn

"it will grow to the size of the tank." if you buy a red tail catfish it will keep growing until it gets stressed and dies in a small aquarium. so kinda true I guess.

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