Interesting Maybe, But It Doesn’t Matter



O3        +  NO2 ………> O2         + NO3
(Ozone + Nitrite ………> Oxygen + Nitrate)

Could be, but in the majority of cases the answer is no.

A potential marine aquarist or even an existing one keeping a reef or fish only system is likely to shy away from anything approaching scientific, and fair enough. (The above is straightforward and understandable if the symbols are understood but gives the general idea). Being a marine aquarist doesn’t mean a white laboratory coat is required or a ‘professor’ appearance, though there are one or two aquarists who love to mystify the marine aquarium and elevate their accomplishments. There isn’t any need to boost success with an aquarium; it is there for all to see.

Some books contain explanatory formulas that would cause consternation with any ordinary person. This isn’t to say that scientific formulas are a waste of space, they aren’t. They are of use to a scientist of course, and interesting to those with experience who wish to delve deep. The same principle applies to many hobbies.

The hobby needs science; it is the scientists who explain. The hobbyist doesn’t need to be involved at that level.

Even when avoiding science troubles still arise. The new aquarist, particularly if interested in a reef system, is still faced with gobble-de-gook. There seems to be an unending stream of needs that must be met or failure will occur. Worse, much of this is in shortened version such as KH (for Kelvin), SG (for Specific Gravity), Alk (for alkalinity), temp (for temperature), calc (for calcium), ppm (for parts per million) etc, never mind the variations with lighting; there isn’t a need to go on. Much of this shortened terminology is often used when hobbyists are ‘chatting’ on forums.

Even when the potential aquarist knows what it all means, the problem doesn’t stop. Seawater quality is the number one requirement so the beginner starts to delve into that. The important parameters are discovered but then there are comments on forums and in books about balance – if this is low that will suffer, generating more confusion.

The beginner can flounder at this stage and start to wonder if it’s worth it, it’s supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, at least that is what was understood at the beginning.

The beginner is going to be a successful marine aquarist with some perseverance and if research is done. The research doesn’t need to be into how everything works and what depends on what. The marine hobby has been going for long enough for scientists and advanced hobbyists to have discovered what leads to success. This doesn’t include deep studies into seawater make-up as an example.

It is now well known what ‘high quality’ seawater means. There are tables available that suggest the levels of various items. For example specific gravity is usually quoted as 1.022 to 1.025 for a fish only system, and 1.024 or 1.025 for a reef system. So the aquarist maintains the seawater at the chosen level having considered the given advantages of numbers within the scale. Other parameters are maintained at the levels suggested for them and doing so generally removes the problem of imbalance. It is also known what is not required in the seawater, for example nitrate. Again there are guidelines that suggest upper limits for different systems, so these levels can again be maintained. The beginner aquarist will also have learned of the need for stability and how to achieve this.

So the marine hobby isn’t a scientific challenge for a beginner or anyone else. All that needs to be known are the suggested levels for a marine system, and then maintain them. It should also be said that the system itself needs to be basically adequate, but again these needs are well known and obtainable.

So the mystique is gone. It must be said that patience and a basic understanding are required. The basic understanding is just that, the numbers that represent the levels that livestock require within an adequate system. When this is achieved and maintained, all things being equal success is on the way.

That doesn’t mean to say however that the aquarist never delves into the world of science. Once the ‘bug’ has bitten, some aquarists have to pursue knowledge about ‘why’, and that is to the advantage of us all.

1 Comment
  1. In the above text I’ve made an error. I could pretend it’s bad typing!

    When writing about Kelvin (the scale used with lighting otherwise known as the colour temperature) I’ve stated the shortened abreviation for Kelvin is KH. It isn’t, just K is. Sorry.
    .-= John´s last blog ..Remember The Lighting =-.

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