If you're interested in keeping a saltwater aquarium, you undoubtedly have many questions about what this popular hobby involves. And as you swim deeper into the subject, you will likely encounter some common myths and misconceptions about the challenges of maintaining an aquarium and saltwater animals. While some of these concerns may have been true in the past, the science of saltwater aquaria has increased by leaps and bounds, and many of the old problems or ideas are no longer relevant. Here's a look at some of the most common myths about aquariums and why you should not take them at face value.
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Cycling a Saltwater Aquarium
FACT: The original method used for cycling a tank consisted of putting a fish or two in a new tank, then waiting up to 6 weeks for the nitrobacter and nitrosoma bacteria to form and grow. Today, there are a number of methods for cycling a tank in as little as one day.
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Tangs (Surgeonfish) and Nitrates
MYTH: Tangs (Surgeonfish) are more sensitive to nitrates than other fish.
FACT: Surgeonfish are no more sensitive to nitrates than any other species. Tangs have endured nitrate levels of hundreds of ppm for extended periods of time with no ill effects.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Coral Banded Shrimp
MYTH: Coral Banded Shrimp kill fish.
FACT: The Coral Banded Shrimp is a scavenger as well as a parasite picker and may attack other shrimp, but it will not normally attack fish. Many people who find their Coral Banded Shrimp consuming a dead fish or invertebrate assume that it was killed by the shrimp. However, the shrimp is just doing what it does for a living: scavenging.
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Trusting Your LFS
MYTH: You can depend on the people who work in your LFS (local fish store) to be knowledgeable and always give you good advice.
FACT: There are a great number of LFS owners/employees who are well experienced in saltwater aquariums and will give you good advice. However, a lot of LFS and pet store employees (especially younger staffers) have little or no knowledge or experience in this subject, which requires time to develop.
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Bio-Balls Create Nitrates
MYTH: Bio-Balls or wet/dry filters create nitrates.
FACT: Bio-Balls and wet/dry filter material can trap detritus and other tank debris, which break down and eventually create nitrates. However, if the Bio-Balls are cleaned regularly, they are not a significant source of nitrates.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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