Home Page of Aquarium Science

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This is a website dedicated to freshwater aquariums. It is based on SCIENCE AND LOGIC, not on parroted internet “advice”, anecdotal “It worked great for me“, or the marketing hype of some profit-driven marketer.

Author: David Bogert

What needs to be emphasized is that this research has pointed out that there are a huge number of ways to be successful with freshwater aquariums. The aquarium is a natural system and Mother Nature is very flexible. One does not need to invest huge amounts of money and time in fish-keeping to have beautiful tanks. Nor does one need to do a ton of research before getting into the hobby. And above all, there is simply no “right way” to do things in this hobby.

So if one is a newcomer to the hobby just relax and enjoy it. If you obsess over every detail and believe all the negativity on social media along the lines of “don’t do this or you will kill your fish” you will not enjoy the hobby and you will leave in relatively short order.

Malawi Aquarium
Malawi Aquarium

There are 18 chapters leading to over 400 articles on almost all aspects of keeping a freshwater aquarium. These articles have NO links to profit-making sites and thus have no “questionable motivations” in their recommendations, unlike all the for-profit sites you will find with Google. Note I do admit a bias against several companies which blatantly use huge amounts of egregious “pseudoscientific bedazzlement” to sell worthless aquarium products. I can’t help it.

Bookmark and browse! Note that a search bar at the top of each page allows one to search the entire site for any particular subject.  Note that the entire website is “open” in that any written material can be freely quoted and used without regard to copyrights.

Picture of an aquarium fish Astronotus ocellatus, Oscars
Astronotus ocellatus, Oscars

Multilevel Information

This website is designed in descending levels of difficulty, the first level on any given subject which is very simple, a second more complicated level, in some cases going all the way down to sixth and seventh levels which can be very wordy, convoluted and difficult. Note that because each article has to stand on it own in this hierarchy, we often repeat ourselves as we go from simple to complex explanations.

First Level: Keeping it Simple

We start out with a very simple fifteen-point list of what to do with a new aquarium, This simple list can be found in the article:

1. Aquarium Basics

Second Level

Then we add a second level of complexity when we discuss three very important topics: chlorine, cycling, and the amount of food in this link:

1.1. Guidelines for Beginners

Large fish: Puffers, skates, Frontosas
Large fish: Puffers, skates, Frontosas

Third Level: Guidelines for Beginners

Then we add a third level of complexity when we give condensed versions of various topics in articles 1.1.1. to 1.1.14.

1.1.1. What to do with Your First Aquarium

1.1.2. A Simple Way to Cycle an Aquarium

1.1.3. Fish Food Simplified

1.1.4. Water Parameters

1.1.5. Filters for the Newbie

1.1.6. Filter Media

1.1.7. Aeration

1.1.8. Stocking a Tank

1.1.9. Brown Algae in a New Tank

1.1.10. Plants and the New Hobbyist

1.1.11. The Most Common Fish Disease – Ich

1.1.12. How to Make Fish Thrive

1.1.13. Fish for the Beginner

1.1.14. Aquarium Maintenance 

Image of aquarium fish Central American Cichlids
Central American Cichlids

Fourth Level: Basic Fishkeeping

Then there are the rather verbose general interest articles in the “Basics of Fishkeeping” section 1.2. though 1.7., the fourth level of difficulty.

1.2. 150 Myths

1.3. Marketing Hype

1.4. Sources of Data

1.5. Aquarium Options

1.6. Causes of Rapid Fish Deaths

1.7. Causes of Slow Fish Deaths

Fifth and Sixth Levels: Fishkeeping in Depth

Then there is the fifth level of difficulty in the 18 chapters seen either below this section (mobile use) or on the right side (computer screen). These 18 “chapters” then lead to the sixth level of over 400 “articles” on various aquarium subjects.

Seventh and Eighth Levels: The Scientific Research Papers

Some of these articles have a seventh and even an eighth level of difficulty which delve into the basic science underlying the hobby with many scientific journal articles, book excerpts, and other references. These are long and tedious dissertations only for real aquarium nerds like the author.

Hierarchy

The articles are arranged in a hierarchy. Take the three articles on nitrate for instance. The main article “5. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Chlorine” is a general overview. This article links at the bottom of its 5. article to the hyperlink “5.4. Safe Nitrate Levels”. The article, “5.4. Safe Nitrate Levels”, talks only about nitrate. At the bottom of the 5.4. article, there is a link to the article “5.4.1. Nitrate in Depth”. This final 5.4.1. article is a very boring, verbose, and lengthy look at the scientific papers on nitrate. This is a very typical “hierarchy”.

Lake Malawi Aquarium
Lake Malawi Aquarium

Verbosity

Note that the deeper one goes into a topic the more likely the explanation will become somewhat verbose and rambling. The problem has to do with the statistical problem of proving a negative. An individual on social media can easily claim “livebearers only do well in hard water“. This isn’t true but proving it isn’t true is very difficult. Thus the verbosity.

Comic Picture

It is very difficult to prove that livebearers do NOT only do well with hard water. No matter how you test the “fact” you will be open to the “but I kept my livebearers in soft water and they died” claims. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE, does this common logical mistake many times a day. When two things occur simultaneously, it is human nature to say one thing caused the other thing, whatever it is. The old saying in science is “correlation is not causation”. The fish died from something like tetrahymena, capillaria, a chlorine pulse, or bacterial infection but the water chemistry will get the blame.

Repetition

Because of the nature of the web, each article needs to stand on its own. So some points have to be repeated in several articles. For instance, the nature of autotrophic beneficial bacteria versus heterotrophic beneficial bacteria is necessary knowledge for six separate articles. As a result, the explanation for these two points is repeated six times.

This “proving a negative” and repetition have resulted in this website containing close to 700,000 words. Books are normally 250 to 500 words to a page. So this website has close to 1,400 to 2,800 “pages” of information. Not many books have even 300 pages in them.

Lake Malawi Aquarium
Mixed Biotope Aquarium

The Author : David Bogert

The author’s credentials are in the following article

97. Author of Aquariumscience.org (links to aquariumscience.org)

Revisions

If you are following this website and want to know when the author has learned something new (I learn something new about aquariums every day!), one can go to the following article to see all the major revisions that are done:

99. Revisions to Aquarium Science Website (links to aquariumscience.org)

And note the author is constantly learning new things from others in the hobby. And he is constantly finding mistakes in his research. 

Image of an aquarium fish Lake Malawi Peacock Hybrids

Translated in dutch by : John de Lange
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