Tank turned 49 this year

Paul B

Well-Known Member
You are correct. But actually in my last post I was talking about the drugs we give them like copper, Prizapro etc.

The drugs they collect fish with does make them look better for a while. Then they croak. :eek:

Paul B

Well-Known Member
I can post something if you like. But be careful what you wish for:

I am not the smartest fish keeper in the world, but I am probably one of the oldest. Being one of the oldest, I have also had more time to study this stuff and more time to make mistakes. Mistakes are one way we learn. A very good way.

It's actually how they train you in basic training in the Army or Marines. By forcing you to do impossible tasks, knowing you can't do them, then punishing you for not doing it correctly. Eventually, you learn what they want you to do while never completing those tasks correctly.

Trust me, it works.

I was a Noob at one time and that time was the 1950s, yes the world as we know it was around then and so were fish. We had the same problems then as we do now but a few of us learned, after many dead fish what we were doing wrong and I think I got it.

Most people in this hobby do something and it works, and they think they found the secret, but we may be talking about a time frame of a few months or a couple of years. A common hermit crab lives over 12 years so if we keep one for a couple of years, it is not "Great Success". To have a reef tank for four or five years without crashing, although is an accomplishment that few people ever attain is also not a Great Success and we should strive for more. We should always strive for more.

IMO a reef tank should be immortal or "live" as long as it's owner. Of course fish are not immortal, but most of them live much longer than people stay in this hobby.

Corals are immortal and can keep living while growing new polyps on top of older ones. That’s how reefs grow.

I feel the biggest mistake we make (and us Geezers who started this hobby are the cause) is keeping our tanks to clean.

Our gravel or sand is to clean, and our food is to clean and our water is to clean.

I will get to clean water later as it even sounds weird to me.

Fish, birds, whales, lizzards, earthworms, Liberals, Conservatives and us all have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Viruses, bacteria and parasites have been here longer than us and will be here when we all go to Mars because this planet has nothing left but plastic.

In a tank, any tank, except a quarantined or medicated tank, bacteria run everything. We forget about them, but it is the bacteria that call the shots, not us.

Bacteria have their own problems as viruses also affect and kill them. Bacteria hate that.

Parasites are also infected by bacteria and viruses.

Probably funguses also, but I am guessing.

Anyway, we call those things “disease organisms” because they can make us sick, but we forget that without them, we couldn’t live.

Our stomach is loaded with both beneficial and harmful bacteria. They live in harmony along with the funguses and viruses. Seawater is loaded with all of those things and that is natural and the way it should be.

We have problems when we mess with that system. If we kill bacteria, the viruses can take over as can the parasites.

If we for instance use copper, we will kill the parasites and bacteria, but not the viruses.

We really can’t kill the viruses (as Covid 19 taught us) because viruses are not alive to start with but we can disintegrate them using UV light or ozone.

So if we kill one of the pathogens, we allow the remaining ones to thrive and cause problems.

We can of course kill everything by using drugs along with UV and Ozone but should we?

It sounds like a good plan but have you seen anyone who just had Chemo and radiation to kill cancer?

Those people have no immunity to anything and although they are kept in a sterile environment, many of them die anyway because we can’t live like that in the real world.

Neither can fish.

In some cases we do have to resort to that drastic measure and sometimes it works. But not usually and it could take years for that fish to regain its compliment of stomach flora where it could live a normal life free from disease with a functioning immune system.

The problem with killing everything is of course that the bacteria, parasites and viruses will all infect the fish at different times and whichever comes first can overwhelm the fishes immune system because those things no longer are living in harmony where they can all keep each other in check.

In nature none of those pathogens get the upper hand because they evolved to counteract each other.

If we disrupt the cycle, we cause problems and tank crashes.

I propose, and it has worked for decades for me and other successful aquarists with long lasting reefs, that instead of trying to limit or eliminate natural pathogens leaving the fish open to disease, we cultivate those things, "in proportion" with each other leaving the fish with a strong immune system that it evolved with.

Remember, in the sea the fish are living with every aquatic disease there is with no problem. They only have problems after they are collected, shipped and put in our tanks.

There is no reason for them to have problems as my fish realize including my almost 30 year olds.

I know many, or all the fish we buy don’t look very good and are all infected with something. But remember, they are “always” infected with something because fish eat and breathe pathogens as they live. In the sea their immune system has no problems dealing with those afflictions because the fish is not stressed and is eating there natural food which is loaded with bacteria.

It’s the pathogens that tell the fishes immune system what method to use to eradicate that organism.

Remember in the sea fish normally eat living prey. They rarely eat sterile pellets, flakes or freeze dried anything. The prey they eat is always loaded with bacteria, parasites and viruses in the same proportions as are already in the fishes gut. Fish and us can’t digest food without bacteria which is the reason so many fish die while being medicated with copper or other drugs. It kills their stomach bacteria. It’s simple.

I mentioned before that our water is to clean and that may sound counterproductive because coral reefs are thought to be pristine. But the difference in water from a coral reef and our tanks is that the water on a coral reef has been there long before Betty White was born and many of our tanks were started a week from last Tuesday. Seawater actually gets better with age, to an extent.

If new, clean seawater was so good, why do new tanks look lousy? Why do new tanks, with all new water have so many diseases? Why do Noobs lose so many fish?

It’s because bacteria, viruses, corals, seaweed, rocks, meteorites, shipwrecks, whales and waste water from frankfurter carts in New York City all end up in the sea and all of those things are what fish evolved in. OK, maybe not the frankfurter carts. But it takes time for those organisms to reach a point where they are in sync with each other and none of them out weigh or out perform each other.

I was also under the impression that we needed to keep everything sterile. I wouldn’t think to put my hands in the tank without rinsing many times to get every trace of soap off.

I tried very hard to keep dirt out of my tank and vacuumed up every last bit of un eaten food.

I was wrong.

Now I take mud from a salt water bay and throw it in. I take garden soil (without pesticides) and throw it in. I feed earthworms full of dirt. I feed clams, mussels and whiteworms with as much dirt attached as I can find.

I never quarantine or medicate unless I purposely buy a very sick fish that I know will not live through the night and I experiment with questionable results.

I never worry if a fish I buy is in the same tank as fish with spots.

What I do is take that fish home as soon as I can and after a short acclimation, place it in my tank and try to get natural food into it. Natural food with living bacteria in it which is not usually commercially purchased food.

That food is deep frozen or irradiated to kill bacteria. I do use that food but I always supplement it with the foods I mentioned because without fresh, living bacteria, fish will always be at risk of dying from just about anything.

If you don’t believe any of this, go and watch Oprah give away Cadillacs to stray cats.


Paul B

Well-Known Member
I have this Hair Drier from 1923. No! It was not mine but if I was alive then, I would probably have had hair.

It says the price was $12.50 which was a fortune then. It also still works.

The instruction reads:

Girls are no longer inviting colds and poor completions by sitting in front of open windows. That is the wrong way to try and dry your tresses.


Paul B

Well-Known Member
Nobbygas, I actually post a lot but I am on a few forums and forget where I am. :D

My Watchmans spawned again. I find these things by accident but they spawn all the time as all healthy fish do.



JoePa lives on!!!
Staff member
I would love to have a watchman pair but I can’t even get my guy to properly pair with a pistol shrimp. They keep dying (the shrimp).

Paul B

Well-Known Member
This morning like every morning I took a walk. I walk about two miles so it's not like I will be entering the Olympics or anything. It was 23 degrees and it was just before the sun came up.

All of a sudden I got this uncontrollable urge to do the Macarana and I twisted my knee. One of my knees was replaced a while ago with aluminum or "Mastic". (some kind of fish food copperbands are supposed to like but I am guessing)

I almost fell down as it was a little painful and I contemplated calling the paramedics just because I wanted to see if they had a helicopter. Then I realized it wasn't that bad so I limped home and put some of that "heat rub" stuff on the knee.

Now everyone knows none of that stuff ever does anything for pain but it smells so good. I have a few different kinds, some smell like pine trees, some like cedar and some like camphor so I use all of them at the same time.

I am still in pain but I smell like a forest filed with mosquito repellent which is kind of refreshing.
https://app.photobucket.com/u/urchsearch/a/a1ee422a-5721-4c48-a133-5c0f465db1fe/p/7d6b4a3b-3d30-4d12-a8fa-80c45a4dddaf] [/URL]

Blue Space

Well-Known Member
Take it easy there, Paul! Hope you get back to the daily walks soon. At least Spring is on the way and it won't be too long before you're headed out in the boat again for some swimming which is lower impact exercise. How's the tank doing?

Paul B

Well-Known Member
Hello there Chris. The tank is doing very well and so am I. I had an echo cardiogram test of my carotid arteries a couple of days ago and I think they are going to put me on the cover of "Carotid Arteries Monthly" magazine because they are so good. :celebrate:

Next week I am going for a stress test just for kicks. We moved here 3 years ago and I used to go every few years just to look at his nurses,,,,,I mean just to get checked out.
I normally do very good on those. The last time I was friends with the cardiologist and he was very overweight so I used to make fun of him for being in that business and being in that shape.

I was talking to him during my test where you run on this treadmill while they test your heart. At the end of the test he said you did fabulous. I said How do you know? He said I only had to run for 6 minutes and I ran for 17 minutes.
I asked him why he made me run for so long.

He said, because I keep making fun of him. :(

Tank Feb.jpg

Blue Space

Well-Known Member
That's very good news indeed, Paul!

As long as those hot nurses are checking you out really good (as they should) you should try to observe the golden rule, do unto others... Just don't do it in front of the missis or she may do unto you something which you won't like.... SMACK! :D

Any new ( I should clarify that... tank) inhabitants? Living so close to the sea has it's advantages, you know.

Paul B

Well-Known Member
Today is "Viet Nam War Veterans" Day.
(I made a mistake is was not 50 years ago. I was there 50 years ago it is only I think 48 years ago that the war ended)

National Vietnam War Veterans Day, we recognize the many men and women who served and fought during the difficult conflict, giving them the appreciation they deserve.

It was on March 29, 1973, after nearly two decades of conflict, when the U.S. withdrew military forces from South Vietnam. The Vietnam War was one of the longest wars in U.S. history, spanning several presidents and affecting many generations.

However, those who served in the war haven't always gotten the support they deserve. Some of them, History noted, were even treated with disrespect and hostility when they returned. Some were spat on, heckled, given the middle finger, or threatened. This despite the horrible experiences and "unspeakable horrors" they lived through in Vietnam.

In 2017, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established to finally give those who served the honor they deserve. Since then, the day has been celebrated every March 29.