Self reflection

Not unlike most people, I have opinions about many things. Certainly, my thoughts on cichlids, and fish keeping in general, are many and, usually, consistent. Also, I tend to use considerable discretion with respect to whom I share my opinions. Not unlike opinions about government elections, abortion, gun control, and other hotbed topics, sometimes verbalized (or typed in this case) thoughts can open the doors to colorful discussions.

I don’t necessarily consider my opinions to be deeply entrenched but I do feel strongly about many things. This often leads me to reflect upon my own values and make an attempt to view things through a different lens. I won’t get philosophical here but I will point out that your own views are colored by many things – your parents, your friends, your social circles, your experiences, etc. It’s not as much about being right as it is about understanding what feeds the roots of your thoughts and asking yourself “Are my views generally shared by others and, if not, why not?” This helps with perspective.

Having said all of that, I can’t help but wonder why I continue to see cichlid keepers with fish that are too large for the tank they’re in, sometimes a tank that has little or no substrate, decoration, etc. If the home is temporary, then that’s understood. However, some folks keep fish like this for general viewing and honestly don’t consider it to be problematic. Of course, this issue can be broadened to include many other living creatures whose care we (as humans) are responsible for.

How does this fit with what I wrote at the beginning of this post? I clearly disagree with, and don’t appreciate, folks who keep too many fish, too large a fish, etc. in small tanks. Is my viewpoint out of the norm? Who is to say how many fish is the “right” number for a given sized tank? Who determined that keeping a single, adult Oscar in a 30 gallon tank is irresponsible? I like to think that the majority of thoughtful fish keepers would agree that the Oscar scenario is a bad one.

I saw a video this week, on Facebook, of an individual who had four 6”+ fish in a tank that appeared to be no more than 48” long with a divider on one end holding a female in what looked like about a 12” section. Based on the video, I’m guessing the tank to be a 55g. The purpose of the video post wasn’t to ask for help with something but rather to just point out that the poster is getting a larger tank. However, the tank in the video didn’t have a single decoration, rock, etc. except for the end with the separated female. Nothing other than about 1” of substrate, a submersible heater, and a powerhead. Some folks keep fish in a similar way.

I see fish tank examples described above all too often. In fact, I wrote about it in an earlier post, so it clearly resonates with me in a negative way. What do you think?

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