How do you measure success? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do you measure success?

I just recently started a larger (to me) planted tank. Looking from the tiny tank that's been planted for a while (a couple years) and the new tank, got me thinking. How do you measure "success"?

Depending on the plant, keeping it a few weeks to a few months could be considered "success". I'm thinking of some of the non-aquatics sold as aquatic plants. Or having a plant grow to the size of Aubrey II could be considered "success".

Same for fish or inverts in the tank. How long do you have fish before you say you've had success with a certain type or mix of fish/inverts?

Example: I've had cherry shrimp in the tiny tank for 6-18 months but they've never bred for me. Usually the longest lived one is solo for a loooong time before I'll restock. Right now there is 1 long timer, and 4 new juveniles. If the newbies grow up I'll call it successful, since I've never had them breed.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 02:03 PM
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There are probably many answers to your question. Unlike many other activities, there just are no numbers or score to measure success.
One might say that if you have plants that grow and thrive, you have success. If you have fish that grow, thrive, and breed, you have success. If you have a tank that looks good, you have success. If you have a tank that visitors compliment you for, you have success. If you enjoy the hobby, you have success.
But like most things, you get out what you put in. Those that setup a tank and think only of low maintenance and nearly refuse to do tank/filter maintenance and water changes, probably won't have success...and their tank will likely be in the garage, basement, or Craig's list sometime soon!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 02:43 PM
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Younger folks are much more prone to searching for "success" based on some level of achievement. That often leaves them to feel they are not a success!
So I propose changing the way we look at "success"? While we don't want to let down so far that we wind up as street people, we should allow much more freedom to enjoy when we deal with hobbies. Do you only enter a race when you know you can win or do you do it for the fun? Would anybody play golf, tennis or bowl, only if they knew they would win? I often go fishing and don't expect to catch anything worth bringing home to clean!! I hate cleaning fish...
So my tanks are considered fully successful when I simply enjoy them. That should be the bigger question, perhaps. What does it take for you to enjoy the tank?
I enjoy and call a meal a total success if I have enjoyed eating it. I enjoy eating a hot dog off the grill just as much as a super meal done by a chef. My tanks are the same. As long as I enjoy them, it doesn't matter if they are great by somebody else's standard.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 03:07 PM
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oh this is a very deep question...how does one measure success in life? what is success after all? is it what society says what our culture deems "right" our our religions state our parents, school teachers wife/husband/family or what ppl say on the forum?

to me success is not any of that, its a inner feeling/experience one that brings a deep satisfaction, peace and joyful happiness. success much like happiness IS NOT something outside of our self. after all in the end its the inner feeling we are after right? of course we want things in the outer world to be a certain way but if we are really honest with our self here it's the feeling we are after... so can one feel successful( or what ever feeling, thought,emotion) and from outside standards not at all be? yes of course and on the other side of things can one be successful from the outside standards of the world but still not feel it with in? yes very much so and unfortunately that happens alot. just take a look around you and at the world you will see tons of this..

so maybe the question is how do I feel about my tanks? do they brings me joy? is it a fun experience to learn something new and grow and evolve my understanding of the science of planted aquariums? do i like finding the problem then fixing it? do I find my tanks relaxing?

in the end when we look back on life we see the biggest successes came from the biggest failures...
so how do we measure success? if the failures of the world only lead us to a bigger better and brighter future then is it really a failure or just a steeping stone to success? if we "fail" and keeping a plant alive but only to learn so much as to become an expert on that plant and help others grow it than is that 1st try a failure?

so what does success and failure mean to you? are they really your measuring "stick" or others?
are you willing to learn grow and evolve and have fun? than that right there, in my option is success...

well I am sure you where not looking for a deep discussion...haha the healer/therapist in me come out some times.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 04:22 PM
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 04:32 PM
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Want to see my large sword????? lol

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 05:10 PM
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success = balanced tank that can sustain itself with little maintenance from me.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 07:17 PM
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Success:

It is a hobby, so if you enjoy it, are not afraid to allow others to view it, and don't kill everything you put in it, all is good!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 11:47 AM
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Itís all personal opinion. With that said, Iím sure most will agree that: if it doesnít feel like a job, your parameters are stable, your livestock grows, and all that you need to do most of the time is routine maintenance, you are having success.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 01:40 PM
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I just tore a 3 year old tank (almost down). No smell what so ever! I pulled all the plants and livestock. It was so nice, I left it running with water, substrate and, a few snails and shrimp. I was going to tear it all the way down, but it's cleaner than I thought.
Years ago, I torn down both FW and SW that were horrible. When you pull a rock or plant the worst smell or goo comes out. They were otherwise seemingly healthy tanks.
So success=3yr old tank continuous tank in good shape.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 02:42 PM
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We wonder if we have success when our goals and objectives are not defined. What is worse you never know when you actually reached success when they are not defined, this leads to frustration and dabling into things without finishing anything.

Make your objectives clear, quantifiable and attainable and you are a step closer to success.

Examples of aims: make an aquascape I and guest enjoy. Make an aquascape for IAPLC. Grow plant X without problems. Make plant X flower. Breed CRS. Make 10000 from selling fish. Become a brand name in aquariums in USA. Etc.

Asking yourself why am I doing this? Why am I buying this fish/plant? Will help you stay focused and work towards success.

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