Ok.......i read these threads daily and i have to put my two cents in. And i know that people are going to fire back that im wrong and blah blah blah. Well, Ive been in the hobby for 22yrs.......and i successfully breed angels and other fw fish and sell them to many lfs.....so that being said heres my take on water:
1. When you set up a new tank you MUST monitor your parameter and SLOWLY add fish.
2. Once your tank has been established and consistently running for 4-6 months......put your test kit way......you dont need to check it all the time if your not doing anything drastic to your tank.
3. Buy good equipment....doesnt have to be the top of the line! research filters, heaters, and lights, and buy what you can afford.
4. If your buying from a lfs the fish are more than likely bred and raised in conditioned tap water, relax quit worrying about your water.
5. Do twice weekly water changes....15-30% depending on your stocking and bioload. if your load is low and you have healthy plants you might be able to do once a week!
6. If you read forums, and your new.......dont take everything posted as the word of the fish gods......this hobby is suposed to be fun.....learn as you go,find out what works for you.
7. Your going to loose fish, and get diseases.....it happens, even to people with quarantine tanks(which if you are running multiple tanks and bringing in new fish regularly, I STRONGLY recommend!!)
8. Regardless of what people say equipment is a matter of personal preference and comfort. Some people think your an idiot if you dont run canister filters.......I have never run canister filters in 22 years, strictly sponge filters and good HOB's or a combination of both
9. Feed quality food!!!!
10. Enjoy your hobby......dont make it a job....well, unless it is your job!
OK.......now ill be here to answer when people start firing off that Im a moron and dont know what im talking about. Have at it people