I have always enjoyed the sight and sounds of an aquarium, I have also had a tank and fish for many years now. One of the many things I have found in my search for understanding the underwater world is that all tanks need to have a lot of care and chemicals. Every store you go into has entire walls filled with chemicals to put in your tank to increase X and decrease Y while maintaining Z. It always struck me as odd that a marine museum needs so much help. I can create entire ecosystems in a terrarium yet my fish needs barrels of chemicals.
The trick I found is to have a balance, as long as you understand the ecosystem you are trying to create and balance it properly, then you reduce your dependency on chemicals, which I think should be the goal of any aquarist and if we can get it to the point of no chemicals even better. The reason for this is not based on laziness or lack of willingness to put work into something people would enjoy; no it is more about the fish. These creatures are sensitive to environmental changes, even on the smallest scale. Keeping the environment in the tank intact with as little change as possible will be healthier for the fish, which will lead to happier fish. Happier fish explore more and are more exciting to have around then fish that are stressed and hide a lot. There is no point in having a tank with fish you never get to see.
In order to create a balance for the tank you need to understand different parts of the tank, the different cycles that will affect the environment. This means understanding some science, such as biology, chemistry, and a little physics. This does not mean you have to be a science major to figure out what is going on, and this blog will be a spot for the average person to come and find out whatever information you want about Der Ocean auf dem Tische, The Ocean on the Table.
This is not to say this will be a long diatribe about what you can and cannot do with a fish house. There will not be strict rules that if you do not follow then you are a horrible person forever banned to the places that cannot be named. Rather I want this to be a guide that allows you to understand the ups and downs and in and outs of the aquatic world in glass. The other thing that you will not find here is a list of expensive things you need to have to make everything work, at best you will find suggestions of things that have worked for me in the past, but mostly it will be a simple guide. A guide to show you with a little time and care anybody can make a beautiful underwater tapestry that even Cousteau would want to sit and watch.