Ecology of the planted tank

and as a solid foundation
for a good
which we put to test
in the fire of factual
  Study: theoretical knowledge

Say what you wants, but the basis of every good deed is right or true knowledge. If we do not know what to do or how to do it, we will not be able to do it really well (and even if we do, it will be by chance and not methodically or systematically). What does that mean? If we want to successfully establish and operate an aquarium, we must first know what it involves and how to do it. And this won't do without solid theoretical foundations. The problem is that many people want to achieve some results effortlessly, without the investment into a proper education. There are plenty of misconceptions, poor and speculative knowledge all around. But the one who builds on them must not be surprised if his construction does not stand in real life. Hardly any tree will bear good fruit when it does not grow on good and fertile soil.

  Research: controlled experiments

True and reliable knowledge does not fall from the sky, but is usually gained by a thorny and strenuous way. In science, this way is called scientific research – controlled experiments – which is based on empirical (i.e. experimentally verifiable) observation. Important for each experiment is to establish a clear goal (what we want to find out) and appropriate methods (how it be found out). A number of aquarists want to find something, but use totally unsuitable methods for it, by which they never get to any reliable conclusions. That is why aquarium hobby is so cluttered with various speculations. Solid (experimentally verified) knowledge is as scarce as hen's teeth. But only a tiny handful of hobbyists have the time, skills, and equipment to deal with this difficult task.

  Practice: practical conclusions

In preparation ...

It is then possible to draw valuable conclusions from the theoretical studies and controlled experiments for common aquarium practice. While it is true that many aquarists can establish and operate beautiful aquariums, the question is to what extent it is a matter of lucky coincidence (appropriate circumstances) and to what extent it is the result of solid knowledge and experience that can be repeated on demand at any time and anywhere. Perhaps the greatest enemy of acquiring the right aquaristic skills is the lack of logical reasoning and critical thinking. Many aquarists often assert their own views without admitting the possibility that they may be mistaken (= a vice called „confirmation bias“).

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Marcel Goliaš © 2019