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This website is dedicated to Ol'Conrad.  He passed away shortly after Christmas, 2013.  He had made stupendous contributions to our hobby through his dedicated and careful breeding of aquatic animals.  He was a good friend and best buddy of Pete's and will not only be missed greatly by Pete, the hobby will forever have lost a valuable friend and asset. But his progeny will live on forever in his memory.

with nothing but a few air pumps, some sponge filters, some cheap dechlorinator, a siphon hose, and some good quality fish food to feed their animals. Oh, and a few lights that they can make cheaply that actually will grow some plants if they want to grow some.  PETE"

I received the above paragraph in an email from Pete this morning. You may be asking yourself how this statement by Ol'Lotsoffish has anything to do with the title of this page. It is simple. Here, I will try to briefly explain that a person does not need to spend their kid's college money on the tropical fish hobby.

The Truth in Spending is that folks do not need to buy every chemical thrown in their faces by marketing companies for the tropical fish hobbyist. The ads that ask if you are tired of water exchanges is the one that seems to collect suckers the most. And I am not talking about catfish. Dump in chemicals for clean, clear water?? Yeah right! 

  That is like the stack of stones often associated with Zen. 

Keep dumping in chemicals or piling up stones and, eventually all will come crashing down. This stack of stones is open for interpretation and what I see is chaos created by attempting the impossible.

Such is the same with aquarium water. First, why spend hundreds of dollars for lazy, dump into the tank chemicals when less monetary investment can be better spent for a one time purchase of a Python hose sold on the internet or in most fish store, will make water exchanges a joy of fish keeping. AND believe me, the life in your tanks will come to life, showing more activity, good appetites and color than you thought possible. A minimum of at least 80% water exchange every 2 - 3 weeks will be worth the small effort it takes to do water exchanges when you use The Python, or http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=22634. The only chemical you will need to buy will be dechlorinator that is needed only if your water comes from a city water supply where water has chlorine and the like, added for public health safety. 

You also, do not need to buy the latest and best filtration for your tanks. Sponge Filters, as sold by http://www.kensfish.com/ will have the sizes you need for your tanks. These are run by air hoses and pumps, also found at Kens, and of course other places. I have talked on other pages here, about the "cheap" actually economical way to have your hobby and to be able to buy more tanks, and more livestock for them. Including lighting in the plants page, I have discussed foods, in Breeding Egglayers, and water exchanges v. chemicals in Q&A page. BUT Pete is still getting tons of repeat questions about all that I am now talking about. suggestion --- read here --- absorb -- and do. The time you spend worrying about what to do with all those money sucking chemicals can be better spent enjoying your hobby the right way - not the expensive way.

Final Question for you - Which would you prefer - brushing your teeth with, drinking, swimming in, or absorbing into your skin during a bath/shower, clean, fresh water or pee/feces laden water that has been chemically treated? 

" This is such a simple yet rewarding hobby. Most folks (including me) can run a whole fish room