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Old 02-14-2020, 03:36 PM
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I'd be up for joining a "plant squad," if there were interest and need. That might make the difference in some new people staying which is the ultimate goal. Sometimes I see posts go unanswered that are a little specific like "Has anyone ever kept an African ropefish with giant danios" or so forth that at best I could only make an educated guess on. But it would be better than no answer, I suppose.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:56 PM
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I'd be up for joining a "plant squad," if there were interest and need. That might make the difference in some new people staying which is the ultimate goal. Sometimes I see posts go unanswered that are a little specific like "Has anyone ever kept an African ropefish with giant danios" or so forth that at best I could only make an educated guess on. But it would be better than no answer, I suppose.
When I come on, I usually go back over the last several pages, just to see if anyone is being left behind. Then, I post on it, and that usually brings the thread to life. If we all did that, routinely, we might fill any gaps. I do ignore some if I don't feel competent in that particular area, but other experienced members in that discipline would be able to handle it. It just takes a few minutes.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:37 PM
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When I come on, I usually go back over the last several pages, just to see if anyone is being left behind. Then, I post on it, and that usually brings the thread to life. If we all did that, routinely, we might fill any gaps. I do ignore some if I don't feel competent in that particular area, but other experienced members in that discipline would be able to handle it. It just takes a few minutes.
I like the idea of making more of an effort to do this. I have seem some threads that just sit there and die, and I'll admit I don't engage.

I'll ask questions, and in a respectful (I hope) way try to get more details to help answer. Sometime it would be good if people used search more often to look at what has been covered. You can always still start revive a thread if more questions are there.

As to journals, I personally love them! It is where I spend most of my time. More often I look at high tech tanks similar to mine or ones I aspire to be like. It is cool to live vicariously though some types I personally do not keep too though! My personal journal is enjoyable for me to document and interact with others, and hopefully help a few on the way!

Overall I think this is a pretty solid forum, with a strong sense of community, though there is always room to improve- and I'll keep that in mind as I look at other threads.



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Old 02-14-2020, 10:14 PM
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:creeps out of the shadows

I joined the forum years ago but fell out of the hobby. In the past year or two i've been back lurking. What got me excited about having my own tank and really get into the hobby were the visuals/photos.

Spend any time online and it's easy to realize talk is cheap.

Getting to that prize at the end, the beautiful and healthy tank, is a slow process that requires lots of reading and research. The pics will help draw you in but all the amazing info and user experience is what keeps you coming back. Once the pretty pictures got me hooked I dug in and started reading, and wishing I paid more attention in chemistry class ha! So much intense info and filtering that into what you need can be daunting to a newb. Luckily people here were kind enough to help out and I had a tank i was happy with. 10+ years later and this was the first place I came when I was ready to get my arms wet again. All this talk about tank journals has me wanting to start one for my 20g long i've got some issues with.

Not everyone is going to agree on everything and that's OK. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Doesn't mean you have to be a turd about it though

Thanks to the mods and people who keep this place going behind the scenes. I'm sure its a fairly thankless job, but a lot of people do appreciate it!

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Old 02-14-2020, 10:25 PM
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Overall I think this is a pretty solid forum, with a strong sense of community, though there is always room to improve- and I'll keep that in mind as I look at other threads.
I completely agree.

When you have some clashes like in this thread, it's easy to lose sight of.

The vast majority here are polite, encouraging, and in general a pleasure to interact with.

And there really is a shared sense of community here. Folks are generous with their time and experience, and most all are truly trying to help others and advance the hobby. I know personally I love seeing updates on the tanks here, and am happy for those who are advancing and growing in the hobby.

And I will say this. I finally joined some FB groups a while back. And while I like participating in them, honestly it's a terrible place to for someone to learn about the hobby. Let's just say there's a lot of dubious advice being throw around by folks who shouldn't be providing advice.

A planted tank can't be summed up in little snippets. It's a much more detailed and nuanced discussion than can be had on FB. When someone reaches out to me there, I always send them here.

If someone really wants to grow in the hobby, there is no better place than a forum like this. So personally I am grateful that we have this platform, and I hope even those who disagree from time to time will continue to support it.


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Last edited by Greggz; 02-15-2020 at 12:50 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:02 PM
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Hopefully everyone will take this sentence to heart.

I might also add... not agreeing on everything is one of the best parts of the hobby. Otherwise, everything would be homogenous and boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by typically View Post
Not everyone is going to agree on everything and that's OK.


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Old 02-15-2020, 01:52 AM
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I have always said there many paths to the goal. Everyone has different levels of experience in different aspects of the hobby. Everyone may not have experienced a problem or may have come to a different solution based o. Their pervious experience.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:58 PM
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Neglected to address this particular bit the other day...

They may be newcomers and may not fully understand what's being asked of them but it's also part of daily life at this point - especially for younger people - to fire up their googler if they don't understand something or are confused about a term or phrase. Which is likely how they discovered the forum. Most people have the internet at their fingertips 24/7. It's also been a while since I've seen a situation where there isn't some level of explanation about what's being asked of them. It's just a given today and it wasn't a mere 7-8 years ago. edit: This doesn't mean I like it but that's where we are as a society.

With any hobby or forum, there's going to be a certain amount of expectation that people don't need hand holding (edit: hand holding, i.e., doing it for you instead of you learning to do it yourself, telling you exactly what to do instead of empowering you with the necessary resources that not only show you how to do something but also give you the tools you need to learn in the process), that they've read some of the stickied beginner posts, that they're going to be capable of figuring out some basic parameters like hardness, ammonia, nitrate if they're trying to keep aquatic plants. If they don't know how to and they want to remain in the hobby for more than a couple days, they learn and they stick around. Really becomes a beginner requirement when sensitive livestock like dwarf shrimp are added to the mix and it's a disservice not to immediately get people familiarized with that sort of information. Otherwise, well-intentioned people really are likely to kill their critters with something as simple as a water change. Most are going to assume that hand holding isn't too necessary when there's a sense of urgency. (And because newcomers become quickly empowered as they learn.)

I'd argue it's a good thing to encourage people to learn the basics of planted tanking. Generally, when someone asks for parameter information, they're asking if the poster knows what those parameters are. More often than not, I see members explaining why those parameters are important and how to test for them. If someone is being a straight-up ass about it, though, the report function is your friend. Please use it.

Ego can certainly drive people away but it's also important to differentiate between ego and hobby basics. People who come here overwhelmingly already know they want to keep aquatic plants and possibly the critters that most often accompany them. They don't tend to be the goldfish and neon gravel type. Many already have decent test kits and are - for newcomers - advanced enough to know about fancy clay-based substrates from companies like ADA.

It's one thing to demand someone post photos and another to ask if someone has photos of their tank to help illustrate problems they're experiencing and are struggling to explain with language. It's one thing to inform a newcomer that they should up their water change frequency to limit nutrient problems/remove waste and another to blatantly tell someone their tank is dirty because they're lazy.

Think it's also important to remember that this hobby is one that many treat as a fad. They get a tank, think it'll be a cakewalk like the lady at Petco said it would be, find out it's not, get rid of the tank/disappear from the forum. That's probably 99% of hobbyists. Temporary, fleeting, tourists. Us weirdos keeping plants in boxes of water are a super-tiny percentage. We remain but everyone else is extremely likely to vanish in less than a month.

Edit: If anyone thinks the take-away from this thread is that you'd better have photos or shut up, they aren't putting in any effort to actually read what people here have said. They're not even skimming - they're just spouting off without having put in a modicum of effort because they need to complain about something. *Most* of this discussion has been productive and honest. People have, for the most part, shared their opinions respectfully.

No one thinks they're an expert because none of us are. But many of us do happen to have decades of useful experience that we share with others and document in our tank journals. Anyone getting upset because someone has experience needs to look in a mirror, do some soul searching and take a deep breath. Who on earth thinks experience and knowledge makes someone snooty? It makes them useful if you dare to scratch the surface.

It's up to the reader to discern the difference between opinion and fact, well-established practices, accepted science, that sort of thing. It's not difficult. Just as it's not difficult to search for a term or phrase on a search engine.

Some of y'all really do need to calm down and stop taking life so seriously. Everything else in the world may be going up in flames but you don't have to take your frustrations out on others or those participating. Stop assuming you can determine tone-of-voice from written text and most certainly stop assuming someone is being a jerk when they share their knowledge. The people here are overwhelmingly helpful and go out of their way to learn. A few buck the trend but... emphasis on "few". If you want proof? Read the dang forum. Put in the effort and read. Don't just look at the pretty pictures. You'll see hundreds of helpful people each and every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
I've seen newbie posts posing a naive question which people jump on with a long list of requirements: we can't help you because you didn't post a pic, you didn't provide a long list of all your parameters (some of which they may have never heard of), or if they do post a pic are told their tank is dirty and/or not doing enough water changes--implying that they're killing their plants out of laziness...

...

I guess what I'm hoping for from this discussion is we as a forum community can defuse ego battles before they become toxic and drive people away. And how to be encouraging to newbies, instead of just expecting them to jump into the deep water and learn to swim with the big fish and not get eaten alive....


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Last edited by somewhatshocked; 02-15-2020 at 06:54 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:15 PM
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First:
"Experts" are only experts at their own experience. Not yours.
There are plenty of PhDs and Engineers on here with decades of expertise in laboratory settings.
But your basement, your water, and your setup is not a laboratory setting.
Don't preach to new people like you've got all the answers.

Second:
Should you spoon feed new people along? absolutely.
Is it at times frustrating to do so? absolutely.
Are there people that don't know how to Google? absolutely.

But remember our goal here: get enough people addicted to collecting rare plants so prices go down for all of us.
Never loose sight of the power of crowd-sourcing your crypt addiction.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:00 PM
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I second the above notion and I’d like to move forward on it in a little different direction. I don’t think of any of you for the most part being absolutely correct. I take your opinions. And some of you more experienced member I weigh your opinions far heavier. But that’s all this is for me, people sharing opinions. Take all the ideas from this site think about them and do what makes sense to you.

Skimming through this thread throughout the last day or so has made me as a newer member feel a bit alienated as there’s an emphasis on if you say something it had better be correct and you should have pictures to justify what you said.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stevewb View Post

Skimming through this thread throughout the last day or so has made me as a newer member feel a bit alienated as thereís an emphasis on if you say something it had better be correct and you should have pictures to justify what you said.

I would never say that you better be right. Or you need a picture.

Many times when someone posts a question. I will ask for more info as all you have is the written word to go by to try and answer a question. Trying to answer a question without being able to see the whole aquarium in person. Is hard to do. The more info you can give the better the answer you will get.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:36 PM
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Something we should probably all keep in mind but rarely discuss: language barriers.

We all have opinions and something to offer but we're often less than okay at trying to help people who don't live with English as their mother tongue or even as a secondary language.

Some people (hi, it me) get frustrated after a while and occasionally give up but it'd be better if we put in the effort to try to work around those barriers when possible.

We now have members from regions of the world that didn't have much in terms of internet connectivity a decade ago and those numbers increase regularly.


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Old 02-15-2020, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Neglected to address this particular bit the other day...

"Us weirdos keeping plants in boxes of water are a super-tiny percentage. We remain but everyone else is extremely likely to vanish in less than a month."
LOL, I knew I would fit in somewhere. Guess that's why I am still here
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbr1rodeoclown View Post
First:
"Experts" are only experts at their own experience. Not yours.
There are plenty of PhDs and Engineers on here with decades of expertise in laboratory settings.
But your basement, your water, and your setup is not a laboratory setting.
Don't preach to new people like you've got all the answers.

Second:
Should you spoon feed new people along? absolutely.
Is it at times frustrating to do so? absolutely.
Are there people that don't know how to Google? absolutely.

But remember our goal here: get enough people addicted to collecting rare plants so prices go down for all of us.
Never loose sight of the power of crowd-sourcing your crypt addiction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewb View Post
I second the above notion and Iíd like to move forward on it in a little different direction. I donít think of any of you for the most part being absolutely correct. I take your opinions. And some of you more experienced member I weigh your opinions far heavier. But thatís all this is for me, people sharing opinions. Take all the ideas from this site think about them and do what makes sense to you.

Skimming through this thread throughout the last day or so has made me as a newer member feel a bit alienated as thereís an emphasis on if you say something it had better be correct and you should have pictures to justify what you said.
I hear what you're both saying, I definitely take most things with a grain of salt. It seems like we should be able to agree on some shared facts though, or at least some concept of "best practice." I worry that thinking "at the end of the day, it's all just opinions" undermines discourse and keeps the hobby from progressing.

I work in veterinary medicine. There's a ton of variation, and a ton of ways to approach different problems. But we have an agreed-upon set of "best practices" that we need to be aware of. It helps us do better in practice and elevates the whole profession. There's a healthy debate among experts about what constitutes "best practice." It isn't Gospel Truth, and it's subject to change as new information becomes available, but it represents the best we can do - a gold standard to aim for.

I'm not saying we need (or could ever actually have) a board of experts to codify the best way to keep an aquarium. I do think we should debate the merits of ideas and be prepared to emphatically dismiss some and elevate others, with the goal of nudging the hobby towards better practices. Shouting personal opinions into the void, take it or leave it, doesn't count as discourse.

Everything flows.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:25 AM
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I have to admit I came into this forum with a bit of an ego.

I've been aquarium-ing with some plants since 1970's as a teen. and then I put fish tanks away for when I got a career and married.

I quite accidentally stumbled onto the Booth's Almost Optimum Aquarium planted tank "How we did it" articles in AFM. The hook was set, their Rainbow fish 100 gallon and the Super Show Tank 90 gallon Discus tank with the Dupla heating cables started my own path.

I came into this forum with a fairly big Booth/Dupla chip on my shoulder, despite that I never paid Dupla a cent.

I succeeded by D.I.Y. cheap.

The carefully controlled Dupla system was replaced by a 25' roll of silicone airline wrapped around my 125 watt Mercury Vapor pendant lamp ballast, and the heated water was slowly pumped into a 4 pass airline grid buried in the 3" gravel of my 32 gallon tank. I had laterite, I DIY injected 24/7 with tiny DIY CO2 bottles, yet I had a huge, fast growing forests of R. Rotundifolia and H. Polysperma and my mosses and Java ferns also grew like gangbusters.

The Greater Eugene Aquarium Society didn't know what to think of me when I started showing up with half gallon baggies of stem cuttings for the monthly auction.

But I didn't really know then what I know now, and I suspect that 10~30 years from now I'll look back and think I was lucky/dumb again.

This forum has been a very good to me despite my initial attitude. I'm still not a Barr acolyte, and yet I think there's something to be said about a substrate driven, high tech tank.


I think it just needs to have a more scientific study. but I'm not the one to do it, I've not the patience nor the impartiality.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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