Originally Posted by somewhatshocked
But for real - people need to read more tank journals. Even if they're tanks that aren't your preferred style. Such a great way to experience different aspects of the hobby so you don't have to spend your own money. I've finally made it all the way to the beginning and it only took a decade.
I rarely see tank journals, except those of the most prolific posters, listed in the Recent Discussions tab on the website, so they're hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for. I know often when I post something in my journal it doesn't show up there, and very few people seem to read or comment on it. And I see the same for other journals--people can post for months and nobody ever comments. If I ask a question or for advice in a tank journal post, I rarely get a response. So I have to start a new thread just for that question to get any answers. Maybe after 9 mos on here I still don't know how this forum works?
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef
Amen to that. And if I could add something, "likes" are free. Please hit that like button on new poster's tank journals. Even if it's a low tech 10 gallon with dying hairgrass, it's validation. I feel like that can make all the difference in whether they come back. And who knows, maybe even influence whether they stay in the hobby.
It's this kind attitude that seems to get lost sometimes. This forum with its amazing pics of beautiful show tanks chock full of difficult plants, talk of reconstituting RO/DI water, PAR values, CO2, "rolling your own ferts" with obscure micronutrients most newbies have never heard of, etc can be very intimidating to a newbie trying to start a low tech tank with some so-called easy plants and trying to keep the ludwigia from their LFS or Petco alive, and maybe even red.
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--when they may have read about Walstad tanks where you leave the mulm in as fertilizer and don't do frequent WC. Not saying this happens all the time, but I've seen it multiple times--and when it does all too often the OP gives up and is never heard from again.
The most telling example of this was a few months back when an eager 13 y/o kid joined the form and started reading everything, asking lots of pretty smart questions, etc. Then when some other newbie posted an innocent question, he modeled the behavior he'd seen on here and jumped all over them saying they needed to hold on, why hadn't they posted all their water values, where were their test results, were they running CO2, what kind of lights & PAR values, etc. A pretty good (and kinda sad) example of someone modeling the behaviors & attitudes of the so-called adults in the room. Always interesting to see ourselves reflected in the young we're supposed to be mentoring.
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....