What happened to this forum over the last 7 years? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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What happened to this forum over the last 7 years?

Hey all.

I'm getting back in the game and am in the process of setting up a new shrimp tank. I've been out of the hobby since maybe 2013 when I bought a new house and was doing a ton of renovations. Now that things calmed down I'm able to get back and start a huge shrimp tank (4 feet by 2 feet x 16 inches high). Will be doing all Bloody Mary shrimp and there are currently 200 on the way in the mail as we speak. Tank has been cycled for some time and I have 30 test Bloody Mary in there which are starting to berry up nicely. Should be pretty good once it's all said and done.

Anyway, I came back to this forum and noticed that the For Sale section has changed drastically. Not much traffic there anymore. All the cool little sellers that used to be around are now gone. Back in the day you'd get someone selling a ton of little useful shrimp accessories or sample packs of food that they've imported from all around the world. One guy in particular that I remember was HAN who basically had everything and anything for sale. It was fun to browse all those listings. It also seems that the shrimp section is slow as well.

I used to spend so much time on this forum, literally hours a day which is why I've noticed a change this time around.

Did people just get out of the hobby or did Amazon put all these little guys out of business? Back in the day Amazon did not carry any shrimp accessories.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 03:14 PM
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Han has a website he sells from now - look up Han Aquatics. The For Sale section being slow has a lot to do with the time of year, being too cold to ship in some areas. It picks up in spring/summer. I agree that the overall volume of sellers has dropped a bit in the last couple years, but I couldn't tell you why.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 05:34 PM
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I do think time of year is a factor, but message boards aren't nearly as popular as they were a decade ago. Between Facebook groups and other social media, hobby forums just don't see the traffic they once did. I used to mod a corn snake forum and it got to the point mods were barely even needed. Add to that all the sellers on Amazon and Ebay and so forth and places like this constantly get a smaller slice of the pie. And a huge component is the popularity (or lack of) of aquariums in 2019. I'm a pet supply store owner and if all the trade magazines I get are accurate, the aquatics section of pet ownership isn't exactly booming in the US. And us planted tank keepers are a small segment of that. And us shrimpers a smaller segment of that smaller segment.

I do believe that these things are somewhat cyclical, but aquariums are overdue a surge in popularity. Pixar just needs to do a shrimp movie!
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-11-2019, 11:51 PM
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Welcome back, @hedge_fund; I recall the name from back in the day. My story's similar to yours: left for a few years after relocating, came back a few months ago with plans for a 48"x24"x17" custom tank. I have the shrimp breeder/feeder tank for it running but the rest of the project is on hold.

I had similar questions about Han, Hoppy, and Msjinkzd, and miss the ease of finding almost anything on the For Sale section. OTOH, I can get cyperus helferi from the local big box and mayaca from the LFS, so all is not lost.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 12:51 AM
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Following this forum and SimplyDiscus.

Selling is hard. Anymore, its quicker and more rewarding to just give stuff away. On Sunday, I took the contents of a 5gallon mini tank I have, 2 peacock gudeons, 1 otto, 1 amano shrimp, some dwarf vals and bulbitus, to an aquatic club meeting and donated it.

That said... I did get help here in the 'Looking For' section... Got some useful information on components and was able to purchase them.

The DIY sections are falling off on both sites. A decade ago you had allot of FishRoom threads. Hardly see those anymore. The hobby is cyclical and it's heading through the trough at the moment. It will rebound... and eventually crest as well again.

Forums are loosing in popularity because they are not as easy to use with a cell phone. I've been in contact with the NextDoor folks about modifying their software for use by private groups and clubs. It's a facebook like interface and could be a good bulletin board forum software alternative. They've written several times with promises to update me.. It's been a year of back and forth emails, so I don't think anyone is actually taking it seriously. I really think nowadays the forum software itself is an obstacle.... it needs to develop to be super easy to use via a cell phone and for posting photos.. It's just how this new generation works.

Facebook has 'forum' addons that can be added to a users Facebook Page (or are they still called walls?). You get the the benefits of facebook like blogging... but then the 'categorization' of a forum addon. I don't know if that's an alternative to attract people or not?

Personally, I prefer forums over facebook/instagram but I know that I am in the strict minority on that.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODwyerPW View Post
F
Personally, I prefer forums over facebook/instagram but I know that I am in the strict minority on that.
You're not alone; I use FB only on the laptop, never on the phone.

Also, you're spot on about the forums' poor performance on mobile: the website is almost unusable on Firefox mobile, especially when the "enhanced mode" is enabled. If I need to check the forums, I'll most often set up a hotspot and drag out the laptop instead of bothering with mobile.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 01:00 AM
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I use Tapatalk probably 60% of the time. They host a majority of my photos and I have found the app to be super user friendly. The only issue with Tapatalk right now was needing to upgrade my membership to upload more than one photo at a time. That is recently new.

Anyone else really like how Tapatalk works with the forum?



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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 01:07 AM
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Test from iCloud Photos:





I took the image url while in full-screen mode, with a shared album with public access. I used img and /img bbcode. The second one is a video, but it seems to show as a photo. I tried the video /video bbcode, but it did not work.

I will keep using Vimeo for video, but now I can just drag and drop my photos in Apple Photos, and I already pay for extra iCloud storage to keep all my stuff mirrored online. I will probably do separate shared albums for each tank for the sake of tank journals. I should have done this a long time ago!

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Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Eheim Skim 350, Neptune Apex EL
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Last edited by Streetwise; 12-12-2019 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 01:51 AM
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Got off Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. That was intolerable. I wont be back.

Forums are a different animal, however, than social media sights like Facebook. With forums you get more than a "because I said so" that is part and parcel to the social-media format. Its all opinion with little time taken to describe the how or why.

I guess for some that is all they need- just the punchline.


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 02:16 AM
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I also quit fb. I ran a BBS starting in 1989 (FidoNet, UseNet, etc.) The short version is that narrow forums are the only places to avoid the noise.

I get to visit here and just be part of a hobby community.
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Style: Organic soil (dirt), sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, biofilm, mulm, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Eheim Skim 350, Neptune Apex EL
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grobbins48 View Post
I use Tapatalk probably 60% of the time. They host a majority of my photos and I have found the app to be super user friendly. The only issue with Tapatalk right now was needing to upgrade my membership to upload more than one photo at a time. That is recently new.

Anyone else really like how Tapatalk works with the forum?


I use Tapatalk quite a bit for this forum as I can dictate what I want to say as opposed to having to type it, dictating is much quicker.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 04:08 AM
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The website slowed when the For Sale forum changed to not being able to bump posts. A lot of the good sellers left. A while back the site was bought out and things have never been as busy. There's still good info but its a shell of what it once was.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 04:36 AM
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I've never seen the allure of Facebook. I joined a couple of fish groups there to check it out and all it does is make my head hurt trying to follow along with whatever the current post is. I use a ipad for all my internet browsing and oddly enough I find the interface to Facebook cumbersome and clunky, not intuitive at all. Let alone not being able to search or find much of anything of value on there. I've really found it to be a complete waste of time. Frustrating and senseless at best.

On the other hand I have and continue to find the forum format such as here at the planted tank to be an invaluable resource and stockpiling of knowledge. I search a ton and often note I may be reading something many years or even a decade old. That to me is where the real benefit of the internet lies and why I don't mind 'wasting' time online. If forums go the away due to Facebook and instagram(haven't even and never will bother learning about that) then I will too.

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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 06:14 AM
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You're not alone; I use FB only on the laptop, never on the phone.

Also, you're spot on about the forums' poor performance on mobile: the website is almost unusable on Firefox mobile, especially when the "enhanced mode" is enabled. If I need to check the forums, I'll most often set up a hotspot and drag out the laptop instead of bothering with mobile.

Ive had good luck with the forum using chrome via my android phone. I do use "block-this" because when I first tried going on the forum there were too many pop ups including video ads that made it unusable at first. After the block this ad on I was able to use the mobile forum properly. I still use the laptop for uploading pics/video and most of my browsing. Just use the laptop when traveling every weekend.

Wanted to ad only used FB once when trying to communicate with the wife, was in port somewhere and couldnt get a cell phone and all the old phone banks had long since been removed. Found one pay phone on base and it was broken. Had a FB account for all of a few hours that evening and then deleted it when I said good night.

Dont do any of the other things like tweets or twits or whatever.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hedge_fund View Post
Hey all.

I'm getting back in the game and am in the process of setting up a new shrimp tank. I've been out of the hobby since maybe 2013 when I bought a new house and was doing a ton of renovations. Now that things calmed down I'm able to get back and start a huge shrimp tank (4 feet by 2 feet x 16 inches high). Will be doing all Bloody Mary shrimp and there are currently 200 on the way in the mail as we speak. Tank has been cycled for some time and I have 30 test Bloody Mary in there which are starting to berry up nicely. Should be pretty good once it's all said and done.

Anyway, I came back to this forum and noticed that the For Sale section has changed drastically. Not much traffic there anymore. All the cool little sellers that used to be around are now gone. Back in the day you'd get someone selling a ton of little useful shrimp accessories or sample packs of food that they've imported from all around the world. One guy in particular that I remember was HAN who basically had everything and anything for sale. It was fun to browse all those listings. It also seems that the shrimp section is slow as well.

I used to spend so much time on this forum, literally hours a day which is why I've noticed a change this time around.

Did people just get out of the hobby or did Amazon put all these little guys out of business? Back in the day Amazon did not carry any shrimp accessories.

In my experience I only have so much time to devote to forums and online presence. I use to spend more time online but got married, had a couple of kids (well wife had the kids), got a 2 hr commute to work....... makes it difficult to spend any amount of time doing much. I generally relegate my time to the forum/community when I have time to do the associated hobby. Right now having a couple of tanks is about all I have time for and even that is difficult.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-12-2019, 10:22 AM
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I use Tapatalk quite a bit for this forum as I can dictate what I want to say as opposed to having to type it, dictating is much quicker.
Never even considered the dictation option. Great idea! Now everyone will think I am completely nuts talking to myself in the other room about aquarium related stuff!



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