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Hidr

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All these discussion about water changes and such got me to rereading and redoing research. I still believe this website has the most correct info on care, water requirements and so forth.

But how does a new person figure out what is good info and what is just plan out lies people have on the internet just cause they can and they think it is funny to give people wrong info? Or they really just don't know any better.

With all the bad info out there I was just wondering how you would advice the people that are reading other sites/boards.

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Oh I know, some of the stuff I've come across not only online but also in some pocket guides and older books is insane! It's really hard. My brother in law keeps fish and often does things wrong, telling me "well that's what it said on the Internet"

I just try to explain the right way to do things scienfically and usually he sees the light :(

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I generally just think about it and if needed question them. Does it make sense? Not just what they say, but based on everything else I know about aquariums but also from everything I have learned in school (last semester as a Biology major), does it REALLY make sense? If it doesn't I ask about it. I ask where they got that information from. I ask what else they have tried. I ask for information to support their claims. People may think it is disrespectful or argumentative, but it is asking for more information. More information never hurt anyone and spreading information is the whole point of any forum. The best improvements I have ever made were made because I questioned someone about what they had said.

One of the most significant examples of this was when I increased my water change schedule. I had always been under the impression that 25% water changes were really good, and that 50% was what you did in an emergency as a last resort if the water was REALLY bad. But someone on another forum said otherwise. So I questioned him about it, a lot. By the end of it he explained how the bacteria aren't in the water, how the parameters aren't an issue unless you let more time go between water changes. The chemistry in the tank can slowly shift over time, the pH shifts (usually down), etc.. If you do water changes frequently enough this doesn't happen, so the tank still matches the tap. This means you can go larger the more often you do them. If you wait two months between water changes the tank may have shifted from the tap. Thin means you need to do a smaller water change or else the parameter shock can cause problems. So I tried it out and sure enough the results matched what he had explained perfectly.

If it makes sense, they have good reason to support it, then I may give it a shot. If the results match up with the theory and it is an improvement, I keep doing it.

That is why I question things on here, and every forum I go to, sometimes. If it doesn't match up with what I already know and have heard from other sources, I ask about it. I want to learn more, but I also need to know the reasoning. Simply changing your methods because 'someone more advanced does it this way and since you aren't more advanced than them you need to know your place and and not question them' doesn't work. That would lead you to change every aspect of your care every time you got online, as well as being told that whoever you talked to last was an idiot and whoever you are talking to now is 'really better'.

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Well see I am not a biology major and most people I know are not. So you could throw a bunch of science at me as to why I should never change water (yes some people still do that) but that wont make me believe you.

So getting fancy answers does not make them right.

So how does someone that can't see threw those fancy long drawn out reasons make choices? So far it is been trial and error for me. I learned the hard way over stocking does not work and that you can't mix tropical fish with goldfish.

I would very much like to stop others for learning that way but how well they really know I am right as apposed to someone that can write a technical response that is all wrong?

I guess there is no real answer. Just something I have been thinking about the last few days with all the talk about water changes and such.

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I think the best advice for people is something that can be said about a lot more than just fish care...."be very weary of Internet information/advice". Sure some of it is great, but you have to remember that literally anyone can post. They may come off as an expert, but could be just another novice. I guess one of the best methods would be to do a big search for the answer to your question and try to compare the quality of the answers and do a little digging into the one you think is the best. It is a hard situation though. Not to mention that many lfs workers also dispense little gems like..."5 goldfish in a 5 gallon is perfect" :(

I had a friend work at an lfs (the sister of the above mentioned brother in law actually) who really loves animals and cares about them, yet she looked at me like I was stupid when I tried to advise her on fish care :(

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That's a really good question, how do you know who to trust?

I think trust comes with time, and good results. A lot of us came to this forum because we tried bad fishkeeping methods, told to us by our LFS, or a bad book or something and got into trouble. We came here and got good answers, helped our fish, and now we stay. We got good results here, which is the most important thing.

I trust the people here without having to question every answer they give me because I can read about people's experiences with things like water changes, and see pictures of how their fish are doing. I can see who has raised healthy fish, how long they have had them, etc, whether they give me a lot of fancy words or not. I suppose we could all be telling a pack of lies, but I am most inclined to trust the people here who take the time to help and share, and even discuss something new, in a civilized manner.

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It does take an understanding to be able to figure it out on your own, maybe not a college degree or anything, but just keep educating yourself about the hobby.

What experience did you have with mixing goldfish and tropicals? What type of goldfish? What type of tropical fish? What went wrong? (tank size, how long were they together, etc.)

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Ahh fishguy not opening that can of worms on this thread. We all here know that it should not be done and why. And I don't want to hijack my own thread.

Cometgirl I agree 100 percent I feel comfortable with the info I get here but I have been here a very long time. What about the new people that have not been here very long and since we don't say what they want to hear they move on. Is there anything we can do to help prove our goldfish keeping methods here better?

I even had a guy a couple years ago try to convince me goldfish need 30 gallons each. He gave all the same reasons we give for 10 gallons each that we give.

Just an example of some of the info I have been given by people on the internet. (no Link this was on a yahoo email group I joined once) This guy kept on and on and on even when I stopped replying there were like 5 more post about why my goldfish were not being taken good care of.

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In a case like that I think 30 gallons per fish is better, I think anyone would agree. The debate is over whether less than 30 gallons per fish is harmful in any way. Other factors need to be taken into account (I talked about them in the article I posted about 'stocking an aquarium and water changes'). Some people do sometimes get too focused on factor and ignore other factors' impact on the same subject. Stocking is one of those cases.

Fortunately in many cases where there is no very apparent right and wrong, they are both right and whether one is really better than the other may not be something we can determine. I think that has come up recently with the water changes. People are very successful with 100% water changes and others are very successful with an aggressive water change schedule that does not include 100% water changes. Does that mean one is WRONG and the other is RIGHT, no. It means that apparently both are so good that either method can work amazingly well and that which one may be better is dependent on the tank and fishkeeper. Some people can't do 100% water changes so an otherwise very aggressive water change is better for them. Some people can do 100% water and maybe can't get a water change done every week, so a schedule that includes 100% is better for them.

Some people can't or don't want to have a water change schedule that will allow for one goldfish per 10 gallons, so for them one per 30 is a better guide. Others maintain such an aggressive water change schedule that they can maintain goldfish just as successfully with one per 10.

I think one factor though is how people on here can come across to newcomers who are doing things differently. This is a very advanced forum for goldfish and I think the tone taken to newcomers sometimes can be discouraging for them. If they have been doing things relatively successful for a while based on information from other forums and then we tell them it is completely wrong (and are very strong about it) it can just scare them away. This is one reason why I try to write out articles that completely explain something and use a lot of information and support to help illustrate the topic better. That way I can send them to that article and let them read about it, then we can discuss things more.

A person recently was posting about their 15 gallon with two goldfish. I think most people were pretty harsh on them and simply kept telling them how wrong it was. Well, the goldfish are not full grown (which is the size most stocking guides are based on), and the nitrate concentration was very low, showing that (at least for now) water quality was being maintained. I think in cases like that we need to explain things rather than just state them persistently.

People who come here who are RELATIVELY successful already may find us to be 'crazy goldfish people' when we tell them what they are doing is so wrong and they need to do X, Y, and Z in order to properly maintain goldfish. I think it would be better to ask about things and try to slowly explain things, rather than just state they are wrong and need to improve.

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That is the problem with the research I discovered. As I was reading post I noticed that a lot of people only heard what they wanted to hear in the long drawn out post.

The shorter to the point post were less likely to be misunderstood.

Example

Well, the goldfish are not full grown (which is the size most stocking guides are based on), and the nitrate concentration was very low, showing that (at least for now) water quality was being maintained.

What your average person heard was. Sure you can do that, just do extra water changes. And then 6 months down the road the fish die and the try it again cause they are doing what one person said they could do. And they knew what they were talking about cause of the long fancy words and post.

So a short more to the point answers well be heard and not misunderstood better. IMO

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I think many people want to be told 'yes that's great'. So if you tell them no, they ignore it. If you give them reasons why, they ignore it. In my experience people have been very happy to read the longer, detailed articles I have written. I think people truly wantint to learn will, people wanting to be told they are doing great won't. Yes, many will simply say 'that's too long, get a life dude' and move on. But many who really do want to learn and advance will be happy to read longer more detailed posts. I know I wish there were more long, very detailed articles to allow me to advance a lot more. I am looking for more information and when I don't find it but ask for it, some take it as disrespectfully questioning them or their methods and not just wanting to learn. It is one thing to know what, it is much better to thoroughly know why. I have found the opposite to be true, that short, straight to the point articles are more likely to be misunderstood because they are not explained and supported. I think of it like this, a book can list out all the important aspects of goldfish care, like what to do, what not to do, etc. But the better books will be the really thick ones that really explain the reasoning behind it all, and don't state it but explain it. Some people just want the simple one, but many want the more advanced one that gets into the details.So as not to hijack this thread, do you mind replying in the one I started about experiences with other fish with goldfish?

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That is fine.... and a good attitude. Just keep in mind that you can only get so far spoon feeding. I NEVER spoon feed my degree candidates or employees. I will aim them in the right direction, set them up to succeed - or fail in a way that will teach; I will answer a direct question, but rarely offer more information than is requested. To offer more is simply a waste. If they have not formulated the question, they are not yet ready for the answer.

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I don't know about that though. I think people who have made it to this site and stuck around because they recognized its potential for them, are actively looking for more. Many times people don't directly ask about things because they have no reason to think they needed to. If they don't want to learn they won't, but many want to advance but just may not know how all they need to. I think having information and not actively trying to share it with others is worse in a way than not having it at all. I see what you mean though.

Edited by Fishguy2727
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I think that shorter posts are a better idea because that way you can explain one point at a time, instead of having to go over and over through a gigantic post. What happens is you end up re-writing your entire post, in shorter segments. And people to come to the post later only read the shorter posts anyways. Now, when you have two people carrying on a discussion with side-comments from others there is no problem with long posts because those two or three or however many know what they are getting into.

I think the best way to learn about the best ways are to find things you don't understand or things that you have gotten conflicting information on and ask questions. Think of it like a college course, you are paying for the materials you are taught in college so why not get the most out of it? Like here, you are spending your time here, you are using this information, why not get the most out of it?

The whole point of a forum is as a support net. So let go, we will help each other find the answers.

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Confession time for me...I rarely read anything longer than a few paragraphs...I think I have adult A.D.D.

I do make an effort to read all of the koko's post though, they manage to grab me for more than my usual 2 minutes :rofl

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*hangs head* me too....especially when the chemistry talk comes out...I think it's wonderful and wish I could grasp it, but a science major I am not. I like pretty pictures. I almost have a degree in Looking at Pretty Pictures! :painting: *is proud*

Sometimes I feel like a kind of Goldfish-loving Tarzan, the way I process information. Water Changes GOOD! Common Plecos BAD!

I am awful. :rolleyes:

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*hangs head* me too....especially when the chemistry talk comes out...I think it's wonderful and wish I could grasp it, but a science major I am not. I like pretty pictures. I almost have a degree in Looking at Pretty Pictures! :painting: *is proud*

Sometimes I feel like a kind of Goldfish-loving Tarzan, the way I process information. Water Changes GOOD! Common Plecos BAD!

I am awful. :rolleyes:

:rofl:rofl:rofl

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One of the most significant examples of this was when I increased my water change schedule. I had always been under the impression that 25% water changes were really good, and that 50% was what you did in an emergency as a last resort if the water was REALLY bad. But someone on another forum said otherwise. So I questioned him about it, a lot. By the end of it he explained how the bacteria aren't in the water, how the parameters aren't an issue unless you let more time go between water changes. The chemistry in the tank can slowly shift over time, the pH shifts (usually down), etc.. If you do water changes frequently enough this doesn't happen, so the tank still matches the tap. This means you can go larger the more often you do them. If you wait two months between water changes the tank may have shifted from the tap. Thin means you need to do a smaller water change or else the parameter shock can cause problems. So I tried it out and sure enough the results matched what he had explained perfectly.

Hi FishGuy

Was this something I wrote to you in another forum? It seems very familiar but I can't place it.

Best fishes

David

www....................com

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Ok, I swear I've written that exact same post somewhere. I prefer my cichlids little but I have Oreochromis tanganicae spawning 4 inches from Neolamprologus multifasciatus.

It's amazing how what works for cichlids works for goldfish, that's why my room is about 1/2 and 1/2.

What kind of cichlids do you keep?

Best fishes

David

www....................com

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I think some of the problems that we encounter with some people who are new to things is that, as a society, we have been taught to "Be Polite." "Don't talk back." And the best one, which I'm betting almost all of us have heard from our mothers, "Because I said so!" We have been taught to accept authority and obey the rules and law. Which translates to not questioning authority. Some people will listen to and do what other says even when every inch of their being tells them otherwise.

These current times are about the most submissive this country has ever been and this country just gets more and more submissive with each successive generation. We have virtually lost our ability to think independently, for ourselves. We have lost that thing called, "Common Sense."

I love that bumper sticker, "Question Authority." But, many people do not. Hence, the need to spoon-feed sometimes. At least until that person learns that it's okay to ask questions. And some people will never learn to "Question Authority." And, if it comes down to their ignorance just harming them and them alone, I say, let 'em wallow. But, when it involves harming an animal, I'm willing to do a little spoon-feeding.

With regard to writing so that it's more interesting to read when you have a lot to say, I find that chopping your response into short paragraphs is helpful. One long, big paragraph can be overwhelming to look at to the point where you don't want to even delve into what it says.

But, with regard to the actual question this thread asks, well, I, myself, in the beginning, looked at many articles on whatever I was interested in learning and tried to find what was being said most often and going on the assumption that the majority of like information is most likely the most correct information.

And finally, I do agree, sometimes, that some of us can get a little hard on newbies, but that usually only happens when they become resistant to our information and give the impression that, despite the fact they asked the question, they refuse to listen to the answer. If that happens, I try to temper my tough advice with compassion by welcoming the newcomer, telling them we're happy to answer any question they may have and to let them know that we have all been in the same place as they were so we understand how they feel.

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Yes, it is definitely different when they will only listen to one answer and ignore others.

I don't have much now, just a few discus (one is a pair). I have had tons of other stuff though. There is a link to my Photobucket page in my signature where you can see tons of the stuff I have had over years. My favorites are the peacock cichlids of Lake Malawi. They are super-colorful, hardy, no aggression issues like with the mbunas, and breed easily. I had a huge jaguar cichlid for a while, got to about 15" in three years. I have also had tons of other stuff (mbunas, oscars, jack dempseys, open water piscivores of Lake Malawi, etc.).

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Most people don't think they can. I had minimal problems with them, so it wasn't flawless. I had a couple get torn fins a couple times, although they all learn really quickly to avoid the axolotls. One lost an eye while in with the axolotls. The only thing I can think of was that an axolotl did it, no evidence for any other way to lose an eye. It was a telescope with rather large telescopes, so it may have been just enough for an axolotl to get a grip on. Right now I only have a couple in with them in a 40breeder, two fantails. I don't have them all now, that is stuff I have had over the years.

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