Advice given but not taken

  1. Bob Ellis

    Bob Ellis Valued Member Member

    I wonder sometimes what percentage of new members ignore the advice they are given because the forum can come on a little strong on some of those basic errors.

    I have read back through a large number of the beginner threads and it happens a lot. New member. Needs help. Tank overstocked, inappropriate number or size of fish, etc. It starts as a 'help me' and ends with a 'gee sorry, sure I'll get a bigger tank / return the pleco / increase the school / etc.' But then you never hear from that member again.

    It makes me wonder if they followed through and simply never returned or just went about their business and found their own solution.


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  2. Delaneyw

    Delaneyw Well Known Member Member

    I'm sure no one means to come off pushy or too strong, but it is the internet. Sometimes it's hard to read intent since you're not hearing a voice to accentuate it.

    There are times I will be texting with my husband and one of us will honestly have to ask, "Are you serious/sarcastic?", or "Are you mad?". I'm not mad, I just didn't think to add a screen full of smileys?

    Sure makes you think though.
     
  3. Marie1

    Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    I think it is extremely difficult to interpret emotion when reading a text, or on a forum. It is easy to get the wrong impression. I know I am guilty of it.

    I am very new here. I have not really looked through any of the older threads, but it seems to me to be a very friendly site. There are a few who have come across as a bit arrogant, but nothing horrible. The ones I feel are kind of the "know it all" seem to be some of the younger members. No offense to anyone. It really doesn't bother me, but I can see where the OP is coming from on some occasions.

    The ones who actually know the right way to keep fish are the minority in the real world. And sometimes when trying to convey that fish do not in fact grow to the size of their tank, or that the one inch per gallon is rubbish, or what a school of fish is, or that even some of the smaller fish need a tank bigger than a 5 gallon hex, is not only not easy to do, it is hard for people to relearn all of these misconceptions about keeping fish.

    I know when I started to get really into this for the second time in my life, the internet and the forums were just getting going. The forums were a big help for me. But it did take quite a bit of research on my part to understand the nitrogen cycle, and that you could not keep an Oscar in a 20 gallon tank. I mean I did it when I was a teenager. And the PAIR of Oscars, and common pleco I had in that 20 gallon lived for almost a year. That's good right? ( sarcasm intended )

    Sometimes if you can't answer or help someone, you should just step back and hopefully someone else can. Or if you can't offer advice in a tactful manner too. And some people may want to learn this, but when it comes down to it, don't have the time, or something else catches their attention. It's certainly not for everyone. All my family and friends think I'm nuts. But I don't care. It's what I'm passionate about, and is a very rewarding hobby for me.
     


  4. Rivieraneo

    Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    I think almost everyone who has researched the hobby over the internet has joined multiple forums before you call one home. In my experience, Fishlore offered me a friendly environment to talk about the hobby with out the fear of being criticized or belittled which is a common occurrence on other forums.

    I try to take advice with a grain of salt, as it is meant for success for both the fish and keeper.

    When sharing ideas or giving advice, a quote from Plato echoes through my mind ,"wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something." Even ichthyologist have their areas of expertise and their areas that they lack experience in.

    In most situations, I think all try to take a common sense approach when giving advice, everyone has a different way of sharing or expressing that advise, but in the end, it all means the same. I feel that it is a matter of opinion and interpretation on how advice is received.

    Unfortunately, some new in the hobby want to hear that it is ok to overstock a tank, or that they don't need any water changes as it best suits their situation, but not their pets and when proper advice is given it's interpreted as someone being insensitive to ones situation.

    In the end, everything on this forum is being archived and used by both members and non members for the many years to come, I think it's important for correct and proper information to be recorded versus borderline advice which may have only benefited a fish keepers situation temporarily and not long term.
     
  5. Lucy

    Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Great responses.

    I only have one thing to add and I think it's very important.

    A friendly hello or welcome greeting before diving in with the nitty gritty goes a long way toward how someone may respond the advice given.
     
  6. ryanr

    ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi Bob,
    It's an interesting observation.

    For the most part, I think our members are polite and respectful.

    Some members simply join to satisfy their own issue(s) and don't return, others refuse to accept the advice (freely) given, and leave, and I'm sure there are the occassional scenarios where a new member is put off, and leaves.

    Too, keep in mind that some of the members posting in the Beginners forum are not necessarily beginners, and simply use the beginners forum as a 'post everything here', and the responses they receive can appear to be a bit 'harsh', but it can be a case of 'been here long enough, should know better'.

    We have members of all ages (as young as 13), members from all over the world, different backgrounds, creeds, religions etc. and we need to respect that sometimes, those factors can influence the interpretation of a post. The moderators spend a lot of time assessing posts, and as long as the post doesn't violate forum rules, we let it ride.
     


  7. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I think many times someone will ask what they think is a simple question, but the answer is far more complex than they expected.

    For example someone may ask what to do about white fluffy patches on their fish. The answer they probably expect is to just use some medicine. But then members start asking questions such as what size tank? Is the tank cycled? What fish do you have in the tank?

    Then it turns out they have 3 mollies, 2 platy's and a common pleco in an uncycled 10 gallon tank. (Usually because they were told at the fish store that it would be fine). So then when the proper advice is given, i.e. you're overstocked, mollies need a larger tank, the pleco needs a much, much larger tank, so I recommend you rehome the mollies and pleco, get the tank cycled and treat the platy's for fungus...well it is so different an answer than what the expected, they get put off..

    And what exasperates this is the fact that so often you will get such bad advice from the fish store. One would think that the fish store would be the place to go to get the very best advice, I mean they are experts...right?

    So as people trying to help others, the best we can do is be polite with the person and try to give the best possible answer.
     
  8. Adam55

    Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    I think it's occasionally necessary to get on the muscle a little because some of the advice given can save the life of a fish. It has to be clear that what's being said is less of a friendly suggestion and more of a firm mandate.

    I'm here because I love fish. That's how I see it. My goal is to try and help the fish, and the person receiving the advice is just a conduit to that end. While rudeness is not a trait I ever want to put forth, I don't really care if someone's feelings get dinged in the course of potentially saving their fish. And I agree with hef about the terrible advice sometimes offered by the LFS. Our frustration is often with them, and not with the OP. Perhaps that frustration gets displaced on the wrong person.
     
  9. lollipopkiller

    lollipopkiller Well Known Member Member

    i believe one of the biggest problems we have here with new members is that we over load them with information at one time instead of helping them along the learning process we fish keepers learn from experience not for people telling us oh you should do this and that and that and this and that.
    i remeber when i joined this forum i only has a betta in a 3 gallon tank. that was the minimum tank size for a betta so i thought i could keep another fish in the same sized tank. i tried 4 gold fish, a oscar and a convict before learning they either die or out grow the tank very quickly. sometimes it is mistakes like theses that put the idea of learning into our head like hey maybe we are doing something wrong here! i should ask for help. than you all explained why you cant do that and now everything gets better.so i think we should aim toward experiance and our past storys as examples with new members because they can relate to them rather than dont do this and its bad to have that, even though you arnt trying to be mean ive seen a huge increase in new members being upset or offended by random information about things they didnt ask.
     
  10. terrynachos

    terrynachos Valued Member Member

    I am so new here like 2 months in. I have jumped full bore into the hobby moving from my betta to a 75 gallon and now on to a 90 all within 2 months lol. Every stupid question i have had i have gotten great help with and lots of knowledge. I also take everything i read online with a grain of salt and never tske anything personal because every hobby has its extreme people in it as i have learned over the years. I find this forum very helpful and everyone very friendly like a big family on here so i would just like to say thank you again for all you guys do and all your help because all the info on here is priceless and there is no way i would ever have gotten as far as i have without the internet and forums like this. :) :) :) :) :) :) :p

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  11. garikapc

    garikapc Valued Member Member

    As someone who likes the forum but sometimes can't post or read it too much I can empathize with anyone whose life and/or work keeps them from being fully engaged. I came here to fix my own issues and tend to pop up and down as I need help or make adjustments. I have a lot of respect for people who make it an actual community and are her frequently

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  12. b

    bowen747x Valued Member Member

    I just think its messed up how people figure out they can ask the internet for help, but not until after its too late.
     
  13. M

    Mamajin Well Known Member Member

    That's so me.

    I tend to be straight and to the point, and my heart is always in the right place no matter what. I absolutely love to help others and generally do not expect anything in return other than kindness.
     
  14. agentk

    agentk New Member Member

    I'm brand new, like a month strong, member here. First of all, to answer the original post; for me, yes, I have read advice and followed it and was successful (thanks for that members) But it's not just one person's answers it's hours of reading on here, other sites, applying my common sense and then confronting the issue.

    I agree completely with the statement of "I'm here because I love fish"... isn't that supposed to be the truth with anyone on here (assuming they all have fish or setting up to get fish) looking through this information? I appreciate the "harsh" answers. I'd rather someone say to me, "hey your pet store, yeah, they lied to you. If you don't get this taken care of.... (You fill in the end result)" it's not rude, in my opinion at all. I've come here because I'm passionate about my fish, already, and I want to expand my knowledge as best as possible to provide the best for my fishies. I love them so much already.

    So as someone brand new to the hobby and the forum let me just put my opinion in there on some of your guys' worries/comments:
    I think this forum is absolutely amazing. There are people here, there, probably EVERYWHERE you go that say/do/have things you don't agree with. That's life! I hope that nobody starts to sugar coat things, or try to be not straight to the point, or just give no advice at all. If people are seeking out an answer to something and then are upset by the answer, well.... I have nothing to say to that. ;)

    Fishlore is great. I'm happy I found it. I think the people are friendly, knowledgeable. Overall pretty compassionate individuals. The information life saving. And a feeling of a little cozy family of crazy fish people.

    agentk
     
  15. Cuvac

    Cuvac New Member Member

    I'm fairly new to fish keeping and I have reached out for help on these forums as well. When my question got answered I left the thread for what it was because there is no need for me to push other people's questions down when mine is answered.

    Besides that question I haven't been answering to anyone on this forum. Reason for that is that I simply don't have the knowledge and don't want to give people wrong information.

    Despite that, I read almost every thread on the forums so that I can continuously learn about fish keeping.

    That's why you don't see me replying. Hope this might get rid of some annoyance for some people.

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  16. T

    Thai Aquarium owner Well Known Member Member

    I also think that there are sometimes posters that will ask a question thinking that a magic wand of some kind will just be waved by the more experienced fish keepers in the forum, and all their problems are will be solved in an instant.
    Keeping fish is unlike keeping any other pets / animals.
    A dog is a dog, where as a fish is not just a fish, there are a multitude of species Etc, Etc Etc and each species requires different criteria for a decent life in a tank.
    This is the aspect of fish keeping that so many inexperienced people just cannot / or will not get a grasp of, and the poster can possibly get offended due to their lack of experience, and under standing of our hobby, which is regrettable, as nobody wishes to offend.
    .