AqAdvisor

sirdarksol

Over the past few months, the mods have noticed that, more and more, newer members are turning to thesite to stock their tanks, tell them how much water to change, etc...
This is a trend that has likely killed dozens of fish, and made many, many more very unhappy.

AqAdvisor has less information on any given fish than what you can learn about that fish in ten minutes
AqAdvisor is a neat site. I'll give it that. It's loads of fun to look at what you could theoretically put in a tank. However, it should not be the only, or even the first tool when deciding on a tank's stocking. In fact, if you take the proper first step of stocking your tank,is unnecessary, a way of checking your stocking to see if there's anything you might have missed.

There are thousands of fish in the aquarium industry, and a lengthy book can be written about each one. Much of this information is necessary to knowing how to stock an aquarium with those fish. How can one program, written by one person, include all of this information? Very simply, very truthfully, it can't.

The first step to keeping any kind of fish is to research them. With the internet, this is simple. Most common aquarium fish are pretty well documented. It's easy to find information on keeping them. I guarantee you that with ten minutes of research on any of the fish you can find at Petsmart or Petco, you can learn more about them than is stored in AqAdvisor's code. Some of the oddballs that you'll find at LFSs may take more work, but the information is still there.

AqAdvisor is incomplete and its accuracy is, at best, questionable
AqAdvisor gets weekly updates, and they're huge. This means that the program is still missing things, and still has incorrect information. On top of that, there are plenty of stocking plans that members here have noted are questionable at best. I think that the programmer could work on this for the rest of his/her life and still not truly complete it. It's trying to cram a world full of knowledge into one program. It just can't be done.

Moreso, much of stocking is art, rather than science. It's based on personal preference. Because of this, two people can look at any "rule" of stocking, disagree with their opinions on it, and yet both be right.

AqAdvisor can't accurately tell you how much water you need to change
The water change thing is, plain and simple, wrong. Doesknow how much you give your fish at each feeding? How many feedings per day? Starting nitrates? How many plants you have? How much CO2 is in the water (for planted tanks)? How much light reaches the plants? What nutrients are in the water (again, for planted tanks)? All of these things and many will affect the nitrate levels in the water. Further, local weather will affect evaporation, which will also effect water change needs. The best way to find out what kind of water changes you have to do is to test your water and figure out the percentage you need to change to maintain a 20ppm or less reading.

If you use it, turn to it as a final check, rather than a starting point
The only thing that I would ever usefor (other than an amusing diversion) is as a last check, to look over a stocking that I am already sure about, just to triple-check my work. Even thewebsite says that research is the most important aspect to stocking an aquarium.

Paradoxically, do what you want (but don't forget that there are consequences, both good and bad, for every choice)
Of course, we aren't here to make anyone do anything they don't want, or to not do something they want to do. That's why the link has remained up, even though most (if not all) of the mods and many of the more experienced members have disliked the way it's used.
You are free to useto stock your tank, without doing any other research on the fish you plan to keep. However, with the stockings I've seen recently, I can nearly guarantee you that a new aquarist is going to be very hard pressed to make a successful go at it.
Just this past week, I've seen at least three different issues in tanks stocked by AqAdvisor. These are fish getting sick, even though the members did precisely whattold them to. This is because, when you stock an aquarium to whatthinks is 100%, you're pushing the limits of bioload and territory in an aquarium.

Please, don't refer new hobbyists to the site
Taking my moderator hat off for a moment, and only speaking as a fellow forum member and hobbyist, I would strongly ask that, if a new member shows up and starts asking about stocking a tank, please do not refer them to AqAdvisor, or any similar site. If you see them mentioning the site, please explain to them why they shouldn't rely on such things, or just refer them to this page (I know many of you are already doing this, and you have my thanks).
It's just too tempting, for someone who is still learning the art of the aquarium hobby, to rely on something that is so simple to use and seems to be so accurate (it gives you precise percentages and everything, how can it not be accurate?)
I say this as a regular member because, as I suggested above, I'm not trying to make people do things my way. Rather, I am seeing that this is hurting fish, and it's hurting people's entry into the hobby, and this concerns me. As such, I don't want to be censoring information in any way, but rather putting my own opinion about the information out here.
 

harpua2002

+1, excellent post. I could not agree more.
 

bolivianbaby

+2. Well stated and very true.
 

ctclee

+3

I have used it and it truly is only a guide. I think its funny and I like it in my sig . lol
 

Lucy

Great post sirdarksol.
 

Nutter

+4. Excellent points & information Sirdarksol. I like to have a play with it if I'm a bit bored but I wouldn't pay much attention to any of the results. There are simply too many variables that a computer program can never take into account.
 

Jaysee

+4
 

Aquarist

Thank you SDS!

Ken
 

funkman262

I recently suggested the site to someone who had no idea how to stock, just to give him an idea (be it a VERY rough idea) so that at least he doesn't think he could put 50 fish in a 10 gallon tank. I just made an edit on that post and referred him to this thread and stressed the importance for doing his own research on whatever fish he chooses. Thanks for this thread.
 

Gouramiguy17

+6
 

sirdarksol

I recently suggested the site to someone who had no idea how to stock, just to give him an idea (be it a VERY rough idea) so that at least he doesn't think he could put 50 fish in a 10 gallon tank. I just made an edit on that post and referred him to this thread and stressed the importance for doing his own research on whatever fish he chooses. Thanks for this thread.

Thank you.
If the site was only being used to get a very rough idea, then that would be fine. The problem is, people are seeing how completeseems to be (to a new person, it seems to be a very complete, very accurate program, because it gives you all of those little details) and thinking that, by using AqAdvisor, they are doing research.
 

trailblazer295

Good to know, I'm new with tropical and know nothing about stocking them and determining what species can live together in what size tank.
 

Amanda

I couldn't agree more.
 

Algae Eater

I play with aqadvisor all the time, but I completely agree with you.
 

_Fried_Bettas_

I agree and disagree, I personally think it is a useful tool. I don't think it will lead anyone horrendously wrong. But I also agree that it shouldn't be your sole for of research. You should never rely on any one source for your information. People should also not only rely on this forum, or Badman's fish, or LFS, etc. Even on this site I see erroneous advice passed on even from the most experienced members. A lot of time in forums one persons OPINIONS get passed on as facts, and passed on, and passed on, without the people passing the information along that it was an opinion in the first place. For example the idea that carbon leaches stuff back into the tank after a certain point. I have never seen any confirmation of this concept and my further research into this has lead me to believe that the only thing that happens to carbon after 4-5 weeks is that it starts to act as a biological filter and should do no harm whatsoever. My opinion is that if someone does minimal water changes (less than 25% week) they should be using carbon because it reduces dissolved solids that build up in the tank, which are bad for your fish. But then again, that is my opinion... The people who are heavy into plants tend to dislike any form of chemical filtration because they believe (rightly or wrongly I don't know) that it removes some components of fertilizer.
 

Shawnie

I agree and disagree, I personally think it is a useful tool. I don't think it will lead anyone horrendously wrong.
take some time and read some current threads lately...or even do a search in FL search box for aqadvisor and see the issues members are having from using that site as their sole searching ....its most definitely lead to issues that everyone has had to help members with lately...because its something they have relied upon ..its not fun to have to explain a fish death to someone after they have said their research led them astray ...its heartbreaking actually and even more frustrating when it could have been avoided ..
 

lorabell

Thank u SDS!!!!!!! Great post!!!!!
 

yhbae

Wow, that's quite a comment for AqAdvisor. I'm glad that at least it is generating some discussions. More discussions mean more opportunity to get _good_ feedback.

Over the past few months, the mods have noticed that, more and more, newer members are turning to thesite to stock their tanks, tell them how much water to change, etc...
This is a trend that has likely killed dozens of fish, and made many, many more very unhappy.

Can you please give me an example of where this has happened? You may or may not be aware but AqAdvisor's bioload % report is based heavily on reverse engineering - i.e. fine tune until they match what are typically being offered as stocking suggestions in the forums. I would be really interested in seeing examples where it seriously mis-reports it, especially the beginner species which are in question here. Seriously, these are not hard to fix if there are problems.

AqAdvisor has less information on any given fish than what you can learn about that fish in ten minutes

How do you know this? I didn't publish species DB schema to anyone. I know at least I spend much more than 10 mins per new species when I add them. And many species contain more updates on top of my own research. I have 7 years of fish keeping experience, so I hope I can do research faster/more efficient than those who are getting into this hobby.

AqAdvisor is a neat site. I'll give it that. It's loads of fun to look at what you could theoretically put in a tank. However, it should not be the only, or even the first tool when deciding on a tank's stocking. In fact, if you take the proper first step of stocking your tank,is unnecessary, a way of checking your stocking to see if there's anything you might have missed.

You are correct. It allows you to dream up theoretical scnearios. It allows even beginners to think about setups they may not be able to do without. And as I mentioned in the past messages, I hope they do further research, including posting in the forums for more info. What's wrong with this method?

There are thousands of fish in the aquarium industry, and a lengthy book can be written about each one. Much of this information is necessary to knowing how to stock an aquarium with those fish. How can one program, written by one person, include all of this information? Very simply, very truthfully, it can't.

And do you know of a site that contains all that info handy? They don't, that's why I have to use more than 10 profile sites on the net to collect info.

The first step to keeping any kind of fish is to research them. With the internet, this is simple. Most common aquarium fish are pretty well documented. It's easy to find information on keeping them. I guarantee you that with ten minutes of research on any of the fish you can find at Petsmart or Petco, you can learn more about them than is stored in AqAdvisor's code. Some of the oddballs that you'll find at LFSs may take more work, but the information is still there.

One of the ways you can useis to quickly reduce possibilities. I am seeing many users who use this to dream up setup, confirm through forum posts and successfully stock their tanks. Having information in one place is a powerful thing. If those can be queried using computers, its even more powerful.

AqAdvisor is incomplete and its accuracy is, at best, questionable
AqAdvisor gets weekly updates, and they're huge. This means that the program is still missing things, and still has incorrect information.

Please look at the release notes. Much of the items on the list are NEW species requests. And yes, there are incorrect entries that do get updated but if you notice, I have not touched many common species for a long time. I believe bioloads for common species are NOT far off. Please try it yourself.

On top of that, there are plenty of stocking plans that members here have noted are questionable at best. I think that the programmer could work on this for the rest of his/her life and still not truly complete it. It's trying to cram a world full of knowledge into one program. It just can't be done.

Yes it is a daunting task. But it is not an infinite problem. Its actually smaller than you think. Please look around you. We have so much information captured on the net and because of that, we are doing things we couldn't even imagine of doing even few years ago. I would be very interested in discussing this very topic again with you 12 months from now. I intend to continue and improve the app. And in its current form, it is not anywhere near as bad as you are making it out to be. Please give me examples so that I can understand the problem better.

Moreso, much of stocking is art, rather than science. It's based on personal preference. Because of this, two people can look at any "rule" of stocking, disagree with their opinions on it, and yet both be right.

I agree. That's whywas built based on hundreds of reverse engineering checks rather than using theoretical formula only. And it is heavily reliant on knowledge database - that's HUMAN's knowledge captured in DB, rather than using formula. Would you believe me if I tell you that I went through more than few hundreds of stocking plans myself alone, plus hundreds of others have confirmed that it is reporting where they expect stocking levels to be?

AqAdvisor can't accurately tell you how much water you need to change
The water change thing is, plain and simple, wrong. Doesknow how much you give your fish at each feeding? How many feedings per day? Starting nitrates? How many plants you have? How much CO2 is in the water (for planted tanks)? How much light reaches the plants? What nutrients are in the water (again, for planted tanks)? All of these things and many will affect the nitrate levels in the water. Further, local weather will affect evaporation, which will also effect water change needs. The best way to find out what kind of water changes you have to do is to test your water and figure out the percentage you need to change to maintain a 20ppm or less reading.

Agreed. Hence I am saying it is a guideline. Once again, this is based on reverse engineering. If you are saying whatreport is garbage, you are saying most of the WC % suggestions on the net are garbage too. Although I cannot account for all of the factors you mention above, for typical cases, I believe they are in line. Once again, I received hundreds of feedback that WC % is about where they expected them to be.

If you use it, turn to it as a final check, rather than a starting point
The only thing that I would ever usefor (other than an amusing diversion) is as a last check, to look over a stocking that I am already sure about, just to triple-check my work. Even thewebsite says that research is the most important aspect to stocking an aquarium.

That could be one way to use it. I won't disagree on this. ;D
But to give you an example, you can enter tank dimension and click on "Display suitable species". It will narrow down the list to only those that are suitable. Why would you ignore such kind of feature when you are planning to stock? This is just one of the example.

Paradoxically, do what you want (but don't forget that there are consequences, both good and bad, for every choice)
Of course, we aren't here to make anyone do anything they don't want, or to not do something they want to do. That's why the link has remained up, even though most (if not all) of the mods and many of the more experienced members have disliked the way it's used.
You are free to useto stock your tank, without doing any other research on the fish you plan to keep. However, with the stockings I've seen recently, I can nearly guarantee you that a new aquarist is going to be very hard pressed to make a successful go at it.
Just this past week, I've seen at least three different issues in tanks stocked by AqAdvisor. These are fish getting sick, even though the members did precisely whattold them to. This is because, when you stock an aquarium to whatthinks is 100%, you're pushing the limits of bioload and territory in an aquarium.

Do you really believe those stocks thatsuggested at 100% is seriously overstocked to the point where it got those species sick? Please, give me those examples. I will be VERY surprised if you find such cases. I get criticised for being too conservative more often than the other extreme.

Please, don't refer new hobbyists to the site
Taking my moderator hat off for a moment, and only speaking as a fellow forum member and hobbyist, I would strongly ask that, if a new member shows up and starts asking about stocking a tank, please do not refer them to AqAdvisor, or any similar site.

I'm pretty sure similar site doesn't exist. I've done my share of research before staring this project. That's why it is so interesting to work on. But as you can see, it takes some effort to get this going. Please don't compare this to sites that use simple inches per gallon. I have nearly 10,000 lines of code built into this project now.

If you see them mentioning the site, please explain to them why they shouldn't rely on such things, or just refer them to this page (I know many of you are already doing this, and you have my thanks).
It's just too tempting, for someone who is still learning the art of the aquarium hobby, to rely on something that is so simple to use and seems to be so accurate (it gives you precise percentages and everything, how can it not be accurate?)

This I actually agree. I need to make it more obvious that it is a guideline rather than a bible. I tried to do this using some text at the bottom, but obviously people are missing it.

I say this as a regular member because, as I suggested above, I'm not trying to make people do things my way. Rather, I am seeing that this is hurting fish, and it's hurting people's entry into the hobby, and this concerns me. As such, I don't want to be censoring information in any way, but rather putting my own opinion about the information out here.

As I mentioned before, I've had my share of raising fish and I care about them as much as anyone here. Many have reported that they were about to purchase some combo, but decided to run throughto find out the combo doesn't work hence changed their plan. I would be REALLY surprised ifreports 100% but in reality, it is much higher than this.

Project like this takes time to build. But longer it lives, more accurate it will become. As information accumulate further, it will become even more powerful. On the net we simply don't have any tool that allows you to query/filter fish-based information. I believe it will be a great starting point to narrow down possibilities. Please look around you, many many sites/apps you use today are built around this philosophy. When they released v1.0, I'm sure they had their share of complaints. But I am optimistic and will continue to improve this site. In its current form, as someone who cares a great deal on fishes, I would suggest others to use this app, not because I built it, but because I believe it will help them.

Wow, I typed way more than I thought I was going to type. My apology for the length of the post. ;D
 

AlyeskaGirl

I went and played with it for the first time about 2 days ago and it just made me laugh!

I know its a new tool and did find it to be interesting and a little fun.....
 

yhbae

I went and played with it for the first time about 2 days ago and it just made me laugh!

Elaborate please? ;D
 

_Fried_Bettas_

I have to admit I haven't seen the threads where terrible information was produced by the program, I am as curious as the creator for specifics if you can provide the links. I find flaws in everything so I often expect them. I can say this, it didn't give any negative feedback when I stuck a Pearl Gourami in a 16g or so tank, but I've seen such positive suggestions on this forum as well. Even my single juvenille Pearl was plainly unhappy and had no appetite in that tank. Luckily I never planned to have it in the tank except while the other cycled. But just a program isn't bulletproof doesn't mean it is a menace just that anything important should be doublechecked with one or more other souces. All the bioload data made intuitive sense to me even when it was off from the inch of fish rule, it seemed to correspond to fish mass and/or variations of waste producers. I don't see where this could lead anyone too far off less so in my opinion than the famous inch of fish rule.
 

Shawnie

the site itself IMO is a great achievement for the creator and I give him tons of credit for taking the time to work on it daily....I think most of our issues are when members (most newly fish keepers) come to this site with major fish issues, and their replies are "aqadvisor said I was fine ..I'm not overstocked as aqadvisor said..my water changes are fine because aqadvisor said ...etc" that's where we are having some problems....many of us, me included when I started out, are ALWAYS looking for that quick fix instead of taking time to do the proper research....just because 1 or 6 diffrent sites say something is ok, its going to take time, experience, and the willingness to learn from many others, to ever gain the knowledge that's needed....even fish keepers in the hobby for 20 or more years, are learning things daily....using the site is great, relying solely on it is something we are having a hard time dealing with....I do give yhabe a ton of credit for his site, and please know we are NOT attacking you personally, just asking that your site isn't someones sole reason for doing some of the things they do....this is just my opinion and not Fishlores ....
 

jglove276

This is not the first time I have heard this issue. I was under the impression that some sort of warning was to be added to the site to help curb the problem of people relying solely on that site. I agree however not to be cynical of the site because It can be "ONE" of many useful tools
 

Lucy

This is not the first time I have heard this issue. I was under the impression that some sort of warning was to be added to the site to help curb the problem of people relying solely on that site.

There is a, kinda sorta. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page. However, I doubt many do when they find such a fancy tool.
I say kinda sorta because it reads like more of a disclaimer than warning.

Another thing people might not understand is that because it is a work in progress, it's always changing.
What results someone got last month may not be the same results they'll get today.

Just a few examples.

check the program for bettas as well.... I wish I could have 20 bettas in my 55 gallon

Yup this is a problem for sure. The main problem I will be tackling next is the aggression issues. Even though bioload-wise your tank might be ok, it may not be if you have aggression incompatibilities. Even worse, they may look ok because you have juveniles but when they hit certain age you have a big problem in your hand. I'd like to address this in the program. I will be looking into aspects like size, aggression within species, aggression towards other species, aggression during spawning, ability to defend itself, etc. Its gonna be interesting to see what comes out of this...

- Updated mouth size for Blue Gourami. It will now display a warning against smaller peaceful species such as neon tetra.
- Bioload for Badis Badis has been updated. Previously a wrong value was set.
- Bioloads for Platy/Guppy/Molly/Swordtale have been adjusted downward _slightly_. They were (and still are) marked somewhat high.
- Fixed a bug: When water parameter incompatibilty is detected, temperature/pH/hardness wasn't being reported correctly. It has been fixed.


- - Refined warning message for the species that require male to female ratios.
- Updated for Rainbow Cichlid. They should be raised in a group of 8 and also added some species specific notes.
- Updated for Silver & Asian Arowana. Minimum tank size has been increased to 100x35 inches.
- Updated for Asian Arowana. Size has been updated to 35 inches.
- Updated for Chanchito. Minimum tank size has been reduced.
- Updated for Yoyo Loach. Aggression defence has been increased slightly.
 

funkman262

But as Yhbae has said, the website gets updated not only by research done but by feedback from experienced users. So by others realizing that some situation would not really be possible (although Aqadvisor says it is), that can be looked into further and fixed. Sure it's a work in progress but it's a great tool if you have no idea what types of fish are supposed to be together and in what size thank. You can't blame the tool for giving out some bad information from time to time because if that were the case, I wouldn't trust this site either. You can never take a single person's opinion just like you can't rely on a single tool like Aqadvisor. I've heard comments on this site that would steer me far worse than Aqadvisor. For example, someone suggested putting a particular fish that grows 12" into a 10 gallon tank (possibly because the person didn't realize they grow that large). No matter where a person gets a single piece of information, it's that person's responsibility to research that further (before I believe anything that I learn, whether here or another site, I check multiple other sources before I take it to be true). I typically don't even ask a question on here until I've put in a great deal of time researching it first and I just want an experienced fishkeepers opinion. If a fishkeeper is irresponsible enough to rely soley on one source of data (such as Aqadvisor or even this forum) then there's nothing you can do but stress the importance of conducting more research for the safety of the fish. But you can't blame the source of information. But that's just my opinion.
 

Lucy

Funkman, the point that you're missing is we've seen many new fishkeepers relying solely on this tool, thus the purpose of this thread.
It would be great if everyone did further research, however, the truth is, not everyone does.

Just for kicks....
From another forum, updated as recently as Jan
- Bioload for Firemouth has been increased.
- Bioload for Texas Cichlid has been increased.
- Bioload for Red Devil Cichlid has been increased.
- Bioload for Severum has been increased. Size has also been increased to 12 inches. Minimum tank size has been increased to 48x18.
- Bioload for Convict Cichlid has been increased.
- Bioload for Jack Dempsey has been increased.
- Bioload for SalvinI Cichlid has been increased.
- Bioload for Oscar has been increased.
- Bioload for Blood Parrot has been increased.
- Bioload for Chao Phraya Giant Catfish has been increased.

yhbae, This isn't an attack on you even necessarily on the tool it's self.
The fact is many people look for a quick fix.

If any tool or compatibility chart was mentioned as much as this one is one the forum, we would be derelict in not warning our members to do further research.
That it is just one tool to use, just as this forum and the advice given, it should not be a sole source of research.
 

funkman262

Lucy, I completely agree with you and most of what's been said on here. All I'm saying is that it's the responsibility of the fishkeeper to get more information from other sources instead of solely relying on that tool. I personally don't solely rely on this site when getting information but it's a great place to start or even confirm information that I gathered from other sources. The Aqadvisor tool needs to be used in the same way. Instead of blaming the tool, you should be blaming the fishkeepers that are doing insufficient research. In the end, hopefully what people are getting out of this thread isn't to just give up on Aqadvisor but instead realize that no matter where your source of information is, it's important to go to other sites or forums to verify that information.
 

gunner13

Wow, I just visited aqadvisor for the first time, wot a laugh. These are my results.
WARNING YOU NEED MORE FILTRATION!!!!!!
W/C 86% a week
223% STOCKED.....................LOL
I know I overstock my tank and I know how big my fish get so I know when to put them in a bigger home. A very clever tool but these are the reasons I don't use them. Research and research more and don't buy fish you can't house in the long run.
Nick
 

funkman262

Wow, I just visited aqadvisor for the first time, wot a laugh. These are my results.
WARNING YOU NEED MORE FILTRATION!!!!!!
W/C 86% a week
223% STOCKED.....................LOL
I know I overstock my tank and I know how big my fish get so I know when to put them in a bigger home. A very clever tool but these are the reasons I don't use them. Research and research more and don't buy fish you can't house in the long run.
Nick

Did you use the adult size only or change it to juvenile sizes and then enter their sizes?
 

gunner13

Didn't know you could change the sizes so I guess it calculated adults, and I didn't enter my black shark on it either and he gets to around 18". As I said though I only did it to see what it came up with.
 

funkman262

Didn't know you could change the sizes so I guess it calculated adults, and I didn't enter my black shark on it either and he gets to around 18". As I said though I only did it to see what it came up with.

I'd suggest before you start "laughing" at the tool, you learn how to use it first. Try it again with the actual sizes of your fish and you might get more accurate numbers about your tank. And the purpose of "adult size only" readings is so that you know what size tank and filter is necessary after they do grow to their full potential so you don't get surprised when your 2" fish is all of a sudden 12" or larger.
 

jglove276

Lucy, I completely agree with you and most of what's been said on here. All I'm saying is that it's the responsibility of the fish keeper to get more information from other sources instead of solely relying on that tool. I personally don't solely rely on this site when getting information but it's a great place to start or even confirm information that I gathered from other sources. The Aqadvisor tool needs to be used in the same way. Instead of blaming the tool, you should be blaming the fish keepers that are doing insufficient research. In the end, hopefully what people are getting out of this thread isn't to just give up on Aqadvisor but instead realize that no matter where your source of information is, it's important to go to other sites or forums to verify that information.

true that, I think what needs to be taken from this thread is any experienced fish keepers should caution and warn new hobbyist that best practices are to use multiple sources.
 

gunner13

Suggest all you like, as I said it is a very clever tool and I only went on it to see what it came up with. I have kept fish for a long time previous to setting up my present tank and know the sizes of the fish I have and what their potential needs are ie tank size,filtration etc. I apolagize if my comments anoyed you. As for laughing at the tool, well I wasn't it was actually at the amount I am supposedly overstocked. I hope this has cleared it up for you.
All the best
Nick
 

funkman262

Suggest all you like, as I said it is a very clever tool and I only went on it to see what it came up with. I have kept fish for a long time previous to setting up my present tank and know the sizes of the fish I have and what their potential needs are ie tank size,filtration etc. I apolagize if my comments anoyed you. As for laughing at the tool, well I wasn't it was actually at the amount I am supposedly overstocked. I hope this has cleared it up for you.
All the best
Nick

The tool isn't necessarily for experienced fish keepers that can use their own judgement when stocking tanks. And considering that the tool was using the full grown sizes of your fish, are you really surprised that it said you were overstocked? In retrospect, don't you think the tool was telling you exactly what you'd expect? I wasn't annoyed by your comment. It just made me think about another scenario: should cars be banned because some people that can't drive end up getting into accidents? A tool is only as useful as the person that's using it. If people took more time out to learn how to use it, they would see that it's actually more accurate and useful than they originally thought.



*Warning: No matter what, it's important to research other sites to get additional information. Never use a single source for information.
 

Shawnie

*Warning: No matter what, it's important to research other sites to get additional information. Never use a single source for information.
and out of ALL your posts, that should end it there..that is EXACTLY the point we are trying to make....defending or knocking ANY program/site/ etc, isn't what this thread was about.....!
 

jglove276

*Warning: No matter what, it's important to research other sites to get additional information. Never use a single source for information.

 

HOWsMom

I'm a 'newbie', and I've spent a fair amount of time playing with the AqAdvisor.

I can tell it's got work left, but it's going well beyond the typical "1-inch per gallon" rule most newbies have heard so many times.

Sure, it's not perfect - truly, NOTHING is. It cannot be expected to be, since EVERY tank is so vastly different.

I would like to see the ability to input plants though - even if it's not specific plants, but an option for "no plants / lightly planted / moderately planted / heavily planted / etc" My (admittedly limited) understanding is that the plants have a direct effect on the bioload of the tank.
 

gunner13

I like the comment about the tool and person using it, very apt. We should drop this now don't you think. Have a good day funkman,
Nick
 

funkman262

and out of ALL your posts, that should end it there..that is EXACTLY the point we are trying to make....defending or knocking ANY program/site/ etc, isn't what this thread was about.....!

But that's the point I've been trying to make in EVERY one of my posts. I'm happy this thread was created and I hope a lot of new owners pay attention to this thread. The only reason I was "defending" the program is because others were crudely "knocking" it without even using it correctly.
 

sirdarksol

My issue isn't so much withas it is with the way it is used (aside from the water change thing... I stand by my statement that the only way to truly determine the water changes you need to do is to test for nitrates). The problem is that the way it is used is that new aquarists are seeing it, seeing that it gives such precise percentages, and thinking that this is all the work they need to do, no matter how much it is suggested that they do otherwise. Further, they're stocking their tanks to whatsays is 100%, which is more than many would stock anyway, and is definitely more than any of us would suggest that a new aquarist stock.

The problem is primarily in the user; this much I agree with. The problem is the way the human brain is wired to work when learning a new set of skills. Learning is an incredibly time-consuming task, and the brain wants to find the easiest way to do anything. As I said, people see all of the detail in AqAdvisor, and figure that it's got to be accurate. They don't yet have the knowledge to realize that keeping aquaria is as much art as it is science, or to realize where AqAdvisor's suggestions won't work for them. In many minds, it probably works something like this: "Well, I can read half a dozen web pages, but I won't be given any absolute numbers as to how I stock my tank, or I can turn to AqAdvisor, and it will tell me precisely how to stock my tank. I'll go with AqAdvisor."
In a perfect world, we could remove the "or" from that statement, and say "why not try both?" This isn't a perfect world, and that's not how someone's brain works when they're learning something new.
There are two ways we can look at this:
We can say, "well, it'll be their fault for not doing the research, so no problem" and call it good.
Or, we can recognize that by suggesting this site to someone who doesn't yet have the skills or knowledge to use it properly, we are greatly reducing their learning curve and their chance for success.
The choice in this matter is yours. That's why I took my mod hat off when asking people not to suggest it to new members.

The one major clarification I want to make is on the first statement. I stand by it. You can learn more in ten minutes of research thanhas in its database. I do not mean that yhbae hasn't done ten minutes of research on a fish. There's a lot of stuff in that research, though, that isn't being put in the site, or if it is, you're not seeing it, and it's stuff that you should know.

As for the links of the people who have had problems, I don't particularly want to single them out for having this issue. It's happened, and the threads are there for the finding. I became aware of several of them because other members (and not just mods, either) brought them to my attention. I have noticed others in my daily wandering around the threads, helping people out.

I understand that a lot of work has gone into this, and I know that yhbae has likely learned a ton in writing the program. In the above-mentioned perfect world, this discussion would not be happening. People would come to the hobby (or any other hobby) knowing that there's a lot of hard work ahead before they become successful, and would not look for an easy way out.
As this is not a perfect world, it is my hope to help people through the rough times during their entry into the hobby, whether they dip their toes in first or jump in with both feet, as best I can.

Edit: I apologize. In the time since I started writing, I got 'd about a dozen times. A quick response to the new additions...
Yes, there's that warning on the website. That's there because experienced aquarists saw this issue coming awhile ago. It's not making much of a difference with the people who need to heed it most.
I want to reiterate that I am not knocking the website. However, after months of trying to be discrete about this, I have seen that, if new aquarists have the site suggested to them, they are much less likely to do their own research.
Lastly, it seems to be a far cry from the "1 inch of adult size per gallon" guideline. My opinion is that the 1" per gallon guideline is better, because it forces people to learn about the fish they're planning to keep.
 

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