Every Answer I Get Is Different Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by GKMoore, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. GKMooreValued MemberMember

    Is it me or does everyone else get very different conflicting answers to every question in the hobby??? I feel like no one really knows and their answers are either pulled out of thin air or what they have heard from someone else without questioning it. Examples of this are:

    Compatible tank mates- I will read online that certain fish go well together, then the fish store tells me DO NOT put said fish together or there will be major aggression. But I see youtube videos with the fish together. I know each fish is different and must monitor the aggression anytime a new fish is put in. And I'm sure there are many factors that can trigger aggression like tank size and territorial boundaries, but why would the fish store give me a stern no that they can't live in harmony? I have read online not to mix African with South American Ciclids, but this same fish store has Severum with peacock cichlids and they have been in there for months without issue..

    Water parameters- I am under the impression that each fish has a certain needs for PH range. Every site I go to for care guides and online purchases can have different ranges. One will say a Gold Severum needs 5.5 - 6.5 ph and another will say 6.5-7.5 ph, on top of that the fish store that sells them has them in tank water with an 8.2-8.4 ph and they are just fine! That a huge PH difference that I thought meant life or death for the fish... So who's right? I know as long as the PH is consistent they will adapt to it. So why even put parameters for each fish? The same goes for temp. Different sites have different answers.

    Basically, does anyone REALLY know the right answers? I mean, why spend all this time researching for answers when there are 2 or 3 or more answers that only confuse me. I want to properly take care of my fish and not throw them in a bad situation, but it seems like theres no way to know and just learn by experience.

    Months prior, I went against the advice of the online community because the fish store assured me I wouldn't have any problems and my favorite fish in doing so. Trying to set up the right tank for a new one and the information out there is irritating..

  2. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Your best bet is choose a small number of sources and stick with them.

    I generally do not look beyond Fishlore. But I have been in to fish keeping a very long time.

  3. Artemis2Valued MemberMember

    I've tend to have bad advice given to me when I go to a Petco or a PetSmart. So I don't ask them questions about items any more.

  4. JellibeenWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, there will always be conflicting information. It’s important to consider who is giving you the information, and what experience they have. That’s why the forum is a good place. You can look at a member’s page and get a sense of how much experience they have, and with what. If i start giving advice on live bearers, you could look at my profile and realize i only have one baby molly, so i’m not a good source of info.

    You can talk to to 10 different people and get 10 different answers, but usually there’s a bit of overlap that will
    give you a good idea of what is “right.”
  5. WaterlooValued MemberMember

    Totally understand this. Been having the same issue just with the subject of lights! I only trust one LFS for info and that's mostly because its a "mom and pop" kinda shop and the owner have been in the hobby personally for a very long time. Fishlore has been my go to for info. The hobby has a major learning curve and yes, alot is trial and error and what works for you personally.
  6. Marcus HuNew MemberMember

    Well, fish adopts, and also can be manipulated.
  7. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Research is really the only way to figure out compatibility as well as if they fit temperature wise. Fish can acclimate to certain pH if they are acclimated right. I would use sites that purely focuses on certain species, such as a site that is specifically geared towards catfish and catfish only. Other sites offer only cichlid information.

    Youtube videos are tough to measure success on because some of the people on there don't tell you whether it was hard to get them to get along in the first place. Also a lot of the youtubers do have large tanks so the space that is provided evens the aggression out a little better.

    A lot of opinions here are purely just based on experience. Some people were able to make fish that usually don't get along work...also sometimes you get fish that are not as aggressive as you thought they be...for instance my JD doesn't really care about much as long as she's fed...BP gets the reputation as being shy but my BP is a total jerk.
  8. Alia_1408New MemberMember

    I agree with Thunder_o_b.

    I personally don't look for answers beyond Fishlore for any of my questions.
  9. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe for a successful tank. I think most agree on the basics like cycling and QTing new additions but other things like stocking, temperature ranges, etc have a lot of grey area. Each tank and situation is unique so what may work for one, may not work for another. Let your fish be your guide; if they are thriving, chances are what you're doing is likely fine. :)
  10. trainandfishguyValued MemberMember

    The advise that I have received here has always been spot on. I simply don't trust fish stores because they are either 1. They are in the business of selling stuff 2. They hire staff sometimes that is no more knowledgeable than a newbie to the hobby. Once in a while you come across a few employees that you can trust.
  11. GKMooreValued MemberMember

    I learned not to trust petco and petsmart day 1 lol. This store is a family owned business with tons of exotic fish.
    Here are the two links im confused about. Look at ph tolerance . My tank is 8.0ph and i have seen them living in higher. But the seller might have a lower ph.. anyway...
  12. fa4960Valued MemberMember

    I think a lot has to do with how you ask your questions, especially on forums.

    The more homework you have done the better answer I think you get from the communities like Fishlore. I have noticed that if my questions are very specific I get very specific answers from very knowledgeable members.

    Secondly, the majority of us, if not all have no interest in selling you anything. Not necessarily so in the case of your LFS although I am sure there are many good responsible ones out there.
  13. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Could it be things in our hobby aren't exact as for instance math.

    No tank is the same, no lighting is the same, no filtrage is the same, no feeding is the same, no keeper is the same, no fish is the same etc. etc..

    So every answer you'll get is based on personal experiences or people telling what they heared / read about a certain topic. I think experiences are best to listen to but one have to take sone of the mentioned things in account.

    Example : I was never lucky to keep dwarf Corys in 54 litre tanks (lost 2 batches). Here on the forum they are even advised for 10G tanks. Who is right? Were there other issues in my tanks?
  14. GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

    There's the rub. No, it's not just you.

    A while back on a post from a newbie, I wrote a summary of the advice given, and there were 15 different emphatically authoritative directions about what was wrong and how to solve the problem. Solutions ranged from completely tearing down the tank and starting over to waiting and everything would be fine. And everything in between. I was roundly criticized for pointing that out.

    Back in the day I was a pitching coach. I told new parents who brought their kids in to learn that they could expect to talk to 100 pitching coaches along the way, and they'd get 100 different explanations of the exact correct mechanics. I told them it was their job to listen and evaluate all the different coaches, try to get a sense of their knowledge and experience, and then decide for themselves what made sense and what didn't.

    In the fishkeeping hobby, it's your job to evaluate all the information, then decide what makes the most sense, and choose the method that works for you.

    There will be good advice and bad, success and failure, that's part of the process. Although you will get emphatic responses from people telling you exactly what's wrong and exactly what you need to do to fix it, the fact is nobody really knows exactly what's going on, even if they're standing at your tank with a magnifying glass. Other than something like ich, which is painfully obvious, everything is like trying to deconstruct a crime scene and put clues together to paint a picture of what's going on. It's a matter of making educated guesses along the way. The bottom line is that even though you might not have that much experience, you're in the best position to make the diagnosis and choose the best treatment. Listen to everybody, throw out what doesn't make sense, make your best guess, and go with it.
  15. Charlie’s DadValued MemberMember

    Less is best in this situation in my opinion... .... I encourage you to seek advice thoughts etc.....from Fish Lore exclusively.

    The stores are there to sell and only sell. :(
  16. rainbowsprinklesWell Known MemberMember

    Part of it is there are different ways of having a healthy tank and sometimes success with different methods will vary based on tap water parameters, room lighting, fish personality, diet and breeding history. Also most things on the forum come from anecdotal experiences not research. And sometimes myths of fish keeping blow up and get perpetuated. That is the problem with even this forum. Sometimes it is helpful but should be treated as opinions and anecdotes and ideas that may or might not be helpful. I have raised several fish that have lived 10-20 years but maybe my methods won’t work for someone who lives somewhere else with different water sources or who prefers a different method of maintenance or has different financial or space situation. We don’t read books by experts anymore we just want instant answers. I say if you aren’t sure what method you want to try, find a fish keeping book. I’m old though.
  17. ghostlybosunWell Known MemberMember

    Our hobby is centered on living things from nature.
    Nature doesnt care about humans rules and "how things are supposed to be."
    There are going to be millions of answers that "work" to even the simplest of questions in our hobby. The secret is to research to find a baseline or a set of rules for yourself that you develop from reading the advice of others and making an educated guess.
    Also, while it is wise to heed the advice of experienced persons realize that due to nature not caring about our rules and its inherent complexities, that even the experienced can be a little wrong or a lot wrong. Or maybe they are right in their circumstances, but for you that may differ slightly or a lot.
    With fishkeeping you are a scientist of sorts. Take what you believe to be true, start there, and develop your own answers over time.

    What color is a raccoon? Grey with black?
    We all know that for a fact. Its impossible for that to be wrong because we said that it's a fact.
  18. Charlie’s DadValued MemberMember

    I detect methodical thinking...... :):);)
  19. Inactive UserWell Known MemberMember

    Using pH as a specific example: the issue is that a lot of
    "facts" (and I use the term very loosely) are simply anecdotes that are circulated uncritically in the hobby. Eventually, over time, these anecdotes accrete a veneer of "truth" simply by virtue of how many times they are repeated.

    From my perspective, the primary contributing factor as to why this occurs is because people misinterpret their own personal experiences as scientific fact: "I saw/did it and it worked and therefore it must be fact" is generally how the cognitive sequence progresses. This, of course, is nonsense: personal experience is an anecdote, and anecdotes are not evidence. There is, of course, a distinction between the uninformed anecdote of Joe Blow, and the informed professional expertise of a researcher in aquatic biology who has a distinguished publication history in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.

    In addition to this, many aspects of the hobby simply have no scientific fact which can inform our decision making. This may be because there is no clear consensus in the scholarly community, or because (most often) there is limited research into a phenomenon, or because the characterisation of the problem is simply not one that can be objectively answered by the natural sciences. In place of clear cut, hard, facts, there gathers instead a large swathe of contradicting, mutually exclusive anecdotes.

    This is not to say that anecdotes can't have a semblance of truth, but the rigour of anecdotes is extraordinarily weak. It's almost a certainty that if you were to email a website and ask for non-anecdotal evidence of a claim, they would be unable to provide it. If you were to ask for a cogent and informed explanation of how pH affects fish, they would be unable to provide one.

    And of course, as others have pointed out, we can't ignore the overriding commercial interest in wanting to sell us bogus products that has much evidence basis as me claiming that dancing naked under the gibbous moon can treat a migraine.
  20. jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

    Just a relative "Newbie" myself only been keeping "Wet Pets" for about 1.5 years. There is so much info out there (good and bad) it had my head spinning. Best to do the "Research". I am a member of a few forums and also a member of my Local Fish club. With this combination I am confident after my research of course with the decisions I make. We have a good core of knowledgeable and I consider expert keepers here. As I have you will find them, or they will find you when you ask "Questions".
    Agree with @Lchi87 and @DoubleDutch
    Every Tank is as different as a fingerprint no 2 are alike. What works for 1 may not work for another. I have had up to 6 tanks going and each is different.
    Also, as mentioned at least in my area the Big "P" stores and LFS may have not have the best answers or advice.
    As a teacher once told me "The only dumb question is the one that was not asked"

    Learning all the Time.

    Best of Luck to you.

    Oh, by the way "Welcome" to Fishlore.

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