"From what I've read/heard"

  1. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I thought this would be an interesting topic or at least an interesting observation.

    If you google the life span of fish (for example) you'll most likely get
    someone saying 'from what I've read/heard' or just making a blanket statement.

    So you read on W forum/blog/article some info about a particular fish.
    Then you find the same info on X, Y and Z forum/blog/article.

    It's quite possible (and more than likely) X, Y and Z got the info from W.
    In which case it can't really be considered as 4 different sources.
    Just repeated info.

    To make it more confusing personal experience also differs since there are so many variables.
     
  2. Lexi03 Well Known Member Member

    Very true.

    I mostly use this statement when I have read the experiances of other members here with a fish or other topics here, and I am sure the topic needs to be addressed, but none of those members are online to respond for a while and I have no first hand experiance with the fish/ issue.
     

  3. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    When ever I haven't had personal experience with something, I (try to) make it clear that I haven't, and say what I've read/whatever of other peoples experiences. Often, I put down several different experiences, and then ask to be corrected if needed :p
     

  4. Lexi03 Well Known Member Member

    My most recend example would probibly be all I have seen you(Lucy) post about your frogs and the answers you have given to other people about frogs, reading that made me comforable enough to tell a woman I work with that 7 frogs don't belong in a 1 gallon tank. I am fairly certain of this even though I have never kept them.
     

  5. MD Angels Well Known Member Member

    You make an excellent point, Lucy.

    It is very true that different sources say different things, and holy moly can it be confusing!
    With so much info widely available at the tap of a few keys, any one can claim anything to be so, and filtering what is reliable from what is baloney can be so hard!

    I think you must always question the source - wikipedia is not a reliable source of info. They may reference, but it can still be just an opinion regurgitated from the mix of ideas read.
    However, there is a lot of legitimate falsifiable info on there. Peer reviewed studies are reliable. But not everything is studied to that extent.

    So what do we do? We go on our own experiences, read, multiple sources, and make an educated decision.

    Because even if I say x is true for me, it does not make it so for others.

    I say, always question the source, and if it is someone saying I read this, (which I sometimes do) go to that source, and decide if its viable. Its so easy to spread false info, so we must take it upon ourselves to be critics and editors. :)
     
  6. Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

    I agree, some things are very situational. Like the stocking in my 5.5 gallon. Some people would have a fit if they saw my stock, but I've made it work very well. But thats not to say I'll tell other people to go out and do it.
     
  7. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    From what I have read or heard is equivelant to "they said". And who exactly is they.
     
  8. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    I think the phrase is very important, since it denotes that the information does not come from their experience. I definitely pay more attention to personal experiences than I do to what someone says they've read, because of the reasons you've outlined (plus I've likely already read it). There is so much information that is parroted, that I think it's important to challenge ideas. Only through the defense of a viewpoint do we really understand it and learn about the subject matter. That's why I like "from what I've heard...", because it lets me know on what level to address it. And as you eluded to, even personal experience cannot be entirely trusted, as fish will act differently in different environments. That's why it's important to get the specifics.
     
  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I'm guilty of using that term myself.
    It's usually after reading umpteen articles etc. knowing people with personal experience and a disclaimer if I haven't kept a particular species.

    One visit to an aquarium you can comfortably say certain fish will out grown certain tank sizes.
    I've seen clown loaches that if it stood on it's tail fins would easily be as tall as a small toddler and most times fatter. lol
     
  10. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    I say it, when I am not speaking from experience.

    I agree, I don't need to have personal experience with a fish to say that it will outgrow certain tank sizes. I just need to have seen full grown specimens.
     
  11. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    Ill say it, if ive read enough to confirm with myself that i belive the information is true enough to be useful. No one website knows all. Know your sources, i have a few sites and blogs bookmarked, sites that i know dont repeate eachother and provide solid information. Wikipedia is not a reliable source. Reading through other fourm threads, arcticles, studies and the such is important. I find the phrase its self though to be important and helpful.

    If i say, "From what ive heard/read this oscars can grow from 12-16" on average" I have based this off of multiple sources which include a few oscar forums and MFK and so on. While its not deffinet and i have seen 20" oscars pulled from the everglades, i relize that thats wild vs. domestic(to some extent of the term). Likewise a reader should know that the phrase means the member hasnt had actuall or significant experince, but theres no harm in supplying possible information, so long as you arnt goddifying what you say.

    This almost falls into "Appeal to authority" Fallacy in writing. Something we should all avoid doing at risk of misleading. Always fun having these convos XD. Of course, you should always try to apply personal knowledge and experince in the same manner.
     
  12. GemstonePony Well Known Member Member

    Oddly enough, much of my work on the disease forum (where I've gotten many of my rep points, btw) the advice I've given is based on so-called "they said."
    HOWEVER, most of the "they said" was said by a fish vet, or someone with experience and pics to prove it, and at least 90% of my advice is spot on, evidenced by the fish getting better, or least the disease getting stopped before the fish are all gone, though sometimes it is simply too late. :( I have literally spent HOURS combing web sites for different diseases, causes, cures if any, symptoms, first-hand experience, etc.
    I actually don't have a ton of experience with columnaris, temp shock, or even ich, though I've killed plenty of fish with meds trying to prevent it prior to doing some actual research on it, and can guarantee you that particular types WILL kill neon tetras and gouramis! That said, when someone reports sudden deaths from fuzzies, fish not looking great after dropping the temp 6* in one hour, or fish covered in white spots, I still consider myself a valid helper because I've seen what worked in similar situations. So I wouldn't discount "seen/read" entirely.
    Nor do I consider myself an "expert" at all, most of my helping is guessing at what the problem could be based on whatever info I can gather and suggesting a course of action based on that guess. If I haven't the foggiest what something could be, I generally try to stay out of it.
     
  13. Dino Fishlore VIP Member

    Which is why a lot of my post have "it has been my experience" written in them.
     
  14. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I agree, I have been taught on more than one occasion around here that my experiences are not always the norm or that the norm is not always the case. I try to use valid information when possible and usually in regards to water parameters it has been thru countless classes and tests for work. Stocking I'm still working on as well as a few other things but thanks to a great crew on here I have lean red a ton already and continue to learn every day.
     
  15. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    There are two sides to this coin:
    One is that it could very well be that all of your information is coming from a single source, just filtered through multiple people. A good way to tell this is to look for similarities in wording.

    However, the other side of the coin is that, reading/listening about something provides a potential for more complete information.
    What's more comprehensive? One person keeping a single aquarium, or an article that sums up years of experience and research?

    The most important thing is to note where you read or heard something. Reading from a scholarly journal or listening to a speech by someone who has devoted their life to a particular subject is useful. Reading info from Yahoo Answers, not so much.
     
  16. catsma_97504 Fishlore Legend Member

    My pet peeves are references to eHow.com, wiki or about.com sites. While these sites can be entertaining, the information is often inaccurate. I do not trust these types of sites and would rather rely on scholarly documentation and experiences of myself and others.

    I too say something to indicate I am not relying on personal experience along the lines of what others have already stated. Or that I have been researching a particular subject, such as angelfish genetics, which came up this morning.
     
  17. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    Wikis are actually more useful than a lot of people think they are. The big thing is that you need to check the sources. If an article is laced with tags for solid sources, the information has been well-checked. May not be 100% accurate, but it's sound enough that any good university professor will accept it as a springboard for a paper (though he/she will expect a wider range of resources by the end of the paper).
    On the other hand, if there's no tags, or if the page doesn't have the typical encyclopedic style, then it's suspect info, and probably copied from one of the sites that we often laugh at. ;)
     
  18. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I agree Sir, If the page seems to be well in order then the info is most likely true to life. There is a lot of bunk on there thou so you have to semi learn how to filter it for yourself
     
  19. sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    Agreed. The two most useful classes I took in college were an English class, and Information Studies. The English class focused on writing a paper with references, and Information Studies focused on learning to sort through information, identify fake websites (you'd be surprised how many people in my class thought that the old satire of George W Bush's White House website was actually true), and so on.
     
  20. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    no the sad thing is I would believe t and actually probably think it was on the low side.