Years Of Experience Shouldn't Equal More Experienced....

  • #1
Ok hopefully this doesn't rub anyone the wrong way, but I have been biting my tongue about this for a long time.....This is not directed at anyone in particular. So please no one take this personal. I am just tired of people thinking that years of experience in the fish keeping hobby trumps everything else.

I just want to remind those who have been in this hobby for decades, that it doesn't mean that people who have been doing this for just a few years can't possibly have more experience than you, or at the very least, as much experience as you.

Too often I see people saying that they have been doing this 20,30,40 years and saying it in a manner that implies that there is no way that this person doing it for 5-10 years, or even 1-2 years, can provide any valuable info that they don't already know.

It seems that many of the ones who choose to mention the decades they have been doing this, they are often doing it at times that they are trying to prove to the others in the thread that they know more because they have been doing it longer. Whether it be for defensive reasons, or to brag, or simply just to share........the implication is, quite often, that their years of experience trump the experience of those who haven't been in it as long.

I just wanted to point out...that keeping fish for decades does not equal more experience. It's what you did within your fish hobby during those decades that equates to actual experience.

Its funny, because you will also see people doing this for 20,30,40 years who come on fishlore and are like.....WHAT??????????? And feel like they know NOTHING after what the internet age has taught everyone in this hobby. LOL Then there are the others who refuse to even believe anything that has been learned in this hobby over the last couple decades, because it wasn't necessary info before, so why should it be now? And then there are also those who are completely open to learning new things from anyone at any experience level!

Anyway...the years of experience thing means nothing to me. So when I see it mentioned in a DEFENESIVE kind of bothers me! OH.., you have been doing this for 35 years? must be right then and I must be wrong.

And don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the knowledge that can be gained from those who have been doing this for decades longer than myself....and way before the internet age....but I don't like when it is used to imply that they know better. You know??

Just a silly little vent. That's all.

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!
  • #2
Thanks for posting this, I've been bothered by the very same thing.

If everyone just took advice with an open mind instead of feeling the need to get defensive if someone (politely) challenges them, I think that's far more constructive. Also experiences will vary from person to person and from tank to tank so what may work for a 40 year veteran in the hobby, may not work for me!

We're all here to learn and as long as someone corrects /informs me in a way that isn't patronizing, I'm all for being disagreed with!

I agree that the whole "I've been doing this x amount of years so your opinions are invalid." approach is offputting.

EDIT: I just want to say I TRULY do respect the seasoned veterans in this hobby, I really really do. I think it's amazing to have dedicated so many years to one thing and still have the drive and passion to keep it up year after year; that's a whole lot of water changes!! Its just not nice to use it as a way to shut down other people if you don't agree with what's been said.
Ohio Mark
  • #3
Well said! I was in this hobby for years before I found this site. Now I'm amazed I was able to stick with it successfully. I realize now I had made quite a few mistakes and can better understand some of my failures. There is a lot to be said for experience, but I so admire the ones who recognize we never get done learning. Plus, I have gotten very helpful hints and suggestions from relative beginners.
  • #4
Huzzah! Yes, I agree! I am grateful that we have a great balanced community here on Fishlore. We have all different levels of experience on here. We all have different talents in fishkeeping and are able to help each other out. Some of us are really eloquent and others are quick and to the point at giving advice.

But to make this short, we are all here because we LOVE FISH!
  • #5
I've been doing this for over 20 years and I don't know squat compared to the internet. Besides, there's all kinds of new technology now-a-days. "Follow those who seek the truth, and run from those who claim to have found it."
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I don't want to make this about me, cuz it's not AT ALL meant to be about me. BUT...I do think I am a good example.....

I have only been keeping fish for 5-6 years. And I didn't get really serious about the hobby until just a few years ago.

But during these last 3 years I have set up and taken down TONS of tanks (so I have had to go through the cycling process dozens and dozens of times!!!!! ) I have been running tanks in the double digits for the last few years. I have significant experience breeding dwarf crayfish, plecos and angelfish. Including Multiple generations with all 3 of them (so I have been a fish grandma) Hatching baby brine shrimp for fish fry and I have even begun to dabble with shipping fish (well only once so far) and I have also repaired a significantly damaged tank. Just a list of some of the many things I have experienced in just 3 years.

I am not trying to brag, I am only trying to point out, that someone who has been keeping fish for 30 years may not have experienced the amount of things I have experienced over just the last 3 years.

There are many others like me on here. Who have experienced way more in just a few years than someone who has kept fish for decades!!! Hence the title of the thread: "Years of experience should not equal more experience" unfortunately many people don't see it that way.

Frogsauce Great quote: "Follow those who seek the truth, and run from those who claim to have found it." I love it.

Ohio Mark I also admire those who are never done learning!!! That's the attitude I try and keep in life!
  • #7
Well said, there are many who seek truth and when it presents itself, then run from it because it differs from their own experiences. There are many ways to do the same thing (ex. Make a table, sandwich, even breed fish!). I personally believe with the internet, there are so many experiences, mistakes and successes that there is always, ALWAYS something to learn. My two cents.
max h
  • #8
I'll agree with you, it's interesting to really see the differences over the years how the technology has actually changed. Although I had a small tank as a child in the early 70's, when I bought my own systems in the early 90' after being gone from fish keeping for years. It was almost like starting over again, I took another break after 1994 since the movers keep breaking the tanks. I was moving between the mainland and HawaiI for about 15 years. Then in 2014 I started keeping fish again and things had changed once again. Each time was almost like starting over again on a learning curve, this last time was actually the easiest with the help of the internet and forums for research.
  • #9
Thanks! And relative to human history, it wasn't that long ago that all the experts knew the earth was flat. Well, so much for that. Thank goodness folks keep wanting to learn more. I always liked this one too: "Do you just settle for what you know? Or do you ask questions?"
  • #10
I learned how to keep fish from my dad. He learned from his. It was amazing to see the look on his face when I first bought a test kit and was trying to get an understanding of the nitrogen cycle. He was so curious, and a bit astounded at my "knowledge" which was soooooo minimal compared to what I know now! He's now learning with me, and upgrading from old school technology.
max h
  • #11
There's still some of the old school things that do work, but as technology pushes forward we need to be open to it.
  • #12
This is great!

I was thinking along a similar line recently. No matter how enlightened we feel, or our current level of information, if we ever stop asking questions or let ego come before our animals, we can easily become the very people we work so hard in this hobby to correct and help - the folks who think everything in their tank is ok because that's the way they've always done it. On a recent visit to my hometown I was disturbed by the tank at my mom's hairdresser - the owner was totally complacent because all the problems (large fish with health issues fighting each other in too little space) were just business as usual. When things happen gradually, we justify and normalize them. I never want that to be me.

I would add that I pay more attention to people's ratings on this forum than to their years in the hobby. I know I can count on folks who have spent time in this excellent community to have all the fundamentals mastered, and to prioritize the truth about what is best for fish above everything else. <3 Much love and gratitude to you all!
  • #13
I agree. I think everyone can lend some experience (whether it be good or bad ) and or knowledge to share without coming off as, "obnoxious"
When I see a particular post that the person brags about all the experience he/she has/done, I skip over it. If I am feeling extra magnanimous, then I might reply with my own thoughts. Just like the internet, you can't tell what is behind the firewall so its just best to just blow it off.

I like to think I learn something new every day ( especially true when you have young kids )
  • #14
you will also see people doing this for 20,30,40 years who come on fishlore and are like.....WHAT??????????? And feel like they know NOTHING after what the internet age has taught everyone in this hobby. LOL

Imagine where the hobby will go in the next 30 years! It's exciting to think what we might discover about caring for captive fish that may make our current methods seem primitive!

EDIT: Speaking of which.... Can Someone Help Me Understand Redox Potential?
  • #15
The thing I like most about this site is there is still a lot to learn experience is great, but we all pick our favorites I've had nothing besides guppies in my tanks for over 40 years I came to this site to relearn about a community tank for the grandkids
  • #16
Having done this for 40+ years I've learned so much both here and elsewhere on the internet in just the past few years. It makes me wonder how the heck we ever did this without it!
I'm sure our experience is enhanced for being open to new ideas, ways of doing things, technology, and information. Anyone not wanting to learn and share well, frankly, you're in the wrong place. Though I've been doing this for so long I doubt I'll even know 'all there is to know' as that is impossible!

Similar Aquarium Threads

86 ssinit
  • Locked
Top Bottom