FishLore; Review, such as Melafix Dangers, Planaria

Aquarium InformationRevised 12/20/13

In this review, I will get even more controversial by reviewing a website/forum known as “FishLore” which seems to have a big following.

Personally I do not agree with this following based on what I have read. Much of this is when I have come across clients who have pointed out that they got incorrect information from their articles or forum.

My OPINION as to why they are popular is they give people what they want to hear, not necessarily what is best or even the facts. I will also concede from reading through threads that this forum is generally polite and quick to respond.

I base this opinion on clients and their responses to me when, I asked them why they even went there for aquatic information when there are better websites (& forums) out there.

In reading their “About” page, I think their intentions were good when setting up this website in 2004.
The problem is many of the articles are of the “cut and paste” nature, with no updates or worse no corrections when confronted with better science.

As well, I know of one moderator in particular who sent an email to another aquarium professional I have known for some years.

After taking a look at the thread, this guy seemed rather clueless as to what he was critical of. He never updated or corrected the misinformation he presented, even after evidence to the contrary was presented to him.

I do need to note that the guy also signed off with some very lame Obama quote that made little sense.


Worse, recently I was forwarded by a friend a url list from FishLore forum threads.

In these threads all the links of website my friend worked to keep and were placed by good intentional members were “chopped”, making these links useless references.

Many of these contained quotes for this website, sometimes that contradicted “official” information from FishLore.

What is sickening is when I read through FishLore I see this is clearly directed at my friends website, NOT others such as Amazon.com

This is both ethically and more importantly legally WRONG since one legally must source quotes as per the DMCA law.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS ANY FORUM SUCH AS FISHLORE THAT SUPPRESSES ACCURATE INFORMATION THIS WAY IS ONE ANY HONEST FISH KEEPER MUST AVOID!!!


What this website and forum have become in my opinion is a place for circular reasoning with no fresh input and while their forum might be polite, constructive criticism is never made within these forum posts when misinformation is spread.

As to FishLore; what I will do is point out a few points my disagreements. First my opinion based on my experience, then in more factual disagreements.

OPINION DISAGREEMENTS:

  • AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer Review

    This is a product that FishLore seems to push, yet I have not found a single professional who is familiar or has used this product.

    These are hyped up by by Fish Lore.

    This is not to say it does not work, but simply not all that well.

    The consensus is from my use and other service professionals I speak to (often picking up fish at LAX) is this:

    “The Remora is much scaled down version of Downdraft style Skimmers which work well in the large industrial size environment in which they were originally designed for, however this design does not lend itself to small sizes well.

    The Remora skimmer also can clog with time, is sensitive to water levels, tends to produce a watery muck instead of foam, is often noisy, and can be temperamental when used in a sump environment.”

  • Aquarium Lighting
    Here, FishLore only gives an outdated look at LEDs, calling in essence the technology not quite there.

    The fact is, the technology is there and the price has come down with better models. Also, the only shout out are to EcoTech, which admittedly is a good LED, but doesn’t compare to some other LED that are much better. EchoTech is still not the leader when it comes to actual PUR output, which is what really matters for any aquarium light.

The above can be regarded as opinions based on use, however the next section will move on more to facts or at least the best scientific information, since facts may be a bit gray at times for any one who is open minded to learn more.

FACTUAL DISAGREEMENTS:

  • UV Sterilization
    This quote from Fishlore says it all:
    “However, most hobbyists really don’t need one if they are doing things properly. Doing things properly would mean using a quarantine fish tank for new arrivals and performing frequent fish tank maintenance.”

    Really? Most all professionals and shippers are in 100% agreement that to be without one is nearly down right dumb.

    FishLore apparently has never read anything about Redox, fish immunity, or simply understanding that cutting down on potential pathogens in the water column can lower incidence of disease.

    Keep in mind that even “good” bacteria can cause issues to fish when in the water column. Think of it this way: There are many bacteria that live in our soil, but we do not want them in the air we breath—–The same with fish.

    See:
    Fish Beginner; UV Sterilizer Use

    OR:
    UV STERILIZATION; UVC Irradiation for Pond, Aquarium

    Or from a friends website, this review:
    TMC Professional UV Sterilizer Review

  • Melafix Dangers
    This is the thread in FishLore including the newer so-called updated thread that really leaves me questioning FishLore and the accuracy of the information they put forth.

    There is so much wrong with their scientific method, that I will not address it and rather refer to another website.

    However, as someone that HAS used Melafix with Bettas and other fish cited in their forum I can state that even at double the dose I did not have the issues cited.

    No one ever questioned whether the Melafix, which should ONLY be used as First Aid as one would use Neosporin, was used for a disease. It was NOT intended for disease such as Columnaris. The end result with such incorrect use will be dead fish and with their flawed reasoning. They believe the cause must be the Melafix. This of coarse is simply INCORRECT.

    The problem is then that Melafix is used incorrectly based on input from others.

    Another question that was not addressed is pH and water mineralization as it is PROVEN that this plays a role in Melafix toxicity.

    Finally, technically the oil used in Melafix is cajeput oil, not the Tea Tree Oil FishLore refers to.

    See:
    Melafix Dangers, Betta, Labyrinth Fish, Pencil Fish

    & Melafix; Wikipedia

  • Aquarium Cycling; Raw Shrimp Method
    I personally have less of a problem here than a couple of my friends in the professional Aquarium Service business, but FishLore is still incorrect and a decade out of date as per pushing the “Raw Shrimp” cycling method as an alternative cycling method.

    I have used this method with no problems, but then I have very tightly monitored the cycling process with many water changes.

    I do know that this is a risky method for a beginner or those who do not have time to monitor, as the risk of Saprolegnia is real AND proven.

    See:
    Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Basics

  • Aquarium Planaria

    Here again FishLore gets an important subject wrong.

    Planaria are a Flatworm and I know of many who have treated with harsh chemicals due to this poor article, with the result of dead fish.

    The facts are what FishLore is calling Planaria, Detritus Worms. These Detritus worms are generally harmless decomposers.

    What frustrates me is this misinformation only seemed to spring up with the Internet. This problem where others think they know more on the subject because the Internet told them and it’s simply a matter of persons re-posting the same information over and over so that the search algorithms believe the myths are the truth and the truth is a myth.

    PLEASE read these articles for more accurate information on this subject:

    *Aquarium Planaria, is this correct?
    *What are these small white worms in my aquarium?

In Closing, let me apologize to those I might have offended, but let me ask, WHY?

All I am attempting to do is put forth corrections that this website clearly refuses to do.
The Melafix thread is VERY clear evidence they are not interested in accuracy, especially in lieu of an email shared with me from a moderator.

Considering the fact there are many more accurate websites that constantly update and correct their information. Why should ANY aquarium or Pond keeper visit FishLore?

Are UV Sterilizers Good for an Aquarium?

Are UV Sterilizers Good for Aquariums Question; Are UV Sterilizers Good for Aquariums?
As a generalization, this is a question that really should not be asked anymore based on research of the benefits of Level 1 Sterilization that includes disease prevention & control, fish immunity based on redox balance, and water clarification.

However while there are few reasons not to have a UV Sterilizer on your aquarium, most of the reasons NOT to have one of these devices is based on myths that simply will not go away despite verified controlled use of these devices.
The other reason to NOT have a UV Sterilizer is the plethora of low cost quality UV Sterilizers made by companies such as AquaTop, Jebo, Green Killing Machine, and others that simply do NOT provide level 1 sterilization; ONLY clarification.

What I will then look at based on my aquarium service business observations, as well as feedback from others I know in the business as to what are the positives and the negatives. With the negatives I will also look at negatives that are caused by UV Sterilizers of poor dwell time design, poor over all construction, poor quality, and simply poor installation.

UV STERILIZER POSITIVES (based on science and professional use, not here say)

  • At flow rates of 20-25 gph, depending upon dwell time inside UV Sterilizer, a UV Sterilizer will kill or render helpless most pathogenic bacteria
  • A UV Sterilizer will NOT kill beneficial bacteria since these aerobic bacteria reside in the substrate and filter media in a healthy established aquarium
  • A UV Sterilizer will NOT kill copepods in a marine reef aquarium.
    Simple use proves this, as well, the science behind how a UV Sterilizer shows that when correctly plumbed, the UV Sterilizer would not be powerful enough nor would a copepod even get into the UV Sterilizer chamber based on how and where they live and correct pre-filtration prior to water entering the UV.
  • A UV Sterilizer WILL improve Redox Balance resulting improved fish immune response
  • A UV Sterilizer can help slow or occasionally even stop Oodinium, Ich or other single cell aquarium parasite infestation.
    Level 1 Sterilization will slow many of these parasites, if only by improving fish immune response. Level 2 can even kill some single parasites, although not always completely.
    However I should caution a prospective buyer that even the best UV should not be purchased with the belief this will put an end to future Ich, Velvet, Oodinium or related infestations. Purchase a UV as a tool to aid in control and prevention (keyword: TOOL)
  • A UV Sterilizer will clarify an aquarium with cloudy or green water

UV STERILIZER NEGATIVES

  • A UV Sterilizer is NOT a cure all to poor water chemistry as per Redox, over crowding often resulting in poor water clarity, poor disease prevention, and other poor aquarium maintenance management
  • If not correctly installed AFTER filter inline or in a sump loop, too high a flow rate, poor dwell time, poor UV Sterilization chamber design; you often will have useless piece of aquarium equipment.
    This unfortunately happens way too often.
    I have made countless “house calls” where a customer incorrectly installed the UV Sterilizer or purchased one of the countless junk UVs such as the Jebo or AquaTop and then would tell me the UV did not improve my fish’ health. This resulted in this customer stating ALL UVs are useless, when in fact they made this anecdotal opinion based on incorrect installation or use of poorly designed UVs that are NOT capable of Level 1 Sterilization.
  • A UV should not be used while planktonic foods are added to the water column. This is common in many reef aquariums.
    However the UV Sterilizer can still be used and should be placed on a timer so that it is run two hours after the introduction of these foods.
  • Many UV Sterilizer have ballasts that do not last (such as the Coralife), or gimmicks such as baffles, twists, wipers, that do little or even lower UV irradiation efficiency.
    Do not waste your money on these UVs, otherwise you may end up with a poor opinion of what a good UV can do for your aquarium.

What is also important to know is lamp/bulb maintenance.
To purchase a UV Sterilizer, including a better model such as the TMC and then to rarely if ever change the lamp will slowly result in a device that does nothing for your aquarium.
With 24/7 use, these lamps will already be at 50% in just 6 months, which is when they should be changed. After a year of continuous use the lamp is mostly useless.

The other issue in our competitive marketplace, is that many if not the majority of online and sellers, especially Amazon and Ebay, sell medium pressure and cold cathode UV lamps so as to make a better profit all the while keep the selling price lower than the wholesale cost of the better high output replacement lamps/bulbs.
To make the mistake of purchasing one of these lamps like so many do based on my home and office visits where the aquarium service client is complaining that their UV no longer works as well or that the fish are getting sick more often, is to purchase a UV lamp with 1/4 to 1/3 the useful UVC output! In my opinion this is self defeating!!!

For more on this subject, I STRONGLY suggest reading this article:
Actual UV-C Emission from a UV Bulb; Aquarium or Pond

Before just taking my word and observations, I suggest reading these resources on this subject:

*Aquarium UV Sterilizer Use
*Redox in Aquariums
*UV Sterilizer Review
UV Bulbs; Problems of Quality?

Here are a few UV Sterilizer that I know from practical use work well and reliably.

*AAP/TMC Vecton, Advantage
*Aqua Ultraviolet
*Emperor Aquatics UV
*Gamma UV

Of the four above, I have had the highest longevity, least gimmicky features, and the highest dwell time with the AAP/TMC Advantage & Vecton UV Sterilizers.

Here are a few Economy UV Sterilizer that I know from practical use work reasonably well; at least level 1 sterilization and reasonable reliability:

*Via Aqua Terminator [discontinued]
*SunSun (Perfect) CUP Series (not the JUP series which do not provide level 1 sterilization)

UV Sterilizers to Avoid; either due to poor level 1 sterilization and/or poor reliability

*AquaTop
*Jebo
*Coralife Turbo Twist
*Green Killing Machine