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

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


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

    Fish Beginner; UV Sterilizer Use

    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.

    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.

    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?


11 responses to “FishLore; Review, such as Melafix Dangers, Planaria

  1. I doubt you’ll leave this up but I guess all opinions are good until someone disagrees right?. At least that’s what I’m gathering from your experience. So although I cannot officially speak for Fishlore but I am sorry you had a bad experience at there, but in my finding over the years, reading from this forum to that forum before settling in on Fishlore, the fact is that ALL forum based information has a chance to be incorrect. The members of Fishlore are people are active and willing to help.

    Fishlore is also great because the one thing, it’s active more than most. Questions answered not a month later as I’ve found in some other forums. You find me one single user based forum where 100% of the data returned is perfect and I’ll resend my comment.

    I find your blog on this website subjective, as in that “you’re” experience was found different from others therefore they are wrong I.E in your betta Melafix dosing. So because “you” didn’t receive the same results ergo “they” must be wrong.

    Being critical because someone mistakenly said Melafix had teatree oil, really? Please don’t cry wolf. Because forums are based on debates, you could of simple pointed out the fact and had the others respond in kind. You’ll find that most people are willing to admit to mistakes if you prove them wrong. Well except those who take their opinion as final and write up a bad review. I just get the sense you saw a few inperfections and came to the conclusion Fishlore must be bad. Really?

    Your Factual disagreements? Once again seeped in the same subjectivity I see riddled throughout your column on Fishlore. If you are going to give a “Factual” disagreement then please do, support it with some facts, links to support your theory other wise I’m sorry I’m more likely to agree with the hobbyist you quoted because my experience outweighs your fact-less disagreement, an aquarium that is maintained properly may never “100% NEED” a UV sterilizer.

    Your links on UV sterilizers are like a million other articles on UV sterilizers, same as the ones you’ll find on their manufacturers website. Are they useful? sure. Do you need one? No.

    So in the end, your column seems like a angry shopper that had to wait in the 20 items or less isle because the guy in front of you had 21 items and now you’re just gonna rip them apart on the internet because it’s your only means of coping as a human being.

    Well I don’t want to hold you up, because if you’re going to write one subjective column on the finding’s of a user based forum being possibly incorrect, there’s has to be at least a thousand more where Fishlore came from, so get busy.

    • You are certainly entitled to your opinion too.

      However as per my opinions, it is based on the MANY questions I have received from clients where incorrect information was disseminated there, not just one bad experience

      What you fail to see is I am not relying on my experience and research, but others in the professional aquarium keeping community (including forwarded emails)

      I am not questioning individual members, rather staff and moderators.

      The Melafix debate has some very good research behind it, so does the raw shrimp, and Planaria issue, which is not even debatable since a Detritus worm is NOT even remotely related to Planaria

      As to UV Sterilization, I do not say they are 100% needed, however if you were to TRULY read these links instead of angrily blowing these off, you would see that these cite even more in depth research, such as into the Redox Potential which in fact a UV Sterilizer has been PROVEN to help, this is in much better funded human studies.
      One such study is this one:

      You comments as per the use of UV Sterilizers really shows you are not interested in truth, as it ignores facts many professionals that use this equipment know, as well you comment about manufactures is a typical false argument where by you attack the person delivering the facts rather than the facts.
      Quoting another article about UV Sterilization:
      “Such “straw man” attacks are akin to stating a person with considerable experience with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines is not a credible author of an article extolling an MRI for detecting certain diseases in humans!”
      What is also interesting is that neither websites I source, are selling these products, rather these are aquarium information websites, which further shows you are simply not wanting the truth, as you clearly never read these or the references there in;

      Finally, what I find offensive is the fact that I know of a long time aquarium professional, who was my mentor many years ago and has devoted his life to helping persons with their aquariums & ponds; he has had much of his work plagiarized.
      According to a friend of his and myself (& I found a few of these threads aftet his was brought to my attention, but I am not going to name him as I know he rather not get involved as this is the kind of person he is), many of his articles have been quoted in Fishlore and elsewhere, but it is only FishLore that deletes the links back to his work, but not other links.
      This Sir/Ma’am is highly unethical and frankly since I know this individual this is how he feeds his family and by doing such, the moderators are in essence stealing from him

    • To G.P

      I have to wonder how you even found this blog post. You come from a position where you defending forum opinion, rather the misinformation that is easily spread on forums like FishLore. This is the real point of this article.

      Sure anyone can give opinion, but let me ask and let’s make it easy. Would you want advice on how to care for your fish from someone that has been in the hobby for decades or someone that has a fish tank for a couple of years? Both have their opinion; one seems to have a little more credit.

      Your point on Melafix is a little off. No one was commenting on the ingredient of teatree oil, but the mass amount of copy and paste information that says Melafix could be dangerous. The article provided addresses how Melafix is not dangerous. This defending the misinformation and not attacking the person, but it did call out the forum that should be moderating for misinformation such as this. See the difference?

      These are not small imperfections; these are mass incorrect informational points that are being passed around as truth when they are not. It is happening in places such as FishLore. Many people in the hobby are coming together and noticing this misinformation. Article posts such as these are just one attempt to correct the issue. The person putting together post like these is just the forefront of what of many professional and hobbyist are concerned about.

      It’s not just FishLore, but Yahoo Answers… on and on, that are supplying some bad information to a massive amount of people. Nence this article.

      The point that FishLore was called out was to simply say that there is more reliable information sources on the web rather than a forum that supports known incorrect information. Sure, your point that there are many people on these forums there to help and they all have their opinion is a fine point. Like you, this article is just letting people know that there are a lot of opinions out there and posts like this are making people aware that some of these opinions that are completely wrong.

    • I personally find GPs comment rudely misinformed.

      The author here DOES CITE his sources, which GP simply dismisses for whatever reason. Then, has the audacity to call out the author for being subjective.

      Here is a quote from a scientist referred to in the work of Redox & UVC (in human studies):
      “how badly out of touch the aquarium hobby is with current scientific research”.

      Not only do the sources have good research to back them up, they also are based on long time experienced aquarium keepers use.
      Anyone who was to ACTUALLY read these sources could easily see this. These are not opinions, but fact.

      GP, you even close with a snarky comment that is the opposite of the author. The author stated:
      “Considering the fact there are many more accurate websites that constantly update and correct their information”.
      GP states: “Well I don’t want to hold you up, because if you’re going to write one subjective column on the finding’s of a user based forum being possibly incorrect, there’s has to be at least a thousand more where Fishlore came from, so get busy”

      The author was clearly calling out JUST Fishlore for not moderating for completely wrong information. If they are going to push so much information around the web, it should be correct. The author was not at all subjective based on his links when it came to the facts section of the blog post.

      With such a strange comment, I could see GP standing in front or A. Einstein, if he were alive, and tell him he is wrong about the subject of relativity because it’s subjective and someone on Fishlore has another opinion on the matter. This all said, even though there is much scientific research done on the topic.

      If GP were to represent the entire aquarium hobby, I think we might as well drain our aquariums and move on to another hobby as scientific objectivity has no value when compared to forum opinion.

      As for subjectivity, my personal opinion is that GP helps make the point of why persons should think twice before going to Fishlore for good aquarium information. There ARE so many other good informational resources even forums such as Aquariacentral.
      This said, I have read FishLore many times and know that most of the members do NOT behave in this manner

      • Odd, I noticed you’re commenting on my latest reply, but decided not to post it. Did I hit a nerve regarding anything.

        Say what you want I suppose, my comments are snarky. It’s frustrating to make light of ones errors when the party chooses to ignore them.

        I could be in error regarding your motives but nothing shows me any reason to doubt myself.

        It’s hard to debate a point when the other party decides to ignore my questions and only summarize my point.

        Then of course the lack of placing my post up, yet responding to it, still only further cements my assumptions.

        I only have assumptions because the author refuses to answer my questions.

        Like I said before I’ll say it again, people get things wrong, but unless you’re going to cough up legitimate proof of your finding to invalidate the other persons experience. Instead of just your word alone with some common clinical studies that has nothing to do with what you’re arguing in the first place.

        You see where I come from i have the benefit of hundreds of studies done in print on various pathogens,in various conditions in various environments.
        Not a home experiment.

        So in example you could disagree with me regarding the staining processes of various anaerobic/aerobic bacterium, in a certain situation, because your outcome was different, but I probably have research to back me up regarding your results. Not a home experiment as I read on one of your websites followed by general clinical information.

        So maybe the person you were arguing with wasn’t incorrect in their findings.

        However I guess were done here, as I have already concluded this is more of a personal vendetta against Fishlore than anything else.

        I suppose since we have officially disagreed and I’ve found some of the replies offensive. I can clearly go on a smear campaign against the various websites you seem to have collected to facilitate your “credentials”

        but I’m not that type of person.

        I feel for you.

      • GP, Your latest comment does not even make sense.
        As I HAVE posted everything you have stated, UNEDITED!
        Which I know cannot be said for Fishlore which heavily edits posts by members there in.

        You keep stating I have not backed up my points, but I have, you just choose to blow these off.

        You on the other hand have not, other than some strange comment about aerobic/anaerobic bacteria staining processes that have nothing to do with this article or my complaints.

        The only point I will agree with is we are done here, as you have not offered anything other than Ad hominem attacks

        In summary, all I am asking is that Fishlore look to correct their articles as per current scientific knowledge, then source this knowledge and then respect others content as well in how they manage their content.
        I would be more than happy to remove this blog post, as it is only written to help others understand truth from fiction in the hobby and industry that has professionally employed me since 1987.
        I know of too many persons who have had issues from incorrect information, including a friend who killed his entire tank of goldfish by using a flatworm treatment because he thought he had Planaria when in reality he had Detritus Worms. The difference is indisputable by anyone with any background in science

    • As I noted my problem is NOT with the average member, RATHER the staff/admins that delete links and clearly seem to suppress good information.

      I also re-read a forwarded email from an “Admin” at Fishlore to a friend from a few years ago. What I find interesting is the friend, changed his wording in an article about aquarium medications as asked, but the Admin never reciprocated by correcting his information. In other words, these guys are hypocrites.

      In looking at the stats for the “Aquarium Opinions” website, I found that GP, likely came from a “staff” section of FishLore which further makes this point.

  2. G.P
    Your comment is very difficult to understand and has points that were not even discussed in this blog until you bring them up. For example, regarding the “staining processes of various anaerobic/aerobic bacterium”. You seemed confused.
    Points are being made in this blog by the author that you are not following. If you were following them, you would have more of an legible complaint.
    I don’t understand why you keep saying that your points are not address and your posts are not being allowed. I see all your post and each time you bring up a point, information is clearly given as to why.

  3. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say “what?”

    Every article on Fishlore was written by a member. Just like every forum post on every forum all over the internet. Are you seriously criticizing an entire forum based on the posts of some of the members? Criticize the individual member, not the entire community. I will admit that some of the information in the article section is slightly outdated, however since it is a forum first, you’d think a member would make a post should they have a question or concern about something. I know I would (and do, and have.)

    I find this whole blog post really odd, since the advice I see given most often on that forum by seasoned members is “Do your research.” And most often I assume this advice is given because the experience of one person is not necessarily going to be the experience of another person, especially when you’re comparing industry professionals and the equipment they use to the average home hobbiest.

    As to your comment that posts made on fishlore are “heavily edited”, it’s simply not true. Content is not removed unless it is rude or inappropriate for public viewing, or violates the rules of conduct of the forum. I’ve seen chat posts removed on classified offers as well, but that doesn’t affect the integrity of the forum, just keeps things clean.

    • Junebug; I am NOT criticizing the entire forum, in particular the many members, not do my friends in the business, so I am unclear as to how you arrived at that conclusion.

      Second, as for editing, this is an established fact, as a good friend and mentor of mine has had EVERY link provided by members disabled. An employee of his also told me (though a mutual friend) that he joined FishLore to interact, and made it clear who he worked for. He corrected some of the disabled links to my mentor’s website and he was immediately banned for life!!

      While I have read some VERY excellent posts by members, my complaint is with how this website is run, as well when a member posts an article with incorrect information, this can be edited when either new information comes to light or when errors are found.

      I know that I personally have been incorrect in many occasions, that is often how we learn, but to leave incorrect information posted is not in my opinion and others I know opinion a good way to run an educational forum such as Fishlore.

    • As a follower of this blog, I have now re-read this particular post many times and I am unclear how Junebug can make these comments???

      Should the author of this blog, myself, or anyone else interested in good science look the other way when articles are presented that fly in the face of good science?

      Based on what you are saying, I would presume that it is OK to write an article about how the earth is flat and then if the author here or anyone else questions this, that they are somehow attacking the members of the forum?

      I have read through many posts on Fish lore myself too, and I will agree that there are comments by seasoned members as to “Do your research.” And many members do from what I have read, but when their links to some excellent websites are edited by management, an honest person has to question what is going on.

      What is also interesting to me is that when I first read this post, I went back to Fish Lore and quickly found the posts where links were clearly deleted to one content rich aquarium information website in particular.
      This took very little work, so I apologize if I am insulting you Junebug, but I really have to really question your honesty in posting this comment as to editing. Maybe not for you or other members, but it is obvious as to a certain website having all links cut.

Comments are closed.