Modern Aquarium Supplies Marketing; My Aquarium Box, etc.

Modern Aquarium Supplies Marketing; My Aquarium Box, etc.

In speaking with others in this industry, especially those I admire and trust who have mentored me to where I am today, it seems we have entered a new era in this hobby & industry where listening to those with more experience, trusting those who have paved the way, and promoting honest products is no longer what matters.

I will list a few points and let readers decide for themselves:

  • Mentoring. This is how I learned and continue to learn. Yes, I gain a lot of experience from my aquarium service route, but I still ask questions and read, often well beyond the 3 minute Youtube video or 4 paragraph copy/paste aquarium blog.

    Mentoring, Freshwater Aquatics Marine & Ecosystems, Northfin, Rachel O'leary

    However of late, this seems to not be the case with how many get their information.
    You see popular Youtube channels with otherwise knowledgeable aquarium keepers promoting products such as Poly Pads that are excellent when used properly, but ignoring the proven affect these products have on aquarium redox. Yet this information is easily found if they just try and expand outside of their circles of friends!!

    You have a Facebook group [F.A.M.E.] that one mentor shared with me, that invited him in, only to edit anything he brought into the group to expand their understandings such as again aquarium redox, and prevention of common aquarium diseases. This group even attacked him when he corrected their misunderstandings about fish foods and a certain brand in particular.

    Further Reading:
    Redox in Aquariums

  • Deep Blue Sponge Patent Infringement, My Aquarium Box, Kens Fish

  • Patents/Copyrights I have seen patents copied, mostly with products coming from China, where they brazenly copied modular designs of products such as the AAP/ATI Hydro Sponge Filter. One notable example here is the Deep Blue Sponge Filter. The Deep Blue along with the Aquarium Solutions filters are infringing upon the patent rights of ATI (originally Lustar), so when you purchase these filters, you are in fact receiving stolen goods!!
    Worse, is you have marketing ideas such as “My Aquarium Box” that promote this product. What in the end is this going to this hobby/industry if no one can develop a product without the fear their time is wasted by someone in China copying their design and then promoted those with popular marketing ideas, but clearly no interest in the future of the hobby/industry and reliable content!

    In fact speaking of content and “My Aquarium Box”, I know in speaking with a friend/mentor in this industry that when it comes to fish food, they most definitely are all about the marketing and not at all about the facts in that they spewed back incorrect information about Paradigm, all the while showing no class in how they backed out of a deal to market a truly science driven food developed by fish food guru Clay Neighbors that utilized my friends years of experience too. My jaw dropped when he shared his communications with this marketing company.

    Later “My Aquarium Box” used a plagiarized formula from Paradigm [not Clay Neighbor’s updated energy optimized formula either] and branded it as their own. Then they claim there are multiple dehydrated fish foods available when is fact there is really only Clay Neighbor’s formula.
    In my thinking, this shows their character, and that they are NOT about good information driving good products. AVOID “My Aquarium Box like the plague!

    Resource:
    What is an aquarium sponge filter?

  • Inexperience Posing as Experienced You have websites and Youtube channels where persons who have been in the hobby and industry sometimes only a few months and often just a year or so posing as experts in everything. For experienced aquarium keepers, these persons are easy to spot, but for the undiscerning or inexperienced, these people are sharks!

    A good example is NorthFin USA where the owner also has a Youtube channel and poses as a fish food and fish medication expert.
    He simply reads labels of fish medications like this is going to solve everyone’s problem when in fact if you looked at most API Antibiotic treatments such as Triple Sulfa and Furan 2 you would see that everyone of these matches the next! So what kind of information is this??

    You need to first look at causes and parameters, then symptoms, then finally what to treat with, which may also include changing how you feed, house, filter, etc. your aquarium.
    No wonder this guy pushes a fish food with energy levels that long term are not all that healthy for fish!

    A good place to start for REAL information in fish medications/treatments:
    Fish Diseases | How to Treat Sick Fish
    My Fish are Sick, What do I do?

Advertisements

Must Read Aquarium Information Websites

This is certainly not a complete list of aquarium help/information, but these are ones I CAN vouch for their sources.
Admittedly two websites (Aquarium Article Digest and Aquarium Supplies & Resources) have cited/interviewed me among others as their source of information.
This does not take away their credibility, as I know one website in particular (Aquarium Article Digest) uses dozens of resources and even guest authors (whom I do not know).

The other websites I recommend are based on what I view as simple yet good information.

I should also note that I started this website only recently to counter all the misinformation I find via customers who make me aware there-of.
I am far from an expert in websites (as the amateur quality of the website design shows), and in fact I am rare online. Much of my time online is ONLY after I have a client tell me about the “lasted thing they read online”, for which I investigate.
For this reason I am not always aware of all the good websites either, only the “bad” ones I am made aware of by my clients.

Since this blog over all often has a negative tone based on the reasons I get online in the first place (to explore strange advice my clients repeat to me that they found online), I felt having a positive post about websites I can recommend was long overdue.


Aquarium Article Digest

This article is especially excellent for its articles on lighting, such as “LED Aquarium Lights, Lighting Information“.

 


Aquarium Supplies & Resources

This article has a great listing itself of many top notch articles in this article: “Unique Aquarium Articles

 


Sponge Filter; Information

While not a flashy website, I found the articles simple and “spot on”

 


Aquarium Medications

Great accurate article about the use of aquarium medications and treatments, as well as where to get them.
Again I found this website spot on with the article about Furan 2 interesting since this is a product I often find useful.

 


Fish Beginner

A client stumbled upon this neat little gem and told me about it.
I especially like this article from this website:
Aquarium UV Sterilizer Use; Choosing & Maintenance– This article includes simple but accurate information about choosing a replacement UV bulb

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?