Shilling Hikari (Chinese) Aquarium Sponge Filters for Amazon while attacking industry professionals
This “Aquarium Opinions” article deals with an article that is a clear example of what is destroying our aquarium hobby and industry. I have to admit that I was floored when I was sent an email from a friend in the industry that has also worked for my mentor in the aquarium industry as to this article and the author’s attack upon my friend and mentor.
Article in question:
“Sponge Filters: Cheap Mechanical and Bio Filtration for Your Aquarium”
We have this author promoting Hikari Sponge Filters, which is nothing more Hikari placing their name on the Chinese XY-380 knock off of the AAP/ATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filter.
If this author had really done his homework, he would have known this as pointed out by my friend. I might add that my friend [Steve] did this in a polite & respectful manner.
Instead the author of this article makes a ridiculous attack attempting to point out that the AAP Sponge Filtration article [by Carl Strohmeyer] has had an update that included “Hikari” being added to the content in what appears a way to divert attention from his shilling for Amazon. This diversion is known as a “RED HERRING ARGUMENT” which this guy sadly uses quite effectively.
What is worthy of note is that the author AAP & “Aquarium Answers” aquarium/pond keeping articles updates his many articles DAILY to make sure content is a clear and accurate as possible, NOT to discredit shill articles such this one attacking him [regular followers or those who do their homework would know this, so his attempt to discredit is laughable].
Sadly he continues to try and discredit Carl since Carl obviously recommends the AAP Hydro Sponge Filter which he sell on his professional based web site as attempt to cover his own alleged shilling of Cheap Amazon Sponge Filters via well known aquarium industry destroying Amazon [which is all this article is about with every outside link going to Amazon].
He posts a link that he claims shows that Carl only had two updates in the last year which it does not, and in consulting for this “Aquarium Opinions” blog post, I spoke with a “techie” friend who also stated that the web site used in a libelous way to discredit Carl cannot detect all updates since it only crawls a web page limited times. I also spoke with Carl himself, who stated his HTML edit logs showed multiple edits per year for this particular article. Stupidly on my part, by bringing this point up, really only buys into his libelous attempt discredit Carl, all the while to divert from his own alleged credibility issues as a poser who clearly know little about the aquarium industry, unlike Carl who has given so much to the industry/hobby and taken very little out [I know for a fact he makes less than minimum wage from his business].
The author of this article later states that he could not find the patent, even though Steve provided him a link that had the name of owner of the patent. I will admit that I am not Internet savy [I am not a poser here], yet it took me little time to find the patent [which I do believe is recently expired, however these knock offs have been around for at least 15 years, well before the patent expired].
In my opinion, this shows even more alleged credibility and honesty issues for the author of this article, as while it is obvious that he has little to no knowledge of the aquarium industry and products there in, it appears that he is quite tech savy and uses this to attempt to divert attention from his shilling of Chinese products via Amazon over USA product sold by professionally sources.
Sadly this alleged shilling author then attempts to discredit this blog Steve shared about the history of the AAP/ATI Sponge Filter just because Carl & Steve both collaborate on this blog-site [another ad-hominem attack]. Again this shows this author’s lack of knowledge and respect for the true pros in this industry.
This attack upon Carl & Steve is no different than attacking a friend and eye-witness to President Kennedy who wrote a bio about Kennedy just because he is the author of the bio. Ditto Carl, he personally know the inventor of the ATI/AAP Sponge Filter and is a known and credible expert on the subject.
Here is a quote from Steve in the comments section:
“Ian, this is not my article, however I do in fact know the author the respect he has in the industry and community.
Your comment that it is not reliable information is really nothing than an Ad Hominem argument.
If you read his bio, you would know that he arrived at what he sells via decades of experience & research. So why should he not sell what he recommends? This goes for all his articles.
As for the Hikari, I did a quick re-read and he does mention this sponge filter.
Moreover I know that this is well known in the industry as a Chinese knock off [via the XY-380 filter] that infringes on the patent, so supporting this over and American made one really makes me respectfully question your intentions too, especially when you link to Amazon which again is well known within the industry for the harm they are doing to the industry.
An article that addresses what Amazon is doing to our industry (there are more, including one I co-wrote):
As you said, I mean no disrespect, but I simply pointed out a fact, & you used it as a way to attack someone who has given much to this hobby and industry, often in ways many except those close to him could know”
See this screen shot of this Amazon promoting article in response to my friend’s comment above where he clearly avoids the REAL question and instead attacks based what appears to be a lack knowledge on the subject while he promotes patent infringing Chinese made product over USA made product:
I will lay my cards out on the table in the next few paragraphs, unlike the author of this alleged shill piece who in my opinion is very rude and condescending to both Steve & Carl.
The person [Carl] in the Aquarium Sponge Filtration article being questioned for his integrity in this alleged “Amazon Shill” article is highly respected in this industry. He [Carl] has and continues to give most of his free time helping others with their fish problems for free.
Carl’s knowledge is well known and many in the industry, including Disney World, consult with him regularly.
Yes, he supports himself with sales of products, but only products he would use and recommend professionally, as do I. I also know for a fact he makes very little from his online business too.
Attacks made upon him such as by the author “Sponge Filters: Cheap Mechanical and Bio Filtration for Your Aquarium” accusing him as unreliable because he sells a certain product is a common Ad Hominem attack that Carl himself addresses as this is a common tactic when someone does not know the subject matter.
The fact the author of this article attacks Carl in this way also proves he is nothing more than a poser using this tactic to cover for his alleged shilling of Cheap Chinese Sponge Filters for aquarium industry killing Amazon.
My relation is I began working for him around 1983 and later took over his aquarium maintenance route when he had to move to Oregon to protect his family from a predator. He also stood up for me in an incident that cost him his largest account, so obviously money is not his main motivator. Carl has also helped me financially too and has given me tips on blogging [admittedly setting me up here too]. So for this author to attack Carl’s credibility is beyond disgusting.
As for Steve, he is an expert in photography and also has worked for Carl and writes some blog articles, sometimes with Carl [I do not collaborate].
Since I have a policy of not linking to pages that sell products, but not for Ad Hominem attack reasons, I will not link to Carl’s excellent article on the subject, but it is readily found online.
However I will link to other articles such as this one by yet another friend, this time a techie who Carl helped and built this website to make more simple versions of the information Carl has provided for years to this hobby and industry for free:
What is an aquarium sponge filter?
Here are related articles as to purchasing via Amazon, which include one from this blogsite:
Buying Aquarium Products via Amazon (& Chewy, eBay)
Purchasing Aquarium & Pond Equipment via Amazon
In summary, I would ask readers to look at where links go when reading articles such as “wwwDOTfishlab.com/sponge-filter”. If you see links to Amazon, you will know this is likely nothing more than an Amazon Contributor. Does this mean the article is bad? No, but unlike the authors Ad Hominem attacks, this is simply a program by Amazon meant to provide Black Hat unnatural SEO to keep Amazon at the top of searches.
What is also worthy of note is that the real expert in the subject is clearly attacked by the author of the article in question when it is so obvious he is highly knowledgeable and well respected in the industry & hobby.
Just think about the many who cite his material from Steve, myself, Nippy Fish, Fish Beginner, the Spruce, and many many more.
What is also noteworthy, it the author of this web site has many other articles, all very general in natural, and in my opinion, very well written too, making for a good “hook” for less experienced readers.
He seems to have enough knowledge to appear to know what he is talking about, but to a pro who has not just kept four aquariums, but professionally maintained 1000s between myself & Carl, it is easy to spot that much of the information is borrowed and very incomplete [example Columnaris].
As an example, in one of his “Fish Lab” articles, he notes AAP Wonder Shells, but it is ovious he has little knowledge of this product and worse, he links to Amazon yet again for the product. This link is but another glaring example that he knows little of the industry since Amazon is NOT AN AUTHORIZED source for this product!!! When someone buys this product from Amazon, they are getting clearance product and not the full line at that. The problem with clearance product is that that AAP Wonder Shells loose their charge of mineral Cations over time and are therefore a less effective product.