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Thread: Tips for when asking advice

  1. #1

    Default Tips for when asking advice

    When asking for advice on a particular matter eg:

    - What light should I use?
    - What filter?
    - How much CO2?
    - Why is this happening?
    - Why are my plants dying?
    - Cloudy water OMG!
    - etc etc.

    Try a search first, there are thousands of posts already on Aquariumlife, chances are your question has already been asked and answered many times. If you can't find the answer, then please proceed as below.

    When posting your question, you really need to provide additional information that will assist other members in providing a more solid response to your situation.

    Generally the information you may want to include are:
    - Tank size
    - Lighting setup (equipment, period on)
    - CO2 setup (equipment, bps rate)
    - Filtration setup
    - Substrate used
    - Plants you have or want to grow
    - Tank inhabitants
    - Fertilization regime
    - Maintenance regime and procedure
    - Photos

    Also results of any water parameters that you have tested for:
    - Temperature
    - General hardness
    - Carbonate hardness
    - Nitrates
    - Phosphates
    - Ammonia
    - etc

    And anything else that you think might help! (My tank is next to a window that receives afternoon sunlight for example)

    Simply asking what kind of light you should use for your tank is like asking how long is a piece of string.

    Feel free to comments and provide suggestions.
    Last edited by tuna; 23-03-10 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I'd also strongly recommend using the Search function and reading past threads on the same topic and you just may find the info you're looking for.

    There are literally thousands of threads and squillions of posts from past and present members divulging their combined thousands of years experience on every topic in Planted Aqaria. If the answer isn't already there I'd be surprised and you'll learn a whole lot of extra stuff in the research.
    If it swims it's good, if it's Sahul it's better!

  3. #3
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    Default

    A couple of things to add to the list:

    Maintenance regime and procedure
    Ammonia test results

    Simply stating that "all tests results were normal" is not good enough. The results themselves must be posted.

    Its also worth remebering that a picture tells a thousand words.
    Whatever

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saundo View Post
    I'd also strongly recommend using the Search.
    Seconding. Maybe this makes me an ***** but there are times when it is so glaringly obvious that a person hasn't even looked at the first or second page that I wont even post the single sentence required. I imagine it must be even more maddening for people who have been on here longer than I.

    Also if you can't post pictures adjectives are great things, use as many as possible.

    Oh and try and take acceptable photos if you do. Think "would I be able to tell what is going on in this photo without having seen the problem in person?" and if the answer is no then don't use it or take another photo.
    Last edited by Graeme; 23-03-10 at 06:18 PM. Reason: swearing removed

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    your advice is solidly sound, no doubt.

    but you are haaaaaaaaarsh. Sometime you just need to vent, talk or share. When your'e new sometime you just don't think to search. And quite rightly sometime youve just had a hell of a day and can't be bothered with it or you are just depressed with dead or tying fish or plants etc etc. Just want to get on the forum and ask someone about something. Or maybe it is just a routine mundane everyday question.

    It is of course routine, mundane and everyday to teh knowledgeable, not to the guy asking the questions. Anyway...

    Its a forum - let em ask. If you want to say, hey look try search, then that is your response and if you choose not to respond at all, then that is your response.

    But let em ask I say.

    And fair to say credit where credit is due - there are some tireless members who day in day out reply to the same question about water, ph, gh etc. PKM, Unissuh, MJay, BDA, Graeme, tuna, zenkaty, victork, shake, planted, pilchard, PiL, stingray, docfish, barrumundi, khemo, anonymous, hydra, niclmo, tpg god, saundo and a host whom are not sitting in my head just now. Hat's off folks. Hat's off. I for one give you my thanks.

    lastly let me say that sometimes, when it is repeated or re presented by somebody else or in a different way, suddenly you understand it, it makes sense, the example touches a spot, you exprience a light bulb moment that the previous attempts at explaining did not provide. We all see, say and experience differently so one presentation is not better or clearer than another, its just different, and that is always worthwhile.

    anyway the meter is running and my 5c is up.

    I sit in the camp of saying - yeaaahh! let em ask again. really whom does it hurt?

    Not having a go at anybody. Just my point of view.
    Last edited by clickme; 23-03-10 at 03:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    well what if some people may read as much as they can and just dont understand it all so they ask for help so that they can find some one that can explain it better for them and your sayin you dont help them because you think that they should understand it coz you did isnt helping people out the point in the forum for the people who know to teach the ones that dont

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clickme View Post
    your advice is solidly sound, no doubt.

    but you are haaaaaaaaarsh. Sometime you just need to vent, talk or share. When your'e new sometime you just don't think to search. And quite rightly sometime youve just had a hell of a day and can't be bothered with it or you are just depressed with dead or tying fish or plants etc etc. Just want to get on the forum and ask someone about something. Or maybe it is just a routine mundane everyday question.

    It is of course routine, mundane and everyday to teh knowledgeable, not to the guy asking the questions. Anyway...

    Its a forum - let em ask. If you want to say, hey look try search, then that is your response and if you choose not to respond at all, then that is your response.

    But let em ask I say.

    And fair to say credit where credit is due - there are some tireless members who day in day out reply to the same question about water, ph, gh etc. PKM, Unissuh, MJay, BDA, Graeme, tuna, zenkaty, victork, shake, planted, pilchard, PiL, stingray, docfish, barrumundi, khemo, anonymous, hydra, niclmo, tpg god, saundo and a host whom are not sitting in my head just now. Hat's off folks. Hat's off. I for one give you my thanks.

    lastly let me say that sometimes, when it is repeated or re presented by somebody else or in a different way, suddenly you understand it, it makes sense, the example touches a spot, you exprience a light bulb moment that the previous attempts at explaining did not provide. We all see, say and experience differently so one presentation is not better or clearer than another, its just different, and that is always worthwhile.

    anyway the meter is running and my 5c is up.

    I sit in the camp of saying - yeaaahh! let em ask again. really whom does it hurt?

    Not having a go at anybody. Just my point of view.
    Well said

    Even though i may have answered some posts twice or more i really dont care. I also need stuff answered sometimes so i am apreciative of people who take the time to do it. It is what a forum is all about. Help and be Helped. sometimes i dont have time to spend several hours goin over old posts to find what i need. Its easier to ask again.

    At least we dont et questions like these here lol.

    Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK).
    A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )
    A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
    A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns , Townsville and Hervey Bay ? ( UK)
    A: What did your last slave die of?
    __________________________________________________
    Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )
    A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe .
    Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not
    ... Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA )
    A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
    _________________________________________________
    Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK )
    A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do...
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
    A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is
    Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )
    A: You are a British politician, right?
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
    A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers.
    Milk is illegal.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
    A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.
    All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
    __________________________________________________
    Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
    A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
    You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)
    A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )
    A: Only at Christmas.
    __________________________________________________
    Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
    A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

    Cheers
    Last edited by pilchard; 23-03-10 at 05:38 PM.
    An angler is a man who spends rainy days sitting around on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won't let him do it at home.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkf View Post
    well what if some people may read as much as they can and just dont understand it all so they ask for help so that they can find some one that can explain it better for them and your sayin you dont help them because you think that they should understand it coz you did isnt helping people out the point in the forum for the people who know to teach the ones that dont
    Punctuation, upper case letters and properly formed sentences also help.

    I agree with clickme. I have asked some simple questions as i was not able to spend ages trolling through old posts and needed an answer fast. If i have the time then i do the research myself.

    I do get annoyed with ridiculous posts like "my fish is sick !!! Whats wrong with it? What should i do?" and no useful info whatsoever. Or questions like "do fake marimo balls grow?".
    Whatever

  10. #10

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    All valid points. The point of my original post was to tell the person asking the question to provide additional information that may help come up with a solution, it wasn't to deter people from asking the same old questions again.

  11. #11
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    The biggest issue with people asking and re-asking the same question is that it will eventually make the search function worthless. I am a member of other (non-aquaria related) forums that have so many posts on the same question that the search request returns thousands of uninformative posts.
    Being new to planted tanks I am sure that I am not exempt from raising previously discussed issues, but i try searching and googling them before posting. Lots of people have been into aquariums for a long time so it would be rare for there not to be some info on the net or indeed on AL about your questions..

  12. #12
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    If any of the replies were related to my post I should have been clearer. I meant posts that are really basic questions that would be impossible to confuse.

    I think that part of the problem is that all these little threads is that they also make it a lot harder to find you answer when you do search. They often relate to what you are searching for but either don't relate to the specifics of your situation or have so few posts in them that they don't have enough different points of view to inspire confidence.

    When I post a question I usually do so in someone elses thread that relates to what I have to ask. This has more to do with conditioning from other forums than anything else but it does result in a nice pooling of information and far less repetition.

    Also as I said above very few people reply to these threads and with only very basic info but if you look back to the thread that topic was first broached in it will be multiple pages with lots more information. You are really doing yourself a disservice by not reading these old threads when you want to find something out.


    Edit: HAHAHA colg just made my post a useless one!

  13. #13
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    Pilchard, I have not laughed so hard for a long time. Thanks for for that mate.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
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    I would say proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are good forum etiquette, unless your command of English is really bad. If a member practice that, and really can't find the desired answer through search function, feel free to ask. Such member would usually attract the right response and aid from others.
    All I need is the air I breathe, and a place to rest my head.

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  15. #15
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    My suggestion to use the search function was not to deter people from asking questions, even those same ones that cycle through every few weeks, but merely pointing out that there is a vast store of knowledge already on file.

    I personally have spent hours reading through previous threads and gained more knowledge that I was originally looking for. New ideas or areas of focus, stategies for fert balance and control, algae "cures" etc. By reading old threads you MAY find what you are looking for but I'll guarantee you'll find a whole lot of info you were'nt looking for and this makes you better for the time spent.

    There are no "dumb" questions. Well asking if fish need water may be considered dumb but perhaps other than that there are no "dumb" questions and someone will always provide an answer even if it is directing you to a previous thread.
    If it swims it's good, if it's Sahul it's better!

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