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Aquarium help, articles, answers and misinformation - by Carl Strohmeyer

There is lot of information available about so many subjects on the internet today and this information grows by the hour.

When it comes to Aquarium Information
 this can be both a blessing and a curse. For the average aquarist it is easy to get fooled by the anecdotal misinformation that is extremely prevalent. This is compounded by the popularity of pasting others posts (or down right plagiarizing) that have no real basis in research or even real world practical experience.
What then happens is a snow ball effect whereby the same anecdotal stories get copied over and over to the point that a new aquarist has a hard time believing a correct article when everything else they read says something else (and unfortunately this happens with many long time aquarists that are either too lazy or arrogant to check the facts) .

I have seen this with Aquarium Filters
 where many will pass around statements about bio wheels, Fluvals and more that are not true. No one ever bothers to run head to head comparisons of say a sponge filter and a bio wheel filter or look at the poor head pressure of the Fluval and proprietary tubing these require that makes them difficult to adapt to other devices such as UV Sterilizers

When it comes to reef keeping, Aquarium lighting , plants, and even Aquarium and pond pumps it often gets worse. But in my opinion chemistry (such as pH, GH, KH), and medications is where poor Aquarium Answers anecdotal information gets really passed around. Examples would be about the carcinogenic properties of Malachite Green (which scientific studies show are only possible in mega doses beyond what an aquarist is going to use). This article deals with some of this: Aquarium Medications .
I recently found an answer (picked best too!) on
Yahoo Answers about KH that was about as correct as the world is flat! I deal with some of these in my blog Fish as Pets.

My point here (besides the obvious frustration on my part) is that this is a hobby and trade I have in some capacity spent 40 years of my life in (much of it running a large aquarium maintenance company while reading and performing research on the side) and I do not want to see all this misinformation destroy the hobby or at the least hold down its potential for better aquarium and pond husbandry which can result in less fish and aquatic deaths.
Please read everything with an open mind and experiment, be wary when told ‘everyone’ does something one way (common advice with Protein Skimmers, not that they do not work all the while making false statements about UV Sterilizers
killing all your ‘good’ bacteria as well as ‘bad’).
When in forums, please read references (one of my pet peeves as I will often site references that get read less than 5% of the time), if the references check out, this persons comments might be worth considering rather than just believing the leader or most popular person on the forum.
Finally, sometimes ask for more explanations and keep in mind that the science of the day may be proven wrong tomorrow, that is why I reread and re-research my
aquarium information articles on a regular basis, and believe me I have had to correct myself many times!

Professional aquarium maintenance experience since 1978 as the owner of one of the larger aquarium maintenance companies in LA, CA.

I have been in the hobby since 1969.



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