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Is Yahoo Answers the place to go for Aquatic Advice. - by Carl Strohmeyer

YAHOO ANSWERS; is this a good place for Aquarium or other information?

The answer from an aquatic perspective is a big fat NO.
Since they added the “Top Contributor” feature the answers have gotten even worse as people automatically vote or pick answers based on so called authority. In all modesty I have been in the hobby over 40 years and in a professional capacity for about 28 years, yet I continue to do research and not accept anecdotal advice (including my own) without research and tests. This hobby has enough myths that are passed around without them being compounded and accepted as fact due to Yahoo Answers. Yahoo Answers social commenting problem of posers acting like pros giving out poor advice is bad idea.
At least Google did the right thing in disabling Google Answers (which was not really the same anyway), it is time for Yahoo to step up to the plate before more bad information kills fish, breaks aquariums, or worse.

Here are a few “Best” Answers:

[1] Question:
What is the best UV Sterilizer for use in a 20 gallon tank and where can I order one online?

A UV sterilizer might do more harm than good to a 20 gallon tank. The UV sterilizer will do exactly that; sterilize almost everything that passes through it, bad bacteria and the good. In a 20 gallon tank your water will circulate so many times that you may be doing more harm than good. There are other ways of treating the water in your tank that might not be has extreme as a UV sterilizer.


This a good example where caution needs to exercised not just on the internet, but at many so-called aquarium stores staffed by un-knowledgeable aquarists. This person probably has never even used one to make such an outrageous statement such as this.
Often many aquatic forums are staffed by after work aquarium “experts” who have not done their homework or worse, they are just plain dishonest. (This is not to say there are not a lot of good ones out there, but I have left a few after being flamed there by aquarists who knew nothing about which they were talking about).
I have spent 25 years studying, reading, and doing tank by tank comparisons in my aquarium maintenance business. A UV should be properly installed such as not to high or slow a flow rate. Also the watts per gallon have to be figured.
Another often missed aspect is the Redox Potential which research shows having a proper Redox Potential around 300 mV improves the water quality much the same a way an anti-oxidant vitamin works. A UV sterilizer properly installed helps with this!
Also in studies with goldfish (a very dirty fish), I have found vastly healthier fish in aquariums with UVs vs. without, all other aspects such as feeding and filtration equal.

Another incorrect point was about the “good and bad” bacteria. Aeromonas bacteria are common in most all aquariums and pond they are only “bad” when they become pathogenic due to an injured or weak fish, or very common, when water conditions are poor. “Good” bacteria such aerobic nitrifying bacteria can be “bad” when there is a bacterial bloom, as they rob oxygen from the fish, weakening fish even more for other pathogens. In both scenarios, UV Sterilizers can help control.

For more well researched information about this subject (I will avoid the word correct, as this article is still regularly updated with new information):
ULTRAVIOLET STERILIZATION (How UV sterilization works)

[2] Question:
TetraMin flaked food is this sufficient for the fish (mainly tetra) or can I also add some other type of food every now and then?

“Top Contributor” Answer:

Tetramin flake makes a fine staple food for your fish. I would suggest you also add in some frozen or freeze dried foods as well though as the fish would great benefit from that. Feed The flakes once a day, like in the morning and feed one of the other foods once a day , maybe in the evening... which ever works for you.

What? TetraMin is high in cereal and has I have found in research for my maintenance business, that good feeding practices (especially feeding QUALITY ingredient foods) is a major part of disease prevention.
Please read this article:
Quality Fish Food (Proper Aquatic Nutrition); What ingredients are needed for proper fish nutrition, growth and health.

[3] Question:
Whats a good silicone to reseal a fish tank?
I just got a new octogon shaped fish tank but the sealent on some of the glass edges is peeling. The tank doesnt leak but I'd still like to reseal it...are there any good products other than actual aquarium sealent that will work?

“Best Answer”
Yeah, you can use plain 100% rubber silicone sealant from Home Depot. Just make sure
that it does not say Mildew Resistant. The aquarium-specific stuff you can apply when you tank is full of water; with the home depot stuff, you have to wait till it's dry.

This answer is not quite as bad, however this can be a dangerous answer in that someone could go to Home Depot and still purchase a 100% silicone product that may not work. Another “Top Contributor” gave much worse advice, luckily this person did not get picked (or someone may have a lot of water on there floor).

I could go on (such as a person who is a “Top Contributor” that constantly states that all ich medications are dangerous and that only salt should be used, this is based on anecdotal advice that has know basis in real science; read this article:
Aquarium Ich: Ichthyophthirius multifilis and Cryptocaryon irritans treatment, identification, and life cycle. )
My point is that the system allows for those who are good at a keyboard to suddenly become experts. One person that is the top contributor in fish is even registered on an aquatics forum where I am at, yet he does not post. Why? Because in a real forum he would have to debate his answers and would not be able to find anecdotal answers on the internet and paste them and get away with it.
Personally, I would never ask a question in a subject I know nothing about there, Lord knows what the out come of the advice would be.

For the FULL article, please visit this URL: http://fish-as-pets.blogspot.com/

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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