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Hey, these guys are pretty good...

An opinion and sincere thanks!! More re Anglish and WWM. Darrel's go  -- 09/22/07 Good Morning Guys and Gals of "The Crew"!! <Well .. a hearty Hiya, Howdy & Hello right back at ya! Every time I hear or read "Guys & Gals" I think of singing "A bushel & a peck" or "Luck be a lady" (that's a slightly twisted trivia reference for anyone who cares)> At risk of unnecessarily "fanning the flames" I would like to offer my two cents worth about the use proper syntax in emails. <As a flame fanner myself from way back .. sometimes it just has to be done!> When an individual requests assistance/information from you (collectively), they are not sending a chatty email to a friend. They are sending an email which will become a permanent part of your site/database and as such will be read over and over again by people worldwide. As one of those "people", I truly appreciate being able to understand the question as well as the reply. <Kerry, that comment right there falls under the category of a Home Run - that's exactly the point. This site is about education for everyone and in order to educate there has to be common standards> A few years ago, I was involved on a website which incorporated a "chat" component. The "chat" style of writing/communication is very easy to adapt to and very difficult to "get away" from. It is extremely pervasive and seen everywhere these days. My husband and I welcome the use of proper syntax on this site. To be blunt, the "garbage" that we have to wade through to find information on other sites makes the effort of doing so seem futile. Here on WWM, we are able to comprehend the questions as well as the replies. Without understanding the nature of the issues that others are experiencing, how would we know if they apply to us; how would we benefit? Without that understanding, you (collectively) would have as much effect by sending only a reply to the individual with the query. <Well, I "LOL" once in a while myself. In fact, just the other day I LMAO'd about something I read, so I'm a bit guilty myself. That being said, language is a complicated thing that many use and yet few understand. Words we speak or type don't communicate a thought or idea as much as they are used by the reader or listener as a blueprint to build a picture in their own mind of THEIR thought or idea. That's why there's such a focus here on scientific names -- it's not to show how cool or smart we are (actually if anything it screams out our nerdiness and probably admits our use of pocket protectors and why many of us had so few friends in High School) it's because we strive to do everything we can to help the reader build EXACTLY the same picture in their mind as we have in ours so that our answer is useful and precise.> <When you see us going out of our way to point out grammatical errors, it's not intended to insult or offend the writer. We do it to illustrate a point to the larger audience what not to do. As has been pointed out, we're all volunteers, we mostly have day jobs and evening & weekend families -- not to mention the fact that we all have these aquatic hobbies that requires our attention. It's easy to fix the grammar in one letter (I personally copy into Word and do F7 before I even read it) but the site gets hundreds letters a week and that's not even including the offers to increase the size of our anatomy, better places to buy drugs and the constant begging from the lawyers who's clients have died and need our help to get millions of dollars out of their home country. (laughing out loud)!> Thank you all so much for volunteering to share so much of your time and knowledge. We truly appreciate it!! <That's always nice to hear, Kerry. I came across this site when I started to help my son establish his first Marine aquarium and like you, found it different from the rest and heads above all of them for the reasons you stated. While I have a lifetime of experience and education in turtles and other reptiles and understand the SCIENCE of the aquarium hobby as well as a scientist ... the 'art' of the hobby often escapes me and I can say for a fact that Bob and the Crew are responsible for the ongoing success of at least several of our marine fish. So now I jump in to answer the turtle questions at the same time that I read with rapt attention about marine stocking and water quality issues.> While we do not want to contribute to what seems to be something of a controversial point at WWM and by no means will we be offended if this email is not posted in the interest of "world peace", I felt the need to let you know that your efforts are appreciated and welcomed! <It's never our intention to offend, Kerry and it IS nice to hear that we're appreciated> Thanks again, Kerry and hubby <Darrel>

An opinion and sincere thanks!! Neale's turn  -- 09/22/07 Good Morning Guys and Gals of "The Crew"!! At risk of unnecessarily "fanning the flames" I would like to offer my two cents worth about the use proper syntax in e-mails. When an individual requests assistance/information from you (collectively), they are not sending a chatty email to a friend. They are sending an email which will become a permanent part of your site/database and as such will be read over and over again by people worldwide. As one of those "people", I truly appreciate being able to understand the question as well as the reply. A few years ago, I was involved on a website which incorporated a "chat" component. The "chat" style of writing/communication is very easy to adapt to and very difficult to "get away" from. It is extremely pervasive and seen everywhere these days. My husband and I welcome the use of proper syntax on this site. To be blunt, the "garbage" that we have to wade through to find information on other sites makes the effort of doing so seem futile. Here on WWM, we are able to comprehend the questions as well as the replies. Without understanding the nature of the issues that others are experiencing, how would we know if they apply to us; how would we benefit? Without that understanding, you (collectively) would have as much effect by sending only a reply to the individual with the query. Thank you all so much for volunteering to share so much of your time and knowledge. We truly appreciate it!! While we do not want to contribute to what seems to be something of a controversial point at WWM and by no means will we be offended if this e-mail is not posted in the interest of "world peace", I felt the need to let you know that your efforts are appreciated and welcomed! Thanks again, Kerry and hubby <Hello Kerry, and thanks for the e-mail. As you correctly observe, most of the messages sent to WWM end up posted on one of the FAQ pages. This site is read by twenty thousand fishkeepers every day, and the FAQs are a major draw, being a quick way for people to research particular problems or issues. Clearly written messages are easier to read and more likely to turn up on search engines, so they provide the best service. Idiomatic English, slang, and abbreviations work in the opposite direction, making it more difficult for people to find what they're looking for. Of course we understand that writing a message to WWM isn't like sitting an English exam, and we don't normally criticise people for casual mistakes. After all, we crewmembers make plenty of them ourselves! But finding a happy balance between tolerating typos and accepting lazily written messages can be tricky. Feedback from other WWM readers helps us to try and get this balance right, so your comments are appreciated. Cheers, Neale>

Just a quick rip on WWM, AndrewB chimes in  7/23/07 I saw the above-captioned FAQ on WWM and felt compelled to comment. I am a huge fan of WWM (read it every day) and, indeed, have posted many questions and received much help from the staff. Although I think this writer has a bug up his bum, and although I realize that all of you are volunteers, do this because you love the hobby and are very busy with other things, I do ask all to keep in mind that not everyone that is in the hobby/has a problem holds a Bachelor's Degree (or even graduated from high school). Generally, I think you guys are really good with balancing keeping people on the straight and narrow vis-a-vis grammar, spelling, following the rules, etc. and helping people, and you do the latter much more than you do the former. Most times, the people you blast are as stated--truly looking for you to do their work for them; no thinking, no searching, not caring about what they're writing. I have seen posts, however, in which the WWM staff was a little too critical where it was clear to me, as a reader, that the person inquiring probably wasn't the most educated person. As a story, and not as an example of the foregoing of course ;-), I have received a serve from RMF because I misspelled "Lemnalia" in a question in which he told me without mincing words to get the name right and use search indices, all without answering my question. I note that I have received and read many responses from the Crew that contained typos . . .. The point is, while I disagree with most of the points expressed by the poster (and the manner in which he/she did so), I do think he has a point--we're all human. We all respect that you do this for free, and truly appreciate your help. Andy <Thank you for this input Andy. BobF>

Funkiest... Query  - 09/24/07 Hi Crew, I do not think that 'funkiest' is a proper description of the 9/23 query. <Heeee! Got a better descriptor?> Is it any different than if the question was -I just bought some nice fish and put them in a nice bird cage and they seem to be dying, can you help? And of course it starts with 'Love the website, its a wealth of info'. And add me to those who appreciate your efforts including insisting on good English. Thanks <Thanks Sam. BobF>

No question, just thanks  7/23/07 Thanks to you I have maintained two 12 gallon tanks for over 2 years now without any loss of life. One salt, one fresh water. I was really taken aback by that post from "Richard" and wanted to add my voice to no doubt probably hundreds, that you guys do an amazing job. I have a well worn copy of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist on my bookshelf. I emailed once about a problem I was having and received a fast and informative response. I think it is your obligation to point out when people are doing wrong and I'm glad you do so . So, thanks for all you do, keep it up, and next time any of you are in Austin , email me so I can buy you a beer! Susan <Thank you! Oh, both for your timely input as well as the libation offer Susan. Bob Fenner>

WWM Apparent stance, attitude toward LFS, personnel -- 09/08/07 Dear WetWebMedia Crew, In the daily FAQs September 8, 2007, the following exchange appeared: I do have to throw in how disappointing it is how little correct information comes from the places where you get these poor fish. "<Indeed. But you have to remember the motives. Pet stores want you to keep coming back to buy stuff. They want you to have just enough success to stay interested. But they have no vested interest in your fish staying healthy provided you keep buying more fish from them. People like us here at WWM don't get paid for what we're doing, we do it because we want you to enjoy your hobby and your fish to stay healthy. Who you gonna trust?>" I'm writing to dispute both the accuracy and the appropriateness of the fairly common (from the WWM crew generally and the cited respondent specifically) assertion that pet stores care only about profit even in the face of massive loss of livestock that has left the store. To be sure, 'pet stores' -- the businesses proper -- need to be financially solvent. But is providing marginally useful information the best way to do that? <Of a certainty, no> The most successful independent pet stores, in my experience, have been those which give the best and most useful advice to hobbyists. Those of us familiar with the shop in Lansing, MI to which Bob and Anthony give thanks for photos in their Reef Invertebrates book know at least this example of such a shop, and there are many more. <Agreed> So more business does not follow from fish dying in fishkeeper's tanks -- often, frustration and a search for a new hobby (or at the very least, a new pet shop) does. <Or worse... leaving our interest> Nor is the associated assertion (also fairly easy to find examples of on WWM) that pet store employees tend to be ignorant of/unconcerned with livestock care universally applicable -- not even close. <Again, we are in agreement> Many of us spend a good deal of time doing things like reading your daily FAQs so that we can pass on the knowledge gained to our customers and fellow hobbyists. Many are heavily involved in propagation of livestock that we certainly don't want to see die after it is sold. Many work for minimum wage (!!!), so we are certainly not in it for the money. <Very much in agreement!> Many of us have other jobs with which we support ourselves, and are thus pretty close to those who "don't get paid for what we are doing." There are, indeed, some (or many, or 62.5%; it makes little difference) ignorant/unconcerned shop employees, but does it follow from the fact that there is a lot of bad fishkeeping information on the web that fishkeeping web sites give bad information? No, it does not. <"Some of this, some of that"> The categorical claims about ignorant LFS employees are illegitimate, as are comments about their motives -- it certainly would not be appropriate negatively to comment on your motives for giving information. The appropriate discussion is about the information itself. <I concur> Please continue to give the valuable information that you offer to us all. Please discontinue disseminating unproductive categorical claims and ungrounded assertions about the psychology/character/ motives of folks who, in great many instances, are or ought to be offended by such claims. Thank you. -John <Thank you for coming forward and expressing the points so clearly John... I spent 14 years "on the floor" in retail pet-fish... and with friends, owned several stores over many years more. The broad mix of outlets are owned, managed and staffed with well-meaning folks in my estimation... And once again, being beware of absolutes, I am given to comment that one should "blame the act, not the child" Or the president for that matter... Certainly there are knowledgeable, dedicated, passionate people in our trade at all levels... Lastly a comment re my making comments... as the "grand arbiter" (person who mostly moves things around here). If I see something outright "wrong" or spurious, I will make an insertion... but too often do find myself out of time to review others input... For this vague generalization example above I do apologize... I am in agreement with your/John's P.O.V. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

WWM Crew: The upcoming crush on WWM  - 9/3/07 Howdy! Our unique ISP user count is hovering right about 20k per day currently... and am hopeful that with all our great answers and articles archived we won't be deluged as badly as usual this time of year (with summer over in the N. hemisphere, school re-commencing, holidays over... the weather becoming more bunk, folks paying a bit more attn. to their indoor affairs... and the giant gear up for Xmas)... but we will likely see something like a fifty percent gain in questioning... Cheers and biers! BobF. R2: Water Flow'¦Four Two-Inch Drains And Still Having Problems -- 08/13/07 Hi EricR <<Hello Ian>> I think I have enough food for thought. I will try all the various options we discussed (starting with the easiest) and see what will help. <<Ah yes...and if you have a gate-valve plumbed on the output side of the pump, well then...>> I have no doubt I will solve this. <<There 'is' a solution...>> Thank you very much for your input. <<My pleasure>> Often one thinks of an idea but is not sure if on the right track until you hear it from the "experts". I tell you I am not sure what most of us would do without this wonderful service from WetWebMedia! <<Gratifying to hear...and I am happy to be a part of it>> This hobby is so complex, with so many variables that I think it is a godsend we have access to a body that deals with ALL these problems on a never ending basis thereby getting the experience that a mate down the road or the local stockist could never provide.... <<Indeed...the range of experiences/varied backgrounds of the Crew under Bob's ever watchful and almost [grin] all-knowing eye...the wealth of written data available for public perusal...and the fact that everyone here is a 'volunteer' and truly wants to help, is what I think makes this service unique>> Cheers, Ian <<Good luck my friend...and please do let me know how this turns out. Eric Russell>>

Images, WWM  -- 08/08/07 Fair enough. You know those "desktop size pictures" you put at the top of the FAQ page? We should really try and combine thumbnails of them into a gallery. <Heeeee! Where were you a decade ago? A couple of friends and inactive WWM Crew generated an omnibus prog. (as I'd had no success finding a "Corbis" type home-hobby type) to do what we currently do, and what you suggest here... and much more... We opted not to use this... and part of "it" became WWF (the BB and pix sites)... and went w/ "Brand X" Frontpage for web-authoring... and thank goodness we did... As predicted, the fellows involved have had life changes, other things on their plate... and the software has had troubles...> I keep getting messages from magazines wanting photos of fish. At the moment I ask around on forums, and the average hobbyist seems happy to sell some digital snaps for a few dollars and a copy of the magazine. Perhaps if WWM had a "image sourcing" service, where we collated images and made them available for editors, who'd e-mail the site and then be put in touch with the photographer. Perhaps one way to defray operating costs? Not sure how that would work, but an idea anyway. Cheers, Neale <IS an excellent idea... and near the top of my "wish list to do" areas... We're in a sort of "Catch 22" (KV RIP) with funds to have someone/s going through, cataloging, adding different size pix, MUCH background material... and making our catalog of pix (WWM has 22k plus, I have several times this)... available in larger sizes (ala fishbase.org) and for sale... IF there were but time lady (with regards to Ben Jonson, Volpone). Cheers, BobF>

Thank you... improving WWM's "bottom line". Membership?   -- 07/18/07 Dear Bob & Crew, <Mike> No reply required. First, a quick thank you note for all the prompt and informative help you have generously provided while I've been cramming at warp speed trying to keep up with all of the things I need to learn. I'm also confident your other "students" are equally grateful judging from the comments I've read in the FAQ's. That's the other reason I'm writing (explanation below). One should be almost required to take a course and be licensed prior to beginning an undertaking like this. Who knew? (I sure hope the Government isn't reading this!) <Heeeee!> Second, I finally managed to catch your WWM "Become a Member" page on a good day and it worked. The reason I wanted to join was to be able to make a donation to your site, which I was more than happy to do, as a gesture of my appreciation for your time, patience and advice. It was well worth it. I'm sure you have saved me enough time and money as to make donating to your site the very least I could do. <Thank you for your generosity of spirit, and economy> Last, but not least, I noticed that you don't have to be a member to use your service (admirable), but it was not until I joined that I realized, you don't have to be a member to donate. <Really? Is this through the "Amazon begging bowl?" I did/do not know re this issue of membership...> Frankly, I'm just not sure all your visitors would know this and, perhaps, it might help your cause to post this somewhere that all visitors will see. <Will send this along to MikeK/Miguel for his info.> (Forgive me for the following, it's part of what I do professionally) Do you know what percentage of site / service users are members? <Mmm, no> Are members automatically ID'd as being such when e-mailing your site. <Not by us for sure... We do not track folks period, nor ever retain their email addr. or other info...> They might feel that they are more a part of something bigger (It is human nature to be attracted by this). <Really?... I feel compelled to respond that I am much more often repulsed by such "requirements"... but I do agree that every person MUST feel important... the value of everyone's' sense of place is critical to me...> Might they, in turn, feel more inclined to help out in your Q&A forum pages if their answers to posted questions are also ID'd as coming from WWM Members? <Possibly... Are you aware of our quasi-related BB: WetWebFotos.com? There is a different (less moderated) sort of camaraderie there... and the capacity to post personal info., pix...> They might feel it lends credibility to their responses, or attracts more attention to their questions from other members. Members helping members? All for the cause and the greater good? What a concept. <I see... and do agree... And am now wondering how we might incorporate such features in our site?> I might also suggest, if I may, that the Click to Donate Button / Box be up top as opposed to at the very bottom of the home page where if you don't scroll down (which you would have to, to see it), you may never know it's there. I saw it only accidentally. I would imagine that most visitors click an option (Marine etc.) that does not require any scrolling at all. When will they be provided with the opportunity to give back? <I see... and would appreciate the chance/opportunity to respond, proffer my input here. It was/is my intent as the common progenitor of these sites to de-emphasize the/our need for remuneration. Indeed, I have never "paid" myself for my help here... but assuredly derive recompense in abundance in many other ways... But have considered that we could do much more good, and rightly "pay" our Crew, all volunteers, if we had more funding... Just really don't know how to accomplish this ends easily... We've added shared border sponsorship/advertising, and this year, the now-declining in popularity rotating banner ads... and have had dreams, glimpses of devising a sort of software that would allow one to "turn pages", design/use dynamic templates ala the look, feel of print magazines... replete with inserted paid advertising... But I will admit to personal laziness... and a lack of ambition... to devote my "scarce resources" toward our ends here for responding to queries, writing, making/manipulating/placing images (static)... content building simply put... and not focusing at least part of the/my time strategically on generating revenue... If I had more general resource myself, I'd much rather look/delve into bringing video to the site for instance, than administering the making/doling out of monies... But... this/these other activity/ies are potentially seductive> Another thought might be to add an automatic footer to your replies asking if they were happy with the service, and providing an optional link to the "help the cause" page. All of the above can be done without appearing pushy or offensive. The rule is, you never know how generous and appreciative people can be until you ask (subtly and politely, of course). "Voluntary user fees" do not leave that bad taste in your mouth. I, for one, feel better about having used the service now that I have donated (especially when some questions were real rookie ones). The lightest touch of guilt can, depending on the situation, yield a higher return than high pressure aggressive lobbying. <Well-stated> I am certainly not criticizing your site by any means. I read some of it daily and am enjoying it. I just thought I might take this opportunity to offer you some free professional advice in return for all the great advice you have given me. Now you have my two cents worth along with my donation. Feel free to take it for what it's worth (even if you feel it's only worth the two cents). My fish thank you. Mike from Canada <And I and they you. I will share your well-thought out missal with the WWM Crew. Bob Fenner>

Re: WWM... money... what we might do -- 07/18/07 Hmm, I am in agreement with you Bob RE membership. Most websites now seem to require/force you to become "Registered" and this often, IMO and experience puts people off. The connotations of membership also I feel have changed in today's society and whereas before it may have been part of close net group it is now more associated with corporate and retail retention of customer base, through the use of SPAM, mail and "Sponsors Offers". <Ahh!> Also a large proportion of the people that use WWM that enter the site as new/unique visitors use the information for resolution of problems, normally that they are experiencing at that time and any furthering of registration may compromise this influx of new visitors. With regards to site improvement and adding to the sense of person. Possible additions could include simple Tank of The Month and Photo Competitions that would encourage people to "become the site", these could be supplemented with sponsored prizes thus giving added interest to the commercial sector. An article section could be included with a list of articles to be written and a "Sign-up" registration for multiple users to collaborate their experiences to pen new pages of information for inclusion - like a writing club which will inevitably help the site and alleviate the stretch on the usual authors. Would it also be possible to include some type of product placement with companies to generate revenue to fund other avenues for expansion with a "Product Review" section possibly along with recommendations. Just my 2 cents if any of it makes sense or is relevant =] Olly <You show remarkable insight my young friend. B>

Re: Membership and Donations - 7/20/07 Dear Bob and Crew, No reply required. <Mike> I completely agree with your friend Olly. Forcing people to join, especially newcomers, will likely drive them away from the site. Requiring too much personal information, and too early, will likely scare them off as well. In my opinion, neither of these would suit, or serve your site well, one of the last bastions of service without a catch. No spam - no scam (Tag Line anyone?) <I'd copyright this... pronto!> The average human will require some time for their justifiable prejudices against strange and information hungry web sites to subside. Have some faith that this will happen after you and your crew inevitably rescue them from impending doom. <Heeee!> Too dramatic? An exaggeration? <Nah and Hah... am copyrighting m'self> Just read through the panic in many of the FAQ's you receive and decide for yourself. Newcomers will learn soon enough that your site exists to relieve them of their frustration and confusion, not their money and identity. <Oooh, yes> Again, just read many of the FAQ's and compare the ratio of questions posted to thanks posted. It is impressive indeed. Many are so confident in you and your service that they thank you even before you have answered their question! This is meaningful in that their level of trust and confidence in you, your Crew and the site is quantifiable. You have "white coat syndrome" working for you. <No wonder my blood pressure's so high!> (If you are not familiar with this one, it is, in part, that the richest most powerful people on the planet become like wide eyed children hanging on the every word and facial expression of even a young intern if they have some health concern that they can not identify / handle themselves). The benefit is in not underestimating the value of the service you are providing and the level of appreciation of those who benefit from it. I hope there was no misunderstanding. What I was suggesting in my previous e-mail was something completely voluntary with no tricks, hooks or catches. <Yes... this was and is my understanding> Newcomers would be permitted the opportunity to become comfortable with the site over time and through use the impressive services you offer, prior to deciding on their own to "become part of something great" once the appropriate level of trust has been established. I wouldn't imagine this would take too long at the speed you and your Crew operate. Becoming a member remains the user's decision. One that I believe many would ultimately make once they realize the site is "clean" and is made up of helpful, honest people who respond using their own names. Identifying members does not have to involve identity theft. It's all in the presentation. Have a look at how e-Bay identifies its members, while protecting their identity. There can not be any question that this has been hugely successful for them. Although their site exists for a different purpose, members of your site may also have something to offer (your chat style FAQ forums) as well as something to gain (your knowledge and experience). Donating to the site / cause also remains the user's decision. I'm merely suggesting that you present them with the opportunity to make that choice (again, obvious, but subtle and polite). After you've saved them a few fish, countless hours of fruitless endeavours, and even more money, they might just feel so inclined as to voluntarily help those that voluntarily helped them. I did. What is to prevent you from introducing yourselves / your site as a non-profit site that exists for the proliferation of the hobby aquarist. (I would advise checking your state laws prior to using the non-profit term) or something along those lines. <Good idea> The whole idea was to better promote the opportunities available to your users. The offer to send out your on-line magazine, for example, might be one of them. Just post "e-mail address required for on-line magazine subscribers only". People will get the message. The bottom line here is that very little bottom line would be required to make the above available / visible to your users. The results can be measured over a period of time. The risk - reward scale is tipped in your favour, to the benefit of all. Now you have my 4 1/2 cents. I thought the method in my madness was deserving of some explanation. <I do thank you for this intelligent, earnest input> I very much enjoyed our discussion (I enjoy my work as well) and hope that something positive might come from the subject having been raised. Mike from Canada <And I do think this is the case as well... The real only "stumbling" block/s as it were are the usual social/individual inertia (yours truly being too lackadaisical), not knowing how to add such a feature (likely easily cured with the Catch-22, RIP, of having the funds to hire someone to generate/add code), and the ongoing lack of drive to make the site more sophisticated... Really Mike... we don't want to appear or change to something that "looks", "feels" too involved, hard, or scientific... Runs contrary to being approachable... Would indeed like to apply my/our efforts contrarily... develop sections for beginners... Cheers, BobF> WWM Site "Usability" -- 07/18/07 Hiya Bob...enjoying your stay on the Big Island I hope? About time for Chris and Jorie to show up isn't it? Do tell them I said "Hey!" <Will do so> I've been looking at ways to improve folk's understanding/usability of the site as we discussed. I asked Karen to take a quick look at the site for her input since improving usability of websites is "what she does" for living, and she pointed out a couple things right away. With these in mind I wanted to go ahead and run a few things by you and get your input. <VERY good> First, and most obvious to Karen... We need to add a "prominent" link to the top of the homepage that says "How To Use This Site!" which will take folks to a page (not yet developed) that will go over how to use/do keyword searches; including some Boolean search tips, as well as some explanation of FAQs/site layout and whatever else we determine will be of use. <In total agreement> Second... I think the page explaining how to send us a query should be pared-down and reworded to just that...our requests/rules/requirements for query composition. Maybe even set it up so an individual has to click a "I have read and understand" link to get to where they can write their query? It won't stop folks from just breezing through/ignoring all, but it may give pause/catch those who "are" interested but just not paying attention. <Also> Third... Karen found the link headers that are listed after a Google search to be very confusing...e.g. euxangfdgfaqs. To be honest, looking at them from her perspective I'm sure they must look quite cryptic, even forbidding, to the lay person or beginning hobbyist. I don't know how these are set up, but I'm guessing they are headers you understand/originally created to help you with query placement and as such I don't know what if anything can be done here. I have a suspicion creating new Google search headers might be a monumental task in itself. <This unfortunately is artifactual... from my early generation of file names period... the need for some descriptors that were "useful"... definitive, abidingly short (to fit in the constraints of software and particularly the "Navigation View" of the site...> I can work on/compose these changes and will then send them to you for approval and placement on the site. To do this I will either have to purchase/learn the compatible software (MSFrontPage is it?), <Yes, and can use any web-authoring software... or just send along changes/proposed new files and I will gladly place... Am very interested and yet hesitant to start you on the slippery slide of building the site... But  would GREATLY appreciate your doing so...> or I can compose the pages in a text editor (MSWord) and then send to you for conversion. Eric <Ah, yes... Do please start. BobF>

Re: WWM Site "Usability" -- 07/18/07 Bob, I forwarded your response to Karen and she has more questions re the Google search tool and how it finds search headers. Please see below... Eric <Ok> "I would like to know - if Bob knows - how Google interprets and composes the headers for each hit on a search. I'm sure with the millions of hits, this is done programmatically and obviously, not manually. <Our site is crawled in real time by G and others, but I know extremely little re the process. It appears however that not simply titles, but ALL the content, including images, titles therein, are included/scanned> For instance, initiate a search in Google for Butterfly Fish and observe the headers. Then initiate a Google search within WWM for Butterfly Fish and compare the headers. Is there a way WWM can use the same method to generate the headers that Google uses? It certainly is more scannable, readable, usable, less daunting and understandable." <Mmm... a good question... would take a HUGE amount of effort to go back, change all... BobF> Hello -- 07/07/07 Hello, I just wanted to say hi to Mr. Robert Fenner and his friendly staff. Keep up the good work guys! Looking forward to talking to you again in the near future. Sincerely, Joe Reza from the El Paso Zoo, El Paso, TX. <Hi Joe! How's things down your way? Any new exhibits going up? BobF> WWM in the GWN, Crypt redux   6/30/07 Thanks again for your help! <Welcome!> Just this past week I observed something and know that you and your site are making a difference in Calgary, Canada. I went into a fish retailer and they had your website up and visible for customers and staff. I was there for about 20minutes and they must have referred to it twice. They were using it for compatibility reference for a lady's new purchase. The other time I overheard them referencing your site for information on a bacteria. <Ahh!> Perhaps gone are the days where owners and staff will guess or misinform customers. The same owner refused to sell a family a pair of clownfish the same day they were buying their tank. He basically told them to get it up and running and come back in 4 weeks when they were familiar with the water parameters. I was happy to hear that. <Me too> Anyhow, thanks again! P.S. Sadly, you may recall my plethora of emails in a panic for some information regarding what I believed to be Crypt ~ hence my 3 fish in quarantine. I lost my Yellow Tang and Foxface in a quarantine tank 3 days after capture. Do you happen to know if those NanoTanks (that include lights, filter, skimmer, etc) would deprive the water of oxygen? <Mmm, should not> The lid is pretty tight fitting and the has fans... although the fans seem to blow hot air out. Just wondering... I can go into more details in a subsequent email if you are interested in exploring with me. <Up to you... Easy to have a small system become oxygen deficient with a good deal of biomass present, metabolizing... Bob Fenner>

Pix of the day -- 06/11/07 It was only 3 months ago, I started my tank. 55 gallon with an over the back bio wheel filter and regular fluorescent lighting. Since finding your website (and apparently a whole bunch of money) <Heee! Dollars with wings come to mind...> I have moved to a 75 gallon with 40gal refuge, 30gal sump, 2 150w MH and 2 actinic VHO 110w. <And next month?> Needless to say everything is going great, Thank you so much for all of your help, and it is not much but it is all the payoff that I have to offer right now, hope you enjoy it and please let me know if you place it on the site. Thanks again Dave (Bratz) <Thank you for sending this along. Will post today. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: IMAC thanks   6/5/07 And while we're on the subject of thanking everyone... A huge thanks to you, Bob for your humor, friendship, hospitality and inspiration. And, for those of you who have never "worked a room" with Bob at a hobby conference before, it's an amazing experience! Jennie (PufferPunk)- for your wonderful hospitality, killer tanks, and superb "diplomacy" with Chicago's finest! P.S.- your doggie rocks! Jorie- You and your husband are two of the nicest folks I've ever met! Thanks you so much for arranging a great Saturday night, and for grabbing the pizza for me! I was the butt of flight attendant humor the whole way home (I'll tell you about it sometime!). Eric R.- You are yet another one of the nicest guys on the planet (WWM seems to have an excess of 'em!). You selflessly endured torture in the back of John D's SUV and inspired us all...Well, at the very least, you made everyone else that much more comfortable! I know that you're the first guy on my list to buy a drink for at MACNA! Alex- You're the coolest engineer I ever met! Your humor and overall coolness are going to be a HUGE asset to the readers of Conscientious Aquarist! Mac L- One of the people that I'd definitely trust my Fungia to on a table saw! Looking forward to working with you on the mag, too! Brenda- Definitely the heart, sole and backbone of "Scotty's Angels"- a master at scamming free tee shirts from vendors, and an inspiration to us all! Michele- My new "bestest buddy" and friend to manufacturers of digital camera memory worldwide! You rock!!! When she's around, you gotta be on your best behavior, or it WILL be documented! All kidding aside, we have some of the best people you'll ever meet right here on WWM! Glad that you're all part of my family! I'm privileged to be apart of this group! It's great associating new faces (and old) with names, and creating new memories! Truly a great weekend for all who attended and I'm looking forward to the WWM Crew conquering MACNA in September! Hope to see you all there! Regards, Scott F.

Re: the FAQs. It's interesting that a few groups seem to dominate the questions: goldfish, bettas, mollies, Oscars, etc. Very useful to know, because it means I can pitch story ideas to TFH and PFK much more effectively.   6/5/07 <Ahh!> I sent off a nice "Goldfish 101" article to PFK the other day, on the strength of this. Is there the same consistency among the marine questions? <Yes... and as "telling" is the use of our stats tool... the new one for WWM  reachable here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmsponsors.htm Where one may scan what files, topics/search terms viewers are using... Cheers, BobF> Neale

Technology for WWM  4/11/07 Good Morning Bob: <Hey there Brad!> Say, on 1/29/07 a fellow named Mike wrote to you regarding enhanced search capabilities for WetWebMedia (in that case, cached searches).  You may already know about this technology, so forgive me for butting in.  If not, I believe that it may revolutionize your site.  Google has a low cost software/hardware solution that can give your site a great deal more horse (fish) power.  It can be test driven by viewing the product tours and demos at http://www.google.com/enterprise/mini/ . <Thank you for this... just read over...> In the most basic application, you could leave your site exactly as is, but then allow subscribed members to do research using a more powerful search device that will: 1) allow readers to see all results related to a search, 2) to sort these pages by category, 3) take the reader to the exact spot on your website where the text exists (instead of to a page where dozens of less related letters are also stored), and 4) it would allow the readers to view cached text if so desired.  You could also allow readers to view your incredible library of photographs, and then purchase high resolution copies. <I really like these features... My only principal hesitation has to do with the "subscription" issue... Do you think folks would be inclined to subscribe? Our longstanding procedure has been complete anonymity, free-use...> I suspect that this enhanced search technology would cut down on the number of repetitive FAQs you receive, and at the same time generate revenue for WWM.  If you have further interest after viewing the product tours, the fellow listed below would be happy to assist you. Hope all is well, Brad in Basalt <Thanks much for introducing this idea, possibility... Revolutionary as you state... Am going to query our Crew as well re> Andrew Greene Google, Inc. Sr. Enterprise Sales - Western States (US) Email:   <mailto:agreene@google.com> agreene@google.com Direct: 650-253-3252 Cell:    415-272-5658 Fax:    650-618-1835

< I would like to add to Alexandra's great comments that another way to help can be on the Chat Forum.>  4/11/07 <Yes>  >
 Hi folks- just wanted to emphasize the importance of this. Many times, as of late (past 6-12 mos.) when I've checked in on the forum, I am horrified to see the amount of bad advice floating around. I'm not blaming anyone, as I know we all have limited amounts of time and can only do so much at a time, not to mention I understand how free speech works, and don't want to try to regulate what people write on the forums, but we DESPERATELY need some qualified aquarists to answer the zillions of questions out there.  As of now, at least as far as FW goes, we've got Sabrina and Jason, plus a couple of other intelligent regulars, but there's a HUGE dearth of good responses to questions. By the time I look at 911 and FW, I'm usually so depressed that I don't go further to look at Marine, so I won't extend my comments to that section...
 So, bottom line, if you go to answer queries and don't find any that you can/want to answer, GO TO THE FORUMS and spend a few minutes answering ?s there!

Re: Your input please...   4/11/07 <Sab> I will ask about the mini search appliance of T.R., as he has much more knowledge of its use than I.  However, I don't think it would be something that could be of good (enough) use to us; the Google search appliance is usually used by companies that have numerous computers, files, documents, etc., and an employee can search on "health benefits" (for example) and get all documents and folders that have "health benefits" anywhere in the document name, text, etc., as the search results.  I'm not sure if or how this could be applied for our use.  I do see that it has uses for websites, but I don't know how useful it would be in our application.  Perhaps T.R. can clarify, as he has a growing relationship with these devices. <Ah yes. Much appreciated> <<T.R. says a Google Search Appliance would really only be useful if we had members-only content.  Though it would allow for some search customization, T.R. feels that it really wouldn't be worth the while, or cost of the appliance.  We discussed it via IM, and with his permission, I have pasted excerpts of our conversation for you at the end of the email, in case you'd like to read it in his words - he states things better than I can, and has some good comments.>> >Thank you both for this< As for subscription based benefits....  I'm still more than hesitant to be interested in charging members for our services. <Me too> I have always been fascinated with information being a free commodity, and wish/feel that it should always remain so.  If I have information that will help a 7 year old kid keep her pet goldfish alive, I don't wish to charge her for it.  I *do* think that some folks would pay for subscription-based benefits, but at what "real" cost to us? <Tremendous... in NOT supplying, getting this to the intended user/recipient> <<My thoughts exactly....>> The "real" answer, in my opinion, is to turn WWM into a site of dynamic content, rather than static pages, and make the indices a little more "elegant" for users.  This would be a very large task, but it would improve not only the experience of the fellow/s maintaining the site (you), but it would improve the end-users' experiences, as well.  T.R. and I have toyed with the idea of doing it piecemeal to build a "second" WWM to present to you to play with and see if you like, but it's a big task for two folks with regular jobs. <Uh, yes... or one w/o (me)>    And with the added excitement of finding a new web host, it's just not a priority.  Maybe after a successful move to a new host (and, yes, a good webmail system is at the top of my list of "needs" for the new host!) T.R. and I could devote some time to figuring this out. <I would like to see the difference... gain an understanding of what might be involved in re/doing... Here's that pitch again, to have you both come out to HI...> <<We would love to, though funds are tight right now, what with both of us switching jobs - him a couple weeks ago, and me a jobless wonder until next Wednesday, when I start at Apple.  If we can find some way to afford it, we both could actually come this weekend, though for just a few days in his case.  I'll see what I can scrape together and I'll look at airfares.>> >Mmm, no rush... though/and WWM has money to help< A couple o' questions, so I may be better prepared with finding a new host: How much space are we using at DataPipe? <We're up to paying for 400 megs> Or do you mind if I go ahead and log in and find out? <You're welcome to log in any time> <<Argh, very little info to be gleaned logging in at DataPipe.  Ah well.>> >Perhaps our stats tool: > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmsponsors.htm< What are our current monthly charges at DP (or, again, do you mind if I log in, try to find out m'self)? <I believe it's something like $120 per month... automatically drawn against WWM bank acct.> <<And do you know our monthly bandwidth allotment?  Thanks for the info/help.>> >See the above, log-in, pw for the stats tool... 3-4 gigs per day< All the best to you, -Sabrina <And you my friend, BobF> Re: Technology for WWM   4/11/07 Well, if one takes a sub-set of "folks" and offers them advanced features - yes they (I) would subscribe.  This is why I tossed out the idea of leaving a basic search available for those who are not so inclined.  This technology would cost $2000 up front, <Yes... plus the time et al. to install...> so I was brainstorming ways to offset the cost to WWM.  I'm sure that the number of people who would subscribe is a function of annual cost.  For $25 a year, I am in.  For $50, I would still be in, but would evaluate the utility at the end of the year...  Of course, WWM could offer the technology for free, depending on the depth of one's pockets I suppose. :)   <Thank you for this follow-up. BobF> Re: Your input please...   4/11/07 Bob, <Adam> Personally I'm a technology junkie and like to see improvements over older technology, and I do think we should at the very least, create some type of tutorial that will instruct visitors on how to effectively navigate the site, as this seems to be one of the reoccurring complaints. <Agreed> Having said that I have severe reservations about the subscription option as well. <I as well. A/the "real" issue is how to pay for what it costs... time and more... Makes sense, the same as Police, Fire, Trash... that the folks receiving the benefits should pay... I am fresh out of time... and will NOT ask other people to work for free...> To me WetWebMedia is about the free exchange of ideas in regards to the realm of ornamental aquatics, a free space where people can come and go as they please. And though I hate to say it, people are lazy, <I don't mind saying it... it's so> if we force them to register or subscribe they may go elsewhere before attaining the needed info.  And honestly if WWM wasn't as popular as it is I might say that we do need to initiate some changes, but as it is we get more hits and readers per month than all of the other online publications and printed aquarium text.  The amount of people/contacts that site receives, daily, monthly is amazing...if people weren't in some manor getting what they needed, they wouldn't be coming....not just coming, but coming back.   And as much as people do complain about our layout, even these people have admitted that WWM in it's current incarnation is the perfect medium as far as search engine crawling. I dare anyone to put an aquarium related phrase or topic in a search engine and not have WWM turn up in the firs page if not the first few topics.  So while I am for making the information more accessible, I think making people jump through the hoops to get through the information will have a negative effect. **Adam <Thank you for this. BobF>

My input in double carets below.   4/11/07 James <Thank you James. BobF> Technology for WWM Good Morning Bob: <Hey there Brad!> Say, on 1/29/07 a fellow named Mike wrote to you regarding enhanced search capabilities for WetWebMedia (in that case, cached searches).  You may already know about this technology, so forgive me for butting in.  If not, I believe that it may revolutionize your site.  Google has a low cost software/hardware solution that can give your site a great deal more horse (fish) power.  It can be test driven by viewing the product tours and demos at http://www.google.com/enterprise/mini/ . <Thank you for this... just read over...> In the most basic application, you could leave your site exactly as is, but then allow subscribed members to do research using a more powerful search device that will: 1) allow readers to see all results related to a search, <<Mmmm, are we not doing this now with our "see/read related files above?" This also directs the reader to other related articles that may solve his/her problem.>>   2) to sort these pages by category, 3) take the reader to the exact spot on your website where the text exists (instead of to a page where dozens of less related letters are also stored), and 4) it would allow the readers to view cached text if so desired.  You could also allow readers to view your incredible library of photographs, and then purchase high resolution copies. <<Would this affect potential advertisers knowing there is a fee to use some features of the site?>> <I really like these features... My only principal hesitation has to do with the "subscription" issue... Do you think folks would be inclined to subscribe? Our longstanding procedure has been complete anonymity, free-use...> <<I for one would not pay with so many other emags/articles free for the taking.>> I suspect that this enhanced search technology would cut down on the number of repetitive FAQs you receive, and at the same time generate revenue for WWM.  If you have further interest after viewing the product tours, the fellow listed below would be happy to assist you. Hope all is well, Brad in Basalt <Thanks much for introducing this idea, possibility... Revolutionary as you state... Am going to query our Crew as well re> <<Maybe the crew should take a test drive of the Google features, ease of use, etc.>> WetWeb Props 3/30/07 Dear Chris at WetWeb Media, I really want to thank you for always answering my e-mails so fast and with great advice. I know I have said it before but this web site is priceless. I really enjoy saltwater aquariums and you all make it that much easier. Thank you again Jeff!! <You're welcome and hope you enjoy the hobby.> <Chris>

CMA, WWM, help in general   3/18/07 Dear Bob,   I recently bought your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.   I can't say that it really helped me....You have everything on  WetWebMedia.  All the questions I had I have found on your website.   By the time the book came in the mail, I already had my questions  answered.  The book is a great one stop shopping for the beginning aquarist  though. It is a great reference. R/ Jeff <Thanks for this input Jeff... as the easy stmt. goes... "Whatever works"! Bob Fenner> No....Thank you.  your site has saved my tank  on more than one occasion.  I wish I had you book when I first started out  in the aquarium hobby.  I have had a couple of tank crashes and a few fish deaths that could have been avoided had I read your book first, better yet, if I  had found your website. R/ Jeff <Ahh, good that we are acquainted now. BobF>

Kudos to you (and a vote in favour of good writing)  3-13-07 Hello all, <Susan> This is not a question, so please don't feel any need to respond or post to the website. <But I like it so much!> I just want to express my support for your policy on proper spelling and punctuation as well as clearly worded questions. Your website is a valuable resource for new aquarists like myself. Reading all the information needed to research a topic properly is so much easier when proper writing conventions are followed. <Yay! A vote for literacy, civility... even (IMO) basal intelligence in our species!!!> In addition to the information the WetWebMedia crew provides, they also help model good practices. For example, I will never, never, never ever (again) purchase a fish or coral without researching it first. I will always quarantine new fish. I will feed my corals. You get my drift... <Like the plankton my dear> Further, I would not hesitate to purchase any product or service advertised on your website. Why? Because I'm sure that the expertise and good judgment so clearly evident in the information you provide also extends to the products you advertise. I trust that you would not endorse or promote an inferior product. <I can't, won't argue... and I did not write this to myself> And I love the humor and droll remarks. Reading the new Q&A's has become a daily activity I thoroughly enjoy. <Heeeeeeee!> In closing, thanks to all members of the WetWebMedia crew for all your hard work and your commitment to this wonderful hobby. Susan <Thank you my/our friend. Bob Fenner>

Subject: caution!!! before you continue your association with wetwebmedia  - 3/12/07 Bob, Thought you might like to see this... odd. Tony Wagner Sales Manager CaribSea, Inc. <Thanks for this Tony... Am compelled to quote a few... including P.T. Barnum. Bob Fenner... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm This is the page we ask all to read through ahead of writing us... It spells out the reasons for requiring proper English... We do make allowances for Non-native speakers, children and folks of apparent diminished capacity... But don't want to look/be ignorant by allowing/perpetuating poor writing... Understanzee?> I understand completely. I just thought you would like to see it. You can't please everyone. Let me know about advertising costs when you all get a chance. <Thank you for this. BobF> Tony Wagner Subject: caution!!! before you continue your association with wetwebmedia       After reading a reply  from the crew at www.wetwebmedia.com regarding lionfish's i <I> found a large number of errors and misleading information <Specifics please> in the care of these animals. as <As> you are well aware of a large number of people leaving the hobby is due to fish loss because of misleading information furthermore the crew at WWM <WWM> must get thrills from belittling people. <No...> they have no understanding that several hobbyist are new. (there is no such thing as a bad or stupid question). <But, poorly worded, crafted ones, yes...> I personally wrote them a letter regarding a fish disease they belittled me and refused to answer any questions from me just because i did not capitalize the first letter in my sentences i mean come on! how professional is that. and just to add insult and to discourage me they belittled me in there reply email to me. and this has happened before to other people but what fires me up the most is when they do it to children new to the hobby "which i can give names" Is this the kind of company you want your name associated with? i know that this may mean nothing to you for i am a single person in this letter but i can say that i will not purchase any products from any company that is associated with this web site nor will recommend any products seen on this web site until a formal apology is given by the crew of wet web media you are there funding and i am sorry that there actions are affecting your company   thank you for your time in listening to me in this matter sincerely Brian Hal   <Don't stay backward your whole life. BobF> Nastygram  - 3/12/07 B Seems like this person is a little unhappy eh?  And this individual has such excellent spelling and grammar too!  Hehehe!  Hmm, wonder if that could have been part of the problem?!?!  You may want to respond to BobP.  Not the best timing with the banner ads.  Wonder how many people this individual is contacting.  I was afraid this would get overlooked and end up in the trash, thus the forward. M <A miscreant... likely a seeming 'competitor' BB unhappy with our new rotating banner ad campaign... keeps using phony email addresses to write most everyone in the trade... though they've never been involved with WWM... Not impt. B> Re: caution!!! before you continue your association with wetwebmedia  3-13-07 Dear Warmerwaters, Thanks for pointing out your dissatisfaction with Wetwebmedia.com. You must be very upset as we don't even currently advertise with them. So, I am not sure of what it is you are asking me. I have checked their website and did find something that may be of interest to you. This was pulled from their instructions on how to ask them a question. Here it is: "..... Finally, if you still need assistance you can send an e-mail to the WWM Crew.  If you want to send attachments (particularly of photographs), please re-size these to a few hundred Kbytes... and send along as jpegs or bmps. Please write in complete sentences, check your grammar and spelling... as all content is answered, then posted on this website and read over MANY times by others. AND PLEASE, NO MESSAGES IN ALL CAPITALS! See the Tips page for more info..." They clearly point out why they are asking for correct grammar etc., it is because your question will be answered and then used as a tool to help other people. To keep things as clear and understandable as possible, they ask only this of you in exchange for free advice. I do not find this unreasonable as the internet has perpetuated its own lingo, signs, and abbreviations that many of us may not understand. In order for them to use your question to aid others, they would now have to go through and edit all of your text so others may clearly understand it. Also, I would not worry too much about anything anyone says in front of others on the web... It's a virtual place; you're really not warmwater so nobody really knows you at all. I wish you the best of luck in your search for answers on the internet, there are many places to look... be careful as anyone can say anything they are often unintentionally wrong/misleading, or often offer advice based on here say or limited observations. I do know that wetwebmedia has an excellent reputation for the quality of their advice. For advice that can't make you feel bad with any sort of response, try a book. There is an excellent book about diseases in fish called Fish Medicine by Stotskopf (I think that is how you spell his name). Sincerely, Tony Wagner Sales Manager CaribSea, Inc. <Thank you for cc'ing us, sharing your excellent, timely, balanced response Tony. Bob Fenner>

Reef Systems And Skimmers And Maybe An English Tutorial 2/28/07 I have a question for bob fenner <Bob Fenner> <James for Bob.  His time is very limited and does not have the time to correct queries with numerous english and grammar errors.> and him only<.> I have 24yrs <years> in saltwater<.> I havent <have not> read your book<,> dont <do not> need it<,> wont <will not> buy it<,> but from friends<,> i <I> heard <hear> you talk of deep sandbeds and live rock and water turnover. <Yes he does, among other types of systems as well.> what I have always done <did>. I have a beautiful reef that is not a prob <problem> to me. <Good to hear this.> I am wondering why you are runnig a cheap ass bak pak <Bak Pak> skimmer. <I'm not aware of Bob having a tank set up, busy schedule will not allow it.> dosnt <Doesn't> that go against your book.  tHEY <THEY> DO HAVE GOOD ECOSYSTEMS THESE DAYS. <Yes, and very aware of the fact.> Couldnt <Couldn't> yu <you> use that.  why <Why> do you have a good book <How do you know it is a good book if you haven't read it?> and give bad info on ya <your> web site. <No bad info given my friend.  Info is based on years of combined experience amongst the crew, including Mr. Fenner.> Skimmers remove Calcium Iodide, <calcium iodide> Stotium <strontium> and all good elements to the tank. <In very negligible amounts.> I thought you were against this. <Not aware of Bob being against this, but does recommend trace element replenishment.> why <Why> a cheap ass bak pak Bak Pak?> <The inexpensive Bak Pak skimmer is a worthy skimmer for smaller tanks and the budget minded.> Are you not What <what> you said you were <are> in your book, because I looked up to you as a natural reef guy. <Maybe, if you did read the book, you would understand that the statements you make here are not true.  Twenty four years of experience is admirable, but take it from me, with 35+ years experience, the learning curve never ends.  Thank you for writing.  James (Salty Dog)> Re: Reef Systems And Skimmers And Maybe An English Tutorial 2/28/07  - 03/02/07   I need to make a comment here about one of your postings.  I do not have a question, just an observation.  I was reading your website and came across the posting "Reef Systems And Skimmers And Maybe An English Tutorial 2/28/07."  I am getting tired of seeing people trying to play "GOTCHYA" with the WetWebMedia staff. <Heeeee! Thank you> We are all here to learn.  Constructive criticism is another matter. Taking care of aquariums is a never ending learning process. <Ah, yes... Agreed... and usually a delightful, ever-wonderful one as well> I have learned so much over the past couple of months reading your articles and responses.  There is so much conflicting data out there and the Wet Web Media staff have done so much in terms of clarification.   I also wanted you folks to know that since I found your website my tank (90 gallon) has been doing much better. <Ahhh!>   I have always had a problem with nitrates (>60 ppm) even with water changes.  I kept losing my inverts (I think) because of the high nitrates. I ended up getting rid of the bioballs and replaced them with rock and some Chaeto algae.  This brought my nitrates down to 40 ppm.  I then decided to put a temporary (bigger) refugium in and completely get rid of the wet/dry filter.  I transferred the live rock and algae (not too difficult).  I added more Chaeto.  This brought my nitrates down to 20 ppm.  I finally found a very good refugium to permanently go under my tank.  I installed it approximately 1 week ago and my nitrates are floating between 5-15 ppm.  They seem to fluctuate based on the tank light cycle as well.   <Ah yes...> I went with the Chaeto algae and I made sure I have the right lighting along with keeping it on 24/7 <Mmm... I would definitely have the light off some hours per day... this genus, group of algae need the "dark period" of photosynthesis... I encourage you to use a timer... to have an alternating RDP (reverse daylight photoperiod/icity) with your main system's lighting regimen... Both the main tank and refugium lighting can be on simultaneously/overlap... but have them not on permanently> because of all the reading I have done on your site.  I have to start taking out some of the Chaeto because it is starting to really grow. <A good "trade in" item...> This refugium has greatly stabilized my tanks as well.  My Alkalinity and PH are very stable now (read about that on your site as well. I know the difference now).   I have one coral in my tank right now.  It is a colt coral.  It had bleached itself probably due to stress when the tanks had high nitrate problems which affected the buffering and caused algae problems. <Yes>   Since my tank has stabilized. The coral has gotten its nice tan brown color back.  I was worried all the algae inside the coral had been expelled because of the stress (read that on your site as well), but it seemed to have made it through OK.  It has doubled in size in just the three weeks since converting over to a refugium.   I bought a feather duster last week and I buried the base of it in the sand.  Well the little sucker decided he didn't like it and left his home. I saw him the other day worming around (still had his feathers).  I read your Feather Duster FAQS. I realized he is like just looking for a home.  So I am letting him be.  It has peaceful tank mates.  I also was going to pull out the tube he was living in, but after reading about how they will split in two sometimes when departing their old homes, I decided to leave it in the tank and see if a new feather duster pops out later on.   Well, that is my story.  Keep up the great work.  People out here really rely on you folks. Don't let the "GOTCHYA" people out there get to you.  It is nice to know there are a lot of aquarium freaks out there like me (that's what my wife calls me anyways). R/ Jeff <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. I will share with James/Salty (who responded to the original email, brilliantly) and the rest of the Crew... Cheers, Bob Fenner> Re: Example of how NOT to ask for advice 2/14/07 re... torch coral hlth?    2/16/07 What type of people do you have helping out? <Mmm, all sorts... mostly American... some women, some quite young... all volunteer> Or is this you idea of help. Lots of smart aleck nonsense built into the reply, that I do not appreciate. <Who would? Don't know who this is/was... but am not happy about the apparent attitude either. BobF> Wet Web Media Volunteer Staff Accolades!!! - 02/09/2007 Dear Crew, <Deborah> Thanks you so much for always replying to my emails with such a fast response.  Thank you for volunteering your time to help us in achieving a better understanding of our aquariums.  Thank you for helping us provide a better quality of life for our aquatic pets even when our questions may seem trivial. <The operative word here is indeed "seem"... are never trivial to the writer, folks who understand> At a time when LFS care more about quantity of sales over quality of sales, you manage to help us safely raise our aquatic friends.  Your site is a constant source of valuable information that we appreciate and, at times, take for granted.  I can personally say that emailing your crew provides me with a sense of relief because I know that, no matter what, help is on the way.  Thank you for always being honest and providing accurate and correct information.  Now, we come here first when researching new additions to our tanks.  No other place on the internet provides the amount of information that your site does.  Thanks so much, again, for all that you do for all of us.  I will forever er be a supporter of your site. God Bless, Deborah Rowe <Thank you my/our friend. Bob Fenner>

Just A Few Words Of Thanks!  2/1/07 I just recently came  across your web-page, and I love it! I have two adult Oscars and love them dearly! Your information helps me keep them, happy, and healthy! <Yay!> With all of these questions on here, and all this information, there is no need for me even to have to ask any questions! I just want to say "THANK YOU" to all of you guys, for all that you do to keep us educated, and help us keep our fish happy lil' guys!! Thanks =) Lisa~ <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Your Site... Re: "Angry Consumer - Betta Bloat - (II? III? IV?) - 08/09/2005 "   1/31/07 To Whom It May Concern: <Tim> I recently read a response you wrote to a Betta fish owner, entitled "Angry Consumer - Betta Bloat - (II? III? IV?) - 08/09/2005 " and can be found at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betdisfaq7.htm. I was, at that moment, searching for answers for my own Betta Fish (turns out he's constipated--I found information about hopefully curing him of his constipation on your site). I was absolutely appalled while reading the response. I have used your site many times for various things--from setting up my 55-gallon tank at home to basic Betta care for my tank at school. I have found all the information to be extremely helpful, even though at times I was distressed myself when trying to find information about a sick fish. <I have just re-read this material... a conversation twixt myself and "Lindsay", ultimately a summation by SabrinaF re> Despite the obvious anger that this person showed, I want to thank you guys for all the hard work you do. It's great that you guys are able to provide free help to people who can otherwise not find it or would have to pay a lot of money for the same resources elsewhere. It pains me to see another person attack you when all you're trying to do is help, and you don't ask for anything in return. I hope you guys keep up the good work and thanks again for doing such a great job with helping so many people. Tim Moran <Thank you for stating your opinion, input here. It is indeed a "difficult thing" at times, trying to understand, communicate with others... "Making known what needs"... in clear, concise manner... content, format considerations, reading/ability and interest levels to be guessed at, assumed, considered... It is my hope/trust that our overall interest and capacity here are obvious... That we (WWM's "staff", volunteers, myself included) are desirous (and able!) to help others... WITH their cooperation of course, for their and their livestock's benefits. Bob Fenner>

Re: please help my angelfish :)  1/29/07 My hat is off to you for helping a complete stranger. Thanks again. ~Rich <Ahh, we are strangers but once. Life to you my friend. BobF>

Re: What did you have in mind with the "...GrahamT to help with moving, bldg. the sites... as he is getting overwhelmed too many days"?   1/24/07 <Ho buoy! Don't get us started here!> Will gladly help when I am available. Have software for easy editing of attached pictures (resizing, compressing, etc.) <Oh, FrontPage has enough of this... simpler graphic editing capacity... You'll soon be counting the "number of clicks" I fear... as I do!> and don't mind playing at the PC for a while. I won't be able to nail down a concrete schedule, however, with all of the appts to keep with the girls... but I'm sure any help would be better than none, right? <Mmm, yes> Guess all I would ask is for a briefing on the preferred assignment for answered emails as they move off of the dailies page. (That reminds me: Is there a desire/need/plan for a space for the dailies to sit between their final resting place and their first day of posting? <There used to be... but most days I move, spell et al. check and place/parse... while they're "semi-fresh" in my mind... elsewise they pile up... Storing for another day... like another page "FAQs de ayer"... instead of "du jour" might be a possibility, but it's "just another damn thing"... as you may well find out> I think sometimes that people see something that they want to come back to only to find it has been reassigned to an area, and the google can't find it yet. ) <Yes... as sometimes happens to/with me on follow-ups... sans descriptive re-use of titling> -GrahamT PS-It is 2-degrees Fahrenheit today! Brrrrrrrr! <It's only in the sixties in the AMs at this elevation in HI, quit yer whining! Mmm... the best way to proceed here is for you to continue responding to queries... get a bit more familiar with WWM, the Crew... And to come on out on a venture (as others have, and are!) and see the actual process as it exists... Would very much rather have you NOT burn out, continue with your stellar responding, happiness... But, it may well be that some other work is in your and others futures here... that we can even pay for... Still working on a/the banner ad program... B> Coral for sale, WWM, Anglish   1/24/07 Hello <Hello, Stephen, JustinN with you today. I am after some very exotic coral<.> I have a Reef tank coasted <it cost> me 10grand and I want some exotic coral<.> I am from Melbourne any chance of doing some business??? Thanks Stephen <Sorry, Stephen. We are not a dealer, in any way, shape, or form. We are a largely volunteer group providing information to the online community, ranging from freshwater aquarium keeping to the science and industry side of the hobby. See www.WetWebMedia.com for more information on the service we provide. Sorry to disappoint. -JustinN>  

just a thought... Sort of    1/17/06 Heyhey It has just occurred to me that your daily faq's section is an oxymoron, after all faq's stands for frequently asked questions. Thanks for all the help nonetheless <Mmm, have our own transliteration of the acronym: Frequently Accessed Queries... tens of thousands of folks look/read them over daily.

Re: FAQs def.s  1/17/07 Hi Bob, Just came across today's post saying that "FAQ" is a misnomer for the dailies, and your response that they're more "Frequently Accessed Queries." I had already thought about it myself, and came to the conclusion that they could well be "Frantically Asked Questions," since the queriers often are a bit frantic!  I've been thinking of them as such ever since. Just thought I'd share, since it made me laugh.  No questions--all's well with my tank! Rachel <Heeee! Thank you for this. BobF> Props to the Crew   1/12/06 Advice from this site has saved me many hours of worry. From getting a big tank to stabilize (add a bio-wheel to the canister filter) to knowing I am doing the right things (sick Jupari) to my first questions about Oscars and water changes. Just a thanks from a very new very much learning to swim in this hobby kinda guy. Tim <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner> \ WWM Traffic    1/10/07 Dear Fearless Leader, The holidays are over and I was expecting an avalanche of questions from newbies. Either I missed them or people were finding what they needed on the site. I was wondering if our traffic flow to the site increased after x-mas? <It has... but not too much... maybe by a third. BTW, we have a new stats server (the old DP one quit on its own... again), but the new URL I don't have on this laptop... Will broadcast from home in Feb.> The reason that I asked is the LFS's didn't have a x-mas sales spike like they had hoped.  <Yikes... not good portent> I heard that sales from All-glass were down 50% from last year which were down 30% from the previous year. Not a good trend.  <Agreed... and a "sign of the times" I'm afraid... The publics eyes and checkbooks are elsewhere... What happens in "anomalous" driven societies... They're "terrorists" afoot... e.g. the crushing effects of too burdensome government, spending on itself...> Have seen a couple of the turtle questions but haven't seen the "Got a new tank for Christmas ", questions. <You know... I hadn't given this much thought, but you're absolutely right here...> Hopefully they are already finding the info they need on the site.  <I wish this as the majority effect at play here... I don't think so... Methinks we're (the U.S.) end of hegemony evolvement is turning into the "hobbies" like food, gasoline, TV/Video-"outside" stimulation phase> Our buddy Tim H. looks like he is finally out of Marineland. Last Friday was supposed to be his last day if he signed the paperwork.  <Mmm... is good for him to be finally leaving... hopefully going to some place...> Still working out of town and catching questions when I can. Just happen to be in town for a doctors appointment to get my hip looked at. <Yikes... is it that time too?>  Don't eat too much Guac and Have an IPA on me. Will talk to you soon. CrewMember-Chuck <Thank you my friend. BobF>

Great site  1/2/07 I love your site. Good work! Thank you for the info. <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. We do appreciate this. Bob Fenner> Trapped   12/31/06 Bob, <James>  Went to my LFS yesterday to pick up some coral frags.  I overheard the owner directing a customer to our site.  <!> Was good to hear until he said...one of the crew is in the store now and he buys all his livestock here.  Yikes!!!!!!!!!  I thought I was going to have to shoot my way out of there.  <Heeeee!> I kindly told the owner not to do that without at least asking me first.  I can just imagine the hoopla you must get under similar circumstances.  <No hoopla yet... I do ask when I'm giving pitches if folks have heard of WWM... in the late nineties... nah! But a considerable number nowadays> Anyway, have a Happy New Year.  James <To you and your spouse as well James. BobF>

Re: Seahorse Feeding Problems  - 12/29/06 Thanks so much. I appreciate all your help. You are doing a great service, helping idiots around the world who think they can keep wild creatures in their homes!  Never stop! <Mmm... perhaps some anger management exercises for you? You are not the person who originally wrote in asking for help... Do you have issue/s with folks keeping "pets?"... Discount the humanizing influence therein? Prefer that we all live in cubicles with artificial plants only? I am not of this opinion... To deny folks access to the living world, yes, even with its concomitant damaging... is antithetical to their developing kinship with it, themselves... A foolish mistake. RMF> Re: Seahorse Feeding Problems  - 12/29/06 You misinterpret my dry humor.  I am one of the "idiots" keeping the  pets.   I have two tanks, two dogs, and a cat, and oh yes, a  husband. <Heeeee heeeeeeee! I won't ask which is better behaved... BobF> Stocking question for new 180 gallon reef system... Thank you and note re English   12/28/06 Dear Mr. Fenner I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your valuable time to reply to my initial e-mail . My apologies for the punctuation and grammatical mistakes, I am not used to writing on a computer at all. <Mmm, not to worry re... this indeed is a "learned trait"... none of us is born with typing skills, grammatical knowledge... I encourage you to learn to/use the tools that come with word-processing software... that spell-check, give instruction for grammar... built-in, at your finger tips... This has been my "salvation" mainly> Again may I congratulate yourself and the team for such a fabulous wealth of information which I find myself reading continuously , and hopefully others like myself will appreciate the excellent knowledge and experience that you and your team have given the countless other aquarists , because without it I certainly would not have had the success and sometimes the mistakes that I already have been faced with. <Ahhh! Thank you for this note> Thank you again and I wish all of you continued success and also a happy new year . Jason (Wales UK) <And to you and yours my/our friend. Bob Fenner>

Donation by mail    12/26/06 Bob,    <Brian>   Want to give to the fund, but I don't like Internet payment systems.  Do you have a PO Box where I can mail a donation to the crew?      Happy Holidays,      Brian <Ahh, thank you... Made out to WetWebMedia. 8586 Menkar Rd., San Diego, CA 92126. Bob Fenner>

Great site   12/19/06 Hello everybody. <Greetings!  Mich with you tonight.> One year ago I bought a five gallon nano cube to start my aquarium adventures. I now have a 125 gallon full blown reef system with coral galore. <Hehehehe! Welcome to the club!> During the journey I have lost a few, but never gave up hope about this wonderful hobby. <You say hobby, I say addiction.> I can say I have visited more then fifty websites on reef systems and saltwater fish, but have never seen one so helpful as this. <Thank you for your most kind words.  Always nice to hear positive feedback.> Just wanted to say thank  you for a wonderful year of informational ideas and helpful suggestions on not only keeping things alive, but having them flourish greatly.   <This is wonderful to hear.> This is by far the most informational and helpful website on the planet. <Wow!  Now that's enthusiastic!> To everybody at wetwebmedia thank you very much for your help and support of the aquarium hobby. <Tis a labor of love.  -Mich>

I don't need no steenkin' God, I've got  BOB!   12/16/06 From one of the devoted WWM forum posters (read first box, skip the second, go down to the third)...made me laugh...and laugh again!    I hereby turn myself over to Robert Fenner.    Ok, Bob...not like that...            SC is where the meetings are held. You cannot overcome your addiction if it isn't thrown in your face constantly. Relapses are OK, we have to take it day by day, 12 steps you know. 1 Admit you have a problem (NO I don't) 2 Admit there is a higher power (Robert Fenner) 3 Turn yourself over to Robert Fenner 4 Take a moral inventory, see if you have enough fish stuff 5                          kyly Posts: 487 From: the walleye capitol of the world Registered: Jan, 2006            Re: Pretty bored...so got pics   Posted: Dec 14, 2006 11:57 AM               Reply     problem?... no problems here (depending on who you ask!) LET THE ADDICTION COMMENCE!!                          pythium Posts: 447 From: Kyly's hero Registered: Nov, 2005            Re: Pretty bored...so got pics   Posted: Dec 14, 2006 12:02 PM               Reply     5 Admit that we have enough fish stuff to Robert Fenner and to our spouses. (Again I don't have a problem) 6 Ask Robert Fenner to remove these defects (Ya right) 7 Humbly ask Robert to remove our shortcomings in aquarium knowledge. 8 Make a list of those we have wronged in this hobby (I have wronged no one, in fact they should make amends to me for not giving me more money to spend) 9 Make amends to those we have wronged (See above) 10 Continue to take aquarium inventory and admit when we bought to much (No such thing) 11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious aquarium skills, asking only for knowledge of Robert Fenner for us and our aquatic friends in our care. 12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we realize everyone else has a problem and not us. <Heeeeeee! BobF... "High, with a little help... from my friends... By, with a little help... from my friends...." What would I do?> New website and idea Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2006 21:40:48 -0700 (PDT) heehee... heya, Bob. No hurry on reply (I hope you are enjoying very good weather/diving) :)    I wanted to send you an FYI for my sexy new website (redesigned):    www.readingtrees.com <Very nice>    cool dealer map thingy:     http://www.readingtrees.com/dealers.html <Ahh! Have seen this software about>    scrolling posters, banners, etc :D:D:D    So I was thinking... for the not insignificant amount of money it would take to improve the WWM site and make it more friendly (even internally... more dynamic content manipulation)... lets do a fundraiser (raffle... or donations for a term with random winner selected) to get Bob and Antoine for a day/weekend... fish boyz... clean their tank, scrape algae and siphon muck water... bring beer... pay our way there. The way I figure it, we could raise a good $50 or 60 to put towards site improvements :D Maybe much more (seriously). Then take some X thousands of dollars to make improvements to make your life easier on site management? I'm willing to siphon lots of dirty aquarium water and fish poop to help the WWM machine :p    Just a thought :) ------- Anthony Calfo www.ReadingTrees.com <Good idea for fun... there's a fellow who is "knocking us up" who has helped the Bailey Bro.s with their fab/profitable Fish Talk podcast sales... am wondering what he might suggest to make WWM a go-er. We'll see. B> new Reef magazine Shipping Now! "C... the Journal of Aquatic Science, Travel and Adventure" stunning photography... intelligent and informative content... like none other! Not a question just a compliment 10/16/06 Mr. Fenner <Geoff> I don't have a question, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! <Welcome> I have been fascinated with tropical and marine aquaria since childhood and I have always had at least one fish tank in some form or another.  I recently quit my job of fifteen long, mind numbing years and started my own small business installing and maintaining custom aquariums in people's homes and offices.  A few weeks ago, one of my clients discovered a destructive and, quite elusive, mantis shrimp in his 200 gal reef.  After trying in vain to trap the little assassin, I thought I would check the internet for a miracle before removing and fresh water dipping 220 + lbs of live rock.   Regrettably, I didn't find that miracle, but I did stumble across your website. (I'm a fish nerd, but an internet idiot) That was at midnight.... It's now nine in the morning. <Yeeikes!> Even after more than 25 years experience with aquariums, It seems like I learn something new every time I put my hands in a tank.  In the last nine hours pouring over your articles/FAQs, I've acquired a years worth of knowledge. <High praise indeed> Thank you again, to you- and your knowledgeable staff.  I look forward to joining the WWM chat forum after some much needed sleep. <And perhaps the Crew itself! Cheers, BobF> Geoff

WWM, finally done  10/7/06 Bob, Thank you so much for the note. A pleasure to see the photos. I spend a little time each day perusing your site, and have learned more than I could have ever hoped to. <Ahhhh> My sincerest appreciation for all that you do, with the help of your wonderful team! Nicole <Thank you our friend. BobF>

Building a sump...No questions just thank you's   10/1/06 WWM Crew (Bob)   Well my sump is all installed and everything is working..  The setup turned out perfect thanks to this (web site) and Jodi at Dr Foster and Smith.. She works in there retail store in Rienlander Wis.. Many thank you's to you Jodi and all of you who help me at WWM.   If it wasn't for all of your time at WWM and this web site.. I would never have the tank that i have nor the setup i have...I'm taking pics of my sump setup and aquarium just for WWM web site and whoever else want's or need's a setup like this.. Its a beautiful reef in the making!!   Thank you again to all of you your time is greatly appreciated!!!   Brian, Wisconsin <Excelsior! BobF> A Note Of Thanks From Julie - 09/30/2006 To the whole crew, <Hi, Julie!> I'm so new to fish keeping I don't even know what to ask! And that's why I love your site .. here I get answers before I even know the questions! <Heh, awesome!> Thank you for your dedication (not to mention patience!!!) - congratulations to you all for a fantastic job! <Thank you, so very, very much, for these kind words, Julie.  It's not often someone writes in just to say thanks.  You just made my day.> Julie - a very grateful beginner! <All the best to you, Julie!  -Sabrina>

Totally AWESOME website you have here. 9/28/06  A few years spent searching etc for THAT ideal site has stopped here with you guys/gals. Very precise information given in a non-Hollywood style <Heeeeeee, dahling> sets this place apart from the rest. I like to thank you people for devoting time and expertise to all of us noobs in the world who continually do silly things to our pets. I stumbled across this site today and haven't stopped reading your articles etc that contain answers and solutions to many of the problems I have encountered during my journey as an aquarium hobbyist. I better stop here before you think  I wanna marry you guys. Cheers from North Queensland, Australia. <Yeeikes! Thanks for the props mate! BobF>

Publishing your info in book form  - 09/14/06 Dear WetWebMedia, <Andy> Would you be interested in discussing publishing your information about marine and freshwater aquaria in book form for your readers? I am a publisher and always looking for interested content to publish. This may be a good way to increase revenues for your organization too while increasing your exposure to the public. Best regards, Andy D. <Yes to this possibility. How would you like to continue this discussion? Bob Fenner>

Re: AMDA EcoList/Site Revamping   7/30/06 Well, I'd love to join, but while my knowledge has successfully guided me through the beginnings of this hobby, I am, in essence, still 'green around the edges' as the saying goes. <Mmm...> I've only been seriously fish keeping for about 8 months now, however, I have a good ability to regurgitate what I've read in layman's terms, so I'll look into the potential of some articles. <Outstanding! This will do many good things... on a few fronts... Help others "out there" in the Net world, aid in your self-education, prep. you for a vain-glorious "career"/involvement in responding to queries, bring in currency to "support your habit"...> I'll gladly thumb through the pages, and make a list of 'place-holder' articles, and come up with some ideas from there. If there's any particular area that seems to be in higher demand than others, let me know and I'll look into it as a starting point. Thanks, -Justin <Thank you! This potential interaction brings much anticipated joy... Bob Fenner> Site... non-tips from a Web designer...  7/22/06 Hi there! <Hello> You site is very helpful and most appreciated. My only crutch with it is how everything seems to be scattered about through various hyperlinks and lots of scrolling. The FAQs are... unusual and a little hard to understand. <Mmm, best I can presently do... constantly being re-done...> You put the entire paragraph instead of just the question. Unorthodox to say the least. Though I was able to find what I wanted, it took a me a 15 minutes to eventually zoom in onto a question that seemed relevant to my own problem. <Do you have positive suggestions for improving the use-ability, search-ability, actual content? The "lack of apparent cohesive, cogent go here/there approach" is intentional... the medium is at least as important (both are critical) as the content here... and our intention is to "invite" folks to browse, take on ancillary material, issues.... in entertaining, entraining modes... How would you change, amend this? Bob Fenner>

Regarding: Tuxedo Urchin example of RMF rudeness, impatience    7/20/06 Hmmm... a group of experienced people ( at least two of which are authors of some of the best books on keeping marine creatures ) offer to review sometimes long emails and proffer expert opinions.  They offer the service for free. They maintain these answers in an incredibly organized fashion that can be searched in an instant to find an answer to most any question. They provide this incredible resource at no cost to the user. The ONLY things they ask of the user of their service are to look for the answer in the data base before asking the same question for the billionth time <Heeeee! At least!> and to compose your questions in English with correct spelling so that future readers can make sense of your question.  Then people call them rude!!!! <sigh>    Sorry for lapsing into all caps for emphasis, but THANK YOU RMF AND CREW FOR ALL YOU DO.  The hobby and my tanks are better for your efforts and my gratitude knows no bounds. <Thank you Ron... hard some times to keep this smile from my face. Cheers, Bob F/RMF> Things which I have recently learned  7/9/06 Hello Crew- <Jake> I would like to share some things which I have recently learned: <Please do> You can never wait too long to cycle a tank The huge number of towels and washcloths you never use are used more quickly than imaginable The next house will have saltwater and freshwater as well as drinking water holding tanks Dogs apparently like very expensive highly nutritious flaked fish food You are an Aquarist, not the typically misspelled Auquariast, or Aquariust. (I am an Aquarius however being born in January) Should you have loads of spare cash and time on your hands, that may be remedied by setting up a marine aquarium Dog hair does not look good in an aquarium Dog hair is exceedingly difficult to remove from said aquarium 2 lone dog hairs make your aquarium look like the floor of a barber shop Hanging your nets, hygrometer, and other equipment lessens aforementioned dog hair introduction Domino damsels have an incredible personality Many folks despise damsels, I enjoy them Ich is a real pain in the butt Saltwater leaves annoying spots on glass Saltwater leaves more annoying spots on your glasses Fish eat shrimp, I eat $1 cheeseburgers at McDonalds Keeping fish is a very enjoyable and rewarding hobby WetWebMedia.com is an invaluable resource one will spend many hours reading, and sometimes dream they are reading it Thanks VERY much for the great site, knowledgeable folks answering questions, and the plethora of information. You have rekindled my interest in the hobby and practically worn out my mouse from reading the site. Regards- Jake Kelley <Heeeee hee heeeeee! Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Thank you for your site!  6/27/06 Hi WWM Crew, <Hello Amber> I just wanted to send a thanks for having such a helpful website! Every time I had a question, I went to the FAQs and it was quickly answered. So I decided to just send you a thank you for all your input and advice even though I didn't get to personal to ask any of you for help. When I can I just sit and read over everything just so I can know more about the fish hobby, so I suppose I'm turning into a slight fish nerd. I'm thinking my fish are happier with my improved knowledge :)! <Thank you for the kind words, Amber.  Bob and the crew certainly appreciate this. I wish more folks were like you to search/read the information they seek before writing, as most queries can be easily answered by doing the same as you have done. Don't let me scare you away from writing.  We gladly answer queries, and every single one is answered.> Thanks again, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Amber

WWM.. down?...    6/26/06 Please tell me the site is just down for a few days due to maintenance and will be back up... I was in the process of setting up a 125 and browsing many mannnny FAQ's in order to do it correctly! Please get back to me guys about what's going on with the site :( thanks alot, -peter <Yikes... is up working as far as I can tell. BobF>

A Thanks and Success Stories 6/23/06 Greetings from humid Chicago! <Nice day today, and a nice weekend coming up.  Hello from Aurora.> I just wanted to say Thank you for all the time and effort you (everyone) put into the site. <We try.>  My betta, and work buddy, of almost two years came down with a nasty infection which led to him having Popeye in both eyes and severely swollen lips. He had also stopped eating. <An unhappy betta for sure.>  I immediately rushed him home that night and treated with new water with Epsom salt added to the water every day. After only 4 days he was looking normal, and after 6 days he was eating ravenously and after two weeks of treatment with just the Epsom salts and water changes he is happy and healthy again. <Nice work and congratulations.> A year ago all of you also helped me get through my first case of ich in my marine tank. Only having the tank for a year up until that point had caused me to panic from lack of experience. But after treating the effected fish with the proper doses of copper in his own tank and running the main tank fallow except for the inverts for 35 days we where parasite free!! <Its really not that bad is it.  Wish others would follow your actions.> (By the way, the effected fish had been in my main tank for 8 months following a 3 week stay in quarantine. <Not quite long enough, 4 to 6 weeks is better.> He came down with ich after a water change I had performed. I had never seen ich in my tank until then.) I know if it weren't for you guys/gals I probably would have been dumping Mela-Broken, QuickCure, Stop Parasites, (aka Tabasco sauce!!) and lord only knows into my main tanks and probably would have killed everything off! Thank you guys/gals again for all the years and wisdom of the HANDS ON experience you all posses!!  <Thank you for taking the time to learn how to properly take care of your fish and not just reaching for the quick and easy "solution".> Sincerely, Heather <Good to hear of your success and please pass on your knowledge and experiences to others.> <Chris>

WWM sign-ups   6/18/06 Hello. Again! Hi. It's me again! Do you mind if I email you? I'm sorry if you do though! Ummmm. I have a question for YOU....How do I sign up for www.wetwebmedia.com ? Me and a friend are (sorry, a friend and I)  interested in signing up to this website! It's great! We get alot of our info. from it! lol!  TTYL, <Mmm, we don't have "sign-ups" (the BB WetWebFotos.com does though). Just read, learn and enjoy. Bob Fenner>

Thanks for the tips  - 05/29/06 Fortunately, I don't have a question or problem. I have been reading some of the back posts and think you guys and gals) are doing a great job. I just wanted to let you know that the work you do is appreciated. Keep it up.                                                      thanks a ton                                                      Oliver Wilson <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Reader Support - 05/02/06 Gee, my second e-mail to you guys in one day.  I just felt rather strongly about this. <<Ok>> I read the e-mail below and if you guys didn't get upset by it, I got upset for you. <<Is not that we don't get "upset", but we do try to "temper" our responses...hard as that may be sometimes.  Everyone has bad days, including us...and we also realize there are those uncaring, righteous, self-justifying, or self-involved individuals out there who are going to be upset/offended when we don't give them the answers they wanted to hear...in which case a polite good-bye is usually the best response.  But thank you for your concern>> You do not need to have big bucks and a disposable income to adequately house fish. <<Agreed, within boundaries/with use of good sense>> I know, I was dirt poor for entirely too long.  I was in University for 10 years to get my three degrees (foreign ones where I was limited to 10 hours work per week and only got very limited assistance in the way of loans and scholarships and my family is poor too so couldn't afford to help me out).  So on my measly little $200 or less dollars a week I managed to pay my tuition, pay my rent, buy my food, and WOW KEEP MY FISH PROPERLY. <<You obviously have a discipline/drive beyond the average individual>> I would go to the fish store and look at the fish, see one I liked, jump on the internet and research it. <<Ahh...music to my ears, er...eyes <grin> >> If I wanted a fish that needed a 50 gal tank, well I didn't buy it right then, I'd put $5 dollars away each week (it isn't much....trust me) and start saving. <<Like I said...discipline>> I'd go to yard sales and look through the newspapers and try to find a second-hand tank for sale. <<Some real bargains to be had at times!>> If I couldn't I'd just keep saving.  Might take me 2 months; one took me over a year to save up for, then I'd get the tank, and after it was all set up properly I'd get the fish. <<Mmm, impressive indeed...we do seem to have become a society expectant of "instant gratification" >> Ok I now have entirely too many tanks, all properly set up, the right size for the fish they're holding, with the proper equipment, all paid for by money my parents sent my for my birthday (Ooooh a whole $50 dollars a year) and putting $5 dollars a week away.  By spending a little extra time looking around and getting decent second hand tanks and saving my pennies I have well and truly over $20,000 worth of equipment in my house, and I lived below the poverty line for 10 of my 11 major fish keeping years.  All that's changed now that I have a very well paying job is that I don't have to save up for quite as long before I can get a fish and have it housed properly.  Saying you can't afford to house your pet properly is a cop out and all it really means is that you don't care enough to make sure that your pet (because that is what they are) is happy and as healthy as it could be.  If you had a dog, cat, horse, bird etc. .... I'm sure you wouldn't be saying "I can't afford to house it properly" because you most likely wouldn't have gotten it.   <<Mmm, unfortunately this is not always true either>> Why should researching a fish before you buy it be any different then researching dog breeds or any other type of animal for that matter? <<Indeed>> That's about all I have to say apart from you guys <<Don't forget the ladies!>> do a really great service by volunteering your time to try to improve the living conditions of our fishy friends. <<Ahh, yes!  And believe it or not, to help hobbyists too!  Your support is much appreciated Amanda...Thank you>> Amanda <<Regards, Eric R>> Red Slime Problems 4/30/06 Dear Crew, Thank you for your quick reply to my question. I am in the process of scheduling a 50% water change every week until the slime problem is gone. However, the advice about the larger tank... although correct in a perfect world, is not very practical for the everyday hobbyist. My puffer, which is kept in a 75, has been healthy and shows no signs of stress due to the lack of swimming space. The tank and solid wood stand came at a $500 price tag. The 65 lbs. of live rock and 12lbs. of rubble cost over $400. Add in the Emperor 400, live sand, my inadequate skimmer and it comes very close to $1000 and all this for a $35 fish. <<There is no doubt that this is an expensive hobby!  We also understand that upgrade recommendations are not always practical, but we always make recommendations that we feel are in the best interest of the animals.  If you owned a Siberian Husky in an efficiency apartment, we would suggest you move!>> If I wanted to upgrade to the 125, I am looking at another $300-$400 if set up correctly. This is not practical or even possible. When you give advice like that, you are suggesting the hobby of fish keeping is an elitist sport where only those with big bucks and disposables incomes are allowed to play. I know for a fact that the majority of aquarium owners are in the same boat as me and cannot afford thousands of dollars to house a single fish. I have seen the same responses hundreds of time from the WetWebMedia Crew, usually tinged with sarcasm, about how if ppl. can't afford to house a fish in the way a professional aquarium does, then they should not be doing it. This is wrong. In my case, the fact that I have spent close to a $1000 to house a $35 fish is above the norm. Just something to consider. Sincerely, Danny <<No one on the WWM crew should be elitist or sarcastic when they make these recommendations, but we will not sugar coat our responses and let less than ideal living conditions slide.  Thanks for your understanding. AdamC.>> Words of praise (and refutation)    5/2/06 To the WWM Crew: <Tom> I hope everyone is having as good a day as I am.  I do not have a question but felt the need to comment on an email from Danny on 4/30 about a red slime problem.  I have to disagree wholeheartedly about you referring to the WWM crew as elitist and sarcastic.  What you are reading is that they are being honest and forthright and they are not sugar coating their responses nor are they being "politically correct".  Reading their responses to questions, it is plainly obvious that the crew collectively has many years of fishkeeping experience and their willingness to share that experience is worthy of praise.  I have been in sales/customer service for all of my working life and I find it refreshing to find people who are honest in their dealings with those who come to WWM.  Thanks to your (meaning WWM Crew) advice on questions and reading your site, we have 7 successful freshwater tanks, including 2 ten gallon, 1-30g, 1-37g, 1-55g, 1-75g and a 150g.  To make another point, not everything we have is new.  Quite a bit of our equipment has been purchased used, on clearance, or given freely.  In fact, only the 150g tank is new, the rest are used.  Danny, you are right, this can be an expensive hobby, but one can be smart at the same time.  The local Pennysaver papers can be a great source for used tank setups.  Build a good relationship with your LFS and be a regular customer and you will find that you may start getting discounts or "frequent flier miles".  We certainly are not rich by any means, but we research, weigh options and make the best deals possible.  Thank you again, WWM Crew, for helping us become Fish 'keepers" instead of fish 'havers'. <Thanks much Tom. Much appreciated. Bob Fenner>

Just a comment   4/30/06 Hey everyone, <Marc> I am writing not to ask a question but to thank everyone for the excellent resource that you provide and the speed at which you answer questions. I was also hoping to encourage you to set up a section on your site which detailed some of the many tanks you have all set up over your time in the hobby with information regarding equipment and livestock and of course some photos so that we can all get some inspiration. <Very good idea... Was the most popular part of Aquarium Frontiers...> It would also be great to see a section where users of the site could post information regarding their own systems (that you have no doubt helped in developing). <Will gladly post, help develop> Here they could list the equipment they have used and the livestock they have including, again, of course some photos. It may even pay to have a form that people could fill in listing the equipment and some notes. <Likely some standardization would be very useful here> This way we could search the information to see how people have utilized different equipment. I appreciate you are all very busy just trying to keep up with the many emails you receive but I am sure that many others would be keen to see additions such as I have mentioned. Again this email is primarily to say thank you for the time you have invested in imparting some of your years of experience with us and I look forward to many more hours reading through the many emails and many of your publications. Cheers and all the best Marc <Please "start us off"... with a representative example. Bob Fenner> Article for WWM   4/26/06 Hi Bob: Hope all is well with you! <Yes Scott. Thank you> It's been a while since I've written something for WWM, so I took a little detour from my biotope book over the past week or so to write a little piece...er- rant on a topic that I have strong feelings about: The "big tank" obsession that so many hobbyists seem to have these days. Part of this might some sort of therapeutic thing for me, or a backlash against my former, hated large aquarium, as I have recently downsized my monster-sized tank in my quest for a smaller, more manageable one for my biotopic obsession! Who knows? LOL <You do, perhaps myself as well> Anyways, I thought that this piece might provide a bit of timely counsel for those who feel that they MUST move on to a huge tank to be "successful". Perhaps it might help prevent a "big" mistake for someone! If you can use this on WWM, please feel free to place where you feel it will help. Catch you soon! Scott F. <Will you be posting/using this piece in CA? If not I'll send along a check to you for inclusion in WWM proper. Thank you, BobF> Re: Article for WWM   4/26/06 Hi Bob: To be honest, I've never been particularly comfortable in running my stuff in CA, if for no other reason than "editorial integrity", if that makes sense? Just seems inappropriate for me to run my own stuff while occasionally passing on other's work, at least in my opinion <A "niggling difference" IMO, but I would likely feel the same in the positions...> Anyways, please feel free to use the piece as you see fit. Thanks once again for all of your support in my writing efforts over the past few years! Scott F. <A pleasure to live through your "progress"/unfolding invidiously. BobF> Article for WWM   4/26/06 Hi Bob: Hope all is well with you! <Yes Scott. Thank you> It's been a while since I've written something for WWM, so I took a little detour from my biotope book over the past week or so to write a little piece...er- rant on a topic that I have strong feelings about: The "big tank" obsession that so many hobbyists seem to have these days. Part of this might some sort of therapeutic thing for me, or a backlash against my former, hated large aquarium, as I have recently downsized my monster-sized tank in my quest for a smaller, more manageable one for my biotopic obsession! Who knows? LOL <You do, perhaps myself as well> Anyways, I thought that this piece might provide a bit of timely counsel for those who feel that they MUST move on to a huge tank to be "successful". Perhaps it might help prevent a "big" mistake for someone! If you can use this on WWM, please feel free to place where you feel it will help. Catch you soon! Scott F. <Will you be posting/using this piece in CA? If not I'll send along a check to you for inclusion in WWM proper. Thank you, BobF> Re: Article for WWM   4/26/06 Hi Bob: To be honest, I've never been particularly comfortable in running my stuff in CA, if for no other reason than "editorial integrity", if that makes sense? Just seems inappropriate for me to run my own stuff while occasionally passing on other's work, at least in my opinion <A "niggling difference" IMO, but I would likely feel the same in the positions...> Anyways, please feel free to use the piece as you see fit. Thanks once again for all of your support in my writing efforts over the past few years! Scott F. <A pleasure to live through your "progress"/unfolding invidiously. BobF> Help, I'm locked out. On WWM mailserver    4/25/06 I've fallen and I can't get up! When I log into the server, only a portion of the page comes up. I can see the headers, but that's about it. Are there any settings on my security I should alter? I must admit I am fairly computer illiterate. Any help would be appreciated!     Richard <I know naught as well... but do know where to ask next. Sabrina, what gives here? BobF> <<Alrighty, first things first....  Clear your browser cache and try again. If you're using Internet Explorer, you should be able to do so by going to "Tools" -> "Internet Options".  On the "General" tab, click on "Delete Files" and opt to "Delete All Offline Content" if the option is presented.   Then click on "Delete Cookies".  This whole process may take several minutes if you have not done it in a long time. If you're using Mozilla Firefox, or another browser, let me know if you need instructions, and I'll send 'em along. Try loading the webmail again and see if you get the same problem. If you DO get the same problem, let me know and we can work through it from there - send me your phone number and we can coordinate a time that I'll call and I can log into your machine with you and see the problem for myself and try to fix it.  If you're not keen on that, I'll walk you through sending me some screenshots so I can see images of the problem.  However, I assure you it is safe; though I would have access to your machine, I would only see the same things you see on your screen, and as soon as the session is ended, I will have no access whatsoever to your computer - also, you can end the session at any time that you like. In any case, I've got my fingers crossed for ya!  Hopefully clearing your cache will do the trick. -Sabrina>> <Thanks much for the speedy fix Sab. Am saving for future posterior, make that posterity... help, not me bum. BobF> Re: Help, I'm locked out.   4/26/06   <<I'll install Firefox on this machine and send you a more "complete" set of instructions later today for clearing cache on Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, IE, and whatever versions thereof that I can, for that future posterior posterity!  -SCF>> <Real good. Thank you, B>   Hey Bobster, rather than the above, do you mind if I create a new page or three in the Admin subweb for Crewmember support?  A bit on how to answer queries and using webmail, common problems, and some troubleshooting stuff for webmail like clearing cache and so forth?  Our workplace is celebrating the first really nice weather this year by giving us half of Friday off, so I'll have some time to play with.  -SCF <<This is long overdue... and I thank you. Bobby poo>> Re: Storage of RO Water  Joining WWM - 04/19/06 Hi Bob, <Chris> Nice to hear from you. Just want to say thanks again for all your support in the past. I've read and re-read your book and this has helped me to setup a system that will hopefully be much more successful than my previous failed attempt. <Ahh! Gratifying to read/hear. As all such works, devices like "telling what you're going to say/relate", telling/relating it, re-stating what you've told/related... limitations on space, interest level, considerations as to word selection/usage... all come into play in printed works, oral presentations... The opportunity to produce a book-length set of essays (or spiels as it were/was) was great... and kudos to James Lawrence et al. at Microcosm for undertaking the multi-year task of bringing the English speaking marine aquarist world up to date, informed, inspired> You have also answered many email questions and assisted me in many many other instances with FAQs and contents on your website. My new reef tank is ready and my first fish is in quarantine looking very healthy so far. I have also decided to quarantine my first mushroom coral and already 2 scary looking creates/worms fell out of them, so things are looking positive. <Very good> Thanks again.. I consider you and your staff to be the experts in this field and I take your advice very seriously. Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to send you a picture of my new successful reef tank. <Would enjoy this> Is there any way in which I can contribute to say thanks for the support? Thanks Chris <Perhaps you have or will have time to join us soon in responding to queries. Do think about this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Joining WWM    4/20/06 <Perhaps you have or will have time to join us soon in responding to queries. Do think about this. Bob Fenner> Hi Bob, <Chris> Joining you in responding to queries would be really great. However, I cant think of anything that I can respond on with confidence at the moment. I'm very interested in how you normally do this.. are your WWM crew made up from people all over the world then ? <Yes> Thanks Chris <Your time will come. Bob Fenner>

Subject: Re: An example... WWM re-dos, work/Foggy Mountain Breakdown Ahhhhhhh. I have finally woke up... Good morning.  I will first have to make an outline of subjects such as you have.  Will then have to read every FAQ and decide which subcategory it belongs in (i.e. Lamp Choices, Selection, Wattage Requirements). <Great categories> Then, by next Christmas, when I am done, I extract useful info from all the FAQ's in that category and write the article for that category.   It will be an interesting challenge.  Can you explain how I can transfer FAQ's in question to CD. <... Copy and paste each file onto a word processing doc. with your computer software... burn a copy if you'd like...>   I'm thinking how I can set this up so when I read a FAQ, decide where it goes, and easily put it into a folder as I would like to have a folder for each category. <Sounds good> Then each folder will be edited and made into an article.  Make sense to you? <Yes, or part of an article each...> Have patience with me, I want to help but want it to be correct.  Don't want to get it all done and send to the Bobster only to have him tell me "that's not what I want".  "Are there any guns in the house." <Not here... "for people who know how to live there is no room for death to enter". BobF> Regards, James Re: Hi from Australia... reef set-up   4/7/06 Hi Bob, <Adam> First, thank you for your reply. WWM is certainly a credit to you and the others involved. Second, let me apologize for asking questions that you have already answered. <If you looked... no problem> However, I'd like to explain why I asked the questions. It is not from being lazy and it is not because there is a lack of information available, it is because _there is too much information available_.... <Mmm, not possible, probable IMO/E> and it is often contradictory. <! This can be/is a problem... though, if folks do have differing views, reasons (stated) that don't agree... so be it> As for WWM, the FAQ's are so large, it is hard to find exactly what I need. <The fields involved in "ornamental aquatics" are vast... Vast> Again, there is so much info it is hard to distill the "truth". I'm a researcher by trade so I know how to find information, but, on this subject, I don't have the necessary knowledge to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak, hence, I asked for help. <I wish, hope you have ideas on how to make improvements here then... how would you arrange, re-arrange this experience? Are there other more-useful indexing tools? A different/additional arrangement of indices? What?> So, I'll continue my search. As suggested, I'll look for more info on: Refugium flow rate Tank water flow and motion siphon/overflow flow rates Lighting (so much debate on this) <Yes> One last direct question. In one of your responses below, you say to change the water during cycling if it becomes toxic. What do you define as toxic? <More than about 1.0 ppm of NH3, NO2...> I would expect that there are going to be detectable amounts of ammonia and nitrite during the process. How much is too much? ..... sorry if this has already been answered too. If so, a link would be much appreciated. Again, thank you for you help and expert opinion. Your sincerely, Adam Langman <Thank you for yours. Bob Fenner> WWM... Wiki? - 04/05/2006 What about making it into a Wiki? <Great idea! On their site or just some such technology/specialized? BobF> Bob, <Jason> The 'Wiki' is itself a technology that can be used to build an encyclopedia. I would recommend setting up a Wiki where all the information can be stored in a more organized fashion. <Yes> My day job is software and expertise is in web technology, so I would be interested in helping out with getting this going.  To be honest with you, I think that there is huge potential in your site for becoming the 'source' for reef/fish information.  Additionally, I think there is huge potential for increasing the revenue generated from your site by changing some things around. <Mmm... is this call for even more time on my part?> I also really like all the information you provide on refugiums and think there is a huge potential for refugiums to be just as common as a protein skimmer in a typical setup.  So I have some ideas around that too. <Ah, good> The first step I think is to re-organize how the data is presented on the site and I think the Wiki might be the best solution combined with a forums board as well. Look forward to hearing back from you.  Thanks again for all your help so far. Jason <Thank you for yours! Bob Fenner>

Proposed rearrangement of WWM    4/10/06 Hi Bob, <Adam> Thanks again for the reply. You asked for my thoughts about how to make the information contained in WWM more accessible, so, here I go. As you undoubtedly understand, in this age of over-information, finding the "right/correct" information is in some ways more difficult. I have tried to think of ways in which the site could be improved with minimal input from those that run it. <Thank you for this> The search tool is good but on most occasions when searching for a topic, 20 or more FAQ pages are recommended. You know how large each FAQ is and the volume of material that must be read to find the relevant passage. <Or scanned for relevant highlighted terms in the cached versions> So while I have, and will continue to use, the search tool, it inevitably leads to a long (and sometimes unproductive) search. Now, some level of genuine work will always be required by the interested party. However, the aim of any information centre (library, registry, database ....) is to minimize the time required for a person to access the right information. <Agreed> So clearly the challenge is to make your information more accessible, specifically, to reduce the time required to find detailed information. Given what I have already written, my recommendation is that the FAQ's need to be summarized and/or possibly compiled into short articles. <A great idea, worthwhile project/s... can even be consolidated, with graphics, into book-length tomes...> This need not be an overly time consuming task. Perhaps after an FAQ is "full", an editor could write 1 or 2 paragraphs at the top of the FAQ summarizing the recommendations. Prose would not necessarily be required, dot points would suffice. Perhaps even less time consuming would be to have a dot point with a link to the particular query in the FAQ. Also, it is not necessary to put a dot point/summary for every question that has been asked, just those that are of key interest and essentially supplement the article written about the topic. <Yes... correct> If there is more than one FAQ for a topic, then there should be a new page created that contains all the summaries (simply cut and past). This is particularly important for topics that are debated frequently and at length (such as FAQ ReefOp 1 to 18). Now, these short summaries can't hope to capture all of the information contained in each FAQ, but they would be an effective way of "skimming" the information and making it quicker and easier to find what is needed. After the old FAQ's have been summarized, this would be the least time consuming option. The next step is to extend the summaries by writing short articles from the FAQ's. This would be a great step forward because it allows concise reasonings behind recommendations to be clearly laid out and, in particular, disagreements between the experts about a particular issue can be presented and discussed. This could be achieved by writing a "Top 20 frequently asked questions about topic XXX" (almost a cut and paste job) or as a stand-alone article of prose (probably better but more time consuming). Now, this will take more time and effort from the staff. <All, including myself, volunteer> But, I believe that these FAQ articles will provide an up to date and easily accessible information source and hence they will be very beneficial. <In total agreement> These can exist as "living" documents and can/should be updated as things change. The important thing to keep in mind is that it will require regular work to do this. An out of date summary of information may do more harm than good. <Yes> In terms of how these summaries are incorporated into the website, it may be as simple as having the generic formula of [Article, FAQ summary & FAQ's]. For example, instead of having: Marine Planning, Getting Started with a Marine Tank < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i2/marine_planning/marine_planning.htm> By Adam Blundell, MS,/ /& Related FAQs: Best Marine Set-Up FAQs 1 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestfaqmarsetup.htm>, Best FAQs 2 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestfaqmarsu2.htm>, Marine Set-Up 1 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup.htm>, FAQs 2 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupfaqs2.htm>, FAQs 3 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupiiifaqs.htm>, FAQs 4 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupiv.htm>, FAQs 5 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupv.htm>, FAQs 6 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupvi.htm>, FAQs 7 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupvii.htm>, FAQs 8 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupviii.htm>, FAQs 9 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupix1.htm>, FAQs 10 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupx.htm>, FAQs 11 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupxi.htm>, FAQs 12 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup12.htm>, FAQs 13 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup13.htm>, FAQs 14 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup14.htm>, FAQs 15 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup15.htm>, FAQs 16 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup16.htm>, FAQs 17 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup17.htm>, FAQs 18 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup18.htm>, FAQs 19 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup19.htm>, FAQs 20 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup20.htm>, FAQs 21 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup21.htm>, FAQs 22 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup22.htm>, FAQs 23 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup23.htm>, FAQs 24 < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetup24.htm>, Perhaps the following would be better: Marine Planning, Getting Started with a Marine Tank < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i2/marine_planning/marine_planning.htm> (By Adam Blundell, MS), FAQ summary & FAQ's. Clicking on the "FAQ summary" takes you to either the FAQ article that summarizes the key information (if written) or a bullet point summary of the information contained within (preferably with links to the questions). <Exciting to consider, anticipate...> Clicking on the "FAQ's" takes you to a page with the links to the individual FAQ's. I think this would be a tidier way of presenting the information. The idea being that a person first reads the article, then, if they need more information, reads the FAQ summary, then, they can go through all the FAQ's as a last resort. <Yes> So, there are my thoughts. I hope that I have been clear in what I have been proposing. I wish that I could think of methods that involve little or no effort on the part of the WWM team, but I can't. As usual, good work requires .... well .... work. Yours sincerely, Adam Langman <Many thanks again Adam... Something like this has been proposed within and w/o WWM a few times... and is my earnest desire to see done... The question is/has been who is to do it? We would be willing to pay (nominally about 200 dollars U.S.) per "composed FAQ section"... Is this something you, or one of our readers with time, knowledge/skill is interested in taking on (bit by bit?). I would/could "do this" more expediently than the rate of "article" writing I'm involved in, but for time constraints. Am going to copy and send your note/vision to the present Crew and ask for response. Bob Fenner>

Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM... the dreamer awakens  - 04/10/2006 I personally think this a very good idea.  I've never really had a problem reading through WWM to begin with (but then again, even if I'm looking for specific information I was always interested in reading EVERYTHING on the topic anyway - so I may be in the minority.)  The way I did it - to some success - was search for the specific info that I wanted, then within the faq use the "find in page" tool in any browser to find specifically what I was looking for - most of the time I ended up reading the entire faq because I wanted to anyway. <I think you and I are of the majority here>    I think this idea, is a good one, even though time consuming.  However I would want the long drawn out faq still available if you wanted it - for reasons like above.  Sometimes I do not want a short and concise summary - I want boat loads of info. <Yes>    The only problem I do possibly see here is a miscommunication problem.   Say someone comes looking for the benefits of a refugium - they see the summary - read it - but it still doesn't answer the question. Some seem to not put in the required time/effort to find needed info already, and now may overlook the link to the faq with more.... I think we may end up with more questions from some, and less from others.  Maybe it will balance out. <Yes... my intent is to "provide full answers" to such "questions"... though the folks involved may well not be cognizant of what this/these constitute... Put another way, at the time the querier may well not know what they don't know... that is/will be important. And the search through "all" is much more likely to provide, crystallize, grant insight/s into where they might go, how they might get/be there>    Either way, if implemented, I'd be willing to help compile and summarize in my free time.    ~Jen <Ahh! Outstanding. Do please select a category of your choice... Bob Fenner>

Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/10/2006 Bob,    How specific of a category should I choose?    I'm very interested in doing the mushrooms and Zoa section of the "coral" category. So that would be   Hexacorallians section:  i.e   Corallimorpharians (aka Mushrooms)  and  Zoanthids (aka Sea Buttons, Colonial Anemones) section. <Would be as specific to general as you'd want to make it... no larger than a given file name/title... and the FAQs, SubFAQs below...>    Is this too specific/not enough?    If so I'm willing to do the whole first section titled  Stinging-Celled Animals/"Corals" and Much More within the corals and stinging-celled animals - before you get to soft corals. Or anything else within there added to first paragraph. I don't believe I know enough about stony corals to venture there.  I do not know how much you want to delegate to each person, or what is too much or not enough to take on.  Also a certain format for the summary should be decided on so everything is the same.    Let me know,    Jen <Is this clear (enough) Jen? You could do just "Corallimorph Selection" (in/as a summary) or all of "Zoanthids"... BobF> Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/10/2006 Bob.... <Sab...> I like this idea a great deal, and also dislike it; there are other, better (or maybe just "more right") ways of organizing the data/FAQs, but would be far more labor-intensive.  The idea this fellow has proposed is something that would maybe take an hour or three per FAQs section (reading all the FAQs in that section, making a list of what is covered).  This is a miniscule amount of time when compared to completely restructuring the FAQs into a database-style system which could be queried by users (the "more right" way of organizing all of this stuff). <... Yes...> Ideally, if I had all the time in the world, I would wish to put it toward making WWM into a database which, on the user's end, would be quite similar to its current appearance, organization....  but be easier to sort, organize, and search....  Easier and more organized for us AND the users.   But this would be a major undertaking, and one that would take more time than you or I or T.R. has, and then some. <Could be automated... but... there is/are precedence/ts... the "human interface" in previous attempts... has not met with good success... folks don't, at least didn't like "filling in the boxes"...> For now, Adam's suggestion seems to be a "happy medium"....  and maybe one that can be tackled in not too much time.  If you wish it, if we end up in HI in May, I'd enjoy spending some time making these "FAQ summary" pages for the freshwater subweb, though I can't promise to commit the time to maintain them indefinitely with my current working situation. -Sabrina <Great to look forward to... a useful "review process" for writing (paid for) print and e- articles... and future books. BobF> Give me five to ten FAQs....  - 04/10/2006 Seriously $200 per FAQ summarized? Give me five - ten today and I'll have them ready for you by the end of the weekend - and will do a brilliant job too! Honestly... Tim <Heeee! A bit more... as in a given group/category, subject area of FAQs files. BobF>

Re: Give me five to ten FAQs....  - 04/10/2006 In which case please give me only five - summarizing long texts to short concise notes is what I do best - that's what I'm doing on a daily basis for university! Could you perhaps give me the categories you would like me to cover (5) and I will try and get these to you as soon as possible. Tim <Mmm, choose the category of FAQs files you'd like... BobF> Re: Give me five to ten FAQs....  - 04/10/2006 Well I'm particularly interested in centropyge, so perhaps: Dwarf Angels of the Genus Centropyge Part. 1, Part. 2 & ,  FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Behavior, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Compatibility 2, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Disease 2, Dwarf Angel Disease 3, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, <As one... a big project... but am sure you're up to the task> The Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosus, A Sometimes Great, Other Times Dismal Dwarf Angel & FAQs, Coral Beauty Identification, Coral Beauty Behavior, Coral Beauty Compatibility, Coral Beauty Selection, Coral Beauty Systems, Coral Beauty Feeding, Coral Beauty Disease, Coral Beauty Reproduction, <Yes!> The Flame Angelfish, Centropyge loricula & FAQs, FAQs 2, Flame Angel Identification, Flame Angel Behavior, Flame Angel Compatibility, Flame Angel Selection, Flame Angel Systems, Flame Angel Feeding, Flame Angel Disease, Flame Angel Reproduction, <And a good third> How many would this count as? The first section has A LOT of FAQs attached to it... Give me the word and I'll start straight away... All the best! Tim <I do "authorize" these three "Article/consolidations"... for pay and erudition! BobF> Re: Give me five to ten FAQs....  - 04/10/2006 To give you some idea of the scale of this task - FAQ1 on centropyge alone is 25 pages of information... <Oh yes... how well do I know. Am the person who moved/placed, built most of the sites. B> Re: Give me five to ten FAQs....  - 04/10/2006 In all honesty I was initially hoping that you would recognize this as five - but I would be more than happy with 4... it is just that they are relatively large, especially in comparison to other topics... Anyways I shall end my beggar ways there and get on with the work. <Heee... can/could be further split up if you deemed this worthwhile... though a "all Centropyge" review/summary is needed. BobF> Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/10/2006 Hi Bob, <Adam> Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad that I can occasionally contribute to the forum instead of just draining (pardon the pun) information from it. <Ahh!> Now, I would consider summarizing FAQ's, but, as I have stated, I am not an expert in this field. Hence, all I would be able to do is list the important questions, answers and reasons. I would not be able to add much myself, <Syncretization has its value> nor critique the quality of the responses (thought this should not really be a problem due to the quality of WWM). Further, I may not recognize the significance of some information. But, I'll pick an FAQ in the marine section and have a go. It may take me a little while (I'm buying a house, publishing a research paper, teaching, marking .....) but I'll try not to take too long. I'd hope to send you a draft by the end of this week or next. Kind regards, Adam Langman <I look forward to this. And know that you've inspired some of the Crew to have a go at your proposed work. Thank you, Bob Fenner> Re: Possible future direction for WWM  - 04/10/2006 Hi Crew, <Johnny> After reading through Adam Langmans email to Bob, entitled "*Proposed rearrangement of WWM"*, I was struck by the following idea: The archived content of WWM would make fantastic material for a Wiki style setup. This would bring all the benefits of a Wiki knowledge base site e.g. ease of search, management and editing. Do you have the skill set within your ranks to look into this possibility? Johnny <Don't know... but am very sure I do not... Do you, others out here? Bob Fenner> FAQs I'd like to do  - 04/11/2006 Bob -    OK that made sense.  Sorry about asking so many questions - I wanted to be specific and make sure I had the same idea as what was being implemented. So I would like these sections, if you would authorize and give the go ahead:    1:  Corallimorpharians (aka Mushrooms) & FAQs, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, FAQs 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom ID 2, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Health, Mushroom Disease 2, Mushroom Reproduction/Propagation,    2:  Zoanthids (aka Sea Buttons, Colonial Anemones), Sea Mat: An Ocean Of Color For The Aquarium by Blane Perun, , & FAQs, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, Zoanthid ID, Zoanthid Behavior, Zoanthid Compatibility, Zoanthid Selection, Zoanthid System, Zoanthid Feeding, Zoanthid Health, Zoanthid Reproduction/Propagation,    3: Star Polyps & FAQs, FAQs 2, FAQs 3, Polyp Identification, Polyp Behavior, Polyp Compatibility, Polyp Selection, Polyp Systems, Polyp Feeding, Polyp Disease, Polyp Reproduction/Propagation,    I'm willing to take more - but thought I'd bite off small bits at a time!   Just to make sure I got this straight - we want a summarization of EACH faq, then a page with all the faq (cut and paste) together for each of the number sections, correct?  Can be bulleted per point and not just full sentences... as per the original suggestion.  Shall I do the HTML also (like add the link for where that specific faq can be found after the summary)? <Mmm, nope... just the facts maam... That is, just a summary in your own words, of the FAQs in simple, organized sentences, paragraphs. No HTML necessary... just compile all in a text format of some sort and I'll place> Or leave that for whoever already does it?  I assume word document format will be fine.  I'll start as soon as you OK...    Thanks,    Jen Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/11/2006 Bob, I've read this a couple of times and want to make sure I understand.   Dealing with just the FAQ's...Are we to read each FAQ, clean up/delete all non pertinent text, cut and paste each into a Word document, then when finished, email you the Word document for you to place? <Mmm, more like read, sort all... synthesize the useful data, re-state in your own words, sentences, paragraphs... re-present in outline/article format> Depending on what is all involved here, would like to take a stab on the lighting FAQ's.  Is there a completion date in the future? <No date... B> Regards, James Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/11/2006 This is a miniscule amount of time when compared to completely restructuring the FAQs into a database-style system which could be queried by users (the "more right" way of organizing all of this stuff). <... Yes...> <<Well.. Not without minor/major drawbacks.. Mainly the 'Google search' feature, which index's its search database upon web pages, not the content you have INSIDE your database.>> Ideally, if I had all the time in the world, I would wish to put it toward making WWM into a database which, on the user's end, would be quite similar to its current appearance, organization....  but be easier to sort, organize, and search....  Easier and more organized for us AND the users. But this would be a major undertaking, and one that would take more time than you or I or T.R. has, and then some. <Could be automated... but... there is/are precedence/ts... the "human interface" in previous attempts... has not met with good success... folks don't, at least didn't like "filling in the boxes"...> For now, Adam's suggestion seems to be a "happy medium"....  and maybe one that can be tackled in not too much time. <<Personally, I think that "Adam's" suggestion would be the easiest to implement and maintain>> Craig <Thank you for this input. BobF> Re: Proposed rearrangement of WWM  - 04/11/2006 Hi Bob, <Adam> IT IS GOING TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO DO THIS UPDATING! I expect it will take me many hours (10-20) to redevelop the one section I have chosen (calcium). And the calcium section is one of the smaller ones! This is a serious issue for you and the rest of the volunteers. Some strategy must be put in place so that people don't get burnt out with the initial work required to get everything up to date. A planned, long gradual change would seem to be the best answer. <Oh yes. Agreed> A planned and ordered redevelopment will have a much greater impact that a "scatter gun" approach. There should be less people writing to you with repetitive questions if ordered effectively which will leach more time for further redevelopments to be done. I have had a thought about how this redevelopment could be planned. I suggest that you make a list of the most important topics and/or the most regularly asked questions and address these topics first. <Are the ones with the most FAQs...> List them in order of importance and then assign a volunteer to each individual topic. <Assign and volunteer in the same sentence?...> A rough time line should be put together too. I'm sure you have found that without deadlines progress is usually too slow. These deadlines need not be "enforced" as such (in fact I would strongly recommend that that aren't!), <Agreed... and we are able and willing to pay for this work... piece by piece> but some agreed timeline is important to have as a guide. May be smaller topic sections should be allotted 2-4 weeks for the updating. While larger sections may take months. It will also be beneficial to scrutinize some of the larger topics with vast FAQ's. After a quick check, I've found that each FAQ is about 35 pages long when cut and pasted into word. Some sections have 20+ FAQ's. This is a total of over 700 pages! It would be a Herculean effort to summaries all of this. Perhaps a limit needs to be placed on just how many of the old FAQ's are summarized. <Mmm, luckily there are a lot of "repeats"... but this is also an opportune time to split up topics... into more/logically smaller topics> This has some other benefits other than just being practical, some of the information is many years old and the methods/concepts/ideas have evolved. Again, all efforts should be made to only provide current information. I'll write back soon with the redeveloped section. Cheers, Adam L <Hotay> PS. I think you deserve a triple word score for using "Syncretization" in a sentence ;) <I'll take it. BobF> An example... WWM re-dos, work  - 04/11/2006 Sab, Tim, James, Jen... have gotten enthused here (enough) to produce an pleasing example (exempli gratia) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bala_sharks.htm Got so whipped up that I built the piece as an article (am sending off to the print mag.s with pix), made a Bala FAQs file, spiffed up the FW algae eaters... BobF Re: An example... WWM re-dos, work/Foggy Mountain Breakdown  - 04/11/2006 Bob, <<made a Bala FAQs file, spiffed up the FW algae eaters...>> Confused again.  I was of the belief that the FAQ's on a particular subject were to be condensed, useful info taken from all the FAQ's on subject and made into an article such as you have.  <<made a Bala FAQs file,>>  This is where it's foggy to me.  You (assumed) condensed FAQ's on the Bala Shark, made into an article, then state you made a Bala FAQ file.  Maybe I'm not familiar enough with the system to fully understand EXACTLY what needs to be done.  I was thinking.... OK, I'm going to start with all the FAQ's pertaining to HQI, read, cut/paste useful info to a draft document.  Clean up/ make into an article such as you have and eliminate the FAQ's as all questions would be answered in the article based on the FAQ's the article is based on.  Am I all wet or is my head too thick?  I'm thinking the later. Regards, James <Well... gear will be a different "re-sort" of course... perhaps an outline of "gear selection", "tools necessary and desired", "actual install", "potential troubles", "operation", "replacement", "energy consumption considerations"... but whatever categories made/used, the various FAQs and interpretation re-stated in your own words, in complete sentences/thoughts. B> Want to help with FAQ re-org Good evening, WWM Crew!  If this proposed reorganization is open to all, I'd sure like to help out.  I've been kind of puttering around, looking for a project since it's getting warm out (and I'm am not a warm-weather gal).    <I see>   If you'd like another volunteer, I'd like to step forward.  I don't know how you're delegating the sections so feel free to just assign me something.  I'm more familiar with SW fish than corals, lighting, filtration, etc.      <You are welcome to choose categories you feel comfortable with>   Please also send along your requirements (i.e. formatting, bulleting, how the final product should appear) and I'll get started on it post haste.  You've done so much for us; it's time to give back!  Cheerio,    <Mmm, no such outline available, nor examples as yet to refer you to. Jodie, do you have time, interest in helping/volunteering responding to queries as well? Bob Fenner>   Jodie

Re: Want to help with FAQ re-org Do you mean queries from WWM readers? <Yes. Though both processes are in need of appreciated help> Time and interest, certainly.  I don't know, however, that I have the knowledge needed to reply to queries.  I could easily put together a FAQ, as basically all the information is available and just needs to be presented in a user-friendly format.  But my hands-on knowledge is somewhat limited and I would hate to give someone the wrong advice.  People really depend on you; probably more than you realize!    <Mmm, you can/could "pick through" the queries... engage the ones you feel comfortable with...>   I could always give it a shot.  I turn into a real bear when I read u, wit, b/c, lol, sup, and all that so...just a warning.   Brevity is acceptable; idiocy is not.  Cheerio,    <Somedays my tolerance for same is of the X to the minus nth quantity as well. What do you want to do? BobF>   Jodie

WWF and WWM   - 04/05/2006 Thanks for your help. I was wondering why you guys haven't switched to a bulletin board system for your site?  You guys have a lot of valuable information.  Just curious. <Mmm, we do have a BB, WetWebFotos.com... It is my intent to make/keep WWM more consistent, informative than the hodge-podge BB's. Bob Fenner>

Simple Thanks  - 03/25/2006 Dear Crew - Just wanted to give a big "Thanks" <You're very welcome.>  for wetwebmedia.com.  The LFS in   my area (Louisville KY) do not/can not give a tenth of the  <Seems a common thing - you would think you'd want to know all about what you sell.> information that is found on your site. Cheers. Gerald <Have a great one, Jen S.>

WWM help  - 3/16/2006 <Glad to help... though it's obvious it is getting past time to "cast our nets" out for more help... We're up some two k sessions per day over a few weeks ago...> >All... do you know (well enough to engage) others of our kind... sufficient pet-fish knowledge, charitable attitude, proficient in written English... time available to help? We/I need it. Please ask around and refer people to me. BobF. > Hi Everyone: As one who has been rather conspicuous in his absence lately, allow me to apologize.  As a long time "3 or 4" a day responder, I can relate to the impact on the rest of the Crew who are struggling to answer queries on a daily basis. To those of you who are working hard to keep the site running every day, my hats off to you, and thanks! Despite my absence of late, as a big supporter of WWM I'll nonetheless give give a little push for everyone to do what they can...even if it's just one query. Three or four would be better, but even one or two is helpful. Just do what you can when you can. What we do here is so important for the hobby in general. You may not get the "thank you" or the proverbial "pat on the back" every day, but you ARE making a difference for people, and the animals that they keep. That being said, if you can recruit some new people to help step in, by all means, let's get some. To my fellow Crew members who have been absent of late, please continue to do what you can! I've been spread "a little thin", as they say, with a few too many side projects, including a long-delayed book project(!) on Marine Biotope Aquariums, (a near and dear topic to me) which has been occupying a lot of my "writing time" lately, along with CA Magazine with Adam, and I'm doing a little speaking at clubs, which has been an amazing experience! What I have not been doing enough of lately is answering queries, and I feel that I owe my fellow Crew members an explanation...some weird guilt thing, I guess! LOL... Just wish a day had 25 hours! Right now,  I have been giving major attention to my writing, which I hope will benefit hobbyists much in the same way WWM has (Trying to do the greater good!). However, I pledge to give my best effort to help out on the Dailies on a regular basis. Maybe not 3 or 4 every day right now, but a several a week for sure. I just want everyone to know that I have not abandoned you guys, and will continue to support WWM as much as I can! Please do what you can to help out your fellow Crew Members. Lets not forget the wonderful benefits that WWM has provided us, and the  great people that we work with. Thanks! Scott F. <Thank you for this Scotter... Do make it known when your book is out so we can "plug" it, and feel free to post/send along when you're giving pitches for this purpose as well. BobF>

No Question - Just A Thank You - 02/27/2006 Folks, <Hi there David!> I just wanted you to know that I was interviewed by Rob Weatherly of the Talking Reef Podcast in regards to my experiences with Hippocampus reidi. I am quite proud of the information presented, but needed to give credit where credit is due. I'd have nothing to speak about, to include my wonderful H. reidi system, if it weren't for the WWM crew and others at Seahorse.org and other communities. I ensured that I plugged your site and the selfless work that you do, and hope that others will find the resource in WWM that I've grown to depend on. <On behalf of all the crew here, we're very glad that our efforts have proven so helpful. Thank you for the kind words (and shameless plug).> If anyone is interested, the podcast can be found here www.talkingreef.com Thanks again to Bob and all the kind souls at WWM for all your help over the years! David Perry <Thank you for contributing/helping others. - Josh> No need to print, this is not about me   2/26/06 Hello Anthony, Robert and Crew,      It is my sincere pleasure to be writing to you all.   I'd like to offer my gratitude for everything you have done to help me and thousands of other hobbyists with our little piece of the ocean.  Your knowledge is a far greater help than you may realize.  I  can't  imagine attempting  trial and error as way of learning about the salt water aquarium?  I have directed many new -comers to your web site/books including the LOCAL FISH STORES. (as bold as this may sound, they need it more than most, as they represent the backbone or lack of,  locally). <Yes>   You may have become immersed in your day to day and have not realized the impact you have made. Well let me tell you.  I have been very busy reading, learning, deciding, designing, buying, and finally setting up my new 180 tank/sump/refuge for 6 months now. Much consideration must be taken. Trying to do things right and avoid  major problems, I think I have done so thanks to the wetwebmedia and your books.  The Conscience Marine Aquarist, The book of Coral Propagation and a signed copy of Reef Invertebrates.  (I am patiently awaiting the release of the 2nd  book in this series.) I  Have completed a fresh water test at this point (a few minor leaks had to drain it) ready to fill with RO/DI, salt etc.. and start the transfer when the time is right (water tests).  The FISH are going to LOVE it.  I've set up a much better system this time - drilled tank, overflows, closed loop, halides, sump, refugium, macro algae, etc.. As my last set-up was supposed to be a reef system but fell short do to the lack of knowledge.   I was unable to maintain proper levels of nitrate (less than 10ppm) so never did buy any corals.  Could have altered that set up but wanted bigger.  I feel  very confident I have covered all basis to succeed this time.  The sump and refugium was some what mystifying, but not now.  The new tank is beautiful so far.  I could go on and on. The anticipation is killing me! It is quite comical, but I do believe my wife is jealous as I spend more time with my hobby than I do with her.  She has no interest but I think she takes pleasure in knowing I'm at home doing something I like. If she only knew how much I have spent. (Ouch). <An investment, an adventure, a valuable education>   It is a simple philosophy to empower others with knowledge, freely and openly in something as baffling and confusing (not difficult) as the marine aquarium. The rewards I'm sure are immeasurable.  What an INCREDIBLE sight to watch my aquarium while I relax in the privacy of my home.   I can now more than ever appreciate it's complexity.  I can take pride and pleasure at the near completion of my new system and will help someone else when I sell my sell my smaller (1st) system.     I  have far too many questions, so I will ask none.  I will continue to read and enjoy from a distance and look forward to the new challenges ahead me.   What a great hobby!  Please continue your work so we can all enjoy. Will keep you posted. Thank you. Nick Buchok <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Daily Pix   2/24/06 Hi to All, <Nick> I'm a newbie going thought the process of setting up a marine aquarium for the first time and am thirsting for knowledge.  Everyday I set your "Daily Pix" as my computer's desktop.  Any chance you could add some info as to what it is I'm looking at in the pic?   <Yes> The pix are great in their own right, but if I knew/was educated as to what I was looking at I would become an even more educated and I'd be a better aquarist in the end. Just a thought. Regards, Nick <Thank you for this input/reminder. Will endeavour to add more info. here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Wet Web Media/A thank you  - 2/15/2006 Dear Bob & WWM Crew members, <James today for all.> Thank you for such a wonderful wealth of information. <You are welcome.> I look forward every evening to  a cup of coffee and reading the Daily Questions & Answers. <And I look forward to answering with my morning coffee.> We have turned off the tube in our house and turned our kids onto the tank. <Great...something educational.> They are endlessly fascinated with the interaction.  We are also using the opportunity to explore the various rudimentary sciences involved. <So nice to hear...someone making good use of the Wet Web Media.>  Their favorite activity is to use penlights to peer into the tank late at night and catch bristleworms and other "creepies" out and about. <I am guilty of that.> If they find something new they try to see if they can identify it on your website and learn more about it.  <Just GREAT!> I know you all are very busy, but I just wanted you to know that your hard work is appreciated and so beneficial. <Cindy, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, much appreciated.  I only wish more readers would take the incentive in searching/learning as you have.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank you, <You're welcome again, and I might add one of the most refreshing emails I have had the pleasure to read in quite some time.> Cindy

Pics offer   1/31/06 Hi All,         I have spent quite a bit of time on your site and it has helped out considerably during my time with marines, I even slipped in a few questions in the early days. I noticed a way I might be able to return a little to the site and thought I might send an e-mail and see what you guys thought. <Okay> I have recently returned from Lord Howe on what is possibly the last permitted aquarium collection and with me came specimens of both the Amphiprion mccullochi and Chaetodon tricinctus. Both species seem to be adapting quite well, the butterflies have even taken to food with remarkable speed. I've noticed that you are missing pictures of both of these species and was wondering if I could help out in that regards. I currently have some very good shots of the clowns but as the butterflies are in a QT tank with only actinic light there pics are not so picture perfect as yet. It shouldn't be long before I get some good shots though. Regards, Ryan (Mrblue). <I do appreciate this offer, and will gladly post your images, with credit to you. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Hi. found a couple of dead links. Thanks...DR  - 1/30/2006 <Do check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/h2oqualagfaqs.htm and especially http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/acidalkagfaqs.htm for more info on how the baking soda works and some other FAQ's that are similar to what you're experiencing. Ronni> <! Been a long time (and scary) since I've run the "Reports View" routine on WWM... there are a few hundred thousand links total... and I cringe to think how many are bad... Thank you for this note/wake-up call... will have to schedule time to let the report run, fix what I can... am very behind today from being out giving a pet-fish pitch in Dallas over the weekend. BobF>

Re: oops dead links   1/31/06 Of course I'm not nitpicking your website. It is fantastic with tons of info for the novice and advanced alike. Keep up the great work, there are people who appreciate it...Thanks again...DR <Ah, no offence taken or sensed. I do wish I was more "efficient" (like that word... it has "fish" in it), and could get all done expediently... And do appreciate the input for sure. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: new SW setup   1/27/06 Hi Bob <Ian> Your quick response although short and sweet has given me great peace of mind. I have read huge amounts of FAQ's but one never quite seems to see the exact Q! I am hugely impressed by your response time as I imagine you must get volumes of mail. Knowing you guys and gals are there gives me confidence to tackle this project since I can get answers quickly if need be. thank you Ian <Welcome my friend. Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Dead link   1/26/06 Hi...Love your site. This page has graphs that do not load. Did not know where to send this info. Keep up the great work. Thanks...DR <... there are thousands of pages that are WWM... need specific URL's to search/find such errors. BobF>

Re: Dead link   1/30/06 Too old for the fun I'm talking about! The one that leads to all the short term memory loss later. Thanks for a great website....DR <I am convinced that "Old Timer's Disease" is a successive approximation and not a threshold event... I have more and more at times, not just "have it or not"... Thank you for your kind words. Bob Fenner> Advertising  - 01/23/2006 Mr. Fenner, <Kris> I run frags.org. We are a non-profit site serving the propagator's community. We have a free contest we'd like to promote for a few months. Can you tell me how we might go about advertising it on your website? <Mmm, I don't think such would be cost-productive for your organization... per se. But if you have an article, series of articles referring folks back to your site, we'd be pleased to link or place this/these> Incidentally, we have created mini-portals of our site which can be served to your members. We did it for reefs.org and they get all the advertising opportunities from the mini-portal. You can see an example here: http://frags.reefs.org/. If you are interested in a partnership, I am sure we can work something out! Best, Kris Duggan frags.org <Appreciate this, but we have much more "traffic" than we can handle currently, and no real need nor desire for more "ad revenue". Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner> Stress Coat & Improving WWM  1/8/06 Hello once again! I recently was talking with someone who once owned a pet store and I mentioned how expensive and sometimes distressing it has been keeping the "small fish" tank at the restaurant stocked. Usually what happens is that I buy app. 10-14 new small fish to replace ones that have died in the main tank and quarantine them in my 10 gal. q-tank at home. Within a week about half of these fish (although sometimes as much as 90% and (even more rare) as few as 0) die of no visible cause. <... not good> By which I mean that they are swimming, breathing, and eating normally when I check them and then 6-8 hours later when I check them again someone's dead and stuck to the filter intake with no visible parasites, fungi, or bacterial growths or signs of such. In other words, a dead fish that looks just like a healthy live fish except for the stiffness and lack of movement.        Now, this is something that I have always considered to be beyond my control- I have done my part by providing a clean (and yes, I do know my H2O parameters and yes they are all "ideal"), cycled tank with plenty of cover, and regular feedings. I have always believed that these fish were dying from stress due to how they were caught, shipped, unpacked, stored (overcrowded), caught again, and finally released into my tank. <For the most part, yes. Better to look elsewhere for better initially healthy stock> (I unfortunately must buy from Petco or PetSmart because I am unable to reach any fish-only store on a regular basis.) However, the gentleman I spoke with assured me that if I were to start using Stress Coat (or similar product), my fish survival rate would greatly increase. <This is likely so> Now I know that the stores always add a squirt to the bags before performing their magic with the rubberband (why is it so necessary to put those on so tight? <Better too tight than loose> I mean, one twist less and I could get the darn things off without scissors and the fish would still be safe safe safe.), and I have always considered that to be enough. In fact, I seem to recall reading somewhere on this site that some of the slime coat "replacing" agents actually cause the fish to produce slime by irritating them with some toxin or other. <Some do, yes... not ones from the "larger companies" though> (Darned if I can find that info. again, though. I gave up after 20 something pages mentioning Stress Coat, 12 or so of StressCoat, and checking 50 or so topics out of 212 in the Equipment and Dry Goods Forum. I also re-read a number of general articles on set-up, stocking, and health and disease without coming across it. Perhaps I hallucinated it.) <Likely written by myself... in pieces on Acclimation, Shipping> Inducing a slime coat by stressing the fish doesn't seem like a good idea to me, so I have avoided all such products. So, will Stress Coat (or some related product) actually cut back on my fish loss? <Is worth trying. Will likely help here> Or is this just product hype? Is there a consensus among those of you who answer these questions? <Mmm, don't know the others here well enough to state>        Unrelated to my question, but with direct bearing on my search for an answer, it seems to me that your wonderful, magnificent site may be on the verge of containing too much redundant information! I love this site and am deeply, deeply indebted to all the information provided on it. I mention this because it seems that the ever-increasing bulk of information on here may eventually get in the way of your primary goal (which I believe is to help those in the hobby/passion as well as those entering it to better care for their charges through the dissemination of useful information.) Now, I realize I may be stating the obvious to you, and if you are tearing at your hair, muttering 'tell me something I don't know,' I apologize! But here are my ideas to help deal with this problem. a) dump some of the old stuff. Since there is likely nothing new under the sun, even in fish keeping, and despite your best efforts people keep asking the same questions, only a certain amount of redundancy is necessary. I do believe some redundancy IS necessary- for people to learn and really absorb new information correctly, they need to see it given a number of times, preferably in different ways or used in different situations. b) Rather than posting all questions in the FAQs (if that is what you do), try to weigh whether that question has been answered enough times before posting a reply- still reply if you want to, of course! Just don't add the information AGAIN to the site if it's there 20 times or so. c) Take a good look at the FAQs- do they imply that certain information is missing from your general articles? <Good points... mainly this "editing" has not been done for a lack of time available... Am not willing to give up other "things" including pet-fish writing, travel, photography, "the business of life"... and work pretty much to exhaustion daily as my routine already... Would you like to give this some of your time? Will gladly replace parts of WWM you are willing to winnow> Most people are likely to read your articles before asking a question, especially with the gentle prompting the site gives when one clicks "ask the WWM crew a question". I know this is time-consuming, but perhaps one or two people who currently answer questions could instead be dedicated to that task? <A few folks have written "new article content" and this an ongoing goal of our on-line 'zine (Conscientious Aquarist). I have placed several hundred of my articles and book segments, some 14k images... takes time my friend>        Those are just my thoughts. I hope I have not come across as lecturing or something equally horrible. I only wanted to mention this because I think it might help keep the site manageable for those of you who work on it and for those of us who turn to it when in need. Thank you for your time! <Your comments and suggestions are well-regarded... am thankful for such careful, useful input... At the end of the day, my only excuse/explanation is that of the handful of hours I am willing to "put into" our collective effort here, that I endeavor to do the most important (respond to and place FAQs), and spare some ten percent or so of resource for such "strategic" work. What we have currently is a reflection of doing so for years. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Sarah Orris Editing WWM, Stresscoat use FW   1/22/06 > Would you like to give this some of > > your time? Will gladly replace parts of WWM you are willing to winnow> > Aaaah, would that be "be careful what you wish for, you just may end up with > the opportunity to do it yourself"? :) > <Heeee!> > It is a daunting prospect for me since > I am not sure how much there is to winnow through. Or how to start. > <Easiest would be for you to download any number of consecutive FAQs files, > edit, and send to me to place/replace the existing> Bob,        Sorry for the delayed response, restaurant has been hectic the past couple of weeks! I would love to try my hand at winnowing the FAQs- just one question. Um, how do I download them? <Mmm, just copy, paste any number... page/s at a time... Winnow, label as to their original placement, and I'll gladly write over, replace the FAQs files on WWM> If I do that, I'm sure I can find a spare hour or two throughout the week to see if anything can be removed! I would rather not try my hand at answering questions just yet. I still have far too many of my own! Another interesting possible use for my talents would be if I could maybe try editing a couple of the more basic 'article' pages for content... <I welcome this as well>        Anyhow, I have tried using StressCoat- as far as I can tell, I lost the same number of fish, just more slowly. (Still without any outward indicant ions of cause, too.) Next I will try with a batch from another store where I have had a better survival rate- it's further away, but I would rather have the little guys live than save my time! This last batch brought ich with them too, ech! Can ich kill fish before it is apparent to the naked eye? (My understanding is that the white spots are actually secondary infections and the little ich monsters are too tiny to be spotted.) Perhaps that is the cause in this most recent batch. Raised temp. seems to do the trick, but does that take it's own toll on the fish? <Can, yes... particularly if "weakened" already> (Did I mention that I am still full of questions?) Anyhow, my new Botia striata has pulled through magnificently and I am pleased with that.        So let me know how to get at those FAQs! Cheers! Sarah Orris <Be chatting... Bob Fenner> FAQs, winnowing, etc.  - 01/23/2006 Bob, <Sarah... can't help but sound guttural to myself from the "O'Connor" in the Schwarzenegger pix> I thought I might try this address instead of the WWMCrew- this will include no fish questions! I forgot to mention that I tried contacting Google to see whether the "little Google" used on WWM could be used to turn up the article pages first whenever a search was done of WWM. No one replied to me. (Their customer service apparently has nothing on WWM crew!) <And I REALLY dislike their new spam ware search features...> However, what I could glean from reading their jargon-filled pages was that it may be possible to "weight" certain pages to come up first. Whoever was responsible for actually installing that bit of software to WWM should have a manual of some sort that would likely explain better. Of course, this may turn out to be more work than it is worth. It was just one possibility for decreasing the number of questions asked. <Mmm, better to apply "human intelligence" here... just edit, cut what you think...>         I started reading through the Goldfish Disease FAQs. I haven't gotten very far yet, the old editorial Zen is a little rusty and I am still reading for comprehension instead of content! <... This is beyond me!> Still, that prompted me to re-read the Goldfish Disease section. As far as I could see, out of the first 15 questions, answers to 14 were within that one article. So then I arrived at the question of information presentation again. This time I wonder if it is a matter of style. The overall style of writing seems to lean towards the technical, which may not be very accessible to your average Joe with a sick fish and dueling guilt and panic. <Ah, yes> After all, the best-selling How-To guides are designated "For Dummies"... maybe a section "For Beginners" where information is presented with the subtlety of a 2 X 4 would help? <Of a certainty yes. Am familiar with Cloze Tests (taught H.S. Science to pay my debt to society), and much/most of my scrawlings are aimed at fifth to tenth grade level... Would invite (post, embellish...) a try/go at making pieces for even lower reading (and interest...) levels... for "kids", folks of diminished capacity> Just a thought. From my own personal experience, I know that the single most difficult concept for me to get a handle on was feeding and the problems I struggled the most with reflected that. My biggest frustration was reading "feed your fish less" on WWM and "feed your fish often and what they can consume in within 3 minutes" on my fish food canisters. Now if WWM had said something like "fish act hungry because they are genetically programmed to (food does not appear with regularity in the wild and needs to be snapped up when present!), but with regular feedings they need only small amounts, perhaps a mouthful or two per feeding. You will know when you are feeding the right amount because your nitrate levels will rise slowly enough that you can keep them between 10-20 ppm with water changes of 15% every other week.", that would have helped a lot! (I did find some mention of what exactly an appropriate portion of food might be  in Goldfish Disease, which brought this to mind- however I did NOT find this info. in Feeding and Nutrition, where I used to search in vain for it!) So, perhaps a "For Dummies, er, Beginners" section would help? So many questions seem to be water-quality/food related! <Yes... perhaps time for you to coalesce your thoughts, points into article-length features...>         Okay, sorry I went on and on. I am working on the best way to tackle this winnowing... Cheers! Sarah O. <Be chatting, Bob F>

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