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Using WetWebMedia is Easy & Fun!
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Ask us a question: Crew@WetWebMedia.com

About Asking the WWM Crew a Question, Short Vers.

'It's as easy as 1, 2, 3

1.) Ahead of writing us, use the Google Search tool linked here. Enter the key words and terms you have questions about in the white box, then press the Google Search button. By doing your own research you may quickly find the answer to your question, and much useful related input without delay! Using/choosing the "cached" view will produce highlights over your searched terms. 

1.5) Still lost or want more help in understanding searching here?  Please read Eric Russell's Guide to Searching WWM, & For Freshwater Issues/Organisms Neale Monk's: A Checklist of Common Problems with Freshwater Aquaria, Bettas, Goldfish, and Freshwater Turtles (Terrapins)

2.)  Next, try to use the Website Index listed on the left side of the page. There are hundreds of thousands of FAQ's and articles and the answer to your question may already be on the website!

3.)  Finally, if you still need assistance you can send an e-mail to the WWM Crew. 
Please check your grammar and spelling... as all content is answered, then posted on this        website and read over MANY times by others.
  b) Please write in complete sentences,
PLEASE, NO MESSAGES IN ALL CAPITALS! Though, please do capitalize proper nouns (including company product names), organisms' common, genus and taxonomic names, the personal pronoun "I"...
If you want to send attachments (particularly of photographs),  please limit photo size to a few hundred Kbytes... and send along as jpegs or bmps. We have limited webmail space: NO Mega Byte size files!

DO send us as much pertinent information/data as you have. DON'T worry re length of your message... We NEED to know what you have in terms of the system, its history of operation, water quality tests, livestock, observable data...
CELL PHONES. It is fine to inquire via cell phones.  But the same above guidelines still apply!  A cell phone email is NOT an excuse for poor form!

Click on the following link to send an e-mail,   Ask the WWM Crew a Question, or send to our Address: Crew@WetWebMedia.com

How to use WetWebMedia (more detailed version)

WWM is probably the most comprehensive aquarium hobby and business site on the Internet. Because of the vast amount of information here, we get something like 20-30,000 site visitors every single day, all of them looking for practical information they can rely on. There are literally thousands of articles available on WWM, with new articles being added every month.

The WWM crew also get a stack of e-mail messages every day from aquarists needing help, and when those questions are answered, they're folded into the various FAQ pages, providing site visitors examples of real-world problems and solutions.

The combination of new articles and expanded FAQ pages means that WWM is a web site that grows in an organic sort of way. On the one hand, that means that WWM keeps pace with changes in the hobby, with new information constantly being made available to site visitors. But for those visitors new the site, finding their way around can be a little confusing.

The idea of this article is to fillet the site down to its bare essentials. If you follow the steps outlined here, you'll get the most from the site in the shortest possible amount of time. You're always welcome to e-mail the crew directly, but if you have sickly fish or some other type of time-sensitive issue, then knowing your way around WWM could be a real life saver.

1 - Start by searching WWM

At the bottom of most WWM pages, including the front page, there's a Google search box. There's even a Google search page on the site that does nothing other than Google searches! This is the quickest way to find information on the site. Simply enter a few search terms (i.e., words), click the WetWebMedia radio button underneath the search box, and then press the Search button. In the example shown below, the words 'goldfish' and 'dropsy' have been entered.

The results of your search are ordered depending on the way Google's chooses to determine relevance. You may need to browse through them to find the article which is most useful to you. In this case, you can see that there are over 500 results including articles and FAQ pages.

When you go to one of these pages, you'll see that your search terms have been automatically highlighted. This should make it easier to find out about the thing you're interested in. The terms that have been highlighted are shown in the highlight box at top right; if you want to change them to something else, you can do so there, or you can remove them altogether by deleting all the words in the highlight box and then pressing the highlight button.

FAQ pages are distinct from articles in being records of correspondence between fishkeepers and members of the WWM crew. Whereas articles are general surveys of particular topics or issues, FAQ pages describe specific real-world incidents, so you can see the sorts of problems other aquarists have had, and what solutions crew members have proposed.

By using the Google search box, you should be able to find what you need to know very quickly. Don't forget that you can also search WetWebMedia through the Google search box in your web browser. After you've typed in your search terms, add "site:wetwebmedia.com", and then do your search. Google will now confine its results to the WetWebMedia site.

You should now be able to find anything you want on WetWebMedia in seconds. No muss, no fuss!

2 - Follow the links

At the top of each WWM page there will be two sets of useful links, one set linking to FAQ pages, and the other to related feature articles. In the example shown here for bubble-tip anemones, you can see that the FAQ pages are divided up into various topics: feeding, disease, systems, compatibility, and so on. Some topics span multiple FAQ pages, higher page numbers indicating the more recently added pages.

Related article links take you to feature articles rather than FAQ pages. If for example you're learning about bubble-tip anemones, then reading the articles about the basics of how to keep anemones will be useful, and you might also want to look at other species of anemone to see if they're better choices for your particular system. In short, the related article links will help you to broaden your understanding of a particular topic.

3 - Browse the site

If you want to browse the site, start from the front page. Click on the relevant links to go to the various parts of the site. If you wanted to find out about guppies, you would start by clicking on the freshwater aquarium icon to go to the freshwater part of the site.

The first page in the freshwater section is an overall index divided up into a few major categories. Guppies are livebearers, so in this case you'd click on the first of the two livestock categories.

The livestock page contains subcategories crew members often call 'trays' into which related articles and FAQ pages are grouped. If you scroll down the livestock page, you'll get to the livebearer 'tray', and from there you'll be able to see all the various pages on guppies and their relatives.

If you can't find the thing you're interested, then use the the search tool built into your browser. On Windows PCs this typically use the CTRL-F keyboard shortcut, while Macintosh users will use Command-F instead. Either way, if you search for "guppy" this way, you'll find it clearly highlighted.

Browsing is a great way to learn about fishkeeping. Though you might come to the site wanting to find out about guppies, you'll find links that take you to all sorts of other topics, from aquarium maintenance through to fish breeding.

4 - It's an emergency!

Very often, the quickest way to get help is to help yourself. Use the Google search tool described above to find pages that describe the questions, problems or symptoms you're dealing with. Let's say you have an angelfish that won't eat. Use the search box on the front page or the special Google search page, type in some relevant search terms, such as "angelfish won't feed" and click the search button.

In this case, more than a thousand pages are found, though the most relevant ones will almost certainly be near the top of the list. You could click the links to read the articles or FAQ pages, or you might decide to refine your search a bit to narrow down the results.

If you change the search terms to something more specific, like "flame angel won't feed", you'll find the list of pages much shorter and more relevant. In fact, the FAQ page right at the top of the results is probably the one you should start by reading.

Of course you're free to e-mail the crew for help, but bear in mind that it may take some hours before we reply. If you're dealing with a really serious problem, that might be too long to wait. Make an effort to use the search tool before you write, and the chances are good you'll quickly find the relevant article or FAQ page.

5 - Writing to the WetWebMedia crew

Dozens of people write to us every day, as you'll see from our Daily FAQ page. What those folks like about writing into WetWebMedia is that the ideas and opinions they'll get here are from aquarists at the very top of the fishkeeping game, the sorts of people who write books and magazine articles. But what do the WetWebMedia crew get out of it? They're all volunteers, so what they don't get is money! They're here to help you because they like being helpful. They enjoy the hobby, and they want you to enjoy it too.

If you want to get the most from the WetWebMedia crew, remember they're volunteers, and treat them accordingly. Make a point of searching the site before writing. It's very likely that a question similar to yours has been answered more than once already.

When you do write, do try and provide as much information as possible. The crew aren't psychic, and they do need to know some things before they can answer your question properly. Sure, they'll write back and ask you for more details if they need to, but it speeds the whole thing up if you volunteer that information right from the start.

In other words, don't write this: "My goldfish is dying! What can I do!"

That doesn't help at all.

Instead, write something like this: "I have a 2-year old goldfish in a 20 gallon aquarium. It's about 4 inches long and lives on its own. The aquarium has a filter and an airstone, plus some plastic plants. I change some of the water once a month. I feed him mostly flakes and occasionally some live brine shrimp. He was fine until yesterday, but now it looks like he can't swim properly and keeps rolling onto his side."

In fact, you should really test your water before writing. At the bare minimum, every aquarist should have a nitrite test kit and a pH test kit, plus a thermometer. These three bits of equipment make it much easier to tell if the environment is healthy or not. Most fish disease comes down to some sort of environmental problem, so this is really, really important.

So it would be sensible to add a second paragraph to your message: "The water temperature is 68 F, the pH is 6.5, and the nitrite level is 0."

These bits of information point to at least one problem, a low pH, something goldfish cannot abide. It may well be that your water is too soft and acidic for goldfish, and restoring this sick goldfish to full health requires nothing more difficult that raising the hardness and pH by adding the appropriate mineral salts to the water.

6 - Quid pro quo

If your Latin is a little rusty, this phrase simply means "something for something". WetWebMedia can only work if people send us well-written messages. Why? The usual suspects: time and money!

The crew are all volunteers, and have limited time to answer the questions they receive. Vague or poorly written messages take longer to deal with that ones that are written clearly and concisely.

WetWebMedia stays online through advertising, and page hits depend on people finding the site through Google searches. For a search engine to catalogue a FAQ page accurately, the computer program used needs to understand it, and if the English is hopelessly mangled, that's not going to happen.

So before you write to us, think about what we need to keep the site running. Don't be selfish. Does it really take that much effort to check the spellings and grammar? If you can't make that minimal effort, why should we make an effort to help you to the best of our (considerable) abilities? As stated, it's all about the quid pro quo.

Some Sample Emails we've (shudder) received:

Hey, FW Ich, Poeciliids... re-do Anglish-wise    9/28/11
Hey I have a 25 gallon fresh water tank. I have 6 variety of platys and two pine apple sword tails. And a juvi either a mix withcthe blue platy nt to sure it s blue and orange. Anywayz my problem is I had a mild case of ick first time having it. Treated the tank for a week with jungle med.
Still doin a smll water change everyzday I stopped using meds giving them.
A break. ..the one platy died he stayed at the bottom shimming his body using more of it than his fins. .do you know if its ick still? Or could I have a aparasite... I am now noticing my fish are pooping whitish stuff
some almost clear both from the sword tails n platy?
I feed them nutriflakes blood worms a couple times a week...im kind of lost if I should xontinue using ick guard or try the jungle parasite tablets you watxh fiz I did a forty percent water change today after I found the dead platy..thank you hpe I hear
<Hello Sara. Could you please run your message through a spell checker?
There are a lot of needless errors here, I think teenage text-speak, but whatever the case, the "currency" of this website is plain English that everyone can read, not just teenagers. So if you can make that effort, I'd be only too happy to reciprocate and help you with your problems here.
Cheers, Neale.>

How 'bout this idea for an article... pc. to make WWM more familiar... user-"friendly"? 5/20/10
Cheers, Neale
 Neale... do you know of someone who might pen a piece on "using WWM?"... Some example questions, followed logically... through use of the indices, and search tools? Am thinking if we had such a "Dear Abby" set of practical, practiced examples, that there'd be a lesser proportion of "folks who just write in"... Or do you consider that this idea has much merit? BobF
Re: How 'bout this idea for an article... pc. to make WWM more familiar... user-"friendly"? 5/20/10
Oh, I think the article has merit. But it's also important it'd be placed somewhere obvious. At the moment we have three or four different "before you write" articles. I'd suggest just one, and that's the ONLY place where we have the e-mail address. Something along these lines, with the numbers even!>
> [1] Write to us at... an e-mail address we'll give you in a moment.
> [2] If you're writing about a sick fish, be sure to run through out freshwater and saltwater fish health checklist. The quicker you identify the problem, the sooner you can treat your fish, and that can make the difference between life and death.
> [3] If you're writing about a sick turtle or frog, be sure to read these articles: link A, link B.
> [4] If you've just set up your first aquarium or pond, then your fish are probably sick because of an environmental issue, so you should check -- at the very least -- the nitrite and pH levels to make sure conditions are safe. Non-zero nitrite and ammonia levels are lethal, and sudden pH drops, especially in ponds, can severely stress fish.
> [5] If you're planning on sending a photo, make sure no one image is bigger than around 500 KB. Larger photos mean our e-mail account fills up, bouncing back other people's messages. Make sure whatever photos you send are sharp and in focus, otherwise they're pointless. Please don't send us links to Flickr pages or YouTube videos; we don't have the time to follow such links.
> [6] If you're after some a chat or to ruminate over some general ideas, try visiting the WWM Bulletin Board where you can talk things over with other hobbyists. We're always happy to talk to hobbyists, but sometimes we're busy answering emergencies, so our replies on less pressing issues might be short and unrewarding.
> [7] So you've held on this far... here's the e-mail: crew@wetwebmedia.com
> You could follow that immediately with a "pro forma" type question, outlining precisely what information we need to offer quality advice: aquarium size, ammonia/nitrite concentration, salinity, water chemistry, tankmates, etc.
Cheers, Neale
Ah yes! B

Cory eggs? ... nonsense!   3/9/10
Hi Melinda!
I just did a 25%ish water change in my 20 gallon tank and found some eggs and I'm thinking they are my cories eggs... I'm not really happy with this because me and my Mom are a little stressed out with the guppy fry. Thanks!
<Jordan, there's no question within this e-mail for me to answer. Please search WWM with "Cory reproduction" or terms like that to read more on Corydoras reproduction. I still think it would be an excellent idea for you to join the discussion board and collect/share information with others that way. Thanks.

Re: Capitalisations of names on WWM  2/10/10
Hello Simon!
I do the usual captitaliz/sations of all scientific names (sans species), and yes, even common names (as well as proper nouns, the personal pronoun I..._). As other friends have over the years done what little we do to ensure conformity in formatting and grammar, the "spiffing up" of WWM is an ongoing task/adventure. I thank you again for your efforts. Cheers (and biers), BobF.
Re: Capitalisations of names on WWM  2/10/10
Well that's marvelous Bob, I shall carry on as I am then!
<Ah, very good>
May I make the suggestion that a sentence is added to the 'Ask the WWM crew a question' page regarding capitalisations of common and scientific names of animals? I do feel that this would help a little - for me at least!
<Will amend>
Cheers, and indeed some beers as well!

how do I register? 11/29/09
I have tons of questions and would like to register on your site. I can't seem to find the link to do so. Thanks.
<Mmm, the WWM site itself has no registration. Please just click on any page, the link on the left... "Ask... A Question"... Our bb has its own registration. Please see the link also on every page... on the bottom left of the homepage/WWM or on the left shared border of all other pages. BobF>

FW Ick: Not Following Instructions 7/30/2009
All of my fish have ich!!!!!
<Lucky for you, hundreds of pages have been written on this subject.>
what should I do!!!!!!!!
<Step 1: Go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com >
<Step 2: On the bottom left of the page, you will see a Google search bar.
Type the word 'ich' and then select the radio button that says
'www.wetwebmedia.com' >
<Step 3: Click the 'Search' button >
<Step 4: When the search page opens, click on the second result. >
<Step 5: READ >
Thank you for your help!!!!

?How do I ask a question on here???  5/5/09
<You just have. BobF>

An excellent suggestion... What WWM is not  -- 07/16/08 Good morning! <Nicole> I don't have a question, merely a suggestion. I know that the WWM crew have put together and revised a few versions of house rules, along with tips for using your site and (as a last resort) asking a question. I wonder if there is room for one more such page? <Let's see> I notice you often have to remind questioners to employ proper grammar and spelling, and then on top of that, you have to explain why! It seems some of the folks who write in don't understand that you are NOT primarily a question and answer service for individuals! More of a compendium, a "collected works" of Q&As on all things aquatic. Perhaps folks need a gentle reminder of "What WetWebMedia is Not" - similar to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not <Ahh! For "wiki" as usual, well-done> There are genuine Q&A services for individuals (which WWM is not) on aquariums and ponds out there. In fact, I volunteer for one - AllExperts.com - which has several aquatic pet categories. There are also bulletin boards out there (which WWM is not) except that now you have your own BB! Which brings me to my other point. Lots of the questions that seem "txtd" to you, or questions that readlike this, "What kind of fish is blue and gets along with yellow tetras? I really want a colorful fish." could go on the BB instead, streamlining the archived WWM FAQs for "cleaner" questions. <s' true> Perhaps also, along with saying, "rewrite your question in proper English, and send it again" you could suggest they post on the WWM bulletin board. <Thank you> Okay! Those are my two suggestions: 1) Maybe a page that explains, essentially, that WWM is not just a personal service - your purpose is not to have a closed conversation with one person, and thusly you cannot just txt WWM your question like you would your BFF! (I was especially inspired by the "What Wikipedia is not" page as an example of what WWM could write up.) <I am too... but would gladly post yours in its stead> 2) Also, to maybe suggest to the errant questioner who cannot seem to speak straight, that they post on the BB...same goes for those kind of casual questions like aquascaping, stocking, etc. The kind of questions that would benefit from multiple feedback. <Yes> All right then, thank you for listening to my humble opinions...and of course, thank you for everything else that you do - gratis! Your site is a treasure. Nicole <Thank you for your intelligent, valuable sharing/input. Bob Fenner>

Re: A bit more on what WWM is, is not   8/3/08 I wonder if I might add something useful here. (But then I'm sure many of you have been wondering if I'd ever do such a thing, too. Who knows? This may be the day... but I wouldn't hold my breath.) When I signed on to the crew I read the guidelines with rapt attention. One thing that stuck out was the suggestion that if I start out correcting their grammar and spelling before I answer their letters I would become quite bitter rather quickly. Pshaw, I said! (Actually, being under 118 years old, I didn't use that exact term - I used the more modern term) and ... knowing more about answering letters than any of you more experienced people .... set about to correct spelling and grammar. I even added custom words like Repto-Min to my dictionary and a custom macro to global search and replace RES with Red Eared Slider for the benefit of those casual readers that wouldn't otherwise get the drift. Armed with those tools and a desire to do well, I charged into each letter just changing and correcting and editing like a madman. Now ... barely 172 letters later, a mere fraction of what many of you have done, I'm still changing and correcting and editing ... but it's not with a smile anymore, it's more like a sigh. References like "even if I COULD diagram that sentence" have sneaked in and more than one response has been put off by a day or two because I didn't want to deal withthe lexicography."Bitter" is still a long way off but I no longer think that the person who wrote that suggestion was "wrong" and I now see that they simply had more experience than I. But with that said, I also want to stand up for the people who write in. Very experienced in Reptile husbandry I'm also a novice salt water aquarist and having ick on a Blue Tang I once spent TWO HOURS searching the site for information and still never found a case described like mine, so I wrote in, Bob responded with a link that was EXACT ... but that article never turned up in MY search. Among other techniques, Google "ranks" each page by counting how many OTHER pages point to that page and that's a coolerway that most others but it's not always relevant. It's much more attuned to finding out what Britney wore to her most recent court appearance than it is to finding the most technically correct element in a diagnosis involving multiple and often apparently conflicting symptoms. For example, the overwhelming inquiries that I've answered have been on shell fungus. (When you think of fungus, think of Darrel! ) Yet when I do a Google search on the site for turtle and fungus I sometimes get references to my FAQ responses and other times not. Today I got 110 responses to "turtle" and "fungus" and one synopsis caught my eye ... saying that the legs will grow back if they don't contract fungus! Closer inspection yields that it's a SALAMANDER'S leg that may grow back ... and the reference to turtle was a "Dr. Turtle" sulfa block by ZooMed. It was difficult even for me and I knew what I was looking for!!!! Sometimes, when it's particularly bad, I send a canned response to the user via direct email in orderto keep it from ending up in the dailies and it generally apologizes for returning the letter and explains that because the letters and answers are published, they have to be readable by third parties and the site policy REQUIRES that spelling, capitalization and grammar be corrected before I can respond. I also suggest that the Google Search can give them far more information than I would be ABLE to give them ina single response. Most people send a corrected letter, a few people sent me a thank you for the search suggestion and only one person was insulted. But in his response he misspelled "up yours" So my point ...... and yes, sometimes even *I* wonder if I have a point .... I urge you to remember that A) The less one knows, the harder the research can be -- even in the best of circumstances B) Google is our friend, but can be JUST as ornery and arbitrary as my ex wife. C) The internet has created an entire generation for people with the attention span of gnats -- when we ourselves dash off to another link if the page doesn't load in 0.00001 seconds, we should try to be kind to others for having the same affliction. Maybe it's just me. My generation sent a man to the moon and I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard that President John F Kennedy had been killed. For some reason, right or wrong, I expect less from a generation that invented the term "Emoticon" and who's defining moment is and will always be "where they were when the OJ verdict was announced." <Thank you for this sharing Darrel. BobF>

Re: Fantail fish 4/24/09
I have been warned.
<It's actually asked for right where you gotthe e-mail address. You see, this site needs properly written messages to be financially viable. Google hits come from people who search for things about fish, and better written the messages, the more often Google will pull our site up to the top of the list. Google hits help sell advertising, and that advertising helps us keep the site on its server, as well as pays for people to write the articles you get here for free -- but would have to pay for from a book or magazine.  When you send a message that's badly written, if we don't "fix" it, it's worthless. It won't catalogue properly in Google. So you're taking something (resources) without giving anything back (properly written messages). We get hundreds of e-mails a week, and I spend about an hour a day answering the freshwater ones. You're doing me a favour by writing a clearly written message. I'm not 15 and I don't like text messaging. More importantly, write clearly, and I can understand your message better, and answer with more detail. By not helping me out by writing nicely, you're just being rude. This is the deal: help the site, help the FAQ expert, by writing a clearly written message. Don't like that deal? Then feel free to go elsewhere.>
Charming I was looking for advice from more experienced fish keepers about my fish.
<Oh? For me, the reason I'm here giving advice is because I find the experience fun. If everyone sent me badly written messages, it would stop being fun. And by all means, Google my name, and you'll quickly find I know a great deal about fish. I write for almost every single English language magazine out there, in the UK, in the US and in Australia. I know what I'm talking about. All I want in return is a message that's easy to read. Not too much to ask for?>
Not a telling off like a 2yr old.
<No, if I was telling off a 2-year-old I'd have worded things differently.  If you re-read my message, you'll see I was polite (I used the magic word, "please") and I answered your query rather than doing what others might do, which is to send it back unanswered. If you're too selfish to see that I was being firm but fair, then by all means, sit in the corner and pout like a 2-year-old.>
My gosh someone recommended me to you & I have learned, learned to use a more inviting forum that will be a start.
<Feel free. Over here, in return for properly written messages, you get expert help from people who write books and magazine articles, edit magazines, provide services to the industry, do genuine science. There may be lots of other forums out there with plenty of emoticons, text speak and all that nonsense. Go join 'em. But the people answering those messages will certainly be, in general, of a far lower expertise than you're getting here. If you want help from a teenager who's only kept fish for a week, then jump right into any forum you like. If you want people with bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees, if you want people who are at the very top of the fishkeeping food chain, then write clearly, keep civil, and you
might just learn something. Your move. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: (scolding, and why you should not do it) 4/24/09
You are hilarious, maybe you should start a new career as a stand up comedian.
<Thanks! For us Brits, there's no bigger compliment. There's an old joke that says you can call an Englishman a bad lover, and he'll hardly bat an eyelid; but say he has no sense of humour, and he'll cry like a baby! So since you're making this effort to be nice, I'll respond nicely too.>
How dare you call me "rude" that's one thing I am not.
<I didn't say you were rude; all I said was that by not doing the one thing we ask from our correspondents, by ignoring the rules everyone else manages to stick to, you're coming across as rude to me.>
I never questioned your experience, & was more then satisfied with your advice/suggestion.
<Well, that's good.>
I would also like to point out I may have not come up against fading pigmentation in goldfish before, hence why I wanted advice. But I do have comets & koi carp between 9-13years old in a my pond, not one of them has died or been sick & sick fish is what I do not have experience in.
<Fair enough.>
I am finished with any type of forum.
<That's a shame. I'm sure there are lots of forums out there you'd enjoy.>
I will keep doing what I do, there must be one reason why none of my fish have died as yet, my love & care for them.
<Good for you!>
From now till the end of time I will learn my way, from first hand experience.
<No arguments there. But sometimes stuff that's new to you will be old to us. And in the time it takes you to find out what's wrong, your fish could suffer or die. That's the point of this website. It's not a forum where hobbyists chat to one another; it's a place were hobbyists get to talk to experts. If I didn't care to help people just like you, I wouldn't be here at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon checking my WWMinbox. I genuinely care. If I was as callous as I suspect you imagine, I'd have simply shifted your message into the Delete file and got on with something more productive.>
<Enjoy your weekend, and thanks again for the compliment. Cheers, Neale.>

Comet fish, sick or obese?? -- 07/10/08 ok, so here's the DL:i have 1 goldfish, i forget the exact name of it, a comet, a white one with a red spot on its head and a bit of red on the tail, about 2 inches long. until today, i've had her on a dry flake diet. i believe the tank is 10 gallons, i've had it for a few years now, but i've never tested the water before (i don't know why i'd never thought of it, but i don't know how...i'm sure i canfind something at the pet store) i had a feeder goldfish until about a year ago, who died from dropsy, and i'm wondering if my current fish is showing symptoms of it or not. i didsome research online, and found a few possibilities, but none of the descriptions were close enough to be sure. basically, the fish looks like she's gotten really fat. at first i thought maybe she was just obese, because it's not just her abdomen that's swollen, it's basically her entire body, but the scales on her stomach are protruding slightly and she's been swimming with her tail end higher up than the rest of her body. she's still swimming around,(whereas my old fish with dropsy didn't swim at all, and was leaning to one side), so i don't know if i should rule out dropsy on this one or if it's swim bladder disease or something entirely different. what i've done is, i've cleaned the whole tank thoroughly in hopes of killing any possibly harmful bacteria, and starting tomorrow i will be doing a fast and pea feeding to see if that helps at all, and if it works, i'll change up her diet more often. does that sound like a good idea to you or are there any other suggestions you might have? thankx, Kaz <Hello. Please review our modest requirements for questions, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm The top part, shaded blue, is the critical part. Basic grammar, traditional spellings rather than "net speak" or bizarre abbreviations, capital letters -- nothing more (or less) than basic High School-level English is required. Why? Because these questions are shared with the world, and that means Googleneeds to catalogue them, and people for whom English isn't a first language will expect to be able toread them. So help us to help them, and then we'll help you. It's a simple deal, and we do ask this from everyone before they write, not just you. Thanks! Neale.>

Is my set up ok 04/23/08 Hi, I have attached a letter regarding my enquiry and would very much appreciate you reading it and replying Thanks, Lozza <Greetings. Please re-send with the text as part of the e-mail. With the proliferation of viruses in MS Word documents and the potential damage they can cause to Windows PCs, it is simply much safer to work with plain text in e-mails. Cheers, Neale.>

Sea hoses and pipe fish... still not following directions   3/9/08 hello bob, and crew, I was thinking about making a species tank for sea horses and pipe fish. will this work out. also, to my previous list, can trigger fish and puffers live with cleaner wrasse or cleaner shrimp. <... Please use the search tool, indices... this is all posted. B>

A suggestion... Re: responding vs. chatting... the value of personalizing resp.s perhaps... on WWM, the Net, World... Hi Crew, I just have a brief suggestion to make. I am one of those folks who keeps track of the dailies almost every day, especially the freshwater queries. Naturally, I have been following the, shall I say "saga" of Neervana requesting advice from Neale almost every day... I noticed yesterday (2/21) that she said she had an "in-built filter", which suggests a lack of knowledge about the filtration system itself. I've always adhered to the philosophy that the best filter is the one that you find the easiest to clean. At least in freshwater fishkeeping, this makes sense. While it may be more aesthetically pleasing, a functional filter with identifiable parts that are rinsable and reusable (such as an AquaClear stacked with foam sponges and ceramic media) would probably serve Neervana well. Not to mention a library of aquarium books! I volunteer to answer fish questions on allexperts.com, and when I have a "repeat customer" like this, I simply say "Give me the name, author, and an excerpt of a fishkeeping book you have read before you write back. That's your homework... no reading, no answer!" Not to be mean, but if she actually gets Discus, I am going to have to find another pastime online. Neale, if you read this, you have the patience of a saint! Thanks for listening, Nicole <Nicole, thanks for the kind words and the comments. It's always difficult to balance offering help with simply spoon-feeding people; at some point, people have to do their own research and try and handle things my themselves. If they don't learn, they'll never master the hobby. Of course that isn't always easy, especially when everything you're doing seems to be going wrong. Your advice that questioners should read a fishkeeping book is sound, but I think it's a sad truth that younger generations that mine seem to see books as the last option, not the first. Bob Fenner created WWM as one place where aquarists could go to get help from experienced hobbyists, and I'm honoured to be a part of that. Anyway, good luck with your own work in the hobby, Neale.>

Re: pleco... Actually maturity, using WWM...   2/10/08 didnt realize u were an english teacher get a life!!! <Jay my friend, you will find that in real life, you'll get a lot more from people when you're polite and respectful. Especially if you're coming to them asking for help. But Life will beat that experience into you the hard way even if you aren't ready to learn it from us right now. And in case you're wondering, we run this site to share information with people. A lot of those people don't necessarily speak English as a first language, and even those for whom English is their native tongue, translating the text-speak of the sort used by inarticulate 14-year olds isn't easy or pleasant for them. We explain the house rules at the "front door" of the site, right where you got the Q&A e-mail address from. If you can't even be bothered to show us even this modest amount of respect, why the heck should we offer you any help in return? Sincerely, Neale.>

How To Search Info On WWM....Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 Hiya Bob, <Hey Eric!> After much agonizing over content and format (along with much procrastination), I've come up with a much simplified version (than originally envisioned) of this page. It consists mainly of info I pulled from Google's own articles and edited to make it more relevant to us/our use. I thought this to be better than simply linking and trying to get folks to go look up what they need since this already seems to be a problem. Hopefully placing an explanation of how to use the Google search tool on WWM itself will induce folks to give it a "better" try. Please take a look and see what you think/if you think it will be of use to us. Do let me know if there is anything you want me to change/add/tweak. <Looks very good to me... Will post today> Also, I have not received any WWM email from you directly since the end of September...I only learn of things if someone happens to reply-all with my email address. Have I been blacklisted <<grin>>? Eric <Mmm, no... and I just checked both my (oh and now the group WWM email address) on both the MSN and WebMail contact list... and have your address as here.... I do hope this is not yet another computer problem. This last week I gave up on my MS/XP machine and low level re-formatted, AND bought a Mac Pro machine... I do hope/trust you receive this response. Sheesh! BobF>

Question about search 10/23/07 How do you do this? "Using/choosing the "cached" view will produce highlights over your searched terms." I am searching on the site and it says that I could do this but do not know how. <I see.... start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm with the Google search tool... and then look at the cached views shown... as the option with Google... BobF> Thank you, Zach

Question About 'Cached' Search Function -- 10/23/07 How do you do this? "Using/choosing the "cached" view will produce highlights over your searched terms." I am searching on the site and it says that I could do this but do not know how. Thank you, Zach <<Well Zach, not to oversimplify but...you start by entering your search word(s) or phrase in the search engine and selecting 'search.' The search engine displays all the documents/articles/queries containing the search term. In my experience, to see the 'cached view' you would then select the 'CACHED' link that is normally displayed next to the 'Similar pages' link listed under each 'hit' made on your search term. The problem here is...I don't see where Google is caching our pages...thus no link to cached views. I can't say why, unless it has something to do with the way we index our pages...or maybe our move to this new server...(Bob?) But that said...just entering your search term and selecting 'search' will display all your hits with your search term 'highlighted.' This also gives you more 'recent' data; as I understand it, the cached view is a 'snapshot' of the page as it was when Google indexed it, which means any updates made afterwards won't be available in the cached view (Hmm, maybe this is why we don't cache...considering the site is updated daily, at least!). Hope this helps/makes some sense. Regards, EricR>>

Searching for info, on WWM, elsewhere...  -- 07/22/07 I have been using this site for six months. <Me? Ten years or so> My question or maybe suggestion is that when I do a search and click one of the results I am then sent to page with at least thirty 'related discussion' posts and it is very difficult to find the one that pertains to me. <Mmm, depending on the logic, subject, limit of the topic... likely about all you can do... The site is arranged to avail relevant, related info> While there is always good info to be read on these other posts, it is frustrating and time consuming enough that I turn to another reef site. <Go there> Isn't there any way to make it so that when I search for something on say 'Deltec skimmer' the only link that I click brings up ONLY 'Deltec skimmer' posts as opposed to the general forum on skimmers. <Write the folks at Google such questions... not our search tool. RMF> Thank you for all your hard work, <Welcome> Todd

Finding Responses On WWM Website -- 4/13/07 Oh, Chuck, thank you for such a quick response. Thank you. I realized the response would be on the site but where on the site would it be found? Thank you again.  Dee < If the question and answer are worthy, they would be found on Today's Frequently Asked Questions  link. Once there if not on the main page then it would be found on the Freshwater Link.-Chuck> <<Mmm, actually, all are placed on the Dailies... Daily! RMF>>

Google search cached pages... and not!   1/29/07 Hello Guys/Gals of the Crew- <Michael> I do a TON of research on your site, and it has helped immensely in my fishkeeping efforts. I'm not writing with a question, but rather, an FYI. The Google searches done on the homepage (when using WWM search) do not contain cached links. The cached links are INVALUABLE, in my opinion, <Am in total agreement> as they highlight your search terms for you. Using the cached links has made my research on WWM incredibly more efficient-- otherwise, it's needle/haystack without the highlights. However, if you use the Google search located in the "Ask the WWM Crew a Question" section, there ARE cached links. <... I wonder what the difference is...> It might be worthwhile to use the same Google engine on the homepage, with an instruction on using cached links. It will definitely save you time if readers are more efficient at researching the volume on the site. . . . just a small suggestion as it can be awkward watching writers getting "yelled at" by Crew members for not doing their homework. Keep up the amazing work, though.   -Mike <Thanks much for this... Will add to my ever-growing list... Bob Fenner Oh... turns out the code for/from Google is the difference here... not adjustable by ourselves>

Mich: One of my biggest  issues is the size/placement of the Google search feature.    12/27/06 It's just  not prominent enough in my opinion.  I don't know how difficult it  would be to move/add this on the home-page, <Is on the homepage... and the subweb homepages... on the bottom left> but IMO it should be in  located directly under the WetWebMedia logo in the medium blue  colored box.  I think the size could/should be increased also.   I  think it is easily overlooked on the bottom of the page, though it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep the one where it is for those that are  used to finding it here.  I do feel strongly about possibly adding it  to the area on the top. <Am going to send this to MikeK for his input...> Maybe a line with a link under (the new google search link on the top  of the page, hint hint hint) it titled "How to use this site."  I  think the how to use needs to be relatively straight forward.   Something to the effect of: Welcome to WetWebMedia.  This site is dedicated to all things  aquatic.   Generally the area is divided into articles on specific  subjects and FAQs.   FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions related to  the particular topic at hand.  If you are seeking general knowledge  about a particular topic, the articles will be most helpful.  If you  are trying to find the answer to a particular question, you may find  your answer among the FAQ's.  At the top each page written in blue  are related links to the current topic.   Click on these links to  explore related issues. The volume of information located on this site is tremendous.  In  order to most efficiently find the information you seek, please use  the Google search feature located at the (top or) bottom of the home- page.  You can search the entire internet or limit your search to  WetWebMedia by clicking the circle in front of www.WetWebMedia.com in  the search link.  We do have an all volunteer staff available to help  if you are unable to find the answers.  But, due to the high volume  of contacts we receive, please be considerate and make a sincere  attempt at finding this information on your own.  If you are unable  to do so please feel free to contact the crew.   Before sending your  question, please use the spell and grammar checker tools supplied by  your email provider. Be aware, inquires submitted with blatant  disregard to spelling, capitalization and grammar will be returned for your correction and resubmission. Welcome to the wonderful world of aquatics!  Enjoy the journey! <Miguel? B>

Re: Fw: Please help! It appears the tips are dying, and are not growth   7/25/06 I know my pics suck, but I can't seem to find the right settings for Aquarium pics! <They're also too large... why, why can't/won't folks who write in follow directions? Please re-send as a few hundred Kbytes max. BobF>

WWM Etiquette - Questions About Questions - 11/25/2005 Greetings from Colorado to the WWM Crew: <And salutations from the Crew to you!> I am nearly two months into my fist marine aquarium, <An exciting time, to be sure.> and have read many books and FAQs before putting the first drop of salt water into my tank.  I am trying to be a very conscientious aquarist on all fronts.   <Your (future) livestock will thank you.> My last e-mail was sent to you several weeks ago, and did not get a response.   <I beg your forgiveness on this....  Our email system has been "acting up", and we actually had some big-ish issues a few weeks back of lost/dropped emails or ones that didn't have the "tray" that includes our ability to reply....> I am fearful that I broke some rule, or failed to observe proper etiquette.  If so, please forgive me. <Oh, no; not in the least.  We tend to answer very nearly any legitimate question sent to us.> My question this time is simple.  Do you have a list of do's and don'ts for WWM readers?   <Mm, just this:   http://wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm and a few other, similar pages.> I am aware that 1) pictures should be as small as possible, 2) people should first search for information before asking questions, and 3) attempts should be made to use proper English, grammar and spelling.   <All correct.> I wonder if you would prefer one e-mail with several questions, or several e-mails with one question each.   <My preference, and I believe Bob's preference as well (and likely all the rest of us), is that all your questions be sent in one larger email....  it is easier to get a "feel" for your system, and be thorough about answering your questions, if all are "lumped" together....  Furthermore, in replies or future questions concerning similar or the same questions you asked before, it is GREATLY helpful if you can copy any previous correspondences to better help us help you.  You can also put Attn: and the Crewmember's name who helped you in the subject line to make it easier for us to route your question to the right person.> Do you prefer that a person give details of tank volume, depth, chemistry, lighting and maintenance with each question?   <Mm, if possible/pertinent, yes.  Usually we're flying on a lack of information - giving "too much" info is nearly impossible.> Should questions be limited to one per week, month, or year?   <Just as necessary.  We're here for ya.> I wonder if it would benefit both your team and your faithful audience to have a spot on the "Website Index" for a comprehensive set of ground rules? <Maybe....  The link for asking the Crew a question takes folks to what I feel is a pretty blatant chunk of information/suggestions, but seems that it must be lacking as we do still get questions in all caps, no capitalization, or written in "webbish".  Argh!> As always, thanks for the help, <And thank you for your kind consideration in this issue.> Brad in Basalt <Sabrina in Silicon Valley> P.S. I would like to let your great sponsors know that I use an AquaC skimmer, Seachem products and other recommended items.  Is there a proper way to do that? <Sure!  Just drop 'em an email or give 'em a call.  I'm sure they'd be glad to know their advertising is worthwhile.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

My new aquarium thingummy, basic lack of regard for using WWM im <No such word: I'm> getting into a saltwater tank after years of fascination with tropical fish.  I purchased a 25 gallon nanocube tank, with the blue lights so I can get coral later, I have living Fiji rock and live sand, I also have an Amphiprion tricinctus, and a Pterapogon kauderni. so far so good, the temp has stabilized at approx. 77 degrees F. the cardinal isn't eating, however. I am feeding them what the store owner told me was best: "Ocean Nutrition : Formula Two" I know the cardinal likes to eat feeder shrimp, marine flesh etc. What's the difference? <What?> The ingredients say it has salmon in it, is that enough? <Obviously not> I'm looking for some basic tips, I'm a super beginner. Got the tank last week, added the fishes yesterday.  Also, do I need an anemone for the clown? I know they go well with Stichodactyla mertensii, good for the cardinal too? I know the cardinals like long- spined sea urchins, is that okay for the clown?  I'm just looking for some reassurance! thanks! ( also, any suggestions on what I can add? coral? other fish? etc? -Bryna <Uh, try looking over our site: www.WetWebMedia.com  see the search tool? See the indices? Try them, you'll like them. Bob Fenner> 

Not Happy with the Help Received Wow, thanks for all that help you promised. <<I promised you nothing>> Let me reword it in "lingo" you may appreciate.  My "LFS" XXXXed me over. they sold me a tank, fish, live rock and live sand, and said, "get to it." I got: 16 lbs of live Fiji rock 10lbs of live sand a 12 (not 25) gallon nanocube tank a clown ( A. tricinctus) A Kaudern's ( or Banggai) Cardinal Mysis shrimp And Formula two flake food A basic heater I wasn't sold (or told) that I needed anything beyond that. I've remedied that not, thankfully (and expensively).  My cardinal died, for obvious reasons. I wasn't even aware of what cycling the tank was, until earlier this morning.  I got my questions answered, no thanks to you or your crap "search tool."  For God's sake, one would think that someone of your obvious knowledge would overlook the grammar in a hastily typed, panic laden, email.  I was unaware that marine hobbyism required MENSA level emails.  Especially when one is requesting help.  Apologies if I've wasted your time.  My clown is fine, and my tank is cycling beautifully now. Thanks.  (for nothing)  -Bryna <Ah, good. BobF><<Mmm, there are over ten thousand visitors to WWM daily... in just the English rendition... queriers are referred to using the search tool, indices as we NOT only lack the resources to reiterate the same information, BUT there are VERY often side issues, further questions that people will answer for themselves by delving into what is archived... If this is a waste of ones time, I suggest looking into a more passive hobby/interest... like "video-fish" that one can turn-off when they're bored. RMF>>

Corrected letter on gaimard Coris >No problem, here is the corrected letter.  Nobody has mentioned it previously, but now that I know I'll make sure to keep with proper grammar rules.  Sorry about the inconvenience. >>Hey, we *really* appreciate the effort, my friend, though most are too busy to even bother asking.  However, they also are generally not the ones who'll spend the time retyping, and then it's left to those (usually Bob, and when he's overseas, me) who are putting the queries up on the daily page to correct.  It's often too much to accomplish in a reasonable time frame.  A lot of people get mad when we ask.  It's not up on the main daily page, the requests are found through another link, and it's understandable that folks miss it.  I, for one, VERY much appreciate your understanding on the matter.  Anyway, let's get going answering your question!    

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