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Re: Question about my 55 gal tankmates 03/08/09
Greetings Crew!
Thanks again for your phenomenal expertise! Glad to see that the FAQ'S are back up and running.
<Thanks, me too.>
I thought that the 5 part series on the 55 gal system was very interesting and wanted to let Sara know what an excellent job she did in regards to her advice!
She did a great job of responding in a professional manor to the absurd stocking techniques made by this person while offering several routes to take to avoid a catastrophe.
<Wow, I'm not sure I deserve such high praise, but thank you!>
Great work Sara!
Joe W.
<Thank you kindly again for the encouragement. :-)
Sara M.>

Daily FAQ's -- 03/07/09 Hi Bob, Didn't see any new dailies yesterday and today. Are we having problems with the site in that regard? James Oh yes. We are. B What's going on? Is it bad? J -- Mmm, yes... some trouble with the server there (being slow...) and some process/es being interrupted... which has caused us to not be able to log on the last couple days ("root error (web busy): Please try again)... The FP extensions have been re-done, now the site is being moved onto another server. I thought several times of contacting you... but figured the ISP should be able to fix, and didn't want to bug you... BTW, are you up for a dive trip later this mo. to Coz? BobF.

Contact info 3-5-09 Hi, <Henk> Probably a bit of an unusual request, but here I go anyway. I saw a message in the daily FAQs of a person named Barry, living in Beijing. I am also working and living in Beijing, and am currently reading and preparing to set up a reef tank once I move house in May. I am a novice to saltwater though, and I was wondering if it would it be possible to forward my contact information to this person? I would like to get in touch with someone who has some experience with marine tanks, speaks English and is in Beijing. The message on the daily FAQs I was referring to is the one below: <Unfortunately, we don't have a means of retaining/BCC'g folks' email/addresses back/forth... We don't retain such... Am wondering if there is some sort of pet-fish "FaceBook" or such that you might post yourself on, search for people of similar mind, interest... Bob Fenner>

Website back button on web page   2/21/09 Hi, I really enjoy your site. I really hate the inability to "back up" through my web browser's "back" button. I'm 92% certain that you have designed the setup of your website to act in this fashion. In normal circumstance of web surfing if I were to come across this behavior from a site I would back out and not return. In my opinion it is an unprofessional attempt to "keep me" on your site. Go get your viewers from a respectable source such as providing great content which you clearly do. Leave the childish tricks to others. <?> E. Dugan P.S. I'm sending this message from my home computer which uses Outlook Express as its email client so I'm not certain (and don't want to waste the time to find out) which of my family's email addresses this is originating from. If you care to contact me use the edugan@XXXX.com address. Thanks for you patience and an otherwise great site. <Sara: What? I am able to "back up", though this does take double clicking on MS Explorer... Am wondering if there is some diff. in OS or...? BobF. For my part, I actually don't know enough to "do this"... let alone not being disingenuous. B> <<E. Dugan- I do know what you're referring to. And it has frustrated me as well. Unfortunately, I don't yet know how to fix it. When I do, it will be fixed. However, I must say that I don't appreciate (actually take great offense to) you accusing Mr. Fenner (or any of us on WWM) of some kind of childish deliberate manipulation of back button settings in order to keep people on his/our site. WWM is an entirely charitable site that gets tens of thousands of visitors a day without even trying. Mr. Fenner is independently wealthy and only created WWM to help the hobby and industry of pet fish keeping. Please do your "homework" before you insult people. Bob- I have the same problem/experience. Lately, it takes two clicks for some reason. I don't know why... I will investigate. -Sara M.>> <... Just someone w/ a bug up their patootee perhaps... If they have a sol'n/fix, I wish they'd suggested it. B> <<I did some experimenting... this problem doesn't occur in FF, other browsers... so I think it might be one of those dreaded browser incompatibility issues. I will try to figure out the source of the issue... if anyone has any ideas, I hope they will share! Cheers, Sara M.>> <<Actually... it doesn't even happen in Internet Explorer for everyone on all computers... a friend just suggested that it might have something to do with cookies settings on individual computers. Hmm... -Sara M.>>

Backward buttons...02/22/09 Hi, Sorry, I did not mean to offend anyone. I re-read my original email and agree that it was a bit aggressive. <Apology accepted.> As I stated I enjoy your site and visit often. It was an annoyance not to be able to backup with the back button in my browser. It did not occur to me at the time that this was an unintended consequence, perhaps a compatibility issue. <I assure you that it is quite unintentional and annoys us just as much as it annoys you. However, for whatever reason, not everyone is having this problem. A few of my friends on different computers are not experiencing this (even though they also use Internet Explorer).> I do notice that when I visit your site directly, that it does take two clicks on the back button to back up. In the instance that generated my (hot headed?) email, I arrived at your site via link from a Google search. On this occasion no matter of multiple back button clicks would take me back through the chain of pages, it stuck on the first WetWebMedia page forward of the Google search. <Huh.> This behavior is reminiscent of unscrupulous websites that attempt to keep visitors on their site by (I believe) deliberate web programming techniques. It never occurred to me at the time that it was unintended. <Not only is it unintended, but we're not even sure if this is on our end at all... since not everyone is having the same problem. One of my friends suggested that it might have something to do with you/our cookies settings, firewalls, etc.> If it is a browser compatibility issue, I offer that my machine uses WinXP and Internet Explorer v6.0. <Do you have Fire Fox? If not, I suggest you download it (it's free). It's a better browser anyway... and doesn't have this problem for us.> I will also offer that I took offense to inappropriate comments by the last responder in the email chain, someone signing as "B". I clearly stated in my postscript (P.S.) that in the heat of my irritation over the back button issue, that I was responding via your "contact us" link. This brings up the default email client, Outlook Express, which is setup with my wife's email. Yes, her name is Julie. <I think B, Bob made a connection to Julie, not because of who was written as the sender, but because of the tone/content of the email. We had someone named Julie write in with similarly, seemingly rude comments/complaints. There might be no actual connection here... I don't know, it doesn't matter.> I am unfamiliar with Outlook Express and could not quickly find how to change the "sender". I don't even think my email is setup on Outlook Express on this machine as I use our web host's web mail client exclusively. I clearly gave my email address for any responses. No deceit going on here. My name is Edward Dugan, and any correspondence can be directed to edugan@XXXX.com. <Thank you> I will commend you that you do have the contact link on your webpage, and even more in responding so quickly. <We try.> Since I am on a roll writing, I will tell you that I found the information I was looking for on your website. <I'm happy to hear it!> Sm. Reef Op.    2/22/09 I was searching for lifetime of Power Compact tubes. I calculate ~4300 hours from your staff's recommendation of replacement at six months of 24/7 use. My background is a BS Chemistry, Univ of Delaware (1979). I am a chromatographer by training. My current (personal) interest surround a quantitative chromatographic determination of ions in saltwater reef aquarium water. Specifically I'm interested in the Mg++ / Ca++ ratio (see below). <Interesting> I have been keeping aquaria since I was about ten years old. My current setup is a 30 gallon reef which has been in existence for about fifteen years. It's current incarnation has been up for almost two years. The original setup had a undergravel filter, a remnant of its progression from fish only to reef in the early ninety's. Needless to say the substrate turned into concrete. This drove me for better or worse to a bare bottom. Specifics of the setup are: ~30? pounds of live rock acquired over ~2 years many years ago, stacked loosely away from all tank walls, sitting a bare bottom with the fewest points of bottom contact for easy maintenance Lighting: 2x96w PC lighting, 1 50/50 actinic/10K, 1 10K 2x21w T5 no lighting, 1 actinic, 1 10K Controlled by 3 Coralife digital timers staggered on/off times ranging from 13 hr photoperiod for T5's, 11 hr 50/50 PC, 8 hr PC 10K 3x2 blue LED photoperiod off night illumination Filtration: Eheim 2215 Canister filter with surface skimmer driving a Countercurrent Protein Skimmer (name forgotten) ~24" tall Odyssea 350GPH powerhead w/sponge filter, also used for short term particulate adsorbents such as 3x/year carbon and/or occasional phosphate remover Flow: 2 Koralia Nano powerheads, opposed flow, staggered daytime operation with light timers 1 Koralia 1 constant on 1 Odyssea 350GPH photoperiod off nighttime flow Water quality stats (using mainly Red Sea test kits): temp = ~24.5 C +/- 1.0 C/0.0 C (25.5 C nighttime / 24.5 C daytime) sp gr = 1.0250 Ca++ = 425 ppm, test 1-3x/wk Alk = 10.5dKH, test 1-3x/wk Mg++ = 1525ppm, test 6x/yr NO3- = 0ppm, test ~4x/yr always no reading PO3-- = 0ppm, test infrequently, unhappy with color scale, difficult to read pH = ~8.2+??, useless, scale difficult to read I dose: Kalkwasser daily in the AM when pH is low Seachem Reef Calcium, 2cc/day in morning Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium as needed to maintain Ca++ ~425ppm usually 2 teaspoons/wk added in PM Seachem Reef Builder as needed to maintain Alk ~10-12 dKH usually 2 teaspoons/wk added in AM most recently Purple Up, 1cc/day at night before bed my own Lugol's sol'n, ~40uL/wk Water Change & Maintenance: 2gal ~2 wks, vacuuming stuff from the bottom Eheim cleaned 4x/yr Skimmer gunk parts cleaned ~month, broken down once per 2yrs Odyssea foam cleaned every 6 wks except if adsorbents are run glass cleaned weekly, very little algae growth Inhabitants: If you're interested I have some pictures at: http://mysite.verizon.net/goldgift/index.htm It's not the best web presentation, but it is a work in progress. Notes since the pictures were taken. The Galaxea has added ~1 cm of mantle around the entire periphery in the year I've had it. I have also added a specimen of Acropora that has grown ~1.5 cm on a dozen branches in the two months its been in the tank. For the first time in awhile I am forced to think about longer term (growth) consequences of my habitat. The yellow polyps are in decline, and I'm thinking my target temperature of 22-23 C is too low (summertime it gets to 25-26 and at the end of summer is when the attrition began). My new target temp is about 25 C. <Wow, thank you for sharing all that! It will be posted.> So to sum it up, I did not mean any hard feelings. If you guys read this far then you are troopers indeed. <No worries... we're cool.> Ed Dugan <Cheers, Sara M.>

Backward Buttons Query  2/23/09 Hello Sara, I've been reading this query and would like to suggest a possible fix. Have the querior check off the "allow session cookies" box. This is usually found in the internet options folder. Regards, James <Thank you James, I will forward this to the querior... -Sara M.>

New Home Page 02/17/09 Yikes! CHANGE! The Home Page is DIFFERENT! CHANGE! {best Rain Man voice} On Tuesday I have pancakes. With Maple Syrup. Gotta have Maple Syrup On Tuesday I have pancakes. With Maple Syrup. Gotta have Maple Syrup On Tuesday I have pancakes. With Maple Syrup. Gotta have Maple Syrup 12 minutes to Wopner ..... I blame Sara! <LOL... ::sigh:: If only you knew...> Actually Sara, it looks great!!!!! <Thanks> I hope everyone else likes it too. <me too> I'd like to ask -- how much work would it be to put a "last" link on each day's FAQ page when it is retired? As a description only .... Today's FAQ would be initially posted as something like daily_faq.html and would contain a YESTERDAY link to daily_021609.html which would be yesterday's FAQ. When today's FAQ is retired, it would be saved as daily_021709.html (still containing a link to 021609.html) and the NEW daily FAQ page (again named daily_faq.html would contain a 'back' link to daily_021709.html). <It wouldn't be difficult... but I don't think Bob would want that and I think it would end up being more trouble than potential benefit.> The reason I'm asking is manifold. 1) It would make it very easy to go back in time while searching for threads of previous advice on the same topic. 2) Since I don't have to do the work .... it's easy! (for me to ask!) <I understand what you're saying... but it would just create more work for Bob actually. And I can show you a trick to getting yesterday's FAQ (as a cache on the internet) using a Google search.> In the alternative, if the old dailies were simply filed in a date based format, one could just formulate the url in the address bar and be able to time travel, so to speak. <Dude, this would just create way too many pages. But you can ask Bob what he thinks. Cheers and thanks for the input, Sara M.> <<Mmm, Darrel... are you willing to (take the time) to make these rep.s, move all about? Every day? This activity takes me a few hours a day, every day... and I have no more resource. BobF>>

Redesigned Homepage   2/17/08 Hi all, I thought the WWM homepage badly needed a makeover... so I redesigned it. All the same links are there (except the "desktop calendar" link when no one ever goes to or even knows exists). <<Actually. Incorrect. This is used more than the links pages. RMF>>  Bob also wanted a place for a banner add on the homepage. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ I hope y'all like it. If you don't, I still have the old homepage I can switch it back to. Cheers, Sara M. <I think it looks lovely. Cheers, Neale.>

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays from Denmark � 12/25/08 Hi !! <<Hello Michael!>> I would just like to wish the entire crew Of WetWebMedia a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. I hope you have a great time with your families. And a special thanks to Eric for all his great help/advice during the year. Take care. Michael Fick Denmark <<Many thanks my friend. And? En glædelig jul og heldig nytår (hope I got that right) to you and yours as well, from me and the entire WWM Crew. Eric Russell, South Carolina>>

Re: Project WWM   11/25/08 Hello, If any of you are local to San Diego, I¹d like to get together at Fuddruckers on Mira Mesa on Wednesday afternoon for lunch at 12p. This will be a brainstorm session to discuss the possibilities of how to do the FAQ¹s, field ideas on the creative look and feel, and just generally enjoy each other¹s company. Bob and I are already confirmed for this, let me us know if you can join. Jessica L. Timko www.creativesoup.com <So far, I know of MikeK, DaveL, you and myself... BobF>

How it all began?  11/17/08 Hi Bob, <Ranjith> I was curious. How did WWM begin? <Mmm, in the mid 1990's I worked for some folks who started an etailing concern (Flying Fish Express... eventually Pets.com...) who wanted "1-800" answering help to promote their business, help their customers... I suggested (to John Caskie, partner Eric Silverman) that they would do better by far (than simply responding to questions with answers) to archive these, provide substantive articles for reference, even provide still and kinetic imagery... But they weren't very interested in expanding the answer service... after they'd sold the business I did so... as WWM> Whose idea was it and who pulled it along? <Mmm, my own... and with the help of many good friends... the Crew, past and present, and hundreds of thousands of queries, queriors input> There are like a zillion websites for fish keeping so how did WWM pull ahead of the rest and come to be so trusted by people and popular? <Mmm... I'd say mostly the quality and concern of the WWM Crew itself. I/we are blessed to have and had a cadre of very experienced, concerned, conversant folks that really have the best interests of the hobby, planet in mind, heart... and to have accumulated their thoughts, experiences> Please do spend a few minuets to respond to this out of the context email :) Cheers and keep up the good work Ranjith <Thank you my/our friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: How it all began?  11/17/08 Hi crew :) My chance to say a thank you to all of you!! The reason behind this down the memory lane question is I plan to start something like this for dogs in Mumbai. <Ahhh! Outstanding> Hope that works even remotely close to WWM :) Cheers Ranjith <Life to you my friend. BobF>

A simple thanks 10/22/08 Just a quick note of thanks for your excellent site. I have spent many hours reading up on the various additions to my reef tank, both in equipment and livestock. I have Robert Fenner's book the Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and on my upcoming business trip to Melbourne I will be reading volume 2 (probably cover to cover. it's a long flight!) Thanks again to all the crew at WWM. Britt Williams <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words Britt. Much appreciated. Bob Fenner>

Project WWM Site Map- Step 1  -- 10/02/08 Hello Team, So far we are 5 volunteers total, 4 from the crew and one WWM hobbyist. Thank you all for your support. To get the ball rolling on this I started a new site map for WWM. This gives us a frame work to brainstorm off of. What I did was dissect the current site into sections and logically rearranged those sections to make the user experience flow better. Now, this diagram is something that makes sense in MY head. Please look it over and point out the irregularities or respond with something more sensible, as I'm sure there is more than one way to skin a cat. I've only broken down one section of each 'level' of navigation for space reasons. But you can be assured that each tab will have its own corresponding breakout. Things to note: I've separated the articles completely from the FAQ sections. MANY times I've only wanted to read articles related to the subjects and I found myself accidentally clicking into the FAQ's of that section. Very frustrating for me. So I created a sections aptly named 'Reference Library' The FAQ's are assumed to be changing to a blog format...still up for new/better ideas here The articles and other pages of the site will remain standard 'html' type pages  Don't be shy with your thoughts, this is very much supposed to be an open forum for ideas and teamwork. I'm just trying to give us a launching point. Jessica L. Timko <Wowzah! What progress! Have never made such an attempt at a site map... as a tool for orienting folks about WWM or an organizing mech. to reformat the navigation here... I do think that more than the "Hawthorne Effect" will be brought about by the action here. BobF. >

Later, greater? addn. to WWM, your input  09/29/08 Howsit? Am adding larger pix to WWM in the following fashion: Making the "daily pix" archives "Framed" links that are associated with larger 300 pixel wide copies... and placing these on/with the species, groups, topics they are related to... Too confusing? See the daily FAQs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs3.htm or Dendronephthya: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendornephthyaart.htm Mmm, "did" the four hundred or so daily pix that were on my active desktop from the last few months trips... have tens of thousands more that could be sorted through in my archives... Was hoping this would instead be a "pix for sale" sort of separate site... Any input at this juncture is greatly appreciated. BobF.

Re: Later, greater? addn. to WWM, your input 09/29/08 Bob... have you checked this site out? http://www.scoopt.com/ <Mmm, not this... my pix aren't "newsworthy", topical... also, I don't want to sign 12 month intl. exclusive licensing> ...and/or its kind? <Not yet... but am always looking. B> Best, Sara M. Have you seen this? http://photo.net/nature-photography-forum/001UsW Sara <Mmm, just did... You see, or I want you to see: My intent is multi-fold, but principally to share/make use of "aquatic related pix" for the readers/users of WWM AND to possibly make a few dollars... B> I see... how about this... you could put a link on WWM to some site such as PhotoBucket or Picasa Web... any online photo album where you can up load all these pics. People can then contact you if they want to purchase a particular photo/s... Sara <Mmm, am trying to avoid "one-sies, two-sies"... I already spend some part of every day running down pix, sending out et al. for editors... Would REALLY like to have this all automated, including the moolah part... as you know... More time for "other things"... like diving, traveling, making more images! B>

Project WWM 09/29/08 Hello Crew, I've spoken to Bob and got the ok to move forward with a project idea. I know it has been proposed before, but never carried out for reasons unknown to me. I want to redesign WWM. It is going to be a pain in the behind, but I think it is doable. The first step is to create a design/programming team and get a better understanding of what skills you can bring to the table. Personally, I can manage the project and create graphic designs and page layouts. My skills in Photoshop are expert. I have very minimal programming knowledge, mostly limited to dream weaver and small code changes. But, I can, and do learn fast with a good teacher. What is needed: -We need programmers and coders that have experience in php, css, flash, html, etc. -Graphic Design help. If you can edit pictures or designs in Photoshop, we can use you. -Content Populators (Yes, I do believe I just made that word up)- Anyone and everyone with the ability to copy/paste content from the old site archives to the new site. Tedious work but simple enough for everyone to participate. At first thought, the new design could follow a 'blog' format and could be programmed with something like wordpress or blogger. I'm not married to this idea, nor do I know if it is the best way to do things. That is where I need you to step in. If you have web experience and would be willing to work on team 'Project WWM' please contact me. Since we are spread out across the US I'd like to arrange a phone conference call between all the volunteers sometime in the beginning of October to have our first brainstorming session. I hope this idea excites you and you find it in your heart to jump on board. I estimate this project could take at least eight months to accomplish due to our busy schedules and the sheer amount of information to input. BUT IT IS DOABLE. Please reply to this email with your skills and contact information, I'll begin the list. Additionally, if you know anyone willing to volunteer for this worthy cause please feel free to forward this email along to them. Kindest Regards, Jessica L. Timko www.creativesoup.com

Re: WWM extreme makeover  09/29/08 Wow. If you think people have different and passionate opinions on politics and religion, just open a conversation about web page design! About the only thing people agree on is that the average net surfer has evolved the attention span of a gnat, so the page has to be clear and simple enough to load quickly. The biggest problem we in the computer business face is that we program on Quad Xeon machines with 4Tb of memory and 40 inch HD monitors connected to multiple T-1 lines with the latest version of everything ..... so NOTHING fails to work, load or be readable by us. Then we deploy in the field and find that what looks so pretty and works so fast on an HD monitor with dual Gforce SLI cards ... doesn't look so well or load very fast on Dad's Pentium 2 on an AOL dial-up connection ... and he has fish too. The US Government once sent me a document instructing me, among other things, "to travel between floors in elevators only in buildings having elevators", so normally the last place I look for help with anything is the government. I'm just happy I don't get all the governing I pay for. That said, here's a site they publish that is actually quite good and very informative. http://www.usability.gov/pdfs/guidelines.html Regards, Darrel <Who paid, was robbed for this? Oh... RMF>

Re: WWM extreme makeover  09/29/08 A great idea. The site does look cluttered. I am willing to help to the best of my abilities. Perhaps we could start with a re-design of the home page. Anyone have any ideas or know of any sites that we could pattern it after? Maybe use key elements from several different sites. Ease of navigation is key, along with pleasing colors and easy to understand text and choice of wording. What kind of features would work the best on the homepage?  Mike Kaechele <Thank you Miguel. Dork/Dave Lathrap has been working on some innovations. Dave, do you have the new HP mock-up to show/share? BobF>

Re: Project WWM  09/29/08 Jessica-- I'm grateful to you for taking this on... I wish I had the courage and knowledge/skill to do so myself. I'm a little scared/concerned... worrying that things might change too much. But if Bob trusts you, we all should... Best, Sara

Re: Project WWM  09/29/08 Sara, I completely understand where you are coming from, and I truly think there has to be a better way to organize/do things for this site. The great thing about what I¹m proposing is that we won¹t make a single change to the current website until all parties have tested the new format and find it without fault. If in the end, we¹ve created something inferior to the current site, it never has to see the light of day. Im willing to devote the time and effort because I think it can be done. In response to Mike Kaechele¹s comment about a new homepage...I think it will only band-aid the problem as most people only spend 1.5 seconds (estimate) on the homepage. Just long enough to click through to their topic of interest. It will make everything shiny and pretty for sure, but I kinda don¹t want to get people excited about any possible changes until we are certain we can do something of some substance for them. But I totally agree with the thought, new homepage is a definite need.

WWM extreme makeover   9/29/08 Hi Bob, I have a C-R-A-Z-Y idea I'm sure...but I thought I'd throw it out to you anyway. I know that you are comfortable with the website as it is currently designed, but THE BIGGEST complaint I hear is that it is so hard to read and concentrate on because of the format. <Oh, not a crazy idea at all... nor new!> It gives people headaches. I'd like your permission to theorize a better way of doing things, most likely with a blog type set up. <Yay!> My plan would be to brainstorm with any of the crew that might have the programming knowledge and get a feasible idea determined. Then, hopefully myself and a team of volunteer programmers can work at getting a new site structure. We'll then have to input all the old FAQ's and articles into the new setup, but that is a simple task of cut and paste. This wouldn't be a quick project by any means, and rightfully could take the better part of a year to finish. I think it will be worth it and if planned correctly there wouldn't have to be any downtime on the site. We could have a fully functional redesign made and just flick the switch and have it running one day instead of the old site. <Thank you, thank you, thank you... repeat> What are your thoughts? And before you say anything...I know you must have been approached with this idea many times over the years, but I really feel its something I could actually accomplish with the right support. Jessica L. Timko <I say, let's go! WWM will help pay as much as it can for such work. BobF>

Re: Dwarf seahorses and Gorgonians   8/29/08 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Ms. Leber> Please don't think I'm being facetious here when I say how Thrilled I was to receive a response from you! I took a chance and wrote thinking maybe someone might answer me in time but the very next day I have a reply from you! It's like hearing from God. <Mmm, no. He's much older. Heeeeeee!> You know he's there but wayyy to busy to answer the likes of you. Thank you so much for your reply. I'm taking all of your advice. I just hope I'm in time to save the ponies. They seem fine but if the tank crashes....... <Yes> I just wish it was easier to gather the correct info at the start. From now on I'm coming to WWM 1st. I researched for 6 months before setting up this tank and it seems that everything I have done was incorrect. <Best to keep an open mind... with a modicum/dose of suspended belief and a smidgen of cynicism> Thank you again from the bottom of my heart & the hearts of 7 tiny ponies! You should be dipped in GOLD! <Yikes! Let's wait a while please. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Site Suggestion - 8/12/08, SaraM  8/22/08 Hello Jackie, Yes, it would be most excellent to have help with the summaries/bullet points. There are thousands that could be done. I suggest to you (and anyone who wants to help) to simply pick the FAQs pages which interest you the most, read the queries and pull out key points/highlights. If you have the time/desire to do this, you can simply send them to me via email and I will post them on the page indicated for which they were written. It would be most appreciated... whatever you're capable/willing to do. Every little bit helps/adds up... Thank you, Sara M.

Praise to you on your WetWebMedia    8/14/08 Bob Fenner. Congratulations on the continuing success of  WetWebMedia. It is truly an incredibly extensive and wide ranging  site. You are providing a remarkably good service to aquatic animal  keeping. And you are obviously continuing to be very very busy. <High praise indeed coming from you Dr. Bob. And very glad to find you still involved in ornamental aquatics. I am given to understand that you had sold Kordon-Novalek> I am continuing to pursue R & D for our company (now transferred over  to Kordon LLC from Novalek) and am involved among various projects of  researching probiotics for fish keeping. Do you have or know about  where to go for leads on those pursuing this  topic? Experts? Successful providers of products in  probiotics? Any ideas you or others might have on directions to pursue? <Mmm, yes... I would ask George at: Bassleer Biofish, www.bassleer.com and esp. the mother/daughter owners of Preis-Aquaristik www.aquaristik-preis.de   I do think the folks at Eco Lift have some work going on in this field as well. There are some great innovations "coming right up" for our industry in this field, but the hurdles of application, testing, certification by gov't agencies... I don't look forward to> I would be much obliged for any help you can provide. Best regards. /.R3 <Hope to see you about Dr. Rofen, Bob Fenner>

A suggestion from a WWM Viewer...    8/12/08 Good day to you, Crew! I read through all the input pages, but did not see this/my suggestion among them. I realize that questions are currently submitted via email, but was wondering about the feasibility of creating a form for those submitting questions to fill out regarding tank stats. Too often, the people asking questions do not provide enough information to even begin to answer their questions effectively. Perhaps having the form will: a) Provide you with information you usually need/ask for b) Help the person to realize that these stats should be known/tested for, and that this information could be relevant to the discussion c) Reduce the need for them to write you back just to provide missing information, saving time in email volleys (and precious volunteer hours!) In my mind's eye, there would be a brief explanation at the top asking for the information, and the last box on the form would be where the question was entered. Then the user would simply click a "Submit" button at the bottom, and the whole thing would be submitted to you, as usual, through the email address. What do you think? Cheers, Jackie <<I actually think this is a superb idea. Its very easy to create this form, and make it available for people to use. We can add all the pre-requisites that we would like people to give us, like tank stats, stock, lighting etc etc...created an example form here. http://www.aztecwebdesign.co.uk/tempcontact.htm ... Just temp test fields, but you get the general idea. The form I created there, can be easily be put into a WWM Submission page. save the user having to use an email client, and all emails that arrive in the WWM crew inbox are formatted the same. Upon submission, a new web page will be presented to the user to inform them that their query has been submitted, and look out in the dailies page in the next 24 - 48 hours, or something similar.. Tis just a though. By the way, if you do fill it out and click send, you'll just be re-directed to one of my sites. so, no need to send anything. he he he Andrew>>

Sounds like more trouble/complexity than it's worth (imo). You'd have to have a different "form" for each different type of question. For example, I'd rather not everyone emailing in with a fish/coral/critter ID come with a lot of extra info we don't need about their tanks. And I don't even want to imagine the potential trouble with formatting stuff for posting it on the web... Call me a grouch, but I still think WWM is fine the way it is. I think it could benefit from some of the more trafficked FAQs pages having summaries/bullets written for them (as I've mentioned before)... and maybe a few improvements to general appearances/layout might be good. But aside from that... as the saying goes "if it ain't broke..." Sara M. Sorry for the misspelling in this... it's the vog, I swear. :-)

Thanks Neale....he he he....I never spell checked it... :P A row of radio buttons is not a problem to do.. That drop down list does not specify which email box it goes too, as all enquiries will continue to arrive into the main crew inbox. I see your point on the water chemistry fields...easy to manipulate these to which ever configuration we desire. Certain fields appearing, would have to explore, play with.. Andrew On Tue Aug 12 11:38 , Neale Monks sent: Looks great to me! Personally, I'd like to make "nitrite" and "pH" mandatory, but I understand that's unrealistic...I'd tend not to go with the Tank "type" pull-down menu though -- a bit complicated some of the options (and you spelled paludarium wrong, ;-)). Rather, how about a row of radio buttons at the top, for marine/fresh/brackish/pond and leave it at that. Makes it easier to send messages to the appropriate Incoming mailbox. Maybe simply have a "water chemistry/water quality" field for people to type in their readings, whatever they have. For freshwater people, especially newbies, the calcium, alkalinity, etc fields will be confusing. Conversely, some things like salinity will be particularly relevant, e.g., for brackish stuff. Is there any way to make certain fields appear when either marine or freshwater or whatever options are chosen? Cheers, Neale

The form is a great idea - why did we never think of that? o.O A water chemistry box would probably work best, though we suggest they include (at minimum) ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, temp, and salinity (if applicable) and preferably at least calcium if it's a reef aquarium. To reiterate, this is a really good idea. Mike <Mmm, do want to mention a bit of pertinent history re this approach... Actually how WWM came about principally... Used to be, in the mid 90's I was paid help to Flying Fish Express (an early etailer in our interest) answering queries for their customers... I'd suggested making... a site/WWM... with graphics/pix, and articles proffering more full answers, examples... They went the route of having folks "fill out a form" much as this here... and having the computer sort through previous responses... Folks hated this sterile, non-personalized method... and I can't say I blamed them. BobF>

A few things which may not be apparent here...The form email would just arrive in exactly the same way as they do already....no different....The difference being, is we are providing a nice clean feature for "askers" to provide logical information, which is of a great help to responders. I would save us a lot of back and forth, extracting info from askers when dealing with their query, as it would all be there....Of course, its simply an option for askers, as the normal email route would still be available....No different forms for different types of questions....all a member does is select their tank type from either the radio or drop down list menu....If they submit info we don't need, then, we would just ignore it, as we would do anyway if the asker types it in the email to us....see no difference there... I agree with Mike, whilst WWM is stunning resource, little idea's like this do move us, as whole unit, forward with internet life, which effectively, what this is... Just my thoughts... Andrew

The form wouldn't have to be the only means of contact, and the form could be submittable with blank sections (wouldn't *require* all of the information) and it wouldn't even need to be submitted to a category (it would still appear in our inbox and we could categorize as we do) by the user.  It may be a helpful addition, or maybe not, but I don't think it could hurt.  Also, "if it ain't broke" leaves you in the stone age at some point!  Where would humanity be if we all thought like that? (/shameless prod) Mike

Re: A suggestion from a WWM Viewer... DarrelB pops in    8/13/08 Me again. As a computer professional for the last 25 years I dislike computers in general and computer forms & searches intensely. <Ahh, we share this> Not only is it sterile and impersonal but because computers are orders of magnitude less intelligent than most people (national politicians aside) people are usually dissatisfied with the results of the Bot Responses. So what's the problem, since we're not talking about Bot responses (ie EBay's laughable 'contact us' concept)? The problem is that nowadays, people see a computer form and they ANTICIPATE frustration and just leave the site entirely. There are metrics on this, but I don't have them available. People dislike computers that interpose themselves between human communications, period... and your form would APPEAR to be doing that. Here is something -- You've all probably discussed this and I just failed to catch the thread - Why not get rid of the FAQ section as it is now and use the incoming FAQ letters to create seeds for the Forum board? <Interesting... have envisioned something like "Wiki fish" for some time... this is part> Just as someone currently places the incoming Q's under email topic mailboxes, instead they'd place each incoming FAQ as a new thread on a Forum under it's top level (fresh/marine/pond/reptile/industry, etc.) where it would be seen real time, could be answered by staff or even other members. This way, people who feel comfortable signing up for bulletin boards could post directly, people who are only email literate could still ask questions the old fashioned way (when did EMAIL become 'old fashioned'???) and ... depending on the details of the forum (the devil really IS in the details, but I've seen all this done) -- the forum produces a 'highlights & headlines' top thread all by itself which is a link to the top of every thread at the time STAFF ONLY has made a response... which is essentially the current daily FAQs. Just a thought. Another thought: This Door To Be Unlocked During Business Hours? "Bob, I  gotta say man ... unlocking that front door improved sales significantly! > Let's do that EVERy day!" <Hotay. And I'm getting IN the plane, not ON the plane. BobF>>

Re: Site Suggestion   8/13/08 I apologize in advance, as I know this is not the BB, but wanted to clarify my earlier suggestion and was not sure where/how to do that other than this way. <No worries> As Mike said, not all of the fields would have to be mandatory. There is no reason to include tank stats if you're simply writing in a site suggestion or asking for help with an ID, for example. I can also see where Bob is coming from about the form appearing more sterile, but the information included allows the crew to customize a response even more because they'll know more about the specifics of that tank when they need to. The key, I believe, is getting readers/users to understand what information is needed in order to provide a more useful answer. Forms in general do not fit every situation but since everything will still be submitted and replied to via email, you still have the flexibility to "do what ya gotta do," so to speak. <Am in total agreement with the thrust/purpose of the suggested "form" use, but again, there is historical precedent with this very application against the use of form-filling out demand> Thank you all for listening to this idea. Whether or not it's implemented, it is nice to know that the feedback is welcome. -Jackie <Thank you for this input. Bob Fenner> PS: Sara M., if you want help with those bulleted points, please let me know. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. <Will send along to her>  

Re: Navigation (was: WWM... what say you?)   8/11/08 Hello Guys, If I might chime in here... I don't think WWM is easy to navigate for visitors starting at a low level of expertise. For example, it depends on you having some idea of fish taxonomy. If you are interested in Glassfish for example, you would need to know that they are an "advanced" fish group so that you can go from the Freshwater start page to the Livestock 2 page where the Glassfish topics are arranged. Then some stuff is arranged in seemingly random places. Why, for example, is "Functions of Body Slimes of Fishes" on the Behaviour section of Aquatic Science? Why is "Quarantine" on Livestock 1 in the Freshwater section, where most of the other articles cover taxonomic groups. Why not put it in Freshwater Maintenance, or Set-Up for that matter. Other times things have cryptic titles. My article on Freshwater Chemistry is accessed via a link Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality under the Water Issues topic! Conversely, hardly anything on the Freshwater Set-Up page seems to actually be addressed simply as "water chemistry". (I confess to not having looked over the Marines section much, and apologise if the Freshwater domain is somehow less representative.) Now, I accept that nothing I've said here stops a person from using Google. But if a web site can ONLY be accessed efficiently via Google, then there's something wrong with its layout or design. So what needs to be done? For a start, WWM needs ground-upwards navigation plan. If I might give an example close to my heart, on my own web site there's a navigation bar running along the top that leads to pull down menus that go directly to the various sections. Doing the same thing on WWM for the hundreds of pages wouldn't be possible, but you could CERTAINLY have a navigation bar that led to the Daily FAQ page, the Freshwater subsections, the Marine subsections, and so on http://homepage.mac.com/nmonks/ To avoid being simply a critic rather than a helper, let me make it plain to Bob that I'm more than willing to help develop the site to the next level. I do have Parallels up and running on my MacBook Pro, so installing and using Windows software (if that's what you're using) is certainly an option. Otherwise I'd be happy to go through the site and aggregate articles into more logical subsections prior to devising some more straightforward navigation system such as the one described above. Cheers, Neale <Please do Neale. You have access, and I am thereby more in your debt. BobF>

Mandarin and Comment on WWM 8/9/08 Dear Bob and Crew, <Andy> Hope you're having a good weekend. <Yes!> I am thinking of adding a Mandarin to my 110g display. It has been setup for 17 months, and has 95-100 lbs of live rock and a 1-2" course aragonite substrate. I also have about 10 lbs of live rock rubble in my sump, and a 30 gallon refugium with a 4-5" DSB, 15-20 lbs of live rock and a huge amount of Chaetomorpha. I feel I have a very healthy population of pods. I have done a lot of research on the needs of these animals and feel that my tank is a pretty good candidate. The other fish in my tank would likely not compete with a Mandarin--a Sailfin Tang (I know . . ), a Kole Tang and a Royal Gramma (my very beloved Black Sailfin Blenny is, I hope, somewhere hiding in my sump, as he was chased by the Kole Tang into my overflow, and when I tried to rescue him, he jumped over the top of my pre-filter sponge and down the overflow log flume--at least I assume, as I've thoroughly scoured the carpet and my cabinet for fish jerky and have found none). <If he is still around he could be one of many fish, this is quite a general name. One 'sailfin blenny' in particular to watch out for is Exallias brevis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm.> My tank is an SPS dominant tank, with a few mushrooms, a Candy Cane and some tree corals. So, now to my question. I was researching about quarantine protocol for Mandarins on WWM, and, as one might expect, found varying answers. Many of the Crew say an abbreviated QT (2 weeks) is fine given the thick mucous coat, others say the normal QT is appropriate, and BobF says "I wouldn't quarantine Callionymids". <I don't/would not either.> So, who's right and why? Maybe there is no "one" answer, and only I can make the decision based on how it looks, where it came from, and the amount of risk I'm willing to take (I can already see Bob's "<Bingo!> being typed . . . ). <Bingo, yes, you will have to assess that the fish is healthy, otherwise do not buy it.> I realize that WWM is a collection of a bunch of people who have different ideas/practices, which is what, in part, makes WWM so great, but these differences sure do make it hard to make choices sometimes. I can't help but think, is an abbreviated QT really all that beneficial other than maybe giving yourself the chance to train the fish on frozen foods--either give it a full 4-6 week QT or don't, because anything "bad" (e.g., ich, some other parasite/disease) may not manifest itself in 2 weeks. <But if you cannot (and likely won't) train the fish, this is a period of fasting, starvation and stress for the fish.> Now for my comment. I know that things are posted over and over again on WWM, but as you guys/gals frequently state there are X thousand of posts/articles to wade through and many differing opinions within. I really believe it would helpful if responders made sure to give reasons for a response. <The huge majority of responses are based on previously archived queries or articles.> I will say that most of the time, responders do provide ample justification for posts. And, please don't take this as any slight to BobF, who has helped me tremendously over the past 17 months, but the statement "I wouldn't QT the mandarin" really just offers an opinion without a justification. <But there is: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm, particularly the disease portion.> I'll analogize the need for a justification to your constant reminder to us that you need a poster's tank parameters, because, without those, you often find it very difficult to adequately address/answer a question. Without the justification to an opinion, I find it very hard to make an informed decision. I realize you guys/gals are very busy and do this for free, and I also realize (as stated above) that if I researched long enough I could put opinions and justifications together and come up with why I think so-and-so said "I wouldn't do X". <Exactly, they are there!> Just a suggestion to make our research burden a little easier and WWM a little better. Cheers, Andy <Thank you Andy, it is not only a matter of time for us, but for the readers of WWM. If the same thing is archived many times, it is just that much to mull over to find what a person is looking for. Scott V.>

Re: Mandarin and Comment on WWM 8/10/08 Thanks, Scott. I hope you weren't yelling at me through the use of "!" :-). <Oh no way!!!> A couple thoughts. If "it's there!", then why so many different opinions by the Crew on QT of Mandarins (or of anything, really)? That was my point--yes, there are MANY answers/opinions on WWM and it is our job to read them, research, learn and make decisions. <Yes, many opinions, many ways of doing things. It is a reader's responsibility to apply the knowledge to their own specific situation. People are urged to write in if something is not clear or unanswered pertaining to them after such a search.> That can really be achieved only if we can assemble (and find) complete viewpoints.. I would argue that it doesn't take much time to write "because these animals have a thick slime coat and generally don't carry disease, and don't do well/starve in QT", and that doing so 1500 times doesn't make WWM less usable (I realize the answer isn't always this simple . . .). In fact, I would argue the opposite--that not providing reasoning makes WWM less useful because doing so makes it very hard for us to consider opinions and/or find the answer. <I understand/agree, explaining the reason is imperative. My statement was geared towards stating it time after time. This does clutter up and degrade a persons ability in the search engine provided. The first X many pages will be the same response. > As you can appreciate, all of us have to mull through many posts/articles and many of those aren't exactly on point. Thus, we must all take as much away from a post as possible for use in our situations. <Readers do learn much more than they first intended in the process, a good thing.> When we don't hit the jackpot by finding "the" answer (or even when we do), it makes it all the more important for reasons or references (I see Bob F frequently requests that the Crew provide refs). <He does, we generally try to.> I have no problem mulling through everything posted--in fact I enjoy it very much. <I do too! (Not yelling)> But, as a user of WWM and someone who considers himself somewhat intelligent/able to synthesize info, I can tell you that searching for info on WWM is sometimes frustrating. <<Heee! Try assembling, building, re-making it. RMF>> <I must disagree. I personally think WWM is very easy to navigate. It is laid out well with a very effective search engine at the bottom of each page. Using a simple control (or Apple/Command) F on an individual page will take you straight to the keywords you are looking for (with most browsers).> Again, I wasn't/am not criticizing--just trying to give an outsider's viewpoint on how maybe the site could work better. <I totally understand. The struggle is making so much information easily findable/accessible. Fact is there are many queries/articles to go through (this is what makes the site so special), but you do have to go through them and 95%+ of the time you will find what you are looking for. Scott V.> <<Thank you both for your input to this very important issue. I don't know... what avenue we might actually "take" (as in nothing is decided till it's done) here... My current direction is to urge, write more articles... that proffer more "raw" background and the "justification"/rationale for much of at least my or the other writers' positions on "giving advice". Per actual responses though, again, there is just insufficient time to pen all this each time... And an argument can/could be made that the majority of folks writing in (though not us three) simply don't want to be so informed/bothered... Unrelated: Am amazed at how dumbed-downed Americans are in particular re such... being told folks are "terrorists", so they must be murdered, our economy ruined, we're not patriotic if we protest... Sans demands for proof... but back to petfish... My real request to you (all) is to ask for such if interested, provide such if a writer. BobF>>

Re: Mandarin and Comment on WWM   8/11/08 Dear Scott, <Hi Andy.> Don't get me wrong--WWM is VERY easy to use and is very well organized, and the search engine is second to none. Finding the subject matter you're looking for is quite easy/simple. When I said that using WWM can sometimes be frustrating, I meant only that sometimes (1) there are many conflicting posts by the Crew and (2) one comes across the issue I mentioned previously of not being able to understand the basis for an answer. For example, the disease portion of the Mandarin link that you sent (I did read this before posting, of course) does not address my initial question as your original response implied--in fact, I would argue that one would come away from that thinking you should QT a Mandarin, as the passage states only that they are not immune to ich and should be treated with environmental manipulation when infected. So, in my particular situation, I must necessarily rely on posts addressing the issue, and that is where I got frustrated because of the differing opinions and sometimes no rationale therefore. <I do understand/agree.> I think we've adequately addressed that subject so I won't harp on it. <Again, we agree!> In many/most cases, the answer is staring you in the face (e.g., Bob's piece on Kole Tangs specifically addresses QT). Anyway, all of you do a great job and provide, in my opinion, an invaluable service. I look so forward to reading the daily postings to see what issues are out there and to learn something new. Have a great weekend, and thanks for taking the time to chat. Andy <Thank you Andy, it is always a pleasure, Scott V.>

Question for something useful? WWM project... volunteer     8/8/08 Hi there! <Ho there! We're as happy as can be... M I C...> I love reading the website, and got this idea after reading the FAQ about the 3 tangs in a 90-gallon tank...the day after a friend's grandson mentioned doing the same! <More evidence of quantum convergence, or a bit of undigested potatoe...> Summer is almost over for my son, so I have dreams of copious amounts of spare time... <Ah summer, ah dreams... now, where were we?> and of course they're filling rapidly. Here is one of the things I thought might be a useful ting to fill them with please tell me if it is something useful for this site, or would be better off on the Bulletin Board. <Will do...> After reading how often people ask about/show inappropriate tank sizes for their fish, I thought that a page summarizing fish might be good. I know in today's world, people often want to read as little as possible about their topic, and the three primary bits of information people seem to want/need to know about a fish are: minimum tank size, quarantine procedure (since some fish are better off not being quarantined), and then a link to the article on the site that details the fish. <Do agree> Does that sound like something reasonable? <Yes...> Or is that something that would negate people searching properly for the information? <Possibly a concern, issue> If it is something worthwhile, I would be willing to make a stab at it - I would start with a few fish, see if it works, and then continue working on it (I will base the information on what I read on WetWebMedia). <Any, all good ref.s will do> I know there are literally hundreds of fish - <... tens of thousands> but some groups can be done by family (for example the Amblygobius gobies), <Yes> others need individual links, so I thought the best fish to start with (based on people's apparent desire to stuff them into too-small tanks) would be mandarin gobies and some other sand-sifting gobies, tangs, angels, and some other big fish - I am very open to suggestions of which other fish suffer small tanks too often. Here is what I was thinking: Column 1 - Fish name (common & Latin - at least the family, in case of groups that fit the category) Column 2 - - Quarantine necessary (or alternate procedure) - Minimum tank size below which to not even consider it - If needed for that fish, one hint that would radically help the survival of the fish (e.g. refugium, algae to graze on, etc.) - WetWeb page link to read more about it. Feel free to shoot down the idea, or if you have a better organizational idea, I am open to it. I love the website, and use it lots - and would hope this helps pay back some of the tremendous amounts of knowledge I have gathered over the past 2 years (been in the saltwater hobby 3, but didn't find this page until 1 year in). Thanks tremendously, Kerstin:-) <Mmm... I really would like your help here... Want to encourage you to proceed... Will post your input... Bob Fenner> Favourite (favorite!) books   8/5/08 Hello all,  I'd like to create a page where we can keep a list of essential books for WWM visitors. The idea is that when we want to send someone off to read a book on whatever, we have a fixed page to send them to. I was thinking of arranging by topic: maybe community tropicals, ponds, plants, goldfish, cichlids, basic marines, reef tanks, corals, general invertebrates for starters.> > Inexpensive, introductory titles ideally. We can then link to Amazon, if that's helpful. <Good idea... I do believe Amazon even has some sort of commission/payment for such referrals that generate sales. BobF, who will get his list tog.> So, please send in any book titles you'd like me to add, and maybe tell me what category it'd go under. Cheers, Neale

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 read like 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 with the 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 cooler way 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 order to 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 in a 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: A bit more on what WWM is, is not   8/04/08 Aww, c'mon, my generation remembers where we were when the Columbia disaster occurred... <Heeee! Surely you must be joking Dr. (Richard) Feynman> Searching WWM for specific things can be time consuming, but definitely not more so than writing and email and waiting for a response. While I do agree with you to a point regarding Google's caveats, most of the time I don't even need the Google search for the (many) times I consult WWM - a bit of link following and then a quick crtl+f in my browser, and I search the appropriate FAQ page for the term by name (I just found the answer to a question I had about Zebra Moray feeding in less than ten seconds for instance, no Googling required). I'll admit, my attention span is about 1/3rd of a gnats online - I'd get pissed at a quantum computer for being too slow. However, even I don't expect a free, volunteer service to spit out an answer to all of my problems in a blink of an eye, and it's unrealistic for our readers to expect this, as well. <I won't disagree... though I've experienced this from others> My take on input emails? If a reader made an actual effort and still couldn't find out what they needed, or they're still stuck in a gray area, they should by all means send a (grammatically correct, spell-checked, well structured) email and we will do our best to either point them in the right direction, or answer the question directly. Bob does make an excellent point though - this is a volunteer service read by thousands of readers, and we need not cater to those we don't wish to (for whatever reason). Mike Maddox <Thanks for sharing. BobF>

Re: CA, August 2008   8/4/08 Bob,> > That was a subtle hint for you to pen something. Fair and square, set > out your stall. Perhaps a bit of history as well. Nothing fancy, maybe > a couple hundred words?> > Cheers, Neale <Will this work? BobF> > > On 3 Aug 2008, at 18:08, Robert Fenner wrote:> > > > How about an Op/Ed on what the FAQ Service is and isn't?> > <Mmm, who would pen this?>>
Hello and welcome to WetWebMedia.com. Rest assured we very likely can and will help you'¦ with information, inspiration, concerning your aquatic questions, concerns. We ask that you take a few moments here, in reading re what we offer and what we ask in turn, before simply writing us via email:

What WWM Is and Is Not:

WWM is not a bulletin board (bb), chatforum'¦ We do have one: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/

To write in, share ones ideas, discuss on a one to one basis with (unqualified) folks of similar mind.

WWM is not a purposeful advocate or detractor for particular products, manufacturers, brands'¦ We are at liberty to state what we have found works, and doesn't (this is a privately held property), and do, out of necessity, damn/condemn certain lines, individual products and actions, as well as praise (as individuals) those that we find laudable. In turn, we will post queriers' input re the same. However, we have nothing to sell, no palms to grease, no axes to grind. You may find us prompting a given sponsor, their products, but you will almost always find folks being "plugged" along side them who have no affiliation with WWM. The opinions expressed by all here are just that, individual insights, views. Accept them as such, or if you disagree, write in and we will post your alongside.

WWM is not an all-inclusive resource, guide or text book. Though we try to provide direction, steps to completion for many "action plans", it is not our intent, purpose, nor even a practicality that we can/could function as an "all, everything" site for any given, broad topic, type of system. Instead, it is our desire to "fit between" such good in-print reference works and their users (you), proffering additional information, explanation, ideas re applications.

What WWM IS is a reference work, developed/built and maintained by fellow aquarists of demonstrated background, offered free to the public.

All we ask of you is that you first look/search and read what is posted on our site re your topic/subject ahead of writing us, and that if you do write, that you make an effort to do so in proper English, not in all capitals, proof-reading what you send to assure it expresses what you have in mind clearly. Know that many hundreds of thousands of folks will read/use your effort/s over time.

As of this writing (2008), twenty to thirty some thousand people use WWM daily'¦ we indeed want to supply ready, useful reference to help, inspire others. With your assistance, this becomes real. Do write us if you find that your issue/s are not sufficiently detailed or specific to your situation; otherwise, I assure you, the way that WWM is arranged and inclusive, much direct and ancillary information of use to you is likely to be found.

Bob Fenner, common progenitor

Trouble in paradise, WWM Crew "Arguing" 7/22/08 Hi everybody, <Allen> First I would like to say I love the WWM site. You folks put up with a lot, and give a lot. I really appreciate it. I have learned just enough to be dangerous, <Am still working my way towards this...> and still learning through others experiences. Lately, however, I have noticed a squabble of sorts developing. I have seen emails between members questioning their sincerity, motives, etc. Even some limited bashing of each other. <Mmm, yes... as the person who posts most all/everyday, I have opted most times to include such "goings on" here... to show... the human side of WWM... it is a community... as well as seek input, vision/direction for improvement. Not only amongst the current Crew, but from folks as yourself> I have been reading here for a bit over a year and a half, and asked a few questions. I heave read many many responses to Joe reader questions, and think everyone here has the best interest at heart. But guys, your airing your dirty laundry in public. Take it "into the office" so to speak. I think the forums are a great idea, and I love the question/answer format as it is currently. I don't know the reasons these emails are public, <Really... my decision... and at times, borderline> I think they really should be between all of you. It's your web site, but we (the Joe readership) come here to try and get help, not here the "intra office squabbling". No offense intended, I just prefer to read about how to get rid of my algae problems, not about who thinks who is not sincere. That kind of reading can lead to the loss of Joe readerships confidence in the crew. You guys are really great, don't screw it up by arguing and bashing each other in public. Take it behind closed email. Respectfully my own humble opinion. Thanks, A loyal "Joe Reader". <Thank you for your input JR. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Trouble in paradise, WWM Crew "Arguing"    7/23/08 Hi everyone, I totally agree with the responder below, I feel that these internal issues would likely be better left out of the public arena (or at least away from the daily Q&A's).  I know that I have personally withheld some of my opinions/views from the regular crew-mail for exactly that reason.  I think it undermines people's confidence in us as a cohesive unit and does little to contribute to the site.  Don't get me wrong, I do understand and support the desire to keep everything out in the open, but perhaps we could file/store these messages directly into a section regarding the crew and subject at hand?  They would still be available on site, but wouldn't be posted with daily inquiries from the hobbyists, etc.  Although I think this would be better, I can see the potential for big problems in determining what crew-mail should and should not be posted at the dailies.  There's the rub.  Do you post all crew-mail elsewhere, or do you filter through the content of each and weigh the pro's and con's of posting? That could take a *lot* of time, and I don't think Bob, or anyone helping, needs or has that! The only way to streamline it would be to make it all or none, and I'm not sure that's too great an option either.  The bottom line is that I don't have a concrete solution for this problem, but it does make me cringe to know that the public is seeing us work through some differences of opinion.  Then again, that's life - it happens.  -Lynn

Hmm... maybe I'm just clueless or blind/deft? ...daft? I don't know... but I was completely shocked by this reader's interpretation of that discussion. I didn't see any bashing or "arguing" (more like debating). I certainly wasn't bashing anyone (at least not intentionally or knowingly). I see us all as a family of sorts... with some back and forth to be expected. That said, whether or not our internal discussions should be public or not, I have no strong opinion one way or another... Best, Sara M.

<Yeah, I think the term "bashing" was taking it a bit far. We *are* like a family of sorts and that let's face it, we're going to have disagreements from time to time.  There's no way you can avoid it!  It doesn't mean we don't respect one another, we're just trying to work things out.> Best, Sara M. <You too, -Lynn>

<Yeah, I think the term "bashing" was taking it a bit far. We *are* like a family of sorts ...> You said it sista' :-P

Well. heard a few responses on this...To be honest, I am not surprised that someone who is not on the crew, or does not fully understand how tight knit we are here on WWM, can see this as arguing, rather than see the crew debating on an issue.... My thoughts....Hmmm.....All site communications should be kept out of the public eye, I.E just placed on separate WWM pages which only the crew know where to find them...As I see it, I don't think the Joe Public need to see us debating on an issue, all they want to see is the end result, whatever it may be. However, on saying that, there are emails that should be placed on the dailies pages like new crew members joining us, meet ups , visits etc etc as the public would really like to know what the crew (as a team) are doing, who there is on the crew...etc etc.... Hmmmmmm.......Oh dear....brain working now...this sort of public info could also be posted on the forum in a new "Announcements and Meetings" section.....Oh bugger me, I've gone and done it now, there goes another suggestion for a forum section on WWM BB ........Geeez.... ;O) These are just my thoughts and opinion... Andrew

"My thoughts....Hmmm.....All site communications should be kept out of the public eye, I.E just placed on separate WWM pages which only the crew know where to find them...As I see it, I don't think the Joe Public need to see us debating on an issue, all they want to see I the end result, whatever it may be." I TOTALLY agree; what possible benefit is there from placing a discussion such as this in the public light? Doesn't make sense to me... Jorie

<So be it. B>

Further input re chatting by the WWM Crew being posted, ScottV 7/25/08 <On another note, probably better for the whole crew. The last day or two there has been much discussion regarding keeping crew correspondence out of the dailies. I for one am all for keeping the conversations in. <Ahh!> From my point of view it is just this, conversation. I have never seen anything I would regard as and malicious argument, just those articulating their points of views. Some readers may view it as malicious, there will always be someone, oh well. As a crewmember of less than one year and previously an avid reader of the dailies, I found the most astonishing and refreshing thing joining the crew was/is the openness of what goes on. This is one of the alluring aspects of WWM, and what separates us from the particular forum that has been referred to the last day or two. The particular forum is fine with your post so long as it does not impugn them or their high posters. People truly know who we are, where we come from, how we interact and why we give the advice we do. To me the interactions are part of our credibility. The ability to question each other, in public, is priceless. Take this away and you limit the public's view to who we truly are. My 2 PSI, take or leave. Anyway, I cannot wait to meet up in HI, gear ready and waiting, Scott V.> <Thank you for this input, sharing. I too am happy to show/express the human sides of WWM... it IS a community of individuals... working in semi-concert to all's benefit... and the public DOES actually benefit from awareness of our being also "just folk". Cheers, BobF>

I don't necessarily disagree with crew correspondence being put into the dailies, however if they are to be put there I think everyone should be made aware (which I assume they now are). It seems a lot of us/them were not aware. -Adam J. <Mmm, really... the "choice" of inclusion is just a matter of my briefly saving most all... not excising before posting to/as the Dailies... Oh, anyone want to come fwd and do this for a while? B>

I agree the screening of every email that ends up in our outgoing box would be too much to do. <Heeeee! We do agree... I try to review while checking for spelling, formatting issues, but often "find" items to comment on while re-posting... or splitting up FAQs files in SubFAQs... or... when folks write in to say summat's amiss. B>

I think ScottV makes some great points... agreed. -Sara M.

I'd like to just publicly thank Lynn for the hours of work she has put into the forum in the last day or two. Each topic forum now has it's own thread "stickied" to the top with the related WWM article and Faq's linked within the thread. This is a first and important move in integrating the forum to the main-site and improving it. Thanks Lynn! -Adam J PS  Please post in dailies :D <Ah, will do... Thank you both. BobF> <<Bob, Adam, you're very welcome.  We're just doing what we can to improve the site for everyone.  By the way, I also included the "Ask the WWM Crew a Question"/search engine link as well.  Between those options and the associated WWM links, we should be able to effectively help a lot of people.  Take care and have a great weekend. -Lynn>

Mac users... can't use WWM?  -- 07/08/08 Mac users cannot access this site. Hoping this can be addressed as there are many viewers that use Mac computers. The only way for Macs to access the site is if they are running windows on them. <Really? I am able to access the site/s on my Mac Pro... and we have many thousands of folks who do with Apple products daily... according to our stat.s servers... And some of the Crew use them... Am asking Sabrina re here. BobF>

Re: Mac users, WWM yeah none of the Mac here at work can access the site. only if they are on parallels and running windows. all the Macs here run on many versions of tiger and leopard <Umm, do take care... whoever is administering your network is blocking, likely detailing who you can/cannot access... Abdul>

"<Umm, do take care... whoever is administering your network is blocking, likely detailing who you can/cannot access... Abdul>" Indeed, this would be my assumption as well... Sara Re: Mac users, WWM 07/08/08 my Mac here run parallels so on the same computer and same network i can access the site via windows/parallels but not on Mac os (via the same computer and same network). so its not a network block. I've tried safari and Firefox on Mac os, but nothing. <I can't be sure, but I suspect you have a virus. This once happened to me on my Mac with the CNN.com site. It is odd... and I'm sorry, but I don't know how to fix it. I'd call Mac and ask them. As I'm sure you know, they have excellent customer service. Good luck, Sara M.>

Click to pay.. 6/13/08 Love the site and refer to it all the time. always tons to learn. just a few opinions/ideas <Thank you for these> 2 things - i just noticed the "click to pay" program. what about PayPal? i think a giant chunk of the world has a PayPal account.. i really don't want to go through the hassle of opening an Amazon account. but i will - but i think if you could do "one touch pay" with PayPal?..might be easier? heck I'd click it every time I'm on the site! <Dang! I'll have to look... is this an easy upload? We/WWM do have a PayPal acct.> 2nd.. how about a "return to top of page button?" i do read and read.. and i believe my pages per hour rating would substantially increase with a button like that.. <Sorry to be so lame... but will have to look at our web-authoring software/buttons... if it's there, I'll definitely add... Though I've become quite facile at stretching to the page up and Ctrl and Home keys (moved the mouse to the left years back)> and i lied.. 3rd thing'¦ default the Google Search button to the WWM setting? <I do wish this were easily done. Turns out we get a pittance from G for referrals and searches... So we use their pre-made script... which doesn't include such a limitation> but since finding this site the quality of life in my families 2 tanks has been tremendous! Peter Baron <Ahh, again, thank you for this input. Bob Fenner>

WWM Site Problems 6/10/08 Hey Bob, Don't know if anyone else has mentioned this but I am having all sorts of problems with the WWM site, lots of blank pages, the page format is there but no articles/FAQs. If I try again in a couple minutes I may or may not get the page to load, there does not seem to be any pattern. I've gotten the same result from a few different machines with different internet connections and same result, so I do not believe it is on my side. Unfortunately I don't know much more about this stuff than that. Anyway, hope all is well. Chris <Thank you for this Chris. I too am having/seeing the same issues/prob.s... and have ofttimes notified our ISP re... asking if we could pay for an upgraded svc., less folks on our server, whatever... They say no... am hoping that with going with/to the new CSS standards-based Web Expressions program (If/when I ever learn it), that much of this will be solved. Cheers, BobF>

Re: WWM Site Problems 6/10/08 I've noticed these things too... I think it has to do with browser compatibility issues with the CSS code (Bob, that's what the little red and yellow triangle are all about). I've been able to solve the problem with a given page or two, but I can't go through every page this happens with. I figure there must be a more elegant/global solution, but... maybe we need to find someone who has a more in-depth knowledge/understanding of Web Expressions. Best, Sara M. <Thank you for this... Am posting... hoping for help/input re. BobF>

Thanks 06/06/2008 Hello, <<Good Afternoon, Andrew here>> I just wanted to write and say THANKS!! <<WOW....Thank you very much indeed>> It's been just over 8 months now and I've learned a lot. <<Great news, we never stop learning, if not in the hobby, in life's experiences>> WWM has been a GREAT source for information. My system is not the best looking setup. <<I think it looks wonderful>> I don't have a lot of money and this setup is not my ideal setup. But I'm very proud of the health of the system considering this is the first time I've ever had fish. I've only lost a few fish and only one coral (blue Zoa). My system is 3 tanks all connected with one being the refugium sump. I also have a 6 gallon bucket with mangroves and a DSB. My favorite fish are still the first ones added; two TR clowns who have grown a lot and are now hosting xenia. I've attached some pictures. <<The fish and tanks look superb Jesse, well done on successful reef keeping thus far>> My fish thank you and I thank you. Jesse <<Jesse, many thanks for writing in with a message such as this. The whole team really appreciate these emails. Good luck in all your future reef keeping endeavours, and please do ask many more questions in the future. Good day. A Nixon>>

small font 5/22/08
Good afternoon crew. I was browsing through the FAQs to kill some time at work and I noticed a comment posted 5/20/08 regarding small font sizes on the FAQ page. Not sure if this would help those who are having issues, but if you hold the control button down on the keyboard while moving the mouse wheel (assuming you have one), this will adjust font sizes on all web pages, either smaller or larger. I hope this helps! <Thank you for this tip for our viewers. Hopefully we'll have these crazy font issues resolved soon!> Keep up the good work! Eric <Thanks, Sara M.> Problem with a web page 05/21/2008 Hi there! I love your site, but just wanted to comment that per a discussion with a write in today's FAQ, I went to the page on Powerhead Comparisons, specifically http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Powerhead_test/powerhead_comp.htm My problem occurred in two different browsers - Safari (I use a Mac) and Firefox. But the end of the article just wasn't formatted properly on either browser - the article and the graphics and the advertising were all on top of each other, making the article hard to read. <Yes, I/we are aware of this problem. I apologize for the inconvenience. I also use a Mac, Firefox and Safari. I'm quickly trying to learn enough about the CSS tags/issues to fix these problems. Right now, I know how to fix things on individual pages (for example, the dailies page should now be formatted correctly). I'm just not quite sure yet how to do it on every page.> I hope this helps - I saw that you're using a new Web editing software, and I know this website is humongous, so hopefully this page info helps. <Haha, yes, thank you... sometimes it gets a bit difficult to keep track of ~5k pages!!> Thanks, Kerstin:-) <Best, Sara M.> Teeny tiny type 05/20/08 Hi crew! All of a sudden your daily faqs are written in a variety of type sizes, mostly very small. Just a plea from those of us whose eyes are, shall we say, a little older than they used to be! It's a real hassle to keep adjusting the screen resolution! <I'm sorry about this. It's not intentional. We recently switched to a new site editing software and we're still trying to figure out how to work the CSS tags and browser compatibility (or lack there of) issues. This small font usually appears on Mozilla or Firefox. My apologies, please hang in there while I try to figure out how to fix it...> Thanks as always for an awesome site! Dianne (Michael's eyes are fine!)
No questions asked...05/15/08 Dear WWM Crew....Everybody..... I don't have a single question, today. I just wanted to say "thank you" for WWM and all that you do. <It's our pleasure.> I'm in the process of setting up a 180 and 60 with a shared refugium and a separate 50 quarantine tank. I've spent the last 6 weeks reading for many hours a day until the words start blurring together trying to do things the "right" way this time. How I wish WWM had been around 15 years ago before I had to re-plumb my 135 for the umpteenth time. The amount of reliable and experienced information your site contains is invaluable and could fill my old set of Encyclopedia Britannica's many times over. I didn't know about WWM a few months ago and was relying on several forums for often times misguided information. And when I did I also asked my fair share of "newbie" questions, even though I kept a reef many years ago. It took a while and some more reading to refresh my memory and get updated from the old days of the way we used to keep reefs. Sometimes it takes a while to find the solution to my dilemma but I have found that reading through all that information has given me knowledge that I never had before. I, like some others, was frustrated at first by having to read through so many inquiries to find my answer. Thinking to myself "why can't you just go to one page and find the best protein skimmer." And I remember why now. Just like when I worked at one of those LFS years ago, there is no one size fits all in the reef keeping world. <Ahem!> And sometimes you find out more when you read between the lines than by just reading the highlighted portions. So, for all those people that you have to roll your eyes as you read their emails, I thank you. Even if they do precede their argument with "all due respect". Nowhere else can a person have access to a group of experts with the knowledge and experience that you bring to our hobby. And for free! That is unheard of. No group of physicians would do what you do. Thank you for saving me thousands of dollars, hours of re-plumbing, days of trying to figure out why my Xenia won't eat, and giving me something worthwhile to do instead of watching TV all day long. Even if some of these idiots that don't know how to use a spell-checker or turn off their caps lock, don't appreciate all that you do, please know that I do. <It's certainly nice (and encouraging) to hear a voice of appreciation, thank you for sharing/expressing.> And so do the little critters in my current mini-reef and the ones I will have in my bigger tanks once I figure out every last detail before a drop of water ever touches the bottom of my tanks. <cool> I look forward to the day soon when I can send you my plan so I can get your official okee-dokee before I spend another dollar. <:-)> I hope that you all have a wonderful day, evening, morning or whenever you get this. I thank you so incredibly much, and so do my little wet critters. <Hehe... wonderful to hear from you Sandra, thank you for writing.> Sincerely, Sandra D. <Best, Sara M.> P.S. I found the link to donate to WWM, but it wouldn't take my $100 donation. It would only let me do $50. For all the money you have saved me, it wasn't nearly enough. <Again, thank you so much for your generous support (both in spirit and financially).> Oops...almost forgot to run my spell-checker!! <Hehee!> Attn Sara M.....Re: No questions asked... 5/16/08 Thanks again, Sara....I do have one small question that only you can answer. Why do they call taking care of your tank "husbandry"? This is 2008. I know "spousery" or "wifery" or "significant-othery" doesn't sound as good, but maybe our hobby language needs to jump into the 21st century like our technique has. <Hahaha... actually, IMO, the better question is, why are male spouses still called "husbands?" If you look up the etymology of the word "husbandry," it's not implying anything that must be male. It comes from "hus" (house, dwelling, home), + "bondi" (householder, dweller, peasant-farmer, etc). See here: http://www.etymonline.com/ So maybe it's actually the word "husband" you might want to object to, rather than "husbandry." ;-) > Considering us "reefer girls" are setting up and plumbing and caring for a lot of these tanks ourselves now-a-days, it only makes sense. <There are certainly more women coming into the hobby! However, if you've ever been to a IMAC or a MACNA, it's clearly still mostly men. Far be it from me to guess why. > Thanks again to all of you. <Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.> Sincerely, Sandra D. <Best, Sara M.>
Thanks Guys 05/14/08 Just a note to say thank you for your guys amazing site. <Welcome my/our friend. It is for your benefit (enjoyment and progress) we labor. Bob Fenner> We are novices, and purchased a 75g from the LFS as a good activity to share with my 6&* year old that love marine life.. We closely followed instructions from the owner and stocked based on his advice and what looked nice.. this worked fine until he had a Potter's Angel in the shop, and we left with him I stumbled on your site, after I purchased a Potter's Angel (named Harry!)from my LFS.. the owner of the LFS claimed it to be just as easy as a Coral Beauty to take care of.. After a few days of the fish not eating.. I went to the internet to research the problem.. After fining your site.. it was quite obvious what the problem was.. we were in over our head with the Potter's.. and the notes said if we returned it. it would surely die..Well the fish never ate lasted about 3 weeks..A shame.. If it were up to the LFS..we'd have tanks full of Potters' and other expensive exotic fish, and only check for Nitrate, PH, and Salinity.. But the good news is your site which I came across is unbelievable for information. We consult if before every purchase and to try to improve our husbandry practices.. The information we have gathered post Harry has definitely keep us from making poor selection decisions, and has tank quality of life .knock on wood..looking pretty good. I often have many questions, but search the WWM and come up with about 5 other people that have submitted the same question..So I really do have any other reason to write other that to say thanks for the help, and keep up the fantastic work! Best Regards, Peter Baron <<Thank you Peter>> Do my eyes deceive me? -05/13/08 Crew, I'm pretty knowledgeable about fungiid husbandry and this advice below from Adam Blundell is just plain irresponsible! <Yikes!> Just wanted to alert you on an error in your FAQ on fungiidae. It is located here - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidfaq2.htm Thanks, Steve <Thank you for catching this and bringing it to our attention. I will promptly add a note of correction/clarification. To be clear, as I'm sure you know, Fungia do well under strong lightly. However, it is not a good idea to place them on rockwork (they belong on flat surfaces, sand or crushed coral). Perhaps Adam was trying to say that if you have insufficient lighting, putting them up on rocks (closer to the light) might help get them the light they need (perhaps temporarily until proper lighting is obtained). Regardless, it's recommended to have the correct lighting to start with. Thanks again, Sara M.>

New bottom ad works!! 5/13/08 Many more views than the Glass-Holes ads! https://webapp.trafficfacts.com/login.php Login name: superbuzz Password: ******** <Ahh, will have to look at when at a better conn.> Although you can probably get the same info from your end and all this means little until you get back into descent web range.  Hope you are having a great time, looking forward to joining you soon, Scott V. <Thank you... I as well. B>

 New WWM page 5/2/08 Hello crew, This was Bob's idea... I compiled a page of pics from all the 21 marine algae FAQs pages. I didn't include all the photos (some are just too fuzzy/blurry to be too useful). Anyway, I think it might be useful for people who don't have a picture: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trialalgaeid.htm Best, Sara M. <Ahh! I'd like to see each of these images "framed" (a convention I suggest we adopt to designate that such graphics are linked/links as well)... sending folks to another page each... with more images of the same species/genus... with notes on identification, compatibility/control... BobF> <<Sounds good... please direct me to the photos you want added, specifically what comments/notes you'd like... I would be happy to add all this. Best, Sara M.>> <The pix are here... some scanned, most not... B>

A trio of items re WWM  5/1/08 Howdy! First off, welcome back Mac Lewis to the WWM Crew! Second, please be diligent re moving unanswered queries to your folders... Do so only if/when you intend to respond... for obvious reasons. Lastly, I am off on the sixth for three or so weeks... some of "us" are going along... MichelleM, JasonC... to the Red Sea and Interzoo in Germany. I hope/trust the Net will be steady, quick-enough, but SaraM has offered to try to move some of the dailies onto WWM in my apparent absence. DO please try to help by answering what you can every day... I'll be back recharged and with plenty of pix and video to share hopefully! BobF.

"baby steps" for WWM 4/27/08 Hello Bob, friends/crew, <Sara> A lot of my hobby friends complain about the presentation style of WWM (the use of queries, sometimes with many different topics in each). I've heard many times that it is a "pain" to try and pick out the "points" of each query, more so for whole pages of them on the FAQs pages. The complaint is that it just takes too long to find what one is looking for, what is there/what isn't (within the lists of queries/conversations which can be about several different things/animals). So, I thought of doing something like this perhaps... a box at the top of each FAQ page with bulleted "highlights"/main points. I did it for this one page, just to demonstrate: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm It only took <hour (for me). So, while I know there are hundreds <Thousands> of these pages, I still think it's quite possible to do this for every page. Then with each query added, one bullet point could be added (if needed/if useful). But, if y'all don't like it, I will take it off. Best, Sara M. <Is a wonderful idea... I encourage you to go ahead and add as you deem fit, have time. BobF>

<Thousands> ::shrug:: Is still quite possible/practical....IMO <Is a wonderful idea... I encourage you to go ahead and add as you deem fit, have time. BobF> Thanks, will do. Sara M.

'baby steps' for WWM 4/29/08 Hi Sara, <Hi Lynn> Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, I had a packed day! I just wanted to let you know that I do think what you're proposing is a good idea. I think anything that helps people find information quicker benefits us all - livestock and human alike! Let's face it, most people I'm sure come to our site, do their research and find what they need. However, there are those that can't find what they're looking for and write us instead or just leave. Sometimes it's because the information just isn't there yet. Other times it's there but the person either can't find it or has given up trying. That makes more work for all of us, and only increases the number of FAQ's in which we tell people, once again, to go look at such-in-such pages. <I agree...> I've asked myself more than a few times why people aren't finding the information that I know for a fact is there in black and white. Are these people just lazy? No doubt a few are, but not all. What I've noticed is that most seem to have made an effort, but were simply unsuccessful. Why is that? Is it due to a lack of patience and willingness to pursue answers when the process extends beyond a few minutes? <It probably just depends on the person/situation, what is sought...> Or do they just not know how to word a search through our Google engine? <Better META tags on all the pages would really help make search results better.> Perhaps some don't know about the "Edit"/"Find on this page" function on their computer and get frustrated reading through numerous pages of FAQ's. I can't imagine how much longer it would take me to research something without that one function. Then there are those that maybe English isn't their first language. We do have people from around the world visiting our site. Having brief bullets at the top of each FAQ page would reduce the amount of superfluous writing/words they had to wade through/translate in order to get to the concentrated information they need. <I agree, but as Bob (and others) have pointed out, this will be a HUGE undertaking (there are at least 3000 FAQs pages).  To avoid getting overwhelmed, I am thinking of starting with just the top10% (300 of them!) most viewed FAQ pages...> I just don't see this as spoon-feeding and therefore a bad thing. <agreed!> How can something that makes finding information quicker/easier be bad? After all, why do we write articles and books, if not to supply people with the best/most complete information we know of as quickly and directly as possible? LOL If we truly feel that people benefit more by spending their own time, doing their own research, then we'd better cut that out right away! I agree that a person can learn much more about a subject when they have to work a bit harder to find it, but at some point we have to understand that not all hobbyists have the time to do this. This is especially true when an emergency comes up, or what a hobbyist deems to be an emergency. They're stressed and want answers right away. The quicker they find those answers, the better off their livestock is and I'm all for it! <Agreed again> Also, I know you were kidding yesterday when you asked if I wanted to help, but seriously, I would if I could. Unfortunately, I'm up to my neck right now in projects. I'm still working on the crustacean sheets and on the side I'm trying to work on some articles as well as moderating over at the forums and looking for queries I can handle at WWM. On top of all that, I'm trying to get ready to leave town next week for vacation - aaahhhhh!! Anyway, if at some point, things do open up I'd be glad to help. Especially at some later date, I'd be more than happy to help compile/go through the bullets for individual critters. I still think it would be a great idea to have a specific page for each, with something like "FAQ's at a glance". The pertinent bullets could be separated/compiled into diet, care, disease, whatever's appropriate for the family/genus/species. I wouldn't be much help in some of the other departments, but I would gladly lend a hand with the inverts! <I would love/welcome/appreciate any help you have to offer.  But I do think it's important to be methodical about this (to keep all organized and not drive ourselves crazy).  So, if you're up to it and have time/inclination to help with this, please pick a few FAQs pages you would like to make bullet points for and send me what you put together.> Take care and thanks for your work to improve the site. Have a great week! <You too!> -Lynn <Thank you, Sara M.>

Video on WWM, photography/videography, diving, life  4/13/08 In regard to last week¹s video possibilities on WWM, what do you think of simply posting vids on YouTube? WWM can have it¹s own dedicated channel, controlled by yourself for official WWM posts. It seems to me an easy solution. Those that want to view can, those that don¹t won¹t have to. It costs WWM nothing and links can be incorporated into articles or even FAQ¹s. Just something I have been thinking and wanted to discuss in person this last weekend (shame it did not work out). What is your take? Scott V. <Thanks for this Scott... Have thought re going this route... And have been trying to download the last trips video on the new Mac Pro... not going all the way on the import... Argghhh, but am determined to try... maybe both... loading on our site with FrontPage and also YouTube. BobF> Re: Video on WWM 4/13/08 I was able to directly upload to Imovie. It did not work at all with a USB...curious. But worked and continues to work flawlessly with a firewire cable. <Have spent the last twenty so minutes looking for a ding dang cable that will go into the four pin Firewire on the Mac... AND fit the Sony (1080 line, 60 gig HD... that has all sorts of ports... but not a firewire!!!! Nor a cord that has their flattened "V" connector to fire! Am going to upload on my other desktop, copy and try linking to the Mac... or off to the electronic store for a cable? B> Re: Video on WWM 4/13/08 BTW, has more to do with the Sony export than the Mac import, I think. <If memory serves, they/Sony offers a Mac vers. of their upload software... would rather not use though. BobF> Re: Video on WWM 4/13/08 No, the Sony software generally stinks, especially compared to what is included with the Mac. The same goes for Nikon!! <We are in total agreement... what a fiasco the NEF format is/was... and charging folks for the crap software post purchase of their camera bodies!?> My Sony is not HD and has standard Firewire ports. Do let me know what you figure out, I have been contemplating a HD camera for a while now. Scott V. <The camera is fab... have a cheapy Ikelite housing and some old-retrofitted NiteRider lighting system... Do you dive, make pix U/W? BobF>

Re: Video on WWM 4/14/08 Bob, <Scott> I do not dive, have wished to for years. First it was an issue of lack of funds, now it is lack of time. <Ahh, too often mutually exclusive properties, limiting the exercise of our growth in these... "modern times"> I am always saying I have no time to travel. Fact of the matter is I do. <Yes my younger friend... We all have exactly the same amount of time. An important lesson... to learn/realize> I choose to use it traveling to Central/South America with a medical team. <Ahh!> I go and make prosthetics for people that usually don't even have shoes. I generally do two stints of two weeks a piece per year. <Very worthwhile> Not being happy with the way my pictures translated what I experienced prodded me into the DSLR. The difference is amazing! The next trip is to Tejutla, Guatemala in May, although it looks like I may miss this one. The underwater world continues to captivate my interest. My friends that do dive tell me I will ditch the tank after seeing a reef in person... <Mmm, or delve further... these are not mutually exclusive activities> I doubt that! My business partner dives and is constantly harassing me into going with him. <You should listen> If and when I do go diving I will invest in the underwater equip., <Easy enough to rent/borrow...> I would not want to miss capturing that experience either. What is your primary lens you use? <60 and 105 mm macro, fixed focal length, auto-focus (Nikon)... with a few others used in small percentage time> I have looked at the Ikelite housings, seems to be the way to go. <Are fine for general use> A grand is reasonable enough for what you get, it is the price of the strobe that is killer! <Also... about a grand currently... each... then there are arms, batteries... the computer to...> Needless to say, if I do someday dive, you are the first one I will contact. Perhaps meeting up on the big island with you! <I do see this happening... and soon! Let's chat over when you have time> Cheers, Scott V. PS, I have been creating a website for an LFS owner/friend of mine. This is oddly enough the first time I have taken interest in taking pictures in a tank. This has captivated me more than the livestock and reefkeeping itself. Of course, as soon as I figured out what I was doing the camera crapped out, a bad image sensor according to Nikon. Supposed to be back to me this next week. I miss my camera and bounce between buying a cheap point and shoot and just swallowing my wallet and getting a D200. Patience is not my greatest virtue. <Another important lesson... Cheers, BobF>

Small changes to WWM   4/13/07 Howdy! A mention of the deletion of the apparent "boxes" on all shared borders, rearrangement of links there and some changes/additions of color palette... Oh, and the shifting of GlassHoles and addn. of Microcosm's fab site links to the left shared border on the root web... Minor improvements... but they took me a few agonizing but fun hours to bring about. Cheers, BobF.

Suggestion re website design -- 4/12/08 Hello, Crew! First, I would like to say thank you to all the volunteers who keep this site up and running. A friend got me into this hobby just recently (only a few months ago), and this has been an invaluable source of information. I often find myself reading into the wee hours of the mornings on weekends, and way past my bedtime on workdays! One article leads to another, which leads to a faq page.... :) <Ah, yes... my intention...> Second, my suggestion. I was wondering about the feasibility of making photographs linked, that is to say, you could click on them and go to the page that discusses the subject of the photograph. The reason I ask is that I was trying to identify something in my tank, and though I saw a picture of it at the top of a page right away, nothing on that page referred specifically to that picture. It took quite awhile to find the page that did contain the picture and the creature's identification (lots of interesting reading along the way, though). <An outstanding suggestion! And one that has been on my "to do list" for years now... ala Fishbase.org... Just have not come up with the time to launch this massive project (at present with the photo work on hand will take 3-4k hours...)> I do not work with website design much, so I don't know how much I'm asking of you, and I do realize you are all working on a volunteer basis, but I thought I'd at least mention it, just in case. Thanks again, Jackie <Thank you for this Jackie... I do think/believe such an arrangement, offering of color/ID work would be of value... and do have many tens of thousands of images, hundreds of hours of video... Just getting organized, focused, giving up other activities that take up the time currently... is my shortcoming presently... and I don't have a day job! Bob Fenner>

Thank you! To the Crew at WWM: - 4-11-08 Thank you for your website and great FAQ listing. I just found your website a few weeks ago, when I was given a 75 gal. aquarium (my first large setup; I'm a novice) and I needed to find out how to properly level and support it. Your helpful advice to hobbyists on this topic was VERY valuable to me, and helped me avoid a couple dangerous mistakes. I really appreciate your help, and I'm sure I'll be visiting WWM for information and help in the future. Sincerely, Laurel <Thank you for your kind, encouraging word Laurel. Bob Fenner>

The best website ever 04/11/2008 Good Morning Crew!!! <<Good afternoon Bill, Andrew today>> This is not a question for you, just a brief Thank You from a long time marine Aquarium guy (20+ years and counting) Since I first stumbled upon your website several years ago, I have tried to read the FAQ's every day - I am amazed at how much I have learned because of your site. PLEASE keep up the great job you all are doing!!! I would also like to mention that I recently took advantage of the link to one of your sponsors, the folks at Glass-Holes.com. They were very helpful, and responded to my questions very quickly, allowing me to feel good about my purchase of the Dart pump and overflow kit they offer. I now get to drill my next tank so that it will actually get the flow it needs! (wish me luck?) <<Its very nice indeed to receive kind words such these. Although i help out here without wanting thanks, its always lovely to read a message such as this from yourself. Fact is, without the good folk who submit their questions in to us on a daily basis, it would not be what it is today, which is a feature packed valuable resource to all aquarists / aquatic keepers.>> Thanks again for the service you provide, and for all the creatures that you have, without a doubt, saved from a horrible death with your insightful answers to hobbyists questions!!!! Bill (billdogg) Smith, Columbus, Ohio <<Good day to you Bill, i hope all goes well when you next go for drilling the tank....Oooh the things we look forward too...he he he...Take care, enjoy the day, regards. A Nixon>>

Some fantastic example now! Needed changes to WWM?  4/8/08 Andrew, Neale, Miguel... check out Microcosm's new fab site: http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com/wiki/Your_Portal_to_Aquatic_Discovery It's obvious that I've not paid much attn. to having our work be all that profitable... or showy... Take a look at their ad rates, and apparent sponsorship... And for larks, insert in Compete.com or other tool their name and ours... Oh yes, we have a much larger following/readership... But... anyhow, IF there was an interest in actually making money to pay yourself for efforts... and/or just making the site nicer looking, more functional, adding elements... there are some excellent examples here. Should we invest in better software, outside design, content help? BobF.

Bob, <Mike>> > The Microcosm site looks clean and full of information. I wonder how many> total pages they have there? <Looks like quite a few... I'd say the low hundreds... a bunch of stuff is others/off-site> It may be worth the time and expense to have> some professional web designers look over the WWM and give us some> recommendations on how to improve it. <A very good idea>

I'm not one of the guys but wow does that site have it going ON! Its amazingly organized. I love the layout but it doesn't hold near the information of WetWebMedia <Yes and YES Mac> I talked to a diving friend who is also a web designer and he says it shouldn't be all that hard to convert WWM to something like that. Mac <Really!? I do hope so... Am going to give this due consideration... and look about. Thank you, BobF

That's what I was thinking too... that it wouldn't be that difficult (for a professional web designer). Sara

Re: Some fantastic example now! Needed changes to WWM? 4/9/08 <<<Andrew, Neale, Miguel... check out Microcosm's new fab site: http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com/wiki/
Your_Portal_to_Aquatic_Discovery It's obvious that I've not paid much attn. to having our work be all that profitable... or showy... Take a look at their ad rates, and apparent sponsorship... And for larks, insert in Compete.com or other tool their name and ours... Oh yes, we have a much larger following/readership... But... anyhow, IF there was an interest in actually making money to pay yourself for efforts... and/or just making the site nicer looking, more functional, adding elements... there are some excellent examples here. Should we invest in better software, outside design, content help? BobF. >>  I have to say i think its a very well web site, easy to navigate, use, browse, find info. The layout concept is clean and spacious. <Ahh! A succinct evaluation> My thoughts...I think it would do WWM the world of good to go for a re-face of the site and its something that i feel some revenue would be worth spending on. An added benefit is a focal point on having the sponsors more prominent...more exposure for them, means more revenue for WWM. Personally, i participate on WWM for the enjoyment and personal knowledge advancement, and with zero monetary gain for myself. This is my passion, its what i enjoy. I think the investment in this will bring WWM forward, make our presence on the net a better experience for browsers of the info database. Andrew <Thank you for sharing Andrew... I am hopeful of "meeting up" with said agent/agency for this spiffing... and soon! It's not so much for the economic gain, but/though what this might well be able to allow us to "buy" in the way of assistance/help... And the huge improvement in looks, navigation and functionality we stand to gain/offer... Am hopeful. BobF>

Re: Some fantastic example now! Needed changes to WWM? I do think people would use/enjoy/appreciate the site more if it were a little better organized and perhaps not such an eyesore. I know we don't "need" more viewers/users, but I do fear we may start *losing* people to sites with less (or worse, less accurate) information simply because they're easier to use/nicer to look at. <Good points> If I can help in any way, I'd be more than happy to. Best, Sara <Much appreciated. BobF> Re: Some fantastic example now! Needed changes to WWM? Let me start out with this: I don't help out at WWM for the money. I suppose we all have our reasons, but the thought of being paid for my efforts here has never crossed my mind. <Mine hardly either> That being said, I do (and have always felt) that WWM should be more navigable. <Agreed... even the originator of Melev's Reef told me the site was "too big" ayer> Obviously, since it's all volunteer work, and given the fact that WWM contains a large amount of information, redesigning the website would be time consuming to say the least. However, if there is money to be made (and looking at the rates of the site you sent us, there probably is) then I think it's worthwhile to spend the money to have the site revamped, and then attempt to sell high dollar ad positions if you/we so wanted. I also think that the number of visitors to the website would significantly increase if the site were to be revamped, and easier to navigate/find information. <Well-stated> What to do with the money (assuming there is money to be made, though I suspect there is)? There are many excellent, charitable uses for money (my tuition?! ^ ^) <... or... that new Mercedes... 1/16 size model!> or organizations that could be helped if you/we were to keep WWM a strictly "nonprofit" endeavor. Though I don't feel I currently am able to contribute enough to make my efforts worth much/anything, I don't see a problem with contributors gaining slightly from their efforts, but with paying for help comes issues to be dealt with. Who is qualified to write for WWM? <Most all> How much will be paid? <What ever we can afford, the market will bear... See CA re currently> Will there be grace periods, online interviews? <Would be great... among many other possibilities> Will we be paid per email? <About a dollar... per> The list goes on... These are just some quick thoughts that came to mind. Discussion amongst ourselves is definitely a good thing, so I'd like to hear what other people have to say. <Hear hear> Bottom line in my opinion: The site does need a revamp Ads should at least be used to pay for the revamp Something needs to be decided regarding ad profits, the use of which needs further discussion. My .02 Mike Maddox <Gracias. BobF>

Re: Some fantastic example now! Needed changes to WWM? 4/9/08 Andrew, Neale, Miguel... check out Microcosm's new fab site: http://en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com/wiki/Your_Portal_to_Aquatic_Discovery Bob, <James> I spent 10 minutes or so on this sight with the mindset of a newbie. <Ahh!> I believe our sight is easier to find specific information. I found myself going through page after page trying to locate a particular fish (Saddleback Clownfish) which wasn't there to begin with. In fact, only four species of clownfish were listed. On the marine fish link, only the scientific name of the fish families appears. Most newbies aren't going to have a clue which type of fish are in each family. You have to go one step further and click on the Reef Fish Volume I, there the scientific names with common names in parenthesis appears, so now you have to go back and forth. Seems like the site is designed where you have to navigate through all these pages to insure you see all the different ads. <A very good, valid point. This site, compared with WWM is VERY commercial... though also VERY beautiful, even... what's that word... Splashy?> A pretty sight for sure, but in my opinion, all we need is a new face and more grab you by the pants photos. After spending a little time on this sight, I feel our site is much more user friendly for the newbie. A search on our site will provide many links such as FAQ's and articles on a particular subject. I typed in "Saddleback Clownfish" on their search bar and results came back as "no page found, you can create this page". Not something a newbie would like. <Agreed> I'm sure this sight has plenty of good features, but as I mentioned, in the eyes of the newbie, I think our site is easier to use and leads you to the subject being searched quicker. This being based on the very short time I spent on the site. James (Salty) <Thank you. BobF>

Sarcasm and Humor Much Appreciated... Who's Trying To Be Funny? - 3/21/08 <Hi Jeff, Mich here.> I just wanted to say I read your site just about every day. <Glad to hear! Funny, I read the site just about every day as well. Keeps me 'regular' if you will.> Your humor and sarcasm is much appreciated especially when it has been a rough day at work. <Work is a 4 letter word, so doesn't that mean every day is a rough day at work?> I just want to let you know I would have given up on my reef tank a long time ago if it had not been for you folks. <Me too!> As it is, I have had my 90-gallon tank for 2 and a half years now. The last 15 months have been great, since I found your site. My tank crashed twice prior to finding your site. <Sorry to hear that. Better the tank than the car, you spent more money on the car, then again, maybe not.> I was so confused. <I'm often confused!> I was lost in a sea of conflicting information (no pun intended). <Two fish swim into a concrete wall, one turns to the other and says 'Dam'. Pun intended.> The best advice I can give to new people in the hobby is to keep reading your site. <Careful, they could grow old and died before they are done reading!> I am reading your daily questions sections and I always get something out of it. <Headache? Blurry vision? Confusion? Heehee! If the symptoms last for more than four hours seek medical assistance!> I don't think people always find the humor in some of the comments you folks provide (trying to keep it light hearted) <That's for sure! We do get the occasional nastygram!> even when their tank is in trouble, but I do. <Better to laugh than cry is my philosophy!> You folks provide a great service and because of all of you, I have not lost a fish in those 15 months and I have corals growing out the ying yang. <Wow! Hope your ying yang can handle it!> I did a lot of research on your site pertaining to lighting, refugiums, and macro algae. Because of it I have a stable tank. <Well, that and good husbandry practices hopefully!> Please keep finding the humor and I'll keep laughing and learning. <Glad to hear and I hope I can do the same and wish that for the many others who read our site. Cheers, Mich> R/ Jeff

Your words... reach more than 30k unique ISP addresses per day... Thank you... WWM usage    3/3/08 Ha! Thanks Scott, I finally got it! I just entered "125982" under Site ID and "Stats" under Username and Password at http://smarterstats1.safesecureweb.com/login.aspx and voila. Very interesting information to say the least. Take care and thanks again, Lynn

Re: A Fair Price for Hobbyist Style Services 2/17/08 Hi one last time, Bob. I don't want to be one of "those guys" that never stops emailing/responding, but I feel a very strong urge to say one last thing. I am always really amazed at your generosity and willingness to help anyone who has a passion for aquarium keeping and a willingness to learn. I imagine that you must be very busy and have lots of requests on your time, but every time I've submitted an inquiry, you've been excessively kind with your knowledge and always willing to extend your help a step further. <Ahh!> I must admit that I'm very much a cynic when it comes to people (which is probably why I'm such an animal lover-their intentions are always pure), so anytime people display innate "good" qualities, it makes me question my cynicism (and I guess that's a good thing). Thanks so much, and please continue to gracefully sidestep the rude, angry and unkind emailers that pop up on WetWebMedia every once in a blue moon and please stay the "good" guy that you are who is always willing to help and then help a little more. I know I don't know you personally, but I do believe that sometimes a person's traits come through in their writing... who knows; maybe I'm not the cynic that I think I am. Your staff shares these attributes as well. It is clear that your staff is a reflection of their "leader". Thanks again and I hope I haven't embarrassed you too much.-Nick Sadaka <Thank you Nick. BobF>

Organization of information/WWM     2/16/08 Hello all, <Eric> This is directed at Bob. Today I read a "letter" from an individual complaining about the lack of organization of the site and the difficulty they had in finding information. <Yes...> If possible I'd like to help with this by summarizing some of the FAQs or perhaps rearrange the info therein into a more obvious question/answer format. <Yay!> I have limited time to allocate to this purpose, but would like to do something to contribute to WetWebMedia. If this proposal is agreeable to you I'd like to start with either a "small" FAQ or group of FAQs. I would then e-mail you the file so that you could review it and let me know if my effort would be of some use to you. Eric <Thank you for coming forward Eric. We have had generous help/offers a few times... with some groups of FAQs being greatly straightened out, made more useful/useable... Please so start on whatever group you'd like... I will gladly place, add to the existing structure or write over... Bob Fenner>

Future Schlock... Magazine software for online pres... A GIANT poss. or already done?   2-4-08 Is there currently editing software that allows one to have the same look and functionality (along with searchability, links to archives... they lack) that print media currently have? In the advent of today's cheaper, larger flat screens, and some new/upcoming easier on the eyes terminals... Wouldn't this software, as a pkg., be a great boon? Can we do this before the Net becomes teevee, phones, PDAs et al.? Bob/DF.

WWM Crew. A tremendous thank you... just coincidental with holiday season  - 12/23/07 Huge thanks for your time, efforts, general resource-sharing which is WetWebMedia.com. I greatly appreciate your help in responding to queries, sharing ideas, selling us the occasional content. Am sure this sense/sensation is shared by many of our daily readers... Oh! And happy holidays to you and yours. BobF, finishing up in Key West... off to Pablo Tepoot's for din din.

"Best of/worst of"... Ideas for Dailies   12/18/07 Crew, In my readings of your daily FAQs I cam across the "sharks in my living room militant stupidity etc." mail and nearly wet myself laughing. as such I was wondering if you had considered having a best of and/or worst of FAQs page. Also I didn't get to read the ini9tial response is there anyway I can find the original response on the site? <Oh yes. Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sharksysf7.htm> thanks P.S. in case anyone recognizes the email address, the angle fish tank I had trouble with months ago is now running fine. Thanks on that Forrest <Good idea. Cheers, BobF>

Neat site stats - kudos to WWM! 11/19/07 cheers, Bob <Antoine> I came across a neat site stats tool for comparing traffic (Eric B found and mentioned it). WWM is (maybe no great surprise) excelling in traffic greater, far and away, than any other hobby message board or forum that I am aware of. neat site: www.compete.com <Neat... I did take a look with the two more popular BB's: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/wetwebmedia.com+reefcentral.com+reefs.org/?metric=uv# Though we don't have a Google sitemap, nor advertise... is good to know and see numbers for the great quantity of folks, systems, livestock we are helping... Including the many thousands of your article and response efforts from years past> Kudos to WWM! Anth- <Cheers, BobF> ------- Anthony Calfo www.ReadingTrees.com

Compete web stats -11/19/07 Hey Bob, <Sihaya> I noticed Anthony's email about www.compete.com. It's an interesting idea. Let me tell you about how this works. It's not "exact" data... it's estimated. What Compete does is, they "survey" a selection of the population (kinda like a high-tech Gallup poll). This is why you don't have to give them permission (or put any code/images on your site) in order for them to do this. In a way, it works backwards (compared to the way this data has been traditionally collected-- by sending a "message" to a data collector every time someone visits the site). In SOME ways, their estimates are arguably more accurate in that they count "people" as actual people-- they don't count web crawlers and such (which some other site stat programs sometimes do). It doesn't usually work so well for lower-traffic sites (not an issue for WWM though). <Thank you for this input, clarification. I only consider such info. as "general"...> Anyway, I realize I just revealed myself to be a huge geek, but this is a pretty cool thing... ;-) Best, Sara <BobF>

WWM articles/ my friend Curt 11/19/07 Hi Bob, I've noticed that WWM has a few "coming soon..." type pages where articles are needed. I have a very knowledgeable friend who would like to help out. He's been at the reefing hobby (and been helping others) for more years than me. He now owns/manages a LFS in St. Louis. His name is Curt and I think you met him once but might not remember. <Possibly... but we/I are/am VERY grateful, and we do pay... $200 w/o pix, $250 for such accepted manuscripts if accepted... about 1,400-2,000 word length... AND I will gladly offer pix for his/their use... AND I will gladly offer to help sell such work FIRST into the print realm, then our e- use if this is desired> So, what do you think? Is there anything he could help you/us with? I could do some of the editing/proofreading of his writing if you think that would help. <I am VERY susceptible to this idea... Is in part, the raison d' etre for CA, our on-line ''zine... id est, to fill in these enormous gaps. Please do introduce us here. Thank you, BobF> Best, Sara

A BIG thank you  10/17/07 Whew! Took about thirty hours to format, put-away the outstanding WWM responses... and they were outstanding! I do appreciate the gracious over-time, time you put in... and am sure the many folks who read, benefit from your efforts do as well. Cheers, BobF.

WWM website help  10/16/07 was talking to a LFS owner at MACNA. He didn't realize that WWM was still being kept current. He complained, as many do, about the difficulty with the structure of the of the WWM website, in that it is not always the most user friendly. I told him of my understanding of the difficulties changing to a more updated format related to the way the website was originally designed using Frontpage. He suggested this program would make things more usable, thought it would be compatible with front page and would link all related info together making searches/info gathering much easier. I don't have a great understanding or really know what I am talking about here, but perhaps this is something for Mike to look into. Here is the program he was referring to : http://phpnuke.org/ And here is his message to me: <I am woefully ignorant of such matters (software period, web-editing inclusive)... have never even heard of this program... Am glad to see you have cc'd Miguel re... as he is taking some interest, expanding his focus back into web matters, wants to help w/ WWM. Any other input here? BobF> Re: WWM website help  10/16/07 Greetings. While I agree that the WWM site isn't optimal in terms of layout and usability, re-jigging the entire site into a more modern format would be a gigantic job of work. My feeling is that the main problem isn't the articles but the FAQs. Specifically, creating tidier, more informative index pages to the free-standing articles wouldn't be too difficult. At the moment there's a lot of stuff, and some of the headings are a bit cryptic or at least require some degree of specialist knowledge (e.g., "inadvanced bony fishes", a Fennerism I personally love, but am not sure is a real word). So what's needed for the articles is simply a clean up with some attention to more self-explanatory divisions so that casual readers can smoothly work downwards through layers of organisation. <<Mmm, I swear that inadvanced bony fishes is not of my making/fabrication...>> The FAQs strike me as altogether a bigger deal. As things stand now, in many cases, there are literally hundreds of queries scattered across dozens of possible pages. Look at the Goldfish FAQs for example. If you want to tell someone to refer to a particular query, it's difficult, without some vague "go to this page, and it's about halfway down". <Totally agreed... my thinking, well, ongoing cogitation is/was that in time, sub-dividing such "FAQs files" into more detailed "SubFAQs" categories (e.g. Goldfish Disease Poisoning, GF Env., GF Fungal... by causative mechanism/s, symptomology... compounds that are efficacious and not... might be a "way to go" here... Am very eager for the more intuitive PDAs of the future... they're coming... and we'll still be around for a few decades...>> I can't see any easy way to transfer this vast collection of queries into clean, shiny new pages without a massive amount of work. Software can be found to create a *new* site without fuss, but importing OLD data and resources is *always* a lot more difficult (and ultimately becomes a manual job anyway). <Yeeeikesville!>> So it comes down to this: do we refresh the WWM articles and leave the FAQs alone; or spend time updating the FAQs as well, which given the repetitive nature of many queries ("my goldfish has finrot...") becomes an exercise in diminishing returns. Possibly there's a third way: archive them all in the present format, start up new collections in a more modern format, and import selected, informative queries from the old stacks into the new ones. Yours etc., Neale <Thanks as usual for your thoughtful and provoking input Neale... Am given to make the super offer of remuneration for/when we get this process going economically... for further content provision, spiffing up, general re-do. B>> > On 15 Oct 2007, at 16:46, Robert Fenner wrote:> > > <I am woefully ignorant of such matters (software period, web- > > editing inclusive)... have never even heard of this program... Am > > glad to see you have cc'd Miguel re... as he is taking some > > interest, expanding his focus back into web matters, wants to help > > w/ WWM. Any other input here? BobF>> Re: WWM website help  10/16/07 For what it is worth, I've seen things done where new sections were put in and the old sections still kept up. By this I mean, you create a new format and go forward with it, moving over indeed as you suggest or by selectively copying what is necessary but you also keep the archives accessible in the past format. Should someone desire to go through them to find more information they would have that ability but you would put up the message that this is in the old format and may be difficult to access. That way all the old information is not lost because some of it is priceless. Mac <I did not know this was possible, thanks Mac... B>

Thanks   9/27/07 To the Crew and Bob, <Paul> Thank you for your time and effort. I'm very happy that I found your book and guidance prior to diving into a saltwater tank. I was clearly in need of education and would have failed. Not that I'm claiming some great understanding now, but I'm clearly more educated today than I was yesterday. My increased understanding creates more enthusiasm for the hobby. <Ahhh!> Looking forward to reading, learning and enjoying the hobby over decades, not months, Paul McCarron <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Syntax and daily FAQ's 9/26/07 Good morning Crew, <Good morning Tom, Mich here.> I hope you all are having as good a day as I have every day. <Thank you, unfortunately my day has been a bit rough. Hopefully it will improve.> I would also like to throw my two cents in (though I think it should probably be quarters, adjusted for inflation) <Heehee!> about using proper syntax when asking a question. I agree, the English language is hard enough, when the word phonetic is not spelled phonetically. <Irony eh? Ever wonder why we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?> I personally try to speak and write as well as possible for no other reason as not to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. I work from home, spending most of my day on the computer, monitoring my sites and dealing with 'administrivia'. When I check out WWM, I do not want to take the time figure out what someone is trying to say. I don't want to read the corrections or the endless comments for using proper language skills. <Understandable.> I want to get in, read the FAQ's, glean what I can and move on to other things. Speaking for myself, I am grateful for the service you all provide. Thanks to WWM, I have become a fish 'keeper' not a fish haver. <This is rewarding to hear.> The fact that you are all VOLUNTEERS seems to go largely unnoticed. <Yes, we are all volunteers. We actually do this out of the kindness of our hearts.> You all have the patience of a host of saints, doing what you do without recompense, simply doing so for the love of the hobby. <Patience is a good virtue to have in this hobby.> Please continue to be the lone voice crying out from the wilderness of mediocrity to make this world a better place. <Wow what writing! Thank you for the kind words!> Now, as I step down from my soapbox, I look forward to the day when I see, in the immortal words of Sergeant Joe Friday, "Just the FAQ's ma'am, just the FAQ's." <Heehee! Is the goal!> Thomas N. (Tom) Bilello <Michelle (Mich) Lemech

Just a quick rip on WWM. NealeM's turn   9/20/07 Gentlemen & Ladies (if there are any), <Hello Richard, and yes, there are ladies here!> Although most of us appreciate your knowledge on WWM's website, there have been numerous complaints about your grammatical corrections to people's emails\questions. I myself along with others find it absurd to correct the spelling and or grammatical errors when people are reaching out to you for help. <While I respect your opinion, the other way of looking at it is this: if someone wants help, they should make it easier for the helper. Writing clearly, politely, formally, and correctly is the way that happens. I just now answered an "all-capitals" message that had been sitting in the in-box for days. Why was it sitting there? Because the WWM Crew -- all volunteers -- have limited time and energy. The crew are only human, and so naturally would rather tackle questions that are easy to read and understand. Messages typed in capitals, fragmented or tortured English, or gods forbid teenager-style abbreviation-speak just aren't appealing. So they get ignored until someone grudgingly answers them.> There are MANY resources on the web for people to use but the people who choose this site are people who want to give WWM a chance to spread the knowledge and honestly you are blowing it. <I don't see this at all. People are free to ask questions in many, many places. Fishkeeping forums, mailing lists, etc. What makes WWM special is the Crew are all respected, published expert fishkeepers. So the advice isn't stuff dreamt up by a 17-year old boy who's kept a couple of convict cichlids, one of which died a week after purchase, but by honest-to-goodness experts. Many of us write for the fishkeeping press, and several of us (including myself) have written fishkeeping books. Every day our in-boxes are filled to overflowing. I spend about 30-60 minutes a day doing queries, usually 4-5 times per week. If people want to go ask their questions someplace else because they have a dread fear of punctuation or haven't figured out how the Caps Lock key works, then that's fine with me.> Personally it makes you guys seem a bit dare I say it RUDE. <Perhaps. But rudeness is also spending ten seconds to write a barely-decipherable message, not bothering with adding a salutation or thanks, and then expecting someone at the other end to spend fifteen or twenty minutes creating a sensible, helpful reply. The rules are posted on the site: so it's not like any of this is a surprise to the sender. None of us have a problem with messages from people who don't speak English as a first language. The messages we react to are the ones obviously from native English speakers who frankly don't give a rip about writing properly.> Quite honestly after reading some of the posts on here it seems your group gets more joy from bashing someone who just plain needs help rather than actually giving sound advice. I myself take pride in helping someone who needs it, spreading my knowledge for hobbyist alike to share and pass on. <Fair enough.> So maybe in the future you can take pride and joy in the actual help you give to people rather than make them look stupid. <I don't think we attack stupid people, and we certainly don't make the inexperienced out to be idiots. No, the people we're hard on are the lazy and the willfully-ignorant. And they, generally, do indeed deserve a quick boot up the backside.> I really want to thank you for reading this and hopefully maybe get you guys back to the true roots of this website... Helpful people helping others not ripping others. <We're not camp counselors. If someone has done something just plain stupid, like stuck an Oscar into a brand new 10 gallon tank, then it's not our job to say "there there, it'll be fine". What we always do is explain what they did wrong, why they need to fix it, and how they can go about fixing things.> There are some occasions where you do look over some things and give GREAT advice, but more often than not you are just playing English teacher for the class. <I don't really think we comment on English a majority of the time, but heck, why not? Poor English is confusing English. Everyone makes grammatical and spelling errors, and that's not a big deal. What annoys me (and others here) are not putting "I" as an upper case letter, not using commas, not bothering to turn fragments into complete sentences, writing everything in capitals, and so on. These aren't about being dumb, they're about being lazy. And bad English ends up obscuring content and making the reader's job more difficult. There's no excuse for it.> Regards, Richard <I hope this makes my (Neale Monks') perspective clear. I can't speak for the others, of course! Sincerely, Neale> <<Well-spoken/written Neale. RMF>>

Re: Just a quick rip on WWM  7/21/07 Fair enough Neale. Great response. Thanks, Richard <Hi Richard. Glad to chat about this, and we always appreciate hearing from our readers for good or for bad. Helps us to improve the site. Cheers, Neale>

Just a quick rip on WWM. SaraM's go  9/20/07 Gentlemen & Ladies (if there are any), <If Darwin's Bulldog is correct about what makes a lady or gentlemen, then indeed; I believe we have both here.> Although most of us appreciate your knowledge on WWM's website, there have been numerous complaints about your grammatical corrections to people's emails\questions. I myself along with others find it absurd to correct the spelling and or grammatical errors when people are reaching out to you for help. <Maybe I just haven't been here long enough, but I personally don't point out people's spelling/grammatical errors. If for no other reason, I just don't have the time.> There are MANY resources on the web for people to use but the people who choose this site are people who want to give WWM a chance to spread the knowledge and honestly you are blowing it. <Ah yes, the 20,000 hits we get each day are hardly worth mentioning. Clearly, we must be doing something very wrong.> Personally it makes you guys seem a bit dare I say it RUDE. <Personally, I think it's rude to send emails with multiple grammatical and spelling errors when you know that your writing will become a permanent part of this website. When people writing to us make these errors, we have to correct them ourselves or else the poor grammar and spelling becomes a permanent part of the site. Now, remember we don't get paid to do this. Even when an email is perfectly well written (and especially so, actually), it can easily take me over an hour to answer a long query. So please forgive me if I don't always understand why an e-mailer can't take 5 minutes to proof read his or her query.> Quite honestly after reading some of the posts on here it seems your group gets more joy from bashing someone who just plain needs help rather than actually giving sound advice. <Now this truly is absurd.> I myself take pride in helping someone who needs it, spreading my knowledge for hobbyist alike to share and pass on. <As do we.> So maybe in the future you can take pride and joy in the actual help you give to people rather than make them look stupid. <I don't believe that anyone ever "makes" another look stupid. One can only exploit an opportunity to reveal someone else's lack of knowledge, intelligence, diligence, respect, or character. We must always be aware of such opportunities we give other people to reveal things about ourselves. What do you think this email reveals about you?> I really want to thank you for reading this and hopefully maybe get you guys back to the true roots of this website... Helpful people helping others not ripping others. <How do we return to a place we never left?> There are some occasions where you do look over some things and give GREAT advice, but more often than not you are just playing english teacher for the class. <That should be "English" with a capital "E." It's a proper noun. ;-)> Regards, Richard <Best, Sara M.> <<Well done Sara... that this querier did not know that some here are female IS telling. RMF>>

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