Filtering good and bad advice

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I’m guessing most readers of this blog fall into two camps with respect to cichlid keeping – those who know very little about it and those who have lots of experience. This post is directed at members of the former camp.

As you work to build up your knowledge base on the hobby, you’ll probably seek out information from multiple sources. One of those may well be Facebook. I can not stress enough the importance of learning from authoritative sources. Facebook cichlid groups can be a great place to get quick answers to many questions and solutions to many problems. However, Facebook is also loaded with ill informed individuals and trolls, who provide bad information.

Today’s example of bad advice comes directly from a comment to a post about sand getting into the impeller of HOBs. The poster is a novice aquarist who asked for some advice on preventing his fish from kicking up sand into the intakes of his HOB. Thankfully, he received some solid advice. But he also received some head-scratching input. One commenter suggested changing the filtration to sponge filters, which is certainly valid. However, in response to that comment, there was this little nugget from either a troll or someone who should do more reading about the hobby and less advising:

Sponge filters should only be used a [sic] supplementary. You still want to have some sort of power filter.

Sigh. Often times the filtration of choice comes down to four factors: tank size, knowledge, preference, and budget. Nonetheless, suggesting that sponge filters should not be used as primary filtration is simply incorrect. As was adeptly pointed out by someone who saw that comment, entire fish rooms are often filtered by nothing more than air driven sponge filters.

So what is my point with this post? Unless you know the source of the information and you trust that source, crosscheck what you read to ensure accuracy. Don’t automatically rely on advice you get from social media.

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