How to Not Get Trolled on Online Aquarium Forums

A simple guide to how to avoid getting torn to shreds on an aquarium forum / online.


I belong to a few aquarium forums on Facebook, a large Instagram community and often check out threads on Reddit or Yahoo answers… and if there’s one thing these all have in common it’s newbs getting completely destroyed.


I do feel for these newbies who genuinely just want to show off their hard work and receive some praise from others, or are desperate to save a dying fish. But personally, I don’t see how it’s worth it if dozens of people are going to be telling you you’re an idiot and a bad pet owner. These people might seem mean but a lot of them are well intentioned as the vast majority of fish owners are so shitty they are literally just slowly killing their pets from the day they get them. It’s a confusing world out there and it’s a pet owner’s responsibility to get educated on how to make a proper habitat for their pet. So, here’s some guide lines to keep people from insulting you online.


Don’t post goldfish tanks:


For whatever reason noobs seem to love goldfish the most. I guess they think they are easy beginner fish, but this just isn’t true. They make a huge amount of waste, and they need so much space, like so much. Some people say as much as 50gal PER goldfish. They need cold water and shouldn’t be kept with tropical species. They also get every disease under the sun. So trust me, your goldfish tank sucks and you should educate yourself on what the fish really need before you show your tank to anyone, because you will be trolled.


Don’t post your fish lying on the bottom:


If it’s on the bottom, it’s dead. 90% of the comments will be people saying to euthanize the fish or that there is no hope. You’re just wasting people’s time and I get really sick of seeing a feed full of dead nasty fish.


Don’t post a horrible photo:


Turn some dam lights on. Trust me it’s not that hard to photograph fish. I use a cellphone and keep the aquarium lights on as well as some background lights and Voila! Experiment for a few shots and try to not get glare… or the flash in the picture. It’s glass, it’s reflective so you need to adjust accordingly. If you have a flip phone or something crappy then just get a younger person with a decent phone to come over and take the picture for you. It can take several mins sometimes to catch a fish when it’s slowed down but this is just what it takes to get a not blurry photo. The rest of us are doing it, so you can too.


Use Google first:


You’re going to get a better answer from Google anyways. For instance if you googled ‘white dots on fish’ you will get some concise suggestions… you put that on a forum and you’ll have two hundred replies all saying different stuff… stuff you could have figured out on your own. Just trust me, spend ten minutes on Google and do some half decent research and you’ll be a lot more prepared to even understand some of the responses you’re going to get. There are such things as dumb questions in the aquarium hobby, unfortunately. There is a duty of care that comes with keeping a live animal that you at least educate yourself on the basics. People will make fun of you for not knowing basic stuff and that’s just the way it is.

Scroll through the feed first:

Someone has probably already asked the same thing as you. So at least take a quick look. This is a much faster way to get the info then waiting for people to respond.

Know what most hobbyist consider praiseworthy:

This can be difficult and let’s be honest… expensive. But, spend some time on Instagram looking at famous accounts and you will start to notice the difference between their tank and yours. We all love Sponge Bob, but those shitty bikini bottom plastic decorations and neon rocks are just slowly leaching chemicals into your tank. They just don’t have a mature look… most hobbyists are adults, not kids, and they try to keep the tank as a classy piece of home decor. I launched my online store just to combat this issue so people can have classy, healthy choices for their tank (pets stores literally have nothing and are really causing the problem). Check out my decorations and substrate sections in my store and you will see the difference. Most hobbyists want to see a tank geared towards the fish’s natural habitat and that you are keeping fish that actually go together. A good environment needs some wood, real rocks for minerals and some live plants depending on what you keep. Trust me, it’s worth it the amount of times I’ve had people come to my house and say they can’t even believe how beautiful my tank is as they’ve only ever seen ugly cheap aquariums before.


So there you have it! Think before you post online because I think the moderators of these groups get tired of deleting all the haters…. When in reality it’s the person who posted its fault. Take your tank seriously and do your research. I’ve read countless books and hours of online research to become an expert hobbyist and you can too!


Oh and here’s a treat one of my favorite posts that got trolled in some really hilarious ways… if only they googled first