Sorry Lawbringer, I'm not sure what you're saying.
I don't understand if you want one thing to be done at a time or just keep on about all the things that we feel passionate about.
I saying decide on a single item that we can make a differnce with, for reason why see below.
The trouble with something like this is is that the people who support a 'ban the bowl' and correct information are very scattered and as with any 'revolution' it's hard to get everyone behind any one banner.
I totally agree however i'll hope you'll admit it's easier than trying to takle 10 things at one. I'm not asking people to stop beliving that X is more important than Y, I'm asking for people to come together so the voice can be heard over the din.
Cheek of them!
I agree if anything i'd say fish are one of the hardest pets i've kept but for me thats part of what makes it interesting.
I've been corresponding to Suey2 by PM for the last two days. Forums can do a bit to improve things within the hobby. But rather than one person writing one letter to a random shop it's best if people work as a group. To make sure you don't waste valuable time and effort it's also better if you take a structured approach with a plan where you can measure the impact and success. Shop bashing for the sake of shop bashing makes people look like idiots. If it's justified and targeted then it's a good thing. The forum could try many things, here's a few :-
Sticky an article in the most popular part of the forum detailing fish species which are unsuitable for captivity. You must justify exactly why and do not use an personal dislikes. Back it up with hard facts proven by respected internet information sites. Include pictures so that the general public who read the thread know what they should look out for. Include pictures with juvenille and adult specimens.
Sticky an article highlighting fish for sale within the hobby which are subjected to cruelty in their 'manufactuer'. Man made hybrids such as parrot cichlids are a prime example etc.
Sticky a thread and address the practise of dyed fish. They are still seen on sale in some LFS! Name and shame the LFS involved. Send an email to the shop pointing them in the direction of the thread. Post the contents of the email sent and any reply that you receive. rather than just moan about it get a tangible result. DO NOT just name the shop otherwise it could be subjected to abuse by unhappy punters with an axe to grind. Make sure all posts on the thread are relevant and include the email sent. It's not 100% free from abuse and so would require moderating but it would warn LFS owners that they are being scrutinised over their choice of stock.
Sticky an article about the dodgy practise of selling non aquatic plants in LFS. This is done as they have high profit margins (I have been tempted to sell them myself but can't quite bring myself to do it!!!) and explain how shops rely on constant sales as they know they'll die when fully submersed. You could provide pictures of Fittonia etc and also name and shame as above. There, that's justified shop bashing. Again a guide with pictures of plants that will die shortly after purchase will educate punters and maybe even a few LFS staff and owners!
Don't make statements like 'specialised fish' should not be kept. It sounds idiotic and it suggests that people are of limited experience and knowledge. There a number of challenging species out there that can be kept by people who know what they're doing. Produce care sheets with detailed care instructions. Make sure they are written by people who have actually kept them and that they clearly state why they are unsuitable for beginners. Remember there are hobbyists out there who are currently breeding sharks, seahorses, marine angels at home. Just because it's expensive and may require a large tank, hours of work and real dedication does not mean that it cannot be done. We should not judge other keepers by our own limitations!
You need to be very clear about what you are trying to achieve,
You need to agree on how people can work together (At the very least creating guidelines on how to complain, who to complain to and how the complaint will be highlighted on the forum). You also need to agree on how any response from the manufacturer or LFS will be reported back online.
You need a way to measure any success you may achieve. An email back from an LFS saying that they will no longer stock dyed fish etc would be classes as success on a very small scale.
If you lose sight of any of those you're weeing in the wind and wasting your time!
Thank you Biotope. Some very constructive suggestions there, and I particularly like the idea of making results trackable. Every small success would be an encouragement to participants in the campaigning to carry on working at it.
If FK wants to start a concerted effort along these lines, please count me in to assist in any way I can.
If it my forum (And it is not!) I'd have a Fishkeeping Ethics sub forum. I'd have a thread dedicated to every FK campaign only allowing relevant posts concerning emails sent and emails received.
I'd then have a corresponding thread allowing discussion of each campaign so that results don't get lost in all the banter whilst giving people the opportunity to discuss each campaign seperately. I have no doubt what so ever that it would become a very lively sub forum. I also believe there is a lot of positive energy within the forum community, but this needs to be harnessed and focussed. People would soon jump on the bandwagon and join in.
From a moderation point of view you need to ensure that no unjust shop bashing takes place otherwise you would soon lose all credibility. You also need to be mindful that you don't look like a bunch of animal rights nutters without a clue. Anything less than constructive needs to be removed immediately and completely discouraged even resorting to infractions or bans if people offend repeatedly. All too often hobbyists criticise LFS without knowing why some things are actually done which is very unfair. If this happens there needs to be the opportunity for the industry to reply and educate those making the original comments. "Such as why are Siamese Fighting Fish kept in 2 litre containers, it's so cruel!"
Sadly since no-one offical from FK has said anything I suggest we shelf the idea.
Personal I find it very odd that the staff seem quite happy to discuss fish welfare when they can have a moan but when it comes to actually doing something will not even say they think it's a bad idea hence thats why they can't support it.
Do you not think we might have quite a lot of ideas in the pipeline but because we all have jobs and other commitments it is taking a while to implement them? How rude to criticise the site after all the hard work we put in. I am quite upset by this and I am locking this thread.