A few weeks ago, I realized I was approaching my 100th posts on Spec-Tanks.com. It’s a milestone that is hard to imagine. It’s like alot of things in life – time passes and the next thing you know. . .
Humble Beginnings with a Gift from Santa:
Kids often take an interest in the things that their parents are interested in. Around 2014, I started to discuss aquariums with one of our twin boys. . . How I had one when I was a child and would want one again. Lucky for us, he asked for an aquarium for Christmas. Santa had the good judgement to do his research and get a small nano aquarium, the Fluval Spec V.
The Spec V checked a lot of boxes for us: small (seemed to simplify setup and maintenance), All-In-One (less decisions on accessories like pumps and filters); it fit nicely in a place deemed acceptable by Valerie (on the kitchen bar).
Aquarium Research – The Internet Can be a Strange Place:
I had a lot of fun researching the tank and learning about the Spec V and about freshwater aquariums in general, but I experienced a strange phenomenon when poking around the internet. I discovered that information that people used to take the time to post on websites had, at some point, transitioned to Internet forums. I’m thankful for the information posted on said Internet forums, but this being the only means of getting information poses a few problems:
- Information on forums is not well organized. I’d find myself looking for a simple piece of information, like what heaters fit in the pump section of the Fluval Spec V. If I by chance found this information, it was usually buried in post 1,387 of a long and unorganized slug of rambling by hundreds of individuals.
- Information on forums is difficult to verify: When you do come across the information you are searching for, you have to sometimes wonder if it is correct. Internet forums are generally filled with well meaning people who are willing to share their experiences. However, not all of these opinions are equal. Some statements presented as absolute or fact are actually opinions. Not only that, some well meaning input is from people who are inexperienced and are not qualified to dispense advise. Worse still, some people on Internet forums intentionally post false information on purpose. Like I say, the internet can be a strange place. The difficulty is in verifying the validity of the information and the competence / experience of the individual providing the information.
- New Frontiers in Confusion – Facebook Groups: I’m seeing now that lots of internet forums are dying off with increased competition from large social media sites, such as Facebook. The issues that plague Internet forums seem to be even worse on Facebook Groups.
Spec-Tanks.com – Simple Goals for Success:
With the difficulty I discovered in my initial aquairum research, I decided that I could create a website to document all that I had discovered and was learning through the process of setting up our Spec V.
The basic vision for the site was based on the golden rule: do to others as you would have them do to you. Simply, create the kind of website that I would want to visit. This included:
- Thorough Information: For reviews, I would try to include all the information a person could want and need. Product reviews often leave out basic information, like dimensions, product features, product specifications (electrical information for example). If I was creating a ‘How-To’ article, I would carefully include all the steps I could think of to make the instructions clear and easy to follow.
- Good Pictures: So many websites don’t include clear pictures to illustrate the products (being reviewed) or the process being described. That’s no fun, and to be honest – good pictures help to verify that the product was actually purchased and used. On top of that, a big part of the aquarium hobby is to create visual beauty – a good aquarium hobby website should showcase as much of this beauty as possible.
- State the Good and Bad: Many sites only post the rosy and are not honest about products that don’t work or their shortcomings. This doesn’t do the reader any good. Just because a product has failings doesn’t mean it can’t work for an individual, but I want to make sure to make this known so people can make the best decision and plan accordingly.
A look back at Spec-Tanks – and Looking Forward:
I just checked, and I have written a total of 142,231 words thus far on this site. That’s not bad for a married father of four holding down a full time job.
At the same time, I’m always a bit down on what I don’t have time to do on this site. I currently have over 40 article ideas in the ‘Draft’ queue waiting to be written.
As I presented in Upcoming in 2020 article, I have alot planned for this year. I will document our adventures in Saltwater with our new EVO 13.5 and have lots to write about on planted nano aquariums.
Thanks for stopping by, for leaving a comment, and thanks for the tons of support and encouragement you have given me. It is fun and very fulfilling to get feedback if this site has helped you out. Here’s to the next 100 posts, and beyond. . .