Phosphate and Newsgroup

Subject: Phosphate
> What would be the effect on my plant tank with phosphates up
> What should I be looking for etc... Any help would be greatly 
> appreciated.

Algae problems.


Subject: Re: rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants

Stephen Pushak wrote:

> I think a consensus is forming here that we feel the APD
> and the news group should have different functionalities.
> What has made the list a high quality medium is the
> high ratio of technical info to repetitive help questions.
> The congenial nature of the list is due to its membership
> not to any advantage in the format so ideally we should
> be able to enjoy a similar environment in the news group
> if we encourage folks constructively and by setting a good
> example. 

It hasn't happened so far, and I, for one don't want to police 
other people's manners, or be bothered reading posts where people 
are impolite.  Already, the "flavor" of the news group is _much_ 
different from APD, and I'm not the only person who's noticed it 
or commented on it.

> The news group is after all, a free forum where
> no one is restricted access. What Shaji and others seem
> to be suggesting sounds like a change to the charter of
> the mailing list

That may not be a bad idea.

> and that we intend it to be a more technical forum. 

I think technical is the wrong word.  Many of the very 
knowlegeable members of this list use very "low tech" techniques. 
Maybe "advanced

> I feel that this information should be
> freely available to the world. The archives provide that
> in one sense and a oneway gateway of the APD onto the
> newsgroup would provide another. 

As you say, the archives are available.  I'm not sure about all 
the ramifications of a gateway, so I am a little less enthusiastic 
about that.
> I have some other ideas to toss out for discussion.
> a) a modified charter for the APD to define it as a 
>    technical forum

Again, I don't really like the term "technical"
> b) a moderated mailing list in addition to a)

So far, I haven't seen any need of that.  As an ex-section leader 
from C-serve, I know how much work and how thankless it can be to 
be a moderator.
> c) a rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants_technical newsgroup
> d) a moderated c)
> A moderated list or newsgroup would provide us with the
> highest quality resource however the volume of technical
> posts here is quite high and it would be lotsa work
> and a difficult and thankless task to moderate.

I still haven't seen enough that I _like_ about any part of 
rec.aquaria to be able to hazard a guess as to whether I would 
like this any better.

> Until now, no one has ever suggested that help-me type
> questions are not welcome in this list and unless we
> change the charter, that should not change either.
> (Help-me questions ARE still very welcome) 

There is a difference between the well thought out "help me" posts 
we've had in the past, where new posters spent the time to read 
for a while, find out what was going on, and post a specific 
question with enough background info that we could really help, 
and the newer sort where people post "I bought a plant.  It was 
green, it died, tell me what I should do."  There are some of 
these here on APD now, that seems to be the majority of what goes 
on on the newsgroup.

I spend _huge_ amounts of time helping people with there tanks 
over the computer, on the telephone, lecturing and in person, one 
on one.  I _like_ helping people.  But I want to get a little out 
of my participation too.  That's exactly why I left Fishnet.  I 
was one of a very few who knew much.  I spent all my time 
answering a few beginner questions over and over, and got very 
little in return.
> On the other hand, discussing and solving the problems 
> of experienced aquatic plant hobbyists is fairly
> important... where do you draw the line? and who draws
> that line?

The couple of times people have started to get out of hand here, 
someone has politely posted that that's not the way the members of 
this list behave.  It seems to me, that if ground rules (if they 
are changed) were clearly stated for newcomers it would go a long 
way toward stemming the tide.  If someone posts a really 
beginnerish question, maybe those who want to respond should do so 
in private E-mail, and explain to the person why this was done.


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA