A guide for structuring a proper thread when seeking help.

JonnyJ

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Location
New York
All too often i see members both old and new asking for help and i think its time someone posts a basic guide members should follow when asking the community for help.

If you can't list them all that's fine, but please try your best if you want an accurate or possible answer to your question. Most questions should only be answered with the following information available to members. Even if only a small percentage follow this it would inevitably improve the site.

I constantly see threads that go unnoticed , avoided, and even answered with incorrect or incomplete advice because the original post is missing crucial information.

The following is what i believe should be present in every post when a person is asking for advice.


  • A photo of your tank
Posting a photo is one of the most valuable things you can supply us with, it allows members to actually see what's going on. Many pieces of information can be gathered from a single photo of your tank. So many questions can be avoided once visually seeing the aquarium. If you are having issues posting a photo, please ask someone for help.

  • Tell us your personal aquarium experience
This will help members get an idea of your basic aquarium understanding. If you're new, that's fine! Just let us know you're new so we can structure our answers accordingly.

  • List your tank size (water volume, dimensions, and age)
All are extremely important when assessing a situation. IE: This is crucial for giving advice with dosing, lighting, and much more.

  • List the equipment you are running
Controller, Skimmer, Power heads, Media Reactors, UV, calcium reactor. doser, ETC

  • List the current chemicals, media, treatments, or anything that you are currently adding to your reef and the amount.
For example: Carbon, GFO, Vodka, Vinegar, slime remover, ETC
List the amount, the last time they have been used,changed, and if any of the issues came about soon after.

  • Tell us where you are getting your water from?
Let us know if its RODI, DI, Tap, Tap water filter, or even if its from your local fish store. Also if possible, list when your filters have been changed
  • Tell us your tank Maintenance
Water change volume, Frequency, and other maintenance

  • List your current livestock
List your fish,inverts, coral etc.

  • List your current Salt Mix
Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals, etc. Let us know if you have made any changes recently. Make sure your salt is properly mixed at the right temperature. Let us know if you have ever tested a fresh batch of saltwater for accuracy and post your results.

  • List your current lighting
T5 , metal halide, power compact , or LEDs.
Tell us about your light. IE: Bulb amount, intensity (LED %)wattage, configuration, total hours. If available, listing your Fixture's distance to the waterline/sandbed can actually help.



PARAMETERS

Start by listing your last known, current, and even your desirable levels. We can't begin to answer questions or give guidance without this information. Writing that levels are in line means nothing to anyone that is going to give you any type of good advice. You should be listing your results entirely for someone to help with your tank.

Temperature
Include how it is measured ie: thermometer or controller. List any known swings.

PH
Include how it is measured IE: time, test kit, or probe. (Let us know if you probe has been properly calibrated and when)

Salinity
Tell us how you are measuring your salinity. IE: Refractometer , hydrometer, taste test:shocked:. Let us know if calibrated and when. Understand that different salinity levels will give different outcomes when testing your tanks ALK,CAL,& MAG.



Phosphate
List the test kit brand - Please note, Many of the lower end test kits are not even suitable for testing phosphate as they cannot register low levels.


Ammonia
Nitrate
Nitrate


Alkalinity
Calcium
Magnesium
List test kit brand used. Let us know if you have completed more then one test and if these results have been tested with a second kit. Let us know about any changes you see


Then of course write clear and legible when you actually write your question
 
Last edited:

prattreef

Administrator
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Location
Brooklyn, NY
This is excellent Jonny, thanks for taking the time to put this together. I want to reiterate, that you don't necessarily need ALL this info, but the more you can provide, the easier it is for people to help you.
 

B.BASH

Member
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10   0   0
Location
S.I.
Experience- current tank about 2 yrs about 15 yrs t0tal
tank size 250 60 x36x27 i'm 49 yrs old
75 gallon sump with fuge
reef octopus skimmer
geo 618 calcium rector
2 single brs reactors(currently only using one with gfo)
apex controller
5 fathom leds about 12"above water
supplemented with t5
about 4 weeks ago treated with red slime remover
i use rodi with recently changed filters and new di resin
i do a bi monthly 50 gal wc with reefcrystals
change filter sock every 3 days
clean skimmer cup every 3 days
livestock
6 anthias
powder blue tang
achilles tang
yellow tang
blue throaght trigger
fire fish
royal gramma
diamond goby
assorted lps and sps
assorted clean up crew
temp 78 stable
ph 8.04 stable
phosphate salifert 0.025
nitrate api undetectible
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
alk 9.5
cal 420
mag 1300

sorry if i missed anything
heres my question
what time should i feed my fish?

NICE WORK BROTHER
 
Last edited:

xclusive252

55 gal salt water
Rating - 97.6%
124   3   0
Hmmmmmmm!!!!!

Experience- current tank about 2 yrs about 15 yrs t0tal
tank size 250 60 x36x27 i'm 49 yrs old
75 gallon sump with fuge
reef octopus skimmer
geo 618 calcium rector
2 single brs reactors(currently only using one with gfo)
apex controller
5 fathom leds about 12"above water
supplemented with t5
about 4 weeks ago treated with red slime remover
i use rodi with recently changed filters and new di resin
i do a bi monthly 50 gal wc with reefcrystals
change filter sock every 3 days
clean skimmer cup every 3 days
livestock
6 anthias
powder blue tang
achilles tang
yellow tang
blue throaght trigger
fire fish
royal gramma
diamond goby
assorted lps and sps
assorted clean up crew
temp 78 stable
ph 8.04 stable
phosphate salifert 0.025
nitrate api undetectible
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
alk 9.5
cal 420
mag 1300

sorry if i missed anything
heres my question
what time should i feed my fish?
I would say about mid day when all the fish are awake lol
 

MikeC

Active member
Rating - 100%
210   0   0
Experience- current tank about 2 yrs about 15 yrs t0tal
tank size 250 60 x36x27 i'm 49 yrs old
75 gallon sump with fuge
reef octopus skimmer
geo 618 calcium rector
2 single brs reactors(currently only using one with gfo)
apex controller
5 fathom leds about 12"above water
supplemented with t5
about 4 weeks ago treated with red slime remover
i use rodi with recently changed filters and new di resin
i do a bi monthly 50 gal wc with reefcrystals
change filter sock every 3 days
clean skimmer cup every 3 days
livestock
6 anthias
powder blue tang
achilles tang
yellow tang
blue throaght trigger
fire fish
royal gramma
diamond goby
assorted lps and sps
assorted clean up crew
temp 78 stable
ph 8.04 stable
phosphate salifert 0.025
nitrate api undetectible
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
alk 9.5
cal 420
mag 1300

sorry if i missed anything
heres my question
what time should i feed my fish?

NICE WORK BROTHER
Sorry you did not provide a photo of your tank :fishhit:

J/k but seriously nice Job Jonny and I do think starting off with a photo of your tank is a great help or at best be a Avatar requirement :)
 

Dan_P

New member
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0   0   0
Location
Connecticut
This took some serious effort. This reminds me of checklists used in accident investigations or that form you fill out on your first visit to a doctor: is there a family history of coral bleaching, do you have aptasia...

Why don't you write an article in the Reef Magazine on the best way to get your problem solved by forum members? Your list is a terrific start on how to give us diagnosticians a running start on the problem. You could solicit more ideas from the reefers on what sort of things tip them off to the cause of a problem.

Second idea. I wonder if your list will get lost. Can we stick it up on the site somewhere with a reminder?
 

KathyC

Moderator
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200   0   0
Location
Barnum Island
Excellent!

This thread is now a Sticky on top of the General Discussion Forum.

I have also placed this as a 'Great Thread' so it will stay on top of the forum so as many folks as possible will notice it.

Thanks for the great contribution to the site Jonny!!
:grouphug:
 

BKLYNREEF123

New member
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Location
Brooklyn
Johnny TTT ! However, in your quest for perfection you asked for nitrate levels 2 x! Blame it on Siri or Sochi! Your droid or an apple! No matter what mistakes are made! I think you meant nitrite and nitrate. None the less this forum teaches us all something once and awhile. I got my test kits out my refractometer calibrated... Nothing trumps the love of knowledge!


I only spread love it's the BROOKLYN WAY

DUBS I see you ! Brooklyn RENEGADES # that
 

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