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Friday Discussion: how to help when someone isn't asking for advice.

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  • Offline TamiW
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This is a subject I struggle with,  and have been talking to a few people about. How to give advise when you see someone doing something wrong in there tank,  if they haven't asked about it.  Examples include seahorses that are noticeably under weight,  or seahorses being kept with the wrong types of fish.

I tend to be too blunt.  I come out and say what I think and let the chips fall where they may.  It's not the most productive; frequently people tune out.  But I also get replies like "Thanks,  I was thinking that too." or a thanks because they didn't realize.

But then you get people who were expecting praise,  and bristle at anything less than a positive response.  But I struggle with  saying nothing,  because I feel like not responding means I'm dooming the seahorses.

So how to do it,  and should it even be done?
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
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  • Offline ejbaer
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I would want to know  I think most people are pretty open to unasked for advice as long as they have a thorough explanation for the reason, but someone with my personality would tend to challenge the advice to some extent to encourage a thorough answer.  For instance, I would take advice from someone like you way more serious than the average hobbyist since you've seen and done so many things in the hobby and have the experience to back it up.
  • Offline Elaine
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Hi Tami, I run a tortoise website with my friends and whilst they tend to sit on the fence, i am like yourself and think from the animals welfare point of view. I am never rude but get my point of view over. I tend to look at it like a 'praise' sandwich : praise the something good, get your point(s) across, then end with a positive. That's how i was taught  to do it with special needs children. BUT, if i have got to know the keeper i will often ask 'do you mind if i say it as i think?' do you want me to private mail you as there are quite a few 'tweeks' that need doing.
Not sure if this helps but me personally i would just like direct information.
I feel i have mucked up my cycyle of the tank and now have CUC in there so am at a bit of a stale mate. Very tricky to know how to gauge it so as people keep listenening but don't get offended..

I have learnt a great deal from your replies so keep up the good work!!!
Elaine
Hi Tami,

This touch on another subject! People wanting to try housing a seahorses with a fish that is harmful. You have people sharing their experiences, people sharing their outcome and yet they still will give it a try.

Kind Regards,

Tim
  • Offline TamiW
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Yup. I know we've talked about how frustrated it make us. I don't know if there is anything you can do about it. It's not exclusive to seahorses, either.

When I worked in a fish store, this happened a lot with many fish. I never did figure out a good answer. We actually had authority to tell people 'no', and they'd either come back another day and lie (Why, I remember you?), go to a different employee and see if they'd be more flexible (some didn't care unfortunately, but some did), or they'd complain to the manager. He would almost always give in, even though it was the person that made the policy. I suspect many went to different stores too to try and "game" the system.

Which is something I just don't get. It's probably been too long since I've been a novice, but it certainly seems like a lot of people try this. Not every new aquarist or not even the majority, but a big enough minority that I don't know what we can do to change that. It is something I do want to try and figure out the mindset behind it, in hopes of figuring out how to address it.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline Laurasea
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Hope??? this isn't about my post trying a midas blenny, seahorse org, listed it as threat level 2.  If I didn't have tigertails he would have been fine in a non breeding erectus set up. 
  • H.comes and H.erectus, H. reidi
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  • Offline TamiW
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Hope??? this isn't about my post trying a midas blenny, seahorse org, listed it as threat level 2.  If I didn't have tigertails he would have been fine in a non breeding erectus set up. 

No it's not, don't worry. It's something that had come up repeatedly on every site I'm on, and lately a lot on facebook. One person even had a puffer with their seahorses and just would not accept the idea that the puffer could turn on the seahorses at any time. It can be heartbreaking.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline Laurasea
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Yes, that is true. Many LFS display seahorses with fish that shouldn't be kept with SH... And they don't care! I asked to see them feed the seahorse, only to watch all the fish gobble the food before SH got the chance to eat any.  They can't wrap their heads around that seahorses have a tail and hitch, waiting to feed, not swimming chasing food.  It breaks my heart.
  • H.comes and H.erectus, H. reidi
May your joy be as deep as the ocean,
Your sorrows as light as the foam.