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VBT 08-02-2010 09:06 AM

Knowledge is Power....Sharing Knowledge is Freedom
Just thought I'd make a quick contribution here with a sort of innovative solution using the principles behind sites like this.

I was talking with a friend about how this very basic principle seems to fall by the wayside from time to time.
The idea behind the principle is that together sharing our individual knowledge we can all gain by what comes out of the result of that sharing.

Basically the sum is greater than the individual parts applied to knowledge.

I think a simple example of how this works for the internet would be the best way to get the idea across. I'll take a basic problem and show two routes to a solution, one without access to a lot of shared knowledge and one with access to that shared knowledge.

The Problem

OK, a neighbor of mine has a fish aquarium he built, it's quite a bit larger than the average aquarium you would normally purchase from the local pet shop. It's also stocked with a variety of fish, tropical and fresh water so the pool uses a heater. What has happened is that since the aquarium is larger, heated and has a variety of fish the waters PH level has gone up and now the water is turning cloudy and green from algae growth.
The tanks lights are being cycled off as per recommendation, so light is not the issue.

Without access to shared knowledge the first step to solve it would be to go to the local pet shop and ask for advice.

They would ask of course for a water sample first and then tell you to add a batch of expensive chemicals regularly while replacing at least a third of the tanks water.

This would not solve the problem.

Next they would ask what size your tank is and ask if you had any live plants. They would recommend changing the tanks filter to a larger one and some live plants and algae eaters to lower the PH in addition to another round of the chemicals. More $$$$.

This would help and the tank would be less green, but not permanently solve the problem. So back to the pet shop.

As a last resort they would suggest a powerhead pump and "biological" canister filter for the tank as well as the chemicals. Much more $$$$$$.

That solves the problem after spending about $500.00 and a monthly added expense for the aquarium of about $30.00.

Now let's try it with free access to knowledge via the internet.

With a fairly quick search you would find out that the algae making the tank water green is the result of inadequate filtration causing the nitrates level in the tank to be high enough to cause algae bloom.

With another quick search you would find out that you need a canister filter to solve the problem and you would find that the commercial solution is going to run you about $180.00 to set up and about $20.00 per month to maintain.

Here's where the real beauty of the principle steps up to be known.

A bit of quick reading during your searches would let you know that you just need a canister filter and a pump of some type. So with a little innovation you check around and find a small 60 GPM 12V bilge pump at Princess Auto for 14.95 to replace that expensive powerhead commercial pump from the pet store for $90.00. Now a look at Princess Auto again nets you an undersink drinking water cartridge filter for $27.00 replacing the commercial "biological" cartridge filter from the pet store for $90.00. Best yet they have the hose, ball valves and fittings you need for $15.00 more.

So instead of spending $180.00 for your canister filter system you spend $56.95 for a system that will clean up your tank crystal clear in under two weeks and where the filter is now good for 4 months or more reducing your filter maintenance cost to less than $2.00 per month.

This is just one problem where sharing knowledge can save you endlessly.

Keep up the good work here, you've got a great site.

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