• Welcome to ScapeCrunch!

    We are a friendly, online community of people interested in planted aquariums. We support and help each other learn and grow. It is our sincere hope that you will join us and find our tight-knit community valuable and fun!

    ScapeCrunch is different than Facebook Groups. Here's how:

    • It is a place where you can make long-term friends in the planted aquarium hobby and have long, multi-day talks on specific subjects.
    • Unlike social media, online communities like ScapeCrunch are much better at curating collective knowledge and in fostering deeper relationships.
    • They lend themselves better at long-form discussions.
    • You can maintain a thread on your personal aquarium with pictures and details. Other members can comment, help and ask questions. You can do the same with their Member Tank threads.

    Where Facebook is more like a large city-wide party, ScapeCrunch is more like your neighborhood bar "where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came." It's always fun to go to large parties but it's at the local bar that you feel people really know you. The great part is that you can and should go to both!

    Please consider joining to become a full fledged member of our growing community of planted aquarium obsessed enthusiasts. Let's grow together!

    Join Us!

Forum Tips FAQ on Writing Articles for ScapeCrunch


Staff member
Founding Member
  • Oct 29, 2022
    Miami, FL
    If you want to write articles for ScapeCrunch, this post is for you.

    I thought it was time to talk a little about writing for ScapeCrunch and address a few misconceptions, answer a few common questions, and explain a little about the process of submitting articles.

    Can anyone in the forum write articles for ScapeCrunch?

    Yes! Yes! We want articles. If you don’t know what to write about, send me a private message, and I can help you come up with an appropriate topic.

    How long should articles be?

    For readers, there is a sweet spot between 800 and 1200 words. So, if your article is longer, I may suggest we break it up into more than one part. I would say don’t worry about it. Write what you want, and let me worry about the length.

    What can I write about?

    Anything related to the planted aquarium hobby. Also many topics that are related to aquarium-keeping and aquaristics are welcome, but talk to me before writing your 10K-word masterpiece. Technical pieces are fine, but non-technical pieces can be interesting, too.

    How do I submit articles?

    You can private message me, and copy and paste your work of art into the message field. You can also send me photos that way. Or I can give you my email address and you can email everything to me.

    What do you do to the articles submitted?

    I try to do what any good editor does. I make sure the article makes sense and the average reader is going to understand what you’re saying. I correct the English if I notice any mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, diction, etc. etc. etc. I check the photos and make sure they are attributed correctly and are in good focus. Sometimes I might try to sharpen a photo or crop it to make it look better. Then I format it to make it look like all of our other articles. I may fact-check the article if possible.

    Don’t be put off or insulted if I ask you questions about your article. I’m trying to make you and ScapeCrunch look good. I don't edit just because I can. I only do it if I have to. My goal is that when you see your article published you say to yourself, "Wow. That's my article. But better."

    Do forum members get paid to write articles?

    No, they don’t. Writing articles is voluntary and helps the community at large.

    What if I find a mistake in an article?

    Please tell me ASAP, so I can correct it. Send me a private message. Big publications like The New York Times have several layers of proofreaders for everything that goes to print. Here, there’s just me. And I’m human. As diligent as I try to be, sometimes I miss something.

    I usually ask at least one or two other forum members to read articles before they go live, but mistakes happen. I appreciate it when someone points out a mistake so I can fix it.

    Do I have to submit photos with my article?

    No. BUT, all articles must have photos, so if you don’t have any, then I will add some. I have many sources.

    If you submit many photos, I may not use all of them. Don’t take it personally. I choose/accept the photos based on a) how good they are b) how well they illustrate your story and c) are we allowed to use them.

    Can I use random photos that I found on the web?

    Not unless you ask permission from where you found the photo or the photo is tagged as being free for anyone to use. This is an issue I run into all the time. You may not take random photos from the internet and just use them for yourself. There is a protocol for asking permission, and sometimes your article may be held up for a while why I try to get permission. Sometimes we get it, and sometimes we won’t. If we can’t get permission, then we try to substitute a photo that we can use.

    So, when you submit an article, the first thing I’m going to ask is, “where did these photos come from?” I’m not being a jerk or a pain-in-your-neck. I’m trying to keep what we’re doing in the article section legal and proper. And classy.

    How about if I just embed photos in a Word document?

    Actually, that doesn’t help me. It creates extra work for me. The software we use does not allow me to copy and paste photos into the field. I have to upload photos separately THEN show the software where I want the photo. So, if you send me embedded photos, I have to take them out then put them back in.

    Can I make suggestions for articles?

    Absolutely. I love suggestions. Send me a private message.

    How come my submitted article isn’t published yet?

    Well, it could be lots of reasons. It might be because I am waiting for permissions for photos. Or I might be fact-checking it. If there’s something wrong with the article or if I have questions, I will let you know. If you haven’t heard from me, assume everything is fine. If you’re nervous then private message me.

    Is there anything I, as a forum member, can help you with?

    Sure! Thank you for asking. I have go-to people for different topics, general content, fish, identifying livestock, and proofreading, for example. If you want to help, then send me a private message and tell me what you’d like to help with.

    What can I do as an article writer to make your life easier?

    Thank you for asking. The one biggest single thing you can do when submitting articles and photos is give photo files names that make sense or give me a key to unscrambling them.

    Is there anything I should give you besides the article and any accompanying photos?

    Yes. I will ask you for a blurb about you: a few lines about you and your time in the hobby or writing or area of expertise experience. If you include that, then you save me from asking for it. If you’ve already written for me, then I will have that information on file.

    Wait! I have other questions!

    Send me a private message.