Announcement Partnering with some hobby-specific commercial leaders


Owner Administrator
Staff member
Founding Member
  • Oct 29, 2022
    Miami, FL
    Hello ScapeCrunchers,

    I hope your week is going well and that algae is staying away or dying for you.

    Quick note to let you all know that ScapeCrunch will be partnering with a few hobby-specific commercial ventures that are:
    1. serious, ethical and cutting-edge leaders in the planted aquarium hobby; and
    2. focused on the growth of the hobby, not just on profits.
    For our hobby to grow, it requires people who are willing to invest their hard-earned money into it. People willing to take a risk that the planted aquarium hobby can be profitable AND that they can retain the soul of the hobby (i.e., a hobby that unites people through a common connection with nature). So, it behooves each of us to support people that are doing this and to help them succeed in their mission.

    Shortly, I will announce the first partner and the ways ScapeCrunch will be working with them. Please don't envision horrific ad pop-ups or a barrage of "buy here" banners. The goal is to work the partnership into our community without annoying the heck out of all of us.

    Also, it is important for you to know that 100% of the money that ScapeCrunch will make from this (it ain't much), will go back into covering some of the expenses associated with maintaining and growing this site. Some of the ongoing and upcoming expenses of ScapeCrunch are:
    • monthly web host and annual domain cost;
    • developing and growing a useful aquarium plant database;
    • a new online course system that allows you to take hobby-specific courses here on ScapeCrunch; and
    • a not-so-secret planted aquarium podcast.
    I hope you join me in supporting these people who have chosen to take a chance on our hobby. As always, THANK YOU so much for being part of our community. I'm so glad you're here.

    Wishing you all the best,


    PS, happy to take any questions or concerns. Please post a comment here or message me directly.
    @Art I remember that you planned to introduce a plan of supporting members to donate for ScapeCrunch? As a member I would be very happy to contribute financially to ScapeCrunch, because I believe it helps you with the work, it helps us to enjoy freedom of speech, and it helps ScapeCrunch to remain independent from commercial interests.

    I understand from another forum that running costs are not that high, less than 2000 USD annually, and if I calculate the average contribution for each of their 8 sponsors it is really peanuts considering how much money goes around in this hobby. For us as hobbyists the question is whether goals are always aligned (in many cases they are, in some cases may not be), and whether it isn't easier to protect our independence with some modest voluntary contributions from members?

    I would feel really honoured to become ScapeCrunch first supporting member :love:
    Last edited:
    I remember that you planned to introduce a plan of supporting members to donate for ScapeCrunch?
    Yes, I do plan to launch a supporting member plan this year. I am working out what benefits becoming a supporting member will get you. While I know some of you would gladly contribute without an expectation of getting something in return, I do think it’s important that you get recognized and rewarded in some way. Stay tuned.

    One the site’s running costs, it really does depend on what we do as a site. Yes, the basic fixed costs (domain name, monthly hosting and software license fees) are not that high, as you mention.

    However, there are times that the site needs developer time to purchase a system add-on or have some custom work done that supports a new feature. For example, we will soon release some upgrades that will allow us to host online planted aquarium courses, fully integrated into the forum. Other times, the site needs design improvements (graphics, logo, etc.). These types of infrequent, but important, items do increase the cost of running a site that wants to be active, educational and entertaining.

    What I can promise you is that this site will remain independent and owned by a hobbyist. I made the mistake of selling APC back in the day and I won’t make that mistake again. Instead, I hope to develop symbiotic relationships with hand-picked commercial interests that should (I hope) cover most of the running costs, eventually.

    That being said, we really don’t have many commercial ventures that are planted aquarium specific so the available pool of partners isn’t huge. I think community member support will also be vital in making ends meet.

    I would feel really honoured to become ScapeCrunch first supporting member :love:
    You, my friend, are my hero!!

    Thank you for caring and speaking up.