• 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!

Some really good contributions, no more. This is why we need ScapeCrunch

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Yugang

Active Member
Supporting
May 8, 2023
324
750
Hong Kong
Before ScapeCrunch was born, other fora were the best place for sharing our passion for the hobby, learning, and progress.

One of the best contributors on another forum goes with the name _Mac_. Many excellent experiments, takeaways from studied published science, and one of the few in our hobby with contributions that would qualify as ‘science’.

I followed _Mac_, because I am passionate about science, new ideas and progress and value the various perspectives that people bring. The last post that I saw from _Mac_ was his opinion that aquascapers mostly copy each other, and a somewhat critical perspective on a sponsored community event with an aquascaping demonstration. This post has been deleted by the forum's admins and _Mac_ went silent from then. I won’t say I would agree or disagree to his opinion, or style, but who would not agree that we should value different perspectives?

Now it looks like _Mac_’s contributions are no longer welcome, and before his threads will be deleted from the other forum (it happened before), I would encourage anyone to read and learn from his unique (yet not all in the forums party line) contributions to our hobby. Going forward, I hope we can welcome _Mac_ soon on ScapeCrunch.


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As someone who comes from the Saltwater side of the hobby. I have noticed the absence science based answers. This also causes substandard equipment and other techniques to be allowed to flourish.
 
UKAPS has really surprised me lately with their handling of a few members whose only crime is seeming to not tow the party line (whatever tf that is) Banning @Yugang and subsequently deleting your threads was red flag num 1.

Ive started a couple times recently to be more active over there, but Im pretty sure my opinions would not be welcomed.

Aside from that Ive never seen a more technically oriented forum with so many knowledgeable members. I find that a real shame because I would love to join in..

@Tim Harrison Im curious to hear your thoughts on the matter
 
I have noticed the absence science based answers.
I followed fora for more than a decade, and believe that in the early days more knowledgeable hobbyists, professionals and scientists cared sharing their expertise on fora. These people are still around, the question is why not more actively sharing? I hope and believe ScapeCrunch is the answer to that.

This also causes substandard equipment and other techniques to be allowed to flourish.
I had started a thread on the other forum "Are we a small unattractive niche market?". It started with my observation that the global aquarium market is as big as 5 Billion USD (not a typo), and questioned why we have seen so little innovation over the past 5 years. The thread has been deleted, and perhaps this is not the place and time to lay out the arguments again.

Aside from that Ive never seen a more technically oriented forum with so many knowledgeable members. I find that a real shame because I would love to join in..
Yes and no. There is a lot going on, but there is a clear party line (including, but not limited to the admin's team) that does not help creative thinking and progress. Before I got banned, I had actually informed UKAPS staff that I was planning to bow out and eventually stop active participation. I felt committed to support reactors, but already decided to not post anything new. Fortunately ScapeCrunch is a much better place, and encourages creativity. I recently joined FB, like it but it is not a place where one can build a thread or a deeper conversation, so I see ScapeCrunch and FB groups as partners, both with unique value and complementary.

I hope that _Mac_ is reading this, and joins us soon.
 
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Its not just forums. Many of the social media groups are becoming the same way. Yes all the old timers with a great wealth of information are there in the shaddows watching but they only step in if called upon of feel it's necessary. Quite honestly I feel the same way. This hobby has a uniquie way of always dragging up the old bad theories, ways, crap info. It's aken to beating a dead horse. Gets old and frankly people get tired of it so simply move on.
If I'm reading the trend right our hobby is in for some worrying times. Almost a gradual decline curve until it hits rock bottom and has to start all over again. For instance no one knows how to read between the lines and pull information from any number of online sources. Its all about instant gratification and answers. The entire aquascaping community is dwindling big time due to the shut down of the IIAC. Add to that all the drama over with the IAPLC rigging the judging. People just dont care. Another huge aspect I've seen personally while trying to source out plants is that no one grows the medium to rare species anymore. Damn near every plant retailer and hobbiest in the USA is out of Ludwigia white or if they do have it hord it like its gold.
 
I agree, that’s why forums like UKAPS and ScapeCrunch, that have become friendly and knowledgeable communities, are so valuable not just in general but for introducing new folk to the hobby, guiding beginners, exchanging ideas and different view points. But also for making new friends and acquaintances. In the bigger picture it all contributes to making the world a better place.
 
Its not just forums. Many of the social media groups are becoming the same way. Yes all the old timers with a great wealth of information are there in the shaddows watching but they only step in if called upon of feel it's necessary. Quite honestly I feel the same way. This hobby has a uniquie way of always dragging up the old bad theories, ways, crap info. It's aken to beating a dead horse. Gets old and frankly people get tired of it so simply move on.

Many hobbies survive decades, centuries or millenea. But what is key is that they evolve, develop, innovate. They add new aspects, continue to learn, some rule changes, some new strategies or technologies.

Chess is more than 1000 years old, but now we play with computers, have speed chess and some exciting variants with new rules. Soccer is continuously evolving, changes faster than chess but much slower than car racing.

Now, what’s new in our planted aquarium hobby? _Mac_ made an interesting observation in his deleted post (sorry @Tim Harrison , and UKAPS team) that top aqua scapers basically copy each other and are then very satisfied with the result. @Yugang asked the question in his deleted thread what exciting new products and technologies have become available in the last 5 or 10 years, and nobody really had an answer and in fact pushed back for @Yugang asking the question. And finally for methods and science, what's really new since @plantbrain invented EI two decades ago?

Some of us, including the next generation of hobbyists, expect a bit more than to repeat what their father and grandfather were doing. This is change, and it is natural and perhaps necessary. The people who are driving this change sometimes make statements that are not following any party line, may be even a bit irritating. Junior members of fora are not children who need parental protection. The children, most likely, go to bars or social media that are less friendly and protected than our aquarium fora, but far more exciting for them. So it would be good if we endorse diversity, and let the different characters all play their role (within acceptable values and rules), and encourage change and progress in our hobby.

I agree, that’s why forums like UKAPS and ScapeCrunch, that have become friendly and knowledgeable communities, are so valuable not just in general but for introducing new folk to the hobby, guiding beginners, exchanging ideas and different view points. But also for making new friends and acquaintances. In the bigger picture it all contributes to making the world a better place.

Let me end with saying that UKAPS is a great forum, and has had over the years a tremendous contribution to the hobby, and it still has. It is not easy to moderate a forum, so despite sometimes some differences I have great respect for volunteers who step up and keep it friendly, educational and relevant.
 
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Going forward, I hope we can welcome _Mac_ soon on ScapeCrunch.
Have you reached out to him to invite him to this forum?

I would never have known about this forum if @Unexpected had not invited me here and made me aware of this forum…

I still post at another forum where he and I both also visit, but there are posts I place here I would never consider posting there….
 
Have you reached out to him to invite him to this forum?
I can't because I don't have access to UKAPS and I am not sure if _Mac_ still has. If anyone could reach out that would be great, it would be a loss for our hobby if _Mac_ gives up on sharing his ideas and future projects.

I would never have known about this forum if @Unexpected had not invited me here and made me aware of this forum…
Same for me, thanks to @Unexpected . I sometimes mention ScapeCrunch on Facebook, I think that is acceptable as I see a role for both platforms, and in many ways they complement and strengthen each other. 1+1=3
 
I'm going to try and push boundaries with minimal wc and precise(ish) dosing and we will see what happens with that method.

Also don't see many sumps or aquariums running just dense sponges for filtration. So will be giving that a bump as well.

Nothing new, but not as main stream as other methods.

I'll be definitely engaging with @Yugang to create an overflow co2 reactor for it as well.
 
UKAPS has really surprised me lately with their handling of a few members whose only crime is seeming to not tow the party line

anyone who enjoys being part of a friendly, welcoming, knowledgeable and very active planted tank and aquascaping community.
Is the farewell message for _Mac_, that was just posted and subsequently locked for further comments a good example of "friendly" and is this setting the tone for how members who do not fall in line are treated? I am not going to link it here, as I hope first thing in the morning the post will be removed.

Then, @Yugang ban last year is also mentioned again in _Mac_’s farewell. Not too worried about the ban when it came as already decided and informed UKAPS staff of the plan to stop actively contributing. What was really shocking was that 6-700 mostly technical messages were deleted, worth hundreds of hours work in the goal to give value back to the planted tank community. If UKAPS stands by its decision to decapitate a member and his legacy, don’t call mentioning it “badmouthing”. Yugang was already virtually absent from the forum for a month or two, until a thread with a climate change conspiracy theory came up that couldn’t be ignored by anyone caring for our planets future. The thread had been started by an UKAPS admin who fell probably a little short of arguments in this debate. This was the immediate cause of the ban, unlike the made up narrative that had been, and is now again posted on the public forum. All UKAPS staff are aware of this, yet don’t act to do justice until now.

I feel sorry for _Mac_, but I’ve been there so feel I need to speak up for him. I see many UKAPS members actually support _Mac_, so there is hope for him and for UKAPS. As far as @Yugang is concerned, it would be fair if the UKAPS staff posts on the public forum the PM’s (indeed private communications) about the climate change conspiracies that were sent on the day of the ban, so that members can have a more fact based check on the narrative that was again posted yesterday. Better even would be for UKAPS the restate all the deleted threads and 600 posts, and indicate explicitly and fact based why @Yugang deserved to be banned from a forum that aims to be a broad church as often mentioned.

Having said that, I hope I don't derail the conversation on progress in our hobby and how ScapeCrunch can play a constructive role in that :)

Update:

My message was apparently received, and somebody put an IP address block on all my registered devices so that the server blocks me from seeing the UKAPS site. This happened before, immediately after my first warning 2 years ago, so I learned how to use my wife's phone or VPN on my registered devices, but that is just a bit too complicated for me. Of course I could just totally ignore UKAPS, but I'd like some updates still.

Welcome to the beautiful world of UKAPS, and I believe that yesterdays posts on the forum about the bans, including an untruthful narrative repeated again, and now this IP block (for the second time) makes the point quite clear.

I really hope that we can get to reason, this is not how a hobbyist site should act. If UKAPS has second thoughts and be kind to _Mac_ and @Yugang , we can all take it positively from there.
 
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I updated above, but suggest that the last word in this thread has been said.

I hope we can reach _Mac_, and other than that I really don't care too much checking out UKAPS anymore.
A big thank you to ScapeCrunch for building such welcoming community, and especially @Art and @GreggZ encouraging me to not to give up on this hobby, and my passion to give something back to the planted tank community.
 
Hello @Yugang. We’re sorry you feel that way. The team wishes you could comprehend our position regarding the guidelines that structure the forum. They are universally applicable to all our members on UKAPS and the bare minimum required by a member. Despite the way you feel, the whole team wishes you the best for the future
Thank you for this reply @Tim Harrison . If you're around in HK one day, let me know and I'll show you around the famous fish market here. We''l have a chat over lunch I offer you, share our passion for the hobby and soon be friends :)
 
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