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Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

Discussion in 'Subscription Information' started by Tom Barr, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Steve Hampton

    Steve Hampton Lifetime Members
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    Tom, I'm just thankful to have you as my major resource provider and the information I gain from the newsletters is worth many times the amount I pay per year...in fact I never hesitated to renew my subscription this year because I see it as such a great value. People complain when they are either ill informed, jealous, or just plain dense. Frankly I don't take advantage of the forums here much due to the heavy load of other forum obligations I have but I think your providing of the forums and making yourself so available is remarkable. Considering your stature and place in the hobby you are certainly unique. I can't name another renown expert that makes themselves as approachable as you do. I've always considered your attitude and unselflessness to be equal to your prodigious knowedgebase...that my friend is saying a lot. Any success I have with my planted tanks is largely due to your sharing of knowledge and any help I am able to provide to others is a reflection of the way you give so freely.

    Thanks for the help and thank you for making such a great resource as the newsletter so affordable. Ignore the goons.
     
  2. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I've never been to Barr's Tavern Tom, but did sometimes go to the Sheeps Heid (13th century). I come from the Borders area not too far from Edinburgh. Been in the States for 6 years now.

    Anyways, I guess my problem is when other forums start throwing grenades at individuals. Makes it more like a media circus.
     
  3. handimn1

    handimn1 Junior Poster

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    Your site is just fine for me Tom, keep up the good work!
     
  4. Jay

    Jay Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    Steve Hampton wrote...

    He really sums up my feelings also. In fact I renewed a month early so a not to miss any articles or newsletters. Took a bit for Greg and I to get it straight. :)

    Jay
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    The support for this is based much more on the Magazine approach.
    Not a discussion forum.

    I think that's the disconnect.
    Do folks expect a magazine to to be free?

    There are no monthly plant magazines I am aware of. Most are quarterly, few offer refereneces or any in depth detail.

    I am planning on writing more for some magazines such as TFH and Aqua planta/Reef Art, more general stuff. Topics that get repeated often on boards rather thann BarrReport level discussions.

    The goal is to reach a larger group of folks that are interested and it is advertising for the BarrReport as well indirectly. The kind I prefer, advertising based on good in depth information rather than pretty eye candy.
    Nothing wrong with both eye candy and good info, then you have a good combo.

    I think one thing I want to write coming up is coming to terms with the various methods used and why each works and the evaluation of the trades based on the hobbyists goal/s.

    This is important as it addresses many newbies frustrations when getting infomation about how to grow plants.

    The worst issue is the the gap between non CO2/carbon enrichment and CO2 gas use. Advice really is divided when someone ask for advice.

    No one has addressed why algae does not grow in each method, those that have speculated have had a poor understanding about algae.
    The observations also do not match their hypothesis well, if at all.
    Nearly every single writer/author expert has had some statement claiming excess PO4, NO3, Fe causes algae. Yet my observations and those of others clearly show this cannot be true.

    I look at the observations first, then try to build a model.
    If I go back and test the hypothesis, it must match the observations.
    If not, toss out the model and build a new one that better explains and matched the observations. See if it's predictable.

    Understanding to causative mechansims for algae can teach us much more about aquatic plants and where to look when dealing with a horticultural strategy.

    Many read some conclusion and assume that this conclusion must be correct.
    Then they run around looking for support for this conclusion in the research, or worse, on the boards.

    I've seen many folks assume since there are some folks having trouble and even if a few are not, that there must be something to PO4, of Fe. That is backwards thinking. How can two folks have the same conditions with PO4 and one not have algae while the other does? It must be something other than high PO4 or Fe. Something else is confounding their observation.
    Poor test kits compound this issue even further. But EI is useful for knowing you defintiely have PO4 because you justed added some! You know how much regardless of the test kit reading.
    That allows you to rule out the test kit issue or the deficiency issue.

    If they have algae, great! I know how to induce many species of algae and that will tell me most everything I need to know to analyze where they went wrong and to stop blaming the innocent PO4 or Fe.

    Algae are great bioindicators of health.

    It also provides much more wiggle room in a routine without having to deal with algae and provides more delivery options for fertilizers and maintenance.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. dschmeh

    dschmeh Prolific Poster

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I dont mind paying I subscribed and feel the the info is worth the cost. yes i can find info for free but by subscribing i feel im getting personal support from a plant expert (tom) if needed, It seems tom answers most post personally and if i get in a jam i can always ask tom this to me is worth the minimal cost . I belong to other forums and it sometimes seems people who dont know what they are talking about are trying to reply to you and are sometimes misleading. This is NOT the case here.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I think most folks mean well that give advice, seldom have I ever seen otherwise.

    Getting to understand the complexity sometimes is tough. And when I was getting started and had a limited knowledge and experience base, I too had similar questions and made a few mistakes, but I generally did not make many of the same ones and was always pretty careful about advice.

    I've put my foot in my mouth a few times, but you admit you are human and move on. When folks wound up, then it's an ego base thing. Intetrmediate folks often get into this vein.

    They know enough to argue, but not enough to put it together.
    Be patient with them, they will mellow and learn soon enough in due time.

    Main thing here is to get folks to that level sooner and easier.
    It's good to learn through experience, as long as it's not your own.

    By helping all of you learn and get a very in depth background to these questions and various methods, you all will have a much better background and ability to help others and support the knowledge.

    This eventually will lead to a stronger understanding and consensus among plant horticulture methods/advice and provide very high success rates for the future newbies.

    I think everyone that is passionate about plants has this goal.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. dazzer1975

    dazzer1975 Prolific Poster

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    When you consider the costs involved in purchasing our tanks, equipment, lifesock and plants, then spending $12 to gain some trustworthy advice and benefit from the knowledge and experience of others then essentially the subscription fee pays for itself.

    It will pay for itself if the advice you receive prevents you from making one unneccessary or unsuitable purchase, or from making a mistake which could cost the life's of your plants thus preventing the need to purchase replacements etc.


    It is also a nice touch and illustrates the attitude of the site and it's owner when he takes the time to answer so many questions we have.

    Thanks Tom for creating a place like this and devising new methods and exploring the knowledge boundaries of our hobby and then for sharing this knowledge with us!
     
  9. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I spend more than this on coffee in a week. Why should I mind paying for strong "Rational" data ? I liken the investment to the red or blue pill in The Matrix. Most journeys start with a conscious decision. The investment is trivial. Starting the journey is Crucial !

    Hardly anyone ever aspires to mediocrity. Unfortunately that's often the casualty of apathy. The poke and prod method of research is novel. Even enlightening at times, but it gets real messy when dealing with living organisms. Expensive Too ! :eek:

    Folks seldom commit to Free Advice, They're more likely to argue with you...Don't get me started ! :gw Prof M
     
  10. robin adair

    robin adair Junior Poster

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I see the Barrreport as damm good value and has incrementally improved plant growth skills and fostered good debate among the like minded here.
    Keep it up Tom, you are good for the hobby and helping lots of people and I don't mind paying. Thanks.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    I have a new tank I created, 2000 gallons.
    The client is a very advanced hobbyists and loves fish as well.

    The tank should surpass the ADA's giant tank when it's grown in fully.
    22 hours of planting non stop ...........I'm a dead dog :p
    That did not include the hardscape.

    250lb log, 180lb petrified wood(there are many other items, this was just some of the harder ones to place).

    EI dosing, 4 x 1000 watt MH (and PC's), Pure O2 injection, dual system CO2(beetle 50's and 24"x 4: CO2 reactors) It has about most every bell and whistle.
    1000gpd RO......700 gal Reservior.

    Stock list and one very good reason why it will exceed ADA's tank:

    36 dinner plate Discus champs(all) biggest fish I've seen.
    46 Altums(I've never seen this many at once)
    60......yes 60 Rose line barbs...........

    I may do several more such Barr's Behemoth's soon.

    Very fun, but a lot of work when the tank is 4ft deep
    Lots of good folks did the tank and engineering.

    Tenji from Monterey Bay did most of the tank equipment.
    I did the Wood, rock, scaping, plants/planting, substrate, CO2, ferts.

    Plants where pearling nicely 3 hours after set up.

    Yes, there will be photo's and set up history etc etc.

    I need some sleep now:)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Paul

    Paul Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    never mind the sleep, where are the pics? :confused: :p
     
  13. dcheese44

    dcheese44 Junior Poster

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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    Hey everybody Hi Tom,
    I have actually never posted anything in this forum (I think I'll start). I have seen and read this topic before and I think the answer will probably be the same as before. People that feel that they do not need to pay for information will continue to not pay for information, and people who want to pay some amount for information will pay the amount. Honestly what college or university did you go to? You made the decision then, right? So, if the real question is do I feel like my money is well spent, then the answer is assuredly, YES. I have learned a great deal about building, maintaining and enjoying a hobby from the barrreport as well as many other resources. I think the barr report presents ideas very well and has a great many contributors and is definitely worth my time and money.
    Well, That's my two cents.
    Cheese
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    See behemoth tank....... :gw
     
  15. travis

    travis Lifetime Members
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    Re: Paying for premium forums......is the BarrReport any different?

    Tom,

    All I have to say is that you were the only person who found my tank "unremarkable." I've been keeping African cichlids in a planted tank for years now and you were the only person who said that it wasn't amazing - LOL.

    I completely agree with you. It is NOT as hard as one may first imagine. Plants deal well with hard water, the fish are the tricky part :p

    If there is any way I can help out just call on me :)
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Oh Travis, the idea is not amazing, the tank and your excution and passion to it is amazing.

    Few would doubt that, I went after a more tangy approach to the biotope within reason, you just went all out for the plant tank and having the fish you love and they are great choices for the group.

    Thing is, you took a risk and kept your passion and the the tank looks super.
    That is remarkable.

    I think the point I was making is not so much the tank was unremarkable, far far from it, much more that yes, you can keep Rift lake fish and plants together, not all species, but most of them depending on what you want to do as far as a scape.

    I'd really like to see much more folks keeping different, non traditional fish in planted tanks.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. admin_old

    admin_old Administrator
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    Ditto ... I think there are lots of things that are wonderful and viable tanks ... this was an outstanding example ...

    Greg
     
  18. gupp

    gupp Junior Poster

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    I think people like to find fault with others because then they can compare themselves and think, well I'm better than that. It's in everything not only just if you have a subscription site. It's a person dresses, does their hair, what they think, in this day and age, what they do behind closed doors. A large portion of people believe they are qualified for determining the moral standing of others. It's disappointing, personally I don't think there is anyone that couldn't stand to make a few self improvements in one way or another but it's easier to pass judgment on others than look in the mirror.


    Sadly anytime you do anything that might put something back in your pocket in the aquarium world there seems to be someone that thinks it's wrong, whether selling fish, plants or knowledge. On the other hand I wonder if some of these folks have any idea the cash involved in paying for domain names, hosting sites, site software and whatever other little incidentals come along. And the time, time to set up sites, time to update, time to answer the same questions you've answered 20 times before that a quick site search would reveal (OK sometimes I know I've done this to people too.) All those short little answers add up to a lot of time. Then there's the cost of the aquariums, plants, fish, equipment and then the time of actually taking care of those animals, and trying to keep up with everything in the field. If you can't get at least some of it back, or goodness forbid, actually make a small profit, then the average Joe couldn't possibly do it. You'd have to be independently wealthy and lot's of free time.

    Anyway I've rambled on a bit but just wanted to say you have my support. I'm going to have to be signing up too. I really want to read that report on aquatic fungus. :)
     
  19. tefsom85

    tefsom85 Lifetime Members
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    I just saw this thread for the first time when it popped up under the "new" section. But I wanted to throw my 2 cents in, even if its worth less :cool: . I personally feel this is an awesome forum and I think it is inevitable that anyone with more than a passing interest in aquatic plants is going to end up here.

    The subscription fee is minimal and I am more than willing to pay it. I have been a planted tank "hack" for many years. Definitely know some stuff but there's awhole lot more that I don't know. I spend a lot of time lurking here and the other forums to try to glean useful info. Always learning something which is the real gauge of the site's worth.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, pop up ads, banners, coddling to various business sponsers and trying to get $ that way has not worked well for many sites over the years.

    I wanted more control over the content and the fee gets rid of the trolls fast. I have not had to moderate anything here to date, we locked a few threads in the off topic chat, but that might be due to me as much as the topics:)
    Still, hardly any moderation has ever been required here after a few years now.
    I expect and give a large leeway, as long as folks stick to the topic and focus on that, there's not going to be any. I do not rule with an iron stick.

    This forum is for the people and of the people and by the people.
    It is not for the advertisers. It's for you.

    Folks can sell a few bags of weeds on the net, like 1 or 2, and that covers the cost. Not hard to do.

    It pays to have a green thumb, teach the aquarists to grow plants and they will be rich in plant dollars. Then the $ from that can pay for a few little extras here and there.

    I think some had the knee jerk response when I started this as they just wanted me to keep doing things for free(Hah! They are not the boss of me!). Those magazines also cost money as well. How much content on aquatic plants is there? And no trees where killed in the writing of this monthly newsletter as well as no postage stamps licked to mail it and waste fuel and produce CO2 for delivery.

    I also tried to add many references and really go in depth and bring something new to the discussion that has not been talked about in this hobby prior for each article. Not mere edited post.

    Many magazine articles rehash the same old newbie topics over and over, that's good as that is what many readers are after in many cases. But what about those that already know they wanted plants and want to learn the horticulture behind it?


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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