Before hitting the “help button,” make sure you’ve gathered all the relevant information about your system

We’ve all been there at one time or another: A major problem arises that’s causing livestock losses—and/or loss of sanity—and we need advice from local fish store staffers, the members of our favorite forum, website moderators, or just friendly local hobbyists on how to find a workable solution. However, when we’re desperate to resolve a problem, we sometimes pose questions in a manner that’s, well, a bit counterproductive. In many cases, the question is worded something like this: “My fish/corals keep dying one after another. It seems like every day I lose one or two more. I don’t see any signs of disease, and all my water parameters are perfect. What could be the problem? Can you recommend a product or medication that will put a stop to this? Please help, as I’m about to quit this hobby in disgust!”While this question conveys a great deal of passion, what it lacks is virtually every pertinent detail that could aid in finding a solution. MORE

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