User talk:Huw Powell

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Great to have you onboard. Any suggestions to the site or help. Just ask away. We don't bite! ;) --Quatermass 18:07, 13 February 2011 (EST)

Welcome, looks like you've been doing this a long time, hope yo see you back! --Brian 18:31, 13 February 2011 (EST)

Hey, my first orange boxes! Thanks both of you. Is there a central place for general site discussion? And are there any general guides to what is needed besides the rather large "short article" type categories? I suspect I will slowly look at fish & plants I have owned, especially ones I have half-decent photos of, and see what I can do to help there. My kid sister beat me to the game by a year or two when I brokered a deal for her to buy a friend's 20h with UG. She has been at it non-stop since then, except when her home was a VW bus & Phish concerts ;). Thanks for the nice warm welcome. Does this wiki have a "welcome" template yet? Huw Powell 20:03, 13 February 2011 (EST)
Question in two parts: Does anyone run bots here, and does the basic article structure for fish come from a template? Because "Environment Specifics" with the capital S is driving me crazy ;) Sorry, I'm a format/style nut. Huw Powell 21:35, 13 February 2011 (EST)
Yes it is run on a template but not through a bot system. So if you wanted to change that S you'd have to do it every single one of the thousands of species pages on here! Best just to leave it as is. There's bigger fish to to speak. --Cat 08:05, 14 February 2011 (EST)
Oh so many questions!
  • You have met the three of us who really run the site. Cat is by far the most active editor, and Q and I do most of the administrative stuff.
  • As all three of us are generally Freshies, we have little SW content. But feel free to write about what your most interested in.
  • If you need to look for pictures, the Special:ImportFreeImages page will search and import from flickr for you (it only returns CC images)
  • Nope, no welcome template yet
  • I do run w:Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser, but I had not run it in a while. I ran the newest version last night and it should have cleaned up all of the capitalization issues. But I am the only one running a bot.
  • I just revise the templating system, Talk:Main_Page#Changes_10.2F14 discusses it. The entire fish profile page comes from here Fish Profile but it is by no means set in stone. Add whatever sections are necessary.
  • We don't conform exactly to wikipedia's style guidelines (note the indentation), but we just try to make it look nice. A note, sometimes people come on and change works from the British to US spelling, that is my only pet peeve unless your rewriting the article. Since Cat and Q both use to many Us I've given up the fight for the correct spelling :)
  • We use a lot of unit templates to make the site readable internationally. Try any {{unit-here|##|##}} such as {{gal|10|15}} {{l|12|15}} or {{cm|34|45}} {{in|34|56}} they also work with a single number.
Just keep an eye on recent changes to articles you made changes to, its the best way to learn. We will let you know why we do things, but if you have a better idea don't hesitate to suggest it, just because its how we do things, doesn't mean it the way we should do things. --Brian 09:15, 14 February 2011 (EST)
Thank you all... so many questions, so many answers, so many more questions! I just added water change, I was struck by this absence, but whatever. Feel free to critique the style and content to help me get "on board" more.
The "bot" thing - "Feeding regime" etc. don't use "unnecessary capitals", but "Environment Specifics" does. Can you run one to fix that? I'm not just a stickler for consistency, I'm a freak for it, and a lack of it makes me feel grubby.
The indentation thing. It's weird, but easy enough to do. Whatever, I'm not here to tell you how to format your wiki, more to learn how you do, and follow it.
Templates: what is the basic "create a fish" template and how is it used to create the headers? I know you folks have already created several thousand, so it's not much of an issue, but still... and then the units. Has temperature been done? I tried F, dF, C, K, degF, etc, but found no joy.
Lastly, would you like me to make you a nice "welcome" template thing? It's always nice to welcome noobs, even if relatively robotically. I'd need to know the best noob resource files, which I don't think are really well organized here yet (no offense intended!).
Anyway, great to meet you all, I hope I can help out a bit here from time to time! Huw Powell 02:21, 15 February 2011 (EST)
Q got permission a while back to copy a set of articles from another website that has a water change article in it Water Changes: Why, How Much, and How Often?. Unfortunately we only got permission to mirror them, not to change and improve them. As such, we should make sure your new article contains all of the appropiate information and remove the one that's license isn't really compatible with the site.
As for the templates:
  • {{f|10}} - -12.2°C (10°F)
  • {{f|10|15}} - -12.2--9.4°C (10-15°F)
  • {{c|10}} - 10°C (50°F)
  • {{c|10|15}} - 10-15°C (50-59°F)
  • {{cm|10}} - 10cm (3.9")
  • {{cm|10|15}} - 10-15cm (3.9-5.9")
  • {{in|10}} - 25.4cm (10")
  • {{in|10|15}} - 25.4-38.1cm (10-15")
I'll release the bot again and see if I can get him to clean-up everything again.
Fish Profile#Page code contains the default template we use. It may need to be refreshed
If you want to make a welcome template I would encourage it, I mostly copy templates from Wikipedia. And your right, the noob resource files are not well organized, Q and I wrote them in 2006 when the site was set-up. Its a community site, don't put BS info on it and you can do what you want and think is necessary. --Brian 08:38, 15 February 2011 (EST)
Excellent, thank you for the answers, Brian! And I was so glad to actually find a basic article I could try to get started, that's always a nice way to try to get the hang of a new wiki. Another thing I noticed somewhere is that the wiki is also for providing product reviews, something I could really sink my teeth into. Is there a standard format for such, and, more importantly, a disclaimer perhaps? Do manufacturers send us free stuff if we write glowing reviews?
I'll see if I can patch together a nice functional welcome template, meanwhile I mostly keep hitting "random" to see if anything comes up I can add to.
I also want to thank you all again for not biting the noob! Huw Powell 20:33, 15 February 2011 (EST)

Welcome template[edit]

I hacked something together here. I don't really know what pages it should link to, though. Can someone suggest two or three "go to" links, regarding site goals, policies and such? Huw Powell 16:57, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Suggestions for the fish basic template[edit]

Get rid of feeding regime. It's the same for almost all fish.

Add region of origin.

Just my 0.7 or so. Huw Powell 23:15, 15 February 2011 (EST)

You are probably right that the feeding regime only has to be included where there are changes from the standard every-day to every-other day, but lets get some more input before removing it. Oh, and there is a habitat option on the fish-template. If you want to add a recognized region you need to do it here: Template:Units-Habitat, just follow the format of the other lines, and try to group them together. --Brian 22:49, 16 February 2011 (EST)
Great, thanks. I guess there is a balance between what goes in the template and the body of an article. Habitat does make sense to be in the template, I agree.
As far as feeding, lionfish might say "one goldfish per week, you sick bastard", but 98% of species do just fine with some food every day or week... worst way to lose your tank is have a friend feed them while on holiday. They'll overfeed, of course (I do!). We literally used to get "customers" seeking to replace their friend's fish after five days. In reality, cold-blooded critters can go weeks - even months - without food. They look "constantly hungry" exactly because in the wild, food is often available only rarely. I sense another general article coming on... feeding... Huw Powell 22:58, 16 February 2011 (EST)
Part of the reason we put so much in the template is that we have alot of hidden categories to move fish around. You will notice that if you change the habitat on the profile, it puts it in a different category. It also puts some semantic data on the page that we can use for other applications (ok well I can use). And yes, I feed my fish every other day and they are fine, but my GF thinks I'm starving them --Brian 08:53, 17 February 2011 (EST)
Yes, I've seen the edges, shall we say, of some of the tricks built into the site, and have been very impressed (like how the species page titles display). And I get a giggle every time I see the vertical "freshwater" in the template. I'm trying to discipline myself to cut back to three feedings a day. I tend to slip up and feed a bit too frequently in the evening, and saying "at least I'm feeding the plants" doesn't really cut it! Huw Powell 16:52, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Un "stubbing"[edit]

So many articles are labelled as stubs, I take it was the default as the skeleton was being built. Encouraging people to remove the template would be good I think, I keep seeing it on fairly complete articles. Huw Powell 23:19, 15 February 2011 (EST)

By all means remove it from articles that are complete, and your right it was on the template we copied to make all of the pages. --Brian 22:49, 16 February 2011 (EST)

The Contents Box[edit]

But if you've visited the page multiple times and know the bumf at the top off by heart and just want to skip to, say, external links, you want to click in the contents box, not scroll past the bumf (which, on some pages, could be quite long) to get to the contents box. You need to cater for the lazy internet surfer with a 2 second attention span on here! --Cat 07:42, 17 February 2011 (EST)

I guess a compromise (not that I have been around long enough to earn the right to expect my opinion to carry equal weight!), the "bumf" (whatever that is) could be kept short, say, two or three sentences, so the ToC pretty much appears completely on the first screen. Huw Powell 16:55, 17 February 2011 (EST)
Hmmm, another good point (for your argument) is that in the absence of an "edit zero" gadget, to fix a simple typo in the lead requires either hacking the url or editing the entire page. I'll try to stop removing those initial headers that put the ToC at the top for now! Although sometimes those lead headers seem a bit clunkily worded... Huw Powell 17:00, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Original Articles[edit]

I'd just like to say that in my opinion we should carry other peoples articles (as they've written them) as this will give the site a more friendly and personal flavour over a site like the Wikipedia.

It's all very well writing a straight article about something but it can be very cold. I think there is room for both types.

--Quatermass 17:58, 17 February 2011 (EST)

I agree that there should be a balance, for example IMHO we shouldn't be saying 'I kept this fish and it ate the filter intake', in that sense the site would be to informal. However writing the articles as formally as Wikipeida would not feel right either, and we do allow original research.
As for mirroring articles, they still really need to be released under the site's license and hence edited, revised, etc. Didn't we intend on rewriting most of those articles eventually? Many of the articles that we have mirrored are to long and bulky for the style most of the site is in. --Brian 20:21, 17 February 2011 (EST)
I think review-type article would lend themselves best to that style, since they will almost certainly be based on personal experience. How about a way to distinguish what should stay "one author" pieces, like a template for article sections or entire articles (which perhaps should have their own namespace?)?
So, um, would it be ok to add "personal experience" sections to fish articles? It might be a lot of fun to have people's reminiscences etc. in the mix.
Also, perhaps there could be an "aquariumwiki:" namespace page for general site discussion like this? I know there only seem to be five people here (the four people who know their way around and me), but a few central pages can really help pull things together. I think I may have typed something to this effect already here somewhere... Huw Powell 21:00, 17 February 2011 (EST)
I've often considered the pros and cons of setting up a SW/FW Fish namespace, and moving everything out into its own namespace, but in the massive work involved (which would inevitable fall to cat [much love]) outweighed the benefits (which i never fully figured out).
As for personal experience, I think it needs to be a bit controlled. For example, one thing I have considered for product reviews, is writing the article like a technical review, and they having uses add commends in the form of {{review |author=~~~~ |rating=3.5 |coments=I think this was horrid!}}. The same thing could be done for a personal experiences comment.
On that note, it still could not be un-policed. People come on here and change articles to say Zebra danio's should be fed [[Goldfish] regularly. Our main goal is to promote responsible fishkeeping afterall :)
The_Aquarium_Wiki:About, The_Aquarium_Wiki:Privacy_policy. We probably do need to start setting up some more policies but when its so few people its easy to just get along :) --Brian 23:40, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Talk pages[edit]

I don't where else to mention this, so I'll type it here for now. DO NOT start a new section to reply to a comment, just indent with successive layers of colons (one more per reply). Use new sections to bring up new topics. Please. Huw Powell 22:41, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Keep in mind that all three of us started our wiki editing on this site, none of us were Wikipedia editors. Indenting replies is the norm on Wikipedia, and we didn't start doing it until recently. As such its still catching on :) --Brian 23:32, 17 February 2011 (EST)
That makes sense. Manual indenting is clumsy, but makes talk pages readable. It's not all about WP anyway. I cut my wiki chops at conservapedia (argh) and then more seriously at RationalWiki. Most of the way WP does things "make sense", though. Tilting against that windmill is a silly thing for a wiki to do, since that's where most wiki editors get their first taste. Huw Powell 00:07, 18 February 2011 (EST)

Iridescent Shark[edit]

Common names do suck. Like I said in the other thread, our main goal here is to promote responsible fishkeeping. The biggest problem i wish we could solve, is new people walking into a petstore and walking out with a new fish tank and fish on the same day. One of those fish always seems to be the common pleco, and everyone who knows something knows they get HUGE (for that 10gal they are carrying). When there are good alternatives like the BN pleco, or Ottos (OK that one is not a beginner fish) I think we should promote those choices.

People who know what they are getting into with fish like that, or like gar, typically know what they are doing and we just want to supply them with care info they need. They will ignore warnings anyway. I think our best course of action is to warn people, but do our best to provide correct information :) --Brian 23:51, 17 February 2011 (EST)

Also, no one should buy a pleco until they have nice algae growth, at the very least! Sure, they get huge, I had a giant one in a 30 gal tank, but he/she/it sure kept the plants clean of algae! My friends nicknamed it "Mr. Lips". Huw Powell 00:09, 18 February 2011 (EST)
What about carnivorous Pleco species? Like mine ;) They wouldn't be seen dead eating algae, but go buck wild for catfish wafers and bloodworm. This is why this site is here, so people can suddenly realise that one common name can mean over a dozen different fish. --Cat 08:11, 18 February 2011 (EST)
My experience is that most fish will eat anything that fits in their mouth, though you're right, of course. And that's why common names are such a pain. Huw Powell 23:00, 18 February 2011 (EST)
"main goal here is to promote responsible fishkeeping" - is that in a main page somewhere, or what we call at RW, our "mission statement"? Huw Powell 00:13, 18 February 2011 (EST)

Central discussion page[edit]

I created The Aquarium Wiki:General chat to get the ball rolling. I may move some sections from my talk page there if it meets with community acceptance. Huw Powell 00:26, 18 February 2011 (EST)


Hey, I'm not familiar with the brand, but should it be Dynaflo not Dynaflow? --Brian 08:26, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

Argh, you're right, of course. At least I got the image title correct! I'll fix the text. Huw Powell 20:47, 14 March 2011 (EDT)


While welcome pages are a nice touch, about 90% of those are going to be spammers! Maybe only add "welcome" pages after they've made a valid contribution? --Cat 07:03, 6 June 2011 (CDT)

Good point. Silly to waste my time & clog up recent changes. I wondered why so many "people" seemed to be joining all of a sudden. Thanks! Huw Powell 18:22, 6 June 2011 (CDT)