Eugen (@Gargron@mastodon.social)
mastodon.social
external-link
Attached: 1 image #Mastodon's first annual report! Read about our financials, accomplishments, and plans. Available under: https://www.patreon.com/posts/mastodon-annual-61911077
poVoq
link
fedilink
5
edit-2
6 hilabete

Ah, group support for Mastodon planned for 2022. Didn’t know that. Could be cool for even better Lemmy interoperability.

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
56 hilabete

more than just cool, impeccable timing too. the third aquarium group i’m in on facebook just got banned for “sale of live animals” and their admins banned for a month from facebook. dumbest fucking rule ever. all fish hobbyists have abandoned traditional forums and moved to facebook, and now they’re all getting shut down and the hobby decimated.

down daemon
link
fedilink
56 hilabete

how can traders prove their fish were acquired sustainably and ethically

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
56 hilabete

aquarium fish threatened in the wild are going extinct from habitat loss and pollution, not poaching. import and export laws make it both difficult and unsustainable to profit from trade of rare specimen. especially since fish worth good money are selectively bred into shapes and colors not found in the wild, so wild caught fish are usually far less valuable. what you generally see in the hobby are in the hobby because they can be bred. the supply companies are generally the only access for wild caught species, and they generally sell them in bulk of 1000 for a few dollars, they also have to go through official channels to sell their fish, which further limits the risk of poached specimen. an indeed, serious hobbyists generally don’t buy from the pet stores, only from other hobbyists, as it is considered animal abuse to support pet shops (which facebook is indirectly supporting by shutting down hobbyist groups and increasing the difficulty to get fish that don’t come from fish mills or the wild). so anything difficult to impossible to breed is usually of little interest for most aquarium hobbyist; with the exception of finding means to breed them in an aquarium environment. in fact, today, many species only survive in the trade and nowhere else. there was a post here last month bringing up the goodeid family and how hobbyist efforts have managed to re-establish wild populations from otherwise extinct species.

these no live animal policies only makes sense in the efforts to prevent spread of invasive species with zero moderation efforts. which is understandable in a way; but it also means the animal is most likely already traded on black markets as import and export of such animals are heavily regulated. the proper way to do this, if the intent is to moderate, is to ban banned species. to ban hobbyists is potentially driving species to extinction as awareness of the species and expertise is lost over time.

down daemon
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

thanks for the detailed reply

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

i think the pet fish hobby is a lot less exploitative than other “pet” niches. it still happens, of course, but it’s transitional. since breeding is a core element to the hobby as fish don’t live too long and spending a lot of money on a fish that won’t breed and die within a few years is not a good incentive (koi is an exception here, they live for 200+ years if well taken care of, and part of the price is how old the koi is (the older the more expensive) and how beautiful the colors it has, it is also a factor to be an authentic japanese bred specimen). for other, less complicated species, mills do exist, and sell bulk to the pet stores, and since they’re from mills, they’re genetically hampered, which makes the fish “low quality” as in, die much faster and is too sensitive to parameters - so they’re usually not interesting to hobbyists and collectors. this is not saying stores aren’t important, it’s the gateway for the hobby to gain more enthusiasts, and as people get involved in the hobby through exposure from a store, they soon go into the hobby trade of good and healthy specimen. which neatly splits the “fish mill” category of unethical people who need something that is easy and fast to breed to make cash, vs the hobbyists who needs something that is sturdy, genetically variable, and more healthy; focused on species that are not too difficult to breed to sustain a population at home, and maintain genetic variance by collecting new specimens from hobbyists to add to their genetic pool, which further protects wild populations. wild caught fish is usually riddled with parasites as well, which is another risk a lot of hobbyists prefer to avoid. there is just very little incentive to work with wild caught fish unless it’s a newly discovered species, in which case the goal is usually to quickly establish an aquarium strain to avoid all the complications and dangers of a wild caught species (and for mills, to figure out how to quickly mass produce them in their vats to make quick money on the ‘newness’ of the species on the market). it should also be pointed out that saltwater is far less popular because of the inherent difficulties of breeding and maintaining a saltwater tank; even if saltwater fish is usually stunningly beautiful in their wild form.

i think, for any fish hobbyists, there are generally parameters that are important.

  • how does the fish look? body shape, colors, fins. it is very rare for a wild population to be as colorful as aquarium strains, have perfectly formed body shapes, and fins, and thus fortunately people don’t want wild specimen (not to mention the risk of parasites).
  • how healthy is the fish? health is important, people don’t want the fish to be riddled with genetic diseases. this makes mills undesired for hobbyists.
  • how easy is the fish to breed? if the fish can’t be bred, there is nothing for the hobbyist to do. no traits to refine. no finnage to elongate. no complicated and fascinating breeding process to establish new populations. fish who fits in aquariums normally do not live for more than 1-5 years, and then all that money invested into acquisition and maintenance was ‘wasted’.
  • how easy is the fish to keep/maintain? some species require a lot of specialized parameters, which may make it difficult to impossible to keep in your collection. if keeping the fish requires too much work, only hardcore specialists will focus on keeping and breeding them (i.e. Discus); and they usually don’t have time, resources, or space, to keep anything else, making them specialized on that particular species. this also means that species like Discus is rarely sold in pet stores unless the pet store has ‘personal interest’ in the species. since they’re hard to sell due to the difficulty level, and they are usually riddled with diseases and infections and need a lot of care and medication and costs of maintenance. so without access to hobbyist communities, you’ll have difficulty finding them to buy. i don’t know of any Discus mills either due to the difficulty level of breeding and cost of keeping them. this is a prime example where facebook banning groups is directly threatening the Discus continued existence of aquarium strains. to add, color and health is not always the most important factor, i.e. saltwater is notoriously difficult to maintain, and most hobbyists just don’t bother with it, unless deeply specialized, despite saltwater fish being the most colorful, even for wild caught specimen.
  • how easy is the fish to collect? fish that is difficult to collect (no other hobbyists have them) usually also means difficult to find different genetic pools of. if you can’t introduce new specimens of the same strain, then your population will slowly deteriorate and eventually be riddled with genetic diseases. space helps here, many people will cross breed with multiple generations of their own population to try and spread out the genes, but even so, there is still risks of their gene pool getting bad. wild specimens are undesired because their genes usually dominate your carefully bred traits, and your strain is lost. plus, parasites.
  • how much do i trust the source? every time you get new fish, there is risk of introducing infections and diseases. not just genetic diseases. i.e. when you want to add new genetic materia to your guppy population, if you source it from an unknown farm/mill or unknown seller. you are taking a huge risk of losing your entire population by introducing a disease the new fish may be resistant to. it’s a pretty common problem for pet stores to have their guppy/platy/swordtail populations get decimated with each new shipment.
  • was it bred ethically? this is a bit of a repeat, with greater understanding of the needs of your favorite fish species, seeing the small spaces they’re housed in the pet store, the poor quality food they’re fed, and knowing how they’ve been bred by a mill, hobbyists don’t want to deal with the abuse. it impacts the fish health and stress, and the fish will usually only live a short life.
  • was it wild caught? wild caught means parasites and potential infections and diseases. not to mention usually don’t have the colors/fins of aquarium bred fish. this is a notorious issue. experienced hobbyists are well aware of the problem, and rarely have a reason to collect wild caught specimen. especially if it won’t breed in an aquarium environment. fish don’t live long enough to invest money, time and effort into a species that won’t breed.

TLDR; the hobby do have a lot of problems. but ethical/sustainable source is not one of them since serious hobbyists avoid pet stores and mills. facebook banning aquarium fish groups is damaging to the continued existence of species within the hobby and having the opposite effect by increasing the sourcing of specimen to pet stores, and thus, the profit to mills and wild caught specimen.

down daemon
link
fedilink
06 hilabete

I’m starting to get interested, how much does it cost to get started? I understand the costs of hardware, but actual fish, I don’t have a ton of money lol

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
0
edit-2
6 hilabete

that’s awesome!!

i mean, it all really depends on your goals. costs for both hardware and fish can be really affordable depending on what you set out to do. each species has different requirements and while some can be kept together, for the intention of breeding, it’s usually best to keep them as a single species tank.

i assume your knowledge surrounding the hobby is limited, so knowing your own goals might not be feasible right now. usually, people start out by getting a single fish at the pet store, learning more about it, about other fish, and eventually finding their passion.

if you just want to keep an affordable fish to ‘try’ the hobby. your absolute, without a doubt, best option, is a betta. they’re the most popular species because they hit so many marks on what first-time keepers are looking for. brilliant colors. affordable. variable personalities. and incredibly low maintenance (this could also be a bad thing, since they’ll survive just about anything in terms of what fish can handle).

before i go into details, i’m just going to point out that there are certain expected standards, i don’t want to explain why things are a certain way at every point as i’d run out of words in this post. if you have questions though, feel free to ask :)

so to get to it, betta splendens costs.

  • you’ll want a 12 gallon tank to start. bettas theoretically don’t need 12 gallons, but it’s usually standard minimum aquarium size by law in some countries. these usually come very cheap on second hand markets (i’ve bought many in the range of $10-$30). if buying second hand, make sure it comes with a light panel, and to ask when last the aquarium was active, if it’s been over a year since last, the silicone might have a leak and will need to be patched (aquarium silicone is about $10). if it has a light panel, but no light, a new light is usually another $10.
  • you will not need an aerator or pump. unlike most fish, bettas have a lung-like organ and will breath air from the surface. bettas also pollute very little compared to most fish species. for your own convenience though, getting a hang on filter will reduce water change requirement and disturb the surface so it doesn’t get clogged with algae. a hang on filter cost around 8$.
  • water heater. bettas are tropical and unless your room temperature is at a stable ~75F, you will need a water heater. if water temperatures go below ~15, your betta is at risk of entering a comatose state and drown. yes. drown. bettas are happiest in 72F to 86F. if you need a water heater, it will cost you around $6.
  • plants! you’ll want some big leafed plants in your aquarium, or rather, your betta will want some plants to sit on. they’re mostly sedentary fish, conserving energy since they don’t normally breathe with their gills. not all bettas are lazy though (in my experience, 1 in 10 seek adventure), but seeing as this is your first time taking home a fish, there’s no way to tell what kind of personality your betta has. anubias is a great starter plant, they have very low nutrition and light requirements (just like the betta), grow very slow so need very little maintenance. anubias usually sells for around $20, but you can probably find a small second hand $1 to $2. as for general decoration of plants, java ferns is another of my personal favorites, very low requirements like anubias, but grow fast and looks pretty, usually sells for $3 at the stores. ambulia is another decorative and super easy cheap plant that grow like a weed and might actually need a lot of trimming to deal with.
  • gravel balance the bacteria flora of the tank. now, bettas don’t technically need gravel, or plants, or bacteria, or anything. it’s a fish with very low requirements that essentially live in oxygen starved ditches in the wild. but it does help with maintenance to have both gravel and plants, as they keep chemical levels in check and reduce water change needs. a pack of gravel for a 12 gallon tank can cost as low as $5 as bettas don’t utilize the gravel for anything so anything will do.
  • feed. bettas will eat pretty much anything, but to avoid the fish from getting bloated or sick, high grade standard feed like dr bessleer is recommended. 100g of dr bessleer should last months for a single betta and cost around 10$. occasionally mixing it with some frozen bloodworms or cyclops for extra nutrition will cost around $5 every ~3 months or so. personally, since i have a lot of fish to deal with, i farm my own daphnia, blackwroms and artemia, which costs me around $15 per year in maintenance; but i consider it next level since it’s extra work and a single betta don’t consume nearly enough food for it to be worthwhile.
  • water quality. bettas live in ditches that can have near toxic conditions. of course, we want the fish to be happy. but due to their hardiness (or complete disregard for what a normal fish would think), they will be happy in pH ranges from 5 and up to 8. with hardness from as low as 18 and up to 268 ppm. so you probably don’t need any chemicals to deal with the quality. depending on what kind of water access you have, of course. chemicals that might be needed can range from $3 to $8 per jar/bottle.
  • cycling. now, bettas don’t technically need cycling, again because of their hardness. it is always good (for your own maintenance requirements - cycled water = less water changes) to cycle an aquarium before getting your fish. i’ve done this once with a betta, successfully, but i’m not going to promise it works well every time. basically what i did was get one of those bacterial starter liquids ($4) and just put my betta in. i kept checking the water quality and it was just perfect every time. when i started breeding them though i entirely changed setup and constructed a 100% water change system for changing water every 3 days. almond leafs are good additive for chemicals to keep bettas healthy though, add $2.
  • cleaning tools. you’ll want a water changing pipe to suck and filter detritus and water while changing, costs around $3. you probably already have a bucket, but otherwise that’s another 3$. and you could get an algae scrubber but i just use one of those fresh dish scrubbers for 2-3 cent at nearest supermarket. you will also want a cheap water test kit to periodically test your water, that’s around $3 (how often you use them varies a lot on conditions, a single tube can last a whole year).
  • electricity, i don’t know your rates. you need to check the lamp and the hang on filter.
  • finally, the betta. now bettas are among the “pricier” fish in the trade, mainly because they’re near exclusively imported from specialist breeders in south east asia. so on average, betta will cost you $15. bettas are generally very healthy fish species that don’t need medication. most common condition is fin rot, which mainly just needs water changes and reduced stress. you can read more about that online.

overall maintenance for the aquarium varies. your main efforts will be feeding the fish once or twice a day. bettas don’t eat a lot despite their size, but you’ll have to figure out just how much volume to feed your fish since any feed that isn’t consumed will spoil and deteriorate the water quality. water changes take 5-10 minutes and the bigger the aquarium, the less often they need to be done. in a 12 gallon tank, you’d probably want to do 20-50% every ~3 weeks before you hit that sweetspot balance (i change water about every 3 months).

total cost for starting this trial experiment: $80-$110. and then around $10-$30 a year for consumables, depending on your budget and how you want to do things.

now, breeding bettas is an entirely different beast. this is where the actual costs and work come in, because bettas, unlike most other aquarium fish, cannot be kept together in the same tank. which requires your interference to make it happen, and space… a lot of space… too much space… ugh. there are cheap-ish ways to do it, but space is always the issue, and if your goal is breeding. there are easier options. if you want to know about betta breeding, i can explain it in another post though.

ANYWAY, so that’s for the bettas. They’re the most forgiving fish to deal with, if you just want to try keep a fish and see how it goes, which is why i detailed it for you. the next introduction level, specifically for breeding, is the guppy. and for the same reason, guppy is the second most popular fish in the hobby. but to start out breeding in a semi-serious manner, you will need 3x 15 gallon aquariums. for developing entirely new strains and explore genetics, you’ll need a minimum of 8x 15 gallon tanks. guppies are dirtier and hungrier fish and need pumps, aerators and, a lot more feed. which adds to cost and more water changes. i can go into detail if you’re interested.

if you have limited space, but want to try something super easy, you could just specialize on shrimps. neocardina shrimps (aka cherry shrimps) will breed without interference, have minimal space requirements (nano tanks at 6 gallon is enough) and like the guppy and betta, come in a myriad of selectively bred colors.

and there is another interesting ‘take’ on the fish hobby, known as “summer tubbing”, the practice of keeping a small pond on the balcony (in the form of a large flower pot, or tub - no electronics necessary), and there are two particular species of fish perfect for this practice that will breed actively without interference. the most popular being white cloud mountain minnows and the new-to-the-west, medaka. this is my current main niche.

if your goal is conservation breeding, goodeid is another easy start.

for hardcore advanced level fish keeping, which i would not recommend to start, saltwater, predators, and large ponds is the main. pond keeping is a different beast altogether. koi/goldfish is ‘easy’ as in, hardy, but it requires a lot of money, work and space.

mekhos
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

what country are you based in, you would probably need to look at government requirements for wild fish and game harvesting, animal welfare/husbandry etc

down daemon
link
fedilink
26 hilabete

my point being that it’s a lot for facebook to worry about, banning it in general probably stops a lot of poaching

mekhos
link
fedilink
26 hilabete

true. Not much for them to gain from the enthusiast groups, vs the bad press from animal welfare groups

@jackalope@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
2
edit-2
6 hilabete

Problem is I don’t think mastodon is really a good format for groups. Lemmy is better because it actually has something you can subscribe to (and Facebook groups is basically just Facebook copying reddit these days).

An actual fediverse Facebook competitor is sorely needed but I have yet to see one. Lemmy is the closest.

EDIT: oh I missed the comment saying mastodon is getting groups. Interesting.

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

Problem is I don’t think mastodon is really a good format for groups. Lemmy is better because it actually has something you can subscribe to (and Facebook groups is basically just Facebook copying reddit these days).

i’m feeling pretty ancient in internet terms, and for me, the modern commercialized internet is just downright awful for data and resources. first of, you have all the blogs that makes things up just to try hit those keywords and get views to make profits, and secondly, lemmy (reddit, facebook groups, etc); all have the same issue for a resource community. the problem is the core design philosophy behind it. the idea of these platforms was to create a flow of information that will let the companies deliver ads to you, the entire design is around addiction to short snippets of information so you keep coming back, and so you keep scrolling. free services, like lemmy, have it ‘wrong’ in that way; because they are not delivering ads and thus don’t need to consolidate information in the way they are. but it is a modern expectation from users, due to the corporate internet, and there’s just no way around it to maintain modern users. but yeah, the core issues with this design is the lack of information available. i.e. if you go to any community about fish, you’ll pretty much just see the same posts over and over and over again, because it’s not designed around resource discovery. i.e. on all the guppy specialized niche groups/subs, every post is essentially “is she pregnant?”, on every angelfish it’s “what gender his my fish?”. etc. the problem here is, people are screaming the question into the void and don’t bother to try discover the answer because it’s been cleaned from the stream of data already due to the active update of the flow, like a large chat with many users, the information get quieted down. thing is, the answer to these questions which seems genuine, is the same every time. no photo is necessary for the answer, in the case of guppies, the answer is, yes, she is pregnant, becuase any guppy exposed to a male will practically immediately be pregnant and she can store sperm up to 8 months meaning that “virgin pregnancy” happens all the time. and as for angelfish, no, you can’t tell the gender of the fish unless they’re just about going to mate, where they expose their mating organs. my point is, while modern communities are addictive, on average, the same information is discussed day in and day out, for the sake of ad exposure. it’s a terrible design, but it is what it is, and it is what we have. though, i think mastodon (with groups, as mentioned), will be slightly better than lemmy, for organizing local communities. for larger discussions, it’s an entirely different matter - and facebook groups needing more space for discussion, usually use reddit already instead of facebook.

An actual fediverse Facebook competitor is sorely needed but I have yet to see one. Lemmy is the closest.

if we break facebook down into its modules, it’s not really that impressive.

  • messenger + friends : just a simple chat client
  • user profile : short personal posts and photos; the true purpose of the website and tied to messenger + friends.
  • flow : where you originally saw latest post by friends, so, pretty much tied to the user profile etc.
  • groups : a simplified forum designed around eyeball measure for the sake of advertisement; it’s and awful design for what it’s trying to do.
  • pages : just a simple html page - this is mainly targetted at countries like the philippines (to maintain monopoly and pretend to be 'the internet)
  • user gallery : just a photo viewer
  • marketplace : an awful imitation of buy and sell - this is mainly targetted at countries like the philippines (same as pages)
  • facebook business : tying it all together with office communication, again, goal is philippines and similar markets.

in reality, facebook has outcompeted their purpose with instagram and most users have moved to instagram for that purpose, because “it’s not facebook” lol. most of the damage came from their own awful algorithm of the flow hampering the information flow and keeping up to date with your friends. but the goal was to provide “relevant data” for ads in scroll-by. the bottomline here is that facebook is surviving solely on groups since all communities moved to facebook due to the user availability from back when it was “the place on the internet to be”. without groups (which is a poor imitation of reddit, which is a poor imitation of forums), facebook would be dead (again, except for countries like the philippines).

all of above, which, if you consider it, there is an actual fediverse competitor, and that competitor is mastodon. it offers everything that users came to facebook (and twitter) for, except for groups. the survival of facebook remains because of users, of course. but as they are slowly digging their own grave for the sake of ads, mastodon stands to gain. the main issue with mastodon and the fediverse is the lack of means to profit as a user, which has also become the expected norm of the internet. users expect to be able to profit form their content, and mastodon (and lemmy) is designed to prevent that as it is designed to prevent ads and exposure of that kind. so it’s a bit of a dilemma. it has nearly all the best parts of classic online communities and communication, but the audience is no longer interested because of the change in narrative and profits being more highlighted than ever in the minds of most. no one does anything for free anymore.

@jackalope@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

the bottomline here is that facebook is surviving solely on groups since all communities moved to facebook due to the user availability from back when it was “the place on the internet to be”.

Yeah I also think it’s a matter of groups are the only way to really scale a social media service.

Humans have baggage. They come with a certain level of social toxicity. Any community has to deal with this. Dunbars number and all that jazz.

Facebook tries to get around it by using machine learning moderation, and paying people but this isn’t a scalable solution. Trolls can always produce more filth, and the pay and work conditions of the FB moderators is famously a black eye on their public image and make them look bad. And the AI moderation simply doesn’t work, isn’t smart enough.

So the only real solution is (and has always been) self moderation. Communities have to self moderate, build norms, enforce those norms etc.

all of above, which, if you consider it, there is an actual fediverse competitor, and that competitor is mastodon. it offers everything that users came to facebook (and twitter) for, except for groups. the survival of facebook remains because of users, of course. but as they are slowly digging their own grave for the sake of ads, mastodon stands to gain. the main issue with mastodon and the fediverse is the lack of means to profit as a user, which has also become the expected norm of the internet. users expect to be able to profit form their content, and mastodon (and lemmy) is designed to prevent that as it is designed to prevent ads and exposure of that kind. so it’s a bit of a dilemma. it has nearly all the best parts of classic online communities and communication, but the audience is no longer interested because of the change in narrative and profits being more highlighted than ever in the minds of most. no one does anything for free anymore.

Yeah I hate to say it but there’s a part of me that wonders if allowing instances to run ads should be something enabled by these platforms. After all, even prior to social media the internet has pretty much always been largely sustained by ads. Blogs, flash game portals… I mean Homestarrunner was unusual in it’s day for not having ads. Do I wish we didn’t have ads? Yes. But also I can see how it might simply be the nature of the beast.

I just recently learned about Friendica which is basically a Facebook alternative. It’s neat!

@beansniffer@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

all fish hobbyists have abandoned traditional forums and moved to facebook, and now they’re all getting shut down and the hobby decimated.

Facebook and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

yes, and they will remain a strong presence due to ‘free basics’, while the offering violates standard expected net neutrality, these countries are entirely capitalist and privatized and there is no way around it; meaning that the internet is intentionally too expensive for the average person, but facebook is free, so for all intents and purposes, facebook ‘is’ the internet in these countries. india is one of the few places where facebook withdrew free basics, and they’re now also one of the largest userbases of the fediverse.

mastodon and similar services will never be able to achieve global adoption for as long as facebook offers ‘free basics’, and the internet remains inaccessible due to cost.

@beansniffer@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

Interesting perspective I hadn’t thought of before. Thanks for your comment.

@sexy_peach@feddit.de
creator
link
fedilink
06 hilabete

This reminds me of when I wanted to gift some leftover e-cigarette parts to someone and the classifieds app didn’t allow tobacco related products and automatically removed my giveaway.

@sibachian@lemmy.ml
link
fedilink
16 hilabete

the free market, where only the tobacco cartel can grow and sell tobacco.

mekhos
link
fedilink
46 hilabete

Cool to see it maturing like this!

misterpoop
link
fedilink
0
edit-2
6 hilabete

removed by mod

A community dedicated to fediverse news and discussion.

Fediverse is a portmanteau of “federation” and “universe”. It is a common, informal name for a federation of social network servers whose main purpose is microblogging, the sharing of short, public messages.

Getting started on Fediverse;

For devs;

  • 0 users online
  • 1 user / day
  • 12 users / week
  • 45 users / month
  • 222 users / 6 months
  • 11 subscribers
  • 358 Posts
  • 2.46K Comments
  • Modlog