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As you read this, keep in mind I am NOT pointing fingers, I just want to address an issue I have noticed.

I am a pretty new member here and I am craaaazy about betta fish! I am totally in love with this forum and get on almost every day. However, when I was new, I felt a little shy and almost uncomfortable to be an active part of the forum, for a couple of reasons. They are things that I have noticed happening on a regular basis, so I thought I would gather up some courage and address them (please have an open mind and do not judge me for what I am about to say):

1. At first I felt a tiny bit intimidated by seniority/tenure. It seemed like my opinion or information did not matter as much as tenured or more experienced members. I agree that if false information is posted, it should be address and correct information provided, but we should be very careful in how we do so. We would never want a new member to feel unwelcome on the forum because they accidentally provided misinformation, etc, and it was corrected in an uninviting way.

2- I have felt at times that I did "not love my betta" as much or was neglectful compared to other betta keepers because my fish was not housed quite as well as everyone else's. The reason for this was because I could not afford everything right away and started with very little because I was uninformed from the get go. I felt a little ashamed and judged because people were so opinionated about bowl size, etc. I agree that there is a specific way in which bettas must be cared for, but I think we should all be extra aware of how we offer advice or criticism especially when dealing with new/uninformed members. The key is to compliment what they are doing right, explain WHY the things they are doing incorrectly are incorrect, and then give some friendly suggestions on things they can do to change it. Even if the misinformed/whatever person doesn't seem to be taking correct advice, they are definitely going to be even less receptive if met with unfriendliness or hostility. Establish relationships with members so they can feel comfortable in being part of celebrating out beloved bettas :)

I am sure I am not the only person to have noticed this or have felt this way. This is not a huge ugly problem on the forum, but I thought we could all do with a little reminder of firstly, the rules we should all be keeping in mind anyway, and secondly, the reason we are all here. We all love our fish and want to have a place to ask questions, gush over them without being called crazy, and spread the word about how great they are and how to care for them. Let's keep it a great place by keeping theses things in mind!
 

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Very well said bniebetta!! Thank you for putting this into words. I wish they could all take the time to read it. It is something we have been seeing on the Forum for a long time. The behaviors you have seen and experienced certainly will make a new member think twice about posting or staying for that matter. It's not what we say but how we say it that makes another member decide to stay or leave. And it is at a time when they may be stressed out with a sick or dying fish and they don't get the help they need, but rather an ear full. The snark, attitudes and egos don't help anyone. A little patience, understanding and kindness goes a long way! And you will get it back two-fold.

We are all here because we love our fish and at some point we all wanted to truly help someone else with theirs. What happened to some of them?

Sadly we are forced to move this to the Discuss with Mod area and not leave it on the open forum. I can only imagine the "other issues" the members would take the time to share with us... An all out "B----" session to be sure. We are undergoing an Administrative change and should be able to address issues sooner. Hopefully this will reduce some of our member's stress and issues. We have also addressed this exact issue via PM message this week with several members. They will need to change their attitudes or leave.

Your patient and calm nature in your post shows thru and we hope you stay and add your input whenever you can. We all learn as we go. Don't hesitate to post and let us know if you have any problems. Calm and friendly members are HIGHLY valued by the moderating team. We can always add more fish knowledge right?
 

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In a large crowd of people there will always be rude, narcissistic, abrasive and just all around not nice people. But in that same crowd there are also kind, caring, trustful and considerate people.

After a while you gravitate toward the latter type (unless your one of the former) and you learn who to avoid and who to interact with.

And please don't take anything personally from the abrasive know-it-alls. They don't know who you are because everything here is posted by people anonymously.

Having said that, bashing or making fun of members is strictly against forum rules and we address those issues with warnings, infractions and temporary or permanent bans. Don't be afraid to use the report button if necessary. Your name will not be shared with the member that we have to take action against if it comes to that.
 
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