Aquamaniacs.net is an online community dedicated to the art of fishkeeping.
I choose to do my first web forum review on Aquamaniacs because they have been a tremendous help to me throughout my own adventures with aquaria. These folks get top marks for being knowledgeable in all areas of the hobby as well as providing a fun and friendly atmosphere, lightning fast response times and an intuitive and organized forum layout.
The forum is large with over 2,900 members at the time of this review and more then 93,000 posts that are easily searchable by keyword or author. Its members are loyal and many have remained active since before I joined in 2003. The forum welcomes all levels of fish enthusiasts and no one is ever made to feel badly because of a lack of experience. I believe a sense of welcome and a friendly atmosphere are a major factor when it comes to keeping folks coming back for more. I have joined dozens of forums and have left many too because the atmosphere was unwelcoming. CT, the site’s administrator, is a no-nonsense fellow that has set the rules and isn’t afraid to enforce them. He frequently contributes to the topic at hand but will quickly stomp out flamers or anyone whose actions aren’t in the best interest of the forum. His leadership is appreciated by the members and is a substantial factor in the success of the forum overall. Annoying trolls and spammers are non-existent. The forum moderators are brilliantly skilled in aquaria and equally so in diplomacy keeping the discussions amiable and on topic.
Speaking of topics, here is sampling of many but not all of the topics covered and quite active on Aquamaniacs.
Various Fish Forums including:
Some general topics include:
General Aquaria (the most popular forum)
The Trading Post (trading fish & aquarium supplies)
Fun & Games
The advice Aquamaniacs offers is sensible and responsible, they always remain conscious of animal welfare and they aren’t afraid to adapt to a constantly changing hobby. They are up to date on new medication techniques, popular species and the latest and greatest in aquarium equipment. This ability to morph with the times is where many other forums fall short. All too often people fall into the frame of mind of what was 20 years ago must still be. Truth be told, the hobby changes on an almost daily basis. Recognizing this in Aquamaniacs was a motivating factor for me in creating Nippyfish.net: A site for the modern Betta enthusiast.
The most impressive aspect of Aquamaniacs is their ability to offer a helping hand when a crisis occurs. Whether you have a really sick fish or your tank has acquired some mystery algae, this forum is seriously quick on the reply. To expedite the process of helping people with emergencies they have created the Help! Emergency!! forum especially for the topic. There you will find a sticky entitled, How to Get Fish Help Fast. Within that sticky is a questionnaire of important and pertinent queries that I still use today to diagnose my own fish problems. Fill out the help text within your post and you are well on your way.
This web forum has an amazing array of things to do. You can show off your fish photos, make equipment trades with other members, talk in real time in the chat room, play a word association game in the game room or even weigh in on politics in the Off Topic forum on those days when you have actually exhausted yourself in fish-speak. If they fall short anywhere, it would be in rare species and breeding information. They are really geared toward people who keep the more common species as pets and it can be hard to get questions answered about genetics and related topics. Still, this forum is not to be missed.
Aquamaniacs.net is your standard phpBB with lots of personal customizations and is free to register.