Am I the only one who find the articles too scientific?


New member
First of all, let me say all the contributors must have done a great deal of work to come up with those highly detailed articles in the Reefkeeping online magazine every month. However, I am having a hard time following most of the articles. Quite frankly, they are too scientific. I wonder if I am the only person feeling this?

I have read most of the articles in the old Aquarium Frontiers and they are easier to follow, many of which focus on subjects which are of direct relevance to reefkeepers. I know we are very lucky to have an online magazine once again and I do look forward to it every month, but perhaps it can be presented in a way less like a scientific report, and more articles aim directly at us, the average joe public?
I agree. They could be written so that people just starting off in the hobby do not feel over whelmed.
Some people really like all the scientific mumbo jumbo and like to and can understand the logic and science that goes into those articles.

I, for one, would appreciate a short "lay man's" version. I think it would be very helpful to state the question or argument/idea up front and then briefly state the conclusions in an introductory paragraph or page.

I am an investment banker and many of the investment docs can get lengthy and cumbersome, especially in Bio tech. They usually put out an executive summary which I read before making any decision to try and read the more lengthy investment document.
While I understand when you need information about a problem, new filtration idea or whatever you want a quick to the point article to help. Once you you learn the basics (and the basics for this hobby are hellishly complex) it is nice to start to learn, in more detail, what all the time and stress you've put into this damn money pit really was for. The more you learn the more you want to look deeper into why exactly the things you do work.
I enjoy reading the scientific articles. After a few years you'll get bored with so much being targeted for the beginners. After all you are only a newbie for so long.

And like you said, plenty of older stuff on-line covering the basics that is key to the newer folks. And if you don't understand parts of it, thats what the author forums are for. Ask questions.
I tend to agree with Rich...while there is still plenty that's over my head, it's nice to be able to have appropriate reading material available as I learn.
I guess the trick is to have material for all levels of hobbyist experience, and I think the board has been pretty good at that.
I guess the trick is to have material for all levels of hobbyist experience, and I think the board has been pretty good at that.

I agree that the board has alot to offer to thoese who are starting off in the hobby, but the topic of this thread is geard at I also have to agree with richard it the sense that after a while the basic's get old. I dont know that there is a correct answer for this thread other then it's over the heads of about 75% of the people on this board.
Heeihh you have hard time to understand Imagine me I have the handicape of being french.

sometime I read those article and dont understand a single word of it :D and have to read it four to five time whith a dictionnary to understand well :reading:

Could they made a special easy read for me ?

other than it take me 2 houre read and understand a page the info there are very interesting and love it

and the best of all its FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
True, crawdad...guess I wasn't thinking about the comments being specifically about Reefkeeping...I suppose I have a tendency to think of everything I like to here as one big info network :)
Incidentally, I love your Innerreef link...hadn't come across it before.
You hit the nail on thr's free for every member to read,and
question and yes,complain if we don't get it.Took me a while to understand as well.My school days ended long time ago but I enjoyded very much and appreciated hard work that Ron,Randy,Eric and others put into it.

I love this board. But I do find it hard to read those darn articles :)

I guess as we mature in this hobby we will get it.

Is it me or are all people that keep reefs very happy people?
I think there's plenty of material out there at a lower level, so there's no need to make this one simpler too. I agree it can be heavy going (Yeah, 'm just a newbie), but for me that's where the fun and learning is.

And afterall, it is called :D
I am what you would call a newbie in this hobby, even though I feel that I now have a reasonable understanding of some topics, thanx to boards like this and

But I have to say I think there is enough space in this hobby for all levels of understanding. It seems to me that it is every reefkeepers responsibility to understand as much as we can about our hobby, however challenging that might be for the individual.

It seems as tho too many people run tanks on fashion, by this I mean ill advise that lfs's have given. Yet when you talk to them about resolving problems they are all to keen in getting you to put chemicals in your reef to rectify matters. Could many Lfs or reefers actually explain why things are done the way they are...erm I doubt it. All too many are quite happy to say that it has worked for years so why change a thing.

Answer seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong - nobody tops up the sea with RO/DI water, uses a large calc reactor to keep high levels of dKH/Ca or uses a skimmer to remove nasties out of the water.

Only scientific understanding will help us all run more natural reefs.

Cheers Paul
Answer seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong - nobody tops up the sea with RO/DI water, uses a large calc reactor to keep high levels of dKH/Ca or uses a skimmer to remove nasties out of the water.

Only scientific understanding will help us all run more natural reefs.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but, as long as our tanks don't have even a tiny fraction of the water volume on a natural reef we will have to resort to less "natural" methods of achieving "natural reef" water quality. This is why semi-open systems such as those at the waikiki aquarium fair so much better. Imagine a gallon of chlorine dumped over a reef and then imagine what would happen if you did that in your tank.

IMO, scientific knowledge is what gives us tools like skimmers and reactors to help us do the best we can without the huge water volume. Articles like those in help add to the understanding of how to properly use those tools. Until we can all hook our ampmasters up to the ocean, we are stuck with this method of dealing with the problem.
I like it that some of the articles are very scientific.

Sometimes I feel like my brain is goind to mush since I am not in school anymore, and it feels good to have to work at understanding something, then finally get it!
I understand that there are people from all over the world here, and most of you out there didn't go to Friday's BAS meeting. I was there, the speaker was Bob Goemans. I never heard of Mr. Goemans before Friday night, but I feel a need to address something he said at the lecture. I'm not sure I have his exact words, but he said too much science is being brought into the hobby now and that's a bad thing. The member next to me (most of you know him, if not all of you) said "Oh yeah, SCIENCE is gonna be the downfall of our hobby!"
Now if you didn't notice, that statement was DRIPPING with sarcasm.
At this point, I realized that the speaker had nothing to say that I wanted to hear, and I went outside to smoke a butt.
Honestly people think about it, Biology is science and what is more important to us than biology??
I agree that scientific names for our animals and the like are tough to read, scientific theory is even tougher to understand. But, science is what our hobby/obscession/passion is all about. You and your animals will benefit greatly from raising your level of understanding to a point that [rk] is understandable to you. Do that by taking the time to read and re-read, then ask questions. In time you will understand and be able to pass that understanding on to others that haven't quite gotten it themselves yet.

In short, wading through all that science can be tiresome, but long term success in this hobby isn't an accident, it's a science!
gregt said:
Until we can all hook our ampmasters up to the ocean, we are stuck with this method of dealing with the problem.
Don't we wish Greg. :)

I agree with DGenR8, but as a biological sciences major, I'm biased. And to those of you that come across articles that you have difficultly with, you have the wonderful advantage of being able to ask questions directly to the author in their respective forum (as was mentioned above). Please take advantage of this. Having these author forums available is an invaluable way to learn and understand concepts that you may have trouble with. Additionally, take advantage of hyperlinked references and/or additional information that authors sometimes hyperlink to at the bottom of their articles. I feel we are very lucky the author forums and of coarse, itself, exist, and exist for free (thank you Johnl & Doug, all the authors, and all others involved).
It would be very helpful to me, and I am sure the other authors, to have examples given of how and where the material becomes too esoteric. I think the various columns have addressede various levels of expertise, and are writeen in variably difficult-to-undestand terms...some read easily, others not so easily.

As mentioned, we have author forums, and indeed the other forums on reef central, in which to clarify, answer questions, explain concepts, etc. If you don't take advanatge of these features, its hardly a complaint worth mentioning. If you have used these tools, and still are having problems, then perhaps its us!!

I value the feedback and interaction greatly, but I have to know what it is that may be difficult in my articles, as do the others. I frequently get comments that my writings are relatively easy to read considering the material. In fact, I hear that more often that "I don;t have a clue what he just said" - although maybe those people remain silent!:D

Anyway, please help us help you by being more specific, using the forums, and avoiding generalisms like "this is too scientific." Tell us how, and maybe we can offer up a solution.