Over the past few months, the mods have noticed that, more and more, newer members are turning to the AqAdvisor site to stock their tanks, tell them how much water to change, etc... This is a trend that has likely killed dozens of fish, and made many, many more very unhappy. AqAdvisor has less information on any given fish than what you can learn about that fish in ten minutes AqAdvisor is a neat site. I'll give it that. It's loads of fun to look at what you could theoretically put in a tank. However, it should not be the only, or even the first tool when deciding on a tank's stocking. In fact, if you take the proper first step of stocking your tank, AqAdvisor is unnecessary, a way of checking your stocking to see if there's anything you might have missed. There are thousands of fish in the aquarium industry, and a lengthy book can be written about each one. Much of this information is necessary to knowing how to stock an aquarium with those fish. How can one program, written by one person, include all of this information? Very simply, very truthfully, it can't. The first step to keeping any kind of fish is to research them. With the internet, this is simple. Most common aquarium fish are pretty well documented. It's easy to find information on keeping them. I guarantee you that with ten minutes of research on any of the fish you can find at Petsmart or Petco, you can learn more about them than is stored in AqAdvisor's code. Some of the oddballs that you'll find at LFSs may take more work, but the information is still there. AqAdvisor is incomplete and its accuracy is, at best, questionable AqAdvisor gets weekly updates, and they're huge. This means that the program is still missing things, and still has incorrect information. On top of that, there are plenty of stocking plans that members here have noted are questionable at best. I think that the programmer could work on this for the rest of his/her life and still not truly complete it. It's trying to cram a world full of knowledge into one program. It just can't be done. Moreso, much of stocking is art, rather than science. It's based on personal preference. Because of this, two people can look at any "rule" of stocking, disagree with their opinions on it, and yet both be right. AqAdvisor can't accurately tell you how much water you need to change The water change thing is, plain and simple, wrong. Does AqAdvisor know how much you give your fish at each feeding? How many feedings per day? Starting nitrates? How many plants you have? How much CO2 is in the water (for planted tanks)? How much light reaches the plants? What nutrients are in the water (again, for planted tanks)? All of these things and many will affect the nitrate levels in the water. Further, local weather will affect evaporation, which will also effect water change needs. The best way to find out what kind of water changes you have to do is to test your water and figure out the percentage you need to change to maintain a 20ppm or less reading. If you use it, turn to it as a final check, rather than a starting point The only thing that I would ever use AqAdvisor for (other than an amusing diversion) is as a last check, to look over a stocking that I am already sure about, just to triple-check my work. Even the AqAdvisor website says that research is the most important aspect to stocking an aquarium. Paradoxically, do what you want (but don't forget that there are consequences, both good and bad, for every choice) Of course, we aren't here to make anyone do anything they don't want, or to not do something they want to do. That's why the link has remained up, even though most (if not all) of the mods and many of the more experienced members have disliked the way it's used. You are free to use AqAdvisor to stock your tank, without doing any other research on the fish you plan to keep. However, with the stockings I've seen recently, I can nearly guarantee you that a new aquarist is going to be very hard pressed to make a successful go at it. Just this past week, I've seen at least three different issues in tanks stocked by AqAdvisor. These are fish getting sick, even though the members did precisely what AqAdvisor told them to. This is because, when you stock an aquarium to what AqAdvisor thinks is 100%, you're pushing the limits of bioload and territory in an aquarium. Please, don't refer new hobbyists to the site Taking my moderator hat off for a moment, and only speaking as a fellow forum member and hobbyist, I would strongly ask that, if a new member shows up and starts asking about stocking a tank, please do not refer them to AqAdvisor, or any similar site. If you see them mentioning the site, please explain to them why they shouldn't rely on such things, or just refer them to this page (I know many of you are already doing this, and you have my thanks). It's just too tempting, for someone who is still learning the art of the aquarium hobby, to rely on something that is so simple to use and seems to be so accurate (it gives you precise percentages and everything, how can it not be accurate?) I say this as a regular member because, as I suggested above, I'm not trying to make people do things my way. Rather, I am seeing that this is hurting fish, and it's hurting people's entry into the hobby, and this concerns me. As such, I don't want to be censoring information in any way, but rather putting my own opinion about the information out here.