Peace @ UKAPS, please

Discussion in 'Off Topic / Chit-Chat' started by George Farmer, 4 Apr 2009.

  1. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Hi everyone

    I'll be open and honest with you all, as you are our dearly beloved UKAPS membership. I realise I may come across as unapproachable and distant at times but that's just my nature. I hope this post may help to break down some barriers there, anyway...

    The aim of this thread is to try and promote some peace amongst UKAPS and its affected members.

    I'm sure some of you are aware there's been a lot of negativity recently, reflected in this thread here -


    Firstly I was disappointed to see such aggressive posting directed towards one of our sponsors, and then some more aggression in retaliation. It was distressing for me to see.

    I understand some of the scepticism regarding sole distribution etc. but personally feel that the consumer may benefit in the longer-term, especially given TGM's excellent track record so far.

    I would like to put a stop to all the sly digs at TGM, please. That does not mean you can not ask 'awkward' questions, of course, but please do so in an appropriate manner.

    How TGM choose to do business is their business, and whilst I understand they are our sponsor and have a close working relationship with UKAPS (as do Aqua Essentials and the other sponsors), I would encourage those that are not happy with them to contact them privately.

    Even better, pay them a visit, or at least phone them. It's harder to understand the shop and their intentions without visiting the shop and speaking the staff. The written word can so easily be taken the wrong way, after all.

    I'm not sure how all this negativity started. I recall some issues with distributing ADA products and minimum orders. That is not our business and as discussed, any issues like these should be addressed in private, rather than creating a whole atmosphere of sarcastic undertones and passive aggression.

    Also, if sponsors have an issue with one another, I would encourage them to speak with one another.

    I know the facts and can say that TGM are acting entirely appropriately, in my opinion.

    I’m acutely aware that a forum ban on a well-liked (by many) member did harm the credibility of UKAPS. I won’t go into specific details but the membership has been re-instated for some time now and I would like to encourage more positive posting on UKAPS by the relevant individuals.

    If this is not possible then I respectfully request that any member who chooses not to contribute to UKAPS in a positive manner avoids posting altogether. I understand that this may result in the loss of some members, but if they are not helping UKAPS, then such is life.

    My sincerest apologies to the vast majority of UKAPS members that contribute to the forum in a positive way. I feel, in part, responsible for a lot of the recent ‘waves’ and hope this thread may serve as a start to a peace process. I realise I don’t post so much these days, but trust me on that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, especially by the other founders, admin and mods.

    May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone for helping to make UKAPS what it is today. Despite the odd ‘blip’ in the forum’s running, caused by a minority and some questionable judgement calls, we have altogether made an incredible contribution to the UK planted tank and aquascaping scene and we should fee very proud.

    So, please, let’s concentrate on what binds us together, the love of the hobby, rather than our differences and help UKAPS grow in peace even further.

    Best wishes to you all,

  2. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Thanks George, that was very well said.

    Could i also add Congratulations to TGM for there Tropica distribution (i would off added to the original thread, but it is was closed).
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Nicely put George, I am of the same opinion, what TGM do or any other sponsor have nothing to do with how the forum is run, ok they are our sponsors but the guys at TGM have obiously worked hard to achieve what they have to far and congratulations to them, I never favour monopolies in businesses but there hasn't been proof of that yet anyway so we can't judge them on that and I haven't seen any noticable price changes on the stuff they are distributing either.

    Business contracts are between the distributor and supplier and have nothing to do with us members, I don't agree with some things but you don't see me slagging off anyone, if you not happy contact these parties individually or find an alternative source for your products, there is plenty of choice nowadays anyway when it comes to soils, plants and ferts (even cheaper alternatives so I don't see the point of all the tension).

    Just keep it peacefull here, has we are all trying to achieve the same, promote the hobby and make the UK Planted scene visible around the world, and we don't really need negative comments on other forums towards UKAPS. I think we are doing pretty well so far but there have been a few setbacks with this tension aimed at one single party.

    Concentrate on the aquariums and not the aggrevation, peace guys!
  4. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    I would've posted too but it was closed. I won't go into my thoughts on the matter because I am not in the good books on this forum anyways.

  5. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Loving the photo George, if nothing else, at lease everyone has something to laugh at :lol: ;)

    Love this forum, always have, no doubt always will :)

  6. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

    That was nicely said, George. ;)

    I think we should see this as a fresh-start. I appreciate we're all gonna have our differences, but at the end of the day this is UKAPS we're talking about and we're all here because of our passion for planted tanks. Come on guys, let's all get along.

    (I like the photo too! ;))
  7. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    George, do you not get the joe 90 desert op's glasses like the ones my friend in the SAS got? I considered joining the army just to get a pair, till someone mentioned it's hard work and you have to do lots of running... :lol:

    I agree though George, when it becomes apparent to our American counterparts it's time we did something positive to move on.
    BBQ and a few tanks to scape would be a good way of building friendships and such, shouldn't cost too much if everyone chips in a few cuttings or some spare wood or rocks or something.
  8. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Well said George and good to see some positive reaction too. Must admit I missed all the fuss with computer problems.

    Is that a recent promotion ?? I'm sure you had Cpl tapes on the last pic I saw - if so many congrats.
  9. Graeme Edwards

    Graeme Edwards Founder Staff Member

    Wirral/Chester Cheshire.
    Hi all,

    I just want to echo the sentiments of what George is saying. There has been a lot of discussions between the mods, admin and founders behind the scenes to try and find a way of preventing the few upsetting the many.

    There has been some very unpleasant behavior and antagonistic posting. We plead with you to think before you speak. If you feel some loyalty to any one or any company,for what ever reason, then keep it professional and in good spirit. There has been some blatant hostility to certain people/sponsors and it is not acceptable on this forum or as part of the Uk's only aquatic plant society. On the other hand, if you have any issue with any member for what ever reason, then take it up privately. If you choose to attack a member publicly or you are less than friendly or constructive, then you are dragging the name of Ukaps down and tarnishing us with an unpleasant brush. This is unacceptable.

    The founders set about to create a friendly and informative society with a personal touch, meeting when we can and getting to know our members personally if possible. The whole initiative was a positive one, so for it to be anything eles would and is upsetting.

    I hope we can move forward with a more positive and friendly approach towards Ukaps and its members.

  10. glenn

    glenn Member

    well said serrgant farmer :p
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Who could not trust a face like that :lol:
    Tropica is really different, as is Seachem, there are other lesser known brands etc that fall into this group, but these guys listen to Hobbyists, help them grow plants, offer some Real Science, not these Myth based garbage trying to Hock their wares. They are in business also, but that is not their entire mission.

    They give back to the hobby, because they realize it's the hobby that helps them.
    Many companies do not.

    But rather than not telling things, say some dogma on the side etc, they offer some good information(take a look at Tropica's web site and see all the info they have posted there). Tropica is also a grower, much more than a "seller of ferts".

    So they are commercial Horticultralist. This is vastly different than someone who merely sells a fert, or a widget.
    Seachem took the time to come and speak to the clubs, to us on line and discuss the needs of hobbyists from their CEO, Greg Morin. I've met Claus from Tropica as well as the some of the other folks now there.

    These guys are not full of beans. There's a balance between business and the hobby, some companies are much less inclined than these to offer help, their choice and your money. These folks mare about as willing to help as anyone that has the time.

    I did not look at the thread, but I'm certainly a veteran of many a forum rant, flame war and 3-4 libel claims, one ending in a Federal lawsuit. These things get protracted on line, much differently than we might in person, and then it's there to mull over and stew, often not the best flavor over time.

    Be fair about things.
    Realize that businesses and markets are there, they have the right to sell things etc.
    You have this same right, you think you can do better and bring the products etc to market, it's still a somewhat free country there? Then do so.
    We also have the right to DIY, but many will not.

    So business targets and helps the hobby as much if not more than word of mouth/web.
    These two groups should try and get along together.
    This helps the hobby in different ways, but it does help the hobby as a whole.

    I like heated debate, but the issue, not the person is what should be addressed. I'm every bit as much as anyone a DIY person, have been for a long time, but I also use many brand names where convenient for myself and for folks I help.
    Looking at those scraps of Manzy wood you all where getting for high $$, I decided to do something that helped rather than just saying that it's everywhere here. Free wood, pay for shipping only.
    This makes you happy and good will for me without too much trouble.

    See? Solutions/resolutions to the issue, not bickering. Endless cycling of rants does not get through to folks.
    You need to demonstrate, test, show, prove, do something more than just convince many/most.
    This takes some creativity, some understanding about human nature and the power to change someone's mood from bad to good.

    That power.

    Tom Barr
  12. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    The BIG End, South Wales
    The only issue I have was down to the distribution of Tropica plants.

    Having spoke with Tropica however, they assure me that nothing has changed in that regard. They will handle all imports of plants and distribute where they see fit (Pets @ Home, Maidenhead Aquatics, other LFS, etc.) as they have done for many years. Prices will also not change at these retail outlets.
  13. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    At the end of the day it doesn't really matter because EU law still means those who want to can import from anywhere in the EU and aren't forced to go to their member countries authorised dealer, so I guess we are all moaning about nothing ;)

    Personaly I never used ADA anyway and these days don't use Tropica either so its not really something that affects me :)

  14. Simon D

    Simon D Member

    Well said Tom,

    You make perfect sense, you are a true ambassador to the hobby. Your post is calm and every word appears considered and I beleive it is from the heart.

    My estimations of you (and more importantly your contributions), has reached a newer high. Almost shed a tear reading your post, how true!

    I hope all "folks" (as you so quaintly put it) involved in the thread, read your post and I agree, peace @ UKAPS.

    We subscribe to this forum to help each other and to share information. Lets continue on this mission and lets be civilised in the process, it's the only way we can acheive this goal.

    Time to move on now, as Ringo Star would say: "peace and love, peace and love"
  15. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Cardiff, Wales
    Crickey. :wideyed:
    I think I've somehow missed seeing any of this "friction" in threads/posts.
    Pleased to see this first step of resolving any problems.
    Let the words of Dan live long, "UKAPS baby!".
    Oh, and nice pic George :D
  16. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    This is what I look like really:


    I think it's important to note differences, but the sum of those differences is really the real strength in UKAPS.
    You have a very wide range of folks and skills in many different areas. You all share the same passion. So there's never any need for personal baloney. You have to have some heated debates however.
    As the hobby grows, many of the folks here shall become really good teachers.
    As you folks have learned from myself and many others, so too shall others learn from you.
    Like yourselves, I learned from many smart and wise folks also.
    Through this path I took, I found the work and job I like, I make good $ at it, end up places like this:

    with Fontenalis Willow moss, or red Luwigia:
    That's me with my distingushed beard(sorry, I took the grey out and added green).


    I got back from Portugal last fall, heading to Oz for 2 weeks this Sept, all because of aquatic plants and helping folks.
    Have friends all over the world in languages and cultures I'm not even aware of yet.

    So I learned more about human nature and philosophy I think, much more than aquatic plants, truth be told.
    But I still have a "Walter" in there ;)

    Oliver Knott is also not what you might expect either, nice guy.

    Tom Barr
  17. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    I totally agree Tom.

    I think the main problem is that this forum gives the 'impression' (I don't mean its the case in reality, just the appearance) that all the 'big players' are only interested in nature style high light tanks and other styles get ignored. Doesn't bother me too much but from the outside looking in I think it does look that way.

    We need to get back to how we began being a full on 'all aspects of planted tanks' site where it doesn't matter whether you are an aquascaper at all. Just having plants and growing them well should be the main feature, with all aquascaping skills being the bonus that we all love to look at.

    The site is starting to become a 'nature' style fanclub and it does appear that there is a clique developing when there is no need for this to happen. I appreciate good plant growth no matter what style it is in or wether it is not even in a style :)

    I think this is what we need to do really. Slow down. Get back to our roots. Appreciate the simple things rather than pushing on to the 'advanced scaping' concept which is where many sites seem to have gone to. If not we will just fritter away what we have and become a one dimensional site.

    This isn't me being a 'nature' style hater. Its me being a planted tank lover and that involves all aspects of the hobby from technical through to aesthetics. Styles should not matter in the least. Lets get back to plants guys :)

  18. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Daventry, Northants
    I agree with you on the fan base thing but i think thats just a trend at the moment? I don't know how to promote more Dutch or Jungle style tanks, people just seem to be steering towards the Nature Aquarium styles. I have a veritable jungle going on at the moment, maybe i'll post that and see if it helps.
  19. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Aston, Oxfordshire
    It is good to keep up with new trends and styles though, to keep the hobby fresh and developing, its also still a relatively new hobby in the UK and I guess it's inevitable that we are heavily influenced by other countries. Once things develop Im sure the UK will develop its own range of styles. Its probably the same in gardening, just think how much that has changed over the years! Though I believe the UK has been at the forefront of the gardening world for many years, if not centuries :lol:

    I am def going to try a jungle hopefully later this year. Iwagumi is great but the colour and vibrancy of jungle massive is just to tempting for me to resist.

  20. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Lincoln UK
    I don't think its about promoting or even posting new scapes. More a case of some of the more experienced people or the ones that have a 'reputation' in the hobby encouraging others.

    I know when I was starting (and even now ;) ) I would be overjoyed when someone with a well known name in the scene posted on my journals.

    I don't mean Amano posting. What I mean is someone who is seen as 'highly regarded' within the hobby.

    I wouldn't say I was anything special nor I guess would Aaron but on TFF we regularly help people and they are chuffed when one of us posts on their threads/journals. All of us are 'building reputations' here and elsewhere. I tend to get caboodles of pms on TFF asking me to advise. Doesn't mean I am a 'big player' in the hobby. Just that I post a lot, show good results and therefore have a presence on that particular site :)

    Its something that we can all work on. All of us that have high posts, good growth and a lot of GOOD advice to give should try a little harder to make others feel like they are moving in the right direction and that they are not being ignored by the experienced.

    Doesn't mean spending hours posting, can just be a case of reading a few more 'standard' posts than usual and if another of the 'big boys' is already in the post can mean that you can go for another.

    Simple things, a couple of minutes. Gives beginners and experienced alike a buzz to have these people in their posts. Used to give me an adrenalin surge for George to post 2 or 3 words in my journals :)


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