Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)


John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

Where do we go from here......

08 Dec 2017 18:14 #1 by ipcompto (Ian Compton)
Hi folks,
Out of pure boredom i am posting this............
Where do we go from here....? There is not one sponsor actively taking part on here.....except me......and why do i bother.....i bother because it bothers me........

The trade is dead in the water as far as i am concerned...and i mean that...........
I say this because i talk to people and i talk to suppliers and i share knowledge...welcome to the dark ages where reality and make believe converge......the hobby is now just a stock photograph on your computer screen and it will devolve further......

The fish specialist is someone now who trade out of his garden shed step toeing around rules and regulations the same ones we in the trade have to abide by.....swapping undercutting then disappearing back into obscurity......whilst business flounders but without a second thought from the public.........

Nearly a million an hour leaves us by the internet alone....how long can this continue?

How many of you support superstores because you are too lazy to do other wise.....stores that don't even carry livestock?

They can't do the hard work but you still give them your money......where is the sense in that......

The hobby has shrunk to the point where only the older generation regularly visit us and others because technology drives them insane........

one or two shops cannot build and maintain the trade......it takes more than that.....and every time money is spent elsewhere the bricks and mortar specialist suffers..........regardless of personal opinions ior personal grudges......

sitting on poxy facebook forums is a cancer to the hobbyist.....half the crap they talk about is garbage....i am sick of correcting people who have been educated by google......google doesn't maintain 400 tanks i do.....me and one other guy have managed to do this for nearly ten years whilst everyone else talks the dream.........

People are the problem.

Sheep running from one wolf in to the maws of the next......

Customers now ask for obscure products only available on far off continents????? And when i shake my head they are too stupid to comprehend the gravity of my disdain....We live on a small island.....who are we kidding?

How did we get to this?

Now villages and remote communities are withering.

Where are the corner shops.....the post office?

The local Gaa team?


If you think having an Ikea here is a good idea then you are just mental.....how many business's do they destroy on any god dam given day......

Amazon owner is now the richest man in the world?

That's because you made him the richest...,..

Now they have bought the old jacob factory in Tallaght say good bye to a lot of local business....they will be selling cars soon enough and prostitutes probably.....but that's okay with you......just like Europe is good for us lets hand them our army......people need to start thinking clearly for a change.....Europe has drained us....they have taken far more than they have given and that's a simple mathematical fact 200 billion in fish alone.....

people have been laughing when i said they will be pushing the German super army.....now i am right.....5 years of being laughed at now the Dail pushing secret unconstitutional agenda is okay with you?

Germany has dismantle 26 countries piece by piece until each country has servitude as a mantra instead of nationalism.....where has everyone's core business gone.......it has gone down the swanny ........

Germany will command the largest army in the western world....think about that.....actually no don't bother we see what your thinking has brought to date.....

Even though we have had our differences the ITFS should command a more respectable role in the hobby.....amateurs with 8k members is counter productive as a whole......but where do we go from here......

For a start people have to stop asking me to send pictures of fish while they can sit on their fat asses gazing at a 15 inch screen.....i have better things to be doing like cleaning tanks.....if you want to know what new fish are in then make an appearance ...this is the real world who cares what some guy is doing on youtube in the states......keep it real...it will be your job next......that is the way it works.....ten years after the crash and our island still has 400,000 unemployed......that's a fact....250,000 officially and probably same again on some dead end government scheme....

The hobby has gone down a dark dark road.....funnily enough since i stopped sponsoring Practical Fish Keeping magazine several years ago we have never been mentioned in it since.....i told them it was a fix.....sponsor ship got you accolades.....so we went from winning to constant runner up to nothing......yet we still have customers?

I will always say it like it is.....PFK is full of ZXZT! They should be ashamed of hiding from the truth.....i said to them i should do well enough without sponsoring them......Ha that went well.....

Well the world is a changing place.....brainwashing is the key......Facebook is a deadly virus.....google.....skynet......soon we will be forbidden to leave our homes......i hope you have all the pop corn you will ever need on stock pile......you will need it.....

Have a nice day all two of you.....

Ian......still feeling the love.....

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08 Dec 2017 23:43 #2 by robert (robert carter)
Hi , ian , the hobby is diying more because young people are just not interested in fishkeeping , i dont know one person under 25 whos into the hobby , it a sort of old fashioed hobby if you know what i mean . Now i know plently of people under 25 who are mad into computor games . These will speed hours queing for the latest game releases . Football and gaa are in the same boat as fishkeepers they are looseing followers rapidly . Years ago a div one game could have an attendance of 80k to 100k not any more . While the internet has affected the lfs it has also affected every branch of the retail trade no matters what they are selling . Trends change over the years and we can only hope the fishkeeper trend comes back into fashion .

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09 Dec 2017 00:49 #3 by JohnH (John)
Ian, an impassioned (as we used to expect from you in earlier times) post.

However, someone needs to take issue with you on some points and it looks like it has to be me.

Who, I have to ask, are you referring to when you ask " how many of you support superstores because you are too lazy to do otherwise..." and "...but you still give them your money"?

If you are knocking the run-of-the-mill members of this Forum I think you owe them an apology. Just because few visit your establishment now cannot be an excuse for you to berate them.

Custom is a matter of choice and if they choose to shop elsewhere so be it, it's up to you to do your utmost to win them back again, not insult them!

Later you ask if "you think an Ikea here is a good idea..." again, who is this "you" you're referring to?

And to suggest they'll be "selling cars next and prostitutes probably" this is totally no more than conjecture on your part and quite possibly just a bit libelous (if the bosses thereof
were to read an Irish fishkeeping Forum at all...).

And, in all fairness this has hardly any relativity to fishkeeping (what, I might respectfully remind you, is what the Forum should be about).

You also get rather unpleasant to that 'magazine' PFK - the same PFK which you laud in your advertising banner here.

I think there should be little or no space wasted on political comments here either, they should be kept for more appropriate places - not on our Forum.

And you finish up by (quite rightly) hitting out at facebook - the same facebook that you run a group dedicated to your establishment on, it IS a blight but I fear it's here to stay - misinformation et al.

The fact remains that Ireland is just too small a country to sustain Fora like this one and the multitude of facebook groups. People appear to want the 'instant gratification' they seem to be able to get from that type of media, regrettably.

Please moderate this post to make it less (a) confrontational to our members and (b) less political.


N. Tipp

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.

ITFS member.

It's a long way to Tipperary.

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09 Dec 2017 16:06 #4 by alan 64 (alan)
I have read a few posts now about the trade being dead in the water and so on, strange though anytime im up in seahorse the place is very busy so from the outside looking in id presume there doing well, am i wrong in thinking this

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09 Dec 2017 16:33 #5 by ipcompto (Ian Compton)
..........you are missing the point......like you all miss the point......seahorse and me cannot keep the hobby going on our own....all the rest of the shops have gone.......we are the last.......Andy out in ashbourne.....gavin........Demetri........we have days that are busy too but this means nothing........i am talking about this for the last 15 years......now facebook has slaughtered this forum......and i am the only sponsor still posting?......and rather than take my point you are dissecting my post looking for things to crib about?


I give up....

I have work to do.....

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09 Dec 2017 18:19 #6 by Dihanio (Paulie Hanlon)
What exactly is your point, Ian?

I ask because you've typed a lot of text and there's not a lot makes sense in regards to the hobby.

Can you please be more to the point and we might be able to take your point

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11 Dec 2017 17:59 #7 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)
Ian do you really class yourself as an active sponsor on this forum ?????

From what I can make out you only like to post out of bordem and to put it simply talk a loud of rubbish.

What reasons are you giving people to spend their hard earned money in your shop.

From what I see absolutely none you ranting and raving on this forum is hardly going to have people queing at the door.

Also what ever polictal views you have should be saved for a more appropriate forum.

And your little dig towards a forum member who said to you about not replying to emails is extremely distasteful.

And the closest fish shop to me is one of them big retail chains you refer to and I vist the shop quite a lot it's very well run and tanks are always spotless and the staff are great so why shouldn't I buy fish from them instead of you.

Or why shouldn't I buy cheaper equipment online yes it's cheaper but I wouldn't imagine it's cheaper then what your getting it for.

And to be labelled lazy for shopping online or going to big retail pet stores is absolutely ridiculous and laughable.

I find your posts change the atosmphere on this forum and like you openly admitted posting out of pure bordem to bait people in having arguments.

As a user on this forum I would ask you to not post out of pure bordem and if you don't have anything fish related or forum related please don't bother posting.


at the end of the day it becomes nite

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12 Dec 2017 13:01 #8 by Bill (Bill Hunter)
Where do we go from here?
At every opportunity you like to shout about how you have 400 tanks full of fish. Yet you claim to be making this post out of boredom!! Really? How can you possibly be bored with 400 tanks of fish? You tried to tell me (even although I don't believe you) that the reason you didn't reply to my emails was because you were either talking with a customer - which I'm sure didn't take 8 months - or you were working in the shop until gone 8pm. Yet your bored?
You then accuse the people that could be your customers of being lazy, I assume you base that on your lack of custom. Yet those very people aren't lazy, they merely prefer to shop where they are appreciated.
I for one have been disabled for several years, I can't get around without my wife finding the time to take me around, yet I still get to my LFS regularly (round trip of 20Km) and get down to Dublin every month or so to visit Seahorse Aquariums. So don't accuse me of being lazy! You are very guilty of insulting your customers then come on here to the forum whinging about lack of custom. You then start getting political and even that has no bearing on anything to do with fish, in fact it is bordering on conspiracy theory and this is no place for stupid, paranoid conspiracy theories.
I'm going to ask you the same question as I asked before and you chose not to answer. What are you going to do? You sit there behaving like a keyboard warrior blaming everyone but yourself for the state of affairs.
You constantly boast about your 400 tanks and you boast about how adept you are with a microscope. Would your time not be more productive writing an article on what is going on in your 400 tanks or what is happening under your microscope? I think it would, I'd rather read that than the drivel you have written here.
What's happening is nothing different from what has always been happening. While Facebook et al is guilty of allowing the propagation of false, misleading and just downright bad information, a similar problem has always happened. Even back in the 60s there was always someone at the local meetings spouting bull. It has always happened in every type of club; fish, photography etc. In the 60s and 70s local fish shops were closing. I could choose between 4 or 5 shops to buy what I needed, by the end of the 70s I had the choice of 2 shops. Are you going to blame the internet for that? It's how things change and the first ones that have to close their doors are the ones that think it's easy money and really know nothing about the hobby.
If you made posts on my forum similar to what you do on here you would have been banned long ago. There is absolutely no justification for the majority of what you have written, absolutely none.
There is an old saying which I'm sure you and everyone else has heard, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
When people challenge your outlandish posts you do nothing but say ".........[sic] You are missing the point" What is your point? The only point I (and others apparently) see is you are insulting the members again. You haven't actually made any point. If your conspiracy theories and insults aren't the point, then why are you even thinking about mentioning them? Try sticking to facts and not made-up rubbish and, just maybe, we'll get your point.
If I was new to the hobby and came on here to get info, particularly about where to buy fish, I'd leave and never come back after reading your post. You are single handily destroying the hobby with your rants. Do you really believe people want to be your customers when you insult them and call them lazy?
If you are finding it tough then I suggest you either cut back on the stock you carry and be a lot more proactive than you are. But I fear that after your latest petulant rant it may be too late for you to do anything.

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12 Dec 2017 13:34 #9 by robert (robert carter)
While i have known Ian since he started the aquatic village, and have always got on well with him , i will point out that in may of 2016 i was as you all know looking for a tank , sump and cabinet to be built to my own sizes , i put the specs out to 3 different aquatic stores including the aquatic village , which was the only place that did not quote me , so my 900 euro went to one of the other companies that quoted me . I run my own bussiness and quote for every single job that i am asked to . Thankfully business is good .

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12 Dec 2017 17:24 #10 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
This is the first time I have answered one of Ian’s posts, as normally I don’t think it’s worth my time.
I have visited aquatic village once in the time I have been keeping fish, and I will NEVER go again.
When I go shopping I don’t want to hear his rants and pointless arguments, I want to be encouraged to keep fish, and don’t want to feel picked on and bullied when I leave I want to feel what a great shop.
So sorry, you won’t be seeing me again.

You say shops are closing, have you visited the fish shop in Longford, aquaristik4you ? This shop run by a polish man called Paul, is expanding day by day and making a living.
Why can he open a shop that is running well, in a climate that you say these shops are closing?
I will tell you.... he is cheaper than Dublin shops, and closer for a whole section of the county.
What you fail to see is not all fishkeepers live in Dublin,. So if we need something, it’s pay postage to you or postage to someone else who is cheaper. What would you do? You would buy it from the. Headset place to make the most profit. It’s only what we do.
Anyway I will stop now, just so I don’t sound like you do!!

Just one last thing before I do. I asked on here for help with a shrimp tank, and only 1 member answered me.
Why didn’t you? Why didn’t you offfer your help? Why didn’t you tell me what shrimp you had in stock? Why didn’t you tell me what shrimp tanks you had? Why didn’t you tell me what shrimp soils you had? Why didn’t you tell me what feed you keep in stock?
Not so you could sell them to me, but to offer help. Help that may have led me back to buy from you?
Instead of ranting, answer people posts, and offer them the help that you say you are so good at giving if we visit your store.

That’s it from me, hope to hear some answers.

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18 Dec 2017 03:27 #11 by iain54 (Iain Minchin)
It's Christmas try be happy.

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20 Dec 2017 12:25 #12 by ipcompto (Ian Compton)
Happy christmas dude....


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20 Dec 2017 12:45 #13 by Dihanio (Paulie Hanlon)
Nice to see you ignoring the concerns and comments of potential customers, Ian

Merry Christmas

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20 Dec 2017 14:39 #14 by ipcompto (Ian Compton)
I'm not ignoring anything....i hope all potential customers have a wonderfully nice day,........and a pleasant Christmas......i have work to do......

if any one needs help or information i would be glad to assist.....


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20 Dec 2017 14:40 #15 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)

Nice to see you ignoring the concerns and comments of potential customers, Ian

Merry Christmas

Paul did you not know we are all to get the point of ians posts and not have our own points basicly don't try understand or question it just accept it

If you don't accept anyone's opinions

Why should any one bother to accept yours that you try ram down people's throats.


Happy Christmas

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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21 Dec 2017 00:06 #16 by Fishowner (Gavin fishowner)
I've not been on here in so long and the first thing I read is this...i now remember why I actually stopped visiting this site.Absolutely ridiculous.Some things never change.Hope all the old crew are well and to those who are new i hope this site is as useful as it was for me when I was starting out.

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22 Dec 2017 11:29 #17 by paulcavan (Paul Gileoold)
Ha it’s great when Ian gets involved it seems to be the only time the site gets lively agin and ya can’t bait having a bit of banter.

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22 Dec 2017 11:50 #18 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)

Ha it’s great when Ian gets involved it seems to be the only time the site gets lively agin and ya can’t bait having a bit of banter.

Paul with posts like that I feel it is you who seems to be intellectually lacking.


at the end of the day it becomes nite

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22 Dec 2017 11:54 #19 by paulcavan (Paul Gileoold)
hilarious you waited a while to try get me back with that line but I like it we will have to keep the trend going

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22 Dec 2017 11:58 #20 by fishmad1234 (Craig Coyle)

hilarious you waited a while to try get me back with that line but I like it we will have to keep the trend going

Well I was proved right in what I said that you regarded as insulting that he would post a load of rubbish and then not answer people and disappear witch he did only recently came back.

So i didn't feel the need to get you back just seemed fitting given your comment.

Kind regards

at the end of the day it becomes nite

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22 Dec 2017 20:34 #21 by Bill (Bill Hunter)
Personally, I think this post is getting worn and tired out. Perhaps it's time to lock it?
I'm not sure what your agenda is, paulcavan, but it's certainly not the good of the forum, but I think you have some sort of agenda that keeps being antagonistic.

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