Scenario of Live Food Cultures

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Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby ishaan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:14 pm

hi guys, how are you?
Posting after a long time and i am here with a bit controversial topic and in the beginning i would like to clear it that i am posting this topic for a healthy debate and not to aim or personally attack any person or hurt their emotions. :roll:
So to begin with the topic, In the last year their is an impressive growth in the number of people who are trying to keep their fishes happy with the help of live food cultures and their are a few people or we can say senior and experienced hobbyists that are helping everyone free of cost to procure the starter cultures. This campaign of sharing live food cultures free of cost is really helping the hobbyist no matter how much money he can invest in this hobby.
But the problem come when someone who gets the culture is not able to maintain them properly or in worst case is not even able to start their cultures leave alone the maintenance part. Speaking from my own experience and some of my friend's experience that in such cases the people who fail are considered as non-responsible people and here comes the "Free of Cost" part, the person who shares the culture tells him that he was careless with the cultures because he didn't spend anything to get the culture.
Come on guys, i am sure not everyone was able to keep their first fish alive for more than a week so its not really necessary that the person was careless with the cultures, and the people who maintain the cultures know that there are high risks of the cultures dying in transit also because the conditions are not always favourable.
Talking about some more reason, i believe many of us have non-supporting family in case of the hobby so if someone has to go on some business trip or training in some other city or state, everyone doesn't have a backup plan at home to look after their fishes and the cultures. WATER: The most critical part of our hobby, i am sure everyone will agree with me regarding this. (Sorry Romi bhaia i am quoting your example here, didn't wanted to quote anyone) According to me Romi bhaia is one of the most knowledgeable hobbyist that i know, he helped many hobbyist by guiding them with appropriate requirements of the fishes and helped them breed their fishes but himself he didn't breed any fishes because of the water in his area is not suitable for breeding fishes. So coming back to the topic he discovered romifex that many of us are fond of and romifex are my personal favourite too :p , but now maybe due to the water conditions he himself is not able to culture them. So what now, can we blame him that he is not serious about the cultures or what.
Coming to the commercialization part for these, in case anyone tries to sell these cultures everyone starts to speak again him, reason is because the person himself got the cultures free of cost, I am sorry but i don't know the name of the senior member of IAH who purchased them at a very high price and then shared him for free but the origin was still commercial . So according to this we should ban selling aquatic plants in India because many hobbyist get the plants free of cost and then later they also share them for free but in the beginning someone definitely purchased them. Why are we so much against the people selling these, let them sell because personally people like me knowing that they can get free cultures would still prefer to buy them if the price is genuine because it won't make me obligated to someone for helping me again and again, and definitely would avoid the long lectures and insult. I am not asking to stop giving the cultures for free but i am asking to let the people sell them in case they want, almost everyone knows that the cultures are available free of cost, so it would be their own decision. Personally i am not at all related to any kind of commercial dealing of live food cultures and would be more than happy to share them for free whenever i get my hands on them again.
At last i would like to say sorry for my poor english whis and would like to invite everyone for a healthy debate to share their own views on the topic. Please don't make the topic a personal issue and encourage a healthy debate by focussing on the facts.
Thanks :)


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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby Romi » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:51 pm

hmmm... ishaan bhai... that is quite a huge subject you have broached this time. :)

Here is my two cents.

The reason many hobbyists want cultures to be distributed free is because they got theirs from somebody for free. They are honest people, and do not like the idea of selling something that they themselves got free of cost. I think that is a good thing. we should all try and do good to others, when we benefit from others doing good to us.

I agree that some live food was paid for by someone. This guy called Sood (i forgot this first name now, he is in www.indianaquariumhobbyist.com) got Grindals from UK to Mumbai and distributed them... they spread all over south india too and then surya niki from the same website (who i have thanked in facebook recently) sent them to a sardar hobbyist (whose name i cant remember now, it was in 2008!), who i think gave them to me. I spread them around in Delhi with help of people like Vijendra, Syed Ali and Monty Chadda. But it was a looooong time since Sood from UK paid for them, and all the hundred people who have them now, did not pay for them. So if suddenly someone says, hello, I PAID for them, he will not be believed. ... it can be true though, but it is unlikely to be. After all, we will think, if a 100 people who are online, have it, 10 will share, and he will get it from them, instead of going thru customs (irritating and ignorant people who like to harass when possible).... this is why there is anger against a seller.

Your logic, ishaan, that someone gives plants for free (like Monty Chadda gave to Aquapetz meetings for a long time, so many people took them home), so if someone wants to sell them instead, some people will be angry. I think we must think carefully here, because there are probably 350 plant types we have in use today. We don't have so many types of live food. Live food needs more hard work when u are still in the learning stage or if you have fear of living creeping squirming things (fear of worms or insects is a real thing or many vegetarian indians). it has many challenges, many are different for different people. Courier companies refuse to take live food, a parcel can get stuck in transit and the organisms can die and stink badly even before delivery. u can get into trouble... one packet i sent to kerala was in transit for over 12 days. luckily mealworms do not die easily... too may problems to list... so live food is always going to be a sensitive subject. Live food can be difficult for different reasons, to keep, just like plants, but it is far more essential to some fish (sometimes absolutely necessary to keep fish alive for long term)..

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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby Romi » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:05 pm

(contd)

i was asked to pay 350 bucks or so for my package once, and even DTDC does not have any clear guidelines about what we can send and what we cannot. The senders can face not one but umpteen problems...

the mini tubifex worms i introduced to the hobby in around 2009, were not paid for by anyone. But i know in the future, someone is going to call them some fancy name, and start selling them. i myself made the mistake of calling them Microfex worms in the beginning. Now i realise, after reading for over 2 years on google, in wikipedia, in scientific journals in american university websites, and finally, in the book Aquapets and Bappada gifted to me in live food, written by Michael Hellweg, famous live food international expert, they are NOT microfex. Microfex cannot swim. These swim with a corkscrew motion not only horizontally but also vertically. I am sure many people dont care they come from Vijay vihar, Rithala Village land, in rohini, Delhi.

And i know i cant do a thing about it. i dont even want to. But if someone sells them, and i come to know, he will get it from me. But if i never see it, i will not say a thing. ... Mrs Grindal was an old lady in Scandinavia, who found grindals in her house dirt that she wet for growing something else. Mr Walter and his worms were also i think, a siimilar discovery. now all of them are sold. ... in America, in UK where our friedn Sood bought them.

So, to cut a long story short, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. :) Giving free is good, selling packaged with lies is not, selling after buying is ok, but all three are possible. It is a choice each fish keeper can make. A poor man can charge, a honest poor man can still offer free. a rich man can decide he is poor and also do the same! who will find out what is true and what is not?

i give free, i cannot charge. but after two years, now i dont interact with people who dont help others. but happily help my friends, or people who seem interesting and sincere. or if they give to others or help others, or seem nice to talk to...

these days i personally exchange becuase it is true, many people do not even remember taking help. they just disappear. or start selling later. one person on this website is selling, and no one has even noticed it. i dont care because he messaged me many times, but i knew what he was, and didnt fall for it. he got it from someone else. now he sells everything, even cocopeat!!

if u want something from someone, just offer them something. if they need it, they will take. otherwise, they might just send u free as a nice surprize. Nice people usually regain their nice moods too. :)

Neil Thirumuttam and Pio Linhares are among people who have shared a lot, Deepak Ganguly is the sharing champion for me, he has spread them so far and wide, it is amazing. i am full of affection for them. sometimes if they get irritated and say No, i knw it is only temporary. a nice plant or a nice smile or just being friends first will soften them up again... just try :D :D

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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby sumer » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:07 pm

I was trying to stay away from this topic but I cant resist anymore.
It's a very sensitive topic which needs to be discussed. Even though I am not in India, I observe hobby in India very closely.

This whole sharing and/or selling thing started with the introduction of live food in the hobby.
There's a group of people who think it's better if these cultures get spread without any money involvement and then the second group of people think it'd absolutely appropriate to sell the cultures at a cost.
I see no problems with both the approaches. They both have their pros and cons.

On one side where the people who don't charge, have a valid argument that they got it for free and they would like to keep it that way. The counter argument is, as stated by the thread owner, the recipient is then obliged to the person he got the culture from. If the culture crashes, he gets to listen how irresponsible he is. Or maybe people start taking these free cultures for granted. They take the culture, use them up and then come back to ask for another culture!
Here in the States, auctions are a great way to do such kind of things. They break the connection between the "Free giver" and "Free taker". The person who likes to give back to the community by sharing free cultures, donates teh cultures to the club. The club auctions it for a very nominal charge which goes to the betterment of the hobby. This way the person who shared the culture gets the satisfaction of doing his part, the recipient doesn't feel obliged because he won the culture in auction and paid for it. Other people don't feel bad because they all were given an equal and open chance to win the culture.
A few years ago I got to visit the fishroom of a great hobbyist Vyas Tk in Bangalore. He keeps a variety of Channa species. They all eat big sized food and that's why he cultures meal worms. When I asked him about sharing cultures he told me that he was frustrated of people taking cultures from him for free, using them up without even trying to culture and then coming back again for a free culture. He started asking people to bring a packet of oats while coming for a starting culture. People who were abusing his cultures had to start buying oats. That way the number of abusers decreased.

Then even if someone wants to sell the culture at a price, what is wrong with that? Good that he got his first culture for free but that doesn't mean he can't sell them at a price! That is the problem. The person who gave him the starting culture for free "expects" him to keep it that way; why? You did your part by giving him the culture for free. Your duty is done. It's up to him what he wants to do with that. By making him share the culture for free you are making him obliged. You are losing the whole point of doing this. The point is not to make anyone obliged but to share it. You shared it for free and someone wants a price for it.
I really like Pio for what he does but I don't like the way he thrashes people on FB groups if they charge for a culture or something. Is he a "starting culture police" or something?
And why is this just related to starting cultures? Why don't people start giving fishes that they have bred for free? Why do we have this whole fish industry then? Why isn't everything free? Why is this whole argument just around the starting cultures? Because shops don't sell them? or because they don't consume your resources like electricity and water?

There should be a healthy relation between someone giving something and someone taking something. Personally, I don't take ANYTHING for free. Even if the person offers, I take a few print of my photos or one of my calendars and gift it to him. I don't like someone telling me a year later that how he gave me something for free. And in my personal opinion this whole "free" thing should stop. You don't have to give money in return. Give some plants that you grew in your tank or maybe give a small pack of flake food. Make the deal equal.
There are a LOT of live food cultures that don't exist in India like white worms, blackworms etc. Why don't all the hobbyists try to get a hold of these cultures rather than thrashing someone who asked for a price.
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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby sushant » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:38 pm

sumer wrote:
Then even if someone wants to sell the culture at a price, what is wrong with that? Good that he got his first culture for free but that doesn't mean he can't sell them at a price! That is the problem. The person who gave him the starting culture for free "expects" him to keep it that way; why? You did your part by giving him the culture for free. Your duty is done. It's up to him what he wants to do with that. By making him share the culture for free you are making him obliged. You are losing the whole point of doing this. The point is not to make anyone obliged but to share it. You shared it for free and someone wants a price for it.

There are a LOT of live food cultures that don't exist in India like white worms, blackworms etc. Why don't all the hobbyists try to get a hold of these cultures rather than thrashing someone who asked for a price.
Hobby connects us all. Let's concentrate on the hobby more than any thing else :)


:1 , Sumer beautifully summed it up in his last post. :goodpost
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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby ishaan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:10 am

sumer wrote:I was trying to stay away from this topic but I cant resist anymore.
It's a very sensitive topic which needs to be discussed. Even though I am not in India, I observe hobby in India very closely.

On one side where the people who don't charge, have a valid argument that they got it for free and they would like to keep it that way. The counter argument is, as stated by the thread owner, the recipient is then obliged to the person he got the culture from. If the culture crashes, he gets to listen how irresponsible he is. Or maybe people start taking these free cultures for granted. They take the culture, use them up and then come back to ask for another culture!
Then even if someone wants to sell the culture at a price, what is wrong with that? Good that he got his first culture for free but that doesn't mean he can't sell them at a price! That is the problem. The person who gave him the starting culture for free "expects" him to keep it that way; why? You did your part by giving him the culture for free. Your duty is done. It's up to him what he wants to do with that. By making him share the culture for free you are making him obliged. You are losing the whole point of doing this. The point is not to make anyone obliged but to share it. You shared it for free and someone wants a price for it.
I really like Pio for what he does but I don't like the way he thrashes people on FB groups if they charge for a culture or something. Is he a "starting culture police" or something?
And why is this just related to starting cultures? Why don't people start giving fishes that they have bred for free? Why do we have this whole fish industry then? Why isn't everything free? Why is this whole argument just around the starting cultures? Because shops don't sell them? or because they don't consume your resources like electricity and water?

:clap :clap Exactly thats what i wanted to say, I am really happy that you were not able to resist and shared your opinion, everyone should have the right to make the decision over his stuff no matter he got it for free or at a cost now he is having them and has the right over his stuff. The people who want to share them for free can go on with the practice and support the cause where as the people who want to sell them should have the right to do the same.
I didn't wanted to point out at anyone and i hope it doesn't reach the stage where the personal arguments begin but "starting culture police" is almost like what is happening over here, i have more than enough proof of what the people have to go through before getting the culture and after getting them, its more of getting interrogated that getting helped by others. After getting the cultures the are obligated to share them for free and even if they are not having time to share them he is made to send the starters to others despite the fact that maybe he is having a hectic schedule. So :thumup to you for sharing your views
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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby ishaan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:48 am

Romi wrote: But it was a looooong time since Sood from UK paid for them, and all the hundred people who have them now, did not pay for them. So if suddenly someone says, hello, I PAID for them, he will not be believed. ... it can be true though, but it is unlikely to be. After all, we will think, if a 100 people who are online, have it, 10 will share, and he will get it from them, instead of going thru customs (irritating and ignorant people who like to harass when possible).... this is why there is anger against a seller.

I beg to differ, i would say many people will opt for getting it for them sellers because it would avoid them be obligated to anyone. See if we take your case you have helped many hobbyist with the starters so incase you loose your culture and go to anyone asking for a starter you won't be challenged for being responsible/irresponsible but incase of a newbie or someone who is not very active online would definitely get the tag of being irresponsible. If you ask them it is becoming more of harassment whis

Romi wrote: Your logic, ishaan, that someone gives plants for free (like Monty Chadda gave to Aquapetz meetings for a long time, so many people took them home), so if someone wants to sell them instead, some people will be angry. I think we must think carefully here, because there are probably 350 plant types we have in use today. We don't have so many types of live food. Live food needs more hard work when u are still in the learning stage or if you have fear of living creeping squirming things (fear of worms or insects is a real thing or many vegetarian indians). it has many challenges, many are different for different people. Courier companies refuse to take live food, a parcel can get stuck in transit and the organisms can die and stink badly even before delivery. u can get into trouble... one packet i sent to kerala was in transit for over 12 days. luckily mealworms do not die easily... too may problems to list... so live food is always going to be a sensitive subject. Live food can be difficult for different reasons, to keep, just like plants, but it is far more essential to some fish (sometimes absolutely necessary to keep fish alive for long term)..

See talking about quantity of fishes/plants/starter cultures can't make a difference with the practice, if we say that we have very few type of live food cultures then it makes them a rare thing in this hobby. This whole practice started here because from the very beginning it was shared for free but was not the same with fishes and plants.
Frozen blackworms were sold on an online store in India, so incase someone gets hold of a live cultures of blackworm and start sharing them with the hobbyist for free does that mean the same store lost the right to sell them. Ok so i am going to quote a sensitive example regarding plants that can give an opportunity to others if they want to point at me whis , "Bucephalandra" was a rare plant and used to have a high price tag, and many of you know i was selling them but side by side i gifted a few of them to some of my friends in this hobby "FOR FREE" and i don't even remember all of them :p but i didn't set any rule for them that they have to share them for free in the future because if i gave it to them for free it was my own wish, now what they want to do with the plants depends upon them as now they own it.

Romi wrote:So, to cut a long story short, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. :) Giving free is good, selling packaged with lies is not, selling after buying is ok, but all three are possible. It is a choice each fish keeper can make. A poor man can charge, a honest poor man can still offer free. a rich man can decide he is poor and also do the same! who will find out what is true and what is not?

Absolutely everyone should have the right to choose the way he wants regarding the starters also. As you said "selling after buying is ok" or "all the hundred people who have them now, did not pay for them" this statement can be easily challenged, lets say i lost the culture of microworms i got from you due to my negligence (just an example not the reality backparise ) and i bought killifish eggs from Carmel zammit(aquabid seller), his killifish eggs package includes microworms starter culture also so in a way i paid for both of them. So now the culture i am having is from the same starter i got from Carmel, so does that mean i OFFICIALLY got the right for selling them? even in case i prove my statement the "Culture Police" as stated by sumer will be going to fb groups thrashing me 666

Romi wrote:these days i personally exchange becuase it is true, many people do not even remember taking help. they just disappear. or start selling later.

If you choose exchanging them thats great because in this was the other person is no longer obligated to get bound by the rules because he didn't got them for free and gave you something in return.

Romi wrote:Neil Thirumuttam and Pio Linhares are among people who have shared a lot, Deepak Ganguly is the sharing champion for me, he has spread them so far and wide, it is amazing. i am full of affection for them. sometimes if they get irritated and say No, i knw it is only temporary. a nice plant or a nice smile or just being friends first will soften them up again... just try :D :D

Not talking about any single person in the post just talking about the practice going on regarding the starters whis
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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby Arjun Tandon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:19 am

I think it all also depends on the type of culture....
There are cultures that establish easily and don't need a lot of maintenance once you get things right like microworms, grindals, vinegar eels, daphnia, etc.
But there are also those cultures that need proper equipment and a lot of time to split. In this case the hobbyist must have spent a lot of time and effort and even money to
share the culture. e.g. mealworms, red wigglers, superworms, etc.

Sharing cultures for free not only leaves a room for others to take things for granted but also creates a sense of worry that they might not be able to get things right or return the favor. In some cases, a small fee could help the person to expand his cultures and allow him to share with more people. Meanwhile, if the person who got the culture got things right, he could start sharing too.

So I believe that be it for profit, or for expanding things, or covering shipping costs, or a defense for not being taken for granted, it all helps others (beginners and experts alike) to have a ready supply of cultures.

When I needed live plants for my aquarium, I felt that I might not be able to keep them or return the favor to anyone who gave them to me. And these are the desperate times when people like me go looking for online sites to find live plants. Luckily I got them from ebay and all the plants grew very well for me. And there is not a single day I don't wish that all the live food cultures were sold on ebay. It all depends on the person holding the culture whether he wants something in return or not. But if he allowed others to sell them or make the choice, things could get a lot easier for others.

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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby VishaalDalal » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:23 pm

I have been keeping some king of live culture since I started the hobby.

I have shared a few cultures and accepted from people. the only reason that I share for free is so that people have the culture in case mine crashes. let me tell a very recent Incident.

I lost all my cultures and wanted to restart. got starters from friends and hobbyists (for free) and started the culture. Grindals were not doing well.

in the meantime I saw an FB post of someone selling Grindals. and on the same post many people offered cultures free. naturally I asked these people to share.

1. They wanted to and checked my credientials.
2. And found that I am not a hobbyiest who can get cultures because I sell my fish.


this is where Sumer is correct in saying that the obligation of free sharing is more expensive than buying this.

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Re: Scenario of Live Food Cultures

Unread postby Abhi » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:45 am

VishaalDalal wrote:I have been keeping some king of live culture since I started the hobby.

I have shared a few cultures and accepted from people. the only reason that I share for free is so that people have the culture in case mine crashes. let me tell a very recent Incident.

I lost all my cultures and wanted to restart. got starters from friends and hobbyists (for free) and started the culture. Grindals were not doing well.

in the meantime I saw an FB post of someone selling Grindals. and on the same post many people offered cultures free. naturally I asked these people to share.

1. They wanted to and checked my credientials.
2. And found that I am not a hobbyiest who can get cultures because I sell my fish.


this is where Sumer is correct in saying that the obligation of free sharing is more expensive than buying this.

So if you sell fish or don't breed them your not a hobbyist as per them ? That would be a lot of us in that case.
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