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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

During the past couple of months of my spare time, I have developed a site that attempts to help aquarium hobbyists figure out how much fish you can add to your tanks. It does much more than relying on simple "inches per gallon" rule. I take everyone's suggestions and try to address them through weekly builds. I've spent over 5 months developing this tool so far.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, try it out and post your feedback on this thread!

Try this link: AqAdvisor site

I'm a techie at heart so it doesn't look pretty visually. :)
 

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Significantly more advanced than anything I've encountered before. Quite impressive, to say the least. I like the "Display only suitable species" function.

You may not want to divulge your calculations, and if so, how will people know if this calculator is accurate? Maybe you could add a rating function for the calculator or a comment section. I see you have a "Leave feedback" link with a forum, but personally I think this doesn't quite do the trick. There's too much investigation involved.

Also, what if a user doesn't have a filter that is on the list? Why can't they input the capacity that their filter has? Or what about a fish that's not on the list? Can't they input fish maximum length?

When I first visited the page, it took a little while to understand how to use it. The usability might be drastically improved with a change in layout.

Lastly, as you pointed out, it isn't quite visually appealing yet. But the calculator is about functionality, not looks anyway (and don't let anyone tell you different :) ).

I hope you aren't offended by any of my opinions, because my only intention is to help. All in all it's pretty solid, and it's my opinion that it would be quite successful without any further modification. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Significantly more advanced than anything I've encountered before. Quite impressive, to say the least. I like the "Display only suitable species" function.
Glad you like the app so far. I too am a geek in aquarium hobby so I know what you mean... :)

You may not want to divulge your calculations, and if so, how will people know if this calculator is accurate? Maybe you could add a rating function for the calculator or a comment section. I see you have a "Leave feedback" link with a forum, but personally I think this doesn't quite do the trick. There's too much investigation involved.
Hmm that is an interesting idea. You've just touched my biggest headache building this app. When I enter new species, I rely on profile data from various sites and take the median suggestions (if you know what I mean). The problem is that not all profile sites are correct! An experienced user once in a while comes across, tries his own species, then complains "your app sucks because I can do this...". For me, this feedback is valuable since now I have more details and I "address" them in DB. Next person comes along and tries the same or similar combo, will see right info this time around. I have been doing this update for about 3 months now with current users of aqadvisor.com. But I do seem to offend some experienced users thinking I claimed I built a perfect tool which it isn't.

A potential problem with "ratings" column is that the data in DB gets refined often so the rating may not apply anymore once I update it.

For most common species, I believe data is pretty accurate but I'm sure you will discover issues when you start combine rarer combinations.

Just as an example, I am working with a user who is complaining that the app says Severums cannot be held with Tiger Barbs. Most profiles suggest this is not possible based on their high level comments. If this is indeed possible, I can "fix" Sev in DB to be more friendly against larger barbs.

Also, what if a user doesn't have a filter that is on the list? Why can't they input the capacity that their filter has? Or what about a fish that's not on the list? Can't they input fish maximum length?
It does allow you to enter your own filtration capacity if you select "User Defined" item. :)

As for the fishes not on the list, it will get added. If you look at the submission form, you will get some idea what type of info I currently gather for each species and most likely the attributes will increase. I started off with just over 100 species and now I have well over 400 - all requests came from users but until about a week ago, I did all the research for new species that have been requested.

I don't want to let users add their own no-name fish with length because each species also has what I call "bioload factor" where it distinguishes each fish "dirtiness" in relation to their length. This is not something user will be able to come up with. Bioload factor different between a neon and an oscar is huge even if you take into account their lengths.

When I first visited the page, it took a little while to understand how to use it. The usability might be drastically improved with a change in layout.
Yes this will be an interesting challenge. Initial version 3 months ago looked far simpler. But after adding so many features, now it looks a bit overwhelming. I was tempted to change to wizard based one but not sure if that is the way to go.

Lastly, as you pointed out, it isn't quite visually appealing yet. But the calculator is about functionality, not looks anyway (and don't let anyone tell you different :) ).
Agreed. :) But it is pretty ugly right now... lol. I am thinking of leaving it simple and light - may be something in the line of how Google does with their apps.

I hope you aren't offended by any of my opinions, because my only intention is to help. All in all it's pretty solid, and it's my opinion that it would be quite successful without any further modification. Good luck!
Absolutely not offended. In fact, I take every feedback seriously and record them into wishlist. When it is time for me to look at that particular feature, I read them again and come up with feature that makes sense from as many people as possible. Without feedback, this app will not become better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like it. Took a minute to understand but after than smoothish sailing
Yeah I am getting this feedback more often now - initially looks overwhelming. If you could let me know what was the most confusing factor when you first saw this app, that might help. :)
 

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definately a nice tool... wish i had one like this for saltwater ;)
 

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Yeah I am getting this feedback more often now - initially looks overwhelming. If you could let me know what was the most confusing factor when you first saw this app, that might help. :)
I am a guy and didn't read the instructions and just tried playing with it. Like double clicking on a species then wondering why it didn't get added to the list on the other side of the screen. Like I said earlier, once I slowed day and payed attention it all came together.

But I found it pretty useful and put in my tank info. I guess my 55G is a little overstocked and I have some incompatible fish in it. However, they seem to get getting along fine at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am a guy and didn't read the instructions and just tried playing with it. Like double clicking on a species then wondering why it didn't get added to the list on the other side of the screen. Like I said earlier, once I slowed day and payed attention it all came together.

But I found it pretty useful and put in my tank info. I guess my 55G is a little overstocked and I have some incompatible fish in it. However, they seem to get getting along fine at the moment.
Got it. :)

You have to keep in mind that everyone's experiences will be a bit different. More advanced keepers will be able to keep fishes that are not supposed to go together as well. As I receive more feedback on this app for the species it already holds in DB, more accurate the result will become. The app has progressed nicely during the past 3 months but I expect it will need continual update for at least another year or so in species DB.
 

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Well I just used it and I do like it. I figured it out without reading any instructions, and as a beginner, I found it very helpful. The overall design could use some enhancements, but that's just me being a graphic designer...*Glasses*

Overall, I really found it beneficial. Great work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I just used it and I do like it. I figured it out without reading any instructions, and as a beginner, I found it very helpful. The overall design could use some enhancements, but that's just me being a graphic designer...*Glasses*

Overall, I really found it beneficial. Great work!
Thanks. :)

I am the first to admit that it really is ugly... :D I really focused on functionality first and some day, I will be able to move onto the GUI side of things.
 

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I was just thinking Media Hound is there a chance this could be stickied in the New To The Freshwater Aquarium Hobby as I think it could help out the new people alot
 
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