Saturday, February 24, 2007

Why did I start this GoldLenny Blog???

I'm going to answer the "Title" question down near the bottom of this Blog... but for now, I'm going to preface that with a little history of my fish keeping knowledge and experience since this is the introductory blog for "GoldLenny".

My first experience with fish were with three ponds I inherited when I moved into a new home where the ponds already existed, around ten years ago. All I really had to do was keep them up and maintained so I never went through the process of starting up my own pond or aquarium.

I started keeping aquarium fish several years ago after I moved into a condo and my first tank was a pre-packaged 10G "goldfish" system with everything needed to get started, that I bought at my local PetsMart. I was told to go home, set it up and run it for 24-48 hours, then come back for my fish. Two days later, I left the PetsMart with four fancy goldfish. I was told by my local PetsMart "goldfish expert" that a 10G tank was suitable for up to four fancy goldfish. (For those of you who know about fish-keeping, you already know where this is going.)

I was responsible enough that along with the tap water conditioners and food, I also bought an API (then called Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) Freshwater Master Test Kit and I started "testing" my water from day one. Well... it did not take long for the ammonia levels to reach the DANGER zone of 1.0ppm. I was doing 25% PWC's (partial water changes) daily to keep the water "safe" for the fish. I could never get the ammonia levels much below 0.5ppm no matter how many 25% PWC's I did... sometimes 2-3 a day. (I'll explain in a coming Blog, why it's best to NOT do more than a 25% PWC at any one time.)

As I became more experienced, I learned that the reason for the ammonia level that was in my tank water no matter what I did to lower it. It was because my local water utility uses chloramine as the disinfectant in the water rather than chlorine. Chloramine is made by binding chlorine and ammonia. So, even though I was using Tetra Brand tap water dechlorinator (I don't use that anymore), it was leaving a very small trace amount of ammonia leftover in the water. This is not an issue in a properly stocked and fully "cycled" (The Nitrogen Cycle) tank.... but in a new tank with four small goldfish (which I later learned was SEVERELY overstocked), it was confusing me since I could never get the ammonia level down to where I felt it was "safe" for the fish. Actually, NO ammonia level is safe for your fish, except 0.0ppm... no matter what your local pet store employee may tell you.

Fast forwarding a little... after several months of doing daily 25% PWC's, all four of my goldfish were still alive and growing and eating and pooping and growing and eating and pooping. It was getting harder and harder to keep the tank "clean" with all the poop these guys put out. They were pooping machines! When the local Petsmart "expert" was not available, I decide to go online looking for some advice and came across forums (hereafter referred to as "AF forums" for this Blog) and I signed up. I picked the user name, GoldLenny, since I had Goldfish and my name is Lenny, and I started asking more and more questions about my 10G "goldfish" tank. Everyone, and I mean everyone, told me there was no possible way that I could keep four goldfish in a 10G tank. At first, I argued with them saying my local PetsMart "expert" said it was the right size tank.

Eventually (actually within days), the experienced fish keepers on the AF forums beat some sense into my head and I went and bought another tank, a 20G tank that was on sale, so I could split the four fish into the two tanks... the three smallest in the 20G and the bigger one in the 10G, while I was shopping around for the BIG tank that I was going to get for their permanent home. I decided on a 65G acrylic tank that I bought online from Actually, I found the tank on their eBay store site, where I was trying to find a used tank but I never could find a used one that suited my needs so I ended up buying new. The best thing would have been to check eBay, Craigslist, FreeCycle, Aquabid and of course, local Garage Sales but nobody told me about all of them "used tank" outlets back then.

I started reading more and more information and asking more and more questions and eventually got my 65G tank in and set up and running nice.

I stuck around those AF forums for several years, learning more and more from helping other people and learning from their mistakes, until I became one of the "experts" (Advanced Members, over 2,000 posts) at the AF forums. Now, we're getting close to the "answer" for this Blog.

As you will read about in coming Blogs, the AF forums never did have proper or adequate (and often NO) "Moderators" so the one or two moderators they did have, on occasion, would only come around after there was a troll causing havoc on the AF forums and people were PM'ing the mod's or reporting the posts... sometimes for days before the mod's would ban the trolls and clean up all of the havoc posts.

It ended up with just a couple of "Advanced Members" sticking around on those AF forums to help people who came there with questions or problems. All of the other "Advanced Members" had gotten tired of the lack of mod's and had moved onto other forums where things were more peaceful. Hailey and myself, GoldLenny, were the only two to really stick things out, through thick and thin.... although I did have a six month sabbatical from the AF forums after Hurricane Katrina hit my area in the New Orleans suburbs (a future Blog). When I got back to them, I found out there had been yet another mass exodus of experienced members from the AF forums so I was welcomed back with open arms to help out. Hailey was the only "Advanced Member" on the AF forums on a daily basis although others would stop in from time to time. For the past nine months, I was a daily visitor spending at least an hour each day and a couple of hours at night helping to answer all of the questions and trying to solve the many problems new fish keepers have... and experienced ones as well.

The AF forums eventually got new forum software that allowed "Pinned Topics" so Hailey and I began writing "articles" that could be "Pinned" to help out new fish keepers when they first showed up on the AF forums. I wrote my first "article" called "Filter Maintenance and Cleaning: How to keep your tank from going into mini-cycles" that became the first "Pinned Topic" and then I started building a "Pinned Topic" called "A to Z of Fish Keeping: "How-To", Training & Information for New Fish Keepers & Experts alike. (Everything from A to Z, all on this one page. Fishkeeping Tutorials, "The Nitrogen Cycle", Disease & Illness Diagnosis, Master Test Kits, Fish Profiles & Compatibility sites, Lifespan Guide To Aquarium Fish, Dictionary and much, much more!!!). It's not 100% finished but it is very thorough and will be duplicated on this Blog in the next couple of weeks and I'll continue to build it here.

Other than the lack of moderators, the regular trolls that would cause havoc about once a month, and the fact that Hailey and myself, GoldLenny, were the only "Advanced Members" there on a daily basis, everything was pretty good at the AF forums... that is, until 02/21/2007, when I got "banned" from the AF forums because I reamed out the mod's for their failure to do their jobs.

Finally, "The Answer"... I got banned from the AF forums and all of my writings and articles are mostly on there where I can never add to them or edit them as information changes. Now I'll have this Blog where I will control my writings and I can never be banned! :-D

Here is the "Cliff's Notes" version of what happened that led to me being banned from the AF forums. This "Cliff's Notes" version was developed due to a series of emails between me and the AF forum mod; and to give an "easy" answer to anyone at my new "home" forums.


In short, due to the lack of moderation at the AF forums... even though they now have two mods for the aquarium boards... we were getting hit by trolls often enough and it would take days before one of the mods would reply to the numerous "Reports" or PM's. It got so frustrating that I posted a thread saying that the mods should be fired or just QUIT if they are too damned lazy to get off their butts and earn their paychecks. They are employees at AFM rather than member/volunteers.

Hailey is sweet and would just put up with the trolls and I would generally ignore them too but I would also use a little reverse psychology on them while trying to get one of the mods to do something about their often obscene posts. Anyhow... I guess the AF mods didn't like my post asking them to be fired or QUIT... so they banned me.

Here is an email from and my reply to one of the mods, Wheels. He blamed it on my PM'ing one of the trolls with a few expletive deleteds... lol... and tried to say the troll was only 12 but the trolls profile said 41. This troll posted some obscene comments about my deceased mother so I let him have a little verbal abuse via a PM. I never used any profanity in my public posts in the forums.

Before I give you the emails from me and Wheels, take a look at these threads that were on AF forums long enough to be archived/cached by Google. These two threads were up for nearly a week over the Christmas/New Years holidays (2006/2007).... long enough so that they are now a permanent part of the internet records via Google's cached archives. These are just a part of the work done by trolls at the AF forums that mostly have been deleted... but these two threads will never be deleted since they are archived/cached by Google.

EDIT - 02/28/2007 - I found yet another archived/cached page from where the troll known as oracle is even amazed that he's still allowed to post on the forums. Only on would a troll be allowed to stay on the forums for days, posting nuisance, vulgarity, profanity and simply being a troll.

Now here is a copy paste of the email from Wheels and my reply. Excuse the not-too-bad language but that's basically the same thing I told the troll in the PM. I NEVER would use "bad" language in the public forums and I knew it was against the rules to do so in a PM but I was willing to take the risk of being banned if that was the reason. I thought about the post at AFM about previous warnings and his so called "previous warnings" was for the same reasons... the PM's that I sent to Oracle due to the previous threads back in December.

I stand by my actions!!!

GoldLenny - FREE, secure, encrypted and automatic online backup of your documents and files. Check out how simple and secure it can be to use the Mozy backup system. It will back up your most important files, photos and folders... or your entire hard drive, every day/night (you set the schedule) while you aren't using your computer... and did I mention... it's FREE. I have been using this product/service since it was in Beta Testing and have been 100% satisfied with the final product!!!

Hi Lenny,

I just wanted to let you know that you have been banned from our online community for your extremely hostile actions against someone who you knew is only 12 years old, and other things too. His age aside, PMing any member with a nasty, curse-laden message is entirely inappropriate and we can no longer tolerate giving you just a warning--as we already have several times in the past. Furthermore, I agree with Hailey's assessment of you "attacking the kids publicly." We cannot allow you to attack any members, public or private, minor or adult. This also goes for us moderators. You have been extremely hostile and rude to us. Due to past problems, various warnings and the inappropriate, non-family-friendly and swearing tone in which you interacted with the kids on the board, we had no other choice.

Later Lenny...

My reply:


Like I posted before you all deleted it... if you all would do your jobs, the forums would never get like that.... where other members have to do your jobs.

That little piss-ante, dumb-assed, bitch-boy punk wants to call me, my deceased mother, and others, filthy names... then they'll get what is coming to them. I only did it via PM... not in any thread... unlike them.

How do you or anyone else really know they were only 12? Their profile first said they were 41 years old. They could have been 12 or 92 or anywhere in between. That's a specious argument as for the reason.

You and I both know the real reason... because I challenged you mods to get off your lazy butts and start earning your paychecks. If you want to say that's the reason you banned me.. I already know it... but don't try to defend that little punk bitch-boy. Anyone... and I mean anyone, regardless of their age, race, creed, religion or sexual persuasion, that tries to disparage my deceased mother will feel the wrath of me in a verbal assault as they've never felt or seen before in their lives. That's what happened to that little bitch-boy punk.

Like I've said before to you and in public on the forums... there are 100's of other forums as good as or better than, where the moderators actually do their jobs and "moderate" the forum. They are proactive and participate in the forums... not just sit on their butts waiting 24 hours... or a week like in the case over the holidays... to ban these disruptive little punks.

Now go back to work and do your job.... MODERATE!!!!

Lenny Vasbinder


There you have it... the answer to "Why did I start this GoldLenny Blog???"... so that I can have a place to publish my fish keeping works, thoughts, ideas and articles without having to worry about being banned from a forum and then they "use" my writings and articles forever and I don't have a way to refer people to my writings and articles... since I would never refer anyone to the AF forums, ever again!!!!!

I will slowly be migrating copies of all of my AF forum articles, lengthy writings and key posts/threads over to this Blog so that one day, all of my fish keeping writings will be in one place. If you want to read all of my writings, just do a Yahoo Search or Google Search "goldlenny" and you will get hits to thousands of other web pages about "goldlenny"... both good and bad! :-D

Thanks for taking the time to read my "Story".


GoldLenny - FREE, secure, encrypted and automatic online backup of your documents and files. Check out how simple and secure it can be to use the Mozy backup system. It will back up your most important files, photos and folders... or your entire hard drive, every day/night (you set the schedule) while you aren't using your computer... and did I mention... it's FREE. I have been using this product/service since it was in Beta Testing and have been 100% satisfied with the final product!!!
EDIT - Maybe some good has come from my calling for the mods to be fired or QUIT. I've been keeping an eye on the many threads concerning my being banned and I see the mods are constantly contributing to the threads. If they would have shown that kind of concern prior to my being banned, I would never have had to do what I did!

I stand by my actions and I would do it all over again, if the situation arises elsewhere!

Lenny Vasbinder


  1. Lenny

    Sorry to see you leave AFM. I don't go on there much any more, to much garbage and no useful information except from you and Hailey. I will be joining your new site shortly.

    Thanks for all the help in the past

    Tom aka tbr3345

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the kind words. You'll like the forums at You won't believe how many mods and admins they have participating in nearly every thread that I've looked at so far.

  3. Hi Lenny, I'm in the AF forums I was new back in July and August, You may remember me, I thought my Goldfish Brass had Aquatic Tuburculosis. Anyway I thought I was going to have to breakdown my entire tank and start completely over to get the Aquatic TB out of my system. But you told me that it was very very very small chance my tank had ATB.You walked me though helping me get my tank going again. I have since added 1 male Betta, 1 dwarf Frog, and a week ago per PetDumbs (the said they would be fine) Added 7 Zebra Danios and 5 White Cloud fish.:/ Yeah my numbers are all over the place AND according to Hailey have out of control bacteria from adding some much fish at one time... I just wanted to stop by and tell you thanks for helping me in the past. I am PinkAnthem over at AF and will stay as long as Hailey is there. I will also register over at Tropical Resources, for I concider you and Hailey my Fish People! Thanks again for the past. And good for you for not letting AF Mods get you down.


  4. Lenny,

    Gary (aka "Crazygar") here from the "TR Forums". I will have to say, with your knowledge and dedication AF has lost a great person and TR has gained yet another skilled Fishkeeper. Keep up the good work and you'll never have to worry about Trolls on TR. We take care of them real quick.


  5. Lenny,
    Just wanting to say I'm glad you've moved over to the "TR Forums". Its obvious that AF has lost a skilled and dedicated fishkeeper. Their loss, our gain.

    You've already seen what TR is all about it. A Family atmosphere is what we pride ourselves on.

    Welcome aboard!
    Gary "Crazygar" MacDonald


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