We wanted to write a post letting everyone know a bit about reviews here at the Captive Aquatics blog. A few of our reviews have been getting quite a bit of traffic and controversy, so we thought we'd let you all know our ideals here.
The Captive Aquatics blog is not intended to make a profit. In fact, we have declined some offers for additional sponsorship, especially offers from aquarium product manufacturers. Let me tell you my reasons...
Why have I declined additional sponsorship, you ask? I find it very refreshing to be blatantly honest about my experiences with products and companies without worrying about who's toes I might step on in the process.
Many readers assume this blog operates in a similar fashion as Reefbuilders, and that I bill manufacturers for the reviews I write on this blog and thus are are suspicious when I post positive reviews. This is not the case: I am not paid for the reviews that appear here, and I would not accept payment if offered (where's the objectivity in that?!). In the past I considered monetizing this blog, but realized that the money wasn't worth the hassle and the possible negative impact in the minds of our readers as to how additional sponsorship might be affecting our reviews and other posts. Also, eventually advertisers would likely be none too pleased with us, because despite sponsorship, we (myself and the co-authors of this blog) certainly weren't going to cease our trend of blunt honesty! We do have Google ads on here to cover hosting costs, but they are automatically delivered by Google and we have no control over which ads are displayed.
One could make the argument that blog traffic drives buyers to the parent company, but this isn't the case. Hobbyists buy their own aquariums, they don't pay Captive Aquatics five figures (our minimum installation cost!) to install one for them.
All companies that send us an evaluation unit (and that agree for a review to be posted) know they're at our mercy - if we don't like the product (ie. the recent Glass Cages aquarium we reviewed) we'llsay so. If we love the product, we'll say that, as well. We're not worried about offending anyone in the process, because we're not looking for financial or any other sort of compensation. We're all aquarists here, authors and readers alike, and as such, we review all products from that perspective.
As a small "thank you" gesture to the companies that send over an evaluation unit, we place a small ad for a few months on this blog if requested. Products we receive for review are eventually given away in our contests.
Blue Zoo Radio has mentioned that we have written some "controversial posts" in the past. Truthfully, we're just honest. Virtually every other aquarium site is governed for and by a desire to make a profit, and while that is perfectly okay, it does force honesty to the backseat most of the time. We feel that we have all become so accustomed to this for-profit perspective that when presented with it, honesty can be tough to recognize, and suspicion all too common. We will even freely point out the flaws in our own hobby, something you certainly don't see very often, with the exception of superbly honest and high quality aquarium sites such as WetWebMedia. The whole truth, as they say...
We pride ourselves in giving our honest opinion or dictating our honest experiences, and will continue to operate this blog in a way that allows us to continue that trend. We started this blog because we enjoy writing! The reason we started writing, and our goal as writers in the aquarium hobby hasn't changed: to educate fellow hobbyists so that the best care possible can be provided to the living organisms we enjoy so much, and in the process help promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for our planet's ecology.
We hope our reviews have been helpful in the past, and continue to be so. Stick around for reviews of the Ecoray 60 LED light, the Mighty Might Nano R/O Unit, the Renew automatic water changer, TMC's ozone generator, and a few yet-to-be announced products!