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I can remember making a courtesy visit to the local Salt Water group that was run by an MD and watching a young couple, that came to find out how to set up a tank, get glassy eyed after listening to the very technical chatter that went on. While this Hobby is huge and does not get any respect (kind of like Bowling) absolute understanding of the technology required is not really needed in order to have a nice tank in your home. For those of us that are in deep it is easy to miss the forest for the trees even though the average newcomer is not interested in aggravating details.

Money drives everything and having had the opportunity over the years to visit a lot of shops I can say that the turnover is also huge. Someone in the Hobby starts a store with a great deal of enthusiasm and skill and needs to hire help and sometimes the help needs help. Small businesses are difficult and the advent of the big box type retailer is an interesting development that seems to mainly sell dog food...and fish are an after thought.

Patience is important and as any sucessful Aquarist knows is an important requirement but that is easy to say but more difficult to someone who does not have the knowledge just the wherewithal to plunge in and try to get a tank up and running. The urge to populate a tank with a variety of fish that appeals and have it look great ASAP is very strong. In todays world "I want it now!" is normal and accepted but as we know that is not reality just yet for most of us.

This a new Hobby and the technology is very new and like all new technologies it is in constant flux. What we think we know, right now, may not be so a few years from now. The WEB has created a tremendous force for spreading evidence and knowledge but we do not know if it will last as we know it and bad information can get passed along as well as good not to mention misunderstandings. I can remember a lot of "common wisdoms" that were just plain wrong but were put out by the early writers and simply passed along as if it were proven theory rather than someones best thought or unproven hypothesis.

Patience and thoughtfulness are probably two major attributes this Hobby needs and does not have.
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