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FAQs about Marine Fishes Selection

Related Articles: Marine Fishes

Related FAQs:  Marine Fishes 1, Marine Fishes 2, & FAQs on Marine: Fish Identification, Fish Behavior, Fish Compatibility, Fish Systems, Fish Feeding, Fish Disease, Fish Reproduction,

Ctenochaetus cyanocheilus

Season's Greetings      12/22/14
with year’s end approaching we’d want to send our best Season’s Greetings and make you aware of our latest work:
1. AquarioScenario is our new tool for holistic small tank planning. Thinking about a nano tank? Have a look here: http://www.saia-online.eu/index.php/en/
2. We are preparing a revision of the SAIA Fish lists. Please contribute by reviewing the existing lists of unsuitable or unsustainable species and notify us with your suggestions what can be deleted/what should be added to the lists.
3. Something to read during the break: A recently published study by Murray & Watson investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist tanks and those species currently available from breeding, highlighting gaps in aquaculture effort and identifies groups of wild caught species that require fisheries assessments.
We look forward to hearing from you and a productive New Year 2015!
Best wishes,
Christiane Schmidt(Project Coordinator)
Email: vorstand@esaia.nethp: +49 163 96 55 434

best mail order place... SW lvstk., mixing Halichoeres and clnr shrimp    2/10/11
Hello Crew!
I am looking for a good mail order place to buy fish.... I have tried my local fish stores, but when I request certain fish, they just don't come in. I am not asking a lot... looking for Auriga Butterfly, Four Line Wrasse, Canary Wrasse Blackcap Basslet etc... I just feel they talk a good game like they know everything in the world about fish and supplies and seem like they talk down to me.. Like saying you just can't keep a Flag Fin Angel, they are just too hard.... Which I find humorous, because I have kept one before for years...
<Is not an easily kept species...>
anyway, back to the question....(leaves this spot open for a sarcastic comment :)) I know about Live Aquaria, Blue Zoo, Saltwater fish..... Have you ever dealt with or heard of people buying from Marine Garden out of Florida...
<I have not... don't even see such on the Net!>
they seem to have good prices on some fish. Are you able to lend some info to me or am I stuck going to the fish store that is overpriced and stuck buying damsels (which I won't if you know what I mean) and Clownfish and Yellow Tangs.... Every shipment they get in is the same thing every other week... Grr... thank you for your time... again and again and well, again :)
<Mmm, I'd "cast your net" out a bit further... Ask this sort of question on the larger bb's>
One final note.... Canary Wrasse, Radiant Wrasse, Christmas Wrasse and Cleaner Shrimp success stories... Do you know of stories where they have all coexisted together?
<Mmm... Halichoeres spp. I've seen together... but think Shrimp would be meals at times with them>
Cleaners in first and the wrasses introduced all at the same time... or just the Cleaners and one type of wrasse??? I guess I must say thank you again and in this case mention that you are levels and levels ahead of local LFS knowledge... Hummm maybe that was not as much of a compliment comparing you to my stores :):):) but Thank you very much..
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, who would "plug" Dr.s Foster & Smith (LiveAquaria.com) in general>

LFS and Water Quality  2/4/11
Dear WWM Crew,
I've been in the hobby for 7 to 9 years
<?... is the moon full?>
and currently I'm keeping a 110 gallon mixed reef tank. Its predominantly populated by 10-15 small gobies (i.e. Trimnas, Eviotas, Stonogobiops(s), Gobiodons ect.
<No such word>),
a Ecsenius blenny, a Serranocirrhitus Anthias, a high density of LPS corals, a few SPS corals, and a large population of algae eating inverts. I've certainly had a few hick-ups along the way, but all and all the tank produces good rates of coral growth and very low levels of fish loss. I feel my tank has come to this level of stability based on quality livestock and good information from a variety of sources, including the articles and FAQs on WWM and the information provided by my LFSs. I recently moved the tank about 700 miles a few months ago. In my opinion the move went quite well, albeit, stressful for me, my family, and the livestock.
<IS tough to move for sure>
The first few days my corals and fish were a bit upset, but ended up with 100% survival on corals (a few bleached and some interesting colors are showing back up in a few of them), ~92% survival on fish (based on the number I was able to bag in the tear down), and ~80% on inverts. Since the move the tank has been as stable as ever.
Anyways, to the question, I moved from a city with 3-4 strong LFSs to a town with one average LFS. I feel the staff seems knowledgeable and informative, and the fish and coral are all competitively priced, but their water quality leaves something to be desired, specifically their fish system.
<Do help them>
Basically, from what I've been able to gather, its been running for seven to eight years and is very large (~1200 gallons).
From the looks of it the tanks look pretty good. The glass is well cleaned and algae build up on rocks and sand is low to moderate. The fish go directly into it from the wholesaler (not quarantined, but fish are pulled and medicated if signs of sickness).
<Mmm, I would use at least dips/baths... to prevent a majority of problems>
They use RO/DI water, Instant Ocean salts and it is filtered by bio balls, poly fibers, carbon, and UV sterilizers. I believe they do semi-regular water changes (but even 10% is ~120 gallons). Sometimes the whole system is medicated from time to time. I know this because I've noticed a strong smell of Melafix in air once or twice.
Upon first arriving I was surprised not to see any sort of skimmer running on this system, and was immediately interested in their water quality.
Thankfully they were pretty transparent with me and reported their levels to me (I've double checked these on my own with Salifert test kits/ refractometer): salinity: 1.020, ph: 8.2-8.4, Ammonia: 0-0.25 ppm, Nitrite: 0 ppm, Nitrate: 10-20 ppm, KH: 7-10 dKH, Calcium: ~ 460 ppm, and the crazy one Phosphates: 10.0 + ppm!!! (Like midnight blue with the first drop of reagent 2 with the API phosphate test kit! )
I know phosphate levels above 0.5 ppm can be toxic to coral but what is the effect of such high concentrations of phosphates on the health of fish?
<Toxic to degrees... more debilitating, an issue for fishes exposed weeks to months>
From what I can tell their fish seem very healthy and vibrant the first week or two, but most fish that are there longer than two weeks seem to start looking a little drab, bleached, and/or stressed.
<Ah yes>
Due to these observations, I have avoided purchasing fish out of their fish only system, however, I have been tempted once or twice. I typically due a drip or a cup acclimation and quarantine, but will moving from such high concentrations of phosphates to relatively non-existent levels be too much of a change and consequently over stress the new addition?
<Mmm, no; not really>
Will the fish permanently
suffer from being exposed to such high levels in the long term sense?
<Not so much. When returned to better conditions... resume good health.
Sort of like cigarette smokers who give up the habit... not too late>
I know I could easily purchase a fish online and get a guarantee, but I believe in trying to support local small business and keeping money in the local economy as much as possible. I've been happy with my coral and other invert purchases through them and would like to get a new small fish addition every now and then. So I've gone back and fourth about this but would like a objective opinion on purchasing their fish based on the information I've been able to provide. Would it be rude of me to suggest adding a skimmer to their system, and/or using Phosguard or Phosban to help clean up their phosphate issue?
<Not at all. You should do this>
I can't even imagine the quantities of media they'd need, but would such high volumes of media affect other parameters such as pH and their cycle?
<... have them read WWMs commercial/business Subweb. Or contact me... Ozone and skimming will save them ten times plus the cost of acquisition and  operation vs. livestock losses>
Thanks in advanced and hope I wasn't over detailed in the background information.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Clingfish question... -- 10/31/10
Is wild Clingfish from Costa Rica on the "safe to eat" list regarding mercury?
Thank you,
<Hello Carol. That's a question we really can't answer, though why you'd want to eat a clingfish is perhaps even more mysterious! In any case, you really need to approach to Fish & Wildlife bureau in your area to determine whether fish are safe to eat, and in some cases, otherwise edible fish may not be safe to eat when collected from particular bodies of water, perhaps because of localised pollution. For what it's worth, mercury accumulates up the food chain, so unsafe species tend to be those close to, or at, the top of the food chain: tuna fish, sharks, swordfish, etc. Since Gobiesocidae are small and tend to feed in invertebrates, they're unlikely to accumulate mercury in this manner, though they could certainly be unsafe to eat for other reasons, for example ciguatera toxicity. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Clingfish question...
Thank you so much for your time and informative answer to my question.
<Happy to help.>
My husband actually bought King Clip...my mistake.
<I see. Well, this is actually a fish called "Kingklip", which is, presumably, an Afrikaans word since these fish (Genypterus capensis) are harvested primarily along the coastline of southwest Africa. It's a member of the Cusk Eel family and is edible, if not particularly important as a food species. See here: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=485 There are some other species caught elsewhere in the world, and some species are rated a bit more highly than others, the "black" sort being rated the least flavourful.>
I actually live in Sarasota, Florida and the King Clip, which we had never heard of, product of Costa Rica, was available and since the only meat I eat is fish, I'm always looking to discover some safe varieties. What about the King Clip? Last question until we make some new discovery that's not on one of our lists! :-) Thank you again, Carol
<Kingklip is certainly edible and moderately popular in South Africa, and it's similar to something like what in England at least we call Hake, Merluccius merluccius, which isn't a bad fish by any means but isn't a particular impressive one either, with flavour comparable to cod though milder and with a much softer texture. In other words, you need to cook it carefully because it's easily swamped by other flavours and the lack of density means it can easily fall apart if not handled gently. Baking with a bit of parsley and butter, or poaching in broth, would be the sorts of things you'd do. In any case, if you Google Kingklip you'll find out a lot more. Cheers, Neale.>

Online Fish Buying -- 12/17/09
<<Hey Jeff>>
I was wondering if you know anything about some of these online fish stores.
<<Have ordered from a couple>>
One in particular is selling fish at ridiculously low prices (maybe wholesale pricing).
<<Maybe so 'but it should state on the site whether they sell to the public, or are wholesale only>>
I happened to be researching Lemonpeel angels and ran across freshmarine.com and they're selling Lemonpeels for roughly $25 plus whatever they charge for UPS shipping.
<<Actually, this is not a particularly 'low' online price for this fish. LiveAquaria.com, whom I have dealt with in the past with good results, has small individuals for $26.99'¦and other etailers have them at comparable prices too>>
Could this possibly be a good place to buy fish?
<<I'm afraid I'm not familiar with freshmarine.com>>
Wondering what you've heard about having fish flown in to me/go to UPS location for delivery.
<<This is how I usually do it 'works very well as it saves the livestock the drive around in the truck which depending on where you are on the route can be a considerable amount of time>>
Thanks for any insight or comments you may have.
<<Fresh Marine may well be a fine source for online fish 'but for those rare occasions when I don't have the LFS order my livestock, 'my' first picks would be LiveAquaria or Petsolutions>>
Happy Holidays,
<<And to you my friend'¦ EricR>>

How nice... 4/8/09
I just saw this on Los Angeles Recycler... I can't drive there. I would end up smacking the guy anyway...
"free 1 gold maroon clown fish and 1 coral banded shrimp. im moving and don't have the heart to flush ... 951-679-XXXX"
<Mmm, plenty of shops in that area that would gladly take them off his hands. James (Salty Dog)>

Ban our fish?! What's your view on HR 669?  4/5/09
Dear Mr. Fenner: I know this isn't a political site, but this affects anyone who has anything to do with the tropical fish hobby.
<Is indeed appropriate here>
If nothing else, I hope this email helps spread the word about this bill. I haven't seen this issue discussed on your site and was wondering what the W.W.M crew thought about it.
<This is my first notice>
I'm really troubled by this bill, it has the potential to ban every fish I currently keep in my tanks. So far it looks like it will pass, with many in Congress supporting it.
HR 669: To prevent the introduction and establishment of nonnative wildlife species that negatively impact the economy, environment, or other animal species' or human health, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D) GU
Link to the full bill:
My hope is that by writing this that fellow fish keepers can stop this misguided (though well intentioned) bill from changing this hobby as we all know it. Please, if you as a fish keeper disagree with HR 669, write to
your Representatives in Congress. I have.
Sheryl Niemi
<Thank you for this notice Sheryl... this is indeed very alarming legislation... In essence, an attempt at establishing a "clean list" of what would be allowed in... in deference to the present "dirty list" of species outlawed... Very bad news... more gov't thievery, loss of personal rights/freedom. Did our founding fathers really intend that the citizenry
be reduced to serfdom? No... I don't believe this... Fire the gov't... really. Bob Fenner>

Really? Re: Immediate Clownfish Help! 3-31-09
<That guy is completely wrong, just like most (all, in my experience) LFS advice...I strongly suggest you purchase livestock from reputable online vendors and avoid LFS>
<<Wow! RMF is not nearly so didactic... I know of good and poor examples from both types of outlets>>
Too harsh, eh? I'll tone it down.
<<Mmm, not if this is really how you feel, think? Are you so "pro" etailer and con retailer? BobF>>

Boston, or even better, South Eastern Massachusetts? LFS, mail-order exp.   4/1/09
Hi crew,
Is there anyone from the crew that is familiar with Boston, or even better, South Eastern Massachusetts?
<Mmm, nope>
I was hoping for a referral for a LFS.
<I'd search largely... the bb's, clubs in the area, for input here>
I didn't know if any of you knew of any company that is very reputable.
Also, what do you think of buying fish online?
<One route to go... some benefits poss. (selection, price...) w/ some shortcomings...>
Have you had any success, I just can't see buying a fish without seeing it first.
<... see WWM...>
Also, I cant imagine that being a very safe trip for a fish to take.
<"They" take it one way or t/other>
And if you have, would you mind sharing with me company you know of folks having success with?
<The folks "here" have centuries of accumulated experience... But I'd cast your "net" further with reviewing a mass of consumer experience as stated above. Bob Fenner>

Puffer or Miniatus 10/28/08 Hello. <Steve.> Which makes a better solitary "pet" in a large fish only live rock display: Porcupine Puffer or Miniatus Grouper? <Either can be a great pet, depends on your personal taste. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/c_miniata.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diodontpuffers.htm for more specific info on each.> Thanks, Steve <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Puffer or Miniatus 10/29/08 Thanks Scott, yes have read up on the Specific Info section and visit the faq's regularly for new situations... <Great.> Regarding the Miniatus, have been forewarned that they can be reclusive even after extensive time. Sounds like they're not as social as the Puffer? <They are not in general, the puffers certainly are more fun to watch IMO. This is not to say the fish will always be hiding.> Regarding Puffer, can either 2 Porcupines (or any other puffer) co-habitate or will they forever nip each other? <Have seen it done in larger tanks or with smaller specimens. For the most part the more mature the puffers are, the more territorial; the more they will fight.> Steve
<Scott V.>

John Dory, search for specimens...    7/23/08 Hello Bob!! <Hey Robert!> It has been a while!! I am still plugging away in this wonderful industry!! I really shouldn't complain, there are so many things I love about it- if I could just do it without customers!! <Heeee! A common refrain> Anyway, I thought I would attempt to tap into that vast knowledge of yours. I have a fun project in Manhattan where we are putting in 2 36' diameter spherical aquariums 12' above the sidewalk (outdoors!!). The project is for a restaurant where there will also be a 1,000-gallon tank behind a bar. These are the fun projects!! <Yes!> The name of the restaurant is the 'John Dory'- a popular food fish (never had one, so I cannot comment on the choice of names for the restaurant). <And a very interesting looking species as well> In the bar aquarium they would like to have a school of John Dorys as it is their logo, etc. I have been hunting for them for the last 3 months through livestock vendors and transhippers, but to no avail! My customer is getting anxious, so I thought of you! <Mmm, thank you... Going to be a tough one I'm afraid... I would call on any relations you have with public aquariums... Likely Joe Yaiullo at Atlantis Aquarium on Long Island... perhaps the New York Aquarium... for whom they may know who might be able to supply, or help you find a supplier... of which species: http://fishbase.org/ComNames/CommonNameSearchList.php Hopefully there is a fisher connection somewhere that can help with expediting not too damaged wild-caught specimens...>> I can find them available frozen, but not alive! I imagine they would never be a very popular fish for keeping in home aquaria, but I believe that from the research that I have done they are popular in public aquariums, etc. <Yes... Have seen them... just need to make contact...> I know you have a lot of contacts in the public aquarium industry, and would love to know if anybody you know might be able to source this fish for me? <Try the above. Say hello for me to JoeY> There are details below on the fish. Anything you can do, or direction you can point me in would be much appreciated. Thanks Bob, and I guess we'll see you at MACNA if not sooner! All the best, Rob <Look fwd to seeing, chatting with you in Atlanta. BobF> Robert A. Bray President House of Fins 99 & 209 Bruce Park Avenue Greenwich, CT 06830 www.houseoffins.com

Re: John Dory Thanks Bob, I will call Joe- that is a great idea (right in my backyard, the last one I would have thought of!!). Thanks Bob. See you soon! <Oh yes! BobF> Rob

Buying Saltwater Fish Online...Is It Worth It? -- 07/22/08 *If you don't have time to respond to this, please at least point me in the right direction*. <<it is our policy to respond to 'all' queries>> Hi, <<Nick>> I've been looking for a cheaper place to buy saltwater fish than the local pet stores, so I'm now checking out online retailers. <<I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't buy livestock off the Internet (do it myself from time to time), but unless your local stores are just bad (e.g. -- poorly maintained facilities, diseased and/or damaged livestock, etc.) or are not willing to work with you on special orders, this is often false economy for more reasons that just price>> Most of the online vendors I've looked into charge a huge shipping fee that would seem to negate any benefit from the cheaper price of the fish. <<Some have a flat-rate shipping charge which can translate to savings on large orders, and some have 'free shipping' on very large orders 'but you're right, most of the time the livestock ends up costing within a few dollars of buying at your LFS'¦and without the benefit of getting to see it's condition, and see it eat, before buying>> Would it even be cost effective to buy, say, $100 of fish or less at an online retailer as opposed to a local pet store? <<In some instances, yes'¦in my opinion. Many options to weigh here though... Are the selected species not commonly available locally? If not, can/will your local store special order? Will your local store price-match or give you a 'break' on price for large orders (many will do 'something' to keep your business off the Internet)? Will your store hold special-orders for a few days to make sure they are OK and feeding? And not least 'is saving $10.00 or less (after shipping) on a fish bought sight-unseen that may not even be what you ordered when it arrives worth the possible loss of goodwill between you and your LFS?>> If so, what are the most reputable online dealers, and who's got the best value overall including shipping? <<Ask three people and you're likely to get three different answers. For me, LiveAquaria.com and PetSolutions.com have provided good livestock and good value 'and great customer service>> I'm sure this question has probably been asked thousands of times already, <<Likely so>> but after searching for a good bit I couldn't seem to find it anywhere-please help if you can. <<I hope I have>> Thanks, Nick <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Re: Buying Saltwater Fish Online...Is It Worth It? -- 07/24/08 Great points- thanks for the advice! <<Quite welcome>> I guess I'll probably stick with our local fish stores then. <<After some examination, this very often is the best choice>> Thanks again, Nick <<Happy to help. Eric Russell>>

Hippo and cardinal fish, Fish loss, 4/1/08 Dear WWM crew, I have lost tons of fish in my 36 gallon tank and I just got everything settled. <Have you determined the problem?> I wanted to add a hippo tang and then switch it over to a 125 in a month. <Why this method? What are you trying to accomplish here?> Can I add two Banggai cardinals to see if they live before the hippo tang. Thanks. <Could but I'm not sure it would prove much.> <Chris><<Wait till you have the 125... RMF>>

Thornback (Hawaiian) Cowfish, sel.   2/23/08 I am trying to find where I can purchase a Lactoria fornasini. I moved recently and had to get rid of my old setup. I moved from an area with a lot of really good saltwater dealers to an area where not even a regular freshwater aquarium shop seems to be located. I have dealt with Drs. Fosters and Smith and Liveaquaria <A good outfit> in the past and have used them again to get my tank set up with live rock and live sand but they currently do not carry the thornback cow. Can you help me find a reliable dealer either in the Memphis Tenn. area or online that would have (or could get) this Cowfish? <Mmm, I would become familiar with your LFS, ask if they'd be willing to try and special order this fish... out of HI... Quality Marine, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World (all in LA, off 104th) all have good connections with collectors in the U.S. 50th State... Up to the folks there to find, gather your specimen... for you to stay on top of the order... Alternatively I'd contact the Good Dr.s F & S, Marine Center (.com), and ask them to keep their eyes open for you. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater fish Suppliers   2/19/08 Hello I am in Chicago retired and relocating to Accra Ghana. I have a reef tanks I was buying fish from flying fish express <Wow, some time back> and Dr Foster and Smith, also I read The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. My Question, is there places in England and Germany I can buy fish and coral like foster and smith. <Mmm, yes... there are such etailers based in Europe> I have Oceanic 150 gal reef fish and 59 gal coral tanks that I want to take with me but have to give up my ten years old fishes and coral and live rocks to setup my thanks again Can you Help Me please. Best regards Rich <There may be some sources closer to Ghana... Once you get there, do inquire at pet-shops, the colleges, where they get their supplies, livestock. Bob Fenner>

Not a question but a comment... Diving, pet-fishing connect... part. fat fishes in HI    2/9/08 Dear Mr. Fenner <Aloha Paul> I have learned a lot on your website and appreciate the wealth of information, as I now have a full blown SPS system everything is growing fantastically. I just got back from Hawaii (Oahu) and did a lot of SCUBA diving and wanted to make a comment. I always thought I wanted a huge tank for bigger fish but after seeing the tangs and triggers in and around Oahu I have some reservations. I have seen thousands of tanks and not once have I seen fish as fat, thick, and healthy as in this ocean. <Heeee! Was I swimming by?> All the Picasso triggers literally looked round like footballs and schools of tangs and triggers in sizes I have never seen in a tank especially nutrient poor SPS tanks. My tank has small fish the biggest topping out at about 3 inches and all are fat but Hawaii was ridiculous. <Dang that poi, poke and pulled pork sandwiches> Unicorn tangs that dwarfed any I have ever seen in a tank. Tangs with 5 and 6 inch streamers and Moorish Idols that were huge. Witches Brew in Hanauma Bay and what they refer to as the Pipe were just spectacular and I was told that the other islands were ten times better. <An exaggeration... maybe five times> I think I'll stick to the little guys and not be so hung up on coloration of corals, feed more and just do more water changes. I hope all is well as I heard that the Big Island got 4 times as much rain as Oahu, <Was pouring this eve> I hope you managed to stay dry and I can't wait to dive Kauai next year. By the way night dives are amazing a little intimidating at first but well worth it. We found a little restaurant called the Sid Street Inn and it was amazing, met a few famous chefs eating here as well probably a good sign. The island definitely has it's own pace and apparently jaywalking is not a good idea. Thanks Paul <What is that quote from Samuel Clemens/Twain (who visited HI BTW) re travel?: Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness... I do wish Geo. Bush Jr. would have travelled out of the country before running for public office. Bob Fenner>

Wild vs. tank raised saltwater fish.. need answer quick! 01/25/2008 Thanks to all of you! <<Hello, Andrew here>> I am just beside my self with all the conflicting info I am getting from all my LFS and websites! New to saltwater tanks, this is what I have. It's been up for two months now. I have a 55 gallon tall tank. 36wx18dx21h. The tank has been up for 8 weeks. Started slowly with 20 lbs. of "local" live rock first. Then added another 50lbs. of "shipped" live rock 2 weeks ago. The tank did a small cycle after the 20 lbs. of "local" and an extreme cycle after the 50 lbs. of "shipped" rock. Tank has been fully cycled for 16 days now. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 15 nitrates (my LFS says I have 0 nitrates when they tested) .Calcium 360. Salinity 1024. I have a wet dry filter with bio balls, protein skimmer, 2 retrofit lamps with 96 watt each. (1) blue (1) white, and a SunPaq? 96 watt 50/50 lamp. I also have a Rio 2500 as my return pump (turned down) and (2) 295 gph circulating pumps in the tank. Also, one small Zoanthid cluster (maybe 75 polyps), doing great! <<Sounds wonderful>> I added 3 damsels 2 weeks ago. They are doing great! Eat like piggies! 1 Sally lightfoot, 1 Mexican turbo, 1 red legged hermit, 1-2 blue legged hermits, 1 sand sifting snail. Diatom bloom and green hair algae. My question is...I have been to EVERY LFS in my area. Most have not been very helpful in my new venture except wanting to sell me something right off the get go. Except one.... They helped me from the very first time I walked in and even came out to look at my tank and my set up (no charge). <<Sounds like a wonderful fish shop. Good deal>> They are willing to meet me at the online price I found for a Turbo Twist UV sterilizer, which is $60.00 less than what they sell it for in the store. They have a HUGE store with healthy specimens from what I see. They have taken me around and shown me all different types of fish/livestock and what compatibility and benefits they will do for my tank, etc.. They even sell RO/DI water and Saltwater mix at .50 a gallon! ....... <<Good price>> My only concern is that they only sell wild caught fish. The "owner" who came to my house to check out my tank told me that they only sell wild caught fish. Is that a bad thing? <<Yes, it is. Tank-bred specimens should be pushed far more in the hobby to elevate the uptake from the natural habitat>> They do a lot of tank set up and maintenance for a lot of doctors' office saltwater tanks here in the area. (I know! Nemo!) I really want to buy all my fish/inverts from them. The damsels I bought from them are so healthy and doing great! You would not believe all the tanks and the set up they have there! (I live on the East Coast of Florida). Their prices are decent too. I am just scared from what I have read online about wild caught fish. Online says that I shouldn't expect more than 6 month life! <<Any aquarist first choice of fish should always be a tank-bred specimen if at all possible>> I am planning on going there tomorrow to get the UV sterilizer, some snails, (Ceriths), a cleaner shrimp, a Blenny, and MAYBE one other community fish? So really that's only 2 fish, one shrimp and snails. Also, I want to try to catch the damsels and take them back tomorrow because I know they will become territorial. Although I will miss them! They are really cute and comical. Have fit in nicely to my tank. I would love to keep them. <<Simple answer, is not bad in itself, however, the principle of constantly removing from the ocean is always going to have the effect of lowering level of life in the ocean...tank-bred all the way "if possible".>> Are wild caught fish bad to buy??? Please let me know A.S.A.P! Thank you so much! Raesunrae <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Sweepers  3/30/06 I've have already searched through your website and have not been able to locate any information.  I have a question regarding sweepers, who I believe are in the family Pempheridae. <Ah, yes....!>   Why don't you see them offered for sale? <Good question... hot hard to find in reef, coastal/rocky settings... and easy to catch (have done so)... But don't take to handling well (die easily with scale, slime loss from netting)... and the one real reason: They're "not on the list"... of items/animals folks order/buy through the "chain of custody"... A phenomenon I call the Founder/Flounder Effect... "Folks don't ask for things they don't know about, so they don't see/gain exposure because they didn't get caught, because no one asked for them..."> I see them in reef pictures all the time (usually hovering around a coral head along with various Cardinalfish), so it appears as though they are fairly common.  Are they difficult to keep? <Have been kept by Public Aquariums off/on... but the vast majority of caught specimens die in a short while...> Are they similar to the Anthias species in that they need to be frequently fed in order to be successfully kept?  Or do they simply not ship well? <Good questions... I know naught. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help, Brian Lory Polynemus... 10/11/05 Hello Bob: Might you have any information regarding Polynemus paradiseus or could you point me in the correct direction. Thank you, Jeff Howe <Hey Jeff! Am out in HI currently... so no print ref.s here... Have never seen this Threadfin sold in the ornamental trade, but have occasionally seen other polynemids at wholesalers... My impression is that they don't do well in captivity. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Captive Bred Marine Fish 11/7/07 Hi again guys, <Hello Mike> Thanks for all the help setting up my reef tank so far. All is going great (knock wood). <Great.> I am interested in adding tank bred live stock (e.g. False Percula, Banner Cardinal). No LFS in my area consistently offer captive bred fish. Can you recommend some on-line providers that are reputable? <Yes I can. Don't know your whereabouts, but my choices would be: www.drsfostersmith.com (Wisconsin) www.premiumaquatics.com (Indiana) If you live near the West Coast you may try: www.marine depot.com (California, believe San Diego)><<Mmm, no... OC. RMF>> Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Mike

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