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FAQs and Input about The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

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First Edition (of two)!

TFH Conscientious Marine Aquarist Book

Bob Fenner's book       1/4/17
Hello WWM Crew
<Hey Ryan>
I am a long time fan of your website. I want to get a copy of Bob's book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist." The latest edition I can find is from 2008. Is this the most recent edition?
<Ah yes; the 2d is it>
If so are there any plans to update the book in the near future?
<Mmm; I would, but the cost of producing a third edition... I suspect is not reasonable. Will share w/ editor/publisher James Lawrence>
Are there any other resources about saltwater fish and corals that you recommend?
<Ah yes. Please see the (albeit dated) suggestions of Neale Monks here: Oh, tis just freshwater and brackish. I am constantly looking for new and old titles in the field... Bookfinder.com is a good start to see what's available; then on to the Net period for reviews. There are MANY related works; some quite technical; so feel free to write me directly re
I have attached a picture of my shrimp and goby buddies just because.
Thanks and have a great day
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Ryan Moore

Refugium size      1/29/16
Hi Mr. Bob, (or whoever gets this )Its me again with the huge attachment to a 10 year old brittle star...lolI want to add a fuge to my 150 gallon. It is Fowlr ( no triggers) *grin*I am wanting to keep it simple. Is a 10 gallon big enough?
<Bigger the better; but ten better than zip>

I don't have much room. Going to feed it from the sump and gravity feed back to sump. I am thinking just a dsb with some Chaeto and a light to come on at night. Is this ok? I can either do a 10g aquarium or a RubberMaid 20 g tub.
<Go w/ the latter>
Hubs is making me ask before he has to start working, :p The 10 g would be much safer in my head as the plumbing wouldn't be as risky on a flexible plastic.
<The RM tubs are fab, and very easy to drill, fit w/ thru-hulls>
Have a HaPpY dAY :)
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Refugium size; CMA reminiscing       1/29/16

Mr. Bob Thank you for the reply on this. I have your book, I think it is the 1998 edition.
<Whoa! The year CMA came out... I finished the first draft the end of 95... twenty years back. Tempus fugit!>
I got it when I first decided to keep marine fishes. I am very pleased with my book and it has helped me greatly over the years. I note on Amazon you have a newer edition available.
<Ah yes; the only work I've done that went through more than one edition>
As a thank you and as a tip to future marine aquarists I gave the book a good review.
It is the least I could do for the happiness my fish have given me. I am not a good writer but hope my review gets my point across to new hobbies.
But the book! Thank you again
<Thank you Stace. BobF>

fishies eat ! CMA plug.      10/8/15
dr Mr. fenner
<Just Bob is fine Christi>
i am just finishing the conscientious marine aquarist. it has been a great read and has so much recommend it. my husband and i are getting back into marine and reef keeping after long dry spell and are so happy to be "back" .one question, as i am sure you get buckets of letters, on page on page 363 you discuss the eating of whole organisms---- so seriously you don't think we should put whole cows and chickens in the tank or is ok to put in say a thigh and maybe a side of beef?
seriously. The book is great and it is very nice to have the personalities of the species profiled as i like to maintain some sort of calm in the chaos. thank you for all the energy Christi alexandre
<Thank you for your upbeat message! Bob Fenner>

Trickle filters; and CMA     11/3/14
Much has been written about these being a nitrate factory and not to use them in a reef setup.
<Mmm; they have their place, applications. The excess nitrate trend/ing can be addressed in a few ways effectively>
I've read Bob Fenner's book and for a fish only system he states it is fine. I recently tore down my 125 and getting ready to move into a 220 gallon. The old system was a deep sand bed
<This is one of those ways>
and lots of live rock with metal halides and compact fluorescents and skimmer with refugium filled with live rock and macro algae.
<These help as well to take up and convert NO3>
Seemed to work well as it was set up for 7-8 years but I had a light bio load and admittedly lazy on my water changes. Turning over a new leaf now and not going to over engineer this setup but I like the fact there is a
great increase in oxygen flow with a trickle filter although everyone says it is a nitrate factory. So the conversion happens faster with a trickle filter going from Nitrite to Nitrate... so?
<Indeed; so?>
The Nitrate is less toxic but it still needs to be converted. If there is plenty of live rock and skimming with a light bio load why would it not be a good idea to include in a reef system?
<Just as you state>
I'm not a novice. I've been keeping marine fish since the 70's who took 10 years off in the 80's and 90's to find a much improved hobby.
<Me too>
Seems to me that a combination of live rock, deep sand bed, refugium, skimmer and a trickle filter could exist in a single reef system with a light to medium bio load on fishes. Comments are welcome but looking for
answers not just opinions without facts.
Mike Murphy
<Just have anecdotal accounts (but several) to bolster the above opinions.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Trickle filters; and DSB maint.     11/3/14

Thanks for the quick response.
Did not expect to hear from the man himself. So should I go out and buy the new updated book or can I pretty much still rely on my old copy which I think was the second printing with the Flame Angle?
<Heeee! CMA is the only work I've ever penned that went beyond one edition.
The Second has a true Lemonpeel on the cover>
Read it cover to cover many times. So has my son who is now an avid hobbyist.
Forgot to mention when I broke down my deep sand bed in the 125 none of it had a hydrogen sulfide smell it was all sweet smelling from top to bottom.
Had a plenum and 200lbs of live rock. Was that normal?
<Mmm; yes; well-designed, properly maintained DSBs don't go anaerobic>
Thinking of washing the aragonite and reusing maybe adding some new also before recycling the tank again but some warn of Phosphate bonding and release.
<Small concern really. You could try "acid washing" a sample (any dilute, low concentration organic, inorganic acid will work); see by testing if there's any HPO4 released... More of a concern is the loss of easier solubility in such recycled substrates. Adding a modicum of new is a very good idea>
My son has done this without issues but his tank was not setup as long as mine. Keep up the good work and information.
<And you; BobF>
Re: Trickle filters    11/3/14

Probably hard to improve on the success of the first printing when it comes to basics.. About the only really new thing that has improved is lighting.
<And some types of filters secondly...>
The halides are on the way out with the introduction led's however even they wear out over time but the savings in electricity and less heat generated is the upside. It is pretty amazing the strides the hobby has
made in 30 years or more. If I have learned anything you can really over engineer the filtration setup with every gadget on the market the basics still hold true.
<Oh yes>
Funny how a lot we have learned over the years has been by accident when it comes to biological filtration and the like. If you ever get out to Indiana let me know we have an active Marine Aquarium Society that would love to have you as a guest.
<Do ask them when/then and have them contact me. I do get out about a dozen times a year speaking to hobby groups>
You could sign autographs like celebrities do!
All joking aside I have not read a more enjoyable book that is put together as well as yours. Thanks for the contribution to the hobby.
Mike Murphy
<A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

EBook Original The Conscientious Marine Aquarist      3/31/14
I'm trying to get a copy of the 1st edition "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" for the purpose of finding a quote to paint out the front of our retail aquarium in Sydney. I'm finding it hard to track down a copy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, am sending your request along to James Lawrence; editor and publisher... He is the only one I think who can help here. 
Bob Fenner>
Kind regards
Justin of Hi-Tek Aquariums

 Re: EBook Original The Conscientious Marine Aquarist
We have a few copies of the original CMA here and could send you one, but the postage would be expensive.
If you want me to find a quote for you, I'd be happy to try to help.
<Ah, thank you James. BobF down in Mexico diving>
James M. Lawrence
Editor & Publisher
*Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC*
Re: EBook Original The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

<Big J>
Lucky guy! We are buried in ice and snow here, praying for spring. ¡Don't drink the aqua!
<Oh man... no wonder cool/cold breezy env.s generate so many Nobel laureates.... There's naught else to do! Cheers, B>

Conscientious marine aquarist, book, avail., UK, digital?     9/3/12
Hi Again Bob,
<Hey Jim>
I've tried to locate a copy of your book here in uk but it seems nigh on impossible or very expensive £60 (90+ dollars) for a second hand copy?
<Yes; have seen this and even higher for the first edition on Amazon.UK... Crazy>
 Is this available anywhere in PDF format or electronic copy that I can buy online?
<Not offered as such. Will send your note/query to publisher/editor James Lawrence for his input>
 Or pay you direct for a digital copy?
I really want to read this book!
Thanks again
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Conscientious marine aquarist    10/4/12

Hi bob,
I bit the bullet and bought a copy of the book and so glad I did very informative and a must read, especially for newcomers to the hobby, (and it helped persuade the wife into a new 340 gallon system!!
 But she won't allow the old 5 foot to be a fuge, can't win em all I guess!!) I've also followed your instruction and got some Chaeto in the sump running lights overnight whilst dt lights are off, my question if I may, should I cut the vodka dosing dead or reduce slowly over time?
<I'd cut it over time>
  My nitrates are now around 20ppm, which I'm not sure if this is down to the Chaeto or a combination of vodka dosing also.
<May be both>
 I'm doing the obvious 10% weekly change but seems to have little affect. I even did a 50% with a test straight after but the results remain the same? But since the vodka dosing hitting 6 ml and the Chaeto introduction it dropped from 40 ppm to 20?
Thanks again bob for your time and patience, we hobbyist owe a lot to people like you and the crew!!
Jim m
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Re: Toby and Humu....who is more aggressive to new additions? CMA   1/12/12
Bob,'¦I read your book cover to cover and make it mandatory reading for all my friends who see my tank and say "How hard is it to keep a saltwater tank?"
Thank you.
<Thank you, B>

Re: Saltwater ok with fiberglass sealant for diy plywood tank build, CMA 2d ed.  10/15/09
<Is largely re-written (and needed it!); the original I finished in late
> 1995... Many improvements in the field, and choices in livestock... peruse
> both copies and you'll immediately get the gist of what I state. Bob
> Fenner>

Thank you and will get the new version tomorrow.
<Am sure you will enjoy, gain by its perusal. BobF>

Re: Business Help, JamesL, CMA -- 7/19/09
First, I wish you luck with your new business and certainly agree with you about the unique value of Bob's Conscientious Marine Aquarist (or as some call it, Contentious Marine Aquarist).
We are barred from selling books, and you will have to work through TFH or a smaller distributor.
You might try All Seas Marine, Bayside Aquarium Supply (the wholesale arm of Marine Depot), or Champion Lighting. (All easy to find online.) I might try Champion first, as they may be the easiest to get through to.
Good luck.
<Thank you James... Michael, am cc'ing Ken Wong (owner/mgr. of Bayside/MD) and the Perry Tishgart (owner/mgr. of Champion) to ask if they'll arrange discounted price, terms. Bob Fenner>

#2 With A Bullet, CMA second ed. on Amazon.com  6/25/08 Bob, Look what's racing up the Amazon Bestsellers Chart: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_4?ie=UTF8&rs=5043&bbn=5054&rnid=5043&rh=n%3A48%2Cn%3A5043%2Cn%3A5054Cheers,James <Thanks for sending this along James... "Can't wait" for the new/2d ed. reviews to start being posted. Cheers, BobF>  James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd.823 Ferry Road PO Box 550 Charlotte, VT 05445

I LOVE the Conscientious Marine Aquarist! -- 06/23/08 Dear Mr. Fenner. I just wanted to say "Thank you!!"...a zillion times, but who needs it with spam, etc? I've read through your book twice and love it. It's so easy to understand...I thought only my Better Half could do that. :) I bought my first protein skimmer and just want to sit and stare at all those lovely bubbles. You're wonderful, and you've made this hobby a much safer place for our fishes. Thank you, again. (My fishes thank you, too, I'm sure.) Judy Ritter <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words Judy. Much appreciated. And if you're not familiar already, please do avail yourself of our website, WetWebMedia.com for further and more comprehensive input. Cheers, Bob Fenner> <<Wow, awesome website...it's bookmarked and a favorite already.>>

CMA2 on Amazon! 5/6/08 Hi Bob, <Darren> I think I may have helped to get the ball rolling about a year ago when I asked in a post script if you had any plans to write a second edition of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I hope it was a worthwhile endeavor for you, and I am looking forward to reading it. I just pre-ordered it on Amazon. It says that it is due out in July. Maybe some day I can get you to sign it! <Will gladly do so. Wonder why all this takes so long... James Lawrence/Microcosm sent me a copy a couple weeks back... Is VERY nice indeed. Cheers, BobF> Take care, Darren White

Re: Am I the negative one? And CMA 2d ed.   4/16/08 Hi Bob <Michael> Thank you for your quick reply <Welcome my friend> And thanks for your advice, I will try to shine a bit (Haha). Sometimes it is just so frustrating that people don't understand why you don't stock your tank with a lot of fish. In Denmark we have a saying that goes: you feel like you are talking to a door: Meaning people won't listen. <Is the same with humans most everywhere... just got to keep trying, smiling...> Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and your wisdom. Michael Fick P.s Bob when will the new edition of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist be out. <Is out soon... Microcosm/TFH sent me a copy two days back... Is gorgeous... but only in hardbound... I found it on Amazon's Canadian site... for 70 CA$! Paperback out in maybe another 18-24 mo.s...> I have tried to look at different internet book sites, but I can't seem to find it. <Thanks for asking. BobF> Re: Am I the negative one? CMA 2d ed.   4/16/08 Hi Bob <Michael> Found it on The Canadian Amazon site. It says it will be out on July 1st. You can get it for 44 Ca$ now. Or maybe I should buy it from an American site, with the US$ being so cheap now. <What won't the neo-cons do to ruin the U.S.? Not much of a conspiracy type, but how much longer can the Amero be from now?> I remember when a US$ cost more than 11 Danish kroner, now it is less than 5!!!. <... wasn't that long ago... Don't know if I'll be able to afford biers at the Interzoo next month... Horrible!> Take care Bob <Thank you my friend. And do I wish I would have bought/stashed a few boxes of the first edition of CMA away! It's listed in the hundred some dollar range, used (!) on Amazon... BobF>

Re: polyps? Now: issues of "currency" in in-print mat.s  2/1/08 hey thanks for getting back, I actually in the mean time did read up on most of the articles I could find on both your site and other mags/books, got them under control. The Parazoanthus is looking good again and the other Zoa is doing well also. Thanks, Forrest P.S. question regarding timeliness of publications in this field. I have seen many posts and books still considered "current" but have publication dates up to and including 7 years ago. In trying to read as much "good" info I am concerned about this. Would you say there is a certain cut off point with regard to aquarium literature? <A very good question... Thought-provoking, and complex...> I have some rather old books which are in my Library of references only as a look at the past and where things have come from and also have newer books, including Conscientious Marine Aquarist, <Finished by me in '95... Thank goodness a second, much-updated edition is on the way> The one you and Calfo did, <Ah, in 03> Calfo's book of propagation, which I must say has been a good source on husbandry and allelopathy concerns, and provided much guidance on the issues I was having, am considering Getting Borneman's Book, <Worthwhile in my estimation> also the "pamphlets" of Goemans and the Delbeek and Sprung trilogy but am concerned about the ages. <I as well... It is highly likely that the pamphlets and Jules accumulated "Notes" (revised and revisited or not) are well- to better-explained and gone over in over works, the Net... To volunteer a bit more generally to your question though... there are some "standard works" (e.g. the tomes of the "Bard of fishes", William T. Innes come to mind), that are timeless, in their usefulness, writing, beauty... Much of "modern" ornamental aquatics writing may pass as knowledge-transference, but it is poor prose in comparison. The better method of "checking" re the utility of such works is interrator agreement with other hobbyists; likely best achieved through interaction/reading on various BB's.> Thanks again <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: polyps? CMA 2d ed.  2/1/08 ok, thanks Bob. I shall continue my reading as I have finished what I have, and now must move on to buying from Amazon and the like, was trying to purchase all from the LFS first as I know how you feel about good LFSs (how you make that acronym plural I have no good guess), and am inclined to agree. Also any clue on when the 2nd edition will be on book shelves? Till then Forrest <Should be anytime soon... Though I checked on Microcosm and TFH's websites... and they're ridiculously out of date... The re-writing, layout was finished the end of 07... BobF>

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist -- 1/26/08 Dear Mr Fenner, <Alison> Firstly I must apologise for taking so long in purchasing your book (3 years in fact), it was only on joining Aquaria Central (fishy forum) that I heard about you and your books. Since then I have been doing my homework. My reason for writing is out of politeness more than anything else. I have often quoted from your book (always stating title, author etc) but on seeing your email address, thought it only polite to ask if you mind me doing this. <Certainly fine> I can honestly state that I have/would never take credit for the information (no-one would believe me anyway). If I am breaching any copyright laws (I sincerely hope I'm not) I do apologise. <No my young friend. You are doing what should be here> I understand you are a very busy gentleman and thank you in advance for taking time to read this mail. <We all have about the same amount of time. Am very glad to meet up with someone who tries to use theirs so well> Yours sincerely Alison Pride P.S Many thanks also for some information you gave me through WetWebMedia about identifying a goby. <Ahh! A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Bob Fenner>

Fan mail -- Your book is the best I've ever seen 1/2/08 Dear Bob, I've been eyeing your book for months and finally purchased it last week -- you have written the best work I've ever seen on the topic. I expected to use it as a reference work, skim through it and focus just on areas of interest to me. Instead I find myself reading it from cover to cover. Your writing style is also quite entertaining -- well done, sir! <Thank you... much good help with this work... And a new, second edition on the horizon (much needed... the one in your hands was "finished" by me in the mid-90's> Except now I have to spend this weekend rearranging my tank. I have a 36 gallon tank that is somewhere in between a fish/invert system and a true reef (a few clowns, the usual small inverts and soft corals). While it is mainly decorated with live rock and pieces of dead coral I've had for decades there is also that one spectacular piece of petrified wood and a few foundation pieces of lava rock I've had for years. Until I read your book I never knew they were bad news'¦. Thanks for the advice; you have a new disciple here at UC Davis. Bruce Hupe <Ahh! If you liked the book, you're going to love the movie! Oh, actually, want to introduce you to our online offering: WetWebMedia.com Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: New Ich, & CMA update news   8/21/07 Thanks, Bob. It's turning into a real battle. I think I'm going to try and set up a 20 gallon for a 'true' quarantine tank, instead of the tote I was going to use. In the meantime, I think I'm going to go through the quinine sulfate treatment again. I hate that I'm reducing my bioload this way through death, though, but I believe the puffer is going to expire. I gave him and the yellow tang a fw dip, but he's not doing so well. National Fish Pharm recommends a treatment of every three days for three treatments, vs. what the guy told me on the phone, so I think we'll go that route, unless you can think of any other medicine the shark would tolerate. <Posted...> Just to be clear, Quick Cure (formalin, right?) <One ingredient, yes> is not an option, correct? <Is used as immersion bath material by many folks, institutions... but the infested system needs to be sterilized, the animals moved in turn to other quarters> In all my fish keeping years, I've never had this bad of a time with Ick. Honestly, it has been really discouraging, to the point of wanting to give up. Such a reversal, too, from getting a dream tank (200 gal) and finally having a shark to complete depression. Fortunately I've just gotten more resolved. Your book came Friday, I've been reading it all weekend. <Oh! And some good news there... my draft was finished 12/05... and TFH has asked Editor James Lawrence of Microcosm and I to bring it/CMA up to date... by Nov.! So a new edition will come out in early to mid 08> If I can only save the Passer Angel and the shark, I'd be content with just those two beauties. I'm taking hope that neither of those two show any active symptoms, which since I know the ick is there, maybe they are just more resistant or the quinine has prevented them from becoming infested. I guess I need to recommend not buying macro algae for anyone's tank, though rinsed it in fresh water hoping that would help. Anyway, thanks for any advice, and even a vent. Just know I'm still trying. Thomas Roach <Do re-read our Crypt sections Thomas and press-on... BobF>

Revised CMA Edition - 8/14/07 Bob, Hope this finds you well. Out of the blue, TFH is wanting to reprint CMA, but we would have to have revisions to them by November. <!!!> Are you up for redoing your text PDQ and figuring out what new art we would need? <For this... as in 07 Nov.? I guess> If we can change 25-30% of the book, it can get a fresh marketing push ³NEW REVISED EDITION² with a new cover and prospects for, what did we used to call them? Big Bongo Bucks. <Heeeee! Soon to be Big Bonzo Yuan!> Let me know your inclinations. Best, James <Can you send a copy of the current draft electronically so I/we can mark this up as we go along? Cheers! BobF> James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd.

CMA 2 Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 11:16:30 -0400 Bob, TFH likes the notion of a revised CMA.  They would want ³at least 20% new content² to ballyhoo the book as New & Revised.  They suggest we target a release in 2009, so we have plenty of time to think about the revisions. Best, James <Ah, very good... On your mark, I will start re-viewing and adding/deleting/modifying... And might I ask your opinion, to ask theirs in turn if you believe the idea has merit... A freshwater "Conscientious Aquarist" work... Have been writing my first pass at this... for decades. BobF> James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd. Re: CMA 2 Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 13:24:59 -0400 Bob, Will test the (fresh)waters. James <Thank you James. Would greatly enjoy doing this work with you... and believe it too will serve the intended readership well. BobF> James M. Lawrence Re: Help with possible disease  -- 4/9/07 Good Morning Bob, <Brad> Regarding dips (not the type who regularly write, mind you), I hope you are enjoying your time in Hawaii! <Ah, yes, thank you> I too often <Can this be so!?> rely on www.WetWebMedia.com for expert advice and assistance.  Having just re-read the well presented information in "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", Part 1, Chapter 9, on diseases, I feel compelled to remind readers how enlightening and worthwhile your book really is!  Thanks for this gem. Brad in Basalt <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

P.S. I love CMA, but it is starting to get somewhat dated. Does Bob have any plans of coming out with a second edition?  4/5/07 I know I would buy it! Darren White James? Bob, Interesting suggestion. What would you change if we did a NEW! UPDATED! Edition? <Mmm, most all the chapters... particularly on lighting (newer tech., ap.s), filtration (much more emphasis on refugiums), and disease prevention (stronger wording) and treatment (more definition re therapeutic use, addition of vermifuges)> Hope all is well. <Yes my friend. Thank you> James James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd. 823 Ferry Road PO Box 550 Charlotte, VT 05445 <Bob Fenner>

Re: James? CMA Bob, I think an update is a great idea--it's hard to believe that a decade has gone by.  Sales are tailing off, so a new edition with a new cover makes a lot of sense. <Mmm, agreed> I will try to get a timetable from TFH, but I'd guess that they would need all revisions in about 6 months to be ready for the next reprint. <How much of this half year would you need/want? Can we do all sequentially? Or would you need all my input at what time point?> We will have to put our minds to a cover image and to think about any new inside art needed. <Yes... something more "Reefy"... perhaps with the small image insets that are so popular nowadays... and perhaps addending the title as "The New Conscientious Marine Aquarist" or such. BobF.> Cheers, James James M. Lawrence Editor & Publisher MICROCOSM Ltd.

Re: James? Bob, Before we do anything, I need to hear back from TFH on a timetable. Once we know, I can start working on getting the needed replacement images and you can start writing. Cheers, James <Real good. Thank you for your efforts. BobF>

Manhattan Reefs Book Club will be reviewing The Conscientious Marine Aquarist   3/5/07 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Leslie> The Manhattan Reefs Book Club will be discussing The Conscientious Marine Aquarist beginning with the introduction on March 11th. <Interesting> We will post a new thread for each chapter on Sunday nights. As a book club, we strive to promote shared learning and understanding through discussion and accountability to the group. <Good approach> You are welcome to peek in (lurk), join any discussion, or completely ignore the threads :-) Our online address is manhattanreefs.com. Thanks and Best Regards, Hey there! Manhattan Reefs Book Club <Will try to take a few peeks! Bob Fenner> Content use notice   1/16/07 Mr. Fenner: <Paul> Thank you for your web site; as a marine aquarium beginner, I've  learned so much from Wet Web Media's articles and FAQs. <Ah, good> I recently noticed that text on the following commercial web page: http://www.acrylicaquariums.com/aquariums_cabinetry.htm <Mmm, ATM...> seems to directly quote the entire last paragraph on page 49 of your  book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, as well as some material on  page 50. Nowhere on the site are you credited as the source of this  material. <...?> I've debated sending this email, as you may well be aware of this  already and/or have approved your own text for use by Acrylic Tank  Manufacturing. I also hesitated because I very much admire authors  who willingly allow noncommercial and/or "fair" use of their  expertise--something that benefits us all and that I would hate to  see dry up. (This seems even more relevant considering the vast  amount of questionable or outright incorrect information on the  Internet today.) But as a young academic I also feel that writers  should be fairly compensated when their work is used commercially--as  it seems to be in this case. And regardless, published and   unpublished material should probably always be fairly cited or the  source otherwise recognized. At any rate, I've already come to admire your (and the others' at  WWM) wise advice and dedication to aquaria. From the looks of it,  hundreds of other aquarium hobbyists feel similarly. Best, Paul Christians <Thank you for this notice. I'll send them a note re... I certainly do not mind commercial use of my work in quotation, and permission, and my content is available for use for free by non-commercial interests... Again, thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: In Tank Skimmer - In Picture in your Book   9/19/06 Thanks Mr. Fenner........I wish I had gotten your book 4 years ago when I got involved in saltwater aquariums........I wouldn't have made the mistakes I made. I finished it today........couldn't put it down again, and I'm passing it on to my neighbor friend who I got to convert from fresh to saltwater.......misery loves company I guess.......only kidding.........Thanks again!! <Heee, Cicero quotes are my faves as well... Socios miseris habuisse dolorem dicet. Well, hopefully live and learn. Bob Fenner> Re: Spot on Marine Angel fish  7/31/06 Phew!  Cool - thanks!  (PS - I just finished reading, cover to cover, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist".  It's a great book.  I've learned so much.  What a fascinating and rewarding hobby this is!  Thank you for your time.  I feel privileged getting your personal help!)   <Ahh, thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

CMA, the present status of the hobby, biz  - 05/22/2006 Bob,     I started my two 30 gallon FOWLR aquariums a few years ago. Through ignorance, and trusting local fish shops, I have done more harm than good. That is until I stumbled upon WWM. You guys have been tremendous help and now I have healthy systems. Every day I sit and watch for whatever new little creature climbs out of the rock, first it was tiny shrimp, then tiny feather duster worms. I learned that I need to educate myself because the Local fish shops will sell me anything to make a buck. Last weekend I visited my normal fish shop and I picked up your book, The conscientious aquarist. When the guy was ringing me up, he told me "You should have bought this when you first came here!". My thought was, "why didn't you show me!". Anyway, some people live and learn, others just live. I am learning! I devoured your book in a couple of days. Thanks for your dedication, I wish I would have taken a class before starting this. Check out this site, another heartbreaker! http://cgi.ebay.com/100-Gallon-Saltwater-Tank-with-stand-canopy-much-more_W0QQitemZ7768332351QQcategoryZ20755QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem <... sigh> Sincerely, Charlie Lease <Thank you for this, including your kind words. Bob Fenner> The Conscientious Marine Aquarist  - 04/24/2006 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Martin> I bought your book to do some further reading whilst waiting for my aquarium to cycle. <A good period of time... and good use> I am a compete beginner to the hobby, but I feel much more confident having read this excellent work, which is both detailed enough to keep going back to for reference and a very enjoyable read in its own right. <Ahh, the intent... crafted with both interest and ability levels in mind> Your book seems to bring together all the best advice I have come across from reading around the internet and a couple of other books and also ties in well with the guidance I have received from my local fish shop. <Good> Congratulations and thanks for all the tips and advice which I'm sure will repay the cost of the book many times over. Best regards, Martin Johnson Ilkley. UK <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. I want to introduce you to our ongoing efforts in the way of the website WetWebMedia.com if you are not as yet familiar. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Storage of RO Water  - 04/19/06 Hi Bob, <Chris> Nice to hear from you. Just want to say thanks again for all your support in the past. I've read and re-read your book and this has helped me to setup a system that will hopefully be much more successful than my previous failed attempt. <Ahh! Gratifying to read/hear. As all such works, devices like "telling what you're going to say/relate", telling/relating it, re-stating what you've told/related... limitations on space, interest level, considerations as to word selection/usage... all come into play in printed works, oral presentations... The opportunity to produce a book-length set of essays (or spiels as it were/was) was great... and kudos to James Lawrence et al. at Microcosm for undertaking the multi-year task of bringing the English speaking marine aquarist world up to date, informed, inspired> You have also answered many email questions and assisted me in many many other instances with FAQs and contents on your website. My new reef tank is ready and my first fish is in quarantine looking very healthy so far. I have also decided to quarantine my first mushroom coral and already 2 scary looking creates/worms fell out of them, so things are looking positive. <Very good> Thanks again.. I consider you and your staff to be the experts in this field and I take your advice very seriously. Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to send you a picture of my new successful reef tank. <Would enjoy this> Is there any way in which I can contribute to say thanks for the support? Thanks Chris <Perhaps you have or will have time to join us soon in responding to queries. Do think about this. Bob Fenner> You've made another conscientious aquarist  - 04/15/06 I just wanted to write you (one of countless I'm sure) a thank you for your book and your work at WetWebMedia. Certainly the rest of the crew deserves my appreciation too. Originally, four months ago when I was starting up my first large (for me anyway - 40g) reef aquarium I asked a couple of, honestly, almost outright inane questions. After not getting the information I needed (at no fault of your own or any of the crew) I decided to buy your book. I simply wanted to know more and you seemed to be well respected by many on the web. To keep it short, your book has empowered me incredibly as an aquarist. It gave me the base of knowledge I needed to keep my livestock healthy and happy. While I am still green in the trade to be sure, I now have the ability to ask the "right" questions (if that makes any sense) in order to get the help I need when my own resources fail. Thank you for your book, its saved me a lot of stress and very likely a few of my livestock's lives. -- James Tanis <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Deeply gratifying to realize your efforts are helping. Bob Fenner> Re: filtration, CMA   1/31/06 Wow, do I feel like a dodo. Asking you what was the best book to buy. I had no you idea you were the one who wrote the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I just ordered your book and can't wait to read it! Thanks again for replying to my message. Heather <Heee! An artifact of my rearing in the orient no doubt... Not "tooting one's horn" in the West can set you back a piece. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Minor plagiarism of your book on web site Was just reading your book Conscientious Marine Aquarist (awesome!) and after reading the section on acrylic tanks I did some quick google searching for online vendors. http://www.acrylicaquariums.com/aquariums_selection_process.htm Blatantly copies a paragraph verbatim out of your book on page 49 about acrylic tanks. Was just reading the book last night so when I read the web site just now the verbiage seemed familiar. Thanks for writing by far the most in-depth resource on the topic I have read! -Kirk <Thank you for this. Likely "lifted" by myself... for public use. Cheers, Bob Fenner> CMA Anomaly - 12/11/2005 Bob, <Tom> I was about to purchase your book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist) when I came across an interesting anomaly regarding Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I was hoping that you could provide me with the straight scoop. As you can see below, one (Amazon) says the Hardcover is the 2001 addition and the other Barnes and Nobel says the Paperback is the 2001 addition. Both seem to use the same ISBN numbers to reference each edition hard vs. paper. Any help so that I can purchase the most current addition will be appreciated - Thanks Tom Amazon states on their web site that: Hardcover: 432 pages Publisher: TFH Publications (March, 2001) Language: English ISBN: 1890087033 Paperback: 432 pages Publisher: TFH Publications (May, 1997) Language: English ISBN: 1890087025 Barnes and Nobel states on their web site that: ISBN: 1890087033 Format: Hardcover, 432pp Pub. Date: May 1997 ISBN: 1890087025 Format: Paperback, 432pp Pub. Date: March 2001 <Mmm, got me... The original publication date is right... perhaps TFH printing the Microcosm titles under the combined names warrants, warranted a change in publication date... As far as I know the text is identical in both "editions" and the hard and soft bound. Bob Fenner>

Hey, Nice Book  11/14/05 Mr. Fenner I just want to thank you I have a Great book written by you and was wondering if you have any more out here somewhere ? <Mmm, a couple... one with Anthony Calfo on Reef Invertebrates, another on the Marine Aquarium Fishes of the World... both are sold by Amazon.com I believe> its been an awesome read and I go to my tank all the time with it looking trying to spot some of the things and identify some of the others In my tank .. Thank you Tammy <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner> 

Fenner's CMA  10/4/05 Hi. I'm thinking of setting up a reef system and have a few years' experience with cichlids. I'm leaning toward purchasing Fenner's CMA but note that it was first published in 98 and, according to the FAQs on this site, hasn't really been rewritten since. <Correct> Has much changed in the hobby since the original publication of this book? <Something's... bunches... more recent innovations, marketings of filtration and lighting mainly...> If so, should I supplement my reading of any of the sections - e.g. lighting - with other reading and/or web searches? Finally, is a new edition of this book slated to be released soon? Thanks for the great site. -Jeff <Mmm, no re-writes in the planning... best to do as you say/suggest, as there are no other "more modern" accounts currently... and read BB's, specialty sites, and join/engage yourself in a club if very interested... in the latest and greatest. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Thanks for the rapid response. I just ordered the book online and will follow your advice. -Jeff <Ahh, am sure you will enjoy, gain by its perusal... Cheers, Bob Fenner> Hello, how can I buy your book? The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, where  can I get this, and do recommend any other similar books? Thanks! Christina <Mmm, sold on Amazon and other online book etailers... Other worthwhile works are mentioned here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd1of6.htm Bob Fenner>

CMA & Question and Praise By the way... never had the advantage of your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" - just ordered it from Amazon... would you mind running over there and autographing a copy for me before they ship it? ::laughing:: R <If you'd like to send it on over to San Diego, I'll gladly sign and return... Bob F, who writes in, all over his books anyway>

Hardback CMAs Hi Bob, <Terry> I bought a paperback copy of your "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" from my LFS when I first setup my 90G tank two years ago. I refer to it often and greatly appreciate your work. Shortly after I got the book several sections came loose from the binding and it has become a chore to use it. <Mine too... Do write to the publisher/printer Tropical Fish Hobbyist Inc. re> Is the book published in a hardback version, and if so, where could find one. Also, just wanted to express many thanks for the Wet Web Media website. It has been very helpful on many occasions. Thanks Again, Terry Gabrinetti <Haven't seen any hardback copies ('cept at hobby meetings) for quite a while... Was printed a few times as such... Maybe Amazon... et al.? Bob Fenner> <Marina's note: I purchased my hardback copy from Amazon.>

CMA Hi Bob, <Daniel> Have already started benefiting from having your book. (A heck of a lot better than the advice I tend to get from the local fish shops around here. At times shocking to say the least.) <Well... it is easier (and far more frightening!) to put cogent, cohesive, complete ideas into written format than think you've said what needs to be said> Anyway, tank's been running for about 3 months and so far so good. Minimal losses to date and water quality pretty good. Being a beginner it's both terrifying and most enjoyable at the same time. Kind regards and God bless, Daniel <Glad you're enjoying, benefiting from the experience. Bob Fenner>

CMA Hi there: I just wanted to tell you guys that I am reading Bob Fenner's Conscientious book, and it is definitely the best marine book I've come across for the aquarist. Congratulations on writing such a readable book, and I will tell all my reef friends that this is a must-have for the reference bookshelf.  And thank you to all the crew for being there to help those of us really trying to create a healthy marine environment. Thanks, Cynthia in Calgary P.S. I have Calfo and Fenner's Invertebrate book sitting on the coffee table, and I'm reading that one next.  <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

CMA out of the UK... to Portugal Hi Anthony/Bob, I thought I'd let you know that I managed to get "The conscientious marine aquarist" from the guy Anthony suggested (Midland Reefs, UK). I received it this morning. Thanks for your help. Regards, Daniel <Ahh, do hope you enjoy, gain by its reading. Bob Fenner>

Thanks! Bob, <Lisa> Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for such a terrific website.  I might add that I also picked up your "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" book, and wish I had gotten it when I began keeping a marine tank a little over a year ago.... it is my bible of fish keeping!  (Could use some updating, though) <Most of it written in '95', published in 98...> I have learned soooo much over the year, to the point that I am beginning to trust my common sense more than any advice.... <The nature of things> Anyhow, the another reason for this note is that only recently did I notice that you take donations for your website.  I would like to suggest that you add that to the main page.... <Is it not still at the bottom of the homepage? I don't see it. Will ask MikeK to re-add, thank you> it hasn't come up on my computer until the other day....otherwise I would have given sooner!  Really, it should be put on all the pages!  I really think you would generate much more support for your wonderful service. Thanks! Lisa Bolak <Am sure you will see the utility of having WWM along with books, magazine articles... as a means of expressing ourselves, sharing, helping others. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Signing conscientious marine aquarist book hello! How is the WWM crew tonight? <Mmm, well we're all spread out hither and yon, but I'm fine, thanks> well my name is Chase  and I was wondering if I could send my book to you to get it signed. I would be very, very, very, happy if you could! I'm sorry about the hassle if you can't but this would be sooooo cool !! I would highly appreciate it if it's possible. I go on this sight every single day at least an hour and I never miss the daily FAQs. Well a merry Christmas to you and a happy new years!                         thanks so much for everything,                                     chase in Vegas <Will gladly sign your copy. Our address is 8586 Menkar Rd., San Diego, CA 92126. Bob Fenner> Re: signing conscientious marine aquarist book wow! that's a speedy reply! I thought you'd all be way busier. <Heeee! Don't have a "day job"... am out in Hawaii for the month> do you answer your FAQs at night or something? <In the AM and PM...> thank you for letting me mail it to you. but I noticed you gave me the address: 8586 Menkar Road, San Diego, CA 92126. I saw you give someone else this adress:10251, Thanksgiving Lane, San Diego, CA 92126 does it really matter? Or  should I just go with the one you gave me?         thanks again,             chase Simmons <Ahh, we still own the Thanksgiving address, but moved some three years back. Please do send to Menkar. Bob Fenner>

Fan mail Hello Mr. Fenner, <Hi Nicholas>      I wanted to write to you sooner to thank you but didn't know the best way to contact you until seeing your pond article in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine. That advice also being very helpful.      Until I received a copy of your book for Christmas, I was the proud owner of a 29 gallon disaster area.      Bad advice (surprise from Petco, I should have known better). Bad advice from the book "Guide to Starting a Marine Aquarium" recommending species such as Mandarin Gobies and Sea Horses for a beginner's tank! <Yikes> I can't believe TFH publishes both that and your book! For shame! <Mmm, actually... some friends that own/operate another publishing house (Microcosm) are associated with TFH for sales and distribution only... they're responsible for producing CMA and other titles) Don't they read this stuff? And why not be kicked when you're down? A manufacturer's defect in the UV sterilizer let Marine Ich and Oodinium run rampant (Heck, I didn't really want all those fish anyway...FLUSH!) I still cant get over the irony of losing cleaner gobies to parasites. Those poor "slivers of happiness". The folks at Coralife did replace the unit but not the fish. And of course, personal stupidity. How many people ever REALLY blame themselves? If it was not for your book and my wife's persistence I swear there would be goldfish living in there now. <Or... the dust bunnies in the garage/attic> The aquarium is now stocked only with species you recommend. No Mandarins, no Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasses, not a single stony coral. Oh Yeah, it looks gooood!      I like how you go in depth explaining why a particular species is a good or bad choice. Your ground plans helped organize the live-rock into an attractive reef not rubble. Living in Rhode Island, I particularly enjoyed your lobster chapter (You don't know how tempting it is to want to go down to Narragansett Bay and bring back quahogs and chicken lobsters) <Yum!> Thank you again for all your help! I'm sure you're a very busy man but if you could reply just to let me know you received this letter, I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Nicholas Ricci    <Thank you so much for writing and "pumping me up" Nicholas! Bob Fenner>

Latest edition CMA Hello Bob, <Hi John> I've enjoyed your insights on WWM and want to purchase The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. However, I'm having a hard time figuring out what the latest edition is. Amazon.com says the paperback was published in March 1998, but BN.com shows March 2001. Both show ISBN 1890087025. For the hardcover (ISBN 1890087033), Amazon says March 2001 and BN says May 1997. Which is correct?! <Mmm, got me. As far as I'm aware the original text from the first printing in March, 98 has just been reprinted a number of times. The only diff. between the hard and soft cover is the cover itself (oh, and the price). Bob Fenner> Thanks, John Tucker

Re: Conscientious marine Book Just a quick question. (yet again!)  I am looking online at Barnes and Noble and I see that book in 2 different editions.  One is a hardcover with a May 1997 date, and the other is a paperback  with a March 2001 date.  The hardbound book is cheaper by $20.00.  Has there been a lot of new info added into the newer version? I want to buy it as I see I have a ton to learn.  Thanks so much. Becky <Hmm, the hardbound is cheaper? Are these used books? Maybe there is a quality difference between the two. These books content is identical as far as I know. Bob Fenner>

CMA Dear Pete, There are no content differences between the hard and soft cover versions, nor between the earlier and later editions, other than some minor corrections and changes in some of the "back of the book" source listings. The newer books do have a sewn binding, for enhanced durability. Thanks for your interest. James Lawrence, Editor & Publisher <Thanks James. Will archive, post for others ref. Bob F.>

Book availability in Australia Bob Is your highly commended book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, available through an Australian distributor? I live in Western Australia. It would be great if I could buy a copy on my next visit to our capital city Perth. <Mmm, seems ridiculous in considering my role, but I don't know... I'm referring you to the owner/editor/publisher of Microcosm, James Lawrence for input here... he may refer you to T.F.H. Publications... which does co-op the printing, distribution of their books... and does have distribution in Australia... Otherwise, perhaps an on-line book agency like Amazon.com? Bob Fenner> Thanks Pete McKenzie

Men's Health magazine - question Bob, I'm working on an article for Men's Health magazine about aquariums - it will probably be called something like "The Idiot-Proof Aquarium" - for our March issue. I'm assuming most men don't know a lot about aquariums, <Reasonable... most folks don't know much about much (including me)... though the ornamental aquatics hobbies do have aspects keen to all gender predilections, traits... Men like to tinker (western and eastern ones to my exposure)... and we've got plenty of that... and many women exhibit capacity and interest to create, modify these environments... some examples> but might like to have one for aesthetic reasons. We'd like to feature a few tips on the best equipment and fish to buy, cleaning tips, tank - whatever else there is, too. <Okay...> Your book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", seems to be the best book out there for aquarium novices.  <It is. No modesty, false or otherwise... it is a good work due to many talented, driven peoples' help> Would it be possible to send me a copy? <Mmm, I don't have (looking over to bookshelf)... even a personal copy (this happens). Suggest you look at Amazon.com, even E-bay...> Please let me know either way. Thank you, Alison Kotch Men's Health Magazine <Okay. Bob Fenner>

RE: Men's Health magazine - question Bob, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I've read some of the sample pages of your book on Amazon.com. Can I get a copy from your publisher? (I'll contact them if you tell me who to call.) If not, I may have to visit the bookstore. <Microcosm-books.com, James Lawrence, publisher/owner> I'll give you a call to interview you as well - but since I'm sure some of the most basic questions will be answered in the book, it would be helpful to have a hard copy to reference first. <Yes. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Alison Kotch

" The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" Hi Bob, Bob here, from The Aquarium, in Concord. I guess Anthony was here recently, and I am sorry to have missed him.  <Yes, just this last week we were both up in the Bay Area, Sacto> I was spending a day off doing that tank maintenance gig. Ah, the life of a fish dude. <I/we understand> Anyway, I have a customer who wants a hardcover copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". Can you provide that animal, sir?  <Actually, yes. Di bought the last of the HD...> Autographed, maybe? <Surely/Shirley... I know> If so, I'd like one as well, since you seem to be the only place I end up turning for answers that make sense. Yer crew rocks, the sense of humor is understated, yet very fluid, <Like some of their bowel... let's not go there> and I must say, I sure wish I could go diving with you, sir. There's a minor health issue that make that impossible. <A shame. Operable?> At any rate, please get back to me when convenient, and let me know what we can do. Kenny is as impressed with the book as I am! Softcover will do, but I'd like to have all you guys sign it because you are what an info site should be! Of course, I want nothing for free, or any discounts. I just want to make my customer happy, and preserve a bit of history that only a book can do. You should feel very proud that in an industry fueled on mistrust, you stand out as a no-bullshitter! (pardon my French) <Moi?> I congratulate you for being so non-commercial, and damn right, I send customers your way all the time. I realize that you are not a non profit organization, but you exhibit class. Kind of like the 30 phone calls I answer everyday. <Very good> From one industry professional to another, Thanks to all of you! <Thank you> By the way, I just turned my "young Jedi" on to the site. He's in awe, and that says a lot, since he lives on the machine. A smart 16 year old, with the heart of a lion. Future fish geek from hell. Days like this make the bad ones go away. <Agreed, very encouraging> Please get back to me on the book thing ASAP. <Do contact Diana at Di's Aquatics (on WWM)> Thanks, Bob <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: WWM help, M/TFH book issues << Very much appreciate the possibility... At this point to "fill-in" responding to our queriers (daily!), while some, a bunch of us are out traveling, diving... And have you join us (where we spend the big moolah from WWM efforts) on same outings >> tell me more? <<<It's our route web's ongoing onslaught of questions (mainly marine) re gear, set-up, livestock, maintenance... Folks you know, principally Steve Pro, Anthony Calfo and I share the answering, moving around of these "Daily FAQs" on www.WetWebMedia.com... and spend the current incoming monies (from sponsors on the shared borders... but soon am hopeful from image sales on our companion site, WetWebFotos...) going on travel adventures... And when some of us are gone, there is a real need to have competent help taking up the slack>>> <<I have written, though not as often, and did hear James was out of town... but have called, left msg.s and... no response. Did get (finally) some news of the grand sum from my 15% of what M gets from TFH (34 cents per copy...)... Di "took" this as part of an A/P she owes for books purchased for resale... I have stopped, not slowed, any/all projects for "them". Am still interested in producing... CD's? Print works on my/our own... and doing the sales, distribution/fulfillment as well... as our friend in common Anthony.C was fortunate in time to have done>> Still no response from James, or a royalty statement or check. I am sending the letter certified on Monday. So, you are buying books from TFH? How's that work? That's what I want to do, too. <<<My wife Diana does some e-tailing (mainly to promote the Knop line, which she distributes in N. Am.... the M/TFH books are a side-line... the big $2,100 (sold some 6,500 or so copies some half year period past) was allowed to her (never sent to me, check or notice) in an invoice on sent books... Do contact JML re... they should be more than happy to send you books to sell... a promotion and better deal for M or TFH. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>>> Eric

Re: pulsing Sinularia...hmmm Cespitularia? << About begging you to help us out on WetWebMedia.com... and also wanted to chat with you re M/TFH (am getting no response...). Back on the issue: have cut-pasted the boyz input re this soft coral on the daily WWM FAQs. Will paste here for your enjoyment... maybe amusement. Bob Fenner> >> doh - how's youz want me help? Doubt I have time, but would try for you bud~! <Very much appreciate the possibility... At this point to "fill-in" responding to our queriers (daily!), while some, a bunch of us are out traveling, diving... And have you join us (where we spend the big moolah from WWM efforts) on same outings> re M/TFH, I wrote James a nicey nicey email with no response. waited five days. Sent the same email nine times in a row. No response. Wrote to the general email. Alecia responded within hours, caliming James was out of town and was getting to emails. Two weeks later...no response.  <I have written, though not as often, and did hear James was out of town... but have called, left msg.s and... no response. Did get (finally) some news of the grand sum from my 15% of what M gets from TFH (34 cents per copy...)... Di "took" this as part of an A/P she owes for books purchased for resale... I have stopped, not slowed, any/all projects for "them". Am still interested in producing... CD's? Print works on my/our own... and doing the sales, distribution/fulfillment as well... as our friend in common Anthony.C was fortunate in time to have done.> I don;t want to call, because you can't produce evidence it took place. So, I will send a registered letter - also nicey nicey...don;t want to stir the pot until my ducks are ready. Obviously, no response, no statement, and no money. This is another breach, and I think, based on talking to an attorney, this is our "out". I am finished with the semester at the end of this week and will decide on a plan of action. Would love to discuss it with you. There is strength in numbers, but we must be unified in our goal. <Do call if you find time, desire: 858-549-XXXX. Don't know much more than I have written, but am interested in what other possibilities we can come up with. Bob Fenner>  talk to ya soon Eric Hugo Borneman Department of Biology and Biochemistry Division in Ecology and Evolution 258, SR II University of Houston Houston, TX 77204 EBorneman@uh.edu or EricHugo@aol.com

Re: Too late for a FW dip? (but never to late to relate ones feelings) Bob (and the whole WWM crew), <Hello> Thank you for the reply. I just wanted to say - THANK YOU. And I really mean it. I have been reading and re-reading all the pages on your site and check out the Q&A everyday to learn and possibly prevent. I am trying to find your book, but so far I haven't been able to locate it. <Mmm, these are available through Amazon, fish stores, even ebay> I think I'm gonna have to get it from an online store. It's the least I can to do to supplement your income. <34 cents a copy!> Gosh knows you really deserve to be a millionaire with all the advice you so generously give for free.  <I am wealthy in many other ways> No need to post this. This is from me to you - just wanted you to know that someone on the Information highway is REALLY glad you're out there "directing traffic". My deepest gratitude and respect. Debra P.S. I always get a chill whenever I read "friend" from you at the beginning or end of your emails. You really do have a way of being a true "virtual" friend. Always positive no mater how glum the response. <Glad to be received and perceived as such my friend. Bob Fenner>

Are you still there? James, would you have time to chat on the phone? A good number, time to call? Bob Fenner

CMA, contracts, royalty payments James, will you please take a look around for a royalty check for me for CMA, this last time period? Property, personal taxes are almost past due... Bob Fenner

RE: Microcosm/TFH notes "Quite possibly, what now passes for "standard" in the publishing industry is an illegal restraint of trade. The Antitrust Division of the Justice Department should take a long, hard look at the standard publishing contract. Publishing today is characterized by powerful corporate entities acting in concert, to the detriment of essentially powerless authors. And if one cares about the future of the printed word, something must be done to remedy the situation, because it's driving a lot of good writers out of book publishing. They simply can't make a living writing books anymore." From: http://www.mediachannel.org/views/oped/bookcontract.shtml <Mmm, actually, due to the "costs of production" including editing, lay-out, actual printing and binding (though not sales and distribution...) it is easier than ever IMO to be in the book writing biz... Though admittedly the English language markets have been sadly and badly impugned by the powers that be. It is my desire that (here comes that onerous name again) Wet Web Media be involved in making such "content" available readily and at reasonable cost to the benefit of consumers and providers. Bob F>

Re: Royalties Bob, Our royalty lady is away, but I will try to track down your sales and amounts. <Real good, appreciate it> Hope all is well with you. Have you heard anything about the Ocean Currents wave generator gizmos? Performance? Reliability? <All is well (except for rental work, woes...), and no to experience with Ocean Currents products> Cheers, James <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Royalties Thanks for the heads-up Bob! <You're welcome> I am still willing to work with Microcosm for two reasons: 1. I know that there is no way that I could match what they do as far as editing, layout, etc. Their books are beautiful! While I do this, at least in part, to make money, I also feel that it is important that the books I do are the best they can possibly be. Something I can be guaranteed with Microcosm. 2. I think James Lawrence (as I know you do) is a good and fair person that will make things right when (or if) Microcosm can ever get back on track. You remember the good old days Bob when Microcosm was still part of Chapters? <Yes... I've been t/here since day one> Do you remember how good James was to us? I see those days returning one day (may be I am an idealist and need to be more realistic!) <Good points. I do hope for the same> When they sent us those new contracts, we could have turned them down. But I signed mine even after reading the letter James sent explaining the copyright changes, royalty changes, etc. I signed it. If I had a problem with it, I could have refused. Boy do I wish I was making the same royalties as before...but I agreed to live by the agreement in the new contract when I signed it. <I signed as well... It was either that, or let James and the books in print and upcoming go down the tubes...> Anyway, I will stick with Microcosm (I do worry sometimes that TFH may screw things up somehow, as they tend to have had a reputation for doing this in the past.) <yes> We will see.... Cartilaginously yours, Scott <Be chatting Scotter, Bob F>

CMA Expensivo! Bob, Amazon has a collectible copy of your CMA from TFH 2001 soft cover UK edition that they are selling for $124.00! How cool is that?! Antoine <For how much? Incredible. For that much money, I'll fly over and trade them my copy! Bob F!>

Re: Moolah, sigh, what else? Bob, The next royalty statement is scheduled to come out in March, I believe. I am flat out with another matter for a few days, but will give you a call as soon as the dust settles. I will be interested to hear your view on TFH sales on the West Coast. I believe that they have replaced their previous rep, and the new guy has finally started working with CPR and perhaps some others. Best regards, James <I do hope all can be cleared up. Bob F> PS: I will have Lesia call Di regarding the book order, which got hung up at TFH, after they promised to send it. Because it is larger than we have done in the past, they want advance payment from us, and I am working on it. <Ridiculous on TFH's part. Thank you for your follow-up. Bob F>

what your book has done for me Dear Mr. Fenner, My name is Matt Stahura, and I recently purchased your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", and first of I'd just like to say that it changed my life. Now, let me explain the haws and whys before I come across sounding like an obsessed fan (don't get me wrong, I am a fan of this book). Let me start at the beginning, well, the recent beginning anyways. About a month ago, I started setting up a new marine aquarium. Probably my fourth try at the hobby. Seeing as I've moved around a lot over the past few years, I haven't had much time to concentrate on it, and I've spent quite a bit of time setting up and tearing down my tanks because I had to pick up and move. This time, however, I found time to sit down and start it off right, with your help of course. I've got a twenty gallon tank in its fourth week of running, and things are going wonderfully. <All things seem difficult at first...> So about a week into my new system, I was sitting there watching my live rock begin to flourish and show it's true colors, and it hit me (or more accurately, I remembered something I wrote in an autobiography I wrote when I was twelve for a middle school English class). I want to be remembered as an active participant in helping to sustain and protect the marine world, and helping to protect and replenish coral reefs. So I decided that I want to make a career out of this, but I still wasn't sure. Anyways, a week later I picked up a copy of your book and, needless to say, I read it cover to cover in a night, and have read it twice since. That was two weeks ago. Now I'm absolutely positive that I want a career in the aquarium industry, be it aquaculture, tank design and construction, or any one of the numerous aspects of marine biology, regardless of money. <Good for you. Great strength in knowing oneself, having faith in purpose> The thing that is still a little fuzzy to me is exactly how to go about doing that, but I know after reading about you and your experiences, you would be my best bet for some good solid advice. What I would first like to ask you is where would you recommend I begin? <Mmm, perhaps by a cursive reading of a new book, Aquarium Careers, by Jay Hemdal. Have recently read, reviewed and posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqcareers.htm for another set of opinions, insights.> I live in Indiana, and to be honest, course related to the field are not exactly plentiful in a land of cornfields. I'm 23, I've tried college (which didn't fit in to my party schedule when I was 19), and now I'm ready to do it again. This time, however, I plan to finish. Do you think I should start off with a bachelor's degree in general biology, or dive head first into every aspect of marine biology I can get my hands (and brain) on?  <I would/did study most everything... with emphases on life sciences (not just organismal, though my first undergraduate degree was Zoology), along with aspects of business management... necessary in this world. Very important as well to "dwell in the affective domain"... to ally oneself in activities, social engagements that touch on your interests, the fields... there may be jobs in "cleaning lab gear", collection, special studies... seek out the counsel of professors/instructors that will grant you input re your path> I've researched careers in marine biology on several websites including marinecareers.net, and several other oceanographic and marine biology related sites, and they all say that an undergraduate degree in general biology is the way to start, and that one should hold off from delving into a more specific course of study until graduate school. Would you recommend the same? <Actually, some specialization at the undergraduate level is beneficial... If only one aspect to be emphasized, would delve into microbiology (many more jobs related here)... or even molecular biology... But, do engage all the -ologies you can fit into your life... you will agree with me this enriched your life immeasurably in years forthcoming> And, what exactly is Aquariology?  <The scientific study testable, falsifiable hypotheses) of the business, hobby and science of captive aquatic husbandry> I have an idea of what it is, and if it's what I think I'd be very interested in learning more about it, but I'm still not completely sure. <You may have to "write the curriculum" for such in your own life... as I have> Anyways, I'm hoping that you might have some helpful insight into the matter, and I would greatly appreciate any advice you might give. Sincerely, Matthew T. Stahura <Much more to state, share my friend. Life is a series of experiences and reflections by which we seek to discover and fulfill our destinies. What, how will you choose? Think on this deeply. Bob Fenner>

Conscience Marine Aquarist Bob, I got your book today. Sorry it took so long. Good show brother. <Thank you my friend. To be seen as "consistent" by ones associates, friends, family, self is not only "good" but essential to me. Bob F> Mitch

Moolah, sigh, what else? James, am curious re the upcoming/passing royalty period for CMA... Were the data on sales from TFH for the last six months? They must have been out of stock for most of this time period... To gauge from hobbyists comments, Amazon... the work is selling well... Is there an indication of sales volume, an idea of when payment might make its way to San Diego? Poor Bob F

Your Book (TCMA) Bob, quick question. Is there a latter version of your book, the one I got was printed in 1998. Is that a recent publication. Thanks Gillian <Mmm, unless someone else has changed the original of TCMA, there is no "updated version"... just re-issues. Bob Fenner>

RE: Your Book OK, Thanks, didn't want to miss out on any information. You are almost due for a new one soon. Gillian <Have a few contracts with the publisher (Microcosm) that are expired... and one other manuscript in process with them... getting books published is a trying, drawn-out experience for sure. Bob Fenner>

Which Microcosm? Hey Bob, I contacted Microcosm at www.Microcosm.com and here's the email I got: Colleen Bolin <Colin@microcosm.com> RE: Looking for Scott Michael Dear Sir, Unfortunately you have reached the wrong Microcosm, Inc. There is no such person at this company. Sincerely, Any ideas? Did I contact the wrong place? <Here's the publishing company's URL: http://www.microcosm-books.com/ Bob Fenner> Thanks!

That Royalty James, is there an accounting for the last CMA royalty? Is it easier to get paid in just books? I will gladly accept them... can sell them relatively easily. Bob Fenner

Re: That Royalty Bob, Your royalty check and the photo fees we owed you were all paid and sent on Wednesday. (Call Ripley!) <Is this the "believe it or not guy"? I believe you!> Hope you and Di have a good holiday. I'm interested to hear how the bookselling is going. <She is able to sell all she can get her hands on... It's amazing and ridiculous (to me obviously) how little there is actually in the pipeline... Geez oh (as JML would put it), you wouldn't believe how non-stocked our markets are with M/TFH product... sigh... Bob F> Cheers, James

Re: Do you know this fish? Thank you for the quick response, I appreciate it. Do you have a book available for purchase? I am a relative novice, but I am a voracious reader and would like to learn more. <Mmm, yes... Do you know of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"? I also use this adverb to describe my reading "habit"... Bob Fenner> Best Regards Ed Montalvo

Return To Marines, Books Hello Bob, <Hello George... was just finishing a book review by one of your countrymen, Constantino Petrinos, Realm of the Pygmy Seahorse. Fabulous photography> As I can see in the last TFH, your book has become available again. I wonder if it would be possible to buy 1-2 copies of it directly from you (charging my VISA card). Needless to say, both copies should have a long handwritten comment by the Author !!! <Agreed!> I am thinking of giving the saltwater tank a second chance. I will start a small tank (140 liter) with a couple of internal filters (1000 liter/hour each), a heater at 25oC, a strong air pump (300 l/h) and a small air driven skimmer. I also plan to add a generous amount of Caesura in this tank. My final task is (if successful with the small tank) to go to a 500 liter tank with 4-5 fishes in all. A planted tank (with only macroalgae) with two 100 liter sumps powered by 2x3500 l/h pumps, two skimmers, and one of them will have a macroalgae culture in reverse time phase. <All good ideas> However the question is which fish is the best to start with. I would like to end up with 3 Pterois volitans and one Pt.antenata AND one other fish for some movement. I have been thinking of a green trigger (too aggressive ??) a panther grouper (way too small a tank for it?) <Yes, too small> or an angelfish (will it feed on my macroalgae??). <No angel either... small ones would likely be eaten by the Lions, large one would be too large> I would prefer to start with the angelfish (if recommended by you) since I would like it to gain size before meeting the P.volitans. Finally I plan to collect some invertebrates (small crabs) from the Mediterranean.. <Ah, you are fortunate> Please comment on this setup at your earliest convenience. Thanks in advance !! <Do start with just the Lionfishes... we can talk over choices to add to them in a few months. Bob Fenner> George J. Reclos Ph.D. Pharmacist -- Immunologist Holargos (Athens) - Greece Aquariums website www.MalawiCichlidHomepage.com

Books! Hi, my name's Dustin and I've written to you in the past for advise on my salt water tank. I now have a problem in regards to your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". I work at a local pet store and we cant get your book any more because apparently there's a company in the states who has bought it out -????-. Any how i was wondering if you know were we could get a few copies for retail. I think your book is great for newcomer saltwater people but we don't know where to get it now. Thanks for your time. Dustin. <Thank you for writing. All the Microcosm titles should be available through your distributors by way of their manufacturer/printer: T.F.H. Publications. Please contact them through: http://www.microcosm-books.com/, or http://tfh.com/ And thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

CMA. Hello Mr.Fenner. Just a Line to say that my name is Alan,and i live in England, I sent you an e-mail a few weeks ago, witch you so kindly Answered,telling you that i have ordered your book the C.M.A. I have now got it, and i think it is great,this e-mail is just to let you know ok! if anyone is thinking about getting this Book,then think no more. As it has everything that they need to Know, just my 2p's worth,thank you. Alan England...;-) <Thank you so much... hard to disagree with such clear thinking! Bob Fenner>

Fwd: That should have read CMA!!! Hi Bob, That last email should have read CMA. YIKES! <Okay. Bob F> Hi Bob, It's your friend the 40 gallon gal here. :-) <Howdy!> I just read the daily q and a. And found something interesting. Well lots of things, but this is what I refer to: >I'm somewhat of a "regular" on the WWM forums, and you and I have >corresponded via email a few times. While cruising the forums last week, I >found out that a hard bound copy of the CMA was being auctioned on e-bay. I >loaned my paperback version to a friend, and it was returned with pages >falling out and had obviously been soaked in water. So I placed a bid on >e-bay and held my breath as the price slowly climbed.... ><Yikes> Well it seems unbeknowst to him, 'Zo and I were to be blamed for upping the ante!! Both of us were bidding, and I guess when 'Zo figured it was Jay bidding he stopped. However, apparently my login on eBay is so good, Zo had no clue it was me. So for awhile 'Zo and I and Jay, all regulars on the forum, and I were outdoing each other all for your book! I guess you should take this as a complement. :-) <Hmm, maybe...> I'm afraid I'll go and get another paper back as I have completely ruined CMA as it is coming apart at the seams! <S'posedly the newest edition is a little better stuck-together...> I'm happy one of our own got it anyway, sort of. :-) Be chatting! :-) --Jane J <Chat with you soon Jane. Bob Fenner>

Autographing my new CMA book! Greetings Bob! I hope your trip to Hawaii was fun, or fruitful, or whatever.  <Hmm, all the above!> I guess it'd depend on why you went, but I can't imagine a trip to the islands could be "bad" regardless of the reason for going... <Fun, diving, photography, to look at property, chat with my fellow travelers, explore, write, recharge batteries...> I'm somewhat of a "regular" on the WWM forums, and you and I have corresponded via email a few times. While cruising the forums last week, I found out that a hard bound copy of the CMA was being auctioned on e-bay. I loaned my paperback version to a friend, and it was returned with pages falling out and had obviously been soaked in water. So I placed a bid on e-bay and held my breath as the price slowly climbed.... <Yikes> Today I found out that I'm the proud owner of a shiny new hardback CMA!! $50 including shipping. A pretty good deal for the best marine aquarium book out there--especially considering I paid $44 for my paperback copy. <I should've bought these instead of Lucent's stock...> I was wondering if I could ship it to you and if you'd be kind enough to autograph it for me? I'd be more than happy to provide return postage, include a mailing box, whatever you'd need to make it easy on you to return it. Just let me know what you need and where to send it. <If you'd like, sure. Bob Fenner, 10251 Thanksgiving Lane, San Diego, CA 92126> I should be getting the book in 4 - 7 days. There'd be no rush to return it to me. I know this would be somewhat of a hassle for you, but I'd really appreciate it if you could find the time. <No worries, happy to make this contact. Very enjoyable to sign, interact with fellow hobbyists at venues...> I could point out that it's your fault I bought it... if the book wasn't so dang good, I wouldn't want it. And if it weren't for your forums, I'd have never known it was available.... seems the least you could do is sign it for me! (all that was completely in jest, I hope you know that. Humor/sarcasm is difficult to convey in writing sometimes). <I understand. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Regards, JT

your book, lighting Thanks for the previous answers. I did not dig far enough to find most of the questions already answered. I was, however, looking for your book at Barnes and Noble only to find it is out of print, any suggestions where to find a copy? <Has just been reprinted by the new Microcosm/TFH coalition. S/b available through B & N, Amazon et al. soon. Can be ordered through the hobby 'zine T.F.H. or the etailers listed on the www.WetWebMedia.com links page> One last question in regard to lighting for LR. Is the 2-3 watts per gallon rule of thumb more in consideration for depth of the tank or how much growth you will see? <Hmm, yes... and a few other factors... like the type of lighting... it is after all, just "a rule of thumb"...> Is 2 watts/gal for a 75 gal just getting by? Don't mean to be a pest, just want to do it right. Thanks, Hank H. <Too little wattage for this size, shape tank... need at least 3-4 or compact fluorescent, even more for metal halide to get coverage. Bob Fenner>

Hello Mr. Fenner. (re CMA) Hello Mr. Fenner,i am going to buy your book TCMA. but before i Do, will you tell me, as i live in England is it good for someone like me, that is only just starting, as i have still not got my set up yet, that is why i am doing a lot of reading. <A good approach... and yes, a worthy read. For me, a "work of a lifetime"... and well-received. Please read through the "reviews" accumulated by the on-line etailers (like Amazon.com) and those accumulated on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/cmainput1.htm> and i have been told that your book is one of the best that you can get,my tank will be a 48x24x24.any advice would be welcome, thank you. Alan in England... <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist  Mr. Fenner,  I just finished your book The Conscientious Marine  Aqaurist and wanted to let you know it was a pleasure to read such a  thorough and complete book. I am about to start keeping Marines and will  refer to this over and over again.  I live on Long Island, New York and dive as well. Do  you ever dive the Northeast?  Joe Santini <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words... Have endeavored for a long  while in the interest to "have a sense" of what needs to be made known... and  it is indeed gratifying to find ones work useful, appreciated. Do visit my  in-laws in New Jersey a few times a year, but as yet have never dived  there... perhaps with you some day. Some more on those adventures being  posted on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com as time goes by. Be chatting. Bob  Fenner> 

Wow (CMA) I just read that you wrote the Consciencious Marine Aquarist, it is on my coffee table and I have used it as a definitive reference over the years. it is all my honor to correspond. I have read it a hundred times and it has proved to be a cornerstone to my girlfriends knowledge of the hobby. THANKYOU. <Wowzah, what an endorsement! Am taking your message with me next time I'm out begging for a bank loan. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner> A big fan Mark

Question about "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" (Hard or soft bound?) Hi Bob, I was looking at your book on Amazon.com and was wondering if there was any difference between the hardback and paperback version of your book besides the obvious. Anything lacking from the paperback version? <The cover is the only real difference...> The hardcover is $50 some odd and the paperback only $27.  <Ah, think maybe the "new" printing of the hardback by the just-formed team/publisher/s Microcosm-TFH may have raised the hardback price... in the face of their rising costs...> Will I be making a mistake by getting the paperback? Thanks for your help, I look forward to reading your book. <Mmm, good question... some folks have told me that the binding of the softbound version has worn out... due to so much use... my original is still intact. Bob Fenner> Bryan Aalberg

Thank you ! (CMA) A friend of mine let me borrow his copy of THE CONSCIENTIOUS MARINE AQUARIST for a day. Lucky for me he didn't show up to work the next day and I left on a plane that day to go to Texas,...with the book !  <Yikes... a book heist!> I read most of it while on vacation and bought a copy for myself when I returned home to San Diego. I just wanted to say thanks for all of the helpful information in that book. <Umm, you're welcome... and we live in San Diego as well.> I was wondering if you had any other books out and if so, do you have any that give a diagram of a sump tank set up. <Good idea... do want to direct you to "Oz's Reef"... Link on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com (under Links...)> I understand the concept of one, but am a little confused as to what goes where. Thanks again for storaging so much useful knowledge in your brain that we all can use ! Jana <Ah, much more chatting, learning together to go. Bob Fenner>

Contentious (and Conscientious) Marine Aquarist Hello! I must say that after reading your book I am most impressed and have learned a lot.  <Excellent!> Matter of fact every time I read it I learn something new. I use it constantly and also refer other people to the book as well. Thank you so much for putting your knowledge into such a readable book. <Very gratifying to read such kind, encouraging words> Now, have you written any other books? :-) <Yes, a few. The most recent is advertised on our website (which I sense you'll greatly enjoy): www.WetWebMedia.com, and more in "waiting" at publishers. Bob Fenner> Ryan Mindemann

Bob, Books, what's next, Pizza? Yum Hey bob (the Duke) fenner, a lot of ?'s from my friend could maybe be answered in your book. Is the book about the oceans fish life and how they are captured , and if so what is your title of this book? <Hmm, the most recent one: "A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Fishes of the World"... reviewed and offered on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Now my ? is -- if I have a tomato clown in a tank with (6) other fishes will they know not to get into one of those swirlly things that only like clown fishes. <Not all fishes or non-fishes... some are eaten daily from wandering too close...> I would like to get her one. Also I lied to you about my tank being three feet deep,not on purpose tho and I got a vita light by Duro. Thanks very much. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::your secret add.::::::::::orangetailblenny:::::::::::::: <Mmm, be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Conscientious Marine Aquarist/WWM  Hello Mr. Fenner,  <Hi there> I read your book and just wanted to comment. I enjoyed the reading and as a  result I am pursuing this hobby. I have taken your advice and done lots of  reading and research. Your book is very comprehensive but understandable. I  enjoyed the many diagrams and pictures of various equipment. So far I have  learned that there are many different options and setups.  <Yes> Anyway, just  wanted to say job well done and any other suggestions you have for my set  up I would appreciate it.  My intended setup includes:  I got a great deal on a 90 gallon tank,stand and canopy. I will employ a  trickle filter with good protein skimmer. I am investing in a power compact  lighting system. Since I have aspirations to eventually go into  reefkeeping, I am going to use live rock and sand. Thanks again for writing  this book.  Best Regards,  Peter M. Frederixon <A delight. Thank you for your kind words. Have been adding to CMA and posting just these sorts of questions on a website: www.WetWebMedia.com Please refer to the various FAQ files associated with each topic on the various index, sub-index headings there. For specific questions please write back to me at this address. Bob Fenner>

New Book (?) Hi Robert, When will your new Concienscious Marine Aquarist be available? Thanks! Steven Berg <Hmm, well, wish I knew... have been writing (studying, organizing notes, trying to put together in article format, photographing...) diligently... and just e-mailed the editor/publisher James Lawrence this last week on this and related issues (the Reef and Freshwater and Planted aquarium versions of this work...) as well as at least the re-printing of CMA as it has appeared since its first release (he assures me that T.F.H./Microcosm are now printing, warehousing it... it's been out of print for a few months...), but a "new" as in revised edition? Got me. Perhaps you could write to James and inquire: jml@microcosm-books.com Bob Fenner, who thanks you for asking>

Your Book (CMA) I've seen a number of messages on the new messages page lately. Everyone is clamoring for a copy of your book. (I've got one for $100. . . nah--wouldn't sell it even for that!) At any rate, they are available online at www.bestfish.com <http://www.bestfish.com> . Bestfish.com also auctions them off on eBay. They only have the paperback version, on sale now for $29.99 on their web page. Hope all is well. James A. Deets <It is indeed my friend. Thank you for this... will post you know where... and hope that CMA is in re-production now... or soon. Bob Fenner>

book (CMA, availability) Hi Bob, Where can I find your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist ?  <Thank you for this notice... this work is being reprinted (again...), but as the book biz goes... "not immediately"... Have seen it in a few stores... but think the big etailing bookstores are out of stock> I have had it ordered for 2 weeks from someplace, and just found out they are out of stock. Everywhere I find on the Web is out of stock. And is the hardback version in print yet? Thanks. Jason <Yes, both hard and soft came out in 98... Will send your note to my U.S. publisher. Bob Fenner>

Getting your book Mr. Fenner I have had your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist on order from Barnes and Noble since Feb 3. I am not complaining, but did I order from the wrong company? <Got me... I only get to write them> I have never used them before. I am new to Marine Aquariums and I need your book badly or I should say my Live Rock and Fish need me to get your book. If you have any suggestions drop me a line at ddyer@ipa.net Thanks, Dan <Umm, have seen the book semi-locally... when you order it from wherever... like anything else, can, don't you ask when you can expect delivery? Bob Fenner>

Book I just wanted to drop you a note that your book is on backorder on Amazon.com in both hard and soft back versions. I guess that is both good and bad. It is very popular but now difficult to get. Thank You, Steven Pro <Thanks for this... James Lawrence, now of Microcosm/TFH assured me that CMA was going to be reprinted in January... None of their other print jobs or reprints have ever been timely... Big sigh. Bob Fenner>

san diego saltwater reef clubs Hi Bob, I love your book and it's great even for a beginner like myself. <Yes, CMA consciously designed to be of use, interest to wide range of backgrounds, ability levels... as all good general tools.> I'm getting ready to get a 75gallon reef/fish system. I've been to all the local stores in san diego and have yet to find great prices and consistent advice. <Price is of course a relative aspect... and "consistent advice is something to be guarded against... Please understand me here... You could have "consistently bad, or useless" information... What you really want to seek is advice with "explanations"... You are intelligent enough to discern what to adopt, adapt from there....> I'm planning on 50lbs live rock and crushed coral. 4-36" 55watt Power Compacts, a TurboFlotor T1000. Is this setup complete?  <A very good start> I don't need a canister right? <No... but the more circulation, some mechanical filtration would be better> Not sure onlighting either, can't I use NO flourescents for live rock as well? <You could but it will take many more fixtures, lamps to provide the same, enough illumination... Go with the Power Compacts IMO...> Lastly, are there any saltwater clubs in the San Diego area? Thanks in advance, Jack <Oh yes, a very nice group.Please contact our great kahuna, Maurice Bullock: Mbulloc1@san.rr.com about upcoming gatherings, events.... Will likely run into you there, the Orange County or L.A. marine clubs... Live in San Diego as well...

hi, thanks/praise for CMA  Hi Bob, my name is mike mastronardi. i live in new york. i reserved you book  for x-mas (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist), and let me tell you, i have  a lot of marine fish books, but yours by far was the best. it was loaded with  useful in formation and best of all, its really the only up to date book i  have seen. i do have another good book, its by Scott Michael, its a fish  identification book though. i just wanted to tell you i loved the book. i  have 3 marine fish tanks myself and i enjoy the hobby very much. if you do  have the time to answer a few questions later, that would be great if you  have any other books about marine life you have written, please let me  know. well, gotta run, bye.  mike mastronardi. <What can I say? This message has it all! Huge praise, intelligence, and fish in it!!! Thank you Mike. Bob Fenner, who says check out my ongoing efforts/nemesis: www.wetwebmedia.com>

Book Comments Hi Bob -Just picked up a copy of your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist a few days ago. I must say I think it is excellent! <Thank you... for your kind words, and input. CMA is the best book of its kind in print, no doubt.>  By far and away the best thing I have been able to dig up here in Calgary (Alberta, Canada). I am speaking or rather I should say, writing as an aspiring Aquarist - trying to do some ground work to see what I am letting myself in for. Your book I found refreshingly easy to read yet with a good amount of detail and personal observations and opinions. Good design and good photography throughout. Having been involved (as a photographer) in three book projects I know how easily market forces and plain ignorance and lack of interest from a publisher can spoil the dream of a lifetime of work. Well done. <Agreed> A couple of comments though; I also bought John Tullock's Natural Reef Aquariums at the same. Now, I haven't  started reading this book, but was disappointed to find some identical photographs. I hope the text isn't too similar also. Obviously there must be a certain amount of overlap regarding some of the subject matter. A small gripe! <Not the text, but the owner/editor (James Lawrence) of Microcosm had sole discretion re the accompanying graphics work... and the re-use of images is regrettable. I am also a working photographer... and there was no call for...> What - no hard cover? Too bad. <Yes, these works are available in both editions... Amazon.com (and the GWN equivalent, sell both I believe> Are there any up to date books on fresh water aquariums that you could recommend? <The Baensch Freshwater Atlases are excellent, and about the most complete and up-to-date references that can be had... for now> Thank you, Ian Tomlinson <And you, Bob Fenner, www.WetWebMedia.com>

CMA Praise and more! dear Mr.Robert Fenner,                                 my name is Joy Adams,and I wanted to tell you how much I like your book. I, myself, do not own a marine aquarium, but I do have a 30 gallon fresh water(cold)tank. I have 5  goldfish, and when they're to big for my tank,(and I move them to my half-way-set-up pond), I would like to either set    up a tropical aquarium, or a marine tank. I think salt water fish are absolutely beautiful. well I should probably go send this. thanks so much  for writing that book. you did a great job.                                    from,                                   Joy S. Adams     <Outstanding. And thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Do take a look at my efforts re ponds and goldfish posted on our site:  Home Page . Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Good/Bad Fish Stores:  Dear Mr. Fenner, I recently purchased your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist." I want  to thank you for writing this book. I found it very helpful and most  importantly very comendable that you addressed the issue of  conscienciousness. As an aquarist and soon to be marine aquarist I think  the least that we, as humans and as aquarists, can do is to respect the  lives of the fragile animals which we bring into our captive world.  Although in a perfect world there would be no such thing as captivity, we  can best respect the desires of our affections in this imperfect world by  providing the best possible environment. <I concur, certainly> I am also writing this e-mail in the hopes that you can give me some  direction with a dilemma that I have. There is an aquatic retailer near  where I live that abuses their livestock. I went there today to take a look  and I found a yellow tang with all its fins missing, pale white and trying  to stay alive, one with its eye blotted out, an anglefish with ick face down  in the tank, a shrimp being picked at by a hippo tang, pieces of various  fishes floating around, extremely tight quarters, no hiding place or  protection from passers by, extremely stressed out fish, exotic specimens  that are not suitable for the aquarium hobby (such as an octupus which can  only be kept by highly skilled aquarists and an eel kept in a gerbile run),  dirty tanks, etc. etc. etc. I have vouched to boycott this store although  their prices run lower than a lot of other stores. However, I want to do  more than this. I feel that it is my obligation, as a person, as an  individual who loves animals, and as an informed and CONSCIENTIOUS aquarist  to do more. How do I accomplish this? If I go into the store by myself and  inform the manager of his abuse towards these animals I will probably get  kicked out. Are there organizations that are capable of dealing with such  tragedy? If so how do I make them aware of this problem? Are there laws to  protect marine life and to punish such careless dealers? If so how do I  learn about them? <No organizations exist to aid these situations, but I implore you, do your best... Do at least go and speak with the owner/mgr., staff, and explain your concerns... even offering your help to remedy individual circumstances... Do offer to help other aquarists to provide proper care, adequate habitats.> I'm hoping that you can help me sir? I have the heart and the will to make  a difference. What I need now is guidance. I would appreciate any bit of  guidance that you can give me. I hope to hear from you. Thank you for your  time. I also know of a store that is wonderful. They take such wonderful care of  their livestock and they are devoted to conscientious retailing. Is there a  way I can commend them of their great work? Is there a way I can make it  known to the public? Are there sites or organizations to which I can put a  good word in? <You have... and should further by mentioning them to fellow aquarists, joining and participating with other aquarists in a local club, the internet, perhaps writing, photography. Look on the net. There are several bulletin boards, listservs, chatrooms...> Sincerely, Jobin >> <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist << Hi, You don't know me. I got your email address from your web site "Wet Web Media". I'm writing to thank you for writing "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". I'm just getting into the hobby and have spent the last 4 months just reading and researching, both on paper and online. I have collected a stack of books but haven't found any that are as complete, useful, practical and thought provoking as yours. I have changed many aspects of my plan for my 120g reef tank because of your book but the best part is simply that I know why and the choices I've made since reading your book have been much more educated decisions. Thank you so much, Susan Wilson PS - I wrote a review for your book at Chapters (like Amazon.com up here in the great white north): http://www.chapters.ca/books/details/default.asp?ISBN=1890087025&mscssid=9WB 9VE4UB7S92GXH00A3HC2N35TK5GC7&WSID=1810052DF5B2978F11D4BE440008C79F6C885101 <Outstanding... What a pleasure, deeply gratifying to know my efforts are helping, that such a work as the Conscientious Marine Aquarist has prompted such a response... thank you for your kind, encouraging words, and review! And do avail yourself of my ongoing writing, image-making stored on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com. Your friend in fish, Bob Fenner>

Your book Hi Mr Fenner, I been trying unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist : A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists" Published 1998, amazon.com was unable to get it. Can you please tell me where I can buy a copy ? Thank you, David LaRocca >> Thank you for the information! As a writer, I often wonder "what the heck's going on"... There are a number of pet-fish mailorder houses that carry this title. PetsWarehouse, Two Little Fishies, Flying Fish Express... I would put the descriptors "Aquarium supplies, mailorder" in you search engine and follow them... Thank you again. Bob Fenner

marine biologist? Dear bob: I was wondering if you could answer the following questions for me. They  are about being a marine biologist and if you are not one then just answer  the question by putting your profession in place of marine biology. Thanks  1. What, in your opinion, are the disadvantages of being a Marine Biologist? <None to speak of> 2. What, in your opinion, are the advantages of being a Marine Biologist? <Great, positive work. Nice people to associate with. For some folks, a lot of fun travel, challenges of improving the fields...> 3. If you could do it all over again, would you have chosen this field? Why? <Absolutely... am more of a "populist", than scientist, businessperson, hobbyist... A very good time dealing as a positive "go between" parties... Profitable enough to be in the "life business" (as opposed to the opposite or some zero-sum proposition)... enhancing people's love of their own lives through understanding of the world> 4. I heard that it is hard to get a job as a Marine Biologist because of the few job openings. Was it hard for you? <No, I made my own jobs... still do.> 5. What do you find the most satisfying part of this field? <Self discovery> 6. What are some related occupations to the field of Marine Biology? <In my (pet-fish) case, system design, fabrication, installation, maintenance... writing, photography (content provision)... There are many, many divisions in the field: geology, chemistry, physics, biology... with many sub-divisions (I could list hundreds... beneath these> 7. What do marine biologists make as a salary? <Ones in the public domain a few to several tens of thousands of dollars a year, plus the public's debt in health benefits, "entitled" retirement... Some of the folks in the service side make six figures while paying the public's wages...> 8. How did you first get interested in marine biology? <As a youngster growing up overseas (Japan, Philippines), no "real" jobs for dependents... so worked as quiet laborer in ornamental aquatics... cleaning, collecting...> 9. What do I need to do to become a marine biologist? <Drive, focus, goals (other personal traits), a broad education in the sciences, engineering... and some more specific highlighted interest... and fortune in finding others who will assist you... in finding, attending a good learning institution... Or, just an earnest belief in yourself, the purpose of your intent... and concentration on what it is you want to acheive...> 10. What do you do as a marine biologist? <Not a "do-er" of science as I say... I write stories, essays on underwater natural history, pet-fish (husbandry) issues, give pitches (scientific, industry, hobby) in the field. Help set up collecting stations. Take, distribute such content and images (photographs)... Help introduce parties, institutions to each other... Then it's dark outside again, and time to get some shut eye to get up and continue> 11. What types of problems do you encounter? <Mainly limitations which are part of the human experience... time, flight schedules..., government stupidity, ignorance, and worst, apathy...> 12. What type of actions do you take to solve those problems? <Personal discipline... doing something everyday for my health, improvement of mind, economic status, to make the world a better place, help others... Try to be flexible in terms of frailties of human experience... keep my "eyes on the prize"> 13. Does this profession require any traveling? <Considerable> 14. How have the duties of this job differed from what you had anticipated they would be?  <No... they are opportunities to my mind, spirit> 15. To what type of people would you recommend this profession? <Any who have the desires, personal ambition, and stick-to-it-ness... A wonderful life> 16. How demanding and stressful is this field of work? <Everyone (to me at least) seems to make their job out as the "hardest"... most, more stressful than others.... My work, life is effortless... a joy... almost all that I do is of my own volition> 17. What opportunities are there for advancement in the field of marine  biology? <In the public domain, not many... In industry working for others what you can fashion between yourself and the company's goals, work... In self-employment, whatever you make them> 18. Are there any fringe benefits involved in your work? <Tremendous... meeting so many fine people, touring the planet, the wonder of the biosphere... Knowing that you're "making a positive difference"...> 19. What happens during a day of a marine biologist's life? <For a pet-fish one, the usual "business of life stuff" (getting up, calls, letters, work in progress, new work... Cooking, cleaning what have you... Then for me (no day job now for several years), discoursing with friends, soon to be friends on the Internet, post, duking it out with hardware/software challenges... Some writing, scanning of images... Or off on or at trips (to Maldives next week, then Fiji, then Hawaii... back to southern Cal. for a couple of weeks then to the InterZoo trade show in Germany, dragging feet with friends diving, taking pix in the Red Sea for a week... and what sorts of activities... helping friends/associates put up their booths at the Izoo trade show, giving presentations to gov't officials in Fiji re the trade...> 20. Are there any humorous moments? <Neverending> Bob Fenner

All right! wow...such an extensive reference...I would have never imagined finding this amount info in one location. Thank you.  Everybody always asks you selfish questions about furthering their own systems, and I have to admit the first time i e-mailed you I really didn't expect to receive a reply, I'm curious about your reef system(s). Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge and help, Chris >> Hmm, at the house we have a few small (tens of gallons) systems for testing gear, temporarily holding livestock (Jeff Turner or ORA, Harbor Marine, was just here and gave us some nice tank-bred clowns and a few species of pseudochromids), and we have a 3k gallon (when it's up and going) facility/green house... for experimenting with propagation techniques (mostly soft and stony corals), curing out live rock... all non-commercial... Not much time here to have much else... sort of like my working philosophy with children... I enjoy other people's... traveling, talking with, visiting other hobbyists, businesses, instititutions... Bob Fenner

Book?? Can we buy an autographed copy of your book from you? K >> Hmm, the most recent one? We do have them here... physically (in the spare living room...) The Conscientious Marine Aquarist? Maybe contact the folks at ffexpress or Petstore.com, and ask if they have a mechanism for sending a copy down from San Fran. to San Diego... and over to you? Bob "the next bard of fishes" Fenner

Hi Bob, Thank you for responding. I had no idea that you personally responded to at least some of your mail. I appreciate it. Loved your book, by the way. Mike >> I personally respond to ALL my e-mail... between vacuuming, walking the dogs, cleaning... gotta go serve dinner (turkey pot pie tonight),  Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Is this really Bob Fenner?? Just kidding. You have answered ?'s for me in the past, and I just bought your book. LOVE IT. I am so glad to find someone in the field who also believes in being smart, informed and RESPONSIBLE! One question...under sources to purchase things etc, I noticed ffexpress was not mentioned. Why is that? Were they not around during that printing? Just curious. Thank you for answering my Manono rock ?'s and for recommending books...other than your own!! How admirable! Take care, Carolyn >> What a crack up! Thanks for writing... yes to your query re ffexpress... the bulk/all of CMA was finished in Dec. 95... took till later 98 to get into print... and ffexpress, I think, got going in 98... "ships passing in the temporal night" as it were... Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Thanks, Bob Mr. Fenner, I purchased your book a couple of months ago, and hardly have time to feed my fish, because I am absolutely engrossed in reading and rereading your excellent, informative, and entertaining handbook. Your narration is perfect, and it has greatly increased my participation in this hobby. I have found your advice incredibly sound. I started in this hobby about 7 months ago and have a 65 and 180 gal fish only tanks. I never even had a freshwater tank, but to the amazement of my friends and co-workers, I have not had any problems at all with either setup. In fact I can boast that I have never lost a fish at all to this point, except when I moved.  <What an endorsement!> I was amazed to find your association with ffexpress. I believe them to be a good supplier of healthy specimans. I have never inquired to them about collection methods, so my question is does ffexpress acquire or collect cyanide induced specimans? I sure hope not. All my livestock from them has arrived in incredible collection. <Never would John Caskie, or the other folks I've had occasion to meet "there" allow, or condone such nefarious, destructive, and self-defeating activity... And someone help whoever I find that does> Thanks again, Bob. May the fish set you free, and allow your mind to travel to the untainted, underwater paradise we all have the ability to capture in our homes. Justin Murphy >> Thank you for the kind acknowledgements... Yes to the chance/circumstances/coincidences to be at once informative, intutive, and helpful (in a bound volume type of way) to our interest. Your sentiment is exactly what guides and drives me on to do my best. Bob Fenner

So confused... Okey dokey. So I have been cycling some FFexpress Manono live rock for about a week and a half. Maybe the nitrification cycle is just not clear to me. My ammonia levels are now zero. I thought that was supposed to take weeks on end!! Does that mean it is okay to put into my established tank? Or will they spike again over time if more things die off. My husband is not a patient person and wants to just throw it all in-but I really think I am missing something--if my ammonia is low does that mean it is on to the next step--high nitrites? (I don't have a nitrite test kit-only ammonia, nitrates, calcium, ph and alkalinity) <Ah, glad to sense an intelligent mind at work... Do start checking for detectable nitrates... Yes, your tank, rock has cycled at least through ammonia... One of the many important benefits of using live rock... And you may have the nitrite bit to go through... but maybe not, and the nitrates presence will tell you...> One more thing-I cant say enough about your book-it is totally changing the way I thought about purchasing live stock. Thanks again, for taking the time P.S.-I would look this up on the archives at FF, but they are listed by date, not subject (unless I am again missing something!) and that takes forever!!! Take care, Carolyn >> Thank you for your kind words (very encouraging).... and the note re ffexpress' archives... I believe there are plans, actions afoot to not only add searchability, but maybe bring on the several thousand (amazing!) other non-posted (as yet) FAQs... and maybe more informational, inspirational input. Be chatting, Bob Fenner

English-French Translation Dear Mister Lawrence, First: I am happy to get such an honest and quick answer. Second : There is nothing to do, the things are like they are, one who do not try can't book any succes. Third : I became a philosopher with aging, your answer does not bother me because I knew the place could be token, and why not ? Fourth : Who knows, perhaps in the future if God allow me years to live, perhaps, I've said, will you remember me if I could provide any help. Last : I thank you and M. Fenner to be involved and I hope both of you will get enormous succes in the future. Many thanks, You know my email address if necessary. A salute from Belgium, Europe. Cheerio.Claude Declercq decler@skynet.be >> And thank you Msieu Claude, for your friendship and earnest offer. I do hope to make your acquaintance, and do good works with you in future. Your friend in fish, Robare Fenner Bob,

Are the Bob Fenner from The Conscientious Marine Aquarist? That book is what got me going, great book for beginners. Craig >> Same friendly-neighborhood-pet-fish ichthyologist, at your service. Bob Fenner

thank you Dear Dr. Fenner, I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for the help I have received directly and indirectly from you over the past eight months. Last June, my boyfriend and I accepted the challenge of setting up a 75-gallon saltwater reef, both of us having never kept aquariums before. Your book, "Concientious", was the first we bought, and has been the most instrumental in delivering accurate information in layman's terms that we were able to understand. In October, we broke up, and I considered selling the reef -- I never thought I could handle the daunting task of reefkeeping by myself! I don't think I could have if you had not been such a resource for me. I'm not sure whether or not you roll your eyes when you receive an email question from me (at least once a week!) -- perhaps you receive so many that you hadn't noticed -- but you always respond promptly and courteously. The closest saltwater fish store is about 40 minutes away from me, in Raleigh, and I make that trip at least once a week. I find the staff there moderately helpful in some areas of reefkeeping, but they are greatly underinformed in many areas. Anyway, I'm am absolutely in love with my reef -- a little piece of the ocean in my living room. I am in awe of the microcosm of ocean life, the natural cycles and processes that I barely contribute to and certainly do not control. I can sit for hours observing the life and the interactions therein, and become completely mesmerized with a deep peace and appreciation. It has been worth all the money, patience, research, etc. that it has taken.  Thank you, again, for your help. Today you sent me a link to www.wetwebmedia.com, and I found so many of the answers you have provided for me right there, so easily accessible! What a goldmine of information! Thus, in the future, I will seek my answers from the info you have provided there and email you only as a last resort. Your efforts and knowledge and dedication to the science of reefkeeping is truly appreciated. I am attaching a couple pictures of my reef, taken about a month ago -- I'm very proud! Again, thank you! Margaret Camp >> I am humbled by your praise, thank you.  Very nice images of a system of high health and balance... nice soft corals. 

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