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FAQs about the Garibaldi

Related Articles: Garibaldi,

Related FAQs: Damsel Identification, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel DiseaseDamsel Reproduction

A couple of "pale gold warriors" off of San Diego, California, USA.

Garibaldi Damsel... sel., sys.  1/31/09 Hi Crew, <Kirk,> I read Bob's write up about the Garibaldi when I thought it might be an interesting fish for my 240. <If it has a chiller, then perhaps, though it's a big, pugnacious fish best suited to public aquaria.> My primary concern is temperature, my tank is typically in the upper 70's and even hits the low 80's during the Summer. <Too warm.> Mark Martin and Blue Zoo Aquatics (my retailer of choice) list their Garibaldi as coming from Central America, would this make them a better choice in a warmer tank? <Nope; provenance isn't the issue, and latitude is downright misleading. These fish are endemic to the cold California Current, primarily the kelp forests of Southern California and the Baja peninsula; also the Channel Islands.> I think my tankmates would be fine with this pugnacious fish (Sohal is in charge, Asfur Angel, Sunset Wrasse, Redtooth and Sargassum Trigs could probably hold their own, all fairly young). <None of these will enjoy coldwater conditions.> Just curious if you felt I could get one to adapt to my system? <No. Appreciate Hypsypops rubicunda for what it is, a coldwater Damselfish, and house appropriately.> Thanks, Kirk <Cheers, Neale.> <<Well done Neale. RMF>>

Scientific name meaning for Garibaldi Hello my name is Edith and I really enjoyed your Garibaldi website. I am having trouble finding the meaning for the first part of the binomial name (Hypsypops). I was wondering if you could help me find the definition or translation? Thank you. <"Hypsypops rubicundus"; from the Greek word Hypsypops (high area below the eye) and the Latin word rubicunda (red).  Bob Fenner> Garibaldi Info Hi Bob.  I was inquiring to see if you have any more extensive articles or studies done on Garibaldis. I've had a Garibaldi for about two years now and the articles on WetWebMedia have been a great help.  I would eventually like to set up a large biotype system replicating its natural habitat.  Any information you could pass along would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Regards, Tony Tognetti <Nothing new in print... but a suggestion that you write up a "new" piece and I'll help you get it in print in the hobbyist literature for all's use, edification. This large damsel is a real beauty and an intelligent, always curious captive for folks with large (hundreds of gallons) cool/coldwater systems. Bob Fenner>

Garibaldi Damsel Dear WWM, Thanks for everything in the past. I watch your site daily just for new Q&A.  My question is a new fish I acquired this week. I was able to find Garibaldi damsel at one of the LFS. <Yes... the ban in Mexico (on livestock collection, export) was lifted a couple years back... but the Garibaldi is still protected in its "alta" (U.S.) California rest of range> I have the luxury of five with in 45 min of the house. I went to the site and read what I could about the damsel. I had already read several articles since I started the hobby 2-3 years ago. I Already have a tank that was set up 2 1/2 years now that has a built in chiller (125 gallon) My question is the damsel I got is 5 in now, Would I be O.K. to try and get two more smaller Garibaldi (3 in ) One of the other LFS's has two smaller ones in their show tank. <Unfortunately too likely to be problematical. This species establishes lek territories mainly determined and maintained by visual cues... which are in turn dependent on water clarity, physical break-up (rock, kelp...), water movement... A 125 isn't space enough for the smaller ones to "get away"> It might cost me now but I believe if I could have just these 3 damsels I could be serve any other fish from the cooler temps. I read that they would fight and pick , but if they were all three added small and in 125 gallon by themselves would I have a good chance of success. I don't want them to stress or die from my playing (guessing) But I do fill the LFS has chilled down a fish only tank just for their two damsels and the other fish (Tangs, and Angels mostly ) are suffering from the cooler water. <! I would not keep tropicals in with Hypsypops... there are some sub-tropical species... like the Scythe and Barbero Butterflyfishes, King, Cortez, Clarion Angels... and many invertebrates that are much more appropriate> I could try and convince them it's not worth the risk and I could get both and we all could be happy if it could work. I also have a 6 in Queen Angel, Could it do O.K. in 60-65 degree temps or should I look to move it out also? <The tropicals and temperate (cool water) fishes must be separated to do well at all> Do I take the risk of putting it in my 160 gallon reef? <No> Sorry for all the questions but your service is always so good I figure you could help. Thank you sooo much, David Miller <You're seemingly faced with either looking for a larger system (at least 240 gallons) to place more than one Garibaldi in, looking for other cool water species to go with the one you have in the 125, but at least separating the tropical and non-tropical species. Bob Fenner>

Information about Garibaldis Dear Mr. Fenner, <<I'm afraid Bob is away diving, JasonC here to help...>> I really enjoyed your articles on the Garibaldi and coldwater marine aquariums on the WetWebMedia website. I have a 135 gal. marine aquarium with two top smelt and 6 American Shad and an average temperature of 66 degrees. <<pardon the pun, but... very cool ;-) >> I would love to have a juvenile Garibaldi but I can't find any for sale on the web. Your article mentioned that you saw them for sale at $20-$40 each. Could you tell me where I could buy one? <<I would check with Marine Center who's one of WWM sponsors. I have personally used them before to place a Majestic Angel that is just fantastic as were they - good people and they specialize in rare fish. You should give them a call.>> One more question, do you know if anybody makes artificial giant kelp (Macrocystis) for the aquarium? It would go great with the Garibaldi. Thank you for any info you can provide. <<I don't but you might try a google search for said item.>> Gordon Miller <<Cheers, J -- >>

Bingo! Thanks Jason for the info on marine center. They do have juvenile Garibaldi! I'm stoked! <<Me too, that's great news. Good luck with the Garibaldi.>> Gordon <<Cheers, J -- >>

GARIBALDI TEMP & MINIATUS PIC Hey I recently wrote u about my garibaldi tank that I was keeping at 75 degrees F. In the Burgess Atlas it says optimal temp for garibaldi is 74F.  <If you take a look through this Atlas... you will see ALL fishes are listed at this temperature... idiocy. Have lived off southern California since the late sixties... It's never been 74 F at the surface even...> My lfs dealer just told me garibaldi come from santa cruz where the ocean temp is usually 65F in summer to 55F in winter <This is about right> and he said the garibaldi will die in a few months being subjected to the higher temps. Is this true? <Generally yes> I want them to live and grow out into adults. Should I consider a chiller and keep them at 65F-?. <If you want these Hypsypops to be healthy, yes> They look fine, no signs of disease, awesome coloration, feeding well, normal mannerisms. <For now my friend... Their biochemistry dictates a "cooling" time... sort of like persimmons, apples, pomegranates... if you're familiar with these plants> I know that catalina gobies come from the same area, and I've read they do okay at tropical temps. What is the real story here? <Their health is impugned as well> What is the effect of a cooler water fish being exposed to and living in temps higher than they naturally would? Stress on internal organs? or just premature death? <Don't know specifics... but yes to premature death from whatever causes> Thanks again for any info and here is a pic i took of my miniatus grouper, he is a show specimen! <Yes, very good red coloring!> hehe...i used 400 speed slide film, there was barely enough light, but it came out pretty good, just a little blurry. <Keep shooting, and studying. Bob Fenner>

Fauchea sp algae and Garibaldi Info Hi Mr. Fenner, <Howdy> I basically have two questions. The first is do u know of any suppliers who ever have the fauchea sp red algae? <In stock? No... but with a few key-stroke inquiries of the folks who handle live macro-algae you can find out if any of them carry this genus> I was lucky enough to have this come in on a piece of live rock in a previous tank, it is so kelp-like, it is soft and slimy and flows in the currents, one of a kind, and it grows and grows, had to trim it each week, i never thought i'd fall in love with algae like I did that stuff. I want some more but can't ever find it. Lfs usually have green ulva, caulerpas and red grape algaes, don't see anything else. Also, I have two juvenile garibaldi damsels in there own tank, they sure fetch a hefty price for a damsel, $50 each, do u know why, (if any other reason than the fact they are the protected CA state fish). <This, the costs of collecting them out of the other half of their range (Hypsypops also come out of Baja California, thankfully. The folks there are not as backward as the Alta Cal.)> I want to keep them and let them grow out to their big oscar like size. Ever heard of spawning garibaldi's in the aquarium other than in public aquariums?  <Mmm, no... and did work up a bibliography on the species years back (have same in print, not computer, if you'd like me to send along a copy). Our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/garibald.htm> (I'm hoping I have a female and male, but I read there is no outward way to tell.) I'm assuming they were caught in a more southern tropical area down the california coast, but i'm keeping their temp at 75F. Anyway, lotsa of fauchea reds would make their tank more like a kelp forest. Any recommendations for any other kelp like macro algaes?  <Most any that will live in the temperature, other conditions you're making will do> How about a piece of the real giant kelp off of CA? :) (I'm assuming it wouldn't do well in the aquarium, hehe) <Very hard to grow in aquariums... need colder water, nutrients...> but, two feet of growth a day sounds like a really efficient protein skimmer to me! hee hee. I have a feeling i'm gonna have to get fake kelp :(. Okay, I'm done, thanks for any info, Dennis <Ah> PS personal question, what is the highest number of aquariums you have ever had in your home at any one time? :) <As a mere youth, a couple of dozen (in the sixties), but nothing real big... like an eighty gallon marine. But our old businesses had several hundred in one building for holding, breeding, shipping... and we did fabricate, install marine systems of thousands of gallons, and have worked on ones of hundreds of thousands, consulted, installed mechanicals and controllers on ones of millions of gallons...> I have 3, one with big marine fish/live rock, I love my miniatus grouper, he's so beautiful, and is growing so fast. <A gorgeous species> The other with smaller saltwater, royal gramma, jewel damsel, tomato clown, etc/live rock and of course my new garibaldi tank. <A worthy project. Have combed their nests, raised the young, had some trials with their nematode parasite fauna off of San Diego... Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Back when I used to actually "do" the work. A fontana with Reed! (re daily wallpaper e-mail-out pic) Hi Bob, No, I never saw my input into TFH regarding the Garibaldi, although Mary Sweeney did contact me and said they would update their readers. I did give her Ca Fish and Games' ph number just to be sure of the laws. <Ah, good idea... still restricted in California Alta as far as I know...> So, garibaldi are legally collected in Mexico and shipped around the world? <Yep, saw some at TMC/UK two Xmas' back... only found off the two Calif.s...> If you have a copy of my input I would love to see it. <Mmm, can copy the mag part. Where to send? Bob F> Thanks! Fernando >Nice work! >Fernando ><Thanks Fernando... did I send you input re your TFH bit on >Hypsypops? That pesky local demoseille is being collected in Baja, >shipped around the world. Bob F> >Fernando Nosratpour >Senior Aquarist >Birch Aquarium at Scripps

garibaldi Hello Mr. Fenner, I have a question about the garibaldi. I have a beautiful 3 inch specimen in my 70 gallon FOWLR. I maintain my tank temp. at 77. Is this harmful to it or will it lose its color?  <Somewhat harmful over time... color loss is linked to overall stress, including thermal... but more directly influenced by nutrition...> I am feeding it frozen angel formula and frozen brine shrimp plus.  <Good choices, but would expand this selection to include live rock, sponge material directly> Another question is there a way to set up a sort of kelp forest in a tank? I would like to try to simulate its natural environment. Thank you. Sam <Yes! Have just read/reviewed David Powell's biographical work in which he describes the set-up of much of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, mentions other folks progress with kelp keeping... can be done. Live macro-algae in the size, temperature system you have of the species available to the trade is a very real/good possibility... for providing food and improving water quality. Bob Fenner>

Garibaldis Hello Bob. I have been thinking about getting a Gariabaldi. I have not found too much information about them except that they are a cool water Damsel that live in kelp beds and grow to about 15 inches. My question is what temperature is considered to be cool water? Also would it require a specialized diet? Thankyou for your help. >> Thanks for asking... and strangely enough, I saw some of these (Hypsypops rubicunda) Californias (U.S. and Mexico's Baja, just a couple of weeks ago in the... UK! They've been unavailable here for a few years due to (I'll say it) STUPID law... Protected for??? There are many of these "Pale Warriors" with no room for juveniles... anyhow, I did a lot of look-seeing at this species of Jumbo Damsel back a couple decades (my articles on its husbandry, bibliography... at www.wetwebmedia.com), and can assure you they are good, rough and tumble aquarium stock.  Cool/cold water in their case means fifty to sixties degrees Fahrenheit... Ones collected more southerly... in warm seasons can be kept in the seventies, but are not happy/healthy there permanently. Bob Fenner

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