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FAQs about Indonesian Biotopes

Related Articles: The Macro Paradise Which Is Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia: Short Version, Long Version,

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Reef Video, Raja Ampat     4/17/12
Bob and crew,
If you have time, watch this 52 minute video...interesting.
<Ah yes... have traveled, dived here abouts... lifetimes of experiences. B>

Biotope tank, Lembeh Strait, fdg. Ablabys 7/5/10
What's up?
I want to set up a Lembeh Strait biotope-type of tank with mainly Ablabys taenianotus, but some Pterapogon kauderni as well and maybe a bunch of a smaller fish that I've seen alongside the kaudernis. I haven't been able to find their ID, but they're yellow with a black&white striped head. Can you tell me a little about them and if they would make a good food source for the Waspfish?
<Are likely an Apogonid I've seen there as well, and yes as food, along w/ small Banggais. Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cardinal.htm
and the linked file in series... and on Fishbase for the family... "Show species" under the family listings. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bali/Guadalupe Mike: I would recommend a hotel in the Ubud area of Bali. The scenery is lovely, you will be close to many of the local artists, and centrally located for diving or sightseeing. We have stayed in the Jimbarian Bay, Sanur and Nusa Dua areas, and while the hotels were lovely (Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton), I felt removed from the culture and people. It looked like you asked for quiet properties from the previous emails, and you will get that with the ones recommended. The properties themselves will be heaven. Tripadvisor is a web site that has current reviews of properties all around the world. This might give you additional input as to the condition of the properties (deferred maint?) You may want to try the Amari Hotel Ubud for a luxury experience. As for dive operators, we usually dive with whoever is connected to the hotel. It makes the transport easier. Candidasa and Lovinia are the two main diving areas for Bali. There is an island off Bali that is popular, too for mantas (I think). It depends on the season. Hope this helps. Diana Fenner

Re: Wakatobi et al. 4/15/07 Hi Bob, <Hello Dennis!> Sorry about long delay in coming back to you. We have been extremely busy, I am rewriting FishWise from scratch, <Yeeikes!> talking to people about a web site and still busy sorting out the 15000 + pictures we took in Bali and Wakatobi. <I know how much time/effort this involves...> I have also been doing a lot of work on the data in FishWise and am working closely with Bill Eschmeyer at the California Academy of Sciences. We have also been having lots of hassles with water diviners and boreholes. We just finished our 3rd New Borehole yesterday. We went to 200 meters and only got 500 gallons an hour. Because we have a fairly large garden <! More than 12k gallons per day!?> we desperately need a good source of water and our old borehole is struggling to run 1 sprinkler where in the past we used to run 12 to 16 sprinklers. Ok excuses are now over. <Heeeeee!> As mentioned before we are going to Sodwana next month from May 18th to June 1st. (Phil and Elaine Heemstra will be joining us over this period). If you would like to meet Phil this would be a good opportunity. <I would, yes> I know this is very late notice but we would really like it if you and Diana could join us. Hoping you can manage, Best Wishes Dennis & Sally <Thank you for this invitation. Am out in HI presently and Di is traveling in C. America... am cc'ing her here in hopes of a speedy response. Cheers, Bob Fenner> ------------------------------------ FishWise cc Dennis Polack Re: Wakatobi et al. Hi Bob, Great, let's hold thumbs <Hope to be diving, making pix with you and your wife soon! BobF> Cheers Dennis Fish DataBase Manager dennis@fishwise.cc P O Box 518 HALFWAY HOUSE 1685 South Africa tel: +27-11-314-1161 fax: +27-11-314-5558 mobile: 082-338-5206

N. Sulawesi dive/travel - 04/04/2007 Hello there, Well, another change of plans. My buddy Scott and I are going to N. Sulawesi at the end of June instead of Belize. Just seems far more exciting with more diving for the same price. <Good idea... the deal you sent along was not...> Here's my question, o experienced dive travelers: We're splitting the time between KBR in the Lembeh strait and the Bunaken Marine Park on the other side. <Is what I generally advise> Muck diving vs. "lush" diving. I have an idea what the muck is all about but never done it. The caution someone gave is that it may not be my bag, baby. <Actually... knowing what I know about you, it will be a blast! There's MUCH to see there... and GREAT guides... almost like super hound dogs...> With 7 days of diving, do the muck first and have the "sure thing" of the lush stuff after, or do the lush first and chance it on the muck at the end? <I'd do the Bunaken side first... Are you staying on the Island? At Froggies? Or on the mainland... Tasik Ria? If this latter, the folks there can arrange a good package deal for you at KBR as well> The benefit of doing the lush first is to avoid a 2 1/2 hour van ride after all the flying, vs. a 45 minute ride to the Bunaken side. <Agreed... and more importantly... the quality of the experience at the Lembeh resorts is MUCH higher... as you'll see... Smaller groups of folks on the boats, at the resort... better service... Better to save that "enhanced" experience for later...> Any thoughts/opinions/general rants would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Phil P.S. It'd be a hoot to have you along :-) <Please do send the dates, itinerary along... I would go if there's time. Cheers, BobF>

North Sulawesi - 03/18/2006 Hi Bob, How are you my friend? Have you been on any trips lately? <Always... am out in HI presently> Amy and I decided we better wait until things settle down in Eritrea before we take that trip. So, now we are thinking about going to North Sulawesi. Of course, you were the first I thought of when it comes to diving there. <Was just there a couple months back... At Tasik Ria on the Bunaken side and on the new/old Aggressor Fleet boat moved down from Truk...> Ultimately, we'd like to find a place similar to Sipadan/Mabul, with "normal" and muck diving close to each other. <Ah, yes... no big schools of fishes like Sipadan there though> Do you have any suggestions where to stay? Amy has been looking at various different places, most of them around Bunaken. I'd think Lembeh is mostly muck diving, correct? What about staying at Banka or Gangga and taking trips to Lembeh or Bunaken? <Mmm, do you have much time? I would spend time on both sides of N.E. Sulawesi... Stay at KBR if money isn't too dear, and one of many choices on the W. side> Sorry for all the questions but I told Amy a while ago how much I admire your travel experience. now it's time for me to come up with some ideas. :-) Hope all is well. Talk to you soon, Gary PS: If you have any other secret places other than Sulawesi, please let me know. :-) <A lifetimes worth... Let's chat further re Sulawesi... how much time do you have there? Is money a consideration? BobF> Martein from Tasik Ria 12/21/05 Hello Bob, <Hey Martein!> Luckily I remembered the WetWebMedia URL, because your business card ended up in the washing machine at home... <Heeee!> How are you doing, back in San Diego? <Ahh, am now visiting my mum-in-law with Di down in Florida> I am @ home for a week now and the Bintang seems already a long time ago. <Too long!> The last 2 days of my stay over there where very quiet, just 3 divers on the boat including myself . I had one of the better dives of the entire trip on my last day. Lots of current on Lekuan 2 with many big fish including a whitetip catching a blue spotted ray! <Neat!> I have tried to convince Steve Prior to make a day dive trip to Bankha island, but he said that the weather was rather bad over there as he contacted the Aggressor boat about the conditions. Makes me wonder how you and Diane survived that liveaboard... <We enjoyed it... only two days out at Bankha... the rest inside and outside of Lembah... They (Aggressor) really need to investigate and go more to the north... as the land-based resorts in the Strait are even easier to get to the other sites...> Weather conditions in Holland have been miserable since I am back. Wet snow, rain, wind, but I started training again. So I am running after work in the dark with a torch, to get fit for the upcoming skiing in the alps in January. <A different set of muscles, exercise than diving and running for sure> Wishing you all the best for the upcoming new year, best regards, Martein <And again, my/our offer to have you come out to Hawaii anytime... we're going, likely again to the Red Sea, in later May... if you can make it then. Some pix, info. re the HI house here: http://wetwebmedia.com/holualoaproperty.htm Cheers, Bob Fenner> Aqua One's trip Destination Dear all, <Hey Nus!> Hi I am Nus, if you still remember me. I used to work for the famous resort in the world, Kungkungan Bay Resort for about almost 8 years. On this resort too I met Larry Smith, and some of the professional photographers. Larry is the one who trained us, how to find things and how to take care of the customer s above water and especially underwater. I still remember what he always said to us; "Taking care of guests under water is more important then find things". I always remember this. I and all my friends still missed him a lot!! We wish we could work together again like before. I also still missed KBR, missed my friends there, and especially missed diving in Lembeh Strait Now I am working for Aqua One liveabroad in Phuket Thailand for almost 1 year. The boat is great, the staff is very good, and the food is absolutely delicious. Only a couple of month in Phuket my weight went up badly. I was 100 KG weights!! But now I am trying to reduce it if I CAN&&.. <Phuket is a nice area... especially to the north (Similans...), but very different than Lembeh> I just came back from Komodo Island. My boat operated there for about 3 months. The diving there is different, especially the water temperature. On North is warm, so no big deal. But South of Komodo and South Of Rinca is very cold. Last trip to Manta Alley (South Komodo) was the coldest water we ever had. It was 69oF - 70oF very very cold. <Hee hee! That's actually about the warmest it gets here off of Southern California> But I admitted that the diving is great. Manta ray often seen, white tip sharks, and we spotted 1 Sun Fish in Manta Alley, a lots of turtle, Napoleon Wrasse, and also small thing found like Ghost pipefish, Clown Frogfish, Zebra Crab, Coleman Shrimp, Many nudibranch that never seen before, also Harlequin shrimp, Giant Frogfish and many more that I couldn't tell what they are&..it's great. The current is unpredictable, even use the tide chart. There is a dive site call Current City. It's an exposed rock. Current, you can only dive on the other side of the rock, don't go outside otherwise you'll meet" EDDY", it's up down Current. There was a guests that want to try to go in it, so I went with her&..it was danger. the current start push us down from 40 feet to 70 feet, and push us up from 70 feet to 40 feet, you can imagine the way your computer behave&we keep following the water movement until it took us to the place where no current, there we do safety stop. Come up, we were 2 miles from the dive site, the dinghy already waiting for us. First experience and will be my last. I don't want to go to EDDY anymore. <Yikes> It was my first time around Komodo island and I impressed, I like to come back there again with you&&&&&.. <Maybe> Later this year (December) we will going to Andaman Island, India to see salt water crocodile and swimming elephant. And Next year (Last June to Beginning of September 2005) we are going to MY HOME, LEMBEH STRAIT . We are going to operate around Lembeh strait, Bangka and Gangga Island (NO BUNAKEN). So is good for both small stuff and big stuff. <Yes> Dive guide, at the moment I have Ali Teman With me (the cephalopod man) and I am planning to have Wilson too, since he freelance. So You won't be disappoint and I promise you if you join us I make sure you'll have a good time. Interested? Book now&.and lets dive together again. Don't miss it! Please reply this if you interested or not. <Please do keep me/us informed> Contact me first before you book, I might be able to give you small discount for you as my friend. Thank you for you all and please reply. Regards Nus <Hope to be diving with you soon. Bob Fenner>

Bali aquacultured corals in aquarium trade? any insights you can share Bob? <Mmm, I know Daniel Knop has been working on a farm on an island north of Java for a while. Am sending your note to him and Anthony Calfo here for input. Bob Fenner> Chris Fanning SCMAS Member since 2000 Hello. I am a reef aquarist and also a federal resource manager in the tuna industry arena. I frequent various reef aquarist discussion forums and currently there is some heated debate about the true nature, source and operations for aquacultured coral farms. for example: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=410929 Specifically, some of the brightly colored specimens from Bali have been commanding premium prices in the hobby and some hobbyists suspect purposeful mis-representation to get higher prices. Are you aware of any publicly available information about coral farming ventures in Indonesia and the Pacific in general? It would be greatly appreciated if you could direct me somewhere to gain more knowledge of this recently developed aquarium industry niche. Chris Fanning Garden Grove, CA

Trip to Lembah Sulawesi Hi Bob - found your site on Google as I have a client wanting to go from Australia (he will be there in mid September through to mid October) to do muck diving in Lembeh. Can you tell me anything, like how he gets there from Australia?? HELP! Anything you can tell me would be appreciated. <Transit? Most always through Singapore, though your client might go through Bali, then Manado... if staying at one of the larger, more-established resorts like KBR they will pick him up at the airport and drive him over the hill. Bob Fenner> Regards H

Sulawesi Hi Bob, <Hey Stacey> You recently came to the bay area for a book signing and gave a talk on Sulawesi at the BARE meeting. I will be diving there this summer and I was wondering, being that it is a remote island, how safe is the area? Or how safe is Indonesia in general? Thanks for your time. Regards, Stacey <IMO/E very safe... mostly a very Christian/peaceful part of Indonesia. There are travel directories and many bulletins due to its vast size (73,000 square miles) many people, importance economically... including tourism... on the Net. Bob Fenner>

Please correct this site Hi Bob, <Hi Daniel... did we meet last month at the DEMA show in Miami?> My name is Daniel Gondo. I'm the director of Tasik Ria Resort. I've come across your website with all the e-mails correspondence that you have. Can you please have a look at it and corrected? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/indo7,8_02.htm Indo7,8/03 ... Di From: "Eco Divers Manado & Tasik Ria resort" <info@tasikria.com> Reply-To: <info@tasikria.com> To: <dilagg@hotmail.com> CC: "'copy Tasik Ria'" <copy@tasikria ... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/indo7,8_02.htm cached Thank you. Daniel <Will do. Am given to understand Henrik may be moving to our town (San Diego) soon. Be seeing you. Bob Fenner, just back from the Marquesas>

#reefs Presentation Inquiry Bob, Could you give me more information on the Macro Paradise topic that you mentioned below. It sounds interesting. :) <Oh, an article, pitch am compiling against photos from the region (along the Wallace Line)... a good deal of macro (close-up) inverts and the most anywhere of some of the more bizarre groups of fishes of interest to aquarists (Ghost Pipefishes, Anglers, Pygmy Seahorses...)> BTW, I talked to a couple of the guys and using a PowerPoint presentation is definitely do-able. We'd require the PowerPoint ahead of time as we would need to save it to HTML and upload it to our server, but other than that it should be a piece of cake. :) <Will try to get to, finish up. Bob F> Shane Admin, Reefs.org

Re: #reefs Presentation Inquiry "Oh, an article, pitch am compiling against photos from the region (along the Wallace Line)... a good deal of macro (close-up) inverts and the most anywhere of some of the more bizarre groups of fishes of interest to aquarists (Ghost Pipefishes, Anglers, Pygmy Seahorses...)" Sounds like a great idea! Let's go with that subject. :) <Okay> BTW, I talked to a couple of the guys and using a PowerPoint presentation is definitely do-able. We'd require the PowerPoint ahead of time as we would need to save it to HTML and upload it to our server, but other than that it should be a piece of cake. :) <Will try to get to, finish up. Bob F> Would you like me to re-contact you in a week as a reminder? I know you're a busy man. :) <Yes. Please! Bob F> Shane

Greetings from Germany Dear Bob! <Hello Monika (and Rosa!)> Hope you two had a nice stay at KBR! Did you see some more interesting critters - and what about the blue ringed octopus :-) ? <Keun/Kevin (from S. Korea) is the only one who saw one!> How did you like the Bunaken National Park and your resort over there? <Much nicer... warmer, clearer, like your stay at Tasik Ria... the food at Froggies, "Indonesian showers"... no thanks.> We are very much interested in a trip to the Baja California, please let me know if you are planning a group tour to this place. <We will plan a trip when it is convenient to you (not the mid-summer, too hot). Please keep in touch re your plans, and we'll get a group together. I will add you to my "diving friends" e-mail lists> Probably we will spend one week in Marsa Alam (Egypt) this winter. <Great, very nice> (The weather is not the best in Frankfurt at the moment, very cold and windy so I am really looking forward to another short holiday) Surely you have heard about the terrible bombings in Bali and Manado, hopefully they find the ones who planned this! <Not the one in Manado! The news has not carried this... but Bali... very sad, shocking...> Best regards Monika and Roswitha

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