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FAQs About Fishwatching/Travel Adventures

Related: Index of Fishwatcher's Guides, Adventure Travel, Diving, The Traveling Aquarist: How Snorkeling Culebra, Puerto Rico, Reminded Me to be a Responsible Hobbyist...  By Leah Frances Wade,

Cirrhilabrus labouti. Have you seen me at home?

Re: Hawaiian Aquarium Fish Collecting Ban       10/26/17
Good ideas Bob… check out the footage I got in Thailand free diving with the SCUBA Divers ;-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynJQ2HF4nhU <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynJQ2HF4nhU >
In Gratitude,
Sky Kubby
<Ahh; very nice. Like the change ups on editing, transitions, and choices in music. B>

Tourism in Australia
These were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the Website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV. How do the plants grow? ( UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? ( USA )
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not ... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q:Which direction is North in Australia? (USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? ( UK )
A:Why? Just use your fingers like we do...

Q:Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is'¦.oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q:Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q:Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q:I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

Re: Website links, Aussie biers  3/24/09
Thanks heaps for the quick response gents...much appreciated.
Leon (Brisbane)
PS: Bob F...VB is for that strange breed of quasi-Australians who live in the southern states.
<Oh yes>
Us Queenslanders (who are raised on XXXX and Tooheys) don't have much to do with them. Probably cos that way we don't ever have to admit that their weather, beer, cities and football teams may actually be a lot better than
ours :)
<Have been to Brisbane, a bit south to the Gold Coast, and up to and around Gladstone all the way to Cairns... I do like the regional Bier selection (and the B rum drinks in cans to go!)... Cheers, BobF> 

Re: diving recommendations?  2/4/08 Hi Bob, <James> Thanks for your reply, and your offer of advice. Sorry I took so long to reply myself, been a little hectic lately. We have settled on the Red Sea for this year (August) <Ahh, we're still headed back there this May> but I would love to hear of your experiences with diving the Seychelles and Maldives. <Mmmm, am away from my files... out in HI till 2/19... But have gone over and over through the years whether to have set out on a path to make a "pet fish" website (WWM) or to have focused on a dive-travel-adventure one... likely the latter would have been a commercial success... But, a problem that hankered faces me in our communication here... that is, the datedness of travelogue material... Folks selling, moving, businesses folding... Anyway> As for requirements, animals etc, I'm not really that fussy - the more varied the experiences I can have the better. I do have a fondness for interesting topography, gullies, overhangs etc though, and generally am more interested in invertebrate life than fish. I must confess that the one thing that attracts me to the Maldives is the possibility of diving from shore (I have a truly spectacular ability to become seasick and the more I can avoid boats the better)! Seasickness is not the only reason I like shore diving though, the whole affair just seems to be more relaxed, and being able to dive without a guide and group I can do my own thing and take my time with the photography without having to keep up with a group. Diving in South Africa is usually "drift diving" with a dive master leading, and all too often it seems like they want to cover as much reef as possible, missing out on a lot of the more cryptic animals in the process. I have found that spending an entire dive in one small interesting area is much more satisfying, not to mention less strenuous! <There are places for this in the Maldives... make sure you seek out a place with a good "house reef"... Some resorts/islands they are lacking> Destinations like Seychelles do provide more in the way of land based activities of course, as opposed to the dive-centric Maldives, and I would like your opinion on the diving there as well. I think we will probably visit Zanzibar next year, but more as a family vacation that a dive trip. <Neat!> Well, thanks again for your offer of help, looking forward to hearing from you Cheers James <Be chatting, and diving! BobF>

King of aquarium on the word   4/22/07 hi bob may name is Amin .I have saltwater aquarium shop in Tehran .thanks for your help . I little speak English sorry sorry. bye <Good to meet you Amin... May I ask, is there much saltwater aquarium interest in Iran? Are there service companies that take care of saltwater systems in restaurants, doctors offices? Is there a public aquarium in Tehran? Bob Fenner>

RX Gun... Our reefer in Sing.  2/28/07 Hey pal, really nice talking to you and sharing what I know with you. <Ahh, yes> I really hope I can contribute more to those people out there who share the same interests with me or us. <Indeed, you are> I am from Singapore and know much about marine life in the Asian regions. I bet that you all do receive goods from here and must be considered expensive there to buy imported goods. <Some are more, many are less expensive... depending on where made/collected...> Some of the marine life you can get from Asia might be limited in quantity too. Just like here we don't get much stuff from USA too. <This is so> Such a pity and I do hope to get some marine life from Hawaii too. Can I be a crew of your team too? <Mmm, yes... would you tell me/us a bit about your background, which areas of expertise you feel comfortable responding to? Do you have samples of your writing we might look over? A brief resume?> I can help to cover topics regarding marine creatures from the Asia regions because I have been keeping them for years and have seen almost every available marine life available for sale in this region. <Ahh!> And I can help the people in USA or other countries to find out prices and stuffs in this region. Make it international and it benefits everyone out there. <I agree... and am sure you won't be surprised to read that a few of us that make up the WWM Crew are not in the U.S.> I am suggesting it not in favor of any monetary or any benefits for myself. I just want to contribute and share what I know with people out there. <Ahh! I do understand this> Sharing is great. Or maybe if you want, I can help you to write an article or two. Nice to meet you and know we can know from each other. <We invite, and pay for such submissions if accepted> And one more thing, I got something special here from a local LFS. It's called Eliderine. I have search for many places and cannot find anything regarding it. <Me neither> The spelling must be correct because it's written on the bottle. Okay. The effect of it is that it can cure disease like white-spot and other bacterial diseases. The person, who introduces it to me, has been using it from 30 years and this product comes from Germany. I have tried it and it is really effective and yet the corals and other inverts didn't display any stress or strong reaction. Just want to know if you have heard it before. Or maybe you can check it up to see if you can get it in your region. It would benefit everyone out there who is looking for a cure for ICH and other bacterial diseases. And it will be an interesting topic to research on. Who knows maybe we can find something new and interesting out of it? ? <Would be of tremendous value if efficacious... that is, if it works effectively, and is relatively non-toxic. Was there an "insert" with this product? Some notion of what the ingredients are? Bob Fenner>

RX Gun, Sing. Reefer, WWM Crewmember?    3/1/07 Hi Bob, thanks for your replies. And let me introduce myself. I have just graduated from college and right now in the army. In my country, all men must serve a compulsory of 3 years army. <I too was drafted... and do earnestly desire that our country (the U.S.) "bring back" compulsory service... "The law is not the law unless it applies to all citizens"... "If one drinks, they alllllll drink"... or such> And now I am in my final year. I love the nature very much since I was young, influenced by my grandfather. I love the scene of running barefooted across the beach full of tiny crabs. And when I was young, I was given a horseshoe crab from my grandfather. It's huge and looked alien to me at that time. I was so amazed by it. We used to gather oysters and mussels from the rocks, and often that will become our dinner. Sometimes I feel that I belonged to the sea. Because I start rearing my own fish when I am five. And at the same time, I was also learning how to fish. I have been fishing, rearing fish and doing other marine-related stuffs since I was young. But I too start from freshwater fish. From normal fish to Arowana, I have kept many kinds of fish. But right now my main focus is on marine and reef. The beauty of the reef tank bedazzled me. I started out with a FOWLR tank because I love to keep unique and strange creatures. I have kept things like jellyfish, pipefish, shark, stonefish, seahorse, anglerfish, angelfish, flame scallops, anemones, decorator spider crab and other marine lives. And I am a very stubborn yet bold person, I normally do not believe in what other people said until I see it with my own eyes. So that's how I build up my experiences by witnessing everything happening in front of me, haha. Because I feel that marine creatures are just like human. You cannot say that seahorses are peaceful just because of their biological structure and feeding habits. You need to observe them and when you do, you soon realized they are individuals just like us. Each of them has their own character and personality. If they are all the same, then we are just keep robots. That's something a lot of hobbyist missed out when they asked question on marine creatures. They forget that they may keep the same type of fish but they are actually different in nature. Unfortunately I don't have any writings right now because I normally share what I know with people outside. Normally it will be through conversations. And I always share and learn from LFS because some of them have their own folk remedy and I know a lot of secrets from them, things which you can't learn online. <Mmm... though... this is the medium of exchange we are using now... and will be using for some time... Are you comfortable expressing yourself in writing? In English?> Right now I am keeping a reef tank and I am trying out coral propagation. But It isn't that easy because if you do the wrong way, you can kill the coral and end up forsaking the quality of water. Sometimes I do feel that I am actually not rearing corals or fish, but I am actually "rearing water". It sounds ridiculous but it's so true. Now that you think of it, it's so true that we are actually not just a normal fish or reef hobbyist but also a water chemist. I love to answer questions covering topics, which are related to Asia marine, as the main priority. As I am an experimental hobbyist, I also love to answer any questions regarding marine fishes like triggerfish. Basically anything regarding marine fishes. ? I will do my best to share my knowledge and what I observe and witness over the years with everyone. I just simply love mother's nature and love to share.  Sharing is a great thing when I see everyone benefiting after listening to my advices. So I really hope to join your family. And right now, I am planning of setting up another FOWLR tank, in order to keep more fishes and experiment with other species. But there are still some marine lives that are hard for me to find. I never manage to get a saltwater Ray, squid, octopus, marine catfish, and barracuda here before so please don't ask me to answer any of these. <We "pick" out what each of us feels we can/will do a good job w/ responding. If I/we don't know something, we either leave this to someone else or admit that we don't know> I really hope to try them out too but they are hard to find in LFS or farm in my region. My future plan is to do a write up on jellyfish. I have kept a species of jellyfish, which is non-venomous and they comes in blue or white color. <Mmm, no... not yet. A friend, Jim Stime, makes/sells "JelliQuarium"... We would like to review, perhaps buy the one-time rights (not universal, so you can sell elsewhere) to such a work, to post on WWM> I think it's not featured in your website. But right now, the season is not here yet and it's been sometime since I last saw it. I am still waiting for its arrival so as to understand more about it. I wanted to try and experiment it's compatibility in reef tank and other information regarding it. Another fish, which trigger my interests, is the pineapple fish from Japan. <Monocentrus...> It's a hot fish and is wanted over the world. People need to place orders ahead in order to get it and it's super rare. Did you manage to keep one or come across one? <Mmm, no... have seen occasionally at wholesalers, and in public aquariums around the world...> I have encountered a rare sea slug and is raring one in my tank now. I believed that I am the only one owning it in Singapore because I have never ever seen it anywhere else and the LFS told me that it's the first time they get this slug. It's my new baby and a sure beauty. Green is a pretty rare color for sea slug and most inverts. You rarely find inverts in this green. I have included the pictures in the mail. Sharing it here with you and see if you have seen it before in your country or elsewhere. I will be observing it for it's reef compatibility and hardiness. Hopefully to find what species it belongs to, but seaslug forum has such a vast database and to search through it will take time. It's rather crazy to look through every single one thing. I think they should have some other way of categorizing. Maybe a not-so-scientific way of categorizing. <Perhaps you will help devise such a search tool> I am also studying and investigating on the chemical called "Elderine". <I could not find this in a Google search> I have included some photos on it. There is no insert on what's the ingredients are. It's green in color and the color is strong. Thinking of the characteristic, it does seem to resemble methyl blue so I did a comparison. The one on the left is Elderine and the one on the right is methyl blue. So far there is no ill effects on the corals and inverts. A West Germany company called Marine Chem Enterprise produces it. I shall continue to use it and observe for any ill effects and it's effectiveness at the same time. If you are interested in it too, we can have a joint project. I can mail one or two bottle to you and we can observe it together. <Thank you for this offer, but I have no test facilities> It will be great. You will just need to give my your mailing address. Right now I hope to gain my experiences through interacting with hobbyists around the world. And when I am facing with a tough question, I will like to find out the answer myself too and then share it with everyone. It's such a great feeling and mighty thing. And slowly with more experiences, I hope to set up my own website in Singapore for hobbyist in Singapore. <You should then> We can link to each other so that people from Singapore can learn about marine lives from other countries, and at the same time, people from all over the world can know about our marine lives and the market. That will be a great thing. <It is the WWWeb... Net...> Even that keeping marine aquarium has been around for sometimes, but a lot of people here are not educated in this field. Many times my LFS cannot tell me what's the name of the fish or the invert. So how can they even know if they are reef-safe and hardy? The funny thing is that when I asked the person what clam or starfish it is, she or he will just tell my it's a purple clam or red star. But it's not as if I cannot see the color, just that they simply don't know the name. It's really ridiculous. By the way, Goniopora has a different name here in Singapore. We called it, Jewel. I don't know why but it's been a practice. Hopefully you learn something today too. Cheers. I hope to gain more experiences and knowledge before I set up my website. With that, then I will able to educate the general public on marine life. So that next time people can finally recognized Goniopora and know its hardiness.  I need some support. I hope that my effort can minimize the lost of marine life due to incorrect handling, poor acclimation and insufficient knowledge. I don't wish to see people keeping a puffer and damsel together while the LFS just laugh at their ignorance. It's annoying. Sometimes I do find the keeping fish and coral is a cruel act because they lose their freedom and nature should belongs to the nature. But if you really love nature and want to keep it with you, then you should bear the responsibility to take good care of it. Just like how you marry a woman, she may lose much of her freedom but you must shower her with love and care such that she loves you back that much too. It's the same for marine life. You should give enough love and responsibility; you will get back the same love from them too. ? <Hopefully. BobF>

Visiting in SD   2/6/07 Thank you so much for replying to my email.  It was a delight to hear  back.   I would love to perhaps go to the library next to SIO sometime when  we come to La Jolla.  We will be going again before April. <Do please send an email when you know the specific dates, perhaps time when you'll be visiting the Birch Aquarium> I just  love that part of San Diego.  You're right, the view is incredible.  I  have a 1,4 and 6 year old that love to watch all of the scuba divers at Kellogg  Park. <Ahh! Perhaps they will be divers... with re-breathers or whatever technology our species has come up with> My favorite part is of course the tide pools.  I usually go  every morning when we are there!!  Thanks again for the book advice.   Donielle <Welcome my friend. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Chicago Aquarium Stores 12/12/06 Hi there! <Hi>  I'm writing this morning because I'm leaving on Thursday morning for a short vacation to Chicago and I was wondering if any one could recommend a good fish store in the area. <Many, and welcome to Chitown.> I'm going to be staying in Lombard, but of course will be in Chicago several days to visit the Shedd and the field museum. <Both are excellent, but avoid that area on Sunday, they share a parking lot with Soldier Field.> I'm looking to pick up a couple of coral frags before I head home.  (I live in rural Missouri and the fish stores in my area are all freshwater.)  Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks and Happy Holidays!! -Jaime <Many to choose from, Old Orchard in Skokie and Living Sea being the first 2 that come to mind.  Both are quite nice.  Scott's is close to Lombard I believe, it is quite big but not one of my favorites or various reasons.  There is a very large new one in Schaumburg that I have not been to yet, believe it is owned by Petco, but under a different name which escapes me at the moment.  Old Town Aquarium is also very nice and has a great staff.  Many smaller ones too numerous to list, some of which are quite nice too.  Check out http://www.cmas.net/ for more.> Will copy fellow Chicagoans Jorie and PufferPunk as they may think of ones I have forgotten.> <Chris> Thanks so much! <Enjoy your vacation> Jaime Gard <Chris>

Re: Chicago  - 12/12/06 Bob- I would send this directly to Jaime, but can't seem to find that e-mail address...could you please post in FAQs and/or forward?    Thanks! <Will do! B>    -----    Hi Jaime,    I actually live pretty close to Lombard, IL, and so far (have been here 1.5 yrs.) haven't found any fish stores in the immediate area that I like.   My favorite store for livestock is Old Orchard Aquarium in Skokie, IL (probably a bit over an hour from Lombard) - can be a bit pricey, but the quality is good, for fresh, brackish, and salt. They also have a good selection of FW plants, and SW corals.  Alan, the owner, is a bit weird (and moody!), but generally gives reasonable advice in the SW area; Mark (in FW dept.) is very helpful and knowledgeable, not to mention personable.  Paul, Alan's brother is nice, but I don't always agree with his advice.  I don't recommend them for dry goods, however, as they are really overpriced.   Second choice is Living Sea Aquarium in Park Ridge, IL (maybe 45 min. from Lombard) - I recently bought some brackish gobies that are adjusting nicely.   They have a good-sized SW dept., in fact, probably larger than Old Orchard.  Our Brazilian Gramma   came from there, as well as one false perc.  Some folks in Chicagoland like to recommend Scott's in Westchester, IL (again, maybe 45 min. from Lombard), but I personally hate that store - every time I go in there my heart breaks for the fish that look awful.    Both Old Orchard and Living Sea have weekend shark and stingray feedings - it's fun, but it draws a pretty good-sized crowd, so you may want to call and find out the hours for these events (so you can either go or not, depending on your desires!)    Hope you have a wonderful time in Chicago, and do enjoy the Shedd Aquarium - right now they have a Komodo dragon exhibit that I'm dying to go see...I plan to in Jan.!    Happy holidays,    Jorie (JKJ)

Re: Chicago  - 12/12/06 Pufferpunk <XXXX@yahoo.com> wrote:    I see that Jorie has recommended Living Sea.  I feel they are way overpriced & have boycotted them for many years.  I caught them selling dozens of bettas to a fellow, knowingly, for fighting.  The owners laughed at me when I confronted them.   I turned them into the Dept of AG & they made them get signed release forms for anyone buying bettas & had signs put up, saying "1 betta/person".  I have also seen them trying to sell juvie dogface puffers in BW, saying they'll be fine in there, widening the market towards folks that don't have a SW tank.  As far as I'm concerned, they are all about the almighty $$$.   OK, rant over...    I highly recommend Ocean Design, on Narragansett & Irving Pk Rd in Chgo,   For drygoods, you can't beat Coral Reef, in Norridge, on Lawrence Ave.    ~Jeni Yikes, that's terrible re: living sea.  I will definitely think twice before going there again... Collecting Pseudojuloides in Seychelles  - 11/02/06 Bob, do you have any useful links or contacts re: fish collection/export in this area? <Mmm, no. Have been to this multi-island nation, but did not see any evidence of the ornamental trade there... There are dive operators, oxygen however> Planning a dive trip, wouldn't mind bringing back a couple of unattainable Pseudojuloides erythrops if it's feasible. thanks, Joe Russo <A difficult genus to collect (due to scarcity, quickness, wariness, fusiform shape slipping through mesh of barrier/mist nets, and skittish, poor shipping nature). But quite beautiful. Bob Fenner> Travel Journals  8/28/06 This would be a great addition to the WWM. We could start writing travel journals and post them. Check out this websites travel journal page--> http://www.wetsand.com/category-home.asp?locationid=3&tabid=183&subtabid=1392&catid=1392 I suppose I need to start traveling again before starting. Cheers, Mike <Am in total agreement... Would/will gladly post... Pete and I have tried some: http://wetwebmedia.com/whitsart.htm Heeeee! Still cracks me up. Where's my esky? B>

Hi Crew....Would someone please remind me why we do all of this???  8/18/06 Thanks...DR <Heeeeee! Because it's there? To err and keep pet-fish is human... BobF>

Some Pix 02/12/06 Hi Bob, Here are a couple of nice pictures from up here. They were taken at Point Reyes National Seashore. The beaches are so different up here. There's volcanic rock strewn along the beaches and they go on forever. We're hoping to get a look at the elephant seals pupping today. If I get some good shots, I'll send you some. See you soon, Deb <Heee.... Pisaster ochraceus, Anthopleura gigantea and A. elegantissima. Very nice. BobF>


PNG diving 7/7/05 Bob & Diana It was great meeting you both last night.  I hope we have a dive trip together in our future.   <I do hope so> The Live Aboard I stayed on in PNG was the Golden Dawn.  I was very  pleased with whole package. Captain Craig runs a very efficient operation and  has some good stories.  You can talk to him about using his re-breather  system.  He is a little less "corporate" than the Aggressor  captains I have had.  He does not baby sit.  He expects  divers to be responsible for themselves so doesn't demand buddy diving  nor tracks your depths and times etc. You can find lots of information by  Googling Golden Dawn.        Richard Arthur Fenner <Thanks much Rick/h... let's get on out to HI... at your earliest convenience. BobF>

Creatures of the Deep (6/2/05) Dear Mr. Fenner, <Steve Allen helping out tonight.> These are some beasts washed out on the shores after tsunami. Can you ID them? Those are really weird. http://photobucket.com/albums/v232/mexmickey/Fish/?action=view&slideshow=true Thanks, Veronica. <The jpegs did not display, but took me to a bunch of pictures of people in a web album. Are you among them? The link I left above goes to a slide show of various deep sea creatures washed up. They are an assortment of squid, crabs and bizarre deep water fishes. I can't specifically identify each one. The creatures of the deep  sea are fascinating. If you want to learn more, there are a number of affordable and interesting books. Search books on Amazon for the term "deep sea" or visit your local library.>

Singapore Marine Shops Hi guys. Hope everyone is well.  I'm sure you're sick of everybody e-mailing you going on about how great your site is, so I'll simply say thank you for the great information. Down to the question. I live in South Africa and am going to Singapore in July. <A fantastic country! The most civilized on the planet in my estimation> I am running numerous marine reef tanks and am looking to purchase some livestock in Singapore, they have a larger variety of fish and coral and are much cheaper than down here in South Africa. I've hooked up permits to bring the livestock in, but don't know where too go in Singapore to purchase the livestock. Does anybody have the email address or internet sites of good retail stores in Singapore? <There are some 240-250 shops in this small country! And they change quite frequently. I have Bcc'd a dear friend there, Perry Chong, who at times has worked in the industry and introduced myself and other friends about in Sing... Perry, can you help here to make introductions, perhaps a short itinerary to Sentosa... Bob Fenner> 

Palau vacation! - 3/6/05 I'm going to Palau next week and was wondering if you had any tips on any must see suggestions.  <Yes, take me! I will be your personal guide>  I've been doing all the reading I can about the area and history.  <The Lonely Planet "Palau" dive book is excellent>  We will be staying at Caroline's Resort... <A nice resort. I really like it. If I remember correctly it was a little away from it all. I always stayed close to the water or near my friends>  ... and I was thinking of going with Sam's Tours for fishing, snorkeling, and sightseeing.  <I did all my diving and sightseeing with Sam's Tours. I don't recommend fishing. See them from the underwater point of few instead of the other..... In fact, my best friend Kendyll, was a dive master for Sam's for years. Ask for Jonathan as a boat captain. I highly recommend diving Babeldaub island. (Babeldaubin' if you are a local) Go to the northern most point to see the stone monoliths. The drive will take most of the day and be sure to go with a good guide. Watch out for chicken villages and one-eyed Palauans. (inside joke)  I also highly recommend kayaking as much as possible. Blue Planet works out of Sam's. I stayed there for a total of a month and just kayaked everywhere. Are you dive certified? If not you should be. Do it while there. You will not regret it. This is one of the seven underwater wonders of the world. I place it at number four, myself. I still have a few more "wonders" to visit but this was just a magical place. One that I return to as often as I can. Be sure to go set up a trip to Pelilieu, which is rich in WWII history. A must see if you have the time and money. If you want a fun little side attraction, try the aquarium (conservation center) doesn't take very long and the admission price goes to a good cause. Palau is a very hot place. Sunscreen is a must for Ameri/Euros. Bring lots of film, Kevin Davidson can develop it for you quickly and cheaply. He is a good friend of mine. Please let him know that Paul Mansur says "hi" and he needs to write or call. I haven't heard from him since before Christmas. Oh yeah, don't forget a trip to "Jellyfish" lake. For sure you will never want to come home. Make the most of the trip. Be safe and have fun!!! ~Paul>

Tide Pool Collecting, S. Cal. Hello! I was wondering if you knew of any locations around the San Diego coastline where it is not illegal to collect animals from the tide pools. <As far as I'm aware all 72 miles of our coastline are thus protected... there are areas that are absolutely fabulous though to visit... particularly during low to minus-tides... w/o supplemental tidal action (i.e. low wave action)... Like Boulder Point and around to the south, into San Diego Bay... the end of Point Loma> <Editor's addendum: Please see this website: http://www.calacademy.org/aquarium/tidepool.html > There is a certain species of octopus, O. bimaculoides, which is commonly sold in the pet industry and reputedly one of the best to keep in the home aquarium due to its relative hardiness (for an octopus) and sociable personality. I have recently discovered that this little guy can be found right here at home. <Yes> I wouldn't have to pay $50 + for it, I could pick out a specimen myself that was healthy and young, and I'd get to find and catch it myself, which is half the fun! <Agreed> I have contacted the Department of Fish and Game about this (as I've seen you recommend in a previous FAQ), but they have not gotten back to me yet. I have heard it mentioned that one of your crew - Bob, I think? - lives in San Diego too, so I was just hoping I might get some first hand advice on where to go. Thanks both for your time and for your wonderfully informative site! - Helen <Mmm, well, it may be that only a "fishing permit" is required... a few notes... DO be careful where you place your feet and hands... mainly from slips, falls, and getting pinched by rocks... Wear your old, grungy tennies... with no socks, and expect to get wet... Maybe bring/wear some old garden gloves to turn over rocks... and take care to gently place these back about where they were. Octopus will be found most often down near the prevailing intertidal wash area... Bob Fenner> CMA in South Africa Hi all, <Hello there> I am an avid reader of the FAQ's on your site. I noticed a post from Daniel in South Africa wanting to get hold of a copy of Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I ordered a copy from Exclusive Books (a local chain of bookstores, and it will be here in another month or so. However it was quite pricey (roughly the equivalent of $65 for the paperback edition, but I am sure it will be worth it. <Wowzah! Am tempted to bring down a case when we finally get down your way... a friend who has lived with us a dozen years spent 15 living in Swaziland... and we'd like to do a walk-about... and take in... a long trip... some diving in the Mascarenes> Just thought I would share that info with you. <Thank you> Thanks for the time you take to answer everyone's questions. You provide an invaluable source of information for everyone, especially those new to the hobby such as myself. Regards, Clinton in South Africa <Bob Fenner in S. Cal.>

Re: CMA in South Africa... and diving thereabouts Hi Bob, Thanks for the reply to my mail. Mauritius and surrounds is a lovely area to go diving. You can also check out the Comores if you have not already been there. In South Africa itself the spot to go is Sodwana Bay on the east coast. Cheers, Clinton <Ahh, thank you for this... would indeed love to follow in the very steps of J.L.B. Smith... Bob Fenner>

Seychelles Site Bonjour, Vous avez eu la gentillesse de me confier une de vos images. Merci encore. Aujourd'hui, mercredi 12 janvier 2005, ?tr? exactement 9 heures du matin, mon site est enfin termin? complet, en ligne, et ? marche!!!! Il se nomme www.seychelles-cousin.com.La m?e et l'enfant se portent bien (Merci de votre indulgence) Si vous avez des critiques ?faire ou des rectifications ?apporter, je les accueillerai avec joie.Je vous souhaite 365 jours d'euphorie. Marie-Fran?ise CHOLOT Hello, You have been good to me, imparting one of your images. Thank you again. Today,( Wednesday 12/ January 2005), at exactly 9 AM, my website is ended (at last) and on line. www.seychelles-cousin.com. <Tres bien!> Mother and child are well. If you have some criticisms to send out, or corrections, I will receive them with pleasure. I wish you 365 days of euphoria. Marie-Fran?ise CHOLOT <Will share your link. Merci. Robare Fenner>

ChrisW Underwater in Mauritius Hi, I have updated my website, please have a look. If you need any images from the Indian Ocean, Please let me know. Thanks Chris WATERS www.seawaters.co.uk <Thank you... am still hoping to get on out to the Mascarenes this year or next. Bob Fenner in Hawai'i> Can you export a saltwater fish and coral to Japan? Can you export a saltwater fish and coral to Japan? <This can be done, but we (WWM) don't do so. Check with the many online companies by using your search tools and contact them re> Narita Airport If it is ok unit Please inform of price list and  charges price and aviation expense etc. Can he understand Japanese? <Wakarimasen... but many folks do. Try Amy at MarineDepot.com, she speaks, reads, Nihongo> If it understands easy to connect. <I understand. Bob Fenner>

Living in American Samoa? 9/1/04 hi, is it possible to live in American Samoa??? Do u know anyone that lives there, or their experiences? Well I'm 14 and want to live somewhere cool with ...Acropora! What do you think? Thanks, Adam <hmmm... you can live in the American territories, but a place like Samoa is not likely to seem like paradise to you my young friend. As an island, it is a net importer of ... well... darn near everything. Most luxuries that you are accustomed to living with (like... electricity at times(!)... and esp. familiar foods) are not always affordable or even available. There are so many cool places to live within the United States, near and away from coral reefs. Do keep an open mind. And do take the opportunity when in High School and college to travel abroad for semesters if/when you can. Travel broadens the mind, erases bigotry, hatred and prejudice... dear Twainian follower. Best of luck/life to you. Anthony> Mexico Trip 2005 Hi! Where should I search for the sailfin molly, P. velifera, and where is it possible to catch it? How deep is the water and how is the condition of the water in that area? I am going on a trip to Mexico next year to catch this tropical fish for my aquariums at home!!! <Try putting the terms "collecting Mollienesia in Mexico" in your search engines re where to find/collect this species. The best catch gear are small seines with stout poles (small mesh netting, one of about two foot height, the other 3 or 4 foot)... do include mechanical aerators (battery operated) and some sort of calming agent (e.g. "Hypno") for help in soothing your captured fishes. Good fishing! Bob Fenner> - Best regards Thomas Aarud - Norway

Re: Mexico Trip 2005 Hi! No sites with that description. They are found in Progresso, but during to human beings this species is threaten, so I had to make sure it is still possible to find in Mexico..... - Thomas - <I took a look on the Net re "Progresso, Mexico"... for location. You might try writing to the "Oficina de Pescadores" in Mexico re whether they know if this Molly is still present in waters thereabouts... and what permits (if any) they require for its capture and transport. Bob Fenner>

Collecting in Micronesia WELL, i just saw a internet site about Micronesia. first, is it legal to collect there. <With permits/licensing, yes> I am 14 years old, and would like to collect somewhere legally besides the florida keys, because you cant collect hard corals there. i already have collected fish and inverts in the florida keys, but i want to somehow collect Acropora corals myself. I know of the problems of collecting, if you don't do it right everything dies. So do you know of anywhere I could go (or that my family could afford, actually) where I could collect Acroporas? <Perhaps a friend, Walt Smith, could arrange for you to go out with one of his crews if you were to visit Fiji. Make it known if you are interested and I will email Walt and Tim McLeod, his manager in Latouka (you'd fly into Nadi in Viti Levu)> I looked at flights, and they were WAY too expensive. Do you know of anything cheap? Thanks, Adam <Flights change constantly... and you may be able to get a "last minute" deal with one of the on-line agencies if you can arrange to be able to leave ASAP, like during Summer vacation. In the meanwhile I suggest you apply to work at a LFS, perhaps devise your own work scheme (perhaps mowing local lawns...) and save up toward your adventures. Bob Fenner, who did the same.>

Philippines Fish keeping Hi Bob,     My name is Michael Dizon. I grew up in the Long Island, New York. I was born in the Philippines and have been here since 1998. <A lively country for sure> I recently just opened my marine fish shop called Direct Aquatic last Jan. 7, 2004. I have been successful in keeping marine fishes in captivity such as flagfin, flame angel, blue tang, Anthias, Platax pinnatus to Moorish idol, etc. I wanted to invite you to see my shop if in the near future you have any plans to visit the Philippines again. I specialize only 100% marine fish only. Regards, Michael Dizon <Thanks for the invite. I take it you're in/near Manila/Luzon? Do you have a website or other means that we can list on WetWebMedia.com to further your business? Bob Fenner>

Re: Philippines Fish keeping Bob,     Yes, I am located in Metro Manila Luzon. My shop is in located in a town called SAN JUAN. Have you ever been to the Philippines? I am sure you know how it is here. <I have been there... for quite a while in the sixties and off and on then to dive, make pictures. Last time a couple years back with my wife visiting in Cebu (Lapu Lapu City and Bohol)> We have lots of tropical fishes here. I guess with my extensive work with this fishes I develop my own food for these fishes. It come in 3 sizes. S, M and L. They love it. Some hobbyist have compared it with sera and tetra and so far my product stand out. This is all the food I give my fishes. Beside giving them broccoli. <Outstanding. The making of fish food is time-consuming but very gratifying> With regards with monitoring device. Can you recommend a good pH and ORP brands. Nothing too expensive, just average? <Look at the Hach line. Some very nice, reasonable units. Bob Fenner> Regards Michael

Re: Philippines Fish keeping Bob,     Unfortunately, we do not have our website yet. However, in the future I will let you know. Where are you located? Michael <I am principally in Southern California, in the U.S.'s sixth largest city, named San Diego (next to the border with Mexico), otherwise I travel 5-6 months of the year. The many other folks who make up WetWebMedia are scattered across the U.S., and there are other language versions of the site produced and managed by others that are located outside the U.S.. Bob Fenner>

Visiting, diving the Mascarenes Hi, <Hello Chris> I believe the diving in Rodriguez is fantastic, I haven't made it over there yet, but it will not be long. <I'll bet!> Keep this email address and if you do start to plan on coming over get in touch and I'll help you out! <Do appreciate this. Nothing quite like knowing, having a friend "there" to make a journey to a novel place much better. Thank you, Bob Fenner> Cheers Chris

Maldives Diving Hello Robert, My step son Michael will be honeymooning for a week at The Maldives in early March. I saw a couple of your pics at wetwebfotos.com and thought you might have one or more suggestions for him.  <Dive with a "hot dog"/sausage of at least two meters length/height... look for Rudie Kuiter's book on fishes of the region... Have a great time> I was also hoping I could download one of the pics to use for my desktop.  <Take a look on wetwebfotos.com and I will cc Jason.C and hope he will contact you with a password> Though we live in Kansas City, the wedding itself will be a small beachside ceremony in Islamorada, Florida. Several of us are hoping to squeeze in a dive or two while there. I look forward to hearing from you. <Sounds like a good deal for all involved. Bob Fenner>

Maldives Diving Bob, thank you for the suggestion about the hot dog.  <Believe me... was almost swept out to the open Indian Ocean... wish I had had a 3 meter, make that even a bigger one!> Also, I will follow up on your book recommendation (Amazon was out of stock on many Kuiter titles). Regarding access to your photos, I have not heard from anyone to date and I wasn't sure if I needed to do anything else. Bruce Wofford <Mmm, will cc Jason.C again re. Bob Fenner>

Mediterranean Sea invertebrates references Hi Bob, <Hello George> I am looking for some information on invertebrates from the Mediterranean sea. We have taken some photos and we would like to learn a bit more about them. I checked your book about the "Reef Invertebrates" but naturally there was not much in it. Do you know of any other reputable source ?? Book or website ? <Do you have the IKAN/Debelius "Mediterranean and Atlantic Fish Guide"? Has Helmut redone it as a "Reef Guide" with invertebrates? There is a bibliog.. in the back of the old edition (mostly fish related)... I would go to a large/college library and use the computer bibliographic tools to do a modern search for literature. Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot in advance, George J. Reclos Ph.D.

Diving in the PI Hey guys and gals, <Hi James> I'm planning a trip to the Philippines this March, and I'm wondering if any of you have been to the Puerto Galera area of the Philippines.  I'm looking at staying at the Atlantis resort for about a week, and I'm wondering if any of you have any of you have any suggestions/recommendations about this area. <Have not been there (yet!) personally, but have heard naught but good things about the resort and the diving... The location is very convenient to Manila/Luzon... no troubles as in the south...>   I have it on good faith that Bob "knows that archipelago like the back of his hand" so I thought I'd ask before I wire them a deposit. Thanks for everything you do, James <Please do write back after your trip with input re your experiences. Bob Fenner>

Visiting San Diego, looking for suggestions Hi WetWebCrew, <Hello there> My wife and I are going to be visiting San Diego next week, and I was wondering if you can recommend any "must-see" LFS or public aquaria. <Yes... I (Bob F.), Jason.C live in this town> Basically, any suggestions on what a bored fish geek can do while visiting in-laws <g>... <Easy... remember thou art mortal, and divorce-able.> I'll be there about a week, and my interests are broad enough (FW, SW, reef, native, etc etc etc) that I'd be happy visiting any "niche" LFS - it doesn't have to be a "reef" store, "Mbuna" store, "discus" store, etc. (I've got friends who won't even walk into a store that doesn't sell LR or SPS, others who only go looking for dwarf cichlids...) <Keep the last, farm out the former. Let's see, there are four stores worth visiting... Octopus' Garden, Aquatic Warehouse, Fountain's and Vet's Pets... these and a few others can be found, an itinerary built by using the "Yellow Pages", and a computer with internet (Map Quest, Yahoo Maps...) connection. The public aquarium at Scripps Inst. Oc. (Stephen Birch) is definitely worth visiting... as are the beaches for "tidepooling" (check the net again for tides), esp. the "Boulder Point" region (Point Loma at the terminus near the Cabrillo Lighthouse (our second most popular tourist spot)... to mention same sort of venue, #1 is our zoo... do take this in for sure (along with the natural history museum and others in Balboa Park... we have some 72 miles of beaches (the water in the mid 60's F. about now... that are worth driving along, getting out, having Mexican food... and pizza (try Carino's in La Jolla, yum!)... the mountains (Julian if the fire damage is abated) and Anza Borrego Desert are must-sees if you have time... as is a jaunt to some near-border area of adjoining Mexico... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Rich Paulhus

James Fatherree in Japan. Banzai! Well, I'm here! <Ah, the Land of the Rising Sun> Now we have something else in common...  Things are going well, but not much to report yet. Just been getting things ready for school and getting to know my way around the city, etc.  I've been down to the local shoreline a few times (it's really not a beach) to check out the wildlife and stuff.  Very different, but not so different (same critters, different species). Supposedly the fishing is good around here too, so I'll be throwing in a line soon as I discover a spot I like. <Great. And likely diving, making pix...> The sushi is excellent! No surprise there I suppose... I'm not to hip with the raw horse meat though :(   <Me neither. Cultural difference mainly> Shipped a few books over before I left, which just got here. So, I finally get to sit back and read the whole Reef Invertebrates book.  Looking forward to it... <Am hoping for your critical (content) review. Much of the grammatical, spelling errors have been identified and are being corrected on the next press run. Anthony and I disagreed on only a few factual points, but am very desirous of seeing your input> I get a good amount of time off through the year, so I'll be looking for a dive trip soon enough of course, Okinawa being an obvious choice.  I'm close to Fukuoka Int. airport, got any suggestions that won't break the bank? <Keep your eyes open for other Southern Japan destination possibilities as well as Micronesia (lots of Japanese go to Guam...), and the unbeatable bargains now going on to and by Singapore (Airlines)... and hence very reasonable (cheap!) travel on the new Malaysia air carrier, even Garuda for destinations in Indonesia. Keep me informed, and hopefully I/we will be able to match up and join you> Take it easy amigo, James <Honto des. Be seeing you, Bob Fenner> James W. Fatherree Minami Oohashi 3-4-1 Okimoto Co-po #502 Fukuoka-ken, Yukuhashi-shi Japan  824-0032 www.fatherree.com/james

Laptop case? Bob, <Hi, Warren, it's JasonC here today...> Two or three years ago we purchased a laptop case for an iBook Apple Computer. It was a rubbery waterproof material and "just fit" the Apple. Any thoughts who made it or where to purchase. Warren <That is an interesting question. 99.99% of the time we field questions about pet fish, so this question comes as a bit of a surprise. If I were you, I'd try entering the phrase "rubberized keyboard cover" into your favorite search engine and explore the results. Cheers, J -- >

Re: Laptop case? This may be the case he's looking for: http://www.powerbookcentral.com/columns/kravitz/sportfolio.shtml Thanks Paul <Thanks for sharing, will post along with everything else today. Cheers, J -- >

Support Your Local Store! Like always, thanks for your advise Scott. I was wondering, if you've been to aquatic outlet here in LA, do you think it's one of the best fish stores in LA? <Well, personally...not really. It's good, but inconsistent, IMO. Certainly a large store, though!> I always thought so. I've been in this hobby now for 6-7 years and I've been to many other places. Aquatic Outlet somehow draws my attention more than any other store. <They certainly get some unusual stuff in now and again...> Do you recommend another store here in the LA area as big as the Aquatic Outlet? <Well, Jeff' Exotic Fish in Gardena is a large place that lots of SoCal hobbyists rave about...I have not been too impressed there, myself, however, but do check it out if you're interested. I tend to like the smaller retailers...Often, they are a bit more "selective" in terms of quality and numbers of specimens that they obtain than the larger "semi-wholesale" establishments. I'd find a good local shop and get to know the staff and owner. Often, a good shop can order you the fish or invert that you want. Support them! Even better, why not join a club, where you could meet and interact with other fish nuts? In the LA area, you have two great clubs, Marine Aquarium Society of Los Angeles County and Southern California Marine Aquarium Society. Do search the web for these clubs-it will add a whole new dimension to your enjoyment of the hobby, and you can often trade/purchase interesting animals from fellow hobbyists!> Thanks again, Sam... <My pleasure, Sam! You might also want to go on the wetwebmedia.com chat forum and ask a few LA area hobbyists what they think about local stores...Feel free to contact us again anytime! Regards, Scott F>

Maldives hi ya bob, how's you?? <Fine my friend> I am looking to book a trip to the Maldives some time next year to get married, but while I am there I would love to explore the underwater world I would love to call home. From your own experiences or of friends are there any of the islands that you would particular recommend!! <Depends on what you want to see... they're about the same (tourist designated islands, atolls...> I promise I wont tell the then wife that it was you who made the recommendation, and then she cant blame you for ruining her dream wedding because she hardly saw her newly wed husband. I have plans to expand my reef tank to a 150g after the wedding, maybe I could set up a Maldives species tank............ <Perhaps> thanks again for your wonderful site WWM Brent <A pleasure to share. Bob Fenner>

Re: Maldives I would love to see the beautiful coral reefs and invertebrate, are there any species that are only found in the Maldives that you know of?? <A few... do what I do here: print out the "Country/Island list" of marines on fishbase.org  I go through these lists to give me an idea of what's there and the individual species I hope to photograph, their habits (depth, diurnal activity...)> this will be my 1st dive and I cant wait, I am thinking of boarding one of the liveaboard dive boats and exploring some of the best dive sites around the islands. although I have been told this can be expensive. <The Maldives period are not cheap...> what would you recommend?? how would you go about diving in the Maldives?? <Resort... you can be hauled to most dive spots by fast enough boat... and your significant other/s will like doing things (even resting) on the small islands that are dedicated to tourism... if this is your initial diving, don't do a liveaboard. Bob Fenner> Brent

Mediterranean Sea Dear Bob, Hi! How are you? <Fine> Just curious to know if there are any angels / butterfly fish living in the Mediterranean Sea? <None as far as my references show... some of both families on both sides of the Atlantic... but none as far north as the Mediterranean in the Eastern Atlantic. Bob Fenner> Regards, Danny :)

Aquariums website www.MalawiCichlidHomepage.com (Geo in Athens and Med. life i.d.) Hi Bob, I wish you a Happy New Year FULL of my questions.. <Have seen your articles in FAMA and spoken with Sue Steele there re your excellent site.> Is it possible for you to identify either that snail-like animal and the red plant ?? They were both collected in the Mediterranean in 30 cm of water.. if this will help you (in December).. Thanks for any help !!! <Mmm, the first is a coralline (Rhodophyte) algae of some sort, the second of course some sort of gastropod mollusk. No time to look up for now. Will post on WWM for others input. You must have reference works for the sea life of the Mediterranean? Bob Fenner> George J. Reclos Ph.D. Pharmacist - Immunologist Holargos (Athens) - Greece

Re: Geo in Athens  Hi Bob and thanks for your nice comments which - believe it or not - still make me blush !! <You deserve them for your fine work in our interests on your site, magazine publications> If you can come up with the scientific information about the coralline algae and the mollusk it will be good (and any references will be appreciated). My main concern for the time being is what to add in the water to make sure those creatures will have something to eat. If I add some pygmy angelfish (or flame angels) will they feed on the coralline algae or stay with the green one ?? <Oh... the Coralline as here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and an offering of what you have on/in your live rock for the gastropod (for now), while closely observing where it tends to spend time, feeding> May I add that whenever we have a request for a reputable source for marine tanks there is only one website and book that come in our minds ?? I guess you already know that. <And for Cichlids? I'm sending to you!> Thanks once more !! George <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Post card Thank you for the postcard of MATAMANOA ISLAND. It looks a wonderful place, you are a very lucky guy to be able to travel to these beautiful places. <Wish you were on them with us> It seems that at the moment the world is hell bent on self destruction. There are so many fantastic things to see and how often do any of us stop to appreciate them. I saw the sun rising as I was motoring to work last week and for a couple of minutes I forgot the hassle of the morning traffic. It was truly a wonderful sight and when I receive the digital camera from Peter I shall try to capture some of these images. <Ah, great. Do agree with the "choice in emphases" that I find about us... Better to focus on what's important, realize that "the news" often is trying to sell us something, direct us, otherwise capture our hearts and minds, and ignore most of it> That's if I can manage to understand how to use it. <Even I have had a modicum of success here. Am sure you'll do well> I am enjoying using the computer at home and at the week end I can't get on it for Maxine and Alex. Alex loves it and her mouse skills have improved enormously. I have to force her off it as I worry regarding her eyes. <No worries... better than the telly> All best wishes for Christmas to you and Di. Keep sending the postcards. <Will do so. Learned this habit from Peter. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Kind regards Edna

Christmas Island? Bob, Been looking all over the web for info on marine species of the Christmas Islands (South Pacific), any suggestions? <That we get on out there, do diving, take pix! Do run the "Fishes" of "Christmas Island" on www.fishbase.org by "Information by Country/Island", maybe cross-reference with what is on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Jim

Living, loving, pet-fishing in Las Vegas Hi! Bob, For X-mas my wife is taking me to Los Vegas to stay for three nights at the Mirage Hotel. They have a 53 feet long x six feet wide x 8 feet tall fish tank with 1000 species from all over the world. <Yes, helped install this system> I am very excited about it. I think it will give me some ideas about my fish tank set up. <Ask who is in charge nowadays, maybe they'll show you the "back room" with the mechanicals, quarantine tanks...> I am also going to the ATM store as I do not get a chance to see giant fish stores in Alaska. My question is, do you know the care taker at the Mirage hotel? I would really like to check out their filtration system. <Folks change very often... our work there was done in the late eighties> Do you have any other recommendations for cool fish places to visit in Vegas? <Look at the "Yellow Pages" once there, make an itinerary (you'll want to rent a car), and drive out see what there is... Haven't done so for a few years in LV, but have heard there are some very nice shops, exhibits in the hotels... Bob Fenner> Thanks.

Microbes to Mantas? Hi Bob Fenner, I was looking in the Preview Section of the North County Times yesterday and saw some showing somewhere (???) titled "Microbes to Mantas". I was assuming it would show at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. I put the paper aside for a later reference, and I just know that when I get home, my boyfriend will have throw it away, obviously not knowing the valuable information within. I have looked on the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center website, can't find anything titled as such. Just went and got the Reader, no record of it there either. If you don't know where this is showing, then I am stopping by the NCTimes office on the way home from work and look at yesterday's paper. Any clue? <Mmm, no. Haven't heard of this show/ing. Will keep my eyes open> Jana p.s. all suggestions for bubbles in the tank helped, and putting a fan on dropped my tank temp by 4 degrees. YEAH ! <Ah, good news. Congratulations. Bob Fenner>

Re: Microbes to Mantas? Here's me answering my own question,.... "Microbes to Mantas" is a feature film at The Natural History Museum in beautiful Balboa Park.  <Newly refurbished!> Feature times are almost every hour on the hour weekdays (10-4pm), not so frequent on weekends. Free with admission into the museum. It features Baja California's underwater world. I just bought 60 lbs. of your live rock over at Octopus's Garden. <Thank you!> I must say it goes quite well with my tank ! :) Thanks for the wonderful deal, and good luck on the move ! Jana <We're moving (a couple of miles), so am very happy to make available this 'very cured' product. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Beijing Aquarium Bob, Yeah, things are a little different here. My major at Berkeley is political economy, and I have learned a lot about China in the last year (deregulation, business practices, privatization and so on). It was nice to actually see it first hand.  <Yes, I imagine> Having been here, and enjoyed it immensely, I sort of understand why the gov. is hesitant to allow all things Western into the country.  <Neither would you or I> I am afraid that one day there will be no place different to go.  <No, my friend... the universal constant, time, limitation of one's life span dictates that this will not be so> The worst part would be if everywhere else had the same quality of food as the US, the food here, and in most of Asia for that matter, is so much better. On another note, the Beijing aquarium is amazing. It lies inside the Beijing zoo, which is deplorable at best (lots of pandas though), yet it is honestly the best aquarium I have ever been to. Amazing SW displays (no live rock, but the fake corals looked good enough.) The reef tank was alright; they had a fluorescent yellow feather star and a couple other oddities. The Amazon disp! lay was tremendous. Plants everywhere, four arapaima gigas, all very healthy. The people at the aquarium truly take pride in what they have going there. I shot three rolls of film, and would like to send you some pictures, if you have not been there already. -Josh <Not been yet... would like to see the images... perhaps you could post on a site for all's use? Bob Fenner>

California Bound! Dear Bob: It's been almost 10 years since hubby and I had a vacation....we are planning a trip to California in the near future. Neither of us have ever been there before so I am asking your help. Could you please give me the names of some of the aquariums that are a must see while there? We don't want to go into LA unless absolutely necessary. Any marine life facilities you can think of, plus what city they are located in, would really be helpful. Getting really excited, Janey <Hmm, much to state here... the public aquariums in Long Beach, Monterey and San Francisco come to mind mostly... but there are smaller "regional" ones that are definitely worthwhile (e.g. Cabrillo, the Stephen Birch here in town, San Diego...)... and lots to see, do in the way of fish stores, manufacturers, wholesalers... if you're so inclined... One approach I would investigate is looking (at a large/college, central) library at the "Yellow Pages" to see who's listed in the towns you're likely to drive through/visit... and contact them re what's to see/do nearby... There are hobbyist conventions that are very worthwhile to structure a trip about (next week I'll be up in Monterey with a crew, chatting at the Western Marine Conference.... and going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, maybe taking in a (Brrrr!) dive there or two... More ideas? Bob Fenner>

Advice on vacation spot Bob, I truly require your assistance on this one. O.K., for my birthday, my girlfriend is going to bring me on a trip to one of two places: 1. China (she is Chinese, and my father is actually going to be in China during that time) and 2. Mexico.  <What a gift!> Here is the deal. She and I would both like to go somewhere in Mexico where we can see fish and corals, the quality kind.  <Hmm, all quality to me.> I just saw someone's pics from Cozumel on reefcentral, and I am not looking to see a French Angel and a bunch of anemones. However, I am also a fisherman at heart. I would love to go somewhere that offers diving and some hardcore fishing. However, I have been out of the scene for a while, and am not sure where the best places for one or both of these activities would be. I am looking for a small town resort feel, drinking during the sunset after a good day of fishing, and so on. I am in college, and do not need to go somewhere with drunken college people trying to get laid (I have a girlfriend, after all!), and need not go to any of those places. What places do you recommend?  <Hmm, well Cancun, Cozumel do have good fishing and spectacular water quality... and nice resort selections (do read about the Isla de Mujeres, Isle of Women... on the Net)... though "it is the tropical West Atlantic" and does have a paucity of corals, less biodiversity than most of the tropical Pacific, Indian Oceans... The corridor/tip of Baja (Cabo San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo) has absolutely about the best fishing on the planet (no joke), but the diving is not great... not much rocky shore, clarity is a tenth of Cancun/Cozumel... and not many tropical fishes, corals (you can see a review of this on the www.WetWebMedia.com site, a portion of my latest book...). I'm going to the corridor for a week of diving next month... a nice place just the same> I guess a third resort would be Hawaii, if Hawaii offers better fishing and diving than anywhere in Mexico.  <Mmmm, depends on what you're looking for... Both are very worthwhile...> Seeing Clarion Angels would be a plus, somehow catching one and bringing it back would be amazing! <Clarions are scarce except in the Islas Revillagigedos... far off the coast of Mexico's Pacific... but you would likely see (but not collect/ship) some near-adults at "lands end" in Baja...> I realize the later cannot happen, but what are you suggestion for such a trip. Thanks a lot. -Josh Evans

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