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FAQs about the Red Sea 1

Related Articles: A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Fishes of the Red Sea, The Red Sea & Reef Aquarists Part 1,

Related FAQs:  Red Sea 1, Red Sea 2, Red Sea 3, Red Sea 4, &

Red Sea Diving   – 1/18/08 Bob Fenner, <Pravin> I was given your name by Marie (a nurse anesthetist at Crittenton Hospital) . She told me that you have arranged SCUBA diving trips to the Red Sea. We are going the Egypt and will be spending 2 days in Sharm El Sheik. <Only two days!?> We have 2 days of diving in Ras Mohamed National Park or Tiran Island. Are there any specific dive sites that you would recommend? Thank You, Pravin Puri <Mmm, yes... I would sign up, go with a dive service... out of Na'ama Bay there in Sharm... My choice would be with "Sinai Divers"... to both these spots (DO check with them to make sure they can/will put you on boats going to there... they have a few boats... but the spots are not visited by any one service on a daily basis)... DO study on the Net, books re what you'll likely see... what to expect underwater. A blast! Bob Fenner>

Re: Ras Mohamed National Park   1/19/08 Bob, Read the dailies and did find a good link to above subject. Thought you might like to see if you have not already. http://www.rasmohamed.com/index.html I'm sure you are having a great time in HI. Mmmm, probably put away a few beers by now, heh? <More than a few> James <Thank you James. BobF>

Marine sys. Pb, stkg... ScottV pls have a look, respond   11/30/07 Hello all, <Larry> This is the first time I have written but I have poured over the sites information for the past few months and all I can say is wow! The service that you all provide is greatly needed and appreciated! I will get right down to it. I have a 90 gallon (4ft long) aquarium. Undrilled. My plan is to drill 2 2" holes. One hole close to the back left corner. <Mmm, but not too close to the corner...> The other, two thirds of the length from the previous 2" hole. I will drill a 1.5" hole one third the length of the tank from the first drain hole on the left for a return. I will have a sump made that will approximately measure 36"Lx12"Wx12"h. In the first chamber I will have a Tunze 9010 protein skimmer. In the second chamber I will have a refugium filled with live rock and Caulerpa. In the third and final chamber I will have 2 heaters. Externally plumbed will be two return pumps. The one pump will be a sequence reef flow snapper pump ( 1850 g/hr at 4' of head) that will feed the drilled return hole measuring 1.5" in diameter. The second pump will be a sequence reef flow dart pump (rated for 2820 g/hr at 4' of head) to feed a return line that will be plumbed over the back right edge of the tank and connect to a wavy sea wave maker at the right corner of the tank. Would this be enough water circulation for the tank? <Mmm, should be, yes> I will also have 90 to 110lbs of live rock. My tank inhabitant will be an undulated triggerfish and maybe a school of aggressive damsels. I am aware that an undulate trigger needs a species only tank. I was hoping that I could locate a Red Sea male specimen <Are gorgeous, more peaceful> at a size of about 2-3" and have him grow up with a school of damsels. I am also aware the undulates get more aggressive and territorial with age so the damsels may not work. Is their any possible tankmate that may work with the undulate at all? <Perhaps some other Red Sea choices...> Would you know where I could find a male Red Sea undulate trigger in Western Canada? <Mmm, have your LFS look for you... are rare in the West period (compared with Europe), but might be able to be ordered, your request put into a system...> I was just wondering if you could comment on my setup and offer your expertise on areas I may need to improve? Thank you so much for your time and knowledge! Larry <Mmm, well, I do wish you had a working drawing/graphic of some sort... I don't exactly follow the third, two-third placement of your through-puts rationale... We have a Crewmember/friend here, ScottV who has interest in a company that does this sort of work. I'm going to ask him to chime in here. Otherwise, I'd like to have you (re) read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm The fourth/pink tray... re Marine Plumbing... Bob Fenner>

Showcase tank - fish questions. Red Sea biotope livestock sel.  10/31/07 I had previously written because I am upgrading my tank from a 200 gallon to a 500 gallon tank. Currently we have two occupants, a Red Sea Sailfin Tang and a Clown Trigger. Realizing that the Clown Trigger will only get more aggressive in time, he will most likely get a new home. <Glad you know, are planning for this eventuality> I was given the suggestion to investigate a Red Sea biotope. I have done so and have some follow-up questions. <Ahh!> Here are some fish we are considering and my questions: Pomacanthus Asfur or Maculosus - Opinions on these choices? <Both are excellent aquarium species... I would get a smaller Asfur... three-four inches overall length... and grow it up...> (possible alternative is a Pomacanthus Imperator) <Excellent... if you can secure a specimen from the Red Sea> C. Semilarvatus - If I understand correctly, coloring is better if there are two, but unless 2 are bought at same time, they may not pair appropriately. Is this correct, so that we should aim for one in the tank? <In a five hundred gallon... Three individuals would be my choice... starting at about the same size as the Angel above> Do we need to wait to add this fish until the tank is more established? <Mmm, a few months, yes> Does that pose a problem with any of these fish in terms of compatibility? <Not likely... all but the Clown Trigger "get along", coming from the Rote Meer> Midas blenny - Will a blenny seem lost in such a big tank? <Mmm, no... depends on the species, but...> Sailfin tang (also looking at Sohal and Purple varieties but since we have a Sailfin, we will likely stick with that fish) - In such a large tank would multiple tangs get along? <Likely so... though a Sohal can be a "wild card"... IF trying one I'd place it last... begun as a juvenile... 3-4" again...> We are looking for other fish to round out the list. Possibilities include wrasses, triggers, groupers or maybe a Longnose hawk. We are aiming for a peaceful tank where tankmates get along, so I have some concerns about much of this group. Any suggestions regarding these species or other fish that would be a good mix together in such a large tank are appreciated. <The real limitation here is just what is available (you are in the West?) from dealers... Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm This is a section out of a book series on biotopes of the shallow tropical marine world... I largely re-wrote this section (see the linked files above) as an example to friend Helmut Debelius... to show how I would re-present his excellent dive guides in a "depth-related" manner. I would seek out LFS, etailers who can/will lend you assistance in special ordering what they can... Likely out of Jeddah> Also, we are currently curing the new tank while the existing tank is operational. Would it be to our benefit to use filter media (bioballs) from the old tank when the move is complete? Would this make the new tank act as a more established tank? Thanks. <Won't make any discernible difference here... these sized systems, with adequate circulation, provision for habitat... "pop" very easily, quickly. Please do send along some photos of your progress. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sea cucumber... Yes  8/23/07 Dear reader, <Hello Tineke, Mich with you tonight.> Maybe you can help me with this cucumber. <Will try.> It is found in the Red sea and only at night dives. <I hope to visit there next year! Are you certain this animal is from the Red Sea? Looks like a Tiger tail sea cucumber (Holothuria thomasi) to me. But these originate from the Caribbean. There is a Pacific Tiger tail cucumber (Holothuria hilla), which is also quite similar.> It pulls himself back as soon as you put your lamp on the animal. <Perhaps it is a Synapta maculata, which are typically nocturnal and found in the Red Sea.> Have you any idea in which direction I have to look? <Mmm, I'm not finding much of a database for these creatures. You can find more here and related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacukes.htm> Is it a Holothuria? <Is a Holothurid, but not certain if it is a Holothuria.> Or from another family? <Perhaps Synaptidae.> And are this two the same? <The pics look the same, but...> It would be great if you can help me. <I wish I could be more helpful.> Thank you in advance, <Welcome.> Tineke Smit
<Michelle Lemech>
Ede, Holland.

Re: Sea Cucumber... Yes... and the Red Sea, biota, human experience generally    7/25/07 Hello Mich, <Hello again Tineke.> Thank you for answering my question. <Welcome!> I know it is very difficult to determinate an animal from a photo. <Sometime yes, sometimes no.> I'm not a biologic educated but I managed with books and the Internet to find the names. <I am biologically educated, and rely on books, and the Internet as well. And am still at a loss sometimes.> Most is done now but the sea cucumbers are difficult. <Yes, they can be. Some creatures more so than others.> As you can see by the pictures.. I still don’t know if they are right. <Me neither.> Are you specialised in cucumbers? <Oh, no. Not by a long shot! I am merely a hobbyist with a science background, who enjoys helping out others and answering ID questions. I am certainly not a cucumber expert by any means, but I do have cucumber viscera still stuck on my dive gloves that I can't seem to remove... Guess that's what I get for molesting the wildlife.> It is hard to find a site that is specialised in Red Sea creatures. <I can imagine. Bob does have quite a few articles on WWM that are specific to different geographic regions.> Great that you coming to the Red Sea! <I hope! "Nothing is done, until it's done" so said a wise man to me.> It is almost the best place to be underwater. <I do hope to see it for myself, someday soon!> I have seen many different places underwater but I'm still in love with the Red Sea. <I hope to! But as of yet, my experiences are still quite limited. It is wonderful to hear your passion.> The night dives are great and you have to make them! <Will try! Have only done one night dive thus far... a fruitless, manta ray dive in Hawaii... wound up with a couple of different types of urchin spine in my thigh! Ouch! Just removed a little piece this week that's been there since January!> Really. If you want to know something about the Red sea, no problems, you can ask me. <Cool! Don't know what to ask at this point, but I thank you for your most kind offer and will keep your email on hand. Greetings,
<Cheers, Mich>
Euapta godeffroyi or Synaptamaculata Holothuria hilla
Bohadschia tenuissima Holothuria (Lessonothuria) pardalis or Stichopus variegatus
Holothurie gigante (Thelenota anax)

Golden Butterfly, sel.  4/14/07 Mr. Fenner, <Kirk> I am getting mixed messages from several fish clubs in regards to the hardiness of this fish and ability to keep this fish in captivity. So I thought I would go to the "source" for the correct information. <And good timing... I just finished a "piece" on Chaetodon semilarvatus yesterday! And do agree with your finding concerning opinions re this Red Sea beauty... I took the usual scan/look over the Net and came up with about the same... However, I have extensive personal, industry, collection and international experience with this species of a long time period (forty plus years)... It is not only an exemplary Chaetodontid for marine aquarium use, it ranks high IME as an overall species for such... Most arrive (all are wild-collected, the majority out of Jeddah, transiting through Europe...) in great condition, readily accept foods of all sorts... My piece here: http://wetwebmedia.com/semilarvatusart.htm> I am in the midst of having a 370 acrylic gallon tank built.  I would like to keep this fish, however most everyone I have spoken to about this fish says to avoid it. The all say it is more difficult to feed than a Copperband butterfly (which I have successfully kept before) and it most likely is not reef safe. <I disagree... as you will see/read> My tank will only have a handful of LPS corals (frogspawns, torch, anemones, etc..), but the majority of the tank is FO.  I do know that on my inhabitant list will be least 2 large angelfish. (Emperor and one other). <Should be fine in this size, type of set-up... with suitable Pomacanthids> Am I crazy in trying to attempt to house this fish?? What advice can you give. BTW, I have read your article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/semilarvatusart.htm <Is just spiffed up from ayer... do take a re-read> I look forward to your reply, Kindest regards, Kirk <And to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Golden Butterfly  4/18/07 Mr. Fenner, <Just Bob, Kirk> Thanks for your reply.  I re-read your butterfly article. I am more confident that having this fish is a possibility in my tank (now am I bold enough to try a pair or just a single) <VBG>. <Ah, good> I have a list of inhabitants for my 370gallon tank: Golden Butterfly Copperband Butterfly (I don't know if a copperband and a golden in the same tank will work). <Should be fine> Emperor Angelfish Majestic Angelfish <Mmm, I would just stick with one large Pomacanthid here... and consider either a Red Sea Imperator... or one of the subgenus Arusettas...> Flame Angelfish Blonde Naso Tang Yellow eye (Kole) Tang Blue Throat or Pink-tail Triggerfish (very peaceful fish) Two Perculas clownfish Do you see a problem with this list? <No... other than the Angels mentioned> What changes would you make (if any). <I'd switch all to a Red Sea biotope theme... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm and the linked files above...> What order would these fish be added?   <More passive first... the trigger and large angel/s last> Thanks again. I look forward to your reply. Kirk <BobF> Re: Golden Butterfly, Red Sea biotopic/livestock sel.   4/19/07 Mr Fenner, <Mr. Stark> Thanks for your reply. <Welcome> In keeping with the Red Sea biotope theme here.  Do the Naso Tang, Kole Tang, and Flame angelfish come in a Red Sea selection?? <Mmm, the first only...> I know that these fish are know for great quality from Hawaii, but I don't know if they are offered from the Red Sea. <All three of the above can be bought out of HI... The Centropyge is gorgeous from here... but deep/er water, much more expensive than elsewhere...> With that said, I assume that having good fish from the Red Sea and good fish (i.e., tangs, flame) from Hawaii would still be acceptable with everyone getting along?? <Likely so> I was kinda shock (and happy) that I would be able to keep the golden and copperband butterflies together. Thanks Kirk <Mmm... one way of getting an idea of what hails from the Red Sea is to do a search by country, body of water on fishbase.org... re-sort by family... look up the species you recognize there... and see what is posted re aquarium use, maximum size, diet... I print these lists, use them when going places... making a mental picture of what I'm looking to photograph, video... BobF> Red Sea Fish Tank/Keeping Large and Aggressive Species – 04/18/07 Hello all! <<Hiya Brent!>> I have written many times for numerous inquiries about getting my system up and running.  I appreciate all the time everyone has taken to answer my questions. <<We’re pleased to help>> I am indebted to everyone for the knowledge I have gained. <<The effort/credit is yours...we just point the way>> Not to mention my grammar has improved as well! <<Hee!  Bob will be pleased to know!>> <You betcha! Umm, I mean, am pleased as well. RMF> I have read (on the FAQs) that specimens from the Red Sea fair better, are or more docile and have more vibrant colors than those from other regions of the world.  Is this true? <<Hmm, as a matter of “degree” I think...not as a “blanket” statement for all species>> The specimens I am asking about are the Clown Trigger, <Mmm, not found in the Red Sea... see fishbase.org's spiffy distribution map/s. RMF> Sohal Tang and the Emperor Angel. <<I see...all beautiful fish...and all with “Alpha” personalities>> I plan to set up a system that could house just these three fish. <<Mmm...definitely a tank-full of bullies>> Initially I thought that a 240g (8x2x2) would suffice.  I was advised against this.  Could you kindly offer your thoughts on what size system you would recommend for these three inhabitants? <<I’m happy to proffer my opinion here.  As you are hopefully aware, there are/will be more dynamics at play here other than the large size of these fishes...you must also take in to account the personalities/anti-social behaviors of these large and aggressive species.  Housing them in too small a confined space often modifies/intensifies these behaviors as well as contributing to health issues.  I feel to adequately house these beasts “together” for the long term, and to show them off at their best, you will need a system at least twice the size of your first consideration...with an ideal dimension being 8’L x 2’H x 4’W.  And even at this size, the possibility still exists the Alpha trigger you have chosen will eventually kill all its tankmates>> I am aware of the Clown Trigger’s tendencies and will have another large system up and running should things decide to turn unhealthy for the livestock. <<Hopefully there will be sufficient danger signs before mayhem commences>> I would buy the fish all starting out at about 2-5" in length.  Do you see any compatibility issues with these three inhabitants? <<Not in a suitably sized environment...but will still bear watching as they mature>> What order would you introduce these fish? <<Ideally, all three at the same time.  But if this is not an option, then either the tang or the angel first (I don’t think it really matters which), and the trigger last>> I have also heard that the specific gravity of the Red Sea is 1.027.  Is this accurate? <<Yes...at a water temperature of about 87F.  At more “normal”  lower tank temperatures you could have a specific gravity of 1.030 or more.  I’ll ask Bob to weigh-in here if he sees this...>> <Mmm, yes, but you (of course...) don't want to keep the temp. this high. RMF> If so, would You recommend that I keep the specific gravity at 1.027 in the aquarium? <<If “all” the specimens are collected from the Red Sea, yes...as a minimum...and possibly more as indicated above.  Though Bob is also likely to mention that many Red Sea species are successfully maintained at more “normal” NSW values of 1.025/026>><Mmm, yes. RMF> Thank you for your time.  It is greatly appreciated! Brent <<Happy to share.  Eric Russell>>

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