Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Public Aquariums

Related Articles: The Traveling Aquarist Doorly Zoo by Anthony Calfo, The Monterey Bay Aquarium by Anthony Calfo

Related FAQs: 


Vacation spots for reef hobbyists     7/7/14
Hi, Mr. Fenner. I was wondering if you knew of any volunteer or good vacation spots for reef hobbyists.
<WOW! All sorts... I plan for, go on these "vacations" a few times a year...
Out visiting anywhere I look up, get out to LFS
Go on dive/adventure holidays to other countries, FLA, HI... diving on reefs, visiting collectors, wholesalers, manufacturers
Contact local hobbyist groups while out giving presentations; visit their tanks...
Are you interested in something in particular? A biotope, product...?>
the way I love your book, The conscientious Marine Aquarist. It got me started in the hobby and now I have a 240 Wide running for 9 years now.
<Ahh! Thank you for your post; and encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Portland aquarium-help     8/20/13
To Whom it May Concern:
    My name is Ali and I am a resident of the community here in Portland, Oregon. Today I read an article that struck me to my very core in our Oregonian newspaper.
<... is this article accessible, on the Net?><<See below>>
The article was a reflection of the mortality rate of fish, sharks, eels, rays and numerous other creatures that the Portland Aquarium inhabits, not to mention the lack of educational background and lack of veterinary help on staff. The aquarium used to be an old restaurant, if that gives you your first clue of how shady this place is.
The Portland Aquarium was started by two brothers, Ammon and Vince Covino, who have already “successfully”  started an aquarium in Idaho and are trying to build another in Austin, TX as we speak.
Mind you, one is awaiting trial for illegally trying to buy/transport lemon sharks from Florida to Idaho. These brothers are doing nothing but getting rich off innocent animals who are sparing their lives just so they can make a buck and I won’t sit quiet and let it happen in my community. I visited this aquarium just a few months ago and when I saw an adult octopus in a tank so small his tentacles barley stretched all the way out, I had to leave. Then to read this story just made my gut turn.
    I have always had a passion for marine life, mainly mammals, whales especially. But the ocean itself is so vast and mysterious I can’t help but find it interesting and I can’t help but feel like I have to do more for the marine life at this aquarium. I am a student at the community college here in town and don’t have my degree in anything yet, but I know enough to know this place needs to be shut down or redirected with a different mind set, and the public needs to be more aware about what is going on. I posted a comment on the website of the newspaper, and someone gave me this website to check out. They told me if anyone would help or give me some ideas where to start, this would be the place. I am only one girl, a broke student currently making coffee for a living to be exact, but I have time and I have dedication and I want to put it to good use. I feel the least we can do is put this story out there, make people knowledgeable and prevent another aquarium like this form being built. I don’t know if you guys will even respond to this,
<We respond to all>
maybe there isn’t anything I can do, but I have to reach out and see if anyone feels as outraged as I do.  It is said that this aquarium will try and add puffins and otters to their “exhibits” soon. I can only imagine what their little lives will be like if this actually takes place.
If there is anything at all that you can do, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you for your time.
Ali Heinle
<I would first gather what facts you can re what you find disagreeable, unacceptable, and contact the District Attorney of Portland. Inquire what steps can be taken to bring poor situations you're aware of to the attention of proper authorities there. I am sure there are governmental as well as independent organizations that are interested in righting such troubles. Thank you for your passion re the welfare of aquatic life in human care. Bob Fenner>
re: Portland aquarium-help     8/20/13

Did just find this:

News article from Channelnewsasia.com Newest, largest public aquarium... Sing.      11/20/12
> Dear Bob,
> Your friend Perry just visited www.channelnewsasia.com
> for the latest in news and information and has highly recommended
> the following URL:
>    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1238377/1/.html 
> Here is Perry`s message :
> News from Singapore
Very nice... Will definitely be visiting come next May along w/ the Aquarama show. BobF
Trip to Singapore- possible places to visit     4/4/13

I  am pretty sure you will want to visit the world's largest Oceanarium on Sentosa island on your next trip to Singapore. We also have the world's largest freshwater aquarium that just opened yesterday at the River Safari. you can check out the link
I will be flying to Perhentian island with Jo next week to see what kind of lodgings are available there. Initial checks on Tripadvisor paint a dismal picture of facilities on the island. Will update you accordingly.
<Real good on both counts Per. Cheers, BobF>
StraitsTimes.com News: Resorts World's aquarium clinches two Guinness World Records   4/8/13
News from Singapore
<Ah yes. BobF>

Toronto Aquarium 6/6/2011
Have you guys seen this?
In my own home town, too!
<Mmm, well, a lot of indefinites, and the usual suspicious gov't BS, but a neat project for whoever's paying for it. Bob Fenner>

Aquariums to visit in Europe  4/1/10
Greetings WWM crew and/or Bob
<And you Todd>
Long time reader of your website, its helped me a lot over the years. And a special thanks to Mr. Fenner, I used to subscribe to FAMA and loved his articles. It saved many of my fish over the years and inspired me to move on to other more difficult fish (I started with Platy's at age 7, got my first issue of FAMA as a gift at age 8, and was hooked. Moved on to live plants, biotopes, brackish tanks, and eventually a small reef tank which I had to dismantle to leave for college.) The point of my email though is a travel question.
I'll be travelling through Europe for a few months this summer after finishing college, and I was wondering if there are any spectacular, can't miss, aquariums in Europe. Google has been relatively helpful, mostly pointing me to Denmark and London, but I suspect you guys might have a better opinion on the subject.
<Mmmm... let's see... folks vary in their likes, so "spectacular" to me may not be so to others, but given the one town and other country, I would take in the Sea Life London Aquarium, and Denmark's Aquarium near Copenhagen...>
As a reference, the only public aquariums I've been to are the Shedd aquarium in Chicago (amazing, but probably because it was the first one I saw), the Vancouver Aquarium (also amazing, but not as amazing), and the Predator Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Vegas (interesting, but small and short, and not particularly accurate in their labeling, they had African cichlids in their south American tank for example)
Long story short, if you were heading to Europe this summer, and could only visit 3 aquariums there, what would they be? How about the world? (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan is at the tops of my list, fyi)
<Very worthwhile>
Thanks in advance for any help,
<Bon voyage! Bob Fenner>

Interesting link to post... Staten Island Ferry Terminal Aquariums  -02/20/08 Hi Crew, <Hi David, Mich here.> I love your site and have been the recipient of great advice. <Great to hear.> I wanted to share an excellent video of the setup of two massive saltwater tanks at the Staten Island, NY ferry terminal. <I was just in Manhattan this weekend. Wish I knew it was there!> Click on the link, scroll down to the fish tank video. http://www.statenislandusa.com/# <Very cool, thanks for sharing. Mich> Thanks, David

Yahoo! News Story - Fish die-off prompts closing of aquarium -   9/27/07 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070927/ap_on_sc/malaysia_dead_fish <Yikes... BobF>

Re: Hello, JoeR in El Paso! IMAC LV -- 7/10/07 Everything is going great and I'm doing fine thanks. The weather is killing us though, it's very hot right now, lol. Our tanks with the zebra eels, Longnose butterflies, and Longnose Hawkfish are doing fine, thanks to your advice. We will be opening a new reptile house in about 8 months and a new Africa section in about a year and a half. We are all looking forward to these new exhibits. I'm really glad that you responded, thanks for taking the time. I'm also enjoying your new book very much. Well thanks again, it's been nice hearing from you. P.S. Are you going to the IMAC in Vegas? Joe Reza> <<Great to hear of the new exhibits... looks like IMAC LV has been cancelled due to lack of sign-ups... A shame. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Aquarium of the Americas  - 06/07/2006 I was hoping you could pass this on to some of your readers. Until Sept. 5th the Aquarium Supply Company will be donating 10% of their profits to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas to help offset some of their losses from Hurricane Katrina. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is having an Adopt-A-Fish program to help replace the nearly 10,000 fish lost. You can read more about it at www.aquariumsupplycompany.com/adopt_a_fish.html Thanks <Will post. Bob Fenner>

Public Aquariums... discover, discern your destiny, seek your path, become yourself   1/25/06 Hello, I love saltwater fish and love taking care of my little reef tank enough that I want to work in a public aquarium. <Think we all did at one time or another.> I'm 18 and a senior in high school and I'm starting to plan out pretty much the direction I want to take. What would you think would be the best step toward working in a public aquarium? I really like saltwater fish and reef type invertebrates but I don't really care much for penguins, seals etc. . There isn't an aquarium around here and the closest I could do would be work at Petco *gag* (One time they played with their sump and accidentally turned their tanks into freshwater overnight killing everything but a snowflake eel--probably fixed the ick problem though...) Anyhow, what would probably be the best thing right now? <I'm baffled...you want to work at a public aquarium but there are none around you. I don't know of any other options outside of working at "*gag*" Petco. The best step I guess is moving near one and submitting an application to them. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks <You're welcome><<I strongly encourage you to get/read Jay Hemdal's "Aquarium Careers" (review, link on WWM). Pursue your path, dream. RMF>> World's Largest Aquarium Set to Open on November 23, 2005 - 11/14/05 By Doug Gross  Associated Press     ATLANTA - The whale sharks are kings of the 6-million-gallon tank, their presence palpable even before they emerge from the murky darkness like massive star cruisers in a science fiction film.  But once visitors to the new Georgia Aquarium have seen Ralph and Norton - the only whale sharks on display outside of Asia - they will still have at least 99,998 more fish to go.     When the aquarium opens Nov. 23, it will become the world's largest by virtually all major standards of the industry. It was bankrolled almost exclusively by a $200 million gift from Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernie Marcus.  "It's going to be the most unique aquarium in the world," said Marcus, 76. "I don't want to say the best. (Status as) the best will come after people view it and decide."       The aquarium will also be the centerpiece of a downtown Atlanta revival aimed at drawing millions more visitors to the Southern city each year.  The aquarium neighbors Centennial Olympic Park and lies across the street from the CNN Center and the Georgia Dome. In 2007, a new World of Coca-Cola museum is expected to open next door. The city also is a finalist for NASCAR's hall of fame, which would be located in what is now a parking lot near the other attractions.     Shaped like an abstract cruise ship looming over downtown Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, the aquarium is expected to attract as many as 2 million visitors in its first year.  The aquarium was designed to hold 8 million gallons of water and be home to more than 100,000 fish. By comparison, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago - the nation's largest indoor aquarium for decades - has 5 million gallons and about 20,000 fish.     The Atlanta aquarium's pair of juvenile whale sharks - characterized by their streamlined bodies and depressed, broad and flattened heads - could grow to more than 40 feet long, giving visitors a rare glimpse at the world's largest fish. At the time they arrived at the aquarium in June from Taiwan, one was measured at 15 1/2 feet and the other at 13 feet.     Also featured will be five beluga whales, two of them rescued from an amusement park in Mexico, in an 800,000-gallon tank.     The unusual fish on display, presentations that will include computer-generated images, spotlights and music and the sheer size of the project have aquarium officials around the world buzzing - and even jealous, said Kristin Vehrs, interim executive director of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.  "We know they are going to be doing state-of-the-art things at that aquarium," she said.     And it will be more than just a huge aquarium.  There's a "4-D" movie theater, which shows movies with 3-D animation and other special effects, and a banquet hall that can serve a sit-down dinner for up to 1,100 people catered by a company owned by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Marcus, who became a billionaire after co-founding Home Depot in 1979 with current Atlanta Falcons football franchise owner Arthur Blank Jr., the aquarium is a $200 million "thank you" note to the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia.  "I have what I have today because of the people in this state," he said.     But not everyone is happy.  A handful of animal rights groups protested the plan to display whale sharks, saying the giant animals are more likely to  die young in captivity. Aquarium officials and some independent biologists say those fears are based on old statistics and say the aquarium's whale sharks were destined to become seafood when they were acquired.     Some Atlanta-area residents are complaining about the ticket prices and lack of a family pass. For a family of five, the cost of individual annual passes will be nearly $250, while one-day general admission would run $96.50. For a single adult, a one-day pass is $22.75. For children, a one-day ticket is $17.     Planners say visitors will consider the price a bargain when they see what's in store. More than 40,000 annual passes have been sold, including 8,000 on the first day they were available.      Marcus said he knew Home Depot would take off when he learned customers were driving nearly two hours, from Athens, Ga., to his first store in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. He said he will use a similar standard to determine whether his aquarium is a success.  "I'll know it's successful when we find out people are coming from all over the United States and groups are coming from other countries," he said. "When we see them coming here, then we'll know we were right." ON THE NET - Georgia Aquarium: http://www.georgiaaquarium.org

Shanghai Aquarium Stomach-turning Disgust!  11/6/05 Dear Bob, Again to you and the complete crew, great and heartfelt warmth of appreciation for the hours of dedication you guys and gals give to us novices. Sometimes with even tired humour, especially Marina. Thank you. <<<blush> You're welcome, I'm glad I can provide some humor.. we all need a bit of humor, yeah?>> <Certainly welcome> I wrote to you a year or so back about the fantastic aquarium here in Shanghai. Well that was a year or so ago obviously. My (6) year old son asked me to take him there today, I think on the premise that he wanted a particular something from the shop there, but I always like looking around there; as the tanks are (Were) always well kept; and there was always something new to look at.  The something new today was a shark exhibition area opened recently. To me, even as a simply novice could not believe that these beautiful creatures, all fairly young, were kept singly in tanks no bigger than twice the length of the animal. Most were just immobile on the floor of the tanks seemingly heavily breathing. It looked awful to me.  Reading many posts on sharks on the site, it seems they need a minimum of about 6 to 8 times the length or greater? <Yes... to live healthy, long lives> This unfortunately was not the last of the problems I saw. On going into the marine fish / reef section of the aquarium I noticed every single Hippo Tang, Yellow Tank and Fake Moorish Idol were suffering severely with HLLE. Some even had gaping holes through the side of their heads. This was in at least four separate displays. Depressing to say the least. I also believe that the cleaner wrasses in some of the tanks may not have been true cleaners, as I am sure I saw once or twice more than cleaning activity from these fish. <Likely the common issues of water quality and poor nutrition> It was so bad I tried to contact the aquarium manager / supervisor to discuss the situation with them. <Good> But as it was a Sunday, nobody seemed to be on site. It is such a shame, as about a year ago the place was unbelievable in health and quality. I will be writing to the aquarium during the week, but just a heads up to anybody visiting in the next months. Best regards Dave <I do encourage you to follow-up with contacting the "Managing Director", as well as the Curator of the Aquarium, and cc'ing the local newspaper re your concerns... giving specific examples, suggestions for improvement. You are welcome to cite me, our sites. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium in Guatemala  9/27/05 Hi Bob, my name is Carlos Diaz, Here in Guatemala I have the pleasure to know  a guy who serve as a consulter for the government in development (economical and social) he told me that they have funds (not much but I think enough to do something nice) some land and the desire to construct a aquarium in the pacific of Guatemala (for tourism as attraction and for research and conservation) the thing here is that they know nothing about aquariums and aquarium development,  and (because he know my hobby) he ask me for an expert (in both areas, development: construction, designs, etc and marine bio). So I think you can help us here.... Your thoughts?? <Mmm, have been involved in a few public aquarium projects... and have been to Guatemala... at what point in the planning phase are you? Might I ask, is the intention/need to "make money?"... These affairs do take years to complete... Will you be a/the director? Bob Fenner>

Re: Aquarium in Guatemala  9/29/05 1) Making money: Not the goal, but at least be sustainable 2) Me Director: Nope, They just ask me for advice, Am not a marine biologist, Am just a hobbyist (this is a word?), so I cant be an adviser for this kind of project. They know this is not just add water plus a pill and tanan!! But it is probable that the voice of experience from you will be priceless.  They told me that "they" (people that are in charge of this project) will invite me to a meeting the next week to talk just about this... maybe I can tell them that there is a chance of your advice ???? Carlos <Oh yes... do send along what you/all may have in the way of a working business proposal, plan, spread-sheet for cash-flow... do you have a site? Funding in place? Bob Fenner>

Public Aquarium shark collection Dear Bob, <Aamir> We are planning to build a public aquarium. Could you please guide us how can we get Sharks for the aquarium, from where we could purchase them, how much does it cost? Regards, Aamir Sajjad <Most public aquariums buy their sharks from either collectors directly or wholesale intermediaries... Some are fortunate to be located near areas where they are fished, and buy them from fishermen... the very wealthy mount collecting expeditions and go get their own... the last two means can net you some larger animals... Do study re sedation, transport of these animals... a specialized activity. Bob Fenner>

Library Aquarium Display Bob, <Jim> I have volunteered to set up and maintain a planted freshwater aquarium in the children's section of our local library. The head of the children's department and the library director are both very enthusiastic about this project and have been very supportive. They plan to enhance the aquarium with books related to aquariums, have regular feeding times, and post signs announcing the project. I am planning to do some hands on seminars as I am setting up the aquarium, and post information sheets next to it detailing the contents. <Sounds great> I am relying on donations from vendors, stores and other sponsors to fund the project, but I am having a difficult time finding sources. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can obtain funding? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you, Jim K. Lake Zurich, IL <I do... I would write the major manufacturers (you can find these through the Net, magazines (hobbyist and industry), buyer's guides... after first calling, getting the specific person/s you should pitch... asking for relevant product/s... On official letterhead, listing the librarian committee, personnel involved... And I'd ask the local fish stores for help in this matter as well, particularly livestock... And I'd look around and see where the nearest fish clubs are, when they meet and ask if you can make a presentation to ask for donations as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Library Aquarium Display Bob, <Jim> Thanks for the quick reply and information. The big ticket items I need the most help with is the aquarium and stand. So far none of the manufacturers will donate equipment, but have offered to sell them at a discount. <Mmm, I'd try the clubs re these items... they often have budgets, even donations earmarked for such projects> I have been looking on EBay to see if anyone is selling or giving one away locally. I may put an ad in the local paper asking for one, or post a sign on the bulletin board of the library. I'm sure someone has an extra tank around that they've given up on. I like the idea of having the library send out a request on their letterhead. I'm sure many companies would be reluctant to offer anything to  me as an individual. I also may pitch the idea to the library for a fundraiser to pay for the equipment. As a last resort, I may end up purchasing the equipment myself and maybe getting reimbursed from next year's budget. Thanks again, Jim <Please do send along a pic once all is up and going. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Mauritius - New Quarantine Procedures a Hit Dear Mr. Fenner, <Jean-Paul> I am writing in regards to an article sent to you by our former marine ' expert ' - Mr. M Ducasse. <Yes> Since his departure, we have been put together our own quarantine procedures . These have been a great success and we have now resolved all problems and are now suffering virtually no loss of specimens. <Great news. Tres bien!> Our aquarium systems has now stabilized and we are displaying some 200 species including reefs sharks, moray eels, turtles and rays. <That was quick> Should you happen to include our island on your travels, we will be delighted to show you around our  complex. Kind regards Jean-Paul Bouquet Managing Director Aquarium Mauritius  Tel : 00 (230) 261-45-61 Fax : 00 (230) 261-50-80 <Merci. Thank you for your kind offer. Am hoping to visit there this or next year. Robare Fenner>

Aquarium at The Mirage Hello WWM Crew, <Jennica> Here's a question of a slightly different nature... Have any of you seen the 20,000 gallon aquarium at the Mirage in Las Vegas? <Yes, our old business, Aquatic Life Services, was involved (there are no great people, just great committees) in part of its install many years back>   I couldn't believe my eyes.  It seemed that they had one of every commercial species of triggers, angelfishes, puffers, each. Have any of you seen this aquarium? <At the beginning they had more than one copy... of Clown Triggers! Required some considerable effort to remove all but one> What can you tell me about its maintenance?   <Mmm, they have their own in-house staff... that do a very good job under the circumstances... with this and a few other water features they maintain> Overstocked, well-kept, or...?  I'll take this under consideration when I give the Mirage their patronage next. Jennica <Actually, many of the larger, older specimens in the one tank show some very bad signs of poor nutrition, HLLE, poor coloration and such... Bob Fenner> Local Aquarium in design, proposal stage Dear Bob, <Kelly> I am writing to get info for a proposal that I am putting together to present to my city council. What I want to propose is a local aquarium project. We are 30 miles south of Chicago, (Shedd Aquarium). We aren't planning to compete with them, maybe get some of their overflow, but we have no plans to go to that level. What I am really interested in is finding the statistical information that I need about the industry to put my business plan together. Is there somewhere online where I can do a through research on this subject? <Not as far as I'm aware... you might try contacting other, newer public aquaria and private/public aquaria and asking if there is someone to contact in turn re generating this proposal. Maybe starting here: http://www.aza.org/FindZooAquarium/ The American Zoo and Aquarium Association... they have a good directory.> Please email me your reply as I am swamped and may forget to check your page for a reply. I thank you very much for your consideration. Sincerely, Kelly Brown <We respond directly as well as archiving all on our sites. Bob Fenner> Robert P.L. Straughan Hello Crew, does anybody out there know whatever happened to Bob? Is he still around?  thanks, Steve. <No my friend. Robert P.L. Straughan has left us. Bob Fenner> Aquarium in Philippines or Taiwan 7/13/04 Hi Anthony, many thanks for your reply. <always welcome my friend> I will make a visit to the Atlantis, Monterey Bay, Long Beach Aquarium and probably the one in San Francisco as well. <all outstanding choices... very different from each other and all worthy> Guess what, my company Chairman has asked me to look into a proposal given to him to set up a public Aquarium in the Philippines, <wow... interesting> I would have thought that Thailand is a better option as there are more tourists to Thailand than the Philippines as there are more tourist there. Anyway I will look at it when I return from my US holidays. <what little qualified opinion I have on the matter, I agree... Taiwan seems like a much better choice - pulling in wealthy tourists from Singapore, Hong Kong and more> I am now attaching the pics of my brain and bubbles for you to have a look, I managed to save the brain after I put it in the refugium. For the bubbles something very unusual happened (to me at least), looks like it is dying, but now I noticed a lot of baby bubbles appearing recently on the skeleton of these bubbles, see attached. Actually what is happening to this bubbles, will the babies survive? <hmmm in all of these pics the corals' colors/pigmentation look fine, but the tissue looks burned (and receded of course with the bubble). This suggests to me a burn (water chemistry/supplements) or attrition (lack of feeding... these corals need fed 3-5 times weekly and will starve in less than one year without such food)> I also noticed that my brains, Trachyphyllia and Cynarina (button/meat coral) does not fully expand like they used to, however it is feeding at night, water parameters is OK, other corals are doing well, except the brains and bubbles. <hmmm... if they are getting fed regularly, then perhaps the chemistry is being spiked. Are there wild swings of pH (more than .2 in 24hours) or is the evap water being topped off in sudden/large amounts (many gallons at once)?> The only think I did was to remove 10 bioballs from the first chamber and remove the filtration pad from the overflow box. I don't think this is the reason <agreed... this is no trouble at all.> Kind Regards, Daniel <I'm wondering if there's been any changes in routine lately... chemicals added to kill pest algae or anemones (these are very hard on some corals) or perhaps a sudden/new use of chemical filtration media? New pH supplements (caustic)? The addition of undiluted supplements (dumping powders or strong chemicals into the display without diluting them first). Hmmm... all just speculation here. Alas, the symptoms are too general to say. But your baby bubble corals will live if you feed them well. Best of luck, Anthony

Waterweelde ? Dear Bob, <Charles> Have you heard of Waterweelde based in Netherlands? Pls advise. Thanks Charles <Advise re? This is a public aquarium... put their name in your search tools and check them out... Unfortunately couldn't get their English version to come up. Bob Fenner>

Like no other place on Earth - Atlantis Marine World - Riverhead NY 5/20/04 Hi Anthony, <cheers Daniel... sorry for the delay in reply, we are back now from Interzoo> I will visit this place, am arriving in NY on July 21, I can allocate 23rd July to visit this place but I need advice on how to get there, am not sure my family will be visiting, if all of the do there are 9 of us (2 families). Will indeed appreciate your friend's assistance! <I have cc'ed Joe here... he's a great guy and has built an extraordinary facility. If he has time to greet you, I'm sure he will. [Joe - Daniel Kong is traveling from Singapore to visit the states, and has been persuaded that your facility is not to be missed! <G>. Please do say Hi! and give him a peek of your systems if you have time to spare] Daniel... their website link: http://www.atlantismarineworld.com/ > I am still waiting for your book Reef Fishes, been waiting for a long time! I have bought Bob's book "The Con. Marine Aq.", love that book. Would love to visit Bob, he is in San Diego? one of my favourite author/mentor as his description on fish behaviour, compatibility etc is spot on, same goes with your book. <Bob is in San Diego... will return there in a few weeks from the Red Sea. Do write again to see if he is available> Most of the other authors with the exception of Eric Borneman, are not so accurate with their views as some of them are not hobbyist like you guys who shared an obsessed (in positive terms) passion in this hobby. Regards, Daniel <best regards, Anthony> - When you are in New York, please see if you can visit the Atlantis Aquarium in Riverhead (on Long Island... about 90 minutes drive through traffic from Manhattan). They have a 80,000 liter reef tank! And the facility is world class from an aquarists perspective. If you think you can fit this in, I will contact my dear friend Joe that directs it and see if he can give you a behind the scenes tour of the place> <yes... I hope to be able to release it next year, after Bob and I finish the second volume of our NMA series (Reef Fishes)> Kind Regards, Daniel <be chatting soon, Anthony>

Dissertation Dear Mr. Fenner,  I received your name through James Lawrence. I am working on a dissertation at Columbia University about the nature of tropical aquaria-- i.e. what are the theoretical, historical, aesthetic, and psychological implications of keeping a sophisticated personal aquarium. I was hoping that you could shed some light on the topic through an informal interview via either email or phone. Please let me know if you could help!  Thanks,  Paul Heyer  <Neat topic... do call me (in HI presently, or in San Diego or we'll chat over the Net at your convenience. Bob Fenner>

Volunteering at a public aquarium - 3/2/04 Dear Bob, A few months ago I asked about working at an aquarium. <Paul in for Bob today>  Last Friday a guy who is a vet came to our school and talked to us about it. <Loved these presentations when I was in school. I ended up working for the vet who presented at my school. Worked for them for a few years. Great eye opening experience. Learned a lot!!>  He said he knows the person who's the head vet a Sea World too!  Well I was just wondering if I would have to be a vet if I wanted to work with sharks or what other jobs there would be. <Public Aquarium jobs?? or any jobs?  In general, there are lots of jobs that would allow you to work with sharks at the aquarium: general aquarists, vets and  vets assistants, volunteer divers, to name but a few opportunities. It is limited when it comes to interaction with sharks outside of public aquaria but there are some opportunities out there.>  I read in my dive magazine that you can just volunteer to work at one and they would let you clean it. <Well, depends on your skill set, age of the volunteer, and available openings. You should definitely check out your local public aquarium(s) and see what is available> Thanks in advance <Great question. Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul> Adam Siders Working at a public aquarium - 3/2/04 Yeah I meant working at a public aquarium because that's what I want to do. <Starting out at the volunteer level is a great start. I work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I am working on the upcoming shark exhibit. It is going awesome (read better than expected). How old are you Adam and what city do you live in? I can maybe put you in touch with an  aquarist in your area. ~Paul>

Working at an aquarium Hey right now am 13 and will be 14 in a few months < I think you are likely too young to volunteer at a public aquarium yet.> I live in the Kansas City, Kansas area <Is there a public Aquarium in your area you had in mind? I only know of the St. Louis Zoo which has the "Rivers Edge" exhibit. Not much on sharks as I remember. Things may have changed. ~Paul>

Keeping Catsharks - 3/4/04 Yeah well St. Louis is way to far anyway. About 3 hours. <yeah. I remember as much>  Right now I'm trying to get some coral Catsharks because I think that would look good for an aquarium job. <Sure. Actually any fishkeeping is good enough for an aquarium job. Also, be sure to be aggressive in your schooling. I am sure you hear that often, but really, the science field likes highly motivated and highly educated prospective employees. A degree always helps in the public aquarium field.>  Do you know anywhere that could get some and maybe ship them to my LFS? <Do your research here. Be sure you have the proper tank and filtration before you even conceive of keeping sharks of any type. We have quite a bit of info on our site about this. Please do your best to read through it and prepare for the cost and time it will take to care for these amazing animals. I would order them through www.liveaquaria.com or www.marinedepot.com Thanks for the questions, Adam. Look forward to hearing of your endeavors in aquaria. ~Paul> Thanks Adam

The Unhappiest Place On Earth (If You're A Fish!)! Hey everyone, <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> I just went on a week long visit to Disney World.  Of course, the only place I got really excited about there was the "Living Seas" exhibit. <That's about all I'd look forward to there, too!> I have to say, I was thoroughly disappointed. They claim to have the largest saltwater aquarium in the world, at a whopping 5.7 million gallons. <Hmm...Two 5% water changes per week at 285,000 gallons each...? that's a lot of salt.. LOL> I agree, this tank was absolutely enormous. It was also an absolute shame.  Many of the fish in the tank had advanced cases of HLLE.  Some of the fishes seemed to have the skin flayed off the front and sides of their heads. <That is a shame, and an irony- especially when the tank is hyped  and "cared for" by an organization that recently released a film which seems to have cast a somewhat negative view of the aquarium hobby in general...> Not only that, but it also appeared as though the "reef" part of the reef exhibit was pretty shoddy.  There was NO live coral, anemones, or sponges. <Well, if the husbandry in that section is as poor as that which you observed in the fish display, it's just as well that they stick to plastic! I'm sure that they have some hard-working people there, but I'll hazard a guess that they are operating on a too-limited budget...Seems absurd to have such a large system and not have it pristine...> I was fairly disappointed in the whole experience.  The only invertebrates I saw were a chambered nautilus (which was pretty cool, I have to admit), and some cleaner shrimp. <Well- at least they can do some things right, besides just making movies about talking clownfish, huh??> I just figured I'd pass this on to you guys.  Maybe we could write someone there at Disney and let them know about the importance of maintaining these wonderful creatures properly. <I'd highly recommend that you write to their management people and let them know what you think. If you don't mind, you could offer to take the Mighty Ducks and the Angels off of their hands, too...> Plus, they need some CORAL! <Well, if they are aware that there may be some difficulties in maintaining living corals in their system, I tip my Mickey Mouse ears to them for their restraint! Start writing to those guys, okay? Maybe they will acknowledge you and take some steps to improve things...The audience and the potential is there- hopefully, the desire to improve their husbandry is! Regards, Scott F>

Aquarium of the Pacific Photos Hey guys- Here's a link to some photos from a recent trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. They're yours if you want to use them on WWM or otherwise. The copies I have are much better quality so let me know and I'll send you the large version. Talk to you soon! http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/ryantaylorb/lst?.dir=/Fish&.view=t <Very nice. Thank you for sending them along. Bob F> Ryan Bowen

Fun with marine biology http://www.id.ucsb.edu/lovelab/index.html <Makes me want to change my middle name (Milton), as in the blind poet. Some fun now! Bob F>

Somewhat OT: Kudos to Anthony/WWM Crew 5/23/03 Hi ya folks! <Cheers, my friend> I regularly peruse the daily FAQs, as I find them fascinating. I fortunately haven't had a need to ask any questions myself; my freshwater Angel tank seems to be doing fine (stop making faces at me you marine addicts! *grin*). <heehee... believe it or not <G> we're not that bad. My heart is actually still with freshwater discus and so many other beautiful freshwater species (magnificent African Cichlids, oh-so-many catfish, amazing livebearer varieties... and definitely angelfish!- BTW... if you ever make it to Baltimore to see the National Aquarium, go across the street to the Barnes and Nobles 2nd floor Altum angel/Amazon tank run by the Aquarium... unbelievable!). Marines and invertebrates just happen to be the focus of my/our pen oftentimes :) > Anyway, the reason I felt a need to send this, was due the restraint Anthony showed with the 15 yr old shark boy. I work with adolescent kiddies, and  that boy displayed a blatant case of "the world revolves around me" as well as chronic " mom said no, I'll ask dad". Anthony, I'm well impressed with the way you handled that; <I sincerely appreciate you saying so, my friend, but I must admit with all modesty aside that at such times I'm disappointed at my lack of discretion at times. I wish I could be more reverent.. or less sarcastic <G> sometimes. I think of what some of the folks I most admire, and wonder what they would have done in such cases... too often/most often I lack grace. Doing the best I can in the meantime... hoping to get smarter as I grow older <G>.> teenagers can be masters at getting under one's skin, and you REALLY restrained yourself despite provocation! That incident supports my belief that this is truly a quality aquatic website. <danke!> Heh, I do kinda feel bad for the folks at the NJ State Aquarium though...hopefully they will be able to deal with that young fellow as well as Anthony did. Allison <indeed... and I strongly suspect that it was a docent at NJ Aq. that fielded that chap's phone call (not a lot of paid staffers in any big Aquarium "manning the phones" for random calls from the public. They are usually quite busy with operational duties). A tenured docent is likely well-suited to dealing with young folks. Perhaps all is for the best after all. Although his sharks may not agree in couple years if they are still around. <Sigh>. With kind regards to you Allison. I do hope to make your acquaintance one day perhaps at a fish show/conference. I do make it to freshwater shows as well <VBG>! I was just at the NEC in Hartford/Springfield a couple months ago... wonderful time/people/show. Anthony>

Marine Aquarium in Fresno??? I have heard rumors of a Sea World type Aquarium being built in Fresno, CA, USA. Does anyone know anything about it, and who's building it? I am a Vet Tech and am interested in contacting them for employment.   <Haven't heard of this one. I would call their "Chamber of Commerce" re. Bob Fenner>

Marine Aquarium in Fresno Bobster... I peeped this query on the dailies today: "Marine Aquarium in Fresno??? I have heard rumors of a Sea World type Aquarium being built in Fresno, CA, USA. Does anyone know anything about it, and who's building it? I am a Vet Tech and am interested in contacting them for employment." They are indeed pitching a new aquarium in Fresno. The hope/projected focus is an aquacultured theme for the facility. Impressive if they pull it off. I got to chat with this really nice fellow last summer in the Bay Area about it (lets post the web site, yay?): Tom Lang Executive Director Aquarius Aquarium Institute http://www.aquariusaquarium.org e-mail tlang@aquariusaquarium.org <Will post. Thank you. Bob F>

Public aquariums in the U.S. (if they can find money) Hey, fellow Wet heads! CNN.com just posted a salty "travel" story worth a peek.... "Big fish tanks right bait for cities" http://www.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/DESTINATIONS/02/19/aquariums/index.html - Here's an excerpt: "The number of free-standing member aquariums in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association has more than doubled since 1989, jumping from 17 members that year to 36 in 2001. At least 20 more facilities are in the planning stages..." - This aquaria-tourism trend could be good for international "reef-consciousness" IF dedicated local wet heads push big-city aquariums to follow conscientious specimen-collection, tank maintenance, and even propagation/reintroduction of species threatened in the wild. Think about all those receptive kids visiting famous aquariums via school bus -- they're gonna vote soon, or at least buy their first protein skimmers!  ;-) Bruce Mewhinney <Thanks for this. Will post. Bob Fenner>

New article as a travel piece Bobster... <Anthony> When you get a chance, would you please critique a piece that I just keyed from my trip this past weekend to Omaha. <Okay> Their zoo was really incredible! Not quite San Diego style... but close <G>. <Looks very nice from your pix, description> Specifically... this is my first attempt at a travel piece... I think. You can tell me that :) I guess I'd like to branch out a little hear and learn to scribe such articles for sale to the airline/travel mag.s, etc as you had suggested before. <A very good idea> Any pointers besides "bugger off!" would be much appreciated, bud. <The piece is well-composed, not too laudacious... or verbose...> For this and future articles (mostly WWM aquatic pieces) I created a folder and page for content with pics as you'll notice. All in the general WWM directory. Do advise me if you'd like to move it. <Will move about if you don't mind... or make copy/ies and place on the Navigation View... to find, link more easily> Read all about it here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Anthony%20temp%20article%20page.htm Having fun at the Fenner party tonight I hope :) <Uggghhh, just recovering> Gracias Mi Potato, and Kind regards to all Antoine <Be chatting, writing, making submissions... Bob F, who does want to make a long-awaited suggestion... that we either develop an entirely separate "travel adventure" site... or add, link these efforts to our present ones (sort of like Heiko.B's "Aqua Geo")... Including video...>

Re: New article as a travel piece For this and future articles (mostly WWM aquatic > pieces) I created a folder and page for content with > pics as you'll notice. All in the general WWM > directory. Do advise me if you'd like to move it. > <Will move about if you don't mind... or make > copy/ies and place on the > Navigation View... to find, link more easily> Thanks for the input, bud. I was worried that it was too verbose for the purpose. <Mmm, not at all, or too much at all... it's "you" Anthony... charming, direct, intelligent... okay, you owe me a quarter> Yes, please do move and rename the piece as you see fit/best. <Will do> Can I still leave the generic page in place for easy access of future to be placed articles pending edit/critique. <Certainly> And for the few pictures I have to offer is the pic folder created adequate or would you prefer I save them elsewhere? <Mmm, pls do keep using the folder, folder in that folder... organizing scheme you develop> > Having fun at the Fenner party tonight I hope :) > <Uggghhhh, just recovering> Ha! Fun it was then... did you have a bathtub full of tasty marguerites? Shared with perky nippled honies <G>? Don't mind me... I'm just living vicariously through you :) <Hmm, and I invidiously through you. Bob>

Setting up a public aquarium Hi Bob and crew, <Hello my friend> I have been referring to your site regularly and find that it is by far the best site on the web. I am based in Bombay, India. We have one aquarium in town. It is quite terrible. A few fresh water fish and some marine fish that the local fishermen bring in by accident. <Perhaps a beginning to something more, better> The tanks have no filtration and most fish die. It is unfortunate that most people in the city have no idea about marine life. <Yes... oft-stated: people only love, cherish, protect what they know...> I have been lobbying the state government to set up another aquarium in the city. I am not sure how long this will take 6 months-- 6 years. <Patience, diligence are universal values> I have been keeping marine fish/anemones for the last few years but my experience as a hobbyist hardly qualifies me to set up a public aquarium. <You might well be surprised... the same underlying principles apply to all scales of systems> I would like to read some books/refer to some web sites about setting up large aquarium tanks. <Mmm, yes... engineering works principally. Much of the art, science of public aquarium display is an oral tradition... a matter of individual transference, sharing> The main concern would be to get a reasonable filtration system so that we are not constantly upgrading in the future. Should we use salt mixes of can we use sea water after some treatment? <Synthetic salt mixes are almost always the better route to go rather than natural... much easier to control, maintain> The sea around the city is quite polluted. I actually need a guide to setting up everything. Tanks? Piping? Filtration? Can you help?? <Yes... and can, will refer you to others who can do so. Will cc them here. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks Karun

Attachment on Aquatic Industry in India Here is the attachment referred to in my previous e-mail. Svein << India.doc >> <Thank you for your help, input here Svein. Hope to see you (not in Norway! Someplace where the water is warm and clear) before next time's Interzoo. Hello to Alf. Bob Fenner>

Aquatics on the Internet

Selected quotes on India

from past "Surf Research Reports"

by Svein A. Fossa, originally published in the OFI Journal

Indian Project on Ornamental Fish from Kerala

Since I have a very personal interest for India, its culture and wildlife, I am watching the rapid development of the Indian ornamental aquatics industry with interest and enthusiasm.

One of the newer Indian additions to the Internet is the web site "Project on Ornamental Fish". The project, which is formally named 'Resource Analysis of Potential Ornamental Fishes in Kerala (India) for Development of Markets in India and Abroad', sorts under the 'School of Industrial Fisheries' of 'Cochin University of Science and Technology' by its director Prof. Dr. C. Hridayanathan and the principal investigator Prof. Dr. A. Ramachandran, and is funded by OFI member 'Marine Products Export Development Authority'.

Kerala is a tiny state on the southwestern corner of India, bordered in the east by the forest covered mountains known as the Western Ghats and in the west by the Arabian Sea. In addition to the surrounding marine habitats, the state has 41 west flowing and 3 east flowing rivers, plus several estuaries and brackish water lakes (the famous Backwaters of Kerala). This accounts for a rich and diversified ichthyofauna that still, to a large extent, is unexplored as a source of aquarium fishes. The main aims of the present project is to give a detailed assessment of the potential ornamental fishery resources in the state, to identify the possible species suitable for commercial, sustainable harvesting, and to identify species suitable for captive breeding.

In addition to information on the project itself, the present web site also offers lists, with short descriptions and colour photos, of wild caught and captive bred ornamental fishes available for marketing from Kerala.

The Kerala project may be found at http://www.ornamentalfishes.org/.

Ornamental Fish Trade in West Bengal

The Indian National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has identified tremendous potential in the breeding and trading of ornamental fish, especially in West Bengal, according to the Business Line, Financial Daily Internet Edition on indiaserver.com.

In a recent report, NABARD's regional office in Calcutta recognizes that India is a marginal player in the global ornamental fish trade, despite its rich faunistic resources, favourable climatic factors and available manpower. The present annual export value is a mere Rs 1.58 Crore (= 15.8 million Rupees = 340.000 USD), but NABARD believes that it should be possible to raise it to Rs 30.45 Crore (= 304.5 million Rupees = 6,5 million USD) in the next five years.

West Bengal's share in the national trade in ornamental fishes is an overwhelming 90 %, but this level may not be sustained as most of the trade is based on wild captures from the eastern and north-eastern states. The report points out that it is absolutely necessary to shift the focus from capture based to culture in order to sustain the growth of the industry.

NABARD has already prepared model schemes for entrepreneurs and the West Bengal Government and Marine Products Export Development Authority have taken up some initiatives for the ornamental fish sector. However, at present, there is hardly any technological, infrastructural or institutional support to this sector. "It is shocking to know that our rich faunistic resources in the eastern and north-eastern states are being squandered by local inhabitants '¦, instead of harnessing the same in terms of their ornamental values" the report says.

The Indian ornamental fish industry is definitely in for some interesting years. Let's hope that it manages to develop its uniqueness instead of blue copying the rest of the world. The potential is definitely intriguing.

The Business Line article on NABARD's report can be found at http://www.indiaserver.com/businessline/2001/01/01/stories/0701056b.htm.

Please note that this URL is now outdated.

Involvement of Rural Women in Indian Aquaculture

A. Shaleesha & V.A. Stanley of the J.R.D. Tata Ecotechnology Centre, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India, have studied the involvement of rural women in Indian aquaculture, specifically in ornamental fish culture. A report has been published in ICLARM's quarterly magazine 'Naga'.

Although Indian rural women have proved to be competent in adopting new aquaculture technologies, their role is very much restricted and often ignored, according to the authors. One of the major reasons is the location of aquaculture sites and several sociocultural taboos against women who strive to earn for their family's subsistence in rural areas. Backyard ornamental fish breeding and management has been found to offer immense scope for improving the livelihood of rural women. The paper gives some practical tips for dissemination of technology in the rural sector, particularly to rural women.

In this particular study, the fish breeders were provided livebearers, which were bred in cement tanks. At production costs at only 4% of income, the women were soon able to sell ornamental fish to local aquaria and retailers providing a monthly income of Rs 500-800 per household. In comparison, in their traditional work, as seasonal agricultural labourers, they used to earn Rs 1,200 per month for only three months a year. Earning a regular income, unlike the seasonal work in agriculture, provides further motivation. The level of self-confidence among the women also increased after the implementation of the project.

The authors conclude that small-scale ornamental fish farming can become a powerful tool in improving the livelihoods and economic security of the rural poor.

Shaleesha & Stanley (2000): Involvement of Rural Women in Aquaculture: An Innovative Approach (Naga 23(3): 13-17) can be downloaded in PDF-format at http://www.iclarm.org/Naga/aq2.pdf.

Re: setting up an aquarium Hi Karun, I am Svein A. Fossa, Norwegian aquatic consultant and author (see www.svein.no). I'm writing you because I was Cc'd in on my friend Bob Fenner's answer to you, and I want to give my support for your ideas. I have been to the Taraporewala Aquarium (in 1998), and share your opinion that this 1951-institution is rather aged and visibly run-down. On the other hand, I still found the aquarium worth visiting because of an interesting (although not large) collection of fishes and invertebrates from Indian waters. There were species on display that I never had seen exhibited anywhere before, including some Zoanthid species ("polyp"), collected just outside of Mumbai, as far as I recall. The majority of the Taraporewala Aquarium exhibits were, however, freshwater fishes from South America, Africa and South East Asian countries - more or less the selection one could expect in any decent aquarium shop (by Indian standards) - and neither particularly interesting nor well displayed. India has a marvelous aquatic fauna, freshwater as well as marine, and is growing as a supplier to the international aquatic trade, partly thanks to the efforts of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA House, Panampilly Avenue, Panampilly Nagar, Cochin 682 036, Kerala). You will probably already know more about the growth of the Indian aquatic industry than what I know (?), but nevertheless, please find (in a separate e-mail) a word document with some info on this from an "Internet Surf Report" that I regularly write for the Journal of Ornamental Fish International (OFI). Considering the above two factors, there should be good reason for having a public aquarium in Mumbai, focusing primarily on the Indian aquatic fauna. This does, of course, not mean that it couldn't also, at the same time, show fauna from other countries. Giving advise on setting up a public aquarium is, unfortunately, not something one can do as a left hand job involving a few hours work. A good aquarium needs careful and professional planning. I am convinced there are people in India who, with some selected experienced advisors who have worked on similar projects before, could do this very well. I wish you success in your continued lobbying efforts. Let me know, if I at some stage can be of any assistance. Best wishes, Svein A. Fossa AKVARIEKONSULENTEN Fladefjell 15 NO-4878 Grimstad, Norway Tel: +47 37 09 18 88 Fax: +47 37 04 30 29 E-mail: sfossa@online.no http://www.svein.no/ <Outstanding. Again, many thanks... I noted years back on your business card that you are a consultant in this field. Bob Fenner>

Re: setting up a public aquarium Hi Bob, Sam Gamble is currently working with the founders of the only public aquarium in Brazil at the Basilica at Aprecida, and also Dr. Jean Jaubert (Sea Promotions). I'm involved with one that may become a reality in the that may become a reality in the Cayman Islands. Right now the push there is a dolphin petting tank, which I'm not in favor of. But anyway, will pass this gentleman's letter along to Sam. <Mmm, thanks... re the marine mammals... they're a big sell...> And thanks for your support as my little cyber spot in the world, (www.saltcorner.com) still in its infancy, will hopefully soon become my 'no spin zone'! Bob <Looking forward to it. Chat with you soon, Bob Fenner>

Maine Aquarium Bob, I was just going through the links section of the WWM site and came across this interesting story from the Maine Aquarium.--> http://www.maineaquarium.com/ <Ahh, a sign of the times... lessons learned, to be shared, an odyssey of good investing by, for someone... but not the public after all. Bob F>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: