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Current Wet Web Media Crew

Not so current Crew Bios.


 Where we wish we were, right now!

 Come on In! The Water's Fine!

New Crew Member??      2/26/15
Hi Bob,
I know this gal that's into to salt water pretty good. She claims to know enough about the hobby to answer queries. I have attached her photo for you. Can you use her?
<Can I?! May I?!
Heeeeee! Thanks James. B>

Good algae scrubbing technique.
Darrel Barton joins the Crew     5/15/07 <Thank you for this input... Please do consider joining us if you have time, interest... if for nothing else to help with such captive Chelonian questions> Dear Bob, I'd be happy to help in any way I can, but please first let me explain a few things.   I'm not a biologist, just an advanced hobbyist, so my experience and advice is purely from trial & error (and huge vet bills).  I currently hold water turtles and Box turtles of various kinds, Green Iguanas, Cyclura Iguanas, Sulcata tortoises and a Galapagos tortoise and in the past I've held and raised crocodilians as well.  (Animals with flicky tongues or no eyelids are off my list - {snakes and monitors} as a result of being bitten by a water moccasin as a kid) <I see, and understand> While I'm comfortable speaking with authority of the captive husbandry of all these animals, but I won't speak with authority on the treatment of diseases. <Suggestions are fine... even purposeful referrals> I have the pleasure of having Dr Doug Mader DVM as a personal friend and therefore I've learned a great deal about reptile medicine, but the sad fact is that by the time most people even notice their herp is sick, they're usually too sick to save... so with the exception of a simple abrasion/sore or early stages of a runny nose, all I'd ever be willing to say is to get them to a competent vet. With that said .... just tell me how I can help! Darrel <I am introducing you here to our association, the WWM Crew. Our log-in is here: "Email Address": Password: I would/do ask that you log in periodically, peruse your ("Darrel") in-folder, and the general Freshwater in-folder for queries on Herps... That you read here re some useful formatting information re how we generally respond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWM AdminSubWebIndex/crewsupwebmail.htm That you consider (please) writing (for pay) some simple articles re the organisms (reptiles, amphibians...) and aspects of their care (systems, feeding...) for posting on WWM and our on-line magazine... and Thank You for your offer of sharing. Bob Fenner>

Chelonian questions three... on WWM      2/9/14
Darrel, do you have the time... to listen to me whine... about nothing and everything all at once? Oh, this is a bit of a Green Day song. Cheers, B

Robert (Bob) Fenner has "lived" the science, hobby and business of aquatics in the Philippines, Japan and United States. All phases; collector, wholesale, jobber, retail, design, construction and maintenance. All levels; manager, owner, hatchery worker, retail clerk, technician. Except for a stint teaching high school sciences for four years, he has worked all his life in the field of ornamental aquatics. Academic experience includes eleven years of college, a couple of life science degrees and a teaching credential for chemistry, physics and biology. Published works include several studies on aquatic biological and chemical questions, and an extensive publishing and photographic background in the industry and hobby of aquatics. Have taught High School sciences and Marine Sciences and Aquariology courses at the State University, University of California levels. Bob has been an avid aquatic hobbyist since day one and is active in hobbyist and scientific organizations. He has served on numerous Boards, judged shows and given many programs. Helped form and run (President) of the employee-owned corporation, Nature Etc., Inc. in San Diego, started in 1973; a turn-key operation in the field of ornamental aquatics, designing and building ponds, lakes, fountains and waterfalls (Aquatic Environments), designing, installing custom aquarium systems and maintenance (Aquatic Life Services), and operating retail outlets (Wet Pets).... currently does consulting, content provision to the trade, sciences and hobby of aquaristics. Wot a spiel!

RMF birthday   8/23/11
To Bob & all crew members,
Thank you for allowing me to follow your journey of knowledge.
Whoever gets stuck with the boss, buy him a cold one, he looks parched!
<Thanks Tom... I am a bit thirsty, hmmm. BobF>

LA Fishguys, Episode 129, Reminiscing with Bob Fenner   2/1/14
YouTube video w/ friend and fellow petfish industry sufferer Jim Stime:

Here I am mit frauleins at InterZoo!

Now, that's better!

We come, we go, we see the show   5/1/10
Hi Crew,
What did u mean in that note ? The one that said Bob is going away on a trip and might not be back ?
thanks. Blesson
Zackly that Blesson. We come and we go... a person's life/path can/may be measured by what they became by it. B

Re: A bio., pic for WWM Crew Member listing       2/6/19
Hi Bob,
An apology for not sending my bio until now, but I was out for the weekend, hope you can add it along with my photo to the "About the WWM Crew Members" section.
I´ve been in the fish hobby since 1989; in 1991 I started a wholesale marine fish business, by 1994 I opened a retail aquarium fish store that not only sold marine fish, corals, invertebrates, freshwater fish and dry goods but also glass/acrylic tanks and filters, as well as offering aquarium maintenance service. Nowadays I still sell marine fish, corals, invertebrates, artificial corals inserts and still have the aquarium maintenance service business; for some time I am collaborating with pleasure in WetWebMedia .
Greetings. Wilberth
<No worries Wil. Am enjoying your responses BTW.
Will post! BobF>
<<Ahh..glad to know that!...thanks, Bob. Wil. >>

Crew Help offering      4/17/18
Hi Bob,
I hope you are fine
<Thank you; mostly yes>
The log in to our Mail is....
I'd ask you to read this bit re conventions we use in responding: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/crewsupwebmail.htm
Should you have questions, concerns, please do write me here or at WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re Crew Help offering      4/17/18

Good morning Bob,
I just answered a question on WWM, can you tell me if I did things right?
<The formatting is off a bit... responses should be on new lines... and I'd ask that you copy, paste all in a spell/grammar checker ahead of sending, but your answer is very good itself>
Have a nice day
<And you, BobF>
Re: Crew Help offering
Good morning Bob,
I just answered a question on WWM, can you tell me if I did things right?
<The formatting is off a bit... responses should be on new lines... and I'd ask that you copy, paste all in a spell/grammar checker ahead of sending, but your answer is very good itself>
Have a nice day
<And you, BobF>
I don´t know if you remember me, I wrote several times in the past asking
Re: Crew Help offering      4/17/18

Ok will do that from now on
<Ah, good. And the writer responded. Have placed the resp. in your in-box. B>
Re: Crew Help offering      4/17/18
This guy says he has a video, it may be helpful but what format/size can we receive?
<A good idea for video to be placed in the cloud, others servers, like YouTube, and for the querior to send us the link to see, share. BobF>

A bio., pic for WWM Crew Member listing?     2/3/19
Hey Wil!
Wondering if you'd like to send the above along for posting on the site.
AND to know a bit more about you (folks are interested at times).
Do you use Facebook? I'd like to friend you there.
Re: A bio., pic for WWM Crew Member listing?     2/3/19

Hi Bob! sure, I send you here some photos, one with my wife. I don’t use Facebook, just twitter (@wilberthgamboa) and Instagram (wilberth.gamboa)
Kind regards
<Ahh; thank you Wil. BobF>

Marco Lichtenberger Thanks; answering questions; articles; article update confusion    2/16/07 Dear Robert, first of all let me thank you for the generous payment for the freshwater moray article. It will all go to the hobby. I am sorry to bother you again with three small suggestions. <Never a bother Marco> 1. I see you and your crew are doing a great job with answering questions. Just in case you need another helping hand, there are some topics I think I could contribute to: puffers (marine, brackish, fresh): ID and care (not much knowledge of diseases, though... knocking on wood); freshwater moray eels: ID and care; taxonomy in general (work(ed) as paleontologist). <Yes... I/we would be very grateful for your help... Please see below> 2. Just in case you want more articles, I could offer you the following unpublished pieces I have composed and which I could translate for WWM or CA given some time. <We will gladly consider any/all such submissions> a. The red-tailed puffer Carinotetraodon irrubesco b. Husbandry of the spiny eel Macrognathus pancalus c. Keeping mangroves in a tank d. Puffer confusion: targets, dwarves and Africans (would need some pictures, but could ask at the pufferforum) e. South American Puffers of the genus Colomesus <All topics I would like to see much more on... along with a few tens of thousands of others!> 3. Just a short note to avoid confusion: I recognize the article of freshwater moray eels was updated at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex /fwmorayeels.htm but is mirrored in the old version at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm <I don't recall why this piece occurs on both the root and FW subwebs... but will correct. Thank you for this notice> Kind regards, Marco. <And thank you for coming forward to aid others...  I do hope you have time to take a look to see if queries are of interest on our webmail server. The log on is: "email address": password: And we'll make an "in-folder" for you (should people write you back): Marco Please peruse the general and specialized "in-folders" for incoming queries and review here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWM AdminSubWebIndex/crewsupwebmail.htm for some general input re our conventions. Again, thank you for sharing, Bob Fenner> Hey, where's your picture under the Crew Bio section? I've seen Jeni on her Harley and Bob in his leopard print wrestling tights (eeeee hehehehe), Anthony with his beanie and goatee (you ROCK, Dude); plus pictures of other crew members. But no Marco.....! What gives? I'm just sayin', is all. <I'm very shy and reclusive.. just kidding. Will send a picture to Bob if needed. Until then you can find a picture on my homepage http://www.geo-lichtenberger. de.vu/ , click at Zur Person.> Got it. RMF

Marco's moray eels 1/6/2008 http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~mlichten/Geo/morays.htm That's a link to pictures of some of my morays for http://www.wetwebmedia.com /WWMAdminSubWebIndex /wwmcrew.htm. Enjoy and take care. Marco Lichtenberger. <Thank you Marco. May I ask, in some of your earliest correspondence, you mentioned selling us/WWM some to-be-transliterated written works... Did you ever get around to these? Bob Fenner>

Re: Marco's moray eels, writings  1/6/2008 Oh yes, the spiny eel piece was in CA, the mangroves I found already covered well by Anthony, for the irrubesco piece I'm still searching for sometimes seen females with a red caudal, and I hope mine start breeding... Barry White does not always work. <Well... he is dead> For the South American puffers piece I wish I had some pictures of the specimens from the 80s C. psittacus, nowadays all turn out to be C. asellus. There are several other pieces in the making, proper pictures are often a problem for me, since I do not have pictures of fish I have kept 5-20 years ago and started writing about fishes not so long ago. <Ahh. If I have any that are of use, you have to but ask> The article on moray eel toxins was - thanks to your help my friend - in TFH 09/2007. <I must have missed it... or perhaps the current "cold" is malaffecting my memory> The one on moray eel sexing needs some more pictures. E.g. I found a male snowflake about 50 km away, but it's hard to get the serrated front teeth into a decent photo, although they are well visible with the eel in front of you. Some other pieces (puffers, morays) have been offered to print magazines first and are waiting to be published within the next months. <Good> I also had a lot to do with marine fishes from tropical Brazil. Besides that, is there any specific topic (puffers, morays, predators in general) we'd need an article on? Marco. <Oh yes. Many for sure. Danke, BobF> 

Neale Monks Neale Monks began keeping fish in the early 80s, and since that time has tried out most of its specialisations, but his favourite bit of the hobby is brackish water fishkeeping. He is fascinated by those fishes able to adapt to environments with varying salinity, and quickly learned that the boundary the hobby places between "saltwater fish" and "freshwater fish" is an arbitrary one that doesn't mean much in the real world. After ignoring the aquarium books of the time and going by the scientific literature, he learned that many aquarium fish supposedly strictly freshwater or saltwater fish are also brackish water fish in the wild, and put this to the test in two 200 gallon tanks at the university he was studying at. Communication with fish collectors, ichthyologists, and experienced aquarists has reinforced his view that much of what is published in the aquarium literature about brackish water fish is hopelessly inaccurate and out of date. Neale began keeping an online compilation of his observations in 1995 as the Brackish Water Aquarium FAQ, and in 2006 TFH published Brackish Water Fishes, a book edited and partly authored by Neale describing the variety of brackish water fishes in more depth and more authoritatively than ever before. Besides brackish water fish, Neale enjoys keeping coldwater marines, catfish, dwarf cichlids, pufferfish, and oddball livebearers, particularly halfbeaks.

Neale currently writes for a number of tropical fish magazines including Tropical Fish Hobbyist and Practical Fishkeeping, and holds a BSc in zoology and a PhD in palaeontology. As well as fishkeeping, he has published numerous scientific papers on fossil cephalopods and other invertebrates, as well as books on ammonites, cladistics, and amateur astronomy. After living in Nebraska for some years, he has moved back home to England, to the Hertfordshire market town of Berkhamsted. He divides his time between professional writing, web site development, and teaching. Neale has two fossils named after him, including a fish, the Eocene porgy Ellaserrata monksi.

Congratulations Uncle Neale! 3/18/09
<Thank you Sandy. Miss Olivia Jane finally arrived today after 48 hours of labour. I shall pass on your suggestions in due course, and appreciate you taking the time to share them. Cheers, Neale.>

A big Congratulations to Neale!      9/4/12
Our own Dr. Monks is... engaged! Yes, to be married. Well-done Neale.
Cheers, BobF
Congrats Neale. 
Congratulations, Neale!
Woot! Neale!
Rick Novy
Re: A big Congratulations to Neale!    9/5/12

<Thank you all! Cheers, Neale.>
Congratulations, Neale.     9/7/12

Personally, I think it would be easier just to find a woman who already hates you and then buy her a house and giver her half your stuff ... but that's just my experience.   If you want to do it the longer way ...
Seriously, Neale ... congrats!!
Re: A big Congratulations to Neale!     9/7/12
Wow that's exactly what I was going to say haha.  But grats! ;)
Re: A big Congratulations to Neale!     9/7/12

Congrats Neale!  Darrel, in my experience, there's a sweet spot of financial stress that favors marriage -- it's when you're too broke to get divorced but not so broke that there's nothing to fight over.  ;-)
Re: A big Congratulations to Neale!     9/7/12
Many/ much congrats Neale! Marriage is the best thing I ever did, I hope you have the same experience, its great!

Interview for school project     11/28/13
Hello, Mr. Monks!
I am a big admirer of your work, and I really appreciate the help you have given me here on WWM. You are the one who inspired me to want to study marine biology after I finish high school.
I have to write a biography and description of the work of a scientist for school, and I would be honored if you would allow me to interview you for this project! Thank you in advance!
<Wow, thanks for these very kind words! I'd be happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Interview for school project      11/29/13

Thank you sooooo much, Mr. Monks!
Could you please let me know when you're available? I have Facebook, Skype, Google Chat, you name it--whatever you prefer :D
<Ah, plain e-mails would suit me best. Via this address; just put "For Neale Monks" in the subject line. I check these messages daily. Write whatever you want to ask, and I'll do my best to reply quickly.>
Thank you again! Hope to talk to you soon!
<Looking forward to it. Cheers, Neale.>
For Mr. Neale Monks      11/29/13

Thank you so much again, Mr. Monks!
<It's actually Dr Monks! I got my PhD in palaeontology while working at the Natural History Museum in London.>
I really appreciate your doing this :D My teacher will be happy as well!
Here are my questions! I know your time is valuable, so I tried to keep them short and to the point.
<Sounds great.>
What was your first aquarium like?

<Apart from the usual goldfish my family kept, my first real aquarium of my own was a community tank. About 24 gallons in size and stocked with things like Serpae Tetras and Blue Gouramis. As it happened, those two particular species caused problems, the Serpae Tetras being nippy and the (male) Blue Gourami being aggressive. I suppose that was the point at which I became skeptical about some of the stuff retailers told shoppers, and in time that skepticism turned into a desire to try out different sorts of community tanks and to write down my observations.>
Why did you choose to study zoology and paleontology?
<Marine biology was always an interest, and I didn't get the grades I'd have needed for law school! Looking back, it's hard to say if I'd have enjoyed being a lawyer anyway, and doing zoology opened a few doors that led to all sorts of interesting experiences. Palaeontology was as much an accident as anything else. I wasn't trained as a geologist at all, but saw an advertisement for PhD studentships at the Natural History Museum and just applied. Sometimes you get lucky like that! I guess I interviewed well and being a zoologist gave me a different perspective on the subject from some of the other applicants.>
What do you enjoy most about teaching?

<It's very difficult to pin down any one thing. In the last couple years I've done a high school teacher training course, so aged 42 I'm setting out on a whole new career pathway. Most days I enjoy working with the students because they're lively, inquisitive, and open minded. With certain kids I definitely get the sense that they're smarter than me, which keeps me on my toes, the challenge being explaining deeper knowledge of science in a way that won't be patronising. But there can be days when teaching is hard work, difficult even, and my enjoyment level definitely drops on those days!>
Do you speak any languages besides English?
<Not really. I love the history of languages and how they work, and have picked up a few snippets from quite a few. But I don't have a good "ear" for languages at all, and find it very difficult to learn them in a systematic way. This is one of my real regrets.>
What is a typical day at work like for you?

<Assuming it's a school day, I'm up at 6 AM, out the door by 7, in school by 8, and pretty much teaching or otherwise working solidly through to 4 or 5. Once I get home I'm much more relaxed but I do try to spend 20-30 minutes going through any "fish questions" as my wife calls them, mostly on WetWebMedia. Sometimes I'll spend an hour or two doing writing for one or other magazine I work for, including Practical Fishkeeping, and in many ways my soul is still in writing rather than teaching. It's just a very difficult career to rely on for a steady income, especially now that people prefer to read webpages for free rather than buy magazines for $5 or whatever. In any case, I try to keep my school life and home life as separate as possible, not least of all so that I can keep free time at home for writing and other creative pursuits.>
Do you do a lot of research still?

<Not really, no. Once in a while I'll get e-mails from palaeontologists who want my comments on a particular issue or to review a scientific paper, but that's about it.>
What is your favorite species of aquatic animal, and why?

<This is a really difficult one because so many marine animals especially are incredibly cool. I've been lucky enough to keep Mantis Shrimps for example, and they're amazingly fun beasts that defy all expectations for a mere shrimp. All of the whales and dolphins are remarkable too, and I have a particular soft spot for the Bottlenose Whales, which include some of the biggest animals most people have never heard of! At the other end of the charisma scale are the Brachiopods (or "lamp shells") that were very diverse millions of years ago but are now limited to a few hundred species.
I worked with one species at university, and while not very active (they're filter feeders a bit like clams) the fact you're interacting with something that's hardly changed in something like 100 million years is extremely cool. Obviously as someone who worked on ammonites, seeing living ammonites would be a tremendous gift, but failing that, the living Nautilus is definitely a wonderful alternative, offering up clues to how the long-dead ammonites might have worked. But if pushed, I think the one marine beast I'd really like to keep would be Bathynomus giganteus, the giant deep sea Isopod. Partly it's because it so bizarre in appearance -- a giant woodlouse that weighs over 3 pounds/1.5 kg -- that it must surely make anyone's list of oddball aquarium additions. But it's also cool because it's a reminder that the deep sea is home to beasts literally beyond imagination, and each time oceanographers go down there they make fantastic discoveries.>
I look forward to hearing from you, sir! Thank you once again!
<You are most welcome.>
P.S. I have been asking this question of all the adults I meet. It's just some silly curiosity of mine... Would you rather be a blue hippo or a purple chinchilla? ;)
<Male hippos have rather a difficult life that seems to be very violent and painful. At least, it is if they want to spend any time with the female hippos. So on that basis alone, I'm not sure I'd want to be one, blue or otherwise! On the other hand Chinchillas are rodents, and that pretty much always means they live short, frantic lives before being horribly killed by a cat, snake or some other stealthy predator. Definitely a difficult choice!>
Re: For Mr. Neale Monks    12/9/13

Thank you, Dr. Monks! I wish you all the best!
<Ah, very kind.>
It's awesome that you have that attitude toward teaching, and science especially. I wish my teachers were as enthusiastic as you. Sometimes it has seemed to me that I'm more into biology than my biology teacher! :P
<A good attitude... stick with it, keep asking questions, make your teacher work for you!>
I totally loved your answer to the hippo question. You are the first person who's given me an intelligent answer to a silly question! :D
<Was fun to think about.>
Thank you again, so much! You have made me very happy :)
All the best to you and your work!
<Your kind words are appreciated. Have a good life, Neale.>

Neale Monks... Eight year anniversary on WWM!       12/29/14
Where does the time go? Just realised I've been working with Bob Fenner, James Gasta and the rest of the crew at WetWebMedia.com for exactly eight years now!
Started with a few comments on Glassfish, to the effect that they're not really brackish water denizens... now widely understood and stated. Since that time must have penned dozens of articles and God knows how many Daily FAQ replies. Occasionally these are depressing (why oh why are feeder fish still sold in the US?) but most of the time I'm heartened by how many hobbyists really want their pet fish to do well. Thankfully, the essential equipment gets better and cheaper every year, so maybe it won't be too long before goldfish bowls and unfiltered, unheated tanks are historical curiosities.
Retailers (in the UK at least) seem to be more actively sharing knowledge alongside sales too. Check out 'The WaterZoo' in Peterborough for example: the walls there are covered in informative posters, and there are free information leaflets all around the shop.
(Bizarrely, my career in fishkeeping writing spun out of my hobby at university, helping maintain the display tanks at Aberdeen University zoology department. What I actually studied at Aberdeen turned out to be almost completely irrelevant to the rest of my life -- palaeontology, museums, writing and now teaching. Just goes to show, sometimes a Plan B is necessary!)
In any case, thank you WetWebMedia for managing to make feel part of a team, and a team of friends at that, united in trying to help hobbyists succeed with their livestock. Here's to hoping the next eight years will be as rewarding and intellectually challenging!
<James Gasta And the best of luck to you Neale.>
<Bob Fenner Ahh; the great pleasure and learning that has been our friendship. Am so grateful for the tool/vehicle which is the Internet; good fellowships making for sharing... the real good we have done in this human and wider/natural world in helping others understand and improve their efforts in captive husbandry... and more: the awakenings of people to the real world. Cheers>

Offer of WWM help?  - 03/10/07 > Please do let Jeni (or whoever) know that I'd me more than happy to  help out with any brackish/oddball Qs that come up. Obviously gratis. > <Oh! Neale... is this an offer of help in responding to such queries on WWM? We would definitely be interested in your help here... and I do think you will be greatly motivated to "fill in" the enormous gaps/missing articles et al. as you see/come to find them... Please do make it known if this is your intention.> Robert, Precisely so. Happy to help answer the "post bag" as and when things come in. I just did a couple today for PFK, and they're fun. I can't pretend to be as expert on pufferfish as Jeni, but I flatter myself that my general knowledge of things brackish is adequate for most tasks. I shall endeavour to uncover such gaps in the WWM web site article roster that I can! Feel free to point me in the direction of bits you'd like me to focus on. I'm very much at your disposal. Neale

Lynn Zurik 4/2/07 Hi Bob!    We met when you were up here in Seattle last year giving a seminar for the local club. I really enjoyed meeting you and getting a chance to chat for a bit. Regarding my joining the crew, yep, I'd love to give y'all a hand however I can.  My main strength is ID'ing critters but I'm sure I could help in the other areas as well. LOL As long as it's not FW, it's been way too long since I've done that! I started off with SW in '73 when I was in HS and never went back ;-) <Ahh!>    As for the article(s), we've been trying to come up with things to do to help newbie members at WWF so we've decided to write some short articles to post there. <Wiki fashion? Or individual effort, or?> We're hoping to get a lot of member participation in writing these articles, but in the meantime, I'm working on some critter ones. The first will be "Things that go 'click' in the night". Part one will be on Pistol shrimp, part 2 will be on mantis. <Sounds good> Right now I'm doing the research and hoping to get it posted later this week. While it's not going to be something that will be long enough (or probably technical enough) for WWM/CFA, it should be helpful for a newbie who's been wondering what those sounds were! <Mmm, actually... will make the offer to conspire with you, give you use of my image work if it will help... Edit, lengthen and help you market such pieces to the pulp and e'zines> I would, though, like to write something in the future for possible submission. <Please do> I love taking photographs, so perhaps I could submit something there as well(?). Here's my profile page - if you have a chance you can check out some of the photos I've taken. LOL But they're nowhere as good as yours or Zo's! <Mmm, a matter of practice, gear and opportunities taken...>     http://wetwebfotos.com/Home?action Request=userview&userID=2470 <Very nice... really like the close-ups of the polychaetes>    Thanks and have a great week!    -Lynn <And you as well... And thank you for coming forward. Our webmail log-in: XXXX And a link to familiarize yourself with a few of the conventions we use: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWM AdminSubWebIndex/crewsupwebmail.htm Welcome to our association. Bob Fenner>

Lynn, do you mind if I post this? B
Re: Your pic
Sure thing Bob, that's fine.
<Ah good>
As a matter of fact, I guess I should get up off it and write an actual bio!
All I've had since the beginning is the original letter - oops!
Take care,
<And you, B> 


Other Tasteful Pix You'll Want To See

Crew Inquiry      8/23/16
Hello WetWeb!!!
I am inquiring about joining the crew! I was wondering if you could give me any information on how to do so?
Gabe Walsh
<Thank you for coming forward Gabe. We are always looking for help. Please send along a brief bio., and list of fields you feel comfortable responding to. Bob Fenner>
Re: Crew Inquiry      8/23/16

Thanks for the timely response.
My name is Gabe Walsh. I am 15 years old, and I am an experienced aquarist in Marine, Reef, and some Freshwater areas. PLEASE don't be discouraged by my age.
<Oh, we've had folks your age on the WWM Crew; and I started working in the trade years ahead of this.>
I have been keeping aquariums for as long as I can remember, and I truly feel I can contribute to the team. I would really appreciate if you at least gave me a chance. I am a Sophomore in high school and spend 99% of my time maintaining my aquariums. The other 1% is spent working in order to find my hobby! I would be willing to respond to all Marine and Reef fields, and the occasional Freshwater ones. I used to be a freshwater person, but I am now all saltwater. Let me know how I can help.
Gabe Walsh
<DO keep up w/ your studies...
Our log in:
Some input re conventions we use can be read here:
Answer what you can, feel up to... I'll make a folder for you as well.
I welcome you, BobF>

Emails for articles. Carole and Earl join the WWM Crew!     9/24/15
Hi Bob!!
Earl's email is XXXX@gmail.com and mine is XXXX@gmail.com.
<Ah, good>
<Welcome to our association! Please do send along a likeness and short bio. to post on WWM.
The log in for the WWM Webmail program:
Some bits/input re responding can be found here:
Have made folders for both of you.... log in when you can; respond to what you feel comfortable with.
Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Heads Up     2/10/17
Hi Bob-
Wanted to let you know that I probably won't be able to answer any queries until March or so. I'm in the school musical so we have rehearsal every day until late at night, and my free time is spent studying.
Gabe Walsh, WWM Crew
<No worries Gabe: Gots to keep your priorities straight! Cheers mate. BobF>

curious, WWM Crew, recruitment     2/18/14
How is it going, Bob? I have always been amazed at the vast and varied knowledge not only you have, but also the people on WWB who answer questions as well. Just curious, what does one have to do, or have, in order to answer questions on your site? Is it a reference system, people who you have met over the years? Or is it knowledge based with credentials someone acquires?
Thank you
<A good question. The WWM Crew are made up of folks who have come forward, volunteered, who have discernible useful knowledge, plus a capacity with written English, AND an earnest desire to share, help others. Some I've never met in person; but many are folks that I've come across at petfish, industry and scientific get togethers. One today, is a gentleman who has sent in responses for others re pond issues. I sent him a request to see if he would like to log on directly to our WWM mail-server. Bob Fenner>
RE: curious... Now petfish industry career prep.     2/19/14

Ahh, understood. I am currently 28, and one day would love to possess the experience and knowledge to help others. I received my masters degree in education, however if I had to do it again, would have chosen a biological science background.
<Oh!? We've had at least three folks join us in their teens. I have a teaching credential... for H.S. chem., bio. and physics>
I currently work in insurance, but my ultimate dream one day is to own an exotic pet store. Not in the sense of pure exotics, (primates, large cats, etc) but rather saltwater fish, reptiles, as well as birds.
I currently have an African Grey, but over the years have had various snakes, lizards and tortoises. In my own perfect world, I wouldn't sell your everyday, run of the mill, iguanas, ball pythons, etc, that is often wild caught and end up being sold and given away.
What would you suggest as a good starting point for someone who aspire this in the future?
<Working in the field for sure... Read:

and the linked files above>
 I feel a lot of the dot coms and mass merchandisers, have made it really tough for mom and pop places, as well as the few specialists who do not have the capacity to order crates of products, to be stored in a warehouse.
There are 3 lfs's in my general vicinity, say a 20 mile radius or so. To me, none of them have the "entire" package. One guy in particular, has great knowledge, but in a 1,500 sq. foot store, has limited space for supplies. He also has zero personality, and to me, makes it harder for people to buy from. To me, you should feel good about acquiring fish, not like you just purchased them from a vending machine.
Another store by me is gigantic, 10k sq. feet or so, but there isn't  a soul that works there that has any experience or know how. Heck one woman who worked there, told me it is ideal to have some nitrites (yes, nitrites, not nitrates) in a FO saltwater tank.
I would like to be that guy, who is charismatic, makes you feel welcome and shows positivity when someone buys a new set up. One who also has a lot of "good" suggestions, but realizes he does not know everything, and is not afraid to raise his hand when he is not sure of something, to any confident degree. Perhaps that came with my education, that when teaching a class room, you need to show energy and excitement.
Any tips or advice you have I will surely absorb. I know a lot of it comes with time and hands on experience, but the aforementioned steps, such as location, realistic size, foot traffic, etc, I would be at a loss at.
<Academics isn't necessary to work in the industry (in the business); but useful knowledge, marketing, financial know how, good communication skills are... Charisma too (which you seem to have) is requisite. B>
Thank you, Bob

New Crew Member?  9/1/11
Hi Bob,
The chap (Kevin Little) I told you about recently has asked me if you had said anything to me about him becoming a crew member. I told him you would have contacted him. He stated he sent you an email about 10 days ago but you haven't responded to it.
<Thank goodness for your mentioning, following up. I have not seen any email from Kevin. I may well have inadvertently deleted such as spam as I get a bunch of this at my personal email addy. Please have him contact me here/WWM>
That doesn't sound like something you would do.
<Ah no>
re: New Crew Member?  9/1/11

Have forwarded your email and the crews addy to Kevin.
<Thank you James. B>

I would like to be on the crew 3/2/10
I have a lot of experience with sw and fw fish. I myself have a 200 gallon fowlr and a 75 gallon reef setup and a 40 gallon fw setup. I am just starting to put together a 600 gallon shark tank. I have a graduate degree in marine biology and started my PhD in bio chem. I have 20 years of experience with fish and also have been diving a few times along the coral reef off of Key West.
Thank you
Erica Signore
<Ahh! It appears you have plenty of academic and practical/hands-on experience Erica... and from your coming forward, obviously a desire to aid others as well as capacity w/ written English. Have you participated in hobby bulletin boards, have pet-fish writing posted on the Net that we might see some of your work? Bob Fenner>
Re: I would like to be on the crew
I have not really participated much on online forums. I have participated helping on yahoo answers . I have helped a number of friends and family start there sw tanks but that's about it. I honestly came to you asking to help because of how Impressed I am with your site and the knowledge of everyone on your crew I have yet to find a site like yours. I would really like an opportunity to be part of your crew I do have quite a bit of knowledge that am sure could be helpful. Let me know what you think.
Thank you,
Re: I would like to be on the crew
Neale, Lynn... your input please. Shall we have Erica join us directly, or have her "try out" for a bit on the bb? BobF
Re: I would like to be on the crew
Hi Bob,
For my part, I'd recommend letting her start on the forum. I think if we're consistent, and ask everyone to start out on the forum, we don't end up looking as if we treat some volunteers one way, and others in another way.
It's altogether fairer.
<Good points>
With that said, Erica's qualifications look good to me, and I'm certainly keen to have her become part of the team. Especially if she's prepared to answer stupid questions about Flowerhorn cichlids. <<Heeee!>>
Cheers, Neale
<And you, three left feets Bob>
Subject: Re: I would like to be on the crew
Hello Bob and Neale,
I haven't seen anything regarding Erica. Was there a previous email containing her original request (to join) that I missed?
<Sorry re. Pasted below>
I'm in agreement with Neale though, regarding potential crew members in general starting out at the forums/BB. It's a terrific opportunity for us to not only see just how much the person knows but for everyone involved to be able determine whether he/she really has the time required to volunteer on a steady basis.
<Understood, and agreed>
Again, I don't know Erica but if Neale's impressed, I am as well. I look forward to working with her and getting to know her a bit better over at the forums, or here, should you decide to add her to the crew.
Take care,
<Thank you Lynn. BobF>
Erica, I have sent your note on to Lynn Zurik, and am asking for you to join her in helping on our bb for a while to ascertain our "matching" on WWM. I do hope to have you join us soon. Cheers, Bob Fenner

Re: I would like to be on the crew 3/3/10
Sounds great, Bob! Erica, I look forward to seeing you over at the forums.
My member name is Lynn in bright green letters so it should be easy to spot. Do check in with me after registration is complete if you choose a member name that doesn't include your first name. Also, feel free to post in the Introductions section so everyone can get to know you a bit better.
Thank you so much for offering to help, you have some impressive credentials indeed. We appreciate any and all help we can get!
If you have any questions or problems, please don't hesitate to contact me, either through this email address, or through the forum's private message (PM) system. Here's a link to our site:
Thanks again, and welcome to WWM!
<Thank you Lynn. BobF>
It was a pleasure, Bob. 
Take care, Lynn

Re: More: re: 3-spot Gouramis dying suddenly, tiny pinholes in their heads and losing weight. Offer of help on WWM  9/7/09
Neale and Bob,
Thanks again for you advice and help. If I can ever be of assistance in answering any of the myriad "newbie" emails I'm sure you get every day, I'd be more than happy to help.
Thank you.
<If you really would like to help, we do kinda sorta have a system now.
What I'd suggest is you spend a little time over at the WWM forum, here:
If, after a month or two, you feel you're happy committing some time to WWM on a regular basis, you might either decide to approach Andrew and Lynn at the forum about a more "formal" position there, or else join the Daily FAQ crew itself. Bob handles those applications rather than me, but I for one would always welcome another freshwater-oriented member of the Daily FAQ crew. As it is, I spend around 20-60 minutes a day answering queries, most days of the week. So there's always something to do! A lot of the questions are "same old, same old" -- Bettas in dorm rooms, constipated goldfish and the like, but you do get enough novel stuff (like your own query!) to keep things interesting. Anyway, thanks for offering, and I hope to see you around the forum or WWM before too long! Cheers, Neale.>
Thank you for coming forward Grayce. Please do "try out" on the bb for a while as Neale mentions... and do join us if you find this agreeable. I will wait on your further contact. BobF

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