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Joyce at the Birch Aquarium! Here's chatforum guru Joyce visiting with Bob (hey, that's not me at right!) in San Diego, while on safari with hubby Bill   

TFH Article   11/24/10
Nice Molly article in TFH. What's up with you publishing an article every time we chat about something? First the gobies, now the mollies. Is next month's article on the Siamese Algae Eaters or will it be the Endler's?
<Hello Rick, and thanks for the kind words. In fact the next TFH article is about Whiptail catfish, I believe, one of my most favourite -- and I think massively underrated -- groups of catfish. Cheers, Neale.>

I've just discovered your stunningly comprehensive website, and I want more. 10/25/10
Dear Sir,
I'm an ex-pat of some twenty-odd years living in London. At varying levels, I've been keeping fish for longer than that. Prior to yesterday, I'd never come across your name or read your words, nor those of the superb team you have gathered about you.
I'm a nature loving scientist from a family of scientists, much as I suspect you yourself must be.
<Mmm, no. Different parentage>
I had no real need for your sort of help until such time as an aquatic near-tragedy crept up upon me. As luck would have it, yesterday I needed quality information to help guide my decisions during the damage limitation exercise I unexpectedly found myself in. When I say I've been deeply impressed, it isn't faint praise; it's the appreciation of a discerning fellow researcher. Really, well done the lot of you.
However, I can't help but notice there seems to have been something of a hiatus in some areas of the site since sometime mid-summer.
<Mmm, a cyclical phenomena... Aquarium interest wanes in the warmer months (folks outdoors, on holiday...) w/ ponds picking up a bit during this time>
I truly hope this isn't due to any sort of unfortunate circumstances. And I must ask, do you expect to return to a similar level ?
Or have life's paths taken you off in a different direction, leaving us sadly missing your talents ?
<Don't know that I'm following you here>
Wishing you and yours well, and hoping for your speedy return,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner, WWM common progenitor>

Where Was I?  MAX event 2010   10/14/10
I'm sorry Bob, the devil made me do it. :-) View attachment.
<Heeee! Oh James! I had to grant Marc Levenson an interview... he bribed me
with Crown Royale! B>

Marc and BobF

Notice level of Crown Royal bottle during Bob's interview.

Marc and Joe Yaiullo

Now notice level of Crown Royal after Bob's Interview

Marc and Scott Fellman

Scott's turn, now notice level in bottle.  Geez, where was I?

Re: Where Was I? - 10/14/10
Next time I run into Marc, I'll talk to him until he is blue in the face as long as that Crown Royale is on the table.
<Tis so... he even had "real" Coca Cola to mix with it... Glad I didn't end up having to sleep beneath the table. B> 

Re: Gaudy Corals Too Good To Be True and What To Do With Invasive Lionfish. James and Bob's impressions of Neale - 6/24/10
Yes, that would be a plus having a newsy section. I just finished a review on the new Tetra Marine Gel-Based food and sent along to Neale. Boy that guy is intelligent and I honestly don't know how he finds the time to do all that he does. He is a BIG plus to WWM.
<Agreed. Neale is a true renaissance person... Intelligent and knowledgeable, caring... the world would/will be a better place for more folk like him. B>
Agreed for sure.  I've been chatting with Neale by email lately re Tetra Food, and I've gotten to know him much better, and it didn't take long to take a liking to him.  He certainly appears to be everything you said about him.

Mail  11/29/09
Was reading the dailies today and you omitted something on one of your replies.
Should have read....<I wish we lived nearby Mike... I'd bring my cheapy QX scope over and we'd look at a slime scrape while we were having a beer or two. I'd be reading here:
and the linked files above... for ideas, direction here. Bob Fenner>
<Mmm, I don't get it James... this is what is present and IS what I intended. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Mail
I don't believe you read my insertion.
<Oooooh, the bier or three stmt. B>

Volunteering 5/30/09
Hi there,
I'm just wondering how I could go about becoming a crew member?
<This is one way to start>
My name is Phill Robinson but I'm known by more people under my nickname Squirlie. I'm 25 and I have grown up with fish keeping in general. I have kept both fish and reptiles myself for 11 years and at the age of 20 I moved out of home and started taking in and rehoming stray/unwanted reptiles and inverts. I have kept many varieties of fish but I specialize in Channa.
<Mmm, Ophiocephalids are illegal in the U.S., our principal share-group>
I have worked in the aquatics trade for almost 5 years now and a year ago I gained O.A.T.A advanced diplomas in water quality, filtration, fish health and fish biology.
Last September I left the store I was the assistant manager of to go to Hull University to do a degree in aquatic zoology, I hopefully would like to specialize in Elasmobranch and to also go on to do a PHD after this. Any help on how i
would become a crew member would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks alot,
<Mmm, no such word>
<Phill... What fields/subjects do you feel competent in responding? Do you have any further references... papers, articles you've written let's say, that we might peruse? You appear to solidly have one of the three legs of ability we're (WWM) looking/hoping for... i.e. enthusiastic desire to serve others... I/We'd like to see evidence of knowledge and capacity to communicate in written English. Bob Fenner>

Re: Volunteering 6/1/2009
Hello Phill,
It's a shame American aquarists don't get to keep Channa species; the smaller species are charming fish, and much less aggressive than their reputation might suggest. I kept one of the subtropical species, Channa asiatica, for a time while I was at university, and found it to be peaceful, hardy, and easy to feed.
<There were some gorgeous Ophiocephalids on display last week at Aquarama in Sing.>
In any case, congratulations on the OATA diploma. Given that one of our biggest problems at WWM is putting right misinformation offered by retailers, that the OATA has come up with a way to quantifiably test
and rate the abilities of ornamental fishkeeping professionals is something to be applauded.
I do hope you feel motivated to spend a few weeks on the WWM forum first; that's a great way for you to pick and choose the topics you'd like to answer, while also allowing the rest of the crew a chance to
be impressed by your skills (or not, as the case may be!).
<Ahh! A very good idea... to urge/participate on the bb>
After that, if you're still keen to get involved, I for one would welcome another person happy to answer the freshwater and pond queries!
Cheers, Neale
<And RMF>

Snails, sel. for scavenging  -- 07/16/08 Bob, <Thomas> I bought some snails off the internet, which you might be interested in knowing about because you are referenced in their eBay ad. They are 'vibex' snails, and the site assures that they are not the cool water mud snails (assuming they mean 'obsoletas') that will die if the temperature is not kept cool. I bought about 25 to assist in Algae control, particularly on the live rock and on the back glass that I cannot reach. They seem to be better suited for living with a large Lunare wrasse, who seems to enjoy killing and I guess eating snails. <Oh yes> Your book makes a brief mention. I did a search here for 'vibex snails', and was surprised at how few references there were, mostly ones where they were mentioned in a message relating to other questions. Do you have an opinion on these, are they true algae eaters or more so scavengers? <Mmm, there are a bunch of references to Nassarius vibex on the Net... my fave in a quick look: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nassarius_vibex.html As you see, this is a tropical animal... but a feeder on carrion, eggs of polychaetes...> I also purchased a bottle of 'tigger pods', tiny things, supposedly 500 per bottle. <Neat animals, product... cultured Copepods...> They do well, I might add, as I have been able to repopulate pods in my tank after having killed them all with the Quinine Sulfate. I think these critters eat algae, too. Thomas Roach <Yes... of types, sizes... Bob Fenner>

Re: Snails -- 07/16/08 Good information... they don't seem to eat algae according to this site, though I believe they do to some extent. I KNOW the obsoletas I had prior to this were algae eaters, but not suited for tropical conditions. They can certainly haul butt, though. Fastest snails I've seen. Like little hybrid Honda Civics motoring around the sand. And they hide during the day, too, which is good considering this snail munching wrasse. I've noticed that if you can get Turbos or Astrea snails established, he leaves them pretty much alone. <Mmm, not carte blanche> If you put them in and they don't get established, he'll flip them over, and I won't say that they're very efficient in righting themselves... In fact, they're goners. I purchased a Sally Lightfoot crab, thinking that if I got him in the tank at night and he got in the rockwork, he'd be fine... Unfortunately, the wrasse thought he was at Joe's Crab Shack and I found crab legs scattered in the tank the next day. <Heeeee! Yummmm!> I still haven't found the carapace. It would be nice to have some sort of invertebrate other than blue leg hermits in there, but I'm doubting it's possible. Thanks again! Thomas Roach <Perhaps an urchin, sea cucumber... Bob Fenner>

Today's Daily Double -- 07/16/08 Greetings all, <Neale> So a copy of 'Australian Aquarium' magazine arrives on my doorstep this morning. The reason being, I had a modest article in there on halfbeaks. But imagine my pleasure at seeing another WWM regular in there too, no less a person than our very own Sara Allyn Mavinkurve! Her article is an excellent review of "easy" corals, and even to halophobe like me it was an interesting read. The photography was also excellent, and I have to admit to being extremely impressed with the quality of this publication. http://www.aquariummagazine.com.au/Welcome.html Now, has there ever been three WWM writers in any single issue of a fishkeeping magazine? Neale <I think so... but don't recall when, where right now. Cheers! BobF>

Today's Daily Double Greetings Neale, all! I didn't know you had an article in this issue! Congrats! Now it's funny to remember that the editor once sent me an email with the title "halfbeak article" and it was a mistake. Now I know the root of the confusion. :-) This is the first article I've ever had published in an in-print pet fish magazine, so I hope people like/enjoy it! Best, Sara

Re: Today's Daily Double Greetings,  Very nice!> We almost would have been 4... I did a piece on native Australian morays and morays in the down under pet fish trade in the previous volume. Guess someday we could do an entire issue of some magazine. Cheers, Marco. <I do see this coming. Cheers, BobF>

Major support of Neale-he's the best!  05/09/08 I just read what someone said about Neale Monks and I'm too flabbergasted NOT to write and offer tons of support to him. If I could only pick one single person that I've learned more from about fish-keeping than any book, magazine, forum or the net it would be Neale Monks, hands down. No contest. He's the smartest, most thorough, direct and honest fish authority I've ever read a word from. Like I've said before-he's forgotten more about aquaria than most of us will ever know. I'll go so far as to attribute my extreme success in this hobby to devouring every word Neale writes, taking it to heart and researching what he suggests on my own. Lord, the guy is what this hobby NEEDS in the worst way, very giving of his own free time for no monetary gain. All the while explaining something completely yet one more time, even though he's explained it hundreds of times before. He WANTS people to do well in the hobby and it shows. I'm sorry. But how dare she criticize someone so many of us have learned so very much from? My Oscars, Royal Plecs, Clown Loaches, all my fish, are growing, thriving and doing so wonderful-all because of advice from Neale that made me want to be even a fraction of the fish-keeper he is. Neale, you are and always will be a hero to me for what you so selflessly do. There. Now I feel better. One of your biggest fans, Mitzi <Hello Mitzi, thanks so much for your support and kind words. It's certainly been a great pleasure to contribute to WWM and spend time communicating to so many different fishkeepers. I do think sometimes people mistake our anxiety to do what's best for the fish for a personal attack on the fishkeeper. Truly, all we want is to buck people's ideas up if we think they're lacking. Perhaps sometimes we get the humour/directness balance wrong, but no slight is intended. In any case, I'm glad you're enjoying your hobby so much, and after all that's what WWM is all about! Sincerely, Neale.>

Long live the crew! 05/09/08 Hello Crew and readers of the WWM site, I am writing this in defense of the crew in light of the posting headed "Comment -05/07/08". (and a few others) I don't think that people realize the goldmine that any hobbyist has access to. the crew takes of their own time and expertise to answer questions that anyone worldwide may have. All they ask, is that you make sure the information that you are asking them to give is not easily found on the website, and that if you are a native English speaker that you make it easier for anyone reading their question to understand. That, I believe, is a relatively small price to pay. If they are unhappy, let them go elsewhere. Long live the crew!!! David (a recipient of great advice) PS Neale, your comments are great. <Hello David, and thanks for your kind words. It's always difficult to find the balance between offering quick, useful advice and being considerate of different people's ideas of what makes for acceptable communication. So I'm sure we're all prepared to listen to feedback good and bad, and use that to improve our service. At the end of the day, we're hoping to make the fish happier by educating their keepers! In any case, thanks for writing to us! Have a great weekend, Neale.>

Neale Monks and Bob Fenner (Do you even have your own aquariums?)/question for my female guppy -05/07/08 An Evidently Unhappy "Customer" Hello, <Hello> My question is specifically for Neale and Bob about whether they are even knowledgeable enough to be answering questions on this page. <In a word, Yes.> <<Please also see the profiles of these two fine men: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wwmadminsubwebindex/bobfresume.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmcrew.htm -SM>> I have read a lot of what they have answered with and most of it is either mean, unknowledgeable, or them just saying read this. Well if they come to you they want you to know the answer or at least have a decent idea. <We all want answers, and 99% can be found with a simple search of the site, sometimes people need a little encouragement to help themselves, which is the best way to learn.> So if you can prove that you really do know something other than read this or "Someone needs to read a book about Guppies. Males are aggressive. Guppies are NOT a good idea in tanks smaller than 20 gallons. This isn't up for discussion. If all you have is a 10 gallon tank, keep something else" or Question about my tequila sunrise guppy - 4/12/08 this question where I know its because the swim bladder was injured. Wells that's all I wanted to know. <Best I can offer is that if you don't like the advice find it somewhere else, there are many other resources available. If you need proof on their qualifications I suggest you read a few of their articles printed here and across the hobbyist's literature and make your own decision.> <Chris> re: Neale Monks and Bob Fenner (Do you even have your own aquariums?)/ question for my female guppy -05/07/08 I understand what your saying but I'm not unhappy I am just wondering how they could even have a job like that if they can't answer simple questions. <Apropos to what? Whilst I'm not that man to ask about reef tanks, I flatter myself I know a little about freshwater and brackish water aquaria.> I also want to say that Chris is seems like your more knowledgeable than they are and I have a question. <Chris is indeed a competent aquarist and a valuable member of the team.> My female guppy ether has constipation, intestinal worms, or she is just going through the normal phases of birth? <Difficult to say without a description of the symptoms or a photo. If you've been feeding the Guppy lots of algae and suitable live/frozen foods such as Daphnia and Brine Shrimp that have a laxative effect, then constipation is unlikely. Intestinal worms are not all that common, but if you see red threads protruding from the anus, then Camallanus is indeed the problem. Prazi Pro and other anti-helminthes drugs will need to be used. That said, most (inexperienced) aquarists who say they have "intestinal parasites" killing their fish actually have fish dying because of poor water quality or the wrong diet. "Intestinal parasites" seems to me to be another way of saying "this fish is dying, and I can't be bothered to figure out why, so I'm going to kill it and buy some more". Finally, pregnant Guppies don't normally behave any more differently than otherwise. They simply get very fat-looking, sometimes with the eyes of the baby fish being visible through the thin abdominal wall when birth is very near.> The problem is I can't tell and she is laying at the bottom of my 5 gal birthing tank by herself. <Sounds pretty bad really. Guppies don't normally sit on the bottom of the tank unless stressed in some way. So as every, do a pH test and a nitrite test -- almost all fish sickness ultimately comes down to poor water conditions. If those aren't issues, come back to us and we'll investigate further.> What do you think I should do? <See above. Cheers, Neale.> re: Neale Monks and Bob Fenner (Do you even have your own aquariums?)/ question for my female guppy -05/07/08 When I tested my ph was lower than 6.2 and my ammo was read as non detectable. <There is part of your problem, guppies prefer hard, alkaline water. To be honest this information is readily available in Neale's excellent article on guppies found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppies.htm .> I didn't check the nitrate because I don't have a tester for it. <Important to know, along with nitrites.> I also notice the babies inside her move up and into her back in a way. Her tale also went from being fan like to close together. Food wise I feed her freeze dried blood worms, fish flakes, and veggie wafers because she's in with cherry shrimp, and snails. <Ok> The tank she is in is a 20 gal with a Whisper 30 filter and an air stone. I have java moss in the tank, some type of floating plant that I also have in my 70 gal, a purple tree like plant that I can never remember its name, and elodia. The only other fish in the tank with her was the male guppy. <Keeping a 1:1 ratio of males to females can be rough on most female livebearers.> The thing that concerned me the most was that the fry actually moved in her towards the front and upper side of her. Let me know if any of this help describe it and I can't get a picture because my camera is broke right now. <I am guessing that the water quality is at least partly to blame for her problems. She may benefit from a very slightly brackish environment. Ultimately besides providing the optimum environment not much can be done to help her give birth. I do encourage you to read the previously listed article, much good information there. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppies.htm > <Chris> RE: Neale Monks and Bob Fenner (Do you even have your own aquariums?)/ question for my female guppy You killed my fish and didn't help me so how did I waste your time when my fish died because you couldn't help me figure something that you guy spend your time help people out with?????? I mean come on! <Whoa. I think someone needs to cool their rockets a little. If you look back to our previous correspondence, you'll see I provided you with some comments on how to tell if a fish has Camallanus worms or constipation, and I also asked that you do a pH test and a nitrite test so that we can understand something about the chemical environment in your aquarium. Without these data, we can do nothing. Instead of telling me what I asked, you sent hate mail. We are not telepathic, and we don't have spy cameras observing your aquarium via the Internet. We didn't kill your fish, so it's time to drop those sorts of accusations because they just sound childish and petulant. Had you maintained newly purchased Guppies in precisely the way we indicate in out WWM articles, your Guppies would likely be healthy and happy. Had you given us precise information about the nitrite, pH and other parameters, we could have established whether the aquarium was suitable for Guppies. Had you sent a photo of the sick fish, we could have tried to identify the disease. As far as I can tell, your correspondence contained none of these data and has been entirely unhelpful, and richer in accusations than useful information. In any case, we don't *promise you anything* here at WWM. We offer a voluntary, *no cost* service that thousands of aquarists use and appreciate every year. If you're unhappy with that, then take your money and your sick fish to a vet. Simple as that. You'll be happy, and we'll be happy. Sincerely yours, Neale Monks.>

Honorable mention, Nice article on aquatic nutrition  5/1/08 Hi Bob, <Neale> You get a mention in one of pieces on Fish Channel, here: http://www.fishchannel.com/freshwater-aquariums/fish-food/feeding-fish.aspx <Ahh! An excellent piece... I do like the "click to enlarge" aspect of OliverL's photos> Hope you don't mind! <Not at all. A pleasure to be mentioned in such extinguished co.>  Cheers, Neale <Mmmm, and I note in the bio. that you are an "exhibit designer"... Might I "prime the proverbial pump" here and ask that you consider coming out years hence... to Hawaii to aid our efforts in putting up the Kona Aquarium and Education Center? A longstanding dream/project... coming more to the fore in recent years. Bob Fenner>

Can we be of service? FW planted aquarists  9/15/07 Hi Bob and Crew -- <Andrea, Travis> I am wondering if you folks are looking for any help with answering questions pertaining to FW planted aquaria. <!? Yes> My partner and I are both avid wet-green-thumbs. Travis is fairly well known for his planted Mbuna cichlid tank, and I am known a bit in the tighter planted aquaria circle (more so just for being Travis Simonson's lucky lady). Either way, we both have a great deal of experience in planted tank lighting, pressurized and DIY CO2, fertilizers and supplements, hard and soft water plants, low and high (up to and including T5HO and halide) light plants, exotic varietals, terrestrial plants, emerged and submerged growth, plants with difficult fish, pests, plant disease, and a LOT of experience with FW fish in general. Both of us have kept a wide variety of fish in FW and Brackish, and I have kept reef and FOWLR and FO tanks in the past. Travis has successfully planted a brackish tank, and I have experience breeding killifish, and Bettas. Both of us have bred all types of Cichlidae, Plecostomus, livebearers, and shrimp. I am also currently experimenting with a nano reef and a nano high tech planted tank. What can I say? We are fish heads. <In good stead here...> If we can be of service in any way, let us know. We'd be happy to help out. Thanks Andrea Sanders Travis Simonson. <Please do send along brief bio.s for posting and I'll send both of you the log-in info. and a link to suggested protocol. We do not receive much in the way of queries re aquatic plants, their systems, husbandry... But with your aiding folks... this will change in time. Have you considered writing articles for pay? I may well help you in this vain-glorious career/supplement as well. Thank you for coming forward. Bob Fenner>

Back! OllieB!   7/4/07 Bob, I have now finished college for a while and have time again to contribute to WWM. <Ah, good> I was wondering if you could create me a folder as I don't want to alter anything as I have been receiving Crew mail when you were experiencing problems initially with the new system. <Will do... easy enough... There's a "New Folder" tray/button on some of the webmail opening screens...> Is there anything else I need to know RE the new webmail program? <Mmm, no, I don't believe so... it's basic functionality is the same... some features like knowing the quanta of a given folder by hovering over it with the cursor are gone unfortunately, and the overall program feels a bit more "clunky"... but mas o menos equal> Also, do you have any experience of Hawaii Pacific Uni? <Not direct, but it is touted as an excellent exp.> I am looking in to attending next year or do you have any other recommendations for institutions running Marine Biology and related courses with similar advantages in location etc...? Thanks a bunch And hope to be helping again in the next few hours =] Olly <Have you been out to visit it? Do make it known if this is your intent... you can lay over in San Diego at our place to rest up... and maybe spend some time on the Big Island to get used to all if you'd like. I'm on my way back out there in a week... and various groups of friends, some of them the WWM Crew, are visiting during this usual go. Cheers and congrats on your exams. Bob F>  

Open remark, query from Sara to the Crew  <Re: Aragonite solubility, use as a SW substrate>   6/30/07 Hi all, I've noticed that it's said quite often that an aragonite sand bed helps "buffer" a marine tank. And I know a lot of people believe this. But my question to you all is, is there any way I can convince any of you that it probably doesn't to any appreciable degree? Or have you already heard this story too many times before? <Is so that many "types" of aragonite are relatively insoluble (have a lower Ksp (product solubility constant) than the resident/extant pH of a given desire... in a marine set-up... Won't bolster pH to the wanted degree... but do some good in lower levels... do provide other benefits> And I'm sorry, I know I'm new and I must be sounding like smart-arse... but it is my birthday today, so anyone want to humor me? :-D Best, Sara <Oh! Happy bday to you! If you were here I'd spank you... What is it... 26 times? Might not do you much good, but would work wonders for moi! Heeeeee! BobF>
Sara -- Up to a point of course aragonite or calcite in the aquarium will dissolve into the water and act as a buffer. But I've heard enough stories of old brackish water tanks gradually (sometimes suddenly) losing alkalinity when relying on this method alone. My assumption is that once the sand grains are covered with bacteria and algae they are isolated from the water. I liken this to the candy coating around the chocolate in an M&M. Anyway, eventually this barrier prevents adequate buffering, and tank pH drops. So while I'm all for using coral sand or whatever as *part* of the buffering system, I far prefer using calcareous material in a filter where it can be deep cleaned or replaced every few months (or whenever pH drop is noticed). Happy birthday, by the way. My day has not been so good -- came home to an aquarium flooding the living room carpet! I must be the only man in England with a flood inside his house rather than outside. Cheers, Neale


...because only you guys will understand my excitement   6/30/07 Hey guys, Well'¦I'm sure I've mentioned this to the few of you I've talked to because I am a work-a-holic and can't shut-up about my profession'¦to be profession'¦whatever, that I want to go into, am currently in, the field of law enforcement. As of right now I am a non-sworn cadet which in a nutshell means I do most of the duties of a regular police officer without a firearm for a lot less pay, hehe. I won't be full sworn until I turn of legal age, 21 and go into the police academy which is just a month or so away. After that I'll keep going to school since police officers only work 3 days a weak and hope to be a District Attorney (Prosecutor) somewhere down the line. Anyway my point in all this is that I currently work for a local beach-city police department down here in SoCal. Most fellow cadets and officers talk about the excitement of vehicle pursuits, drug busts, felony arrests and the like'¦.which I find exciting too don't get me wrong, but my co-workers could not understand my excitement and passion for what they deemed a trivial call tonight'¦but I know you guys will. As fellow fish-geeks (I stole that term from Sabrina F.), we all have a passion not only for the critters in our aquarium but for the conservation of critters in the wild, personally I have huge interest in local ocean dwellers, particularly crustaceans'¦.see my Panulirus article on WWM. So I got a HUGE kick out of busting some poachers tonight! I was able to catch about six to seven suspects illegally poaching Panulirus (rock/spiny) lobsters on the local breakwater this evening, in total I recovered nearly 50 lobsters, 90% of which were below the legal size limit, not to mention these folks did not have fishing licenses and the lobsters are currently out of season'¦what irked me the most was that most of the lobsters were females laden with 1000's upon 1000's of eggs as this is peak breeding season for them'¦..and precisely why it is out of season to hunt them. I made sure to give each and every one of them a stern lecture before booking them in, and while they were almost immediately released on citations (unfortunately the minor charge isn't enough to hold them on) I made sure to document the incident with a very extensive report using all of my expertise (compared to the other officers) on the subject and forwarded to the judge that will be hearing the case once they are due in court. As a last and sad note I made every attempt to save the lobsters, as we have a local rehabilitation center for them among other animals (halibuts, horn sharks, white sea bass, etc. .) but these folks were using spears to catch them even though it would have been just as easy to pick them off the sandy bottom. As the case is pending I can't share any photos of the lobsters yet but as I can get a public records release on them I plan too. Sorry for blabbing but I know you guys are the only ones that would appreciate this sort of thing'¦. Later much, and excuse any typos of misspellings it is 3 am'¦.just got off after that lengthy report'¦; Adam (Action) Jackson
AJ Wonderful that you were there to attempt to educate these poacher! Keep up the good work! Thanks for making a difference! Mich
<Good for you, the planet, Adam... Poachers are thieves. BobF>
More, and veering, re AJ's anti-poaching program
Poachers just suck. Thank you Adam!   6/30/07 Sara
Adam, Take a look at the book "End of the Line" about the fishing industry. Essentially almost all fisheries are non-sustainable, and anything up to 60% of the fish landed for common species such as cod and haddock are landed illegally. 90% of the fish and inverts landed alongside trawled fish are thrown overboard, dead. So while small scale poaching is bad, it's nothing compared to the "strip mining" performed by the major food brands who supply the stuff you buy at the supermarket. http://www.amazon.com/End-Line-Charles-Clover/dp/0091897815 Neale
This reminds me of that great exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium about which aquatic foods are "eco-friendly" and which are not so much. Check it out: http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp Sara
I understand Neale, personally I do not eat seafood not on moral grounds but I have err taste issues with most of it. Having said that there isn't much I can do re: the ethics/practices of commercial fisheries...I can stop it from happening at least three days a week in my little beach city. As with anything in law-enforcement I can't save or change the world, but I can make a difference right here and right now. -AJ
<Mmm, no fisheries are infinite... the fact is that there are just too many humans, too much human-based pollution going on-on our planet. Might I ask, why is the subject of "not reproducing" such a taboo in the West? Well-meaning people like Jimmy Carter et ux., Billy and M. Gates... even that gentleman from Lincoln, NE... have so much good will toward humans... but nary a thing to state re birth control... Is this akin to why the Americans don't allow live/free broadcast of media in the countries they/we are invading? Are there no consequences of hundreds of bombs dropped daily in Iraq for instance? BobF, whose advanced degree is in fisheries bio.>
There's enough to sustain all the humans in the world, there just isn't enough to sustain the lifestyles most of us our accustomed to. We could probably all consume a lot less than we do. And I'd quote Terrance MacKenna here at some point, but then you all might think I'm a little too much of a hippy. ;-) Best, Sara <If fishes were wishes we'd all have full tanks... I too wish there was more of a move (in terms of personal initiative) for more equable sharing of the world... Alas, this has never been, and I cannot see it on the near horizon... W/o drive for acquisition (and sans too much stealing by others, e.g. Governments) humans just don't make much of an effort... and there is nary anything "excess" to parse. BobF>
Robert, This is a good question and the answers are complex. My explanation is rather different to Michelle's. Fundamentally, I think the problem is one of economics. Virtually all Western countries base their "success" on economic growth, and this assumes an expanding population. Where populations stabilise or grow negatively (as in some European countries, such as Italy*) this is perceived as being a bad thing, stagnation. No country has yet geared up to have a smaller, older population. The very idea fills economists in Europe, USA, and Japan with horror. Virtually all social security systems are based on the idea that there is an expanding workforce to pay for the pensions of the elderly population and for healthcare generally. That clearly doesn't work anymore. So, for so long as countries measure economic success by (and, in real terms, derive actual success from) population growth, no-one is about to suggest steadying or even reducing populations. Can you imagine a US President being pleased with a shrinking economy, even if that was going along with a shrinking population and a shrinking burden on the Earth's resources. Cheers, Neale *Though, one issue in the EU and the US is that while "native" population growth may be slowing down, immigration from the developing world doesn't seem to be, and the recent immigrant populations tend to maintain their high birth rates even once settled into their new homes. So you have a nasty demographic issue going on as well, where people are anxious about "foreigners taking jobs" and so on. The reality is that the immigrants boost economic growth because they add to the population, but this doesn't stop the ambient level of anxiety and sometimes outright racism. All difficult stuff to resolve.
Sara is correct. Here's a little mathematical game I played with a few years ago that should underline the point that the amount of food on the planet is simply vast. There are about 1 million sperm whales. Each eats about 900 kg of squid per day (probably not strictly true since they eat some fish and octopus, but for our argument let us say that they do). 1 million x 900 kg x 356.25 days = 330 million metric tonnes of squid per year Let's say there are 6 billion humans, and including children you could round the average weight down to about 50 kg a piece. 6 billion x 50 kg = 300 million metric tonnes of humans on the planet ERGO -- sperm whales eat about the same mass of squids per year as humans on the planet. This tells you that the biomass of humans isn't nearly as encumbering as you might imagine. It's around the same as the diet of sperm whales. The issue with humans is not how many there are or what they're eating, but what they use up. Feeding on stuff lower down the food chain, saving energy, measuring success in different ways than we do are all issues. Problem is, if you say these things too loudly, you're accused of wanting to send us back to the Stone Age! Neale
<We are in agreement re the availability/sustainability of biomass to support seven or more billion humans... And likely in agreement re the unlikelihood of some sort of adequate distribution of same. B>
Robert, <Neale> This is a good question and the answers are complex. My explanation is rather different to Michelle's. Fundamentally, I think the problem is one of economics. <Mmm, yes, along with a larger category of "human nature"... not too distinct from "nature" itself... Shades of E.O. Wilson!> Virtually all Western countries base their "success" on economic growth, and this assumes an expanding population. Where populations stabilise or grow negatively (as in some European countries, such as Italy*) this is perceived as being a bad thing, stagnation. No country has yet geared up to have a smaller, older population. The very idea fills economists in Europe, USA, and Japan with horror. Virtually all social security systems are based on the idea that there is an expanding workforce to pay for the pensions of the elderly population and for healthcare generally. That clearly doesn't work anymore. <Agreed... all socio-economic systems suffer for the same ill-effects, residual underlying assumption-effects of "too much bureaucracy"... Taking more and more resource (from the rest of the population, other countries), till they either "give up" or can't sustain such drain.> So, for so long as countries measure economic success by (and, in real terms, derive actual success from) population growth, no-one is about to suggest steadying or even reducing populations. Can you imagine a US President being pleased with a shrinking economy, even if that was going along with a shrinking population and a shrinking burden on the Earth's resources. Cheers, Neale <It would be "un-Christian", which the unconsciously indoctrinated masses here would not (currently) allow. B> *Though, one issue in the EU and the US is that while "native" population growth may be slowing down, immigration from the developing world doesn't seem to be, and the recent immigrant populations tend to maintain their high birth rates even once settled into their new homes. So you have a nasty demographic issue going on as well, where people are anxious about "foreigners taking jobs" and so on. The reality is that the immigrants boost economic growth because they add to the population, but this doesn't stop the ambient level of anxiety and sometimes outright racism. All difficult stuff to resolve. <Mmm, no desire on the "powers to be" to reverse this trend... "Keeps the game going"... to wit, the current movement to allow tens of millions (more) "illegal" aliens into the U.S. fold. B>
><Mmm, no fisheries are infinite... <<I guess it depends on how you interpret infinite...>> >the fact is that there are just too many humans, too much human- >based pollution going on-on our planet. <<I'm not disagreeing that this is currently the case, and I'm not saying it isn't a valid concern. However the problem I see, is this view presumes many things, and is highly time and condition specific. All could change in a matter of seconds... IMO, evolution, adaptability, and survival of the fittest have the real power. It is possible, that we are just a single base pair change in the DNA of some random virus, from the extinction of the entire human race. Different variations/mutations confer varying degrees of fitness. The reasons ADD/ADHD and Sickle Cell Anemia are so common today... In the past, humans with these conditions in specific environments had a selective evolutionary advantage... and were more likely to survive to reproduce... Today, this once advantage, is consider by many to be a hardship. All is a matter of perspective... Walking In Your Footsteps The Police Fifty million years ago You walked upon the planet so, Lord of all that you could see Just a little bit like me, Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Hey Mr. Dinosaur You really couldn't ask for more. You were God's favorite creature, But you didn't have a future, Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Hey there mighty brontosaurus Don't you have a message for us. You thought your rule would always last There were no lessons in your past. You were built three stories high They say you would not hurt a fly If we explode the atom bomb, Would they say that we were dumb. Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Walking in your footsteps, Walking in your footsteps. Fifty million years ago They walked upon the planet so They live in a museum It's the only place you'll see 'em. Walking in your footsteps.................... They say the meek shall inherit the earth.... They say the meek shall inherit the earth.... Walking in your footsteps.................... >> >Might I ask, why is the subject of "not reproducing" such a taboo >in the West? <<You can certainly ask and because you have, I shall share my thoughts. I hope you don't regret asking... ;) I think it all depends on the situation. Many people are uncomfortable discussing reproductive issues. Let me just ask how comfortable were you (the generic "you" here) when/if your parent/s sat you down for the "sex talk". Most people are not comfortable doing this with their own children and many, to this day will not talk to their own parents about this issue. "So mom/dad, tell me about your sex life..." Are you cringing yet? This is a subject where "the river runs deep" and there can be a lot of emotions tied to this subject. For some people this is due to the inability to have children, rather than not having children by choice. For others reproduction/sex is strongly linked to their views of morality and social standing or perhaps even abuse. Not all people share the same point of views and these can be very much in conflict from one person to another. If one was to say: "It is irresponsible to have children." Many people would disagree. Many people consider children the hope for our future. People do not like to have hope taken away... One reason religion is so pervasive thought out history. Hope that their lives will have meaning and hope that their offspring might improve the world. Again, this is a matter of perspective. Is the glass half empty or half full? Some may say the optimist will see the glass is half full... I say it all depends. The perspective can change depending what's in the glass and why you're drinking it. (A half empty glass of "Go-Lytely" [used for bowel prep pre-colonoscopy] in my point of view is better than a half full glass) One could ask why is talking about sex such a taboo in the East? Or why is it that some of us, who are fortunate enough to have the ability have the routine medical screening tests, do not do so? But rather, choose to stick our heads in the sand, despite the knowledge that these tests (ie annual physical, blood work, colonoscopy, prostate exam, gyn exam, mammogram) could improve our health or even save our lives? There are some guilty of this among us... You know who you are...>> >Well-meaning people like Jimmy Carter et ux., Billy and M. Gates... >even that gentleman from Lincoln, NE... have so much good will >toward humans... <<Good will can be shown/demonstrated in many ways... >but nary a thing to state re birth control... <<Perhaps a matter of respect for others opinions/views/ perspectives... or outside their realm of expertise/comfort...>> >Is this akin to why the Americans don't allow live/free broadcast >of media in the countries they/we are invading? Are there no >consequences of hundreds of bombs dropped daily in Iraq for >instance? <<Of course there are consequences... Newton's third law of motion if nothing more... for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.>> >BobF, whose advanced degree is in fisheries bio.> <<Mich, whose advanced degree is in genetic counseling.>>

Hmmm...The Future... Pet-fish, Oliver Bailey's "destiny"  3/30/07 Bob, I'm really enjoying the experience of volunteering on the site and hope my answers have been up to scratch! <Ah, yes. Thank you> However I was wondering if I could call on your knowledge in a "career guidance" capacity (without wanting to scare you with responsibility ha!) I am leaving for the U.S this summer for a "trial" stay and based on my experiences I may return next year and attend High School as I need a bit of a wake up after a tedious few years schooling. I hope to include one or more of the big conferences in this initial visit to sample the aquatics industry over there as it seems more magnified than here -- IMAC/MACNA?! Is one of these preferred by yourself and the rest of the crew? <Mmm, I enjoy both for some overlapping reasons... the smaller, more casual/familiar associations of the IMAC (up to now only held in Chicago, but this year adding a sort of repeat (though with different topics, some new speakers) in Las Vegas... But MACNA is also generally a blast as it is larger... more vendors (I am a "straddler" of our interest in the industry, a bit of the sciences, as well as a hobbyist) that are or becoming friends... And nice to get out, about and see the stores, visit folks, systems in the area... Though the hustle bustle and cheesy politics and small-mindedness of folks running the last is a "waste of life" at times... Best for me to only visit, give pitches at the MACNAs about every other time...> I will be based in Salt Lake City and will be traveling from there so the logical option will be to attend the Las Vegas IMAC in the autumn. <Ahh! Do "stick" with WWM, helping us respond, perhaps selling us content, and we will sponsor your stay at this show. I will be there presenting... and am pretty sure some other of the Crew will be in attendance as well> The early summer LiveAquaria.com frag swap also interests me as there aren't any events on that scale in the UK. <Very surprising... The folks that make up this fine set of businesses (in WI) are exemplary...> I would love, if possible to meet you and discuss how, why, where etc'¦all the possibilities of getting into the Aquatics industry. <Ahh, easy to do... to chat as well as join in... Will gladly conspire with you re this possibility> My Gran left me an inheritance specifically for me to travel and experience more in this hobby as she knew how much it meant to me and how badly I wanted to make a career out of it so I wish to make the most of this opportunity. <A worthy approach and field> I was considering the chance of work experience. I have the basic Open Water Diving qualification and would like to discuss the options available in collecting? <Hard work... but again, very enjoyable, enlivening... In fact, do know that you have just significantly influenced my choice in topics/subjects for the Vegas pitch... I WILL spiff up (maybe even figure how to "capture" some old Hi 8 video to electronic format... re SCUBA and pet-fishing... particularly collection...> I thought about emailing Walt Smith and trying to discuss a few weeks experience or wondered if you knew any contacts around the globe who may be willing to discuss this or, whether it isn't really viable for most companies and I should explore other avenues. <Ahhh! A further offer to you... I will gladly return to Fiji, and go out and about diving, collecting... The Smiths and I are "old..." okay, make that "middle aged" (does this mean I'll live to 108?) friends... Am sure we can arrange to meet, dive with some of their staff... and there are many other places on the planet where we, and the WWM Crew and other friends (likely some of which are un-met as of yet) can go explore these possibilities as well> If you could get back to me when you have a minute and hopefully we'll be able to talk about this some more. Thanks a lot, 'Olly' P.S'¦bewareeee'¦.more questions yet ha! <I welcome them and you to this experience, reflection. Bob Fenner>

GrahamT: Would like to inform all:  2/7/07 These next few weeks will be very confusing and chaotic for me, and I may not be very active on the board. I apologize if I picked a bad time to be overwhelmed, but my family and house-search need me. I will be here as often as possible, but I don't think I will be grabbing messages in the morning and answering at night anymore. I don't want to forget them and have peoples' queries go unheeded. Thank you for understanding! - G-cracker (Like the snack, not the in-bred hick) ((Sorry to any in-bred hicks on the crew, sincerely ;)) <No worries Graham... "First things first". Congrats on the house buy and we'll be chatting, BobF>

MACNA, WWM help  9/28/06 Greetings Bob, <Emerson> Hope all is well. We spoke at your booth during MACNA this past weekend and it was a pleasure to meet the man who helped facilitate my success in saltwater aquaria. <Ahhh!> We spoke about freshwater sponges in a Russian lake, and I couldn't remember if you thought it was Lake Baikal or not. I did a little more research and I'm pretty sure this is the lake that was the freshwater sponge haven I had heard about. <Is an absolute treasure on our planet... HUGE and DEEP> Its too bad there's really no chance of replicating this in a home aquarium, but then some things are better left in the wet. <Ah, yes> You also mentioned needing help answering emails on the website just being gracious I'm sure).  I would be glad to lend a hand wherever needed. <Oh, definitely yes!> Thanks and I hope your hangover on Saturday wasn't as bad as mine! Emerson Blewett <Was still drunk till past mid-afternoon... Do you have time, interest in helping us Emerson? If so, I will introduce you to our protocol, and thank you profusely for your participation. Bob Fenner> The first of the Support pages  4/29/06 Hi, Bob!   I hope you're having a blast at IMAC and that your talk went (or goes, whichever tense is applicable) well!   I've just completed the first of the Crewmember Support pages that I intend to implement.  It's live on the site, linked on the Admin subweb - and here's a direct link, if you'd like to look it over.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/crewsupwebmail.htm   Let me know if anything should be changed, or if I should scrap it and redo, and how.   I'll be starting in on a Troubleshooting page tomorrow.   Oh, and it's getting close to crunch time - what's the deal with the HI trip?  Happening?  Yea?  Nay?   -Sabrina, with "itchy feet"/"travel bug" <Outstanding. Am a bit blurry... as you can readily appreciate am sure... but this looks complete, clear. BobF>

Helping WWM Crew.....Within Perceivable Limits :]   3/14/07 Hello from across the pond. <And to you> Bob, on numerous occasions I have resorted to the knowledge of your crew and have written in on limited occasions (I know how busy you guys get). Anyway, I am emailing you with an offer of help with the site. Although I feel I am in a healthy position information wise and firmly interested in continuing my learning through resources such as WWM etc, I don't feel I have the knowledge bank of many of the regular contributors yet. <This will come... with time, applied interest, focus, practice> However I was wondering whether I could help in any capacity involving the trivial things that make the web spin, for example correcting any mail consistently badly misspelled or ill punctuated then returning to, <Mmm... a bit arduous... better that the folk/s responding do this as they read along... or return to the querier for correction> I'm presuming a central mail server, for input by yourself and other crew. I have noticed several recent events involving frustration from both parties concerning this area and wondered if any extra help in this area would help alleviate this?! <I thank you for your offer and consideration... You will understand once you're "in" the system> I'm hoping by the time I hit 19/20 I may be able to start contributing to the site more directly as I feel a responsibility based on the amount of information I have gained from it :] If any of the above would be impractical or unnecessary I won't take any offence to being "surplus to requirements" ha! On the situation side, I'm about to hit 17 <Mmm, I started in the trade much earlier... and some of the Crew have been with us at this age...> and have several A Grade qualifications from UK equivalents of High School and College in English Language but of course in most instances a spell checker will be fine lol. I just thought I'd drop you an email offering on the off chance :] Look forward to hearing back. Olly - Currently swamped with seemingly endless Fridmani fry - "ahhh they're everywhere, damn Martin Moe and his encouraging books" <A fine gentleman as well> Also, hopefully I will be enrolling on an Aquatics, Fisheries and Aquatics Business Management BTEC Diploma (equivalent of A-Levels) so I may be knocking on the virtual assistance door in two years ha! Keep up the awesome work!! <I do encourage you to further consider just joining us... even now. All are welcome to peruse, respond to what they feel comfortable with... and we have many young people that you can/would likely relate to better than... us older folk! Do send along your decision, and a brief bio. to post re your experiences, fields of expertise. Bob Fenner> Suggestion for the webmail area...   1/3/07 Bob, What are your thoughts on a folder that would contain replied-to emails that the replier feels would benefit from another angle/answerer? <I would say... more power to us/them... but who to maintenance such? It's just me Graham...> I'm definitely not the biologist you are Bob, or Anthony either, though I still want to take a stab at answering the advanced questions sometimes. Maybe we could call it Answered-open to review? <Sure... answer what you can in your...  particular style...> Maybe I should just stay away from questions I'm not 100% comfortable with? ;) <Mmm... maybe 80 or so percentile plus or so> Let me know what you think. -Graham T. <Getting time for us to all be on a dive adventure together... BobF> Help with your FAQ's   8/11/06 hi, my names Mitch, im 15 and i was wondering if you needed any help answering any of your FAQ's or things like that, ive been learning tonnes about fish and i think my head is about to explode. Anyway i would love to help if you needed any. Cheers, Mitch. <Thank you for coming forward with this offer of help Mitch. Are you able to regularly offer your time/help? What is/are your field/s of expertise? Your English is lacking above... are you diligent re using your computer tools to fix this ahead of sending out to others? Bob Fenner> Re: help with your FAQ's   8/12/06 hi <Hi> its Mitch, <Mitch> I will be able to offer my help and time anytime. Sorry about the poor English i <I> was in a hurry. I know alot <No such word...> about mostly freshwater aquariums. Hope this helps Mitch <Let's have you wait a while here Mitch... we have had people your young age help in the past, but I don't have the time/patience to correct your English on a regular basis. Thank you just the same. Bob Fenner> About Bob Fenner - Is This Gonna Be Like "About Schmidt"? Hello bob:) How are you today? <Fine, thanks> Well anyways I'd like to ask you some questions about you and the marine hobby, is that okay? <I guess> Okay, anyways, if it is I'll go ahead.  1. What got you interested into the beautiful marine hobby all the way up to today? <Serendipity... got caught up in the hobby, business from working in it as a kid in Japan, snorkeling...> 2.What is your favorite saltwater fish and why? <Likely one of the triggerfishes... beauty, intelligence> 3.What is your favorite shrimp, anemone, starfish, and coral? <Lysmata amboinensis, Heteractis magnifica, Fromia monilis, Euphylllias> 4. If any even at all, what are your current marine set-up's, and what fish are in them? <Only have a couple of African Cichlid tanks presently> 5.Do you still own a Fish store down in San Diego? <No, long since gone> 6.What is the Biggest marine tank you ever kept and the smallest? <A couple hundred gallons and forty> 7.What is the most challenging fish you've ever kept? <Or not kept... many... Corallivorous butterflyfishes as a group> I greatly apologize if you are taking this the wrong way. <What is... a wrong way?> I would just like to know some things like these about someone with as much experience in this hobby as you do. But, I doubt you are mad about something like this if you have the kindness to create a site like this one that is so helpful. No worries right?  <No troubles> I'll talk to you soon, thanks a lot! You don't know how much this site has helped me!! Okay thanks a bunch, Taylor S.  

Mike Giangrasso Hello, Wet Web Media!   First and foremost, I am unsure as to whether or not I am sending this to the right email address. If so, please advise as to where to send my query. <This is it> Let me introduce myself. My name is Mike Giangrasso. I am 14 years old, and have been heavily involved in keeping creatures in glass boxes since a very young age. I have been corresponding with Wet Web Media Volunteer Michael Maddox for quite some time now, and he has informed me that Wet Web Media is low on volunteers, and has encouraged me to write you. Needless to say, I am interested in helping out (otherwise, of course, you would not be reading this email). Let me sum up my experience in this hobby. <Okay> It all began as an accident. At the age of 5 my family inherited a Red Eared Slider Turtle from a neighbor that did not want him anymore. He came "standard" with a 10 gallon tank, 2 fake plants, a floating rock, turtle food and some water. Almost immediately he went on top of the fridge, and we would have to stand on a chair to feed him, let alone look at him. However, he got plenty of attention from myself and my younger sister. On the day that we had had him for exactly one year, we took him outside into the garden to celebrate his "birthday." It was a sunny day, and he was really enjoying himself, or so I recall. (The memories of when I was 6 are a touch vague) Well, the phone rang, and my mother went to answer it, urging us inside so as to prevent kidnappers from snatching us up while she was gone. I went to pick up Rocky (the turtle), but my mom told me to come inside NOW, and that he'd be alright for 3 minutes. Well, the 3 minute phone call lasted more around 33 minutes, and when we finally got back around to "celebrating" with Rocky, we realized he was gone. He had run away. After many hours of searching revealed nothing, my parents told me he'd moved to Florida and that was that. Of course, I was upset at losing Rocky, and expressed it through midnight tantrums. Eventually, my parents realized something had to be done. So, they filled Rocky's old tank with water, purchased an inside bubbling filter (sans floss, it was just a skeleton with air going through it), some nice blue and black gravel, and said it was for some fish. That weekend would be the day we purchased them, and in my junior art class, I drew this in excitement: <Neat!> Well, maybe I should have known that Goldfish do not live in the "Ocaen," let alone the "Ocean." That day, I got my first fish. I so vividly remember the excitement I had felt. Each person in my family got a fish. My dad picked out a feeder fish, dubbed "Triton," my mom a Redcap Oranda, my sister a Bubble Eye, and I picked a Black Moor. Through the rigors of cycling, the Oranda and Bubble Eye were lost, only to be replaced with another Moor and a Comet feeder Goldfish. The Moors, Triton, and Comet lived on. Fast forward 3 months. I had pretty much lost interest in the fish. Triton perished to fin rot, and the Moors soon followed. The Comet (named "Comet") survived for quite some time more. 1 year into the future, Comet was still kicking. That's when my appendix burst. In the hospital, I was given Goldfish books, and this sparked a great interest in me. Just before I got out of the hospital, my Grandfather passed away. I was left with his 20 gallon high fish tank. I set it up as soon as I got home, and added Comet after the water sat for a night. The next day, I went out and bought 2 Black Moors. I began to research Goldfish heavily, and, after another year, set up my first website: Blackmoor's Goldfish Site, found here: http://www.networkcpr.com/goldfish.html My interests began to move towards planted tanks ("natural" tanks), and I became more and more involved in the hobby. I saved up for a canister filter ($80, a ton of money for a 9 year old), and spent well over 9 hours a day on the internet. And then I got my first Betta. Dynamite, he was called. A brilliant red color. I set up the old 10 gallon for him, and soon I was keeping many Bettas. I began to frequent a Pet Store, and eventually applied for a volunteer position. I got a job on Sundays from 1 to 3, at the age of 9. I am still with them today. <I too started this way... at about this age> I then discovered the joy of forums, and was captivated by the tropical tank setups I saw. I began research for one, and, at the age of 10, I set up my first tropical tank with a Gold Nugget Pleco, a Discus, and some Angelfish. The tank was 40 gallons. The Angelfish soon paired off and spawned. Eventually, I had to give them away because I wanted a community tank. I purchased some Rams and some Jellybean Parrotfishes for my aquarium. I then converted my Goldfish set up to a tropical one, and started to breed Kribensis, then Apistogramma, then Bolivian Rams. I started a Betta breeding operation, and purchased a pair of Marble Delta tail Bettas from Jim Sonnier. I then set up a 55g tank for all of my Cichlids. My Jellybeans eventually bred, and I started researching them. I was horrified to find they had been dyed. I then set up www.Deathbydyeing.org to help combat the dyeing process. The site has been up for 2 years and has gone through many growing pains, but is a great success. I started selling Jellybean fry to help fund my operations and to help spread undyed fish of a normally dyed species. <Good for you> I now have over 19 tanks. Fry tanks, breeding tanks, Rubbermaid tubs litter my floor. I even got a loft bed to make for more room underneath. The current species of fish I am breeding are as follows: Jellybean Parrots Rams Bolivian Rams Kribensis Taenius Kribs Discus Angelfish Oscars Bettas Dwarf Gouramis Bristlenose Plecos Zebra Plecos Leiurus Pufferfish (no successful raising of fry past 1month, at this point) Apistogramma cacatuoides Laetacara dorsiger Harlequin Rasboras Werneri Rainbowfish Paradise Fish Chocolate Gouramis (eggs but no fry just yet) And a portion of the room (just cleaned it last night...this is what 24 hours of fishkeeping does to my room...) There's much more to it, it's a big room, but they're just Rubbermaid vats. The FW tanks appear so dark from the halides, even though a flash as used (did not capture my reef in full glory, either). I also just recently set up a reef tank, after 2 years worth of research on ReefCentral.com and WetWebMedia. I have broken a lot of "rules" to set it up, but I feel that if one has a good understanding of how a microcosm such as a reef tank works as compared to a macrocosm, such as the ocean, works. Though the tank is 3 months old, I have several SPS corals, a Bubble Tip Anemone, a Ritteri Anemone (not my idea...someone gave it to me bleached and half dead, now it is healthy and doubled in size), and 2 clams, a maxima and a crocea, to name the creatures that are supposedly not supposed to be added for 6 months to a year after the tank has been set up. My reef tank is my pride and joy, and I spend over 5 hours a day tweaking it. <I do hope/trust you are not neglecting your studies, health... socializing at this expense/investment> I can spend all day talking about my reef, and not convey how much I love this tank. I will show you a picture, maybe this will help to give you a general idea... And here are a few nice photos Randalli Pistol Shrimp Xmas Tree Worms Just a casual Refugium trimming... Green Bird's Nest Baby Maxima Rose Yellow Polyps <Ah, only the young artwork came through> There is SO much more to say, but I don't want to waste too much of your time. At the moment, I am a volunteer at my local fish store, the webmaster of PAWS-LI.org, Founder of Death by Dyeing.org. I would love to be able to add Wet Web Media volunteer to that list. Thanks for your time, Mike Giangrasso <Mike, do you have time to do this in addition to your current "plate" of activities? Does Michael Maddox know you well enough to render an opinion re your abilities? It is obvious you are well-experienced, have capacity with written English, are desirous of helping others... Am principally concerned with utilizing your precious time. Bob Fenner>

WWM volunteer in earnest Hi again,   I just wanted to know whether or not you could use my assistance as well as, if you do, how exactly to do what you do on WWM in terms of answering questions and the like. Thanks again, Mike Giangrasso <I thank you for coming forward Mike... and am asking here that our newest recruit, James Gasta, along with the ever-busy Mike Maddox aid in orienting you to our protocol. Our Webmail log in: XXXX Email Address: XXXX@WetWebMedia.com Password: XXXX Your inbox/folder: MikeG There are a number of things we ask... that you look through the all bold labeled "in-boxes" as well as the general inbox... respond completely to what you will, delete the original message... MikeM and James will help you become familiar as well as others here. Welcome to our friendship. Bob Fenner>
Welcome aboard Mike, 
I think you will find this a challenge as well as being fun, and frustrating at times.  My advice from what I've been through so far, would be, If your not sure of what to do, don't do it.  Mr. Fenner is the "silver fox", he doesn't miss anything, along with being very good at what he does, he is also very understanding.
James (Salty Dog)

WWM speakers 7/13/04 Hey Anthony! <cheers my friend> Is there a way to keep track of where your going in the country for meetings, presentations, etc? <yes... Bob and our other crew members too. We regularly announce/post various events and dates on our daily FAQ page. But I also keep a formal list of my engagements at readingtrees.com ("meet the authors link). When I remember to harass Bob for his dates, I post them there too.> Reason being, if you're ever in Missouri on some business, we would look into the possibility of having you as a guest speaker at one of our meetings. <I would enjoy that very much! Hmmm... I think I'm in Tennessee soon. How close is that? <G>> I'm totally new when it comes to the technical side of such an arrangement, so please forgive me. I would assume that all travel expenses would have to be supplied by us, as well as compensation for your time. Can you let me know what your "fee" is for meetings? <no fees my friend... you'll find most all aquarium club guests/speakers are happy to visit/share/present for no more than the cost of transportation. Just an airplane ticket for me (Bob is the same). No need for a hotel expense either if some club member has a couch to sleep on :) > Thanks for any info you can provide! <all good my friend. Do take a peek at my schedule and consider your dates as well. I try to limit myself to only one "escape" per month. If you can piggy back a meeting/flight with another regional club that I'm visiting I'm happy to extent the weekend/date> On a personal note, thanks for the info on coral farming that you emailed regarding SPS farming. Your experience/advice in this hobby is invaluable! <very welcome... please don't hesitate to call again. I sincerely enjoying sharing and seeing folks succeed.> Anthony Martinez The Saltwater Enthusiasts: Association of Springfield MO TheSEAS.org <kindly, Anthony>

A friend in Oz 7/3/04 THANK YOU SO MUCH ANTHONY YOUR INFO IS PRICELESS. I HOPE YOU GET PAID FOR IT. OR IS IT JUST FOR THE LOVE OF MARINE AQUARIUMS............. <we are all volunteers here, mate. A labor of love :) Perhaps I'll share a real beer with you one day in the land down under (I promise not to bring any American beers <G>). best of luck, Anthony>

New Crew member Mike Dandaneau: Welcome! Cheers, Michael > Thank you very much. I've enjoyed reading your > work and learning from it for as long as you've been publishing **grin** so if some of my opinions > sound like yours it's not intentional plagiarism. thank you my friend... and I must say that any similarities if so inspired would truly be flattering/inspiring for me to continue. I have done the same in my writing by folks I have been so inspired by, most notably our wise and dear friend Robert Fenner and that wonderful chap Martin Moe, Jr > It's a pleasure to make the acquaintance of > someone who's so universally well thought of in his field, which is indeed rare accomplishment in > ANYBODY'S book. <sigh> its humbling to hear, particularly on days when I don't feel worthy of it :( > I'll do my best not to embarrass any of you, will > appreciate any and all input from all of you and thank you all for the chance to be a little more > useful again. Sincerely,     Mike rest assured... these are not clichés or "cheerleading" pitches, you are sincerely appreciated for your interests to serve life and the living by helping us and others on the WWM crew. You WILL save animals lives and bring relief/pleasure to people that would surely fail without it/us. enjoy the journey my friend, Anthony Calfo

New Crew member Mike Dandaneau > Mike Dandaneau here, and first off thanks for the compliments on the > photos.....I also saw your comment about possibly joining your team in > answering Q&A's and frankly, would be flattered. > <Oh! Mike, shall I "sign you up"... Other than most topics in marine > fields, what categories of questions do you feel interested, confident in > responding to? Bob F> If you promise not to make too many "know it all" cracks **grin**, exotic mammals, reptiles (both snakes<hot and cold> and lizards), birds (piscines, exotics and raptors), insects and other terrestrial inverts, amphibians, most fw fish......you probably don't get many on paleontology and anthropology huh? In regards to living things my experience and interests have been concentrated in behaviour, up to and including breeding and rearing with weaknesses in current disease/medications in some areas, primarily herps and arthropods. Honestly, I've been blessed with a semi-photographic memory in some areas, led a really strange life and still can't find my car keys or balance my checkbook. Thanks again, Mike

Happy Holidays,  Stopping by to wish the Entire Crew Happiness and dark skimming through the festive holiday season. Just wanted to say thanks for all your help both directly and indirectly by pointing me in the right direction. And a  special behind the scene thanks to Barb,(?) I believe, responsible for keeping the site well organized?...  <<how about "attempts" to keep the site "somewhat" organized...I mean we're talking about 9 guys making a mess here! LOL>> Anthony, received my copy of your book and by a quick glance, (only first 50 pages) it's a wonderful addition to my library. I'm glad the crew, as well as yourself, mentioned in the FAQ's that it's more than just about coral propagation. The sections on set-up, husbandry, care, etc? not only increase the knowledge, but they expand the brain on the endless possibilities. Sorry Bob, needed to put CMA down for awhile. As for the new one, Reef Invertebrates, looking forward to ordering, (right after the holidays). If one thing I've learned for your site...Is that knowledge and understanding, prior to purchasing, will lead to success and happy fish....and of course "dilution is the solution to pollution".  Thanks for steering a many back into the water, DaveK  <<Dave, Thank you for the kind words and holiday greeting!  Happy Holidays to you and yours, Barb-->>

Happy Christmas from the UK Hello Anthony , Bob and all at WWM <cheers, dear!> I just thought I would like to say Happy Christmas to you all and also to wish you all a very prosperous New Year! <thanks kindly, with hopes of the same for you too> I am so glad I found your site because of all the help you give to everyone. I have nearly finished reading Bob's TCMA and your BOCP Anthony has arrived but I'm not allowed to look at it until Christmas day because it is a present. <G> By the way, when do you "close" and "open" over the Holiday period? <close? The WWM crew are all either manic, hard-working or both! No closing... 24/7 operation year around> Have a lovely time everyone and keep up the good work! Bye for now - Jenny <peace and long life, my friend. Anthony>

Algae Issues and WWM Crew help Tank stats:  100 gallon acrylic, Ca 320, alk 2.8 meq/l, temp 79F, lights 420 watts VHO, spg 1.023, ph 8.2 - 8.4  ammonia, and nitrite always 0, and a trace of nitrate (less than 10).  No sups except B-ionic    <Ca and Alk are balanced but a whicker on the low side... perhaps go a little heavier handed now with the b-Ionic> I have had a serious hair algae and diatom problem for quite some time.  I believe the main cause is high nutrients. <agreed... almost always is> I wanted to run a few ideas by you before I start spending money!  I have taken some drastic measures in the last few days.  Since I have corals in the tank, I could not simply turn the lights off. <it actually wouldn't solve the algae problem either. In fact, INCREASING the light in some circumstances helps because the corals can better compete with algae for said nutrients with stimulated photosynthesis... assuming the light does not send then to the point of photoinhibition> Instead I have removed all of the live rock and put it in a Rubbermaid container in a dark closet with an air pump and two power heads.   <dude... way too much work and the long way around the barn. A better skimmer and fasting the fish and coral for two weeks would have knocked it out entirely... clean too!> I plan to treat the live rock as if it were curing in an effort to kill the hair algae.  Do you think this was a bad idea?   <hell ya! Not only was it too laborious, but you are going to kill off a lot of good symbiotic growth on it... and furthermore, some of what is good but not killed by the darkness will die from luminary shock on re-emergence. In the long run, its not that big of a deal... but definitely not the easiest path to take> I'm wondering how long the rock should stay in the closet in order to completely kill the algae?   <that depends on how well you export the necrotic algae. Are you skimming this vat aggressively? Large water changes? etc... perhaps a few weeks> Oh...I will be doing water changes along the way.   <excellent> Meanwhile, I will also be doing massive water changes in the main tank over the course of three or four days (100%) and I'm replacing the Turboflotor trash with a Euro Reef CS6-1.   <very wise and good investment> I'm tired of constantly adjusting the Turboflotor and never getting the settings optimal.   <that's exactly the difference between a good skimmer and a great skimmer. Most skimmers can be made to work... they are all simple devices. But some require daily (or more than once daily!) adjustments just to have a prayer of working well... other top shelf skimmers only get adjusted a few times monthly if that! That's what you get when you spend an extra $100 or $200. Not cheap, but still small $ when you consider the overall investment in the tank and the value of your time> I understand that Euro Reef skimmers are very efficient, user friendly, and (I hope) quiet.   <agreed on all counts.. although quiet is a subjective value by individual> Is the Euro Reef really worth $298?   <easily IMO> All of my fish are carnivorous, messy eaters. <all the more reason> Even though I've had the fish for more than a year, the LFS has taken them back and given store credits. <very considerate... kudos to the LFS for wanting your long term business... wise> I plan to replace them with smaller reef type fish.  I'm wondering. . .given the aggressive nature of a purple tang, do you think it will okay in a peaceful tank with Chromis, fire fish, shrimp etc?   <nope... thanks for asking <G>> Last question, I am wondering about a clean up  crew.  I don't want to spend the money if it's not worth the effort.  What is your opinion about the usefulness of all those snails and crabs? <I enjoy them, but none are as effective as very strong water movement and aggressive protein skimming. Water flow keep's detritus and food suspended for the skimmer to export> If you think I need a crew, what is the best type to have and roughly how many?   <Astraea snails are a big plus (although they die easily if stranded on fine sand). No crabs (hermits or otherwise) if at all possible. Few if any sea cucumbers. Plenty of Brittle and serpent stars (they are great!!)> Is there anything else you think I should do in order to combat the algae problem?   <thaw your frozen food and strain all meats. Never put the thawed pack juice in the tank unrestricted... a sure way to grow hair algae and a common mistake by aquarists> I also want to mention that over the last several years, I have enjoyed and learned a tremendous amount from WWM and I would like to volunteer my services if needed.   <outstanding my friend. We do need sincere help as we grow!> I've been hiding on the sidelines since before Lorenzo came on board.   <because of him too <VBG>. He doesn't bite :)> While I don't feel confident enough to answer questions, I do feel that I would be successful working behind the scenes.   ><no worries.. mail is possible in time if you like... just look at the quality of my answers <G>> I was especially thinking of helping Barb arrange the facts or a duty of similar nature.   <God bless you! It is one of the most important areas of the site and ever so much in need of help. I will cc her here... Bob too. He's out of the country right now, but he'll follow up with you when he returns. Perhaps Barb sooner. Do follow up yourself with us if you don't get word in 5-7 days. There is so much you can help with here while learning so much more and re-enforcing what you already do know! Thanks for offering> >I am willing to perform whatever service may now or in the future be needed.  No pressure, I just wanted to offer to give something back to WWM.  Thanks for reading this lengthy email.  David Dowless    <thanks kindly, my friend... be chatting soon! Anthony> <<Thanks much for your offer David. Would you volunteer a bit about yourself? Specifically your areas of expertise, comfort? What you would like to do here? Bob F>>

Re: Scott Fellman- Who Is This Guy? Of course, I know Scott very well and say, Yay... he has my vote and respect. I think he will be a great help in building content on the site and more. He has great desire, passion and empathy for life at large. <Figured as much... important (to me, us) to build consensus (though)... understand that WWM is a "collective effort"... I feel that we are much better off assuring that "everyone feels important" (as they are) and thus to add another person (to our crew), it's a good idea to seek the acknowledgement, input, agreement of all...> Antoine... Burning the midnight oil for catching up on e-mail. <And any writing done on NMA RI? Am planning on locking myself in, turning off phones, begging Barb et al. to take over WWM, not log on to the Net... and get the draft done!> PS: Bob, sorry I missed you this weekend in San D but I understand your disinclination to drive in that dreadful traffic. Be seeing you soon :) <The traffic is sort of like girding up for going to the dentist, reunions or Disneyland... you've got to prepare, adjust your attitude, rest-up, and not go too frequently... Bob> Ciao, bubs

Meet the Crew Hi Everyone! Just wondering if any of you ever come to the east coast to chat with us hobbyists. I live in Connecticut and we could certainly use some of Anthony's humor here! <Both Anthony and Bob do a good bit of traveling now. Actually, Anthony is out of town right now in CA. Bob will be coming to Pittsburgh, where Anthony and I live, and I think Lorenzo is coming in too. Anthony and I are off to San Diego to visit Bob July 6th through the 9th. And many of the crew members will be in Dallas attending MACNA. Keep an eye on the daily FAQ page and on the Travel FAQ's, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bobfvisitfaqs.htm> Thanks, Beckie <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bugs and Bubbles! Robert, Anthony, Steven... now that I have read all of your accomplishments on "Wet Web Media Crew", I must say I am a bit intimidated  <don't be... we got drunk and made all of that stuff up in our bios... laughed our butts off the entire time> to say, "what are those little bugs in my sand." OR " I recently read about the dangers of "little bubbles", and now I am paranoid when my air stone ventures too close to my powerhead and spews out zillions of minute bubbles!" <Ahhh... really no worries at all. All easily corrected.> I would love to have just ONE of Fenner's degrees, ahhhhhh. <I spoke to him... he said you can have his degree in Basket weaving... but no-one is touching his Badminton Masters> So, with that said, be gentle with me! The bubbles and the bugs. The former have 8 legs, 4 mouth parts a forked tail, 2 antennae, and a barely visible with the naked eye, so I used a loop! Actually, they look like roaches, ugh! <yes... these and many more in the following useful links: http://www.reefs.org/hhfaq/pages/main_pages/faq_rock3.htm and http://www.rshimek.com/odd_critters.htm> Pam, Thank you~~~! <with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

WetWebMedia Forum Dear whoever is on call, Since yesterday, my user ID and password seems to be invalid, can't log on. My user name is Salty Dog and my password is XXXXXX. What gives? <I do not know, but I will forward this on to Zo and Jason. Hopefully, they can be of assistance. -Steven Pro>

Re: Seahorses, Aquatic Nutrition, UVs, WWF Chatforum Hi Bob, <Hello. Sorry for the delay in response. Have been away> Thank you for the responses to the questions in my last e-mail. Now in response to your question....... >How would you improve it?> I would like to see more species specific information for instance recommended temp ranges, size, minimum tank size, ease or difficulty of care, diet, availability in the hobby, reef safe, and any other tid bits tips or hints relevant to keeping the fish. I am a director on seahorse.org responsible for moderating the basic, tankmate and general forums. I refer to your site frequently for information needed to assist with my responses to posts. <Good ideas> Please do not take this the wrong way, but the information presented on seahorses seems dated to me as is much of the information currently available. Thank goodness for the Horse Forum column in FAMA. <Yes, dated and better source> I am so looking forward to your contribution. There are also a couple of books currently in varying stages of the publication process. One by Pete Giwojna. <Ah, a credible, lucid source> The advent of captive bred seahorses has made keeping them healthy, happy and thriving in captivity a reality. They are so much easier to keep now. <Immensely so> They were my first marine aquarium experience over 3 years ago and I would have never considered the possibility prior to Ocean Riders. Despite my problems in my other tanks I have done very well with the horses. I have actually found them to be easier than other marine fish or many of the FW fish I have kept. Please forgive me if you are aware of any of this information. There are 18 species currently being bred by 3 commercial aquacultists, Ocean Rider which I have noticed mention of on your site a few times, Tracy & David Warland of South Australian Seahorse Marine Services, and Ocean Oddities. 7 of the species are available to the hobbyist, at this time, from either Ocean Rider or FFE for between 39 and 150 dollars. The available species include, kuda, erectus, reidi, abdominalis, whitei, barbouri, and procerus. The additional 10 species are soon to be released, in the next year or so. FFE has also said they are expecting some CB pipefish any time now. The seahorses all readily accept frozen foods and are actually quite hearty and disease resistant. Most of us feed Mysis relicta, a completely freshwater species of Mysidae, manufactured and prepared by Piscine Energetics @ www.mysis.com. Are you familiar with the product? Many of the seahorse.org members are new to marine aquaria. They have been quite successful with seahorses and their appropriate tankmates. So, I would like to see more current information on seahorses that pertains to the CBs available now. <Thank you for this important information re Hippocampus husbandry> Karen Etling one of my esteemed seahorse.org curators is writing an article for your site I understand. I think that is great!! Chris Burns and Pete Giwojna both have written several articles maybe they would be willing to share them on your site for the seahorse enthusiasts. <We greatly welcome these inputs, links or other access to their ideas, discoveries> I recently posted in the chat area. I think that an edit and delete post option, available only to the moderator or author of the post once it has been posted, would be helpful. <Will send this note on to Zo for comment> I find the format of the FAQ's and question/answer areas a bit hard to read for me personally. For me, the information would be more easily read if the answers to the questions were separated out from the text of the letter some how......maybe another color, font. or indented? <An excellent idea... we simply have not had time to do much editing of this content.> I do like very much that the questions are ALL answered as they are asked, and as a result nothing is missed, a function of the format I am sure. <More so of commitment on all our behalf> There was one place I noticed where the questions and the answers were in more of an alternating paragraph style. I found that easier to read than when the answers were inserted into the text of the letters. <I see> I really like the lighthearted way in which information is presented and questions are answered, It is very nonjudgmental and nonthreatening. I am sure you guys are all much busier due to that. I know it's a lot easier for me to ask when my questions are answered so promptly in the previously mentioned manner. I am actually quite embarrassed about my errors, but was never made to feel bad about it by you and your staff all seem to respond in a similar nonjudgmental and nonthreatening manor! Very important qualities IMO for learning to take place. <For all of us> That's all I can think of at the moment. If something else comes to mine I will send it your way, if you like. <Please> I have a few more questions if that is OK? <Certainly> Re: Leaving my tank fallow: Should I be changing the water and stirring and/or vacuuming the sand, during the 3 months it is fallow? If so how much would you recommend and how often? <I do encourage vacuuming during these times... on your "regular schedule", perhaps weekly to monthly per: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm> Do you have any suggestions for removing the residual greenish yellow tint, of the water, from the Greenex and Acriflavine? Prior to adding any new life I did several 100% water changes. I have used carbon and polyfilters. <These are exactly my M.O.s> Re: a Jawfish, Opistognathus rosenblatti in particular I currently have a 0 grain size substrate in the tank along with some small shells and coral rubble. What would be the appropriate sand grain sizes to mix? <About one quarter the larger material, mixed into the upper range of the whole blend... will become more mixed with time> I am considering a tank for abdominalis, whitei and breviceps which are currently being bred and maintained by Tracy & David Warland of South Australian Seahorse Marine Services  <Met these fine folks at last years Aquarama in Singapore> in the same system at 71.6 degrees. Would 71.6 be to low to maintain one? <Is fine. The Baja species is found at this and quite cooler temperatures... the others reach comfortably into this realm> In reference to Jawfish recommended as seahorse tankmates on seahorse.org, you said "Most of the commonly available species, agreed" I wasn't quite sure from your answer if you would consider Opistognathus rosenblatti one of the commonly available species and thus appropriate for a seahorse tank? or better to choose another species? <O. aurifrons would be better. The larger species will likely prove to be too aggressive feeders to be kept with Hippocampines> I know they are usually pricey, but I see them offered much more frequently online these days and occasionally in the LFS.

Lenore Dear Joyce, Lorenzo, Jason & Bob, I wanted to share the following e-mails with you regarding Lenore. Her Uncle Gorge's reply is very touching. Take care, BarbaraT Dear Mr. Dawson, I am writing on behalf of Robert Fenner's Chat Forum. In memory of your niece Lenore, a donation has been made to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in SanDiego, CA and was directed to their Education/Scholarship and Aquatic Care Funds. At their life-sized, gray whale exhibit, one of the tiles near the seating area is being inscribed with the following: 1977-2001 In Honor of Lenore Ann Dawson Our continued thoughts and prayers are with you, her family and friends. May it be of some comfort, that we join you, in being forever touched by the beautiful spirit of Lenore. Sincerely, Barbara Taormina _______________________________ Dear Barbara Taormina, I wish I had the words to express how deeply I was touched by you and Mr. Fenner's web site memorizing Lenore in such a fashion. I have been sitting here staring at this screen rereading your letter over and over again. I couldn't even come up with the words to tell you how much this gives to me and all of her family and friends. So I thought the best way I could thank you was to send you a copy of what I said to Lenore's friends and family at her wake. ________________________________________________________________________ "When my brother and his wife past away (her father and mother) I never thought I could recover from the loss. John and I were as close as two brothers could hope to be. Ellen was one of my very best friends. Having Lenore was like have the best part of each of them in one small package. I think me grief over their passing disappeared when I truly for the first time saw John in Lenore. The determination and lack of pretence. The way she could knock down every defense you ever built up and never feeling an ounce of vulnerability for it. I could see, just as it was with John, her love for animal life. Always dripping wet and jumping up and down holding a 18" worm and saying, "isn't he cute?" Or when Will (her dog) would follow her around like a shadow. I could see Ellen in the grace of Lenore's movements. How she could make the most complicated task look simple. The most sticking resemblance between those two were there looks. All of that blond hair curling every which way. Cornflower blue eyes and that little elfin appearance. Losing Lenore is the single most devastating event for me. Having her so fully in my life after John and Ellen's death was a blessing that gave me my heart back. She became like a daughter to me, and no one could have been more proud or could have loved her more then I. She became the center of my world. Everything I did in my life I did to make her proud of me. That I will never again hear, "I love you uncle G." is the worst pain I have ever known. Walking around in her empty house past her aquariums, where ever fish bolts to the front of the glass to say hello. She had those guys trained like circus animals. It give me a feeling of her presence around me. She could sit in front of those tanks for hours. She'd rattle off about something new she had found, or some treatment she tried that worked. I swear she was speaking another langue at times. I feel her when I look into those tanks. Or when Will comes up to me begging for affection. Going through her email informing people of her passing I encountered another facet of her love for marine life. I mailed Mr. Robert Fenner. I only realized after mailing him who he is. A man I know Lenore admired greatly. She had a book of his that is so tattered and faded with use. With all kinds of passages highlighted and pages marked with comments. Apparently Lenore was active in a web forum that Mr. Fenner has on his web site. He informed the people who had come to know Lenore though their love of marin life. The emails I have received from these people make me want to bawl like a baby. It gives me such a sense of peace to know that there are people outside our community, all around the US who have felt Lenore. That truly know who she was. Compassionate to a fault at times. Generous and loving to any form of life. The people on this web site have set up a donation to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego in memory of Lenore. A tile at one of there exhibits will have her name engrave upon it. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around such a beautiful memorial. Yet I see how her friends have come over to her house wanting to take up her marin hobby. To keep what Lenore loved most alive. Or friends and family who want to take Will for a run, because they know that Lenore would not want Will to become a lazy couch potato now that she is gone. Lenore is being remembered through giving other creatures the best world we know how to provide. Through education and shared experiences. To being open to learning something new each day about ourselves, the creatures we care for, or the world we live in. I will do this when I make that yellow fish of hers do it's circus act like she taught me. Or making sure Will gets his cookie before bed time. I will look at the people around me and find a way each day to give the best part of myself to them. I know that Lenore would have wanted to be remembered this way. It fills my heart that her family and friends both here and all over the US are doing just that. That is was automatic for them to do so. I think because of this she will always be proud of me, and of all of us. May she rest in peace." I hope that expresses my appreciation for what you and Mr. Fenner's web site are doing in Lenore's memory. Her family and friends thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. We will all be making donations as well. We are overjoyed at the chance to do so. If it is not asking to much from you Barbara, could you send our thanks to Mr. Fenner and to all of those who go to his site? Maybe forward this letter? Thank you for your kind words and for all that you have done to keep lenore with us in spirit. It means so much to me. Warm wishes Gorge Dawson <Thank you Barbara and Gorge. Bob Fenner>

Holiday Greetings. To the wonderful people I have come to know: <Quite a salutation!> The Holiday season coincides with the times many people, from an amazingly rich and diverse range of backgrounds, choose to give thanks for the richness and happiness in their lives. Whether it's Ramadan, Hannukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, each celebrates some of the most wonderful things about life and people, the gift of life and generosity, the gift of thankfulness and kindness and most of all, that of love. While I do not celebrate with a particular tradition in mind, since all are meaningful to me, I respect each for its particular expression of these values. I want to offer you a wonderful holiday greeting and hope that you have wonderful people with whom to share this time of year. If I could bring together those that I know, to celebrate the wonder and diversity of the people I call aquaintances and friends, you would be among them. Thank you for having and impact on my life and thank you for being kind and willing to interact with me. Thank you for enriching my existence with a gift for which I will never be thankful enough for, save that each time I speak with you and thank you, it will only begin to be enough. Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings! Warmest Greetings and Kindest Regards, Christina Gonzalez <Thanks so much for this uplifting expository statement. Oh, this is Zo's wife for browser types. Bob F>

RE: Lenore Dawson You have my complete support in this effort, knowing that the aquarium can always use a contribution, and that Lenore would be very honored. As far as I'm concerned you may place a notice in the Forum. I will certainly contribute. <As will I. Bob F> -Zo

Re: Voicing Sad News Dear Mr. Robert Fenner, I want to thank you for informing all of Lenore's friends online. It has been a comfort to hear replies back from the many people who contribute to your web site. <Indeed, it/they are all our websites> You will have to forgive me for not know who you were at first. I only realized after you spoke of Lenore's love of marine life that I put two and two together. Your contributions to Lenore through your books and of course through your web site helped build the character that we so cherished in her. We were all so proud of the work she put into caring for the ill fish she encountered. <You humble me sir. It is deeply gratifying to think that I might help thus> After our time of morning, when we take on the task of disbursing her belongings, I wonder if you know of anyone who would be at all interested in the many logs her had kept? Of which there are many. We are still considering what should be done with the livestock. Thank you again Mr. Fenner Gorge Dawson <I will ask the folks who knew her on the chatforum. Again, I thank you. Bob Fenner>

Hi Bob (SD visit) Just a quick note to let you know that Bill and I got home okay and we really enjoyed our outing with you. You're a facinating man to listen to, <I'll admit it... you've got to put the proverbial/actual sock in my mouth to shush me up> and by your own words, you rarely get to talk with people in person and do a wonderful job of keeping the conversation flowing! ;) <So conceded> The beer was cold and just right. I would have rather had YOUR garlic mashed potatoes, but hey, those were good, too. <And certainly voluminous> I'm hoping that I can get a chance to meet up with you at Tropicorium, but I'll have to wait and see what my good bud BarbaraT has to say! Anyway, thanks again for showing us such a good time. My pictures are being developed now, and I'm hoping for some good ones! Hope you're staying warm! Joyce <Yes my friend. See you soon. Bob Fenner>

User name/password (Chatforum) Dear Bob, I got on your site last nite, picked my user name as Old Salt, with same password. Today, it does not recognize my password matching my user name. I would like to keep my same user name, but now the site won't allow me, when I try to open a new account. Can you clear Old Salt, so I can start over? <Yeeikes... I'll send this along to webmastah Zo... I do the content end, and hide under the desk for computer questions. Be chatting. Bob F> Thanks, Jim Gasta

RE: User name/password James I've reset your password to "GreenSomethingortheOther" (without the quotes) - that should get you in, and you can change your password then... <Thx Zo... will not post... well, maybe I will! Bob F> -Zo

RE: email agendas... Well... I've noticed this hotmail address is your "published" address. Is there a reason why you don't become "bob@wetwebmedia.com" ?? <More likely than any real reason, because I'm too lazy to switch from Hotmail (the "find/replace" function didn't work (or at least I couldn't get it to do so) on Frontpage to remove the bizillion bobfenner@aol.com last-pass change... Sob (am not swearing here). Do you consider I should change?> Perhaps get the hotmail forwarded... <Is this simple to do?> could do all kinds of wacky things with your email if only Billionaire Bill didn't get his hands on it first. <Hmm, agreed... hope he and crew aren't watching... (scurrying under my desk)... How about you answering same for a bit while I'm away? Hmmm?> Again, this is all within the/my realm of possibility. We could make it "wicked" cool. J -- <Not familiar with these terms... would settle for "satisfying"... Bob F.>

RE: email agendas... I'm surprised you've not heard the "wicked" thing... very north eastern, ahh but it's probably been a while since you've lived here, Rhode island - right?  <Yes, and the fifties, nineteen that is... the only thing wicked then was the Witch of the East> Anyway, I digress... don't know any specifics about the hotmail service itself. If you could forward it anywhere, then it is probably in your best interest to do so. Especially considering... the virtual-ness of things like "pimentoloaf.com" or "bob.com" or "wetwebmedia.com" or anything.anthing for that matter. For folks in the-know, these things can point all over the place - they are a front end for god knows what and the end users just happily click away. Mean while... while you weren't paying attention to the man behind the curtain...  <Hey! Here's that reference again... you may end up with the hash moniker "Oz", "Wizard", "Toh Toe" or such> the mail to "helpmequick@wetwebmedia.com" went to the bat phone, and "webmaster@wetwebmedia.com" went to Mike, and "javafreaker@wetwebmedia.com" goes to Zo and "everyone@wetwebmedia.com" get's posted on the forum. I don't know, it's just a straw man, <That's it, henceforth you shall be known as "Kansas"> but it's an example of possibility. It can be extended even further to vacation response, auto archive/index, etc. etc. Now I'm not trying to scare Zo here by making work for him... my server can deal with a good deal of the mail routing part of this. The crazier stuff - mail into auto index - would take a little longer. Already can do very advanced filtering and mail-to-folder filtering, vacation response, mail-to-html, and a few other things. <Hmm> As for answering the mail while you are gone, I wouldn't want to step on Zo's turf, but if he is deluged I'd love to help out. I do enjoy being able to pass on what the experience I have via the forum. Still quite amazed we can even do so compared to what now seem like the dark ages only ten years ago when this type of information exchange was nowhere to be found. So... I would be honored. Perhaps develop tag team system, derived answer... <Yes... the best devisable plan as I see, understand, want it at this point> Glad I can be of any assistance. Cheers. J -- <That's my Kansas. Bob Fenner>

RE: email agendas... The wwm ISP, datapipe, offers a pretty decent web-based interface to the email system. It can handle the 'away' message, and auto-forwarding, as I recall. I don't remember the specifics, but I believe we're allowed 10 addresses, with 10megs storage. I setup an address for Bob, and emailed him the URL, but he hasn't used it yet... busy/distracted, I'm sure... <And semi-fearful... am an "old timer"... back when most all had a couple or three ISP's got used to being behind, checking all...> I think using this as a 'shared' email account for answering while Bob's away is a very good idea. <Me too!!! Very good, as with WWF/C to have others opinions, input... on the site. The folks who regularly post are all imminently qualified IMO, H or not. Bob F> -Zo

Re: Out of office message Robert Fenner wrote: <I used to dream about money and women, but last night had a doozie about > email... sigh. LOL, I've been dreaming about visits to construction sites to look at cables and conduits... <<Yeeikes, we may be... aging!>> > Wonder if we/I could use *.wetwebmedia.com as Zo and Mike.K > do for a/the address for this/WWM purposes? Maybe have PF et al. take a > schwing at responding to queries as a group (like Zo encouraged folks last > trip out)? Even use datapipe.com as my away ISP? What say you? > Bob Fenner> That's way outside my knowledge range, sounds like a job for the Zoster and MikeK. I'd be happy to help out on the message end, I'm sure everyone else over at WWC would be happy to also. <<Will fwd missals... not to Afghanistan. Bob F>>

Shimek, Anemones, Pinky Finger Bob, I hate to do this to you, but could you visit and contribute to the thread below? http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/viewThread.jsp?forum=17&thread=284&mode=flat I'm not feeling entirely sane on this one, with PinkyFinger's rephrasing of Shimek's seemingly psychotic statements... Thanks, Zo <Thanks for bringing this to my attention Zo... Very good job the core of folks on WWF are doing... Do agree with your sentiment re "posting confusing to incomplete information... And Ron's at times ridiculous (he has never worked in the industry... has little apparent grasp of what happens by making obtuse statements out of context...) statements...  Do try to "steer your ship (soon to be a huge cruiser) gently... remember, thou art a small rudder (or some such). Bob F> Howdy to all. Just to toss in a further dos centavos re: "Anemones" and lighting... turns out, like the groups of stinging-celled animals called hard and soft corals, there is a broad spectrum of degrees of photosynthetic to non-photosynthetic modes of "feeding" amonst the actinaria... and an equally wide range of ability to switch from one to others... How to make this statement more useful here?... Wild-collected anemones that have been living "the light life" often have a difficult time adjusting to low light captive conditions... e.g. Heteractis crispa that are still "colored"... versus "sebae" (same species) that have become bleached out (whitish)... In general more light intensity is a good idea with the ten species of naturally symbiotic algae, and the few other popular species offered (e.g. genus Condylactis) in the interest.  My opinions stand on the necessity and utility of keeping anemones and clowns together... Not easy to do, especially for someone new to the hobby, and in a small system to boot. I would forego the anemone.

Re: Bow-Front Tanks, Forums Brian, The WetWebMedia Forums are up, though not too many people seem to be finding them. If you want to check them out, (and if you have any ideas, etc) check out: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com Cheers, Lorenzo <The tide will come in on this feature Zo... in time, once folks realize it's there, and it accumlates some good strings. Bob Fenner>

The New WWM ChatForum (Grandprize, let's do lunch) Dear Bob, I was doing my usual "daily tour" of this wonderful web-site, enjoying all of the updates and changes when I noticed that Lorenzo named me the "First User Posted" on Chat Forum....I've been reading all the fine print, trying to find what prize I have won....your flying in for an "all-you-can-anwer/drink session" would be fine!!! :-] ---BarbaraT <I'll gladly go in with you... pizza? Sushi? Bob Fenner>

4 rums. >Forum? The forum/discussion boards? Or the mailing list(s)? ><The former Zo... what you showed us was a demo right? Could we post a link >to this... feature? Should we just wait (don't heave here) on the newer >version of Frontpage to install this? Bob F> *Byaack!* dry heave. better now. hairball maybe? Anyway - the forums are pretty darn cool. Popped in a couple spots for sponsor banners - could even allow advertisers to sponsor a specific forum, <A very good idea... can't have all spending their time (well so much of it) for naught indefinitely...> with only a teeny bit more work. The upcoming 2.0 version of that software allows tons of great new features... maybe we should wait, supposed to be a month or so... <Sounds great Zo... So, where do I send a check so to speak for this new software?> Or, if we're in a hurry, I'm comfortable putting the link up on WWM, run from my server, to start with. If it gets out of hand, people start complaining that it's slow, I have a feeling Jason C. might step up to the plate with his bad-ass AlphaServer, then we can migrate the whole thing pretty easily. <Hotay... do I dare just plug in the link on WWM? And an announcement... worded? "Non-refereed..." Will do later today if don't hear from you, Mike to STOP, and let's let the chips fall... Bob> currently at: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/XXXX/index.jsp cheer-io, Lorenzo

Re: 4 rums. ><Sounds great Zo... So, where do I send a check so to speak for this new software?> You goofy-head. It's opensource. Apache/BSD license, for those in the know. Totally Free. As in 'Free Speech' not 'Free Beer'. Good stuff, eh? <Mmmmm, free beer, yes... now, what we're we chatting about?> ><Hotay... do I dare just plug in the link on WWM? And an announcement... >worded? "Non-refereed..." Will do later today if don't hear from you, Mike Hmm. I'd like to move it up a level so the URL is just talk.wetwebfotos.com instead of the /jive on the end... other than that, yeah - I say go for it. <Plugging in now, Sir! Duff Bob> -Lorenzo

run da 4 rums. Okay. I'm happy with the configuration. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com is the url. Hope this works out! <Okay! Here we go boss. Bob F> -Lorenzo

Re: run da 4 rums. Woooohoooo! :-) FIRST actual USER POST: Re: I Am Testo Modesto! posted by: BarbaraT ( Barbara Taormina ) Posted 12 minutes ago Thu, Jul 5 at 08:39:44 EDT Yo Zo!!!---Heard your "roar" and they must be working you too hard!:-} Great work on the website....Thanks to all of you, it just keeps getting better & better. BarbaraT <Son of a gun. It woiks! Bob F>



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