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FAQs about the Red Sea 2

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

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


Photos   3/27/07 Thought you might enjoy sharing these photos with your viewers..... Red Sea Regal:                                  Have had for 4 years Red Sea Semilarvatus Butterfly:        Have had for 6 years E-mail <Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Red Sea salt water fish   1/11/07 Dear Sir , Madam please allow me to introduce us , we are Red Sea Marine Life we are from the major suppliers here in Egypt for salt water fish like ( imperator, asfur, fridmani and semilarvatus ) we can supply you any quantity in good prices too and any kind of fish in Red Sea . we also deal in sea food products ( sea cucumber and octopus ) we can also supply any quantity in good prices . we are looking forward to long term business relation , so if you are interested in our offer and want to co-operate with us please replay us : Email : a7md_sa3d80@hotmail.com         : redseamarinelife@alibaba.com         : asaesag@yahoo.com mobli number : 0020127898327 fax number    : 002035051767 thank you best regards . Ahmed Saad Marketing Manager <We'll post your message on our business subweb. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Biotope  12/20/06 <Todd, I apologize for the delay in response. We're having issues accepting certain types of email formats, and very few of us are able to view them. I've been unavailable for the last week, so things have been a bit delayed. Original message is follows. -JustinN> <Thank you Justin. BobF> I am researching a Red Sea Biotope that I am going to set up in my 360 gallon tank and am looking for a little assistance. It is quite easy to find info on the Indo-Pacific, Hawaii and the more popular places, but I am struggling a little bit locating info on the Red Sea. I found your Red Sea Biotope info on WetWebMedia, <Ahh, good...> I just bought "Coral Reef Guide-Red Sea" which is a wonderful resource and have done extensive Google searching online. <Yes... Helmut Debelius' works just keep getting better and better> I am trying to make this a true biotope down to being specific to a reef flat and reef slope. I really don't want to mix coral and fish from different parts of the Red Sea. I have come up with an extensive list of Red Sea coral and fish that I would like to have in this display, but I need to get it down to what actually co-exists in the same part of the reef and then weed out those that wont co-exist in a closed system. <I understand> Here is an abridged list of the coral that I would like to center this display around after figuring out which should be together. I will only list the families as there are too many individual corals to put in this e-mail. If you would like to see the entire list I can send that. Pocilloporidae Acropora Acroporidae Milleporina Stylasteridae Agariciidae Fungiidae Pectiniidae Faviidae Dendrophylliidae <Mmm, yes...> Fish: Sohal Tang Purple Tang Blonde Naso Tang Many Orange Anthias This was a lot of typing already just to get to the reason for this e-mail. I am looking for some reference material (hopefully with pictures) that show portions of the reef and not just individual coral or fish. Everything I have so far only shows the individuals, and I am going to need general pictures of reef flats and reef slopes in order to make this as true as possible. <Mmm... well the invertebrate tome by Peter Vine (see Amazon.com re) is worthwhile here for sure... There are some nice books that I've seen while visiting the area... but not available as far as I'm aware of in the West... Perhaps a sojourn to SeaChallengers.com site... an email to Dave or Diana Behrens there will be productive... And a big offer... to come travel with us thereabouts... two Mays hence... following the Interzoo show in Germany. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance for you assistance Todd L. Red Sea Biotope   12/28/06 Bob, Thanks for the reply. I will follow up with SeaChallengers.com and would love to dive the Red Sea if possible. <Is> The book "Coral Reef Guide - Red Sea" is actually written by Ewald Lieske and Robert F. Myers <http://www.amazon.com/Coral-Reef-Guide-Red-Sea/dp/0007159862/sr=8-1/qid=1167330330/ref=sr_1_1/002-5564169-9292019?ie=UTF8&s=books> just in case anyone else wants to find the book. It is an awesome reference for the Red Sea. <Thank you for this> I think one of my biggest challenges now will be finding coral that actually comes from the Red Sea. <In the U.S., yes... you may want to become friendly with folks in the frag/hobby side in W. Europe... they likely can supply you best with the beginnings of pieces> Most of the coral is also found in other seas throughout the world and most dealers and wholesalers don't list many, if any specimens from the Red Sea. <Again... not in the U.S., but these can be found in some supply in Europe> If you have any recommendations where I could find actual Red Sea coral I would greatly appreciate it. I am in the grow-out phase of starting a coral farm and have a few wholesale contacts, so recommendations can be wholesale, or otherwise if need be. <The hobby groups... the Net...> I understand that virtually no-one would know the difference if I put an Indonesian, Fiji, etc. coral in place of an actual Red Sea coral, but I would know and I would like to exhaust all avenues to acquire Red Sea specimens before I am forced to go with others. Thanks again Todd L. <Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Sea Biotope, pet-fish friends on the Net    12/29/06 Sorry to bother you again. Do you have a list of Hobbyists groups (online hopefully) or the like from W. Europe. Unfortunately, I only speak English so I hope that's not too much of a hindrance. Thanks Todd L. <Mmm, don't have... Not to worry re the English-only angle... many folks there read, speak it... Look on the Net... Bob Fenner>

Magazine Articles... labrid for a Red Sea biotope  11/12/06 Hi Bob, I was wondering if you could help me out: I am currently writing an article for the first issue of Ultramarine. It is going to be based around the set up of a biotope aquarium. <Good topic series> It will focus on the North Red Sea especially Hurghada. <Been there...> The tank is a fully equipped 22 inch cube that includes a sump (55 gallon total) <I see> It will feature the following Sps Corals that are aquacultured from one of the contributors to the magazine, they include. >Millepora Dichotoma (Fire Coral) >Pocillopora damicornis >Stylophora Pistillata >Acropora Valida <Okay> To complete the biotope I want to add some very small fish (maybe 2 or 3), and I really wanted to put a wrasse in there, can you suggest a particular species of wrasse that is found around this area, that will remain the small size that it needs to be to live happily in this aquarium? Thanks in advance Keiran <Oh yes... have gone through Fishbase.org, for marine fishes found in Egypt... sorted by family... looked through the Labrids... Bodianus anthioides, B. axillaris, Paracheilinus octotaenia (gorgeous), Pseudocheilinus evanidus, P. hexataenia (a bit feisty though), Pteragogus cryptus, Wetmorella nigropinnata are my fave choices... for the most part staying small, not too mean, aquarium suitable/adaptable. Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Sea Biotope art.   11/15/06 Hi Bob, I have decided to go with Paracheilinus octotaenia as the wrasse for the system. But I am absolutely racking my brains for tank mates for this fish;  I think it will get around 4inches or so, I can have 10 inches of fish for the system and would really like something else Do you have any suggestions of fish that are strictly from the Red Sea and would get on with this fish, I was thinking about a pair of clown gobies, <Mmm, not a pair/two... just one if any> but have found conflicting info on the species living in the Red Sea. Thanks Keiran <Does, will eat SPS coral polyps... BobF>

Sharm Pic - 10/22/06 I'm sorry for sending this too your WetWebMedia email as it's not really applicable to the website in terms of use. But I wouldn't if you'd like to use this picture I took whilst snorkeling in Ras Mohammed in Sharm, I used a Fuji F30 normal digital camera and a scuba housing and got many other good pictures as well. Also wondered what you think cause it's my first set of underwater shots. I compressed the photo quite a bit cause the original was 3mb.....but anyway, feedback appreciated and if you would like to put it on {WWM} could you please email me as id be very proud lol but also am a bit fussy with things going on the internet so if you could email me back anyway thanks :)...btw all's good in the 90g reef, I have orchid Dottybacks coming out of my ears, or rather my room...all down to that Martin friend of yours :P . Thanks, Oliver <Ahh, thank you for sending this along. Will see if the folks manning the pump can upload this as well. Am out in Wakatobi... diving! BobF>

Anemone biotope  8/25/06 Hi! I have just purchased a 40gal. cube (24" x 24") aquarium with a 14K 250W metal halide light. The tank has a nicely plumbed closed-loop arrangement for flow. <Keep those intake screens screened> For system stability, I will tie this into a system of around 400gal. (120gal. display, 33gal. frag tank, 30gal. sump, the rest refugiums with Chaeto and live rock). Most of the rest of this system has been running for a year or so. <Nice> I would like to set this 40gal. up as an anemone biotope tank. Specifically, I would like to set this up as an E. quadricolor tank and use tank-propagated RBTAs and/or GBTAs so I'm not depleting wild stock. <Okay... would stick with one individual or be assured of the clonal background of more than one> I would like to start out with a pair of pink skunk clowns (A. perideraion). Does this pairing seem feasible, with caveats to the whims of the individuals in question? <Mmm, yes> Otherwise, I'm having a tough time researching the biotope in question. What would be natural (as far as an acrylic box can be) fish/motile invert-wise to place in this tank? I want to give the tank over to the anemones, so I don't wish to include any other sessile inverts. I know design ideas are the fun questions, so please go wild. <Heeeee! Am not that sort of fellow> Thanks for any help you can be in focusing my research! Andy <Mmm... the best approach I can suggest would be to actually go diving, take a look/see around where Entacmaea are found in the wild (the West Indo-Pacific... into the Red Sea), second-best would be to closely look over pix of this species for clues as to what their world looks like, what is found in association... A raised (in the middle) rocky area... Bob Fenner> Re: Anemone species tank  8/25/06 I apologize for wasting your time last night. Since then I found your articles on Red Sea sandy reef slope biotopes, found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rssndslp3.htm <Ahh, yes... I penned this series as an example to a friend (Helmut Debelius) re how he might re-format his excellent dive guides....> If you have any suggestions other than the wealth I'm finding here, please let me know. Thanks again! Andy <Mmm, wish I was home (am out visiting in NJ)... would send you scans of my pix of this species from about... with them not "cropped"... hopefully showing more of the life around... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone biotope  - 08/26/06 Thank you for your reply, Mr. Fenner! (By the way, thank you also for writing such wonderful books. Please write more. :) ) Funny you should mention the diving trip, I just finished my SCUBA classes and need to go and get my supervised dives out of the way. Hmmm.... <Indeed!> > <Okay... would stick with one individual or be assured of the clonal background of more than one> I was planning on starting with just one, although is there a reason to try not to get two examples, one of each sex? <Not "sexable" externally... One/is would be best> Assuming I wind up with this as a Red Sea sandy reef slope biotope, may I please ask some questions about suitability of specific species? <Sure. Will relate what I know, suspect> It would fascinate me to eventually attempt many of the animals that share space with anemones, not just the Anemonefishes. For example, possibly a few Thor amboinensis and/or Periclimenes longicarpus. <Very interesting behaviors...> While I'm exploring commensal relationships, possibly an Alpheidae shrimp with an Amblyeleotris goby partner? <Yes> For interest in the water column, possibly the pair of Pseudochromis fridmani I've always wanted and been afraid of because of their tempers? <The tank bred/reared ones are quite mild> Or, maybe a pair of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis (I'm a big wrasse fan)? <Very nice> Or, would this be a decent opportunity to try a pygmy angel (Centropyge multispinus)? <Mmm, not these last two in a forty gallon volume...> I know they will nip clams and LPS, but I don't know anything of their track record with anemones. <Generally well-behaved> Thank you for your time and expertise. While the research has been fairly frustrating so far, I'm very excited by the opportunities this new tank offers, both for my intellectual stimulation and my young daughter's, although I'm not sure she'll ever get over the fact that they switched star polyps from Pachyclavularia to briareum. :) <A good object lesson in the subjectivity of the human universe... is what there is what it is because of our labeling? Or is the true word for rock, really "tok", for rabbit, "bebbo"?> I hope you enjoy your weekend! Andy <Thank you, I am. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Sandy Reef Slope Biotope question   8/16/06 First, let me say that I've been using your article of reference for this biotope on wetwebmedia for the last year now, and what a great source of information it has been! <Ahh, you're stroking me, and I like it!>   I've been recreating this particular biotope for the last 10 months, and am almost finished stocking the aquarium.  It is a 20 Gal custom acrylic with 175 Watt MH  lighting, and a basic fuge with a return pump <no skimmer but plenty of water changes>.  I have a fridmani dotty, a Steinitz goby with prawn, and a skunk cleaner.  Numerous snails, hermits etc (not from the red sea I regret).  I also have 2 T. Croceas <Yikes... will get to be a bit too much here> and good sized xenia colonies.  The latest addition will be a hard scleractinian coral type, I'm thinking A. Hemprichii as your article suggests.  The only problem is that I'm having difficulty locating that particular species.  Here are my questions: 1. Is it possible to locate aforementioned species of Acropora, or should I find a suitable look-alike? <Either one would do for me> 2. Do porites corals, which are common in the upper reef slope, grow at all in this zone? <No... barely found here> 3. How are the Croceas associated with the corals in this zone? <Are right in/bored into their old, current skeletons> 4. Are there any urchins, priest hat etc, that are found in this zone? <Not many. There are a bunch of fish predators (triggers esp.)> 5. Without going on a dive trip, is there a more comprehensive list than was in the article? <The books listed in the biblio.... By Peter Vine, Jack/John Randall....> 5. Any more diving pics of this zone? They have been extremely helpful to date. <Heeee! Many... have been diving in the area for quite a few months over the last thirty so years... how to get them to you though...> I've trolled the web for more information, regretfully, yours is the only source of info I've found.  Thanks for the excellent article, I will continue to use WWM for the valuable resource it is.   Thanks, -Tom <Oh! Do seek out Helmut Debelius' good work on this area. Try SeaChallenger's (.com) for print works. Bob Fenner>

Semilarvatus Butterfly... Reef Compatibility    8/7/06 I just wanted to ensure that this e-mail was received.  I sent it about a week ago and I would assume it's floating around somewhere trying to find somebody with a sufficient answer - but my email is flakey so I didn't know if it got lost in cyberspace and just wanted to double check. <Believe this was replied to.> Friends at WWM, <Scott> Just one brief question - does anybody have any idea what corals in particular might be threatened by Semilarvatus Butterflies?  I am considering a pair for my 1300g reef, but would like to know exactly what kind of risk I would be running.  The tank has around 1500lbs of rock, two refugiums, and they will be kept very well fed. <Some folks say with caution, others, not reef safe.  They do feed on sessile inverts in the wild which includes many of the ornamental varieties we keep.  If it were my call, I would not chance it. James (Salty Dog)> Scott

Re: Semilarvatus Butterfly...Reef Compatibility    8/7/06 James, Thanks for the reply - was lost in cyberspace apparently. I was more curious what type of sessile inverts in particular they delight in consuming. <Anything that can't get away.:)  In particular tube worms, small crustaceans, soft and hard corals, may nip at clam mantles, etc.> It's fine if nobody knows, at the very least, I will try them out in a couple of smaller reef tanks and see what they go for and what they don't. <May want to read here and related links above for more info.    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Scott Was: Clown Trigger in a FOWLR? V, now RS Biotope, BFs - 07/04/06 Thanks so much for all your input Eric, it is very much appreciated. <<I am pleased to assist Matt>> So it would seem I have arrived at a crossroads in my decision process regarding the 180 Red Sea biotope.  Do I go for a Maculosus angel or pair of C. semilarvatus? <<Indeed>> Option A: If I opt for the pair of semilarvatus, then is it too much to keep a pair of Heniochus intermedius and a pair of C. paucifasciatus (or even a single specimen)? <<I think the pair of Heniochus and a single C. paucifasciatus with the two C. semilarvatus could work out.  A pair of C. paucifasciatus might even be okay...just not sure of their compatibility re conspecifics>> Option B: If I opt for the angel, then could I still get the other b'flies i.e. a pair of C. paucifasciatus and a pair of Heniochus intermedius or should I steer away from the butterflies altogether? <<The butterflies might be fine, at least at first, and would definitely need to be the first fishes in the tank.  As you are aware, the angel will definitely "be the boss" and "may" become a real problem when it gets large.>> If so, then I was thinking along the lines of a Lunare wrasse, Sohal tang, Raccoon b'fly, Purple tang etc.( not all of them together, obviously). <<Obviously <grin> >> Can you suggest tankmates along these lines? <<The Lunare wrasse and Purple tang might work out...I think the Sohal tang will get too big (and maybe to mean) for this tank with the Maculosus angel.  As for other suggestions...going with smaller fish species (less than 5") may ease selection/compatibility issues.  Perform a search by ecosystem on fishbase.org for possibilities>> In any case, I would like to be able to keep starfish & snails (clean up crew) as per previous mail to keep the tank clean, so I'd probably steer clear of triggers etc., unless you can recommend a Red Sea equivalent of your Blue Jaw trigger. <<Mmm...Odonus niger is found in that region but it gets BIG...to more than 20" in the wild...>> Thanks again for your input Eric - my ideas have evolved a long way from a pair of lions!!!! <<Ah yes...research, choices and decisions.  Am happy you're taking the "slow" road...the final outcome will surely be a positive reflection of your patience>> Regards, Matt <<Cheers mate, Eric Russell>>

Addis Pair  5/31/06 Hi, I have emailed previously and found your (Bob's) answer, along with the other articles on the site very helpful indeed so thank you. I am 16 yrs old and still at school in England, so as you can guess, money is quite tight, so as much as I can I have resorted to DIY. I am moving on to my third marine tank, and my final one until I have my own house and no restraints :) <Forward looking. I like this immensely> It is 150 gallons, I realize this is not the largest, but the most I could house and afford. I will run all my old equipment and sump on it, including Deltec APF600, TMC UV Unit etc and 40 gallon sump. I hope to create a Red Sea biotope, I wish to create almost a mini reef containing all the major zones. This way I can save on lighting costs by having my halide over the highest part on one side - "Reef Flat" for SPS etc, my T5's over the "Reef Slope" in the middle for the softies, and my original tubes on the "Sand Flat's" for mushrooms and open swimming space. <And I really like biotopes and the "uneven" approach (lighting more/less intense) you mention. The contrast is of utility and beauty> Does this sounds ok, it just seems a neat way to save money on buying Halides for the whole tank etc whilst creating an acceptable, interesting and diverse environment. <Sounds fine to me> I have a school of 5 small (3") Pseudanthias squamipinnis (1 male and 4 females) that are living very happily in my 60 gallon that are to be swapped over along with all the live rock, corals etc and a further 25kg of live rock is on order. <Good> I will also use my 60kgs+ of Ocean Rock as a base and structure builder. After much persuasion, my parents have allowed me to install my "modified" Carlson surge box in the attic (as I live in a bungalow with concrete floors, weight for the tank is fine, also the attic is only 2 feet from the top of the tank cabinet), because I have heard great results and once again cannot afford £300 for a "Wavemaker". Do you think this is a good idea and is this type of flow good for coral, fish and detritus suspension?? <Is indeed> I have sealed braces at the ends of the tank so the surface wave deflects back (worked in testing), reducing splash and salt creep. Also should the wave hit into the higher "reef flat" side of the tank or start from this side, i.e. which direction would benefit the corals the most, especially the SPS? <Mmm, direct is best... the "front"> Finally, the burning question, I would love to keep a pair of Addis Butterfly's as they are often observed in the wild. I have done quite a lot of research, and most places seem to recommend a minimum size of 50 gallons so logically 2 would need 100 gallons and more. They are very expensive so I am seeking as much info as I can before committing. Would I be able to keep a pair for several years and maybe forced to give them away but it would still be worth it for me as they have been my most admired fish ever since I entered the hobby?! <Mmm, well this species, most often termed the "Blue Mask", "Golden" or "Semilarvatus" BF in the West is best in even larger systems, but should do fine here with what you list if not further crowded> They would not be crowded as I have always preferred to have less fish - minimalistic, and the anthias could be removed if necessary if they would be classed as to boisterous. Maybe the 2 Addis as showpieces and then blennies/gobies etc - i.e. no other large fish?! Sorry for all the questions and I eagerly await your answer, and keep up the unrivalled good work :) Many Thanks Oliver. P.S I would never have go this far in the hobby without your help, as unfortunately, my age often dismisses peoples opinion that I can succeed in this hobby, financially but your last email made me realize that I can succeed, so thank you again <You might not be surprised to find how young some of WWM are... or started... myself, considerably younger than your current age. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Your film which was associated with your MACNA speech on Red Sea - is it available on a DVD ?  - 5/8/2006 Dear Bob,    <Abhijit>   I was absolutely mesmerized by your speech and the accompanying movie on Red Sea in MACNA. I was wondering if that movie is available for sale as a DVD so that I can watch it again and show it to my wife as well who was not able to attend MACNA.      With deep regards,   Abhijit Mitra    <Mmm, will gladly copy, send you a copy if you'll send your address to mail to along. Bob Fenner>   Just as an FYI I have an email group of around 25 friends (only one is reefer among these and none attended the MACNA) to whom I send nature and conservation related emails and the one below is what I sent about Red Sea on March 22nd, 2006. The subject line was "Its Scuba Time - Red Sea - the most unconventional reef with unparallel diversity". In four emails I covered some aspects of Red Sea, Belize, Philippines and Maldives. <Ahh!>      Dear all,      Here are some of the most exotic scuba regions of the world. In this email series I have not included the four most popular scuba regions in the world though namely Indonesia-New Guinea-Australia in the heart of Indo-pacific as well as Fiji and South Pacific  which we will discuss separately later. In next few emails one each day we will explore one among these sites. Let's start with the most unconventional and most diverse among these.      Red Sea - I have heard and read from a lot of marine experts that red sea can actually give a solid competition to the Indo-pacific with respect to its beauty and diversity of its marine life and reef. In last years MACNA at the starting dinner there was a fantastic speech, presentation and movie shown by legendary Bob Fenner on his multiple expeditions to Red Sea. A huge percentage of the species found in this desert surrounded sea is endemic to it means not found any where else in the world. Another fun thing about red sea from a scuba stand point is unlike other reefs here one does not have to travel long in a boat beyond the mangroves and coastal areas to find the reef, here right from the stone banks its a straight dip to the magnificent reefs right below.       http://www.egyptiandiving.com/photos.html    http://www.goals.com/WorldDiveQuest/RedSea.asp    http://www.persga.org/RedSea/RSGA/Repository.asp      Also attached is Bob Fenner's website www.wetwebmedia.com      Thanks,   Abhijit. <Thanks much for sending this along. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Your film which was associated with your MACNA speech on Red Sea - is it available on a DVD ?  - 05/13/2006 Dear Bob,    <Abhijit>   I got it. Its amazing. This time I was watching it more closely and looking and hearing other things apart from the reefs and its inhabitants as well. Your appreciation for local cultures/music, sense of humour, respect for diversity (I guess in the human and natural domain) and concern for coral reef conservation all are very nicely packed in this one of a kind production. The only thing I can say is the world absolutely needs a lot more people like you for sure. Also I loved the slogan "Keep Coral Reefs Alive!".   Thank you so much for everything. I will keep the envelope as a memento.      With deep regards,   Abhijit. <Thank you for "pumping me up"... am very glad you have enjoyed this effort. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Fish Attention Bob  - 04/10/2006 This was  a "trayless" query.  I bounced it out to my personal mail and then back so that it could be replied to. Dear Bob, <Rick> >I am wondering if you have heard of a company called Red Sea Fish Trading or if you know a few companies in the Red Sea that are exporting fish. <None that know well enough to "plug" by even naming them. I would search, contact folks through the OFI: http://www.ofish.org/> I am already dealing with one, but I am also trying to set up contacts with other companies for my wholesale and transship business. >If you have any suggestions or can "bcc" some places there for me to see if they are interested in doing business I would appreciate it. I need >to supply 90 stores, so I need a few connections over there rather than just one supplier. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. >Please let me know. >Thanks, >Rick >Exotic Marine Life >Fort Lauderdale >I forgot to let you know that in the last email I wrote, I am looking for exports of marine fish in Saudi Arabia . <Good fishing here Rick. Bob Fenner> Video shown at RAP  9/24/05 Thank you so much for sharing the video.  I'll start putting my pennies away now so I can hopefully get out to the Red Sea one day...that video was amazing! Thanks again Mike <Ahh, there already? Glad you have enjoyed it... and do hope you do make it to the RS... a magical treasured place. Bob Fenner> Hey Bob...just got off the phone with you and would love to see that video when you get it on a DVD ><Do have to finish it up, export... will send> >You can mail it to me: XXXX >That Red Sea trip sounds great....I hope you have great pix and stories from that trip...Thanks again for everything...BTW I was looking at a >book I just bought on Inverts and saw that you co-wrote it....great book >Thanks again >Mike ><Ah, thank you. BobF> My Red Sea Diving!! 8/29/05 Hey! I do not know if you remember, I was a young guy whom you talked to at IMAC about my planned diving trip to the Red Sea. <Ah, yes> You recommended some locations and gave me some good advice. I ended up diving out of Saudi Arabia for two weeks (was planning on Sharm but then the terrorist attack happened :(  ). It was absolutely AMAZING, i literally dropped my regulator out of my mouth when my jaw dropped when i got in. I took around 600 pictures, some turned out pretty decent despite using a 2.0MP camera. I thought you might enjoy checking them out and feel free to use any of them if you have any use for them (i can send you the un-resized versions). I posted the pictures on various forums that i go to, so let me know what you think! I will try and meet up with you at MACNA so that I can talk to you about my once-in-a-lifetime experience! <Ah, fantastic! And my pitch at the upcoming do is none other than "The Red Sea and Reef Aquarists"~!> General Shots: http://www.columbiamarineaquariumclub.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=27&t=1267&s=57ded83f54e66eb318d4fe27f2c0b3c3 Clam Shots (my favorites!!): http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=640934&highlight=red+sea+pics Anemone/Clownfish Shots: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=640941 -Spencer Syfrig <Very nice! Thank you for sharing. See you in a few weeks. Bob Fenner> Permission Dear Bob, I surf to your website quite often, to look for the large array of invertebrates within. I am a marine biologist from Eilat - Israel, and I prepare webguides for the invert' biodiversity in the Gulf of Aqaba. It is voluntary, and no commercial intentions involved. May I use some of your pictures - thumbnail size ?. Especially I need Distichopora violacea, that is absent from our shore - to make a point and encourage divers to look for it. Of course, credits will be attached, and a link to the picture origin - your site. Thanks Jacob <I do grant you free use of my content in your worthy efforts. Bob Fenner> >><}}))*>~~>><}}))*>~~>><}}))*>~~>><}}))*> Dr. Jacob Dafni P.O.B. 6469 Eilat 88105 Israel website: http://www.dafni.com/jdafni/    Save the Gulf of Eilat Website: http://www.dafni.com/gulfsave ·, . .·´¯`·.. ><((((*>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((*> Photos of the Red Sea fishes Hello Sir, <Hello Ihab!> My name is IHAB, and when I went trough the internet I explored your site which contained few lovely photos taken underwater about the red sea fishes. And I would like to have some of them for a commercial reason. <Okay> I would like to use them to produce post cards to be sold in the Egyptian market only. <Neat!> So, please find below a few questions: 1-     Do you accept that??? <Yes> 2-     If yes! , how can you send me the original photos (may be by mail, or by sending a C.D with a high resolutions for offset printing reasons. 3-     Will it be for free or I should pay for the copyright of these photos ? <Will forward your message to Jason Chodakowski who handles such sales. They are available as scans for a reasonable fee> Thank you in advance for taking time to read my mail and hoping to hear from you as soon as possible. Sincerely yours, IHAB <Thank you for your interest. Bob Fenner> Red Sea Live aboard I am Henry, PADI rescue diver with Nitrox cert. can you be of assistance with my upcoming trip to Egypt 8/28/04. <I'll try> I am retired and funds are limited, is it likely possible to get on a live aboard as a last minute fill in when they  have a vacancy if I go to Sharm or Hurghada??. <Yes... I "do" this quite a bit, including in these two Egyptian towns> To book a trip by the UK sites is too expensive for me. I have had a longtime dream to dive the SS Thistlegorm and pay respects. Thanks <Take a look through any/all websites that list travel services to/through these areas and contact them with your request to fill in a slot for a last minute cancellation on a live aboard. You can put in a "standing order" for these possibilities with some of the larger outfits (e.g. Sinai Divers). Hope you get out to the upper Red Sea soon. Bob Fenner who was there with some of the WWM crew in May.>

RED SEA - SHARM EL SHEIKH Hello Mates, <Hi there> I know your crew was in the RED SEA - SHARM EL SHEIKH area along with Bob but I don't remember when...so i figured someone would be able to help as searching Google didn't help much... I'm gonna be on vacation next month in the area and was wondering if it was allowed to collect tropicals in non protected marine areas....Can I get a permit maybe ?  Alternatively do you know of any aquarium stores or aquarists in the area who I could buy fish, corals or LR from ? Id like to get the purple tang if possible. Thanks for your help appreciate it... Lyndon <Mmm, not likely that you'd be able to secure a collecting permit on short notice for any part of Egypt... most Purple Tangs come out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia... no LR out of the RS at all as far as I'm aware. I would either look to European suppliers for any number of organisms from the area or if you're only looking for a few/one, just buy it/them from U.S. sources. Bob Fenner, just back> 

Red Sea Biotope and a shoe-horn 4/30/04 Hi crew <cheers> I'm setting up a 240 gal reef right now, all equipment is top of the line. I'm taking my time and doing it right, I'm wanting to set up a red sea biotope. <excellent to hear... do be realistic about stocking though... there are some monster wrasses, triggers, tangs, etc. that are not too chummy <G>> I've been reading everything I can find about the red sea and had a couple stocking issues. One fish that's going in it since I already have it and there's no way I'm getting rid of it a Powder Blue Tang. Rest of the list would be something like this, this is the dream list I have seen some of these fish mixed but not all, Sohal Tang Naso Tang Purple Tang <Ughhh... the sheer number of tangs is painful to see/read... not only for their unnatural mix in the confines of a space that they would never tolerate each other in in the wild... but for the fact that a 240 is not large enough for a Naso or a Sohal, let alone both. The Sohal far and away is not a conscientious choice with regard for its adult size... not to mention sheer power, activity and aggression (they can be brutal)> Imperator Angel Regal Angel Fridmani Pseudochromis Blue Flavivertix Pseudochromis and a pair of clowns, any from the Red Sea? <With the Emperor angel and even regal to some extent... the 3 tangs above plus your powder blue plus, an Emperor and regal angel are waaaaaaaaay too many fish for this tank (or a tank twice this size) if you are to treat them responsibly and allow for growth to anything near a full adult size. The sohal is the real deal breaker here... they get huge and mean. Some would say they are public aquarium species only> and that's about it for fish I've been reading like mad but it just seems it depends on who I talk to on if these fish can be in the same tank and what size of tank any help would be great and what order should I stock these fish? <this is a no-brainer, Will. Just go to fishbase.org, add up the cumulative potential adult sizes assuming you intend to give them good food, space and water quality... and then try to reckon 10' worth of fish in a 2' wide tank X 8' long. Leave out the Sohal and Naso and I can live with the rest. Or... Nix the bully Sohal and Emperor and enjoy the same plus a more peaceful tank> Thank You for your time. Will <add the regal angel and all the smaller fishes first... leave the purple tang (and Emperor if so) for last assuming you take my above advice. Please do stock this tank with a vision for success and fish health/life longer than a 1-2 year plan (crowding or stunting from specimens bought small... no rationale). Best of luck, Anthony>

Red Sea trip planning Hi Bob! <Phil> Thanks for the info, but I honestly can't tell who's going where when. <We're heading to Sharm itself and should be there either 5/16 or 5/17... Was just talking with Pete and he said he thought you might be touring around with Jack a bit right before this time... maybe head down from Israel and meet us... or come in a day or two ahead>   I'll check with Jack, but he's out of town until 3/15. <He's back now. He came in a day before Pete (today) from Cartagena>   I tentatively have the last two weeks in May blocked out and I'd like to do a half and half trip, half diving, half touring.  Let me know if anyone else is interested in that plan.  We'll be in touch... <Will do so. We're planning on staying at the Marriott (at Na'ama Bay) and using Sinai Divers for our dive service. Either Diana or I will update you re what deals we are able to secure. Both have websites> Thanks! Phil <Let's go! Bob F>

Special newsletter reefcheck 5/20/03 Dear diving friends, We are happy to inform you, that from the May 26th to June 1st the World Wide Reef Check is taking place with Sinai Divers Dahab. The idea of reef check is to survey the world wide reef situation over a selected period of time. So we'd like to offer all of our customers the opportunity to participate in the survey by doing your bit for the environment. And you don't have to pay for it :-) Of course you pay for the dive package you do but for the training & participation of the reef check there is no extra expenses. If you ever wanted to be are a marine biologist come with us & get a taste of it. Or just help us to let the planet know that us as divers take the underwater world seriously & we want to look after the aquatic life & our environment. So lets hope the condition of the reef is in good form, if you need more information about the reef check under www.reefcheck.org Now, what's going on at Sinai Divers Dahab you wonder, hmmm...? Let's start by introducing myself for those of you who don't know me, my name is Andree I'm the new counter chic at Sinai Divers Dahab. I took over from Alexandra whose now skipping off around Mexico somewhere no doubt sipping on Margarita's & munching on Burrito's. Not a bad lifestyle, leaving Dahab for Mexico sounds brilliant doesn't it? As for myself I've now been in Dahab for 3 months after the fourth trip with no plans of leaving in a hurry, you guys know what it's like here, it's the easiest place in the world to be, so my focus lays with diving...naturally right? Well guys, I hope to see a few familiar faces & meet a few more soon. If you can't make it for the reef check, write us an email & let us know what your up to lately. Take care...Ciao Andree & the Sinai Divers crew <Thanks Andree, will post on our root web, WetWebMedia.com, Bob Fenner, who will see you next May>

Red Sea livestock availability How do you folks see Operation Iraqi Freedom affecting the availability of species from the Red Sea. How about the industry in General <Hard to see at this point... I noted on today's WSJ the re-mark of Geo. Bush re remaking the region into democracies... Who's next for Pax Americana? If it's the Saudi's, the region will become very unstable... including Egypt of course... and hence no livestock from the RS for quite a while. The industry in the west (U.S.) doesn't include much from the Red Sea (maybe one percent of stock), unlike most of western Europe. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea livestock availability How do you folks see Operation Iraqi Freedom affecting the availability of species from the Red Sea. How about the industry in General <Hard to see at this point... I noted on today's WSJ the re-mark of Geo. Bush re remaking the region into democracies... Who's next for Pax Americana? If it's the Saudi's, the region will become very unstable... including Egypt of course... and hence no livestock from the RS for quite a while. The industry in the west (U.S.) doesn't include much from the Red Sea (maybe one percent of stock), unlike most of western Europe. Bob Fenner> I wonder if and when a democracy does govern the area that we will see westerners setting up operations in that area. I wonder ? What about you? <In terms of wonder, yes, in the way of my being involved, no. I am much more in favor of aiding indigenous folks in developing the means of thoughtful utilization of their own resources. Bob Fenner>

<Something, where to keep in mind for the 2004 Interzoo run... Bob> 5th SINAI DIVERS DAHAB NEWSLETTER >Hello fellow divers '¦ >First of all lots of   THANKS   to all of you who have been diving with us >in the last couple of month!! And a big   WELCOME   to everybody'¦ >We are keen to let you know what has happened at Sinai Divers Dahab since >the last few weeks and hope you are too. >Our biggest biggest news right at the beginning'¦ we now also offer >                          BOAT DIVES !!! >And since we are the only Dive Center in Dahab to have our own dive boat we >are especially happy to explore new sites mainly south of Dahab which can't >be reached by Jeep. The boat is very spacious and has a rooftop so >snorkelers of diving friends and family are always invited to join for the >day. There is plentiful to eat on board, lunch'¦chicken, fish with rice, >potatoes and salad'¦ all kinds of soft drinks are available and of course >lots of coffee and tee. >At one of our recent trips a group of 30 dolphins were swimming with the >boat. And... Claire also spotted three hammer head sharks just a week ago >!!!, >We are still finding new places every time we go out and so can you when you >are joining us. To let you know what we have discovered so far we will break >with old traditions in describing already known sites and will tell you >about places we have just explored: >SHUGARAD'¦ is another thrilling canyon in Dahab boosting hundreds of >gorgonians, >SHAHIRA is like the islands'¦ just better believe it or not! >GEBAL SORAYA '¦is a satellite reef with an amazing drop off >RAS TOM ;-) '¦strange name but true, is of course a great dive site north of >the blue hole with another drop off with interesting caverns discovered >by '¦.guess who >There have been quite a few changes with the staff. Mona has gone back home >for a longer period of time so Ischrak from Germany and Aleksandra from >Norway have been taking care of the counter since mid October. We also have >two new instructors. Claude from Switzerland speaks and teaches in German, >English and French. He spent the last three years teaching  in Honduras, >Utila and Thailand, Ko Phi Phi. And there is Said. A few years earlier Said >used to be a cameraman for German TV. He spent 5 years working and living in >China. Apart from instructing in German and English, he is taking the camera >under water and makes aquatic life documentaries. >Hisham and Claire have been with Sinai Divers Dahab for a couple of month >now and are doing most of the guided dives. Those of you who met Alain while >he was completing his dive master training might be happy to now that he has >returned from Switzerland and will join Hisham and Claire for the guided >dives. Of course Danja, Francoise and Ayman are all still teaching and >guiding with us. And Eid and Sameh are looking after the equipment with the >usual care...we have changed most of the existing material especially tanks >and Long-Johns and now also offer suits for kids. >DIVER OF THE MONTH IS LORENZ WENGER !!! >because he has been excellent at completing the Advanced Nitrox Course with >Tom! Sadly he has also left us (to the cold  Switzerland) after spending a >lot of time at Sinai Divers especially in Sharm El Sheikh where he did most >of his training and also worked as a diving professional. But for sure he >will be in sunny places soon again... he has got plans to go to Barcelona >next... - check attachment about Swiss Egyptian relations :-) >The weather is always nice just more and more windy, the sun is still >shining brightly during the day with temperatures of around 25 degrees and >the water offers 23 degrees. The sun goes down at 5pm already so we brought >our diving schedule  toward to 8.30am and 1pm for the guided dives. >If you don't want to receive the newsletter anymore, just reply and change >the subject to " No Newsletter anymore". >Thank you. >That's all for now. We hope you are having a good time wherever you are... >Good wishes and take care >Sinai Divers Dahab Team >Sinai Divers Dahab >c/o Hilton Hotel Dahab >South-Sinai, Egypt sinaidiversdahab@sinainet.com.eg www.sinaidivers.com

Re: C. semilarvatus.....too expensive (BF Selection) Thanks Bob, Things are extremely expensive here in the Rep. of Ireland, even compared to the UK....... unfortunately, even equipment!!! <Take heart... the yank dollar is on a downward spiral against most all world currencies... Can you imagine G.W. Bush debating with Tony Blair? Me neither, sigh.> Yes I agree, Paucifasciatus are absolutely gorgeous. In two's, well that would be just something - and being smaller than the semilarvatus, are some what more manageable too. I do not know, but have a feeling they'll be cheaper than semilarvatus.... <Yes... should be 1/3 to 2/5 the price> 100 Euro I can handle, 180 each I cannot!!! Would it be possible to get just two Paucifasciatus and put them together, as we discussed RE. semilarvatus. i.e. not a pre-established pair. <Yes, should be fine> I keep your general comments in the back of my head "skip buying pairs and trios, or groups of a given species unless they appear in close association in the dealer's tank". The thing is, if I want two, I'll have to order two - in this part of the world I won't just happen upon a pair...... they'll have to be ordered, and I do not think TMC supply "pairs" of any butterfly - so will it be ok to just order two and put them in my tank and hope for the best, or is that utter madness??? <I would go ahead as planned. This species is found in duos or singles over its range... will likely learn to associate with another in your system> As I mentioned before, my dealer told me with reference to semilarvatus that he "got two fish, acclimatized them, and put them together, and they co-existed for years with the occasional minor scuffle"....... could the same be expected from Paucifasciatus ??? <Yes, but not to the same degree... associate about half as strongly> Thanks for your time Bob, I just want to make sure I do it right this time.... don't want to take some silly risks, and figure if anyone has tried this undertaking, you have. Kind Regards, Matt <Bob F, just back from the USVI>

Re: establishing a pair of Addis butterflies? Jason, <<Howdy.>> Thanks for the reply. I am very possibly gonna give it a skip. <<Fair enough.>> First things first.... the wrasse I am on about is the one that Bob recommends ... i.e.. red sea cleaner wrasse = 4 line wrasse. <<Ahh, those damn common names always vary from place to place. Not sure that the four-line wrasse is really known for cleaning.>> I cannot find the Latin name, but it is not of the labrid family. <<Nope, it's not... it's Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia if we are in fact talking about the same fish - more on these wrasses here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm >> I have had him for a year or two now, and he's thriving :-) .....a red sea endemic I think. Back to butterflies.... Been reading also about the Falcula butterfly (true, C. Falcula). Was considering maybe a trio of those, and a single Addis specimen, and then a red sea goby and a the red sea (4-line) wrasse. Good or bad idea in my tank, do you think, or is my tank just a bit too small - my feeling on this one is that it might be a bit small, but my butterfly experience is zero ! <<I'd agree that the tank is a bit small for this grouping. How about just the one Addis Butterfly... this would be fine.>> Thanks, Regards, Matthew <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: establishing a pair of Addis butterflies? (Red Sea biotope) Thanks Jason, <<My pleasure.>> Just for clarification, the 4-line red sea wrasse (red sea cleaner wrasse) that I was referring to is: Larabicus quadrilineatus <<Ahh... is why those Latin names are so useful.>> Great little fish, cleans like mad ;-) <<Good deal.>> Just to let you know. Thanks, Matt <<Cheers, J -- >>

Red Sea Bob, Myself, and a friend from work want to go diving in the Red Sea in late September- early October. Could you please recommend a place, also what are the conditions like that time of the year? <Go to Egypt's Sinai... Hands down location, Sharm el Sheik... very modern, lots to do other than diving. Conditions fine during this time of year (as in most). Bob F> Woody P.S.- I'm going diving out by the Saudi border this Thursday, I'll tell you if there anything good to see.

Red Sea Biotope articles, pix Thanks to all for help with pix (more with more pixels next time...), input, inspiration toward generating these pieces. 67 pages, 245 images. The versions on WWM still need to have video placed, linked to the WWF server, but the analogs have been sent off to FAMA in the States, KORALLE in Germany... Am hopeful that this sort of treatment will encourage folks in better, more compatible livestock choices, some effort in aquarium set-up, husbandry... Red Sea Aquarium Biotopes: Reef Flats, Reef Slope, Sandy Slope, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rsbiotopes.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rsrfslopebiot.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rssandbiot.htm Bob Fenner, who hopes to use this process as a format for generating similar coverage by geographic region around the world.

Majestic Angel Sohal Tang (Red Sea Biotope Aquarium) Hello Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro in now.> Wrote you some emails in the past, and you were always very helpful. When someone starts in aquarium keeping, he keeps easier fish, a myriad of fishes then move on to specific aquariums (lake Tanganyika, discus, etc.). After being around some years in reefkeeping, I'm trying to make a Red Sea biotope (love the red sea). Therefore, this is my tank: 180g AGA / Aquamedic 5000 / 3x150w HQI + 2x36w (actinics ) + 6x18w ( actinics ), 75g sump, blah blah . Tank is established for 2 years, everything ok ; several corals housed (sps, LPS, and softies) and some Lysmata shrimps. Fishes are : Acanthurus Sohal Zebrasoma Desjardinii Zebrasoma Xanthurus Chromis Viridis Premnas Biaculeatus (couple) Chaetodon Semilarvatus Pomacanthus Navarchus (I know isn't from the red sea, but what can I do? The fish is gorgeous!) Have some questions for you : 1 - Navarchus is a recent arrival ; although very very very very very shy (did I made my point?) in the beginning, now, a month later, is much bolder and started to feed well on a various diet; shrimps, fresh cod and oyster, pellets and Nori sheet. The Semilarvatus ate all my Aiptasia (I can't thank him enough for that, had more than 400 Aiptasia from 0.1 inch to 10 inchers) but he still doesn't eat any other type of flakes/pellets/live/frozen food. He just ignores it. <I am guessing you want suggestions. Try frozen Mysis shrimp and bloodworms. Also, try an old trick using live mussels. Once the BF gets used to eating the mussels, fill the empty shells with other foods.> 2 - Sohal is now 3 years old and he's big and a beauty as you might expect from a Sohal. One of my favorites. The problem is he recently started to develop a real BIG hate for the desjardinii (the Sailfin name doesn't apply here anymore - the dorsal fin of the Sailfin tang is shredded apart). Don't know why. <Quite normal for Tangs to battle.> I tore apart the tank several times and he keeps harassing the desjardinii (its been a while now, for 1 or 2 months). What should I do? <Remove one.> Sell back my Sohal (desjardinii away is a no-no : He's 8 years old)? <Your choice.> 3 - Premnas keep spawning 1 to 3 times per month now. The problem is they spawn under my BIG Entacmaea and I can't remove the eggs. I put a slate there but they ignore it (well, big Premnas mama push it away against the glass 3 times, big clank in the glass). Now they stopped their regular spawning. What can I do to make them spawn in something removable (so I can try hatch the eggs)? <There are directions for removing larvae after hatching in Joyce Wilkerson's book "Clownfish." You should have this book if you are serious about raising the babies.> 4 - I read you dislike navarchus angel because of their low survival rates. Mine is from the Philippines (I know, bad origin) but my LFS works directly with the Philippines catcher and they say that they are drugs free. I paid a hefty price for my Navarchus 4-6", 150 pounds (around $140) but he looks healthy. He had a whitish patch on head, now gone when he starts feeding. What do you mean as a low survival for navarchus? Couple of weeks? Months? Years? <Weeks to a few months for drug caught fish.> 5 - I have some nasty algae (all parameters are fine no ammonia, no2, no3 or phosphate). I have some brown leaves, horizontal. They rack themselves up and cover everything, real pain in the ass. The leaves are big and toughly attached to each other and to the rocks. Now I have the same algae but in tiny (1") leaves. What the heck is this and how can I remove then (they grow and grow and grow ..... ) <Not sure what you are describing. Could be Dictyota or a type of Sargassum? Do make use of the site searching for Macroalgae pictures and tips for controlling growth, either nutrients or lighting.> That's all. Cheers, Goncalo Proenca P.S. To all angel and butterfly lovers around that wants/keeps them in a reef tank (in my opinion that's where they belong, where they do thrive). My navarchus is a role model citizen so far. He doesn't even look to the corals or inverts. He just picks the live rock for tunicates and sponges in the "free" time between feedings. Semilarvatus ate all my Aiptasia, nip a mushroom coral and almost ate up a big brain. <They are all unpredictable. All depends on what you care more about. The corals or the fish. -Steven Pro>

Link to digital photography... in the RS! http://www.scubadiving.com/photo/instruction/stillphoto/ Digital in the Red Sea? Olympus... okay! Bob F

red sea dive books What were those books you were showing us?? J -- <Hmm, John Randall's Red Sea Fishes, Peter Vine's Red Sea Invertebrates... a few "travel" type books on Sharm, the Red Sea, diving there... Some of the pet-fish biblio. here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm Want more? Want (really) to help write more? Let's collaborate on any number of "pieces" (feature articles, better a newer, wider vers. of Fishwatcher's Guides... Reefwatcher's Guides let's call them... to include non-vertebrates, "higher" vert.s, aspects of travel... Fun and profitable work in conjunction with adventures, reflection, planning and paying for future endeavors. Bob Fenner>

Post-copper removal/live rock/wet dry Hello various WWM gents: <Howdy> Started this conversation w Steven last week (?). Read more (CMA, Natural Reef Aquariums by Tullock/Moe, the wet/dry and live rock and refugiumFAQs here). Still have a question: (here goes) thinking of adding a RS butterfly (Heniochus or paucifasciatus) and a Centropyge multispinis to my 55 gal to keep my purple tang company. there is also a juv. 3.5 " fu Manchu lion) and complete my RS theme. <Mmm, actually, this tank is or will be too small for either of these chaetodonts or the Angel... any chance of a larger system in your near future?> No LR in system at the moment. Have read that both the butterfly and the dwarf angel will do better with some LR in addition to the 35 -40 lbs of rock/coral skeletons currently in place.  <Yes> Have also read that F/O systems don't need LR (too many opinions...) <No, just the right amount of opinions... at any number. They are, after all, "just opinions"> Had some ich when I first set up the tank on 1 of my cycling damsels (and yes, Steven, there are still 2 there, Fu Manchu is eating dead meals for the moment) and treated with copper. Removing it (trying...) from the system now using PolyFilter and this gravel-looking stuff from my LFS which is in a bag in the sump of my wet/dry called "Metal-Gone". (how long does this process "typically" take anyway???) <Hours to days. The added live rock will actually help in the copper removal> 'K.. now we finally get to the question (s): 1) do I have to tear out all the aragonite (sp) substrate and the skeletons/other rock before adding the LR once this PolyFilter and metal gone stuff "does its' stuff"? <No. If the copper concentration is low (less than 0.01 ppm let's say) no problem in just adding the LR> 2) I am planning on getting Walt Smith cured Fiji from one of your sponsors (you know who it is :) ). They have a special on the 45 lb box at the moment. I'm thinking of putting 35 ish lbs of this in the tank and taking my bioballs out of the wet/dry with the rest (more biological bang for my LR buck??). Good idea or no? <Good idea> 3) If I do this, can I take all the balls out at once (read various procedures)? The rock goes in where the balls were and has the water from the system trickle over them, correct? (again, the comment on one of the FAQs about the only dumb ? being the one that is unasked in this hobby). <Can likely pull all at once... but for general purposes I'd place all in a bag or even loose where they can be removed for a few weeks while the rock is re-curing> 4) Do I need to have lights down there (read the refugium sections and got confused slightly)? <It is better to have lighting... can be regular output fluorescents... about the best current technology are the "Lights of America" small compacts available at Home Depot, other such outlets> 5) and, lastly, can I add it all at once (whether it all goes above or it goes above and below). ? <Can be placed, re-cured by either approaches> Much thanks as always, Rebecca <Your study is obvious. Do go ahead, with your best understanding. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Theme Tank Hi Bob, <Actually you reached Steven Pro working his shift answering questions on WWM. Anthony Calfo and I are helping out for the time being.> I raised fresh water fish as a kid and always wanted saltwater. A friend who has been in the hobby for several years pushed me over the edge. She gave me your book and I've found it a huge help. <I am pleased to welcome you to the hobby and I will pass along the compliment to Bob.> Recently got used equipment (1 year old) from a local store that does a lot of aquaria in offices, etc. I have: 55 gal All Glass aquarium, wet/dry filter and bio balls (a pretty big one -- about 12 high by 14 or 15 wide and a good 9 deep) , R/O unit, and a big protein skimmer. The guy gave me a new pump. I have always really loved lions, so after setting up the system with a mix of 6 or so damsels, I got a juvenile Fu Manchu (he's about 3.5 inches). <Have you removed the damsels yet or have they become food?> Thought my 55 gal was a little small for a full sized Volitans. <You are quite right.> I also added (at the same time) a Purple Tang (about 3 inches). I'm thinking of doing a whole "Red Sea" community (figure if I'm going to have 1 fish that likes higher specific gravity, I might as well have 2 or 3). Here's my question: Can I have a blue box (Ostracion cyanurus) in a 55 gal with a dwarf lion (I know he's not Red Sea endemic, but he was too cool looking) and a purple tang? <The Blue Boxfish will not outgrow your 55, as they only grow to 8", but none of the boxfish are an outstanding candidate for an aquarium.> I was also eyeing up the black and white puffers, which I know also come from that area, but I read in several places that they get quite large. <Very true. Try to keep fish that will grow no larger than 6-8".> My "dream tank" would be: Fu Manchu Lion Purple Tang Blue Box Antennata Lion (I know, they are from Fiji -- same deal as the Fu -- too cool looking and, from what I read only about 7 inches full grown) How realistic is this? I know I have several big poopers, but I have a big filter and a skimmer and am not opposed to doing a water change every 2 weeks to keep everyone happy. I am more concerned about not "disturbing" the box fish -- having read in your book and on several sites the various warnings about toxins. Am I totally off my rocker or what?? I live in the Philadelphia metro area and have a good local fish shop (fish only and lots of marine) nearby in South Jersey. I know I can get the Antennata. How readily available are the cyanurus? How pricey? I have now bookmarked your site (and emailed the URL to my friend). Thanks for such a great resource. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

More Red Sea Theme Tank *Thanks for the prompt response Steven.* of 6 or so damsels, I got a juvenile Fu Manchu (he's about 3.5 inches). <Have you removed the damsels yet or have they become food?> *half and half. Started with 6. One died within 2 hours of getting home, one died during cycling, 2 have become "lion popcorn".* <The Blue Boxfish will not outgrow your 55, as they only grow to 8", but none of the boxfish are an outstanding candidate for an aquarium.> *I know about the toxin/slime potential. Why else not?* <<For precisely that reason.>> *So... what do you think about my aquarium" wish list"?? AM I off my rocker...;* <<Leave out the boxfish and the other three seem fine. -Steven Pro>>

And More Red Sea Theme Tank I have also been examining the "good" RS butterflies. I am seriously considering a paucificasciatus or a long-nosed butterfly (I would loose the Antennata if I did this). I have read in various places that butterflies should be added to more established systems. Is 3 months long enough to be "established"? Is there an RS angel that is small enough for my 55 gal (instead of the butterfly)? I know I need to wait 3 months minimum for those guys as well. <Three months is not very long, IMO. Six months or more of not having any problems and a good amount of liverock would be best. If you want a butterfly, look at this webpage and read up on the good ones and their proper care http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm They are also a lot of good dwarf angelfish for a 55. You can read more about them here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestmarangs.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/centropy.htm   Thanks for the suggestions.! -Rebecca

And Even More Red Sea Theme Tank Read the butterfly page this am (VBG) Will a dwarf angel end up as Fu Manchu's lunch? <Probably not. Most Fu Manchu's for sale are not more than 5". A decent size angel should be more than a mouthful.> Thanks for the Angel links. No live rock in the system at the moment (several large coral skeletons though and other rocks for caves/hiding places) -- I was originally thinking Niger trigger, and I read/was told they nibble on it (teeth!). I probably have about 20 lbs of non-live rock in the system at present. What's a good amount of live to add? <Thirty pounds or more should be a good amount for your 55. Get fully cured rock or cure it yourself in a separate vessel.> (sorry for so many ??s). <Do not worry about it! Keep up your reading. -Steven Pro>

Follow Up to Red Sea Theme Tank Steven, OK, so i promised to stop asking questions and now am asking more. Can't help it. 1) Are you suggesting I remove my non-live rock and replace with live, or add the live into what is already present? <Add to what is present> 2) I just spent about a month cycling this aquarium (with one tiny ich outbreak, which I caught immediately, medicated the damsel w copper and he's fine and nobody else got it). Will the live rock start this process all over again? <Not if it is fully cured or you cure it in a separate vessel> 3) Can I add live rock while copper is still in the system (I'm down to readings between .10 and .15, but it is still there). <No, do not add live rock to a system with copper unless you want to make it dead rock.> 4) I'm assuming you are suggesting adding it for the angel/butterfly to graze on??? <Yes -Steven Pro>

Re: Collecting Live Sand Tank you very much for your fast reply. Your info is very appreciated. I promise to send u some pics when it is finished. We are going on our holiday - at last - to Eilat in Israel, do u think it would be possible/legal to collect our own live sand as a souvenir for my reef tank - and also live rock? <Have been to this town in the upper Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea... would ask re the legality, practicality of such extraction while there. Bob Fenner> Eden Maddocks

A quickie from me (Suze at FAMA) Dear Bob---- wanted to let you know that I'm glad people appreciate your articles and all that goes into them!!!! (Reference below)---Starting in the Feb 02 issue I am featuring your Tropical Aquarium Fishes of the Red Sea-- kinda apropos right now, eh???? <Oh yes... are you coming out with us to Sharm in May, after Interzoo?> I will run it in 4 parts as it is sooooo long-- (Which also means, More money for you!!!!) <Oooooh, like that part!> Have a Goooood Holiday!!!! Love Suze <You as well my friend, be writing/editing. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Angels Mr. Fenner, Last week I emailed asking a question concerning mixing angels. I have a Red Sea Juvenile Imperator and you informed me that it was better to stick with species from the Red Sea don't know if this included angels from the same family). Anyway, I found a small Asfur from the Red Sea, would this be wise to mix with the Imperator? <If you have a large enough system (depending on the size of the two angels to start a couple of hundred gallons), this should be fine. It is so that "generally" large Pacific and Indian Ocean Angels/Pomacanthids of similar size, color especially, don't mix well... but the Red Sea is a "different" place in many ways... Bob Fenner> Ron

"..And the Dead Sea became the Sea of Life.." The Sea of Life has come to you!!  Sea of Life Corporation is a joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian venture  with factories in Arad, Israel and Amman, Jordan, focusing on Development, Manufacturing, Dead Sea Mud, Dead Sea Massage Salts, Dead Sea Water, Neutraceuticals such as Dunaliella (rich in Beta Carotene), Spirulina, Rhodella, Low Sodium Salts with Micro Algaes and an advanced marketing concept for Spas&Resorts/Day Spas/Health products and Retailers. We are giving peace a chance since 1997 and we are committed to promote peace in the spirits of the prophets forever.  You are invited to visit our international site for distributors at: www.seaoflife.net  You are invited to visit our American Distribution Center at: www.seaoflifeamerica.com  You are invited to visit our scientific Literature site at: www.sea-life.cc  Visit our Retailcatalogue at: www.seaoflife.net/retailcatalogue.htm  Visit our Company Philosophy Site at: www.sea-of-life.com/philosophy.htm  You are invited to our Retail Online Shop at: www.shouk.com  Please contact us at: mars@seaoflife.co.il  This is not spam! Please consider this message as part of the liberties The Internet gives to the people. However, if you did not request a subscription or do not want to be on our mailing list, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe by sending an email (with remove in the subject line) to: remove@seaoflife.co.il <Thank you for this notice. Will post to our sites. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Diving in the Red Sea 02 Hey DP Impy here, the dates for Interzoo are 9-12 May, so we will be leaving Nuremberg probably the 12 (depending on flights) for Sharm'. We don't have a hotel picked out for next year, last year we signed up with Camel Divers and stayed at the hotel where they were based, made getting to the boat and dragging gear easier in the mornings. A week I think is too short, with 2 days travel, and a last day to recover means 4 days of diving,10 days would seem a better plan. hats it for now, Impy <For all interested in co-travel, do avail yourselves of the Net... for searching where to go generally and the local accommodations... Jack, Pete and I have been to a few places, countries up and down the RS, but our hearts are not set on any given locale this trip. Bob Fenner>

from Stephens com (Red Sea Marine Wholesale Livestock Source) Dear Sir CAN WE INTRODUCED OUR COMPANY <You are> We are a big company in Egypt we have experience of 25 years in the Field of aquarium fish and accessories. And we have 10 branches around Egypt. And for export of live tropical Marine fish (read sea fishes) STEPHENS COM HAS 3 CENTER FOR COLLECTING THE FISH Stephens COM is a center of collecting and exporting Red Sea life, Marine tropical fishes, clams, marine invertebrates and live rocks. We use Hand catch methods with safety tools as soft Chinese troll with standard & Suitable vents and mosquito nets. Our careful packing support more than 72 hours of safe transport. Our quality of the fish is very good and High quality And our fishes are fully quarantined and acclimatized before. Sale. We exporting to all countries anywhere in the world and we have good and high quality of the live rocs very clean And many assorted MARINE INVERTEBRATES IF YOU hope that WE CAN send to YOU the price list and stock list Of the MARIN FISH AND LIVE ROCKS AND MARINE INVERTEBRATE OF THE READ SEA CONTACT US We are waiting for your fast reply Best Regards George Awed Stephens Co. George Awed Tel :203-542-4710 Fax:203-545-5519 Mobile:0020123414431 Mail Address: 276 Port Said street Cleopatra Alexandria, Egypt E-mail: fish sales@stephensco.org www.stephensco.org <Thank you for your message. WetWebMedia.com doesn't sell livestock (or dry goods for that matter), but I will post your information on our site, and send your offer about to the trade. Bob Fenner>

Re: Golden Butterflyfishes Hi, A few days ago I emailed you about adding some Golden Butterflies to my 800 gallon Angelfish tank. After reading your comments and doing more research I went out and purchased 3 Golden Butterflies to be place in my 500 gallon reef tank. All three specimens are 4-5 inches in length. In the reef tank right now I have 400 lbs of live rock setup up in two large pillars that reach the water surface almost with swimming room in the middle of the tank ( I kind of wanted it to look more like the outskirts of the reef with a collection of tangs ). I have various hard and soft corals, along with a few clams and so forth. The tank like my 800 was built on site and is glass not acrylic. It runs on two 90 gallon tubs/sumps and various other equipment that I have rigged up mostly. My reef keeping goes back about 5 years now so the tank itself is doing great. The Semilarvatus' were quarantined in a 75 holding tank in the filter room for about a day and a half. <Hmm, w/o reading further below, I would have left them there for a couple of weeks...> After they started eating I moved them to the 500 which contains the following for fish: Gold Rimmed Tang (nigricans a year old and doing well!) 4 in, Achilles 5 in, 3 Red Sea Purple Sailfins all 3.5 in, Black Longnose 6in, 5 Chromis, 9 Sunburst Anthias, various gobies and blennies, and the reason I came into saltwater my 9" Red Sea Sohal Tang. It was a nightmare getting these fish to coexist for the first 3 months but now everything goes well especially since I stumbled across such a docile Sohal and he kind of intimidates them but never shows aggression. I'll have to check my readings but I think my bioload is good right now. The 3 Golden's settled in and were accepted except by the Nigricans but his nipping soon diminished. My question is how big should I expect them to grow?  <Ultimately plate size (yes, several inches)... but quite slowly... an inch or so per year> Also should I worry about my corals?  <Not much. Chaetodon semilarvatus are omnivorous, can/will eat SPS polyps at times, but generally prefer other foodstuffs> The fish get tons of food because my system is so efficient but will they still possibly graze? <To a large extent yes... though these are quite hefty, active fishes> Is there anything else I should expect/worry about? I never realized how awesome these fish were until I had them in the luxury of my own home! Thanks again, I love your site! <Thank you, and no, not much to worry re... this is a fabulous aquarium species for folks with adequate space. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea clarification... Hi Bob, Sounds like you are traveling? Hope you are having/had a good trip. <Yes my friend, thank you... just back from PA for a day, then to Singapore, Indo./Lompoc/Gillis, Redang/Malaysia...> Anyway thanks for your answer but I need a clarification. >I am going to do soft corals and mushrooms. >Also what about crabs, shrimp, and snails (or perhaps I would just keep >with the Turbos as I am doing well with them)? I have a peppermint, >one common cleaner, a Sally Light foot, and a Feather Duster. ><These could, would go...> What do you mean, these could go IN a Red Sea display or wouldn't fit in a Red Sea display?? <These would... though not necessarily found there> Thanks again. BTW, I have several aquarium books-- some I very much enjoy like Tullock's book, however your's is the ONLY one coming apart at the seams!! And I have only been in this hobby since December. You can tell this has been used, consulted, paged thru, and perhaps sat on. :-) <Yes, and thanks again. Hope to have a few more in print over the years. Bob Fenner> --Jane J

Regional Display? Hi Bob, Here's my regional display question as promised (threatened :-)). The woman without the 300 gal tank strikes again. I have read Tullock's book but considered the regional display thing too advanced and esoteric for a beginner like myself, however I had a change of heart. This is why. Maybe I am way off here, but: <Not too complex...> I had a Midas blenny which leaped to his death. I loved the blenny and wished to get another one. Finally I did. The first blenny was rather skittish, took weeks (perhaps a month) to get really comfortable in the tank, however the second Blenny is entirely different. <Possible> This one is very outgoing right from the start. Perhaps there are other reasons, longer time in the LFS, different "personality", my tank is more suitable, etc. etc. But there is one more factor. My best friend thinks I'm nuts (she may be right!) but I have the Sailfin. I know it is a Pacific Sailfin, however details The fish is saying to itself in it's fish sort of way, that "By gosh I must be back in the Red Sea. What luck." Now it goes without saying, though I am saying this, that it isn't thinking this verbally but that it knows the Sailfin is harmless to it. Also the Tang seems very happy and not at all phased by the Blenny. (Of course I could be way off and these fish don't live anywhere near each other.) <Many possibilities.> But suppose I wanted to do a Red Sea type tank, since I love the blenny. The Sailfin is a bit too big, so a Purple Tang would be a nicer size. I have clown fish, but they are the wrong kind. Maybe tank raised Clarkii since they look a little bit more like the two bar. (Of course this may be all wrong as per depth.) Anyway I was looking at your book about the regional fish. BTW, I think that with this would be a pretty bunch of fish, and enough for my 40 gal breeder. <Yes, sufficient> I am going to do soft corals and mushrooms. Also what about crabs, shrimp, and snails (or perhaps I would just keep with the Turbos as I am doing well with them)? I have a peppermint, one common cleaner, a Sally Light foot, and a Feather Duster. <These could, would go...> Anywhere I should look for assistance with this? I would need to know depth of creatures, some idea of Aquascaping, inverts, etc? Or do you feel I am all wet? :-) Your friend in fish, <When back in San Diego, can/will assemble some (more) Red Sea references... and post on the  "Fishwatcher's Guide... to the Red Sea". There are such general works (books, articles). Bob  Fenner --Jane J

Red Sea Fish questions Hello Bob, loved your book (CMA) and can't wait to get my hands on your new fish watcher book. I have a couple of questions about Red Sea fish I hope you can answer for me.  <I will try> I am about to set up a 180 gallon fish only Red Sea aquarium, actually it isn't a fish only in the strictest sense because I like to set my fish tanks more like a reef with a deep sand bed, lots of live rock, intense lighting and circulation, and a good skimmer for filtration. I also plan to include a clean up crew of snails, hermits, and cleaner shrimp so I want to avoid natural predators of these inverts, I guess the only thing missing from this "reef" setup is the corals. <We could go on and on here... many types of plankton, reproductive elements in the water column, many other organism groups expressly eliminated, or not noticed... in captive marine systems.> The fish I am going to be including in this tank for certain are my current fish, an asfur angel, a purple tang and a sailfin tang (I know he's not really a Red Sea fish but I've had him for almost 7 years and this makes him close enough for rock and roll). <The Zebrasoma desjardinii Sailfin is now classed as the same species as the Pacific, Z. veliferum... if this is the fish you have... then it is a close match to the fish found in the Red Sea> My first question concerns three wrasse species I am thinking of including which are the Goldbar (Thalassoma hebraicum), the Diana's hogfish, and the Checkerboard wrasse (Halichoeres horto<u>lanus). I want only one wrasse in the system so I would be choosing among these fish based on their likelihood of predation on the above inverts. Are any of these beautiful fish to be trusted with snails, hermits, or cleaner shrimp?  <Umm, no... the Bodianus/Hogfish especially, but the other two genera regularly eat all of these as well... I would pick the Goldbar first, the Checkerboard second if I had to choose amongst these three> I am also thinking of including a R.S. butterfly, either a semilarvatus, a fasciatus raccoon, a black banded melannotus, or a pair of Heniochus diphreutes. Any suggestions on the butterflies would be gladly welcomed.  <Go with the Red Sea Raccoon here... the Semilarvatus really only shows well in a grouping... requiring a very large system... and the other species are not near as "outgoing" or hardy in captivity as the fasciatus...> My last question is about the fridmani Pseudochromis, would this tank be large enough to house two or three of these little fish or am I asking for all out war among them?  <It is big enough... with lots of live rock, and especially the captive bred/reared specimens, no problem... and very interesting> I have heard captive bred pseudo's are more likely to get along in groups, is this true in your opinion? <Yes, of a certainty> I thank you for your time and consideration. -Mike Hahn <You're welcome. Please look over the "Red Sea" sections of our website: www.WetWebMedia.com and particularly the books, articles listed in the "Bibliography/Further Reading" sections therein... for a great deal of fun, learning, pleasure from anticipation in planning about your system. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Fish questions

Thank you so much for your prompt response to my questions Bob, just another reason I think you are the best fish guy around! Based on your advise and some other people I trust, I will go with the Red Sea raccoon, A group of one male and two female captive bred orchid pseudo's and a male squamipinnis Anthias to go with my asfur and the purple and sailfin tangs. Thanks again for your help, -Mike <Sounds like a super group of organisms. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

RED SEA MARINE TROPICAL LIVES SUPPLIER  Attn. : Mr./Mrs. Importing Manager  Dear Sir:  Welcome in one of the biggest (Red Sea Tropical fishes, clams,  invertebrates ad live rocks) suppliers in EGYPT.  Our strategy in exporting Red Sea lives depends on studying the needs, and  hopes of that field.  We have to say that we spent a long time in studying marine tropical live  market needs, hopes, and dreams also.  And we obtain our hard work to get our customer dreams as a real as  possible.  Our competitive price list, hand catching, good packing, good selection for  Air cargo, following up our shipments, and much more of hard work to reach  the optimization is our strategy.  However, we think a trial order may be better to show our strategy more  than words.  So, if you are interested, Feel free to contact us by e-mail, or fax and  you will get our price list* for 2001 within few hours.  ( * Price list available with US$ or Euro as preferred )  Dream a'¬Â¦ and let us try to get it a'¬Â¦ Real  Waiting for your soonest kind reply.  Best Regards  B. Shaken  Exporting Department  Egypt Tropical co.  Cairo-Egypt  Fax : 202 26 22 053  Tel : 2 012 377 9814 / 2 02 235 04 55  E-mail : edgy-tropic@online.com.eg & get_topic@yahoo.com  <Hmm will send this off to friends in the trade, public aquariums, and post  on our site: www.wetwebmedia.com  Bob Fenner>

A couple more ? on Red Sea fishes Hi, Bob.  Thanks so much for posting the new, comprehensive Red Sea article on WetWebMedia - good reading in its own right, and a great help with my livestock planning! <Ah, good to hear. Our express intent...> It did, however, raise a couple questions ... 1. I'm wondering how large a system one would need to accommodate a batfish (Orbicular is or Tiera). I've read that these fish grow fast, and up to two feet in the wild - but which axis is this measuring, horizontal or vertical? Are these fish at all compatible with the somewhat aggressive characters I've already got in my Red Sea livestock plan (Sohal Surgeon, Assasi Trigger, Imperator Angel)? <The vertical aspect! Yes, they do grow to be large... fast. The smallest long term tank I'd put one in is a 180... A smaller tank could do for a year or so... And they are compatible with the organisms you list> 2. I'm intrigued by your claim that the Undulate Trigger is less belligerent coming from the Red Sea - I love the looks of this fish, but have always considered it "off limits" with tankmates. I guess I'm wondering to what degree you mean "less belligerent," considering this fish's nasty reputation. Specifically: in your opinion, what degree of risk would I be taking if I tried mixing a Red Sea Undulate with other large and somewhat aggressive Red Sea natives (Sohal, Assasi, Imperator, Purple Tang, Wrasse, Semilarvatus)? <Almost none in a large-enough system. Have seen this species from the Red Sea kept in full-blown reef-tanks> One other question - this one regards the Australia / SW Pacific livestock plan I'm working up as a second (and somewhat cheaper!) option after the Red Sea: 3. In a 120-150 gallon system, is there any way I could house both an Annularis Angel and a Chaetodontoplus sp. angel, like the 'Personifer' or Scribbled? Different genera, of course, with the Annularis growing a bit larger and generally rated as somewhat more aggressive than the Chaetodontoplus sp. Might the Chaetodontoplus accept "#2" status? Or is this a recipe for problems? Also, would a Flame Centropyge Angel get along with either or both of these larger species? <Good question, poor gamble... These angels, though being quite different in nutrition, appearance, temperament would likely "not be happy" thrust together in such a small volume...> Well, as you can see, I've really taken your 'conscientious' advice to start with a careful livestock plan to heart ... and to obsessive extremes! Thanks as always, Bob. Best, J. Stone >> <Well, then we're both "extremists"... and glad to be so. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Grouping How's it going, Bob? Greetings again from Boulder, Colorado (A lovely place ... but all too far from the ocean!) Well, here we go again ... I'm still in the process of planning my FOWLR. Sorry to revisit this topic after discussing it with you a couple weeks back. I know you're a busy guy; please feel free to reply at your leisure, as I won't need to make any "final" decisions for at least a few weeks.  I've been doing more thinking since our last correspondence, and I've decided that I'd probably like to try the more natural approach of keeping fishes in a geographic/biotope grouping rather than a mixed-up "menagerie." My favorite option (so far) would be a display of Red Sea species. Ideally, here's the community I'd like to keep, in rough order of introduction: 1 Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis) 1 Radiata Lion (Pterois radiata) 3 Bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus) 1 or 2 Golden Butterfly (Chaetodon semilarvatus) 1 Checkerboard Wrasse (Halichoeres hortulanus) 1 Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus) 1 Purple Tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum) 1 Sohal Surgeon (Acanthurus sohal) 1 Imperator Angel (Pomacanthus imperator) 1 Assasi Trigger (Rhinecanthus assasi) A lot of fish! I intend to start most of them at small-to-medium size (except for the smaller-growing species, i.e. Comet and Hawk), and spread the introductions over the course of eight months to a year -- or, if advisable, longer. Still, I'm wondering about the size of system I'll need. Right now, I have room in my apartment for a system of 120 to maybe a max. of 150 gallons. Do you think this would be large enough for the time being? (It wouldn't necessarily have to be their "permanent" home, as I could upgrade to a larger tank when I buy a house in a year or two.) Or would it be wiser to hold off on some of the fish?  <Like your biotopic approach... but would hold off on some of these fishes... How long is "the time being"? like a year? IMO skip the Lion, and either use the Bannerfish (one or at most two) OR the Blue Face/Masked (semilarvatus)... start them off small, and place the Sohal last> My other questions involve species compatibility. The compatibility program on the FF Express website indicates that this mix should work, but it's a very general tool, ranking only by "type" rather than species. My main concerns are the Trigger, mainly with the Lion (in your book, you advise caution here; other authors give the thumbs-up) and the Sohal Surgeon with everyone (particularly the related Purple Tang.) I've read conflicting accounts regarding the belligerence of Sohals; some classify them as merely "territorial" while others label them "terrors!" I haven't been able to locate a lot of info. on the Assasi specifically, but again some authorities rank the genus Rhinecanthus as relatively well-behaved, while others suggest a species-only tank for them. Help! I love the appearance of the Sohal and the Assasi, and I can't imagine my Red Sea display without them - but I'd hate to instigate bloodshed.  <My observations somewhat agree with yours except the Assassin Trigger... it should get along with the other fishes (minus the Lion, IMO)... Sohals are very individualistic, but tend to become territorial with size...> Any insight / tweaking advice you could offer would be very much appreciated. I should be able to start this system within a few weeks, and can't wait to get started! <Maybe take a look at the species, genera, family and geographic accounts of these fishes I have posted at www.wetwebmedia.com.... as well as the quarter of my most recent book... A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Aquarium Fishes... that deals with the Red Sea.> Thanks so much, Jason Stone >> You're very welcome. Bob Fenner

FOWLR - Red Sea Grouping Bob, Thanks (again) for your timely reply and sound advice. I'm going to follow your suggestions - eliminating the Lion and the Heniochus group from my livestock plan, and planning to introduce the Sohal last. Thanks also for directing me to the Wetweb Media site - it's a resource I was previously unaware of, and the wealth of articles you've posted is outstanding! <Yes, a very convenient resource to help others help educate and inspire themselves> A couple of quick follow-up questions... 1. In your article on Red Sea Butterflies, you advise keeping all (except Heniochus sp.) as singles ... but I seem to recall a recent Q&A column in which you suggested that semilarvatus look better and adapt better in pairs. Scott W. Michael also indicates that these fish will school, but also that there might be aggression between conspecifics. So ... should I plan on acquiring a single or a pair? If a pair is the right option, will I need to locate a mated pair, or will any two semilarvatus reliably pair up? <There should have been (as always) a few provisos/stipulations... IF the system is big enough (hundreds of gallons), the mixing of more than one semilarvatus Butterfly is a good gamble... You can appreciate how much trouble simple statements can get me/you/us in trouble.... You should be okay with a very large system, starting with them at a few inches (they get plate size)> 2. I'm a big fan of Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and I'd certainly be interested in getting my hands on a copy of your new book (A Fishwatcher's Guide...) But I can't find it through any of the online retailers. I see it's offered on Wetweb Media, but I can't find any links to an ordering page. Can I order it directly from you? <Yikes, there should be an order page there (WWM)... Am still trying to get the fine folks at ffexpress to carry it> 3. Browsing the Web, I found a company called Sea-D which offers a "Fishes of the Red Sea" CD-ROM. Looks like it might be a good resource ... Do you know anything about this company or product? <No, thanks for mentioning it... Will take a look. There are a couple of very good reference works on the Fishes and Invertebrates of the Red Sea (Dr. John Randall for the first, Peter Vine for the latter)... they're offered by a few companies> 4. Can you recommend any online or mail-order retailers of quality Red Sea livestock? It's easy enough to locate sources for the endemic species (FF has many of 'em), but my concern is finding Red Sea specimens of the more widely-distributed species (such as the Imperator Angel and Checkerboard Wrasse). <Don't know any of the other on-line, mail-order outfits that well besides ffexpress, but they do know what they're doing... and can easily get whatever is best that is available... Just mention that the livestock you're looking for must come from the Red Sea... Have seen more Red Sea livestock in recent months, BTW... apparently all still coming out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.> Bob, I can't tell you how much your advice and feedback are appreciated. There aren't many experts (in any field) who are willing to share so freely and generously of their knowledge. --Jason Stone >> It is my calling, passion, job, and an honor and privilege to serve the hobby interest. Bob Fenner

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