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FAQs about the Tropical Eastern Pacific

Related Articles: A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific, Clarion Angelfish, TEP Angels, 

Related FAQs:  Not-so tropical Eastern Pacific,

Holacanthus passer Valenciennes 1846, the King or Passer Angelfish, 2" juvenile.

Yes, and ID question.... sorry     3/27/13
You California guys have much info on this????
<What is that? Renilla? BobF>        

Identification attempt for 3/27/13 creature
*Yes, and ID question.... sorry     3/27/13*

You California guys have much info on this????
<What is that? Renilla? BobF>
hello! I thought I might offer a guess as to what this creature might be. My guess is that this is a Chiton, maybe
Cryptochiton stelleri; the colours and shape seem to match.
<<Ah yes Emilie. Please see LynnZ's input below. BobF>>
Hey Bob!  I think the critter in question is Cryptochiton stelleri, aka the Gumboot Chiton.  Here's a link with a photo/info:
http://seanet.stanford.edu/OtherMolluscs/#Cryptochiton_stelleri  .  Hope that helps!
Take care,

Red Rock Crabs stkg./sel., and Loxorhynchus grandis ID  12/10/11
<Hi there>
I was just wondering, is it possible to keep Red Rock Crabs in aquaria?
<The Sally Lightfoots? They're really too "skittish" to be suitable aquarium specimens... and not totally aquatic... i.e., they spend a good deal of time out of the water>
I see their range goes down to Baja California, does this mean they'll be alright in a tank with no chiller? (The water is always in the high 60s, so still under tropical temps.)
<This temperature regimen is likely fine for most all found along Baja's Pacific Coast and the Mar de Cortez>
 They are kept pretty cold at the local market, how would I go about getting it up to a higher temperature?
<I'd keep cooler... will live longer, not need as much food, make as much a mess, be less aggressive toward each other... They're territorial>
Also, I had the same question about an unidentified crab I can only find referenced as a 'spider crab'. I found a picture online of the same species, but no real name. Any idea what species it is, and if it would be okay without a chiller? Picture is attached. (It's from Google though)
<Mmm, thank you for this source statement. This is likely a Sheep Crab, Loxorhynchus grandis... bad to eat, gets too large to keep in home aquariums. Is cool/cold water>
I'm just trying to avoid a repeat of the 'Dungeness crab at tropical temperature' incident I had as a kid. Thanks for any help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Diving Pacific Mexico  3/11/10
Bob, et. al,
Greetings. Has anyone done any diving on the Pacific coast of Mexico down near Ixtapa? If so, any opinion on whether it's worth some dives/snorkeling? I can't find too much in the interwebz about diving, life, etc. for this part of Mexico.
<Is... but there is admittedly not much to see, nor is the water "all that clear"... you'll need a car to get about. BobF>
Andy B 

Re: Diving Pacific Mexico   3/11/10
Thanks BobF. Murky water makes for good tiger/bull shark encounters, especially if you can find a place downstream from where they dump a lot of trash in the ocean. Maybe I'll just lay on the beach.
<Heeee! But think of the Galeocardo cuvier you'll miss! Cheers, BobF>

Conditioned clarions less expensive now (Modified msg.... for dealers... Aquarists, have your LFS contact Steve if interested)-12/11/08 Hi Folks, We have already sent enough fish overseas from this record load of clarion angels and have sold virtually none here in the USA. The recession has hit everyone hard and made many fancy fish understandably out of reach for many. The prices have predictably come down on clarions in America and we can now offer the fish in the photos for XXXX each or lots of 5 or more for XXXX. and lots of 10 or more for XXXX..So if ya need one or a few ...let me know. If not, ya gota at least enjoy the photos. No tiny ones...all are 3 1/2 inches or bigger. Much stronger fish anyway Sincerely, Steve Robinson Cortez Marine San Francisco [ Hayward] , California 510 750 6834 <Will post, share Steve. Happy holidays. Bob Fenner>

Bob   12/12/08 The photos were the point of sending it to you...not the text! The prices are to the retailers...not the public whom I never deal with. <Oh!> Please don't put out the letter like that. <Okay... will... won't do... Do you want your name and email addy posted though? So if they're interested (the consumers), they can have their dealers contact you?> The prices to the public will also come down but that's still up to the retailer how much. <Amazing to me... many years back we "got" 150-200 U.S. per individual...> Thanks, Greatest adventure ever this last trip...including catching the Socorro Basslet [ see attached].I found it 20 years ago...and again last month. Steve <Ahh, I do wish you, I and Alex Kerstitch could get tog. and chat these adventures over. Cheers, BobF>

TEP pix, Catalogue  - 04/10/2006 Dear Bob Fenner: I am interested to do a basic catalogue on coral reef species from the Southern Mexican Pacific for use in subcuatic activities, with no comercial objectives, only to promote the protection in protected natural areas. I am looking good pics for only these species: Pocillopora capitata Pocillopora damicornis Pocillopora danae Pocillopora eydouxi Pocillopora inflata Pocillopora meandrina Pocillopora verrucosa Pocillopora sp Porites panamensis Pavona gigantea Pavona varians Pavona clavus Psammocora stellata Leptoseris papyracea If you support my work with some good pics and you are interested that I include some of them in the catalogue, tell me, you have the  security that I will get you all the credits that you request me. Thank you, DR. MARGARITO TAPIA-GARC? ?ea de Diagn?tico Ecol?ico y Gesti? Ambiental Departamento de Hidrobiolog? Universidad Aut?oma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa Av. San Rafael Atlixco no. 186, Col. Vicentina C.P. 09340 A.P. 55-535 M?ICO D.F. Tels. 5804-6492 y 5804-4748, FAX 5804-4738 <You are welcome to use any of my photographic work for your educational purposes. Please see/scan WetWebMedia.com and WetWebFotos.com for what you seek. Bob Fenner> Diving  9/13/05 Bob I haven't formally thanked you and Diana for "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" ... thank you. <Welcome>    Labor Day weekend was spent diving in  La Paz.   <Ahhh!> Although I've made several excursions into the Sea of Cortez this  was the first to the sea mounts and other dive spots considerably off  shore.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good the diving can be down  there.  Vis was up to about 70 feet, lots of tropicals, nice walls of  fish, up close sea lion encounters and about a half hour on the surface  frolicking with a juvenile whale shark.   My dive buddy Hank took a lot of  video and if it turns out well after editing I'll have him send you a CD.   <Sounds great... and what about the scalloped hammerheads? Not at Islotes? Unusual> I would love to take you up on the Hawaii diving sometime.  I think my  next trip should include Kathy. Are non-diving wives invited?   <Oh yes, certainly... much to do there besides... Am going to be out 9/27-11/1 if you can make it that go... otherwise make the times you have available known... if you'd like co. or you're welcome to go, stay on your own> I also  mentioned it to Hank and if there's room he's in.   <Ah, yes> As we talked about in San Diego at dinner the Red Sea is on the top  of  list of dive trips that Hank & I must do some day.  The  conflicts in the Middle East make us, actually our wives, leery.  What is  your opinion? <Am usually pretty bullish... and we did bring friends with us last go... two Mays back... but with the trouble in Sharm/Egypt... am starting to feel a bit ill at ease... I would still go on/for myself... but don't know re carte blanche encouraging others... too iffy to promote openly, w/o a time frame... To sum up, I'd go with you right now... but a few months from now, who knows?> I think you said you go there fairly often.  It  would be great if we could join you on a trip. <Mmm, next May... after InterZoo then... let's keep chatting re> Hank's an  attorney and needs to plan well in advance, so it's not something we could  easily do on the spur of the moment. <I understand> I am proceeding with the purchase of the Major Fenner House, built by Captain Arthur Fenner your 8th great grandfather in 1677.   We should  close escrow this week.   I'll try to find some pictures to send you  under separate cover. Hope all is well. Richard Arthur Fenner <Is, thank you. Cheers to your brother, your wives... and hope to be diving with you soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: diving, Scalloped Hammerheads  9/13/05 Bob That was the one disappointment.  We did not go to Islotes.  We  went to another site (can't remember the name) with hammerhead  expectations.  We were with Baja Expeditions which I thought was good other  than a very slow boat and the "hammerhead dive". <Is a good company>   From  where we anchored there was a pretty good current heading south.  Our  guide took us down to 60' and headed north.  By the time (20 minutes at a  fast pace) we got to the point where we were in position to head out into "blue  water" we had burned through so much air we had to return .... poor dive  planning.  I'll talk to Kathy about Hawaii in October.      Richard Arthur Fenner <Real good. Bob Fenner> Listing Request Hello,  I am the assistant editor for http://www.mexicotravel101.com. The site is designed to provide all of the Mexican travel information you'll need to help plan your next Mexico vacation to paradise. I have visited your site and I was wondering if a link could be placed on your site. Please let me know. <Will do so. Bob Fenner>

Refugium Lighting and Cabo Dive Operators Hello Crew, <Alan> I have an AMiracle sump with 6 gallons of water that I have turned into a pseudo refugium. It contains 8 lbs of live rock rubble and I added a nice clump of Chaetomorpha yesterday and some of those mesh like plastic kitchen scrubbies (found at Wal-Mart today, finally). No sand bed or mud. The intent of the refugium is to keep a gaggle of pods that I have purchased from Adelaide and the Reed Mariculture folks (very nice people to do business with). My question is how much light is needed to keep the Chaeto alive and well.  <Sounds great> I tried to find the "Lights of America" 13 watt CF's often discussed on WWM at Home Depot and Lowe's and they have both stopped carrying the fixture (but they still sell the bulbs). <Rats! Maybe they can be ordered over the net? As I recall L.O.A. has a site... maybe they could tell you where to get them?> At least that's the case here in Denver. What I did find was a clip light and a Sylvania soft white mini 60 watt compact fluorescent that has a color temperature of 3000K. Would this work or should I find a higher watt CF or higher Kelvin? <Higher...> Can you recommend a good dive operator you might have experience with in Cabo San Lucas to dive with. I'll be there in June. <Ah, I've used the four listed here: http://www.loscabosguide.com/diving/diving.htm  As is typical in the trade, many of the actual dive-masters, crew move "freely" amongst these outfits... they are all worthwhile> Thanks for all of your Brilliance. Alan <! Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Cortez biotope: Bob Bobster... sorry for one more e-mail in your day (Grrrr!) <Marina was out... seven hours or so today... what's one more... at least fun input?> if you have time... just wondering what your recollection for substrates were like in the Sea of Cortez. <The shores are mainly condritic metamorphic boulders... of hand to bread-box size... interspersed with 1 mm or so diameter sand... mainly of siliceous content... some rocky shores, many sandy ones... only a few extensive reefs near the tip... Cabo Pulmo, Frailes and some spots along the corridor (San Jose del Cabo to the Cape itself... and these very species poor.> I'm planning for my biotope display... see many pics with dark sands/substrates. Not much scleractinian formed white sands I suppose in the region ;) <No, very little> But is there a lot of mud... or rock... macros and gorgs to some great extent? <There are extensive "mud flats" in the upper gulf... their is tremendous difference in habitats upper, middle and lower... and species mixes> I'm not too worried about being spot on for any specific niche. Just in the ballpark. thank you my friend :) <Do you have a copy of Thomson, Findley, Kerstitch... I think the title is "Rocky Shores of the Sea of Cortez"... very useful, and has been updated in recent years... Alex is gone... a bad story re drinking, but the others are still about at the U. of AZ. Bob Fenner> wow... much thanks Bob. great info. I was looking in books by Eschmeyer, and (2X) Goodson... but when you mentioned the book with Kerstitch, it rang a bell. A dive into the pile and I see that I don't have the one you mention but another Cortez one with him for me to peep! Very sorry to hear of his life/hardship though :( <Strange... when we were out with the shell nuts in Nuka Hiva, Paul Kanner mentioned Alex's death... from a ruptured esophagus... directly from the ill-effects of years of (sneaking) drinking hard liquor... He, Charley Delbeek and I have/had a very similar backgd.... growing up as pet-fish keepers, H.S. science teachers, having just MSc's... Sorry for relating the grim detail... Alex was a fine person... a good artist (oils and water color and drawing), diver/photographer... Bob> I like the dark colored sands very much. Peppered like. I know nothing more than his fine reputation, more than a few books?, numerous photo contributions. Very sorry to hear of the hard road he took :( <And regretting my mentioning same... what would my great grandmother say (while whacking me with her cane), "If it doesn't bring joy or enlightenment, shut up." Bob>

Any idea of the Identification? Hi Bob, <Hello John> I ran across you on the WWW and your excellent review article on File Fish. <I see> Anyway I collected the attached in the Los Cabos area of Mexico and have been struggling with the identification.  Initially I thought it was a Blunthead Triggerfish, Pseudobalistes naufragium, but now think it might be some kind of File Fish.  Do you have any ideas or can you point me in the right direction? <Is a monacanthid... from body shape, single dorsal "trigger"... definitely not the Blunthead Trigger... have seen both in and about the area... Looks like an Aluterus scriptus to me. A neat, though large for aquariums species found circumtropically. Appreciate any help you can provide. John T. Snow
<Wish we were diving there right now! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Bob, Thanks for the phenomenal information in such a timely fashion.  I ran a Google search of Aluterus scriptus and know you are "spot on."   <Ah, did you see any live specimens?> Right now I am spending 1/3 of my time in the Los Cabos area, left there two days ago, and wish I was back there already!  My collections are all done via hook and line. <Neat... have spent about two years total all over Baja, many times in and along the corridor. Would like to get down there with some shell-collecting friends> What I am working on is the Fish I.D. section of Mexfish.Com with my friend Gene Kira.  We are currently conducting a "once over" of what we have on there before I add more species to the presentation. <Sounds like a great project... was surprised this last year to have a friend in common (Paul Kanner) tell me of the how of Alex Kerstitch's demise... am sure you have seen his work in your field> I collected the fish we are discussing and took the photo about 4 years ago - you will see it as a Blunthead Triggerfish on MexFish.com at present.  However my skills and abilities in the fish identification area have increased significantly and I quickly realized that I had this one WRONG.   <Naufragium is... unmistakable... especially as full size adults! They steer clear of divers... and are not nearly as common as "sopa" fish as the Finescale...> Thanks for sorting it out for me and we will give you credit in our write up (unless you advise me otherwise). Thanks again! John T. Snow <No need for credit. Make it known if I can be of assistance with photos, what have you. A bunch of our stuff is out and about (gratis) for non-commercial purposes. Bob Fenner>

Fish Collection in Mexico January 17, 2004 Mr. Bob Fenner, <Gary> I should introduce myself. My name is Gary Gillis, and I collected fish in Mexico from 89-93.  Until the ban ran me out of business.  I also had a shop on the big island in Hawaii. <I'll be... we were involved in collecting et al. out of Mexico before the last big ban... and a friend in the trade in Singapore is visiting at our place just mauka of Kailua and we visited Bill Shockley's today! Where was your shop at?> To make a long story short I learned the hard way about business in Mexico. <Hee hee... y que te llamo a mi? Some third world dealings al sur now!> I recently read some communications between you and some other people interested in Clarion Angels etc. and business progress in Mexico but your articles had no dates on them. <They are old mi amigo... mostly seventies, eighties> Therefore I have no idea how old your info is. The name of Steve Robinson came up in your communications as well. Is he still in the business? <Ha! I'd guess you'd say so... he's over in the P.I.... just talked with Peter Rubec before hauling over last month re... Steve's still "doing his thing"...> Could you please send me a note on any information you have regarding Mexico.  I had a shop in La Paz and operated legally relatively unknown for 5 years. <I doubt I have any useful information to relate... my time in the trade, there was way back. I spent many happy visits at various locations in Baja over the years... but no real time since the 1980's> I know the area quite well and all of the local divers, who would still be in the business if, there is any activity.. At present I am considering going back down and doing it again, if conditions are right. <What a great town "the Peace" is... and many sites north (Pichilinque) and south... Las Cruces et al...> Of course only with as much information as I can gain would I consider starting up again. <I will gladly help you if I can... perhaps an introduction to honest folks in the trade el norte? Did you sell to Chris Buerner since he's taken over from Phil Shane at Quality? Eric Cohen at SDC?> P.S. no offense but my impression of Steve Robinson has never been one of much more than a puffer when it came to his experience in Mexico's fish trade. <Hee hee! You and I's opinions re Steve are in concurrence... he was "champ of the speech club in H.S."... This I do believe about him...>   His former locals had a lot to say about him.  Do you know if the Herrera's are still operating there as well? <No, mi amigo, no lo se. Bob Fenner the viejo>

Re: Fish Collection in Mexico Dear Bob, Thank you for your reply so fast! Kind of a downer that things are not any better in La Paz. <Yes, seguro... I had big hopes with the PRI being replaced by PAN... maybe the ejido system would be abolished, at least amended... Mexico will be a "super power" a few decades hence.... they have the energy, people resources, land... just a legacy of thieves, self-centered megalomaniacs as self-governors... sort of like we're getting in Los Estados Unidos...> I liked it so much I married a local girl and now have an 11 year old son who lives with me and has duel citizenship. Unfortunately his mother and I are no longer married but it is my plan to buy a small ranchito down that way for retirement in about 10 more years and leave to him. Although he was born in Santa Rosa Ca. he maintains duel citizenship and so <not as many problems of ownership. <Sounds bueno> I figured Steve would go to P.I. that was really his area of interest. <Uhh, sometime when we're face to face I'll tell you more re adventures there> The folks for L.A. that you mentioned I have not been acquainted with before, some of the former owners you mentioned I knew only by name, and preceding rep.  The Herrera's I mentioned did do business with the former owners, however and off course "La Mordida" served them well when it came to shipping live rock and the Clarions, when they were drawing $300 ea. in S.F. and L.A. and $600.00 in Japan. <We sold many over the years... for 75-125 U.S. en masse to the L.A. crowd...> Straight from the Islands and shipped directly when docked in Cabo San Lucas. I had made one trip to Socorro and along with 10 others including divers was held hostage for $6000.00 ransom by the Navy. Later we were returned to Manzinillo, and after an investigation, we were released.  The fix had been put in to sabotage our trip because of the money involved. On average the H's were capturing 1m-1.5m fish per trip but only arriving in Cabo with 3-5 hundred left.  These guys were a real class act, total incompetence.  Oh well ! totalmente al sur as you said. <Interesante> When I was in Hawaii we had a small 30by 50 shop in Kailua Kona. There were some good and some flakes there too.  Unfortunately my so called partner blew the business up his nose, and by the time I got back to mind the store in Mex. it was over. (3) month permits had been reduced to per trip.  Gone was the 2year license as it had been when I started out.  Do you know anything about Panama? es un pensmiento tambien! <Have heard it is "wide open" and a gorgeous place to dive on both sides... a friend in the shell interest, Paul Kanner is on his way back there> Recently here in Reno I saw a passer in a retail ship very young and wondered where it had come from.  When I asked the owner, he said it came in with a shipment from of all places (the Marshalls)??????? huh.  I think this guy was mistaken.   <Ha! Yes... tropical Eastern Pacific solamente> I really appreciate your response and hope we can remain in touch from time to time. <Certainly> The bug is growing once again  to go back al sur and be a masochist once more or maybe search for a new home. Oh by the way my shop was in La Paz on the corner of Navarro and ??? revolucion? two calles away from the double steepled catholic church. and 4 blocks from the Malecon where the old Marina dry dock was. El cerebo de este viejo es defectivo. No me recuerdo el nombre de el restaurante hecho como una palapa, y en fronte de la marina.????? <No recuerdo> Well great communicating with you, keep in touch Gary "lalo" Gillis.   <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

It was El Molino " It was "El Molino" met my x there. The cobwebs finally cleared.   I plan on a visit to the annual pet show in July, in Anaheim, or Long Beach, wherever its held this year perhaps while I'm in L.A. area we might meet. Looking forward to it. Thanks again.  Gary <Oh yes... I recall... very dark inside... was it plastic soda straws stuck in the acoustic? Right along boat row... Hope to see at the WWPSA. Bob Fenner>

Angels Del Mar (TEP Mexico) Man why does Mexico have a ban on collecting fish? Do you know how long this will stay like this? I hope they let people start collecting there, I want a clarion so bad its scary but there outrageous prices scare me away even if i would see one for sale anywhere. What other rare angels live in the Mexico waters? Thanks! <Is there a new ban? As far as I'm aware, no. There are three species of Angelfishes that originate along their Eastern Pacific coast... the Clarion, King, and Passer... You can read about these here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tepfwgv1.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Mexican ban on collecting fish I thought there was. Why are there no clarions that come on down to the trade then? <Ahh, this I can answer, as our old co.s used to be involved in the collection, distribution of marines al sur (we are in California, U.S.A.). The only regular station in operation is in southern Baja (run by Steven Robinson), and not further south (as in the Islas Revillagigedos... Socorro, San Benedicto Islands...) where the Clarion is much more common. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/holacanthus/clarionensis.htm A few specimens do get caught out of Baja... these are promptly shipped to the higher bidders, usually in the orient. You might contact the fine folks at the Marine Center (.com) re prospects of ordering one. Bob Fenner>

Re: (no subject) web site address...Cortez marine Bob, Yes the same Tongan lady is my wife. She wants nothing to do with the trade at all. <Good looks and smart too! You lucky pug!> I sent the calico passer pics to the Marine Center...thanks for the tip. Maybe they'll bite. So do you know if Ray Shierff of the S. African deal in fact fell thru?  <Haven't heard yes/no> I'd love to go out there w/you guys. What are you after? A. Kingii or what? <Just pix... much easier, really. Stills and video.> I'm perhaps outta here by the 10 th of Oct to W. AFRICA. I need to hurry before Mexico come back on line again. Mexico's just not the same though...I'd love to collect elsewhere and besides W. Africa. Its a trip but not a livelihood. <Agree with you on all... nothing quite like a real civilized place... with cable, steady electricity, laws... good beer, bread, bars...> Mac sure doesn't need any net trainers cause they're not into really doing it...just talking and certifying it. So...nobodies really training! Odd movement of just a grant grab I suppose. <The latter for sure... am hoping those talkathons are about out of alls cash. Am sick of their undeliverable hokum... who was going to pay for their taxing the trade anyway? Uhh...> Later, Steve <Be seeing you... MACNA? DEMA? Backer show? Aquarama? About. Bob F>

Re: (no subject) web site address...Cortez marine Bob, I do a shipment every month out of Mexico and then wait a few weeks for the paperwork to do another one. The more we comply with the law, the more complicated and restricted it gets. The more research we sponsor and pay for, the more species are banned. Most notable were banned, the turbo snail, the blue leg hermit, scarlet hermit, convict tang and the Soapfish and Bluespot Jawfish. <Ah, the wiles of government bureaucracy! I don't miss the hassles> No nighttime surveys so they thought that the Soapfish must be in danger of extinction. <Ha!> The convict is rare in its Northern limit of Loreto of course and it was therefore seen as in danger of extinction. The surveys counted too many Turbos and hermits and the numbers just couldn't be believed...so they banned them and the Bluespot Jawfish is just so pretty...they banned it also. Just as well, the flood of smuggled ones with no tails ruined their value anyway. <Amazing> Yes Mexico is open...and not much better. I need to find a new job. <There are many> I heard from Chris 6 months ago and lost track since the move of Ocean Nutrition. I hope to reach him again soon. Steve <He's here in town, but working for the folks in UT... Bob F>

Re: (no subject) web site address...Cortez marine Bob, I just spent the past 2 hours dealing w/ Mexico. my partner, our biologist [who must be in the boat at all times] and the Federal ornamental fish project chief. Permits will not be allowed to go commercial for 2 more years at least and the pages of research requirements will continue. <Not surprising... a huge task of cataloging, making estimates of optimum and sustainable yields, recruitment...> What did you mean when you said ..."there are many" as in other jobs. <Just that/this... many possibilities. I see Svein Fossa now heads up the OFI... and he is continuously busy writing, traveling... and consulting. We just "do" content provision... and have no "extra" time... diving, photographing 3-4 months a year... there are huge opportunities to get into video production, help build out collecting stations, culture facilities... big gaps in markets for gear, system fabrication, installs... I know of a few folks who net six figures and don't have much invested in the latter maintenance end> I'd like to consider one and not depend on Mexico. We'll have a new permit in Cabo around Xmas time and the old one will be back on line in 3 weeks. Its been 3 already so that's a 6 week delay this time! Hard to run a business this way! <I used to try... am glad to be relegated to the "just chatting about it" end of the spectrum.> So, if there are many,,, could you clue me in? Sincerely, Steve <Glad to be of help. Do you get out to Interzoo? Aquarama? Even the regional trade shows in the U.S. are worthwhile for networking, checking with friends, associates in the trade re possibilities. Are you attending the DEMA show in October (in Vegas?)... What do you want to do? Where? Bob Fenner>

Re: (no subject) web site address...Cortez marine Bob, Thanks for the reply...build out and set up new collecting stations...that's the one. I'd like to do it for someone else for a change. <I put up a bunch over the years... for folks you know mostly. Phil Shane, TMC before they sold... Many happy memories.> I've spent the morning going over information on Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea etc with an aim to going after some Africanus for some backers. <Maybe... I saw a few dozen Centropyge resplendens a couple years back at Tropic Marine Centre... that they'd made a deal with a fellow who picked them up enroute from South Africa to Brazil on a sailboat... they got to keep half and sent the others on to the big okani in Japan> But its just a one shot deal. Could get shot, robbed or stricken w/ malaria....its not all nice work of course and the more I expect a tough trip, the more I'm surprised when it comes out nice. <A good adventure> I see you've gone to Clipperton. Was it nice? I don't envy the open water crossing at all. <Tough and rough getting there... not much lee there either for anchoring... but wide-open as you might presume... and some surprises in terms of species make up.> Anyone want a station set up, tuned up or divers trained that you know of. Eric at Sea Dwellers gave me an offer to do Fiji but its been done and done.  <Hmm, they have a business there already... Can, will keep you in mind as do hear of opportunities by the by> Svein seems to have a nice gig but I think he's supposed to support MAC automatically. [ The further they are from the field, the better the MAC stuff looks.] <I have chatted with him re... he and Alf are "on the take" I've tried to explain... by accepting "work" (paid) by Holthus and co... in Norway the perception seems to be quite different. Svein is a sharp fellow so I'm hopeful> I still have the calico passer...think anyone wants it?  <I'd bet most anything that it could, would sell to the right buyer for quite a bit. Have you approached the folks at Marine Center re? We know you could get more from somewhere by selling it direct... but they would very likely be able to sell it right away... do consider sending them a pic/link. I'll cc Randy Walker of MC here as well> Its not so colorful anymore without the sun and has washed out somewhat. Still different than a normal passer but not a clarion class fish at all anymore. I sold him for $1,750. but the guy kept it w/ 2 clarions. He beat up the clarions and earned a trip back here. My wife says he's losing 50 bucks a day in value w/out the sun [or diet]. <Ahh, the nice woman from Tonga? I met her a few times while you were here the last few times in San Diego> Is there really any call for consultants and troubleshooters. <Oh yes... though it does take some time to "build up a reputation", and clientele. Have you asked the Krechters (RK2) re possibilities? There are some good jobs in "helping manage" new exhibits, build-outs of public aquariums... perhaps Rock and Waterscapes? Have you heard that Bruce Carlson left the Waikiki to go to the new Atlanta Public Aquarium?> I know there a lot of richer people who buy their way into the trade without the ability to make things work. <Don't know if I follow you here... but in order for folks to make a small fortune in the trade such folks need to start with a large one... Much easier to "make money" in other fields... real estate sales, securities sales...> A big deal about So. Africa comes to mind that seems to have fizzled.  <The Rand is beat to death... you can buy a beer there for 9 cents, no joke. We're on out that way in July (and then off to the Mascarenes) if you'd like to go along> Its just knowing them perhaps. Oh well Bob, I'll let ya go. I'll let you know bout the Africanus if it comes about. Steve <Please do so... in the meanwhile let's keep positive, looking. Bob Fenner>

Cabo San Lucas Diving Hi Bob, I wouldn't bother you with this if I could find some info on it but...I am going to Cabo San Lucas with my wife and we both want to dive during our stay (June 4 thru June 11. <Okay> We are staying at a resort that is 5 miles north of town called Villa de Palmar. We also will have a car. So far I can't find any place on-line to book diving in Cabo. Can you recommend a dive shop ? <There are a few there... try: http://www.southoftheborder.com/diving.html http://www.mexonline.com/landsend.htm http://www.loscabosguide.com/diving/divsites.htm <Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks, Chuck Spyropulos

Re: Possible near-future trip to Loreto, Baja California Thanks for the heads up. Hmmmmmm....this does sound very interesting. When were you thinking about going? How many days? <About a week if we fly... maybe nine days (like weekend to weekend) if driving. About when would you like to go? Next month... toward Summer? Bob F> Ken Robert Fenner wrote: > In lower Baja... > http://www.bajaoutpost.com/english/Scuba_Diving/scuba_diving.html > This looks like a deal... so many days accommodation, most meals, two dives a day... and unlimited beer and margaritas! Let's go. > Bob F

Re: Possible near-future trip to Loreto, Baja California I'm in. <Hotay... let's make a plan for a time frame, transport, accommodation sharing. Bob F> Mike

Re: Possible near-future trip to Loreto, Baja California Bob, How long is the drive?  <Yikes... long... about fifteen hours... not counting stops... better to fly in... from LAX there are directs to Loreto! We can meet you there if any drive... I'd rather fly> I have a bad back, so I can not take long, long drives. Of course, I make exceptions for diving. :-). I have some extra airline miles, so I can do that. <At your age, a bad back? Young man...> Re the date, I'm pretty flexible. There is a weekend in April I can not go on. You know about Interzoo. As long as I have some notice to arrange it with the office, I'm good. I'd like to go soon :-). When is a good time of year to go? <Most anytime down south is fine... except Summer... too warm for me even this far down. Be chatting, discussing. Bob F> Ken

Re: Trip stuff Bob - Dog F, It was great to see you this past weekend wish I had spent more time with you guys. Hey quick question since you are the dive guru. I was wondering what would you think of diving down Baja mid-January????  <A good time... nice temperature, lower part of tourist season... many plants in bloom. Do check on the weather about the time you're off... do have periodic troubles at these times. But gas, local-friendliness in good, steady supply.> If you can let me know it would be great I won't be on line after 5pm today but who knows I'll probably be at work tomorrow, just checking in. If you could give me some advice on this I can post it too people, hope that your doing well out in San Diego, tell Moist I say hello, look forward to hearing from you and catch you later. Steph <Will do so. We have a section on Regional Acct. of fishes there posted on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/tepfwgv1.htm Be chatting, Bob F/Dog F>

Re: Back to fishes, here's a Mar de Cortez Holacanthus passer juvenile (and TMC in the UK) Hi Bob Hope all is good with you. Thanks for all the pics you have been sending in the last couple of weeks, there are some nice ones in there. <Thanks Derek. Let me know if the volume is excessive... I like to send one daily to friends while I'm changing -my wallpaper on the machines/computers> Do you know what is happening in Mexico at the moment, are there fishes coming out of there legally now?? <Yes, the last year and a half or so... steady shipments... saw some at facility last (the Garibaldi for instance). Mainly Steve Robinson and crew... and furthered through a few places in L.A. Will tell Steve you're looking for him if you'd like. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Best for now Derek.

Re: Back to fishes, here's a Mar de Cortez Holacanthus passer juvenile If Steve (or others) is able to ship directly from Mexico City to us here in London that would be interesting to know. Is quality OK from Steve?? <The quality is fine, consistent... but would be shipping out of the US in San Diego or Los Angeles likely... all coming out of Baja California just to the south of us here. Bob Fenner>

Creatures in Rocky Point Hi Bob, Just got back from a weekend at Rocky Point Mexico.  <Ah, Puerto Penasco...> I did a little snorkeling there and wonder if you can identify some of the things I saw. I saw some of what looked like common brown button polyps, a bright lime green coral that looked like Porites (is there Porites in the sea of Cortez?), <The first was likely a zoanthid of some sort... and yes to the Genus Porites in the Mar de Cortez> some damsel looking fish light blue body, black vertical bars and yellow on top 1/3rd of body, some fish that looked similar to a wrasse, they seemed to come in 2 different colors (kind of drab), about 8" long with a body shape similar to a wrasse, also a lot of gobies in the tidepools, about 1 1/2-2" in length, basically white/silver with black markings. Also saw lots of hermits (looked like red legged variety), snails (margaritas, Turbos and others I didn't recognize), and some shrimp that looked like peppermint shrimp but didn't have the red coloration, they were clear but had red bands around their claw legs. <Hmm, please see the section: "A Fishwatcher's Guide... to the Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific" posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... need to add a bunch of pix, sections here... have just returned from a week at Cabo...> Going to get certified this summer! Can't wait to check out some areas with really nice colorful fish and corals. Thinking about a fall trip to either Cozumel or Virgin Islands. Any opinion on which would be better for diving (lots of interesting stuff to see)? <Both Cozumel and the Virgins are fantastic... would encourage you to try the former first... very consistent, clear water conditions... much more to do on land...> Thanks for any info you can give! Kathy <Know you will enjoy the underwater world in first person. Bob Fenner>

Baja Import/Export Livestock Connection Hi Bob Have to do a quick dash to Asia in 2 weeks time, mostly to sort out additional supply for our new place which is opening in April. Will give you some more info on this later. <How nice... shame you can't make this late May, early June and make Aquarama in SG...> Not real up on Mexico. Is the area you are visiting near where they are collecting Mexico fishes/Inverts??  <No, it's the principal "tourist corridor" twixt Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo at "Land's End", the southern tip... Collecting mainly goes on about Loreto southward to Puerto Escondido...> Do you have any Mexican exporter contacts???  <Yes, the same tired traveler, but less expounding Steve Robinson...> I hear there is a fair amount of supply going into LAX these days??? <Yes... it's Steve, using the indigenous laborers of Baja... He has no phone, sigh... And "just brings up" what he can every couple of weeks... I will do my best to ask him to contact you... if/when I run into him...> Best regards Derek. <Hope to see you soon my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mud Filters, Expensive Chaetodontoplus,  Clarions/Mexico Collecting Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 01:05:44 EST  Hello Bob,  I have several questions today. My first: what is your opinion and what have you heard about the Eco System?  <Leng Sy's business? As in "Miracle Mud"? A strong concept, and "proven" technology... I use the same sorts of activity, applied principles in our experimental tanks, farm here... but not Leng's mud... too much money for my pocketbook> My friend and I just built a couple (can't build the mud though$$$).  <Ah... and for browsers, the link to this company is to be found on the pages of the same name on  www.wetwebmedia.com and considerably more on mud filtration in a FAQ archive file there of the same name> Due to some miscalculations, I built one suitable for an 80 gallon tank, but it is going on a 15 gallon reef. <No worries. Can't be too big... the reciprocal is possible> Next, my girlfriends 6 gallon Eclipse reef tank has a mantis shrimp in it.  <Keep the first, get rid of the last> I can only hear him. The trap to catch him is about as big as the damn tank. The only fish in it are a pair of tomato clowns. What can I do?  <Drain, the tank, inspect the removed rock (watch your fingers!). Do this while the girlfriend is away... as a present/gift... Much better than the very real possibility of this animal consuming the Clowns... much more overstressing...> Moving rocks is out of the question; it has done so well since we stopped messing with it. Last question: tell me everything you know about the Conspiculatus Angelfish. <A beauty, and if purchased healthy, gotten to feed on formulated foods, fresh/meaty ones... can be kept for many years... In very large systems (hundreds of gallons). Pretty much all I know is stored in archives on the genus Chaetodontoplus on the www.wetwebmedia.com site. Oh, and I think Leng still has one... gorgeous, at his shop in Orange County> I saw one today in a store in Oakland. No where have I seen a real price.  They just say "call us." Well, apparently if you have to "call" anyone for a price, you will not be happy. The thing cost $1500, and was already bought.  Is this a reasonable price? <A bit high... Maybe give the mail-order/internet businesses a ring, check pricing from them (FFExpress.com is a good start here)... s/b able to find a nice enough specimen for $500-800 US> I am intrigued by this terribly expensive  angelfish. Many angelfish from the region are not nearly as expensive. I know it comes from deep water. I am actually very curious about the techniques used to catch deep water fish, if you can point me towards and article. The store owner also said Clarions cannot be imported anymore.  True or not.  Thanks a lot,  Josh  <Actually, as of last year the "ban" on collection is Mexico is off, and the few Holacanthus clarionensis that were coming shatteringly (is this English?) from points further south have been surpassed by Steve Robinson's efforts in "the amigo country".... see the article et al on Clarion's posted on the WWM site as well. Bob Fenner>

I saw a juvenile Passer (King) Angelfish the other day at my LFS and was thinking of buying it. The fish is about 4 inches. Would this fish be ok in a 80 gal. Fish only tank with a miniatus grouper and maybe a couple of tangs?  Thanks, Brian >> A very good species, and about the perfect size specimen to start with... It should do fine with your present assortment. Bob Fenner

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