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FAQs about Aquarium Friends, Associations

Related Articles: Using the Internet: A Reefkeeper's Best 10,000 Friends by Travis Staut  Aquarium Clubs/Associations, Collecting Aquarium Literature, Finding Help on the Net

Related FAQs:  Natural Marine Aquarium: Reef Invertebrates book

Pics From Chatuchak Market in Bangkok   3/14/12
<Hey Per>
Most of the shops are closed on weekdays except the pet shops. The local reef club has a member's lounge set up here. <Nice, B>

Your thoughts on a good forum to join   9/17/11
Hello crew.
I've read so many of your FAQ's to aid me with so many different issues that I have experienced over the last 5 years of being in this hobby. However for me it's not simply a "hobby".
<Oh, I/we do understand>
 It is a passion that, for reasons unknown to me, the people closest to me just don't seem to "get". So my question is simple. I need an outlet for all my "fish talk"(as that is what those close to me have begun calling it) and I was just curious if any of you had any suggestions for any good internet forums geared toward marine aquarists.
<Oh! Several... Reef Addicts, Reefs.org, Reef Builders... many more... best to peruse what is posted, see if you "click" w/ the folks there.>
I realize that they are plentiful but I hoped by asking your thoughts I could narrow it down to a select few. Thanks for the time.
Alan Auman-Terre Haute, IN
<Oh! And am sure you are familiar w/ friend Morgan Lidster and his co. there in your town: Inland Aquatics. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Your thoughts on a good forum to join   9/17/11

Mr. Fenner,
Thanks so much for your speedy reply as I'm sure you are very busy.
<A bit currently but always pleasurable to spend time/share w/ a someone who is passionate in the field>
I certainly will check out the forums that you have mentioned. I wasn't aware that you were friends with Morgan over at Inland Aquatics, though I have seen his companies name on WWM a few different times.
<Ah yes. A fine fellow>
They are great folks over there and I feel very lucky to have such an excellent source of information and livestock right here in my own backyard. Again, thanks so much for your reply.
<Thank you, BobF

question for Mr. Bob Fenner. A request for referral  12/01/08 Hi, I'm Josh, a member of a forum called modernreefkeepers.com and we are interested in boosting our member base. We are a free site but ask members to donate to Coral Reef Alliance. <http://www.coral.org/> I know you and your team are a wealth of knowledge and would love it if you could help spread the word. Ask anyone who joins to use me as a reference. they only need to put my first name in the referral box. Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you for even looking my email over. Thank you, Josh Cyrus <Will post. Bob Fenner>

Is <sic> there any saltwater fish retailers/brokers in south Africa?     9/20/08 <Mmm, yes. I have had occasion to "meet" with some members of a great club/association in SA... Their URL here: http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/forumdisplay.php?f=95 I would peruse their site, join, and get out and about with them to visit sources there. Bob Fenner>

LFS in West Chicago Area  - 7/1/08 Hi Bob, <Peggy> At the risk of imposing on your valuable time, I have a good customer moving to the west side of Chicago due to employment change who has asked me if I know of any good LFS's in that area. I don't but naturally thought of you and assumed you would. If you'd care to opine, I'd be grateful. <Have been to the Windy City a few times, even visited some very nice stores there, but can't recall much re their actual names... But there are friends, WWM Crewmembers who do reside there, and am asking them here to chime in re. Cheers! BobF> Thanks Bob. Peggy www.all-reef.com

Re: LFS in West Chicago Area 7/1/08 I believe it is Olde Town Aquariums that everyone loves, I'm not sure I have every been there. Most of the stores I have frequented I have to walk around with my fingers in my ears to keep my blood pressure down, by some nice livestock can be found. I've spent a bunch of money at Old Orchard Aquariums and Aquarium Adventures. Living Sea is probably the best known in the area, along with Scott's Petshop. There are a few smaller shops like Beyond the Reef and Advanced Aquatics around as well. <Thank you for sharing Chris. BobF>

Re: LFS in West Chicago Area Olde Towne has healthy stock, but not too much of a selection. My two favorites are Aquarium Adventure (Hoffman Estates, I believe) and Old Orchard Aquarium (Skokie). Personally, I think Scott's (Westchester) keeps fish in appalling conditions and I don't like to shop there. Living Sea's OK (although I know Jeni disagrees). Just my two cents! Jorie <Thank you Jor. BobF>

Re: LFS in West Chicago Area Many thanks Bob. <Welcome Peg! I wish we were there eating at Pizzeria Uno (or Dewey!) right now! Well, back to work. B>

Just moved to San Diego, LFS search  - 06/29/08 Hi Bob, My wife, kids, Labrador, and reef tanks finally moved back to San Diego after 11 years. Over that time I've fostered my own reef tanks and so far, surprisingly, everyone has come through the move alive and well. Can you give me any insights as to what the best reef stores are here in San Diego? <Will try... there are too few... Pat Hurley's Aquatic Whse. in Kearny Mesa and Ron Elander's Octopus's Garden in Clairemont... and the Hoffa's Fountain's Aquarium in La Mesa are the ones I'm most familiar with... But there are a few others... Vet's Pets? out east... I do encourage you to look up/attend the newly-rejuvenated SDMAS... they can be found via the Net... Hope to see you about> I've tried finding Wet Pets without any luck. <Ah, no... our stores closed down in the early nineties> We live in Rancho Penasquitos but I'm willing to drive... Thanks for your time, Cliff <Glad to share. 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>

Petfishing in San Diego  6/26/06 I had no Idea that you all were here in San Diego, quick question.....what's your favorite LFS ? <Mmm, a toss-up tween AquaFauna, Octopus' Garden and Fountain's... for various good aspects. BobF> have you been to brilliant reef? I love it there <Ah, yes. Very nice fellow who bought it from Vic of VJ's. BobF> A visitor to San Diego   3/19/06 I just wanted to thank you for your great website, already have a tank but am thinking of upgrading and have a thousand questions but am reading and reading more first to find the answers I need. One question I would like to ask if may, my partner and I are hoping to visit California later this year, and from what I've read I believe you live in San Diego ? <Yes> Could you recommend an Aquarium for us to visit ?   <Of a certainty... I would go to the Stephen Birch... a program of the University of California at San Diego... and take in the original SeaWorld (opened in 1963), as well as a few of our nicer retail stores... Aquafauna, Octopus' Garden, Fountain's...> From what I can tell there are several but would like to visit a really good one. Will be flying into San Francisco and driving down the coast to San Diego so any recommendation you can make would be much appreciated. <Mmm, many facilities that you might tour in Los Angeles (LAX) area. Do you have a specialty? Bob Fenner> Many thanks Martin

Re: A visitor to S. Ca. Thanks so much for a very quick reply, never expected to hear from you so soon.  No specialty here, but marine displays here are few and far between so would like to take the opportunity whilst we are on your side of the pond.  At the moment I only have a 200 ltr tank with two percula clowns, some yellow polyps, some pulsing xenia and some mushrooms, so pretty much a beginner (been going about 12 months). Oh and a Goniopora which I bought under recommendation from the LFS, now I know I should have read up about it before taking their advice ! Cheers Martin <Ahh! There are many such shops that you'd enjoy seeing... but they are spread about. My advice is to use directories like the telephone companies Yellow Pages and Net map services to find, make itineraries... lay out where you want to go... leave plenty of time for traffic... Call on local folks to show you about (perhaps there will be club meetings, even "tank tours" during your visit) to get you about, make introductions. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Glossary - 3/7/2006 Hi everyone, <<Hi Ian.>> Does a glossary exist anywhere that explains all your acronyms and "tank talk", so a newcomer can come to grips quickly with what is being discussed? <<Yes. Read here: http://wetwebfotos.com/Home?actionRequest=articleView&articleID=253.  Lisa.>> Regards, Ian

Chi town LFSs 28 Jun 2005 Bob: <Ben> Is there a fish/coral store-supplier in the greater Chicago area that you trust? I have visited two stores near my house (Hinsdale) and both make me cringe with overheard advise to customers. Sincerely, Ben <Am unfamiliar with the stores there... I would check on the Net, through pet-fish BB's, and fish clubs for other members endorsements here. Bob Fenner> Abbreviations Hi crew: <Alfonso> Looooong time reader, not much of a question poster, basically because someone else always seems to ask first. ;). Any way, due to the fact that many of your readers are new to the hobby, and others not so new, but still learning a lot (like me), and also because I have always been an abbreviation illiterate, I will like to submit the following link (found in Reef Central) which has been very helpful. Hope it helps someone as much as it has helped me. Cheers!! http://www.megapathdsl.net/~fmariani/abbreviations.htm   Alfonso Garza Vasconcelos <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

Michigan Local Stores 4 April 2005 I'm moving to northern Michigan this summer (Petoskey). Any recommendations on marine aquarium stores or resources to find stores.  <Let me begin with suggesting www.michiganreefers.com. Its an amazing source of information. Including places to shop. Also there is a great conference getting ready to take place up there that would be a great source of information. Check out http://www.masm.org/MMC/default.asp.>  Thanks  <Good luck, MacL> 

Looking for fish stores in your area Do you Know any good/reputable Fish stores in New York/New York City, particularly Queens Jahner <Nope, I'd run this question by the BB's like ReefCentral, Reefs.org for a broader input. Bob Fenner> Article Hi Bob, I've made the changes you were so kind as to suggest and sent the article to Rob, who forwarded to the TFH editor. Also, as promised, here are .doc and .rtf versions for the WetWebMedia site. Thanks again for your time and guidance, on this issue and many others. Travis <Thank you my friend. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Article Bob, I found my way to the article and your comments. They are all much appreciated. I wanted to see how bad the damage was before saying this :) but yes, you may certainly leave the article posted! <Very well. Will remove the suggested changes parts at your direction, supplant the piece with your changes...> If you have any other comments about the article in general, I'm quite used to criticism (constructive and otherwise...) of my writing, so please fire away! It can only make the end product better. <It is fine. Useful, literate as it is> Do you have any general advice for submitting such an article to the publications? Specifically, should I submit to all at once or only one at a time and wait for response? <One at a time... to your fave, choice first... and if rejected (which I doubt), off to the next. Perhaps you might include a scan, graphic of your design to go along with the submission> This has been a real pleasure, Bob, and I can't thank you enough. Travis <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Article (reefkeepers best friends) Hi Bob, I've been reading your FAQ's for months and thoroughly enjoyed the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I could have many questions to ask about reef tanks and the care of our inhabitants, but my real purpose today is to ask you about writing. I find your style to be captivating, more so in your FAQs than in the CMA due to necessary differences in tone.  <You are correct. Thank you for your kind words> Either way, you're the writer I'd like to have help me if possible.  <Gladly> I'm an advertising writer by trade, but have always aspired to be published in other fields. I found myself wondering why the following article hadn't been written yet (to my knowledge), so I did it myself. I'd love to hear your advice, opinions and criticisms. I'll attach the article with the hope that you have the time to work with me a bit. If not, I completely understand. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so openly with the aquarium world either way. <Mmm, how best to proceed? The piece has definite merit in content and a good format. I would make a few mechanical changes... and place/submit it with/to your favorite hobby magazine (any: TFH, FAMA, AFM...) for publication. Might I post the article and my suggested changes (in emboldened italics) on WWM with links, a note back to you? If you prefer that it not be permanently archived there I can remove it after our going back and forth. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Travis E Staut 

RE: Article Wow. The rumors of your response time are true! Thank you so much for taking the time. Proceed however suits you best- your suggested plan is fine with me! <Real good. Will go over, send URL later today. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Travis

Marine BB's thanks for info do u know of any online chat rooms for marine fishkeeping. dave <Oh yes: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/, reefcentral.com, reefs.org... Bob Fenner>

Ending it all - 1/24/04   Hi guys, Right now  I am very very annoyed!!! <Sorry to hear. What's up?>  You see I have a 75 gallon tank with only a tang, a clown, a cardinal fish, and a wrasse. <Okiday>  Sounds ok but not if you've gone through 9 fish. <Whoa! OK. Back the truck up here, how old is this tank and when was your last death??>  All which died from freak accidents. <Does happen from time to time>  e.g.. sucked up in power heads, <That is why power heads are such a pain> tank temp gone up. <Hmmm.... Any idea why this happened or at least what actually was the cause? I use an AquaLogic dual controller - one with the heater connected to one side and the other side connected to a fan (or better yet a chiller)> So anyways I cant take this anymore and am thinking of selling the tank. <Hold on here.... have you at least learned from your mistakes? I totally understand getting frustrated, annoyed, angry, saddened, and depressed over the loss of our pets and the various charges in our care, but this is a hobby based on experience. It takes time to learn what works and what doesn't. I too, have experienced moments of doubt and regret over this hobby for many reasons. (actually quite frequently) Deaths, ethical issues, expenses, time, and of course the stress of it all drives me to self doubt and thoughts of selling it off and letting it become someone else's problem. When I really sit down and think about the joy of the science, the beauty of the animals, and all the people I have met and had the pleasure to discuss the hobby with, I actually come around to the conclusion that this is a wonderful experience and it makes me a better person for doing it. I have been thoroughly educated on the plight of the ocean and its inhabitants, I have become a diver and seen many wonderful cultures in far off places and some of the most magnificent reefs on earth, met a few of my best friends through this hobby, and more times than I can count exhibited extreme excitement for what wonder my tank may next hold within, and all of this makes all the loss, frustration, and stress worth while. It is a marriage of sorts. You just need to find some middle ground and talk yourself through what you like and dislike about your situation.> Do you think I should do this or just live with stress of things dying....<I think you need to look at what the issues are and do your best to prevent them. There is more education, not only on this site, but at your local reef clubs, forums, websites, and books. Get involved. Learn from experiences (your own and others) and educate yourself for the what the future might hold. Create a plan (what it is you want your tank to look like, what it will cost, and how much time it will take to maintain) then execute with some diligence and patience mixed in. Scott, I would re-evaluate, find the issues and try to prevent them. Think beyond the fish and the environment the best you can. The decision is yours my friend, just do your best and with time comes knowledge. Keep your head up in all you do. ~Paul> Scott.

- WWM Kudos - Hi Ladies and Gents, Thanks for putting up with dumbasses like me (especially J.) asking dumbass Q's (Brown sand for instance!?!). <Appreciate the kind words - but you do realize the only dumbass questions are the ones that remain unasked.> Having read and re-read a lot of the information on this site, I have my 100 Gal tank up and running for 5 weeks now. 100 Lbs LR, going pink and busting with life, 2 Orange Dartfish, Green Xenia, Anemonestone and 10 Turbos and that's it for now..  EVERY person I spoke to beforehand furrowed their brow, sucked a deep breath and said "oohhh, y' don't wanna do that.", Then listed a plethora of 'reasons' why keeping a marine tank is a waste of time, money and far too difficult to provide any enjoyment. Not one person said "good on you, bet it'll look great".  The point I'm trying to make is, you don't only provide a valuable service from a purely practical point of view, but you also act as psychological backup. Here in the dark, wet Northwest of England our services are somewhat limited. No marine club or society. Only one inadequately stocked LFS and I have no friends who are into the hobby, so your collective efforts have and will continue to be my primary source of information and support. <Glad we could be of help/service.> Thank you very much. BTW, am Setting up a 'fuge, so....I'll be back. Cheers, Duncan McCombie.
<Cheers, J -- >

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