FAQs on Marine Systems
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18, FAQs 19,
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22, FAQs 23, Moving Aquarium Systems,
Related Articles: The History and Development of Aquatic
Habitats for the Marine Fish Hobbyist, Marine Set-Up, Reef Set-Up, Fish Only
Systems, Fish and Invertebrate Systems,
Small Marine Set-Ups, Large Marine Systems,
Cold/Cool Water Marine
Systems, Water Flow, How Much
is Enough, Moving Aquariums,
Personal Invitation: Leadership Roundtable Quick Livestock
I hope this finds you well.
<Well-enough. In for a back surgery on the 25th... >
Three questions for you:
• Where will the marine aquarium world be in the next 20 to 30 years —
especially with coming changes to our sources of livestock?
<The continuing trend of aquacultured available species, specimens...
Like freshwater; the majority tank bred/reared. New species and old
• Could the marine aquarium trade and hobby survive without wild
collection and imports?
<No; not long or well. Again, there are some notable freshwater
examples. E.g. most Symphysodon/Discus utilized in the ornamental trade
are cultured; but some small percent of wild stock is still collected...
and useful for genetic diversity>
• What do we need to do to ensure a healthy future for the keeping of
<Mmm; well.... this is a very much larger, more complex question. Better
PR, and by corollary less antagonism from the voting, vocal anti-trop
part of the citizenry; legal movements to put the kibosh on the
interest. Def. economies around the world that will/can choose to
support the marine hobby... it's drifted from middle class to upper
m.c., lower upper... with much more "other maintained" systems rather
than home hobbyists. The usual plug for good/useful readily available
information to slow down the rate of loss of hobbyists, consumers from
"anomalous" losses... A bunch more could be stated>
We will be publishing a Virtual Roundtable of the opinions on this
subject by a core group of marine aquarium leaders in the MACNA 2019
Program Book and online for the Conference.
<Ahh! Wish I was a speaker this year. Have an improved
"Economics/Finance of marine ornamental aquaculture" program... spiffed
up from L.V. last year>
Please join this very important, perhaps historic, exchange of views.
A quick, convenient Survey form can be reached at this link:
If you prefer, just send your email response directly to me by
responding to this message. Your contribution is needed by the July 16th
deadline, just one week from today.
Thanks for sharing your ideas and opinions.
<Cheers mate. BobF>
James M. Lawrence
Editor & Publisher
CORAL Magazine | MACNA Official Guide Book
Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC
Shelburne, VT 05482
Discussion with a long time hobbyist?
Hi Mr. Fenner,
I was reminded of you through a Reddit post that I created. I’ll keep
this brief, I promise.
<Take your time>
I’m a 41 year old guy recently unemployed for the first time in 25
years. I’m also in the process of finally finishing my college degree
(B.S. Business Management.) I am working on my final capstone project
where part of the project is to research a particular industry – or in
this case, hobby. I’m looking for someone to chat with (a few emails
back and forth at most) regarding the technological and scientific
advancements in the hobby in the past 20-30 years or so. I have a lot of
information so far, but I’d like to get information from someone who has
seen it firsthand. I’m afraid I have little to offer in return, other
than to say that I always enjoy reading your website – the way you
answer inquiries keeps me amused and informed all at the same time.
Let me know if you would be interested in sharing some of your
experiences – I appreciate your time.
<Glad to be of assistance. Bob Fenner>
Re: Discussion with a long time hobbyist?
Thank you Mr. Fenner,
<Happy to help>
I am attempting to enlist the experiences of the more notable experts in
the hobby. I have prepared a short list of questions – any information
that you would like to share will be very much appreciated. The
information provided will be used only to provide a synopsis of trends
in the industry – no identifying information will be presented unless
you would like to be a cited source for the history part of my
presentation. Again, this is only for my capstone project – the only
thing I will gain from this is a passing grade :)
1. How long have you been involved in the aquaria hobby?
<49 years about>
2. What “flavor” of the hobby have you mostly focused on (freshwater
tropical, freshwater planted, specific species (cichlids, etc.) marine,
<The last twenty five or so, marine, before; freshwater, plants, ponds,
3. Are you a known expert/contributor to the hobby? If so, what online
“haunt” are you most known for being associated with?
<Mmm; likely the website WetWebMedia.com, but have a bunch of titles,
several hundred articles in print>
4. Are you a known expert on a specific subject within the hobby
(natural planted tanks, specific species, special landscape styles,
<Don't think anything specifically. Have helped popularize ideas,
practices... the use of refugiums, dipping/bath procedures in the
5. Regarding when you first seriously became involved in the hobby until
present, what would you say the biggest change has been in the hobby?
<The biggest... filtration, lighting, circulation.... May be the Net, as
a vehicle for dissemination of inspiration, input...>
Have you been instrumental in any big changes?
<Perhaps a small part>
6. Same as above, except what would you say has remained constant
<The basics... of biology, applied technology... the human interface at
7. What do you consider to be the biggest misconception regarding the
<By lay people, that it is an important source of human-caused aquatic
life mortality, that it contributes to degradation of the environment.
The fact of the matter is the opposite: that encouraging folks to
carefully use their natural resources, they are compelled to preserve
8. Any further comments regarding the evolution of the hobby?
<A joyous place, activity. Oh for a world where most people can have a
brush with the natural world. The future is more captive production, but
I fear that human population growth, apathy and avarice will be all's
Once again, thank you for your time – I greatly appreciate it.
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Discussion with a long time hobbyist?
Thank you! This was perfect, and right along the lines of what I was
<Ahh! Do make it known if you'd like "elaboration" (I swear not
pontification... well, not much). Cheers, BobF>
AHHS: ADDITIONS TO THE FILES SECTION AND MY DROPBOX.
Al Klee's history of the aq. hobby 1/3/14
(1) I have uploaded a new article to the Files section titled, “The Myth
of the Roman Aquarium: Reflections on Aquarium Hobby History Research.”
(Note to Bob Fenner: If you want to use this version on WetWebMedia, by
all means do so. It differs only in having four illustrations and being
in pdf form.)
<Will look/see Al>
(2) I have added this to my
Compendium and this version has been uploaded to my DropBox.
(3) Lastly, I have made some changes to my “Toy Fish,”
called it the Fourth Edition and uploaded it to my DropBox. In the main,
only minor additions have been made in this edition.
In Chapter 10, for example, the publication history of Mulertt's “The
Aquarium” has been expanded; in Chapter 13 a family portrait of William
T. Innes (with his mother, grandmother and daughter) has been added; and
in Chapter 16 additional information about “The Fish Fancier” has been
added as well as an image of the first issue of the magazine. A number
of additions have also been made to the bibliography and corrections
have made to the Index. In the “The History of Glass” (Addendum A6),
however, considerable material (5 pages) has been added concerning the
First Century Romans and their dining habits, as well as a refutation of
the assertion that the Romans of that time had fish tanks made of marble
with one side of flat glass.
The Compendium and the Toy Fish, Fourth Edition, can be
downloaded from my DropBox using the following URL: http://tinyurl.com/lao6q2b
Article Submission. Romans, aquarium history
Attached is an article I am submitting for publication consideration at
<Looks like your usual good work. How much compensation are you wanting
to have it posted (non-exclusive) on WWM? BobF>
Re: Article Submission 1/1/14
What compensation? If you like it, post it.
<Mmm; well, I/we don't mind paying for content>
I'm not sure what you mean by "non-exclusive."
<Oh! We/WWM don't buy "universal rights" to others content. In other
words, you are (certainly) free to sell, post the work else/anywhere>
Well, I do know what the words mean but not in this context. In any
event I'd like to see this piece get the greatest possible coverage.
As you know I have been nibbling away at this topic on the AHHS site for
some time now, but I finally decided to get serious and do it right.
<Thank you. Will post on the morrow w/ credit to you. Cheers, BobF, who
last saw you here in San Diego in 1971 I believe... after the bard of
fishes had passed, you'd taken over the helm of The Aquarium
Minor Corrections 1/3/14
Thanks for posting my material, folks. By the way, if you haven't
already done it, please remove the email at the bottom.
<Ah, yes Al. Have done:
Also, if you can do it, could you please add the subtitle, “Reflections
on Aquarium Hobby History Research,” so that the title reads “The Myth
of the Roman Aquarium: Reflections on Aquarium Hobby History Research.”
If not, no big deal.
Again, many thanks,
<Will add next day. Cheers, BobF>
Email still there
I just checked the website and although you added the subtitle as I
asked, that email crap is still at the bottom,
<... that it provides some backgd. on who you are, how the work came to
be placed on WWM is not "crap">
which doesn’t make either of us look good. Since you have to delete it,
why not delete everything and use the attached pdf file?
<... as you wish. B>
Re: Old thread...new comment, history, evolution of the
Cheers as always for the quick response. Unfortunately not going to be
at the conference...the joys of working and studying at the same time
tend to have a somewhat deleterious effect on free time and disposable
income. Then again, so does fish-keeping (4 systems and
counting...going to need a bigger house soon!) so what am I complaining
<Life? No sense>
If you're attending any functions in Aus in the foreseeable future,
let me know as I'd certainly appreciate the opportunity to take you
up on your invitation to bend your ear with a few questions (not to
mention the fact that I've never attended an industry conference
<None planned, but/though the airfares are very reasonable currently
from the U.S. to/from there. Will be in Asia in a couple weeks for
thirty some days>
As for a possible presentation on the evolution of the hobby...
I'll have to chew that one over. I do incidentally have a work
background which includes biology and adult education (i.e. have given
more than my fair share of presentations), however as someone with only
a few years in the hobby I think I would be suffering from a case of
"what would I have to present that the audience wouldn't
<I know this sensation>
Anyways, all the best. More questions coming soon, I'm sure (and
take the hint to try and keep emails smaller than my usual novels in
<Be chatting, BobF>
New to the dark side - 11/29/05 Hi! I've taken care for a
freshwater fish tank for 3 years now, and so far none of my fish have
died. I want to try a marine aquarium, but I'm a little afraid.
I'm willing to buy all supplies and equipment needed to start one.
Are marine aquariums for experts? <Certainly not. But they do
require a bit of research. WWM should help you there! It's much
easier if you take your time in setting it up.> And I have one more
question. I have actually been doing a lot of research on marine
aquariums. <good to hear!> I went to my local Petco to check out
the livestock. I found out that they did not have any kind of warranty
for marine fish. I was thinking about getting tangs, so I went to the
section. I found a few Naso tangs that I really liked. The thing was,
they were swimming kind of slow, and they had weird brownish and
blackish spots around the gill area. Should I buy fish from there, or
should I go to a marine specialty shop if I do start the marine hobby?
<I would prefer a specialty shop myself... but be sure to quarantine
any livestock for at least a month to be safe. Do read up on Naso Tangs
- they need a large tank - and avoid having more than one tang unless
you are planning on a very large system indeed.> Thanks a Lot!
<You're welcome! Regards from Shanghai, John>
Petfish Acronyms, Arcane Terminology Bob: Will try to be more
economical with my questions. I am awaiting delivery of your TCMA and
Anthony's RI among other saltwater related books. I have Googled
WWM for "acronyms", "abbreviations", "WWM
terms", "industry terms" and several other key words or
phrases to no avail. Where may I find a list of their meanings. Most I
have been able to recognize but some still elude me. TYVM, Benjamin
<Ahh, the mystery... do please send along these curiosities... We
don't have a thesaurus or ornamental lexicography per se... Bob
Fenner> "Beautiful Hair Algae" Bob, <James>
When you get time you may find this item interesting. Back
in the late 60's in my freshwater days I heard of a new shop
opening about 12 miles away, "Love's Aquarium". <Heee!
An appropriate name for the times... Did they have paisleys and peace
signs on their windows?> While browsing through the store I came
upon 7 or 8 crystal clear tanks with fish that had colors I've
never saw before....gorgeous. My first encounter face to
face with marine fish. Naturally I had to have a saltwater
tank. Anyway to shorten this up, several weeks later, again
at Love's, I came upon this beautiful mustard yellow
fish. Tom says (Love) that's a yellow tang.
Wrap him up Tom. Not so fast Jim. This fish
requires a healthy green algae growth to survive
(1969). Well, I didn't have algae. I did
everything imaginable to grow it. Daylight, warm white, cool
white, plant lights, no algae. Also didn't use skimmers
or wet/dries then. So, no algae, no tang. A few
years later Aquarium Systems came out with "Sea
Garden". The answer to my prayers. Off we
went to get Sea Garden. In two weeks, I'll have my
yellow tang. No you won't, still no algae. OK
Bob, bottom line is, back then I pulled my hair out trying to grow
algae to no avail. Why is it now, that one of the biggest
problems with marine systems is the prevention of algae, when over 30
years ago, I couldn't grow it to win a bet? I always
think about that when I get an algae outbreak. Jim (Salty Dog) James
Gasta <Yet another example of "Murphy's Law" in
Research paper Hello Bob, If you think it's good enough
to post on WWM, I would be proud to have it appear. Thanks and Peace,
<Thank you Joe. Will indeed post. Bob Fenner>