I haven't posted on this forum yet, but have been in the fish hobby for quite some time. I have been noticing something that has really concerned me and it just seems to be getting worse.
I live in the greater Seattle area and have noticed that we have been continually losing our quality fish stores over the last 10 to 15 years. Especially saltwater stores. We don't even have a reef club or reef swap to anymore (the Tri Cities even have one!!). With Red C Aquarium store closing down. We now have Dennys Pet World, The Fish Store, Barrier Reef Aquariums and a few others that make up the available retail stores we can visit between Everett and Tacoma. Sure I missed a few of the smaller shops or mixed pet shops but you get my point. We really have a limited selection. When we look at meet ups or frag swaps, this is even more limited with what is available. I remember there used to be a much larger selection of events that were held yearly for aquarium hobbyists. But it seems, with time, they keep dropping off.
Aside from online retailers what do you think the cause of this is? You look around the US and every region has big yearly expos that bring national attention to their regions for fish and reef hobbyists. Then you look at the Pacific Northwest and it is a black hole. We need to work together to bring this back!
I know we can be introverted people who don't like to always go outside of our house. But this is something that I dearly miss and believe many of you do as well.
So I propose we try to work on getting ourselves back to what used to be. We need to stat supporting our local fish stores. Regardless if their prices are a bit more expensive. Soon enough, we will reach a day where you have an emergency and are unable to find a store anywhere that can assist you quickly. Instead, you have to wait two days for your order to show up, which in many cases, will be too late.
I'm not trying to make this a personal rant, but something to wake us up to take notice of this issue and work on finding a solution. I, like many others absolutely love this hobby. As well as the people it attracts. I want to see our area known for having a great environment for aquarium hobbyists so we can bring in better stores and maybe, just maybe host an actual national expo here!
That being said, what do you all think we can do to bring this back? Do you agree with my thoughts on our dying culture here? And if so, help me to get this back on track! It will take a group to make this work so please help!
As many of you club members know we have a nice roster of reputable sponsors here on the PNWMAS forum, we don't have to look far for much around these parts. And I do enjoy giving different establishments my business, not only to increase my own aquariums diversity but so I can get a good idea of what said vendor has to offer. One of the most recent places I have had the pleasure of frequenting is a web site known as Zoanthids.com.
A fellow Zoa collector Mr.Bret and I decided it was due time for a purchase and pulled the trigger on an order from the fine establishment. I had frequented the site many times but never made the actual buy, until recently.
Very interesting shipping methods used here. Triple heat heat packs, wrapped, on top of styro peanut insulation, all inside a thick styrofoam container.
Within the shipping container was yet more containers in place of bags, each labeled with the name of the precious contents within...Mmmmm, Double Trouble.
After unscrewing the lids of the zoanthid compartments there was yet another form of insulation and protection for the polyps.
This little guy isn't going anywhere!
Pretty nifty idea right!?
As far as my purchases I had to have the Sun drops, Temptations, and Fairy Tales and Bret got the Monarchs and the Double Trouble zoas. We had only ordered one polyp of each but every frag we received was at least two or more heads. And, to top it all off there was Two bonus freebie frags included in the order that we had no idea were coming. So Cool!!!
I am giving Zoanthids.com a thumbs up!
I need to get some pictures of the polyps with a decent camera, some of these are intricate and need a macro shot to truly enjoy them without being here in person...Bare with me here.
Its been three month since I start my aquarium and it finished the cycle within two months. Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite are undetectable. I'm ready to add some corals now.
Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite Untraceble to the test kit
Temperature - 77 F (+/- 0.3 F)
Specific gravity 1.026
What is in my system now
Bought BRS Water saver plus RO/DI unit with the RO reserver tank/faucet (I could justify this to my wife DI unit is seperate- Who can resist clean water ) I have 40 lbs of CaribSea Speacial grade live sand ( it created 1" sandbed) and Dry rock from BRS. 50g Cube 8g sump 20g refugium with 20 lb of live sand (Looking for Macro Algae that won't go sexual) 10g RO/DI reservoir gravity fed with a fixed float valve Oceanreview T247 LED 10" above water surface running blue at 100% (0700 - 2200) and daylight at 50% (1200 - 1900) Skimz mini 143 skimmer Eheim heater I do 20% water changes every week BRS media rector (two chambers) Have two happy fat clowns that I bought in 2013 and the aquarium that hosted them have thousands of Ampe/cope pods which I will carefully transfer to the new sump
Plannig to add the followings soon
2 MP10's (will this be over kill? and does any one have MP10 that need to get rid of so I can get them cheap) Calcium reactor: Planning to buy AquaMaxx S-NANO Calcium Reactor ( any other suggestions are welcome) Aquarium monitor and control system (Reefkeeper or APEX? How about Seneye?)
Since this is a small tank I'm planning only to keep SPS, LPS (may be 2-3) and few Zoas. Following are what in my mind. They are pictures I got from internet and do not know the names of most of them (Can someone tell me the name of these corals). Obviously I won't be able to host all the SPS in my tank.
Following are the cleanup crew I'm planning to order.
Nassarius snails - 2 Blackfoot Trochus snail - 1 (After 6 months or if I have algae) Blueleg Hermit - 1 Regleg hermit - 1 Cerith snails - 4 Emerald crab - 1 (Tiny one after 1 year or if I have hair algae) Sand shifting goby - 1 (After 1 year. Can I add this guy since my sand grain size is large. Will the sand hurt it?) Papermint shrimp - 1 (After 6 months)
I would prefer to buy the coral from fellow reefers. Please let me know if you would like to sell some frags to me.
These are the questions I have now
Do I need to run Carbon and/or GFO now? Is it ok to add all corals over a short period of time (one month)? Do I need to increase the intensity of my LED for SPS? Am I giving them enough light without causing an algae issue? Do I need to get an algae scrubber although I have a refugium? I really love green manderin gobies.I had one male manderin a few years back that I trained to eat pallets. One day he decided to end his life, after staying 1.5 years with us, by jumping out (I forgot to add the screen) So I want to give another try with one of these guys may be after a year. Anyone knows a place that sells pallet trained healthy green manderins?
Your comments and feedbacks are much appreciated.
Looking for some cheaper frags of LPS, SPS and zoas hopefully in like the 5-10 range or can possibly trade for some. Right now the main thing I have to trade (due to a tank crash that im finally recovering from) is Duncan coral, I have a colony of around 150+ heads that I can frag (usually I sell it for about $8/head unless buying many heads).
Let me know what you have and what you want for it. Im really looking for some more torch corals also.