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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-14-2012 07:37 PM
jellie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Mix View Post
...how are these mini cories and some of your gobies, etc., doing in the wild, do you know? Is this information surveyed and/or readily available to you?
I read articles about our fish in the wild all the time.... from magazines to online to youtube documentaries, there's plenty published. If you're researching your species, chances are you will find. It's funny too when you run across people you recognize. I ran into hydrophyte/Devin Biggs's tank in a print magazine and then I saw that Gorillas in the Mist tank in an online publication.

And my shot in the dark, I think some people would have reservations about wild collecting because it seems hypocritical and inhumane to remove someone from their perfect habitat into our fluctuating mini systems, including the system of transporting them to us.

I don't mind collecting because it's impossible to educate someone about loving the planet if you're not experiencing it, and what better first step than to have a part of the planet in your home to care for- and then hopefully to visit its habitat in the future? Sadly, this is not good business.
12-14-2012 04:11 PM
Trail_Mix
Quote:
Originally Posted by acitydweller View Post
@ Trail_Mix i also gave you a baggie of subwassertang though it was after you had already purchased some from a LFS. I was too slow to the draw
Oh no, I purchased some Monoslenium tenerum! It's another liverwort, which is often mislabeled as Pellia.
12-14-2012 04:09 PM
Trail_Mix
Awesome, thanks for the detailed reply Frank!

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Not sure what you mean by mixed genetics. It's the captive-bred stuff that has had it's genetics modified (for color, size, etc). Wild fish are as nature intended them to be. Some are always colorful, others color up only during breeding. I think this may turn off a lot of people because the want instant gratification rather than working with the fish and getting to to color up naturally.
Good point, I wasn't thinking of that when I typed all that up. Also many "fish keepers," don't expect their fish to live very long, even though it's their own fault and preventable. It's like they think fish only live for a month or something... if that. It always surprises me to find out people keep feeder fish as pets, or when people cry that their goldfish they won at the carnival didn't last. Did you really expect it to? Not saying they never do, I've heard stories of them lasting a long time, but it's certainly not common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Unless they are being smuggled in, you will not see endangered fishes (CITES Appendix 1) being imported for the pet trade. In the past, the Aquarium has gotten confiscated Appendix 1 fishes, but they were brought in by individuals, not through the pet industry. Although it does happen. One importer got a bag of Pangasius sanitwongsei by accident (they were supposed to be Pangasius hypophthalmus), and they were confiscated by the USFWS.
Unfortunate to hear about the mix up, but that is good to know that at least somebody is trying to do something about it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Going by the IUCN listings, the fish I bring in appear to be doing well. Nothing endangered or threatened. I also police myself as I sometimes see fishes on the import lists that come from very limited ranges (mostly loaches), so I don't bother with them.
Good to know as well, as I definitely plan on making future trips out to you and purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
But you need to know where the wild fish are coming from, in this case. Cardinals/Neons from Columbia are to be avoided, IME. Brazilian ones are hardy.
Interesting, I didn't know that. Do you know why this is? And is this true of many other wild species? Or is this specific to Cardinals and Neons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Remember: if they are too uncommon, you probably will not see them offered too often, if at all. It has to be worthwhile for the collector to collect these critters. This is a problem with some of the fish I request. They are not rare/endangered, just not easy to collect because they are spread out so much.
Another interesting point, and it makes a lot of sense. I guess the reason I didn't think of that is cause of those rare Crypts, Buces, and other Aroids I'm into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
I work with Lake Vic and Madagascar endangered species, and the goal is to reintroduce them back into their habitat. Problem is this: will there be a habitat to reintroduce them to. so far, the Madagascar project has had some success.
That is really good to hear, I mentioned that I am not doing anything myself to reintroduce any species to the wild, well, at least not at this time. I would really like to in the future. But that is more due to the fact that I just don't have the capacity to do so right now.

But that is really sad what you mentioned about the habitat destruction, and it goes back to what I was saying in my post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Which is the biggest part of animal husbandry. Once the animal enters our lives, it is our responsibility to maintain it in the best conditions possible. If you can't maintain it, don't buy it. You don't know how many calls we get from folks wanting us to take their pacus/oscars/gars/sharks/redtail cats, etc. We can't take them as we have no room. So what happens? They usually get released into local waters. I've caught oscars and one blue crayfish in Massapequa Preserve, Pacu are commonly caught in Lake Ronkonkoma (mistaken for piranah), and I've seen guppies in the Peconic. All this does in give lawmakers reason to ban things. In fact, I am waiting to see the results of NY's new invasive/non native species law that goes into effect I think the end of this month. I have yet to see the list of prohibited species, but was told that there will be some commonly seen tropical fish species on the list. Given that ALL the species imported for the trade are not native to NY, this should be interesting. For example, goldfish and koi are invasive. Are they going to ban them? And several plant species will also be listed (Cabomba, for one, even though the aquarium strain can not survive our winters. Several lakes here on the Island are choked with this plant, and supposedly it happen because, and this is a quote from one of our lawmakers, someone "dumped their fish into Belmont Lake"). Like I said, this is going to be interesting.
This really drives me crazy, and always has, I hate when people throw their overgrown pets into local waters, especially if they have potential to really do damage to the local eco-system. Granted, many people don't know when they buy these fish that they will grow so large, but many also don't care. And frankly, even if you don't know to begin with, you probably shouldn't be buying the fish to begin with. Especially Oscars and Pacus etc., which are generally pretty epensive. I also hate pet shops that don't inform people of how large some fish will get, though many aren't even aware of it, not that that is any excuse at all! In fact, you shouldn't even be selling fish if you don't even know how large they get, or take the time to find out. It's not like it takes more than a 30 second google search these days.

I know that most plecos tend to get super large. But I've also heard they won't grow as large if they don't have sufficient space. Is this true? And does it harm the fish in anyway if they are limiting their growth?

Like you said, this comes down to the money, and so many people want "something to eat their algae," when they really should just do more to maintain their tanks. And there are alternatives, though I suppose Amanos are hard to find for most people, and ottos can be a little pricey compared to your average pleco. And (though I doubt the type of stores we are talking about would care even if they knew,) don't ottos prefer to be kept in good sized groups?

You know, I recently had a guy at Beital's Aquarium in Pearl River tell me that I could keep up to four freshwater rays in a 40g... I didn't even know what to say to him, especially since the guy had a nasty attitude to begin with. I mean the place mostly deals with high-end salt-water fish, but still! There is one fish, (I forget the name, some sort of gar I think?) that doesn't even have close enough room to turn around. It has been floating sadly on the bottom of the tank facing the same direction since the first day I walked in there. I really need to find some better stores to support in the area. Can anyone recommend me some good spots within a half hour drive of Nyack? It's in Rockland County if you need a point of reference.

I am also now interested in the policy making you mentioned, and will start keeping tabs on what the lawmakers are doing, even though I can't stand politics in general, and if these invasive species really are causing a problem, then perhaps it is for the best. Is there some sort of license you can get to keep banned fish?

That's also interesting regarding the Cambomba out on L.I., considering, like you said, that they don't survive our winters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
Quite simple: bottom line. If you don't sell them something, another store might and you've lost the sale. That's why I don't work retail any more.
Yes, again, it's all about the money, guess that's just another reason they call it the root of all evil. Can't live with it, but you certainly can't live without it, especially these days. But seriously, if money is all you care about, go sell some drugs or counterfeit some money... not saying I condone that, but as you can clearly tell, irresponsible LFS's really make my blood boil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
AFAIK, they are doing well. I use the IUCN as a guide. Also remember that many of these fi sh produce lots and lots of eggs, so the removal of a portion of these fish really has little impact on the total population.
That's a good point about how prolific some of these fish are, well, if they're bred right like you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksaquarium View Post
I don't deal with crays anymore. They are a disaster waiting to happen, esp. the pathogenic one.
What do you mean by this? Can you elaborate a little please?
12-14-2012 03:32 PM
acitydweller @ Trail_Mix i also gave you a baggie of subwassertang though it was after you had already purchased some from a LFS. I was too slow to the draw
12-14-2012 03:23 PM
Trail_Mix
Quote:
Originally Posted by cprash View Post
Great points Tommy, I read the entire thing.
Awesome, thanks! I was afraid I might be preaching to the choir, but then I was afraid I might be preaching to an empty church, haha. And also thanks again so much for the subwassertang and other plants! (That was you who gave me the plants right? I'm sorry, I forget. Oh, and if so, was that an Anubias nana petite or just a regular nana? And what were the stems? I think I know what they are, but just thought I might as well ask to make sure since so many of them look similar and I'm bad with names, despite my love for aquatic plants Oh, and also I'm considering growing most of them emersed Zapins style, at least for now, and that can make IDing plants difficult)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Mix View Post
a really nice guy named Jimmy who always spoke what I called "Chinglish" to me.
Just wanted to note, I didn't mean anything by that, I speak Cantonese and Mandarin (in addition to English and Ebonics lol), and this guy loved to talk in what was pretty much a 50/50 mix of Canto and English to me. Maybe it was some inside joke cause I'm half Chinese, but anyway, I thought it was hysterical. In retrospect, I'm not sure why I found it so funny, since most Hong Kongers, or at least the younger generation, mix a lot of English into their speech. (Doesn't the term "Hong Kongers" sound strange? Apparently it is the correct term, as well as "Hong Kongese," but one makes me picture a goose, whereas the other makes me picture a Chinese version of King Kong swimming towards Tokyo to fight Godzilla in an epic battle which would make for an awesome, but horrible movie lol) But yeah, Jimmy, the way he mixed the two seemed completely arbitrary, and the fact that it was almost exactly 50/50 was what made it particularly funny to me. Also, my cousin came up with the phrase "Chinglish" to describe it, though I guess it's not that uncommon a term..
12-14-2012 07:49 AM
franksaquarium
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Mix View Post
1) Perhaps people believe that wild caught specimens aren't as hardy, which actually isn't true because of their wider genetic pool, though often the process of transporting them from the wild, into a distrubitors tank, into your tank, can be a very stressful acclimation process.
I find wild fish to be, in many cases, more hardy than the stuff being bred overseas. Now, this wasn't always the case. Usually it was reversed, with mortality being higher in wild fish. But now, give me a wild gourami or angelfish over a pond-bred one any day. And if wild fishes do come in with a disease, it's usually easier to treat as the disease organisms have not been subjected to medications.

Quote:
The other thing that I am guessing has to do with an assumption that wild caught specimens are less colorful, due to their mixed genetics, (and probably their need for camoflouge in the wild), which may be the case with many species, especially dwarf freshwater shrimp for instance, but again, this is not always the case.
Not sure what you mean by mixed genetics. It's the captive-bred stuff that has had it's genetics modified (for color, size, etc). Wild fish are as nature intended them to be. Some are always colorful, others color up only during breeding. I think this may turn off a lot of people because the want instant gratification rather than working with the fish and getting to to color up naturally.


Quote:
2) I would hope this is the major reason. Perhaps people are worried about taking too many rare or endangered flora and fauna out of their natural ecosystems?
Unless they are being smuggled in, you will not see endangered fishes (CITES Appendix 1) being imported for the pet trade. In the past, the Aquarium has gotten confiscated Appendix 1 fishes, but they were brought in by individuals, not through the pet industry. Although it does happen. One importer got a bag of Pangasius sanitwongsei by accident (they were supposed to be Pangasius hypophthalmus), and they were confiscated by the USFWS.

Quote:
I am actually very curious about this myself as far as which species that you (Frank, or for that matter, any other rare fish importer), brings into the country. How are these species doing in the wild?
Going by the IUCN listings, the fish I bring in appear to be doing well. Nothing endangered or threatened. I also police myself as I sometimes see fishes on the import lists that come from very limited ranges (mostly loaches), so I don't bother with them.

Quote:
Me personally, I would rather buy, say.. Cardinal Tetras that are wild caught than farm raised Neon Tetras, as I'm sure most users on here would. I don't think I have to explain why, but just in case, I would always choose wild caught Cardinals over Neons,
But you need to know where the wild fish are coming from, in this case. Cardinals/Neons from Columbia are to be avoided, IME. Brazilian ones are hardy.

Quote:
Truth be told, when it comes to a lot of these aquarium plants/fish/shrimp/etc., I don't know how common they are in the wild.
Remember: if they are too uncommon, you probably will not see them offered too often, if at all. It has to be worthwhile for the collector to collect these critters. This is a problem with some of the fish I request. They are not rare/endangered, just not easy to collect because they are spread out so much.

Quote:
In this case, I don't believe that I will be bringing these species back into the wild and re-introducing them, and I am also very wary of introducing any invasive species... like humans!
I work with Lake Vic and Madagascar endangered species, and the goal is to reintroduce them back into their habitat. Problem is this: will there be a habitat to reintroduce them to. so far, the Madagascar project has had some success.

Quote:
The way I look at it now, is that if I am going to keep something, whether it be a guppy, an anubias, an amano shrimp, or even a Malaysian Trumpet Snail, I want to do all I can, within reason, to give this lifeform the best possible care I can,
Which is the biggest part of animal husbandry. Once the animal enters our lives, it is our responsibility to maintain it in the best conditions possible. If you can't maintain it, don't buy it. You don't know how many calls we get from folks wanting us to take their pacus/oscars/gars/sharks/redtail cats, etc. We can't take them as we have no room. So what happens? They usually get released into local waters. I've caught oscars and one blue crayfish in Massapequa Preserve, Pacu are commonly caught in Lake Ronkonkoma (mistaken for piranah), and I've seen guppies in the Peconic. All this does in give lawmakers reason to ban things. In fact, I am waiting to see the results of NY's new invasive/non native species law that goes into effect I think the end of this month. I have yet to see the list of prohibited species, but was told that there will be some commonly seen tropical fish species on the list. Given that ALL the species imported for the trade are not native to NY, this should be interesting. For example, goldfish and koi are invasive. Are they going to ban them? And several plant species will also be listed (Cabomba, for one, even though the aquarium strain can not survive our winters. Several lakes here on the Island are choked with this plant, and supposedly it happen because, and this is a quote from one of our lawmakers, someone "dumped their fish into Belmont Lake"). Like I said, this is going to be interesting.

Quote:
HOW CAN YOU NOT EXPLAIN CYCLING TO SOMEBODY AND THEN SELL THEM 15 FISH FOR A 10G TANK WITH A CLEAN CONSCIENCE?!!!??! IT BLOWS MY MIND!
Quite simple: bottom line. If you don't sell them something, another store might and you've lost the sale. That's why I don't work retail any more.

Quote:
And yeah, Frank, I'd love to know, how are these mini cories and some of your gobies, etc., doing in the wild, do you know?
AFAIK, they are doing well. I use the IUCN as a guide. Also remember that many of these fish produce lots and lots of eggs, so the removal of a portion of these fish really has little impact on the total population.

Quote:
Anyone have Cambarellus Texanus or Shufeldtii for sale? They are so cute! )
I don't deal with crays anymore. They are a disaster waiting to happen, esp. the pathogenic one.
12-13-2012 07:25 PM
cprash
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
The store with the duck and koi pond was Country Critters. Also, the store with the CPOs and dark blue rilis (which I bought one of) was Aqua Hut.


Anyways, I'm thinking about driving out to LI one of the days I'm off during the week in January to visit all the shops again. Even the Petsmart Calvin and I passed by in Centereach to see if they have any nice looking bettas.
I'd be down to head back out there
12-13-2012 07:18 PM
cprash Great points Tommy, I read the entire thing.
12-13-2012 05:56 PM
Trail_Mix
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicpath View Post
G too much reading for me....
Haha, sorry, I tend to talk to much, (or so I'm told ), and this is actually a topic I've put a lot of thought and reading into so I thought I'd give my $0.02. Also due to a change of plans, I've got like 2 hours to kill hahaha.
12-13-2012 05:49 PM
Trail_Mix If anybody needs a ride and wants to go out somewhere in L.I., just pm me and lemme know and if you can help me out with gas, or perhaps some plants I would be happy to go for a little trip!
12-13-2012 05:48 PM
Trail_Mix And I am going to hit up Pacific at the very least, and would like to check out some of the other stores in the city. I have heard of a few new ones that are supposed to be good which I have never been to. Also, since I will be in the city and able to pick up, if anybody has some old tanks or equipment they want to sell, let me know

I might be interested in something depending on what and price obiously.
12-13-2012 05:45 PM
Trail_Mix When I was much younger I used to go to Flushing all the time and there was a really nice guy named Jimmy who always spoke what I called "Chinglish" to me. If he were still around I'm sure he would let me fish out my own guys

Let me know if anybody wants to organize another trip, perhaps on Sunday or something. I am going to be in Brooklyn anyway visiting friends, and I can drive. I would also be interested in swinging by Franks again if he is available, though not for as long this time
12-13-2012 05:06 PM
Monster Fish
Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
I should have re-phased that. I don't think the store exists anymore or it changed it's setup. There was a store in Queens that was setup for everyone to catch their own fish. They had tanks on 3 levels with little stairs and you would grab a net and cash you own.
Oh, ok. Sounds neat. Where was it?
12-13-2012 05:03 PM
houseofcards
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
I don't think any of the stores in Flushing would let you catch your own fish. Unless it wasn't Fishtown or Northern Aquarium.
I should have re-phased that. I don't think the store exists anymore or it changed it's setup. There was a store in Queens that was setup for everyone to catch their own fish. They had tanks on 3 levels with little stairs and you would grab a net and cash you own.
12-13-2012 04:57 PM
Monster Fish
Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Hey, thinking of stores does anyone remember the store in Queens that let you catch your own fish. I think it was in Flushing.
I don't think any of the stores in Flushing would let you catch your own fish. Unless it wasn't Fishtown or Northern Aquarium.
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