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Old 12-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #16
m00se
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This issue is what ultimately made me leave saltwater as a hobby in the 90s. I just couldn't justify the costs for the environment and the demands of keeping the animals healthy with MH lights and chillers... It became obvious to me that the enjoyment I derived was at way too high a cost and then the guilt set in...
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
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I don't understand how these people think putting nature further and further out of reach for people by eliminating these plant & animal hobbies is supposed to help the environment(???).

Isn't an important part of protecting the environment having advocates among the people who care about nature?
I couldn't agree more - I have a 150 gallon salt tank in my classroom. I use it to talk to my students about marine ecology. Simply by maintaining one in the classroom they can see first hand the importance of keeping our environment "clean". Also the fish that I bring in are captive bread (as far as I know).

I can not take all of my students to the ocean to show them its beauty in hopes of getting them to care for the enviroment, I can however bring small parts to them.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #18
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I couldn't agree more - I have a 150 gallon salt tank in my classroom. I use it to talk to my students about marine ecology. Simply by maintaining one in the classroom they can see first hand the importance of keeping our environment "clean". Also the fish that I bring in are captive bread (as far as I know).

I can not take all of my students to the ocean to show them its beauty in hopes of getting them to care for the enviroment, I can however bring small parts to them.
Glad I never had your class, I would never get anything done. I would be in a constant hypnotic gaze on the tank!

I have heard that only about 10% of wild caught marine animals actually make it into a home aquarium where they live out the rest of their lives.

I think there should be a more strict policing of the industry as a whole, but to completely end it? That is not the middle way.

Like has been pointed out many are not connected the ocean in anyway they live thousands of miles from it, the aquarium hobby helps them to connect with this nature and when they are connected usually they want to conserve.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:09 PM   #19
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This is actually exactly why i have never gotten into saltwater tanks. We need to be only buying fish that are captive raised. I feel like people jump to the idea of a fish being "wild caught" as making the fish superior, when in fact its only damaging wild populations.

There is a compromise to be made here, but it would take a huge movement by those of use in aquarium keeping to be the responsible party. There is nothing more damaging to a local environment than an invasive species, freshwater (asian carp, snakehead), saltwater (as mentioned lionfish living along the shorelines of the South), or on dry land (example the huge influx in wild pigs in the US that are all European decent).

While i am sure that freshwater tanks have contributed in some way to invasive population of a species, I do think that as long as we are using captive bred fish, there should be no backlash on our side of aquariums.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:14 PM   #20
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I feel weird for saying this, but I agree with them... The saltwater hobby as a whole is detrimental to the marine environment. Not only does it damage populations of certain species, it also is very damaging to the ecosystem as a whole with the introduction of invasive organisms such as the lionfish in the Caribbean. Personally, I would be very hesitant about getting anything for a saltwater tank that was not possible to breed in a domestic environment.
I agree with you, however, the DNA tests on the lion fish showed that they came from an aquarium in Florida, not from the hobbyist's tank. They apparently were released into the wild as a result of a hurricane.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #21
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I agree with everything already said. Great points by all and we all understand what can happen to environments when over fished and destroyed.

I don't think most people even consider where their fish came from, just that they are here, now. Most of my fish are tank raised and i can feel good in that regard!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:17 PM   #22
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It is amazing how fast they spread as an invasive species though. Check the link http://www.oceansupport.org/lionfish-information
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #23
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I agree with you, however, the DNA tests on the lion fish showed that they came from an aquarium in Florida, not from the hobbyist's tank. They apparently were released into the wild as a result of a hurricane.
while i know you are right, that fact still goes against the hobby as people do keep them. They are unfortunately still an invasive species, but i hear are actually really good to eat!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #24
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while i know you are right, that fact still goes against the hobby as people do keep them. They are unfortunately still an invasive species, but i hear are actually really good to eat!
I totally agree with you.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #25
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I think there are a lot of angles to this issue. The first would be the destruction of wild habitats/depletion of wild populations. This tends to be more of a marine/reef issue then a freshwater issue, but can't be ignored because of that. Also, I believe it's less of a problem then it used to be, as I think damaging capture methods like dynamiting and cyanide were already on the decline a decade or more ago.

On the other hand, the damage the aqarium trade does to reefs is going to me negligible (as stated above) compared to the effects of climate change. rising ocean temps, increasing acidity, there is already a great loss of coral due to bleaching in some areas, and it's just going to get worse.

Overfishing for the seafood industry, while primarily targeting different environs, will also do far more damage to the ocean ecosystems then our hobby.

But our hobby is insignificantly small compared to the seafood industry, or the corporations that want to block any sort of talk about carbon emissions.

Another issue (also stated above) is the issue with releasing non-native species (or even captive raised native species, to a lesser extent). This doesn't just affect the aquarium hobby, it's a pretty big issue wit a lot of herp stuff as well. I'm sure you've all seen the pictures of the dead constrictor that swallowed an alligator and ruptured. Apparently this is becoming a problem in Florida, since the habitat is suits them pretty well.

As Bermyguy pointed out, the lionfish example wasn't due to hobbyists, but we are still going to get the blame. Many other introduction of non-native species are actually intentional acts done by the government under various conservation (and conservation is very different from environmental protection) issues. But hobbyists will get the blame; and sometimes we deserve it, I've known too many people who when they get tired of taking care of a critter, take it outside and let it go. I believe that's whey the Western Pond Turtle is in trouble out here in CA, the red-ear sliders (typical baby turtle) are competing with them. We need to make sure that we are careful not to accidentally (or intentionally) release captive critters into the wild, and do our best to educate others not to release them as well.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #26
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Overfishing for the seafood industry, while primarily targeting different environs, will also do far more damage to the ocean ecosystems then our hobby.

But our hobby is insignificantly small compared to the seafood industry, or the corporations that want to block any sort of talk about carbon emissions.
Not Too many people keep tuna or other types seafood as aquarium pets... you are mixing in 2 different issues here. Over fishing for food production and plucking animals out of the wild for keeping as a "pet" as two vastly different things. I agree with most of what you said, but I disagree on the comment about the hobby being insignificantly small. You said it yourself, all of these things come into play.

Fact of the matter is, if you are going into an environment and taking out an animal, the percentage of what is living to make it to a pet store is probably less than 50%. I do agree there are large issues at play such as the mentioned climate change that will probably alter the environments of aquatic life, but it stands true that responsibility needs to be taken.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #27
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Although Bob seems a little confused about the different types of algae, what their roles/functions are, and who eats what, I think the overall message of conservation is warranted. And you have to understand where he's coming from. His business relies entirely on there being healthy, vibrant corals to look at. He wouldn't sell/rent much equipment if there were a bunch of dead, algae-dominated ex-reefs to look at. Tropical areas the world over are watching their reefs die from disease, bleaching and ecological imbalances created from over-fishing and eutrophication. The marine aquarium trade is just one more threat in a very long list. There is very little that he personally can do about carbon dioxide emissions, disease and over-fishing, but he CAN try to stop this one threat.

Seriously, though... and this isn't a snarky question -- what do you have against conservation? If cost were not an issue, wouldn't you prefer to buy tank-bred species versus ones that were ripped off a reef somewhere?

I think we could all do the hobby a favor if we were more conservation-minded and tried to "self-regulate" ourselves before other people do it for us. Part of the reason I switched to freshwater was because of the greater availability of farm-raised/tank-bred/aquacultured plants and fish.

He isn't banning just wild caught... He wants the whole saltwater hobby gone and uses falsified or dramatized information to do it.

If he doesn't even know what type of algae is which, he has no credibility.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #28
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The most invasive species is us humans. We're responsible for everything bad that is happening to the Earth. One example is the crown of thorns starfish explosion that is killing vast swaths of the Great Barrier Reef. One may ask, what is causing the starfish numbers to drastically do up? Well the answer to that is us. The runoff from fertilizers and agriculture is emptying right into the reefs and the chemicals are providing the exact nutrients the starfish need to increase in numbers.

As far as the saltwater hobby goes, I think that what is harvested is negligible compared to what global warming has done thus far. Some areas have horrid collection practices, but most have been doing it in a sustainable way. China actually goes out onto the reefs and kills giant clams by hand to collect the meat. There was an article about Paul Allen of Microsoft who was trying to locate an airplane that was chasing down Chinese poachers.

With global warming having its devastating affects on our coral reefs, saltwater hobbyists may be the only outlet to repopulating said reefs with fragments of their corals.

This clown Snorkel Bob seems like a moron who is an extreme hypocrite. Examples of what he's done are mentioned in posts above so no need for redundancy.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #29
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Not Too many people keep tuna or other types seafood as aquarium pets... you are mixing in 2 different issues here. Over fishing for food production and plucking animals out of the wild for keeping as a "pet" as two vastly different things. I agree with most of what you said, but I disagree on the comment about the hobby being insignificantly small. You said it yourself, all of these things come into play.

Fact of the matter is, if you are going into an environment and taking out an animal, the percentage of what is living to make it to a pet store is probably less than 50%. I do agree there are large issues at play such as the mentioned climate change that will probably alter the environments of aquatic life, but it stands true that responsibility needs to be taken.
Yeah, I get that, I probably wasn't too clear. And I know the overfishing is targeting different areas/species then the aquarium trade, but there is a lot of interactions between environs, and something that happens in one environ will usually have effects in another. Plus, a lot of aquatic animals spend time in various environments, depending on what stage of life they are in.

I do agree that we should practice our hobby responsibly, and encourage others to do so, I just don't feel our hobby is single-handedly destroying the oceans.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by m00se View Post
This issue is what ultimately made me leave saltwater as a hobby in the 90s. I just couldn't justify the costs for the environment and the demands of keeping the animals healthy with MH lights and chillers... It became obvious to me that the enjoyment I derived was at way too high a cost and then the guilt set in...
LEDs = No chillers = no probelm

The reefing hobby has changed dramatically since the 90s.


ddiomede, I completely agree with you. There are a lot worse things out there and this hobby isn't one of them. I can safely say that the majority of corals people buy (all of them in my case) are frags of other aqua-cultured corals. When the both hobbies (FW and SW) started, they were crude and poor. Freshwater has had it easier than Saltwater for aqua-culturing but one thing many people haven't taken into account is income. . . . the reefing hobby is a large business, not just for the U.S. but for the whole world. Many poor coastal countries rely on Mariculture and harvesting for income and even more rely on it for jobs in the US and in Europe and in Asia. This isn't something you can just ban.
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