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Old 12-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #166
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Did anyone go to magic isle on the tour? I was going to possibly go this weekend wanted to see how their stock was? Anything interesting?
It was the second to last stop, but was skipped as everyone was running late. :/
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #167
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Also, I'm really hesitant to buy wild caught fish.
Why is that?
I am going to take a shot in the dark, as well as give some of my own thoughts. I figure it's gotta break down to either one, or both of two things.

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. 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.

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?

Now here, it is important to distinguish between what we call a "rare" species in the aquarium trade from what is actually considered an endangered species. 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?

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, since a), I prefer the coloration of Cardinals over Neons, even though they are very similar, and b) wild caught specimens are much hardier and have a wider gene pool that they come from compared to inbred Neons from fish-farms. In fact, I think it is very cruel to breed these fish to a state of practical retardation which is often what happens, especially with Neons, as I know they are the highest selling fish quantity wise, atleast in the U.S. Sometimes I wonder if this happens with dwarf freshwater shrimp actually. I know the very high grade CRS/CBS, and especially Taiwan Bees come from a selectively bred gene pool which is much smaller than that of a wild Bee, which is why I don't have much interest in paying a lot extra for any CRS/CBS that are higher than an A grade. Now don't get me wrong, anything above that is definitely a plus, and these new Taiwan Bees are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! But still, I'd much rather pay $5 for an A grade CRS than $10 for a SSS grade, (not sure if those are what they run for these days since I personally am not breeding or keeping CRS/CBS at the moment, nor have I for over a year now).

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. I remember seeing mudskippers when I was camping in a really remote part of Hong Kong, and that was soooo cool, they were living under a make-shift bridge over a relatively shallow stream that was leading into the ocean. Given a ltitle time and effort, I will actually try and dig up some pictures if anyone is interested. It was really an amazing site to see these guys hoping around in their natural habitat, and I hope I get a chance to explore more parts of Asia in the future, now that I have more knowledge of aquatic animals and plants.

But with the current global rate of extinction, it's totally understandable to feel guilty about taking something out of the wild. I mean (they say at least,) that a species goes extinct every 20 minutes! (Keep in mind this includes all kingdoms of life, not just animals and panda bears )

Right now, we are in the midst of the sixth (if I'm not mistaken?) major mass extinction in the history of the Earth. This has now surpassed the rate of extinction when all the dinosaurs were wiped out! (Well, except for Komodo Dragons, and those T-Rex I keep in a secret swamp somewhere in Africa ... oh, and the Loch Ness Monster!) Not to get on a high horse or anything, I will still import rare species, especially of Cryptocornes, and that is for the following reason.

Even though there is a part of me that feels inherently guilty about taking a lifeform out of its natural habitat, I've come to realize and accept the unfortunate truth that with the rapid rate of habitat destrution nowadays, a speies that you see for sale today might not exist at all in the wild a year from now

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!

... but I don't import humans ... well at least not anymore

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, (like I said, within reasonable limitations of course,) otherwise it's just cruel in my book. And I am not a Buddhist or anything, (fwiw I consider myself a spiritual person, but I do not subscribe to any religions, but for some reason when I tell people that I care about not letting a shrimp die they often give me some silly crap along the lines of "Oh, do they even feel pain? That is like, very zen of you," in a very condescending tnoe of voice which I do not appreciate. Maybe you shouldn't be bringing all those children into the world if you're not going to take care of them!! Oops, that's more of a private matter regarding some people I know, hahaha).

I hate chain stores like Petland and Petco where not only do they sell dyed fish, which I think is very cruel, but they also have tanks full of Neon Tetras just waiting to die, often diseased! And they will even tell you they are not diseased, even when you point to the obvious fin rot! And these stores just care about selling off as many stupid tetras as they can week after week to new aquarium owners who know nothing about things such as cycling a tank. 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!

I mean, I understand that to them it is just a business, and the more fish they sell, the more money they make, and farm raised Neons are certainly cheaper and easier to acquire than wild-caught Cardinals, blah, blah, blah, but you know, these people just don't care, and fish, like humans, are animals too, and if PETA is going to do all this silly crap for puppies and throw blood on people who wear fur coats, real or not, perhaps they should do even just a little something about all these pet stores, you know, so they can at least pretend they care? ... but anyway, I digress...

Point being, if I don't believe I can give something the proper care it requires, whether it is due to financial limitations, space limitations, or even just the fact that I have a tank that is not finished cycling, I will NOT buy livestock, despite how much I may want something or think it is pretty.

Granted, an important thing to consider when keeping pets and plants is that nothing grows in completely ideal conditions in nature. It may just be a matter of semantics to some, but consider that technically speaking, as minute as it may be, there is always going to be something about the enironment that could be better for the species, there's just no such thing as perfection, or is there? Well, I guess you can get pretty close. That's just not how nature works, especially with all the tsunamis and global warming and el nino and all that crap we have going on these days... oh and oil spills aplenty! So I don't beat myself up the way I used to when, (or I'd prefer to say if ) I lost a shrimp or fish occasionally.

And many life-forms, especially plants, are extremely resilient and adaptive to different conditions. Even a lot of the plants that are not truly aquatic that are often sold in the aquarium trade as aquatics, (I'm sure we have all mistakenly -- or maybe not -- encountrered these plants at some point or another in our tank keeping careers), will live quite a long time submerged given the right conditions. And hey, besides, now I have muh, much more experiene breeding shrimp/snails/fish, and growing plants, and as a result, I know how to do things better and more efficiently, and am able to take much better care of them.

Whooo, sorry for the long post, just my $0.02

Lemme know what you think!

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? Is this information surveyed and/or readily available to you? I would really like to get some once I finish setting up my 40g breeder, (which is taking forever! I keep getting side-tracked by multiple emersed set-ups, taking care of my shrimp, and as of recently, dwarf crays! Anyone have Cambarellus Texanus or Shufeldtii for sale? They are so cute! )
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #168
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Did anyone go to magic isle on the tour? I was going to possibly go this weekend wanted to see how their stock was? Anything interesting?

Whichever was the gigantic store with the duck in the koi pond right when you walked in had two beautiful Bolbitis species I was happy to snatch up! And they were only $3.99 and $4.99 for a pretty decent sized bunch! They were selling Anubias for like $5-6 in the same tank as the $3.99 Bolbitis, no argument there, the guys weren't sure what it was

The last stop we went to didn't have that much, but they did have some very reasonably priced dwarf crays, (CPOs and Shufeldtiis if I remember correctly). Oh, and some pretty dwarf shrimp as well! Did anyone snatch up that super dark Velvet Blue shrimp? Atleast that's what we thought it was right? I only looked at it quickly, but I should've gotten it lol, I think Sonicpath might have grabed it, and he was riding shotgun in my car so I should know lol, but I ran out to grab a slice of pizza while everyone was paying, and the drive back was pretty long and tiring, though I did have some great conversations with many of you guys! Both people who were in my car and not, I can't wait till we do another trip or event!

I would love to make another trip to Frank's, and I know you guys all still live in the city, but transportation around the boroughs can be tough, would anyone be interested in doing a mini-tour just in the city this weekend? Actually, I'll post this question in a new thread.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #169
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G too much reading for me....
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #170
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It was the second to last stop, but was skipped as everyone was running late. :/
@Trailmax
Well cprash said you didn't go to Magic Isle. A gigantic store would probably be Pet Warehouse. Country Critters is also a big store way out in Patchogue. They have one of the nicer and not so common fish departments.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #171
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Whichever was the gigantic store with the duck in the koi pond right when you walked in had two beautiful Bolbitis species I was happy to snatch up! And they were only $3.99 and $4.99 for a pretty decent sized bunch! They were selling Anubias for like $5-6 in the same tank as the $3.99 Bolbitis, no argument there, the guys weren't sure what it was

The last stop we went to didn't have that much, but they did have some very reasonably priced dwarf crays, (CPOs and Shufeldtiis if I remember correctly). Oh, and some pretty dwarf shrimp as well! Did anyone snatch up that super dark Velvet Blue shrimp? Atleast that's what we thought it was right? I only looked at it quickly, but I should've gotten it lol, I think Sonicpath might have grabed it, and he was riding shotgun in my car so I should know lol, but I ran out to grab a slice of pizza while everyone was paying, and the drive back was pretty long and tiring, though I did have some great conversations with many of you guys! Both people who were in my car and not, I can't wait till we do another trip or event!

I would love to make another trip to Frank's, and I know you guys all still live in the city, but transportation around the boroughs can be tough, would anyone be interested in doing a mini-tour just in the city this weekend? Actually, I'll post this question in a new thread.
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.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #172
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Hey, thinking of stores does anyone remember the store in Queens that let you catch your own fish. I think it was in Flushing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #173
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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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Old 12-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #174
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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.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #175
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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?
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #176
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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
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:48 PM   #177
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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.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #178
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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!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:56 PM   #179
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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.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #180
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Great points Tommy, I read the entire thing.
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