News / Company News / Bob's Picks (06/08/12)

Bob's Picks

As you can see from the previous articles, the collection and transportation of marine specimens is a time consuming and difficult task. They can be accomplished using a variety of methods, some of which are noticeably better for the animals than others.

The next stop in the chain of custody is the Export Station. Again the level of care is entirely dependent on the directive being delivered by the importer. Here you run the gamut from advanced systems that are employing the latest technology, to rudimentary holding troughs. Exporters who are sensitive to providing high quality specimens will have a holding system that can maintain their animals comfortably within acceptable water quality parameters. Good ones dedicate a screening area/system for new arrivals so the fishes can be observed and determined if acceptable. Great ones will segregate fish caught by different catchers so that issues that may have been a result of poor collection technique can be traced back to the individual catcher.

Very important aspects the holding systems include densities, water quality, and the amount of water flow. Excellent water flow is just as critical as good water quality; both assist in recovery from any cosmetic blemishes that may have occurred during collection. It is also important to provide water that has a very high amount of dissolved oxygen, being just below the saturation point is ideal. It goes without saying that high densities should be avoided.

Obviously the more pressure there is for reduced cost, the more likelihood there is that corners are cut in the manner of overcrowding, lower screening threshold, less attention to basic husbandry practices and less investment in equipment that would improve water quality. We actively search out and favor exporters who share the same commitment to providing the highest quality specimens and maintain them in a responsible manner. Again, this strategy helps us provide our customers with healthier fish which in turn increases their customers chances of success.

It's pretty rare that we get a fish that makes most of the staff say "what are those?!" But this week we got a shipment of Black Foxface (Siganus niger) that did exactly that. This fish has an extremely limited wild distribution so no one sees them very often. They are in good shape and eating well. I suggest keeping them in multiples, or at least with other rabbits because they are skittish little guys.

We also have a great selection of Blue Throat Trigger Males(Xanthichthys auromarginatus) that are all eating like pigs and have very bright blue chins.

From our MAC Short Supply Chain in Fiji, we have a limited number of Gold Domino Damsels (Dascyllus auripinnis). These are a little more pricey than normal Dominoes but once you see them, you'll understand why.

On the invert front we have some very interesting NPS corals called X-Mas Tree Corals (Sphaerella sp.). If you are looking for something different to grab people's attention, this will work. These can tolerate moderate light, but will still require feeding.

We got an excellent shipment of Yellow Leather Toadstools (Sarcophyton elegans) that are in great shape, showing good polyp extension and are a very good color.

We have a good selection Flame Scallops (Lima scabra). These are very healthy and a nice bright orange.