News / Company News / Bob's Picks (09/13/12)

Bob's Picks

Last week I wrote about the importance of keeping your Customer Service Representative informed of your current weather and note any changes. Here at QM we prefer to be proactive to possible situations that may arise as that is always in the best interest of our animals. At the same time we have to take into consideration the impact these shifts in the weather have on the animals in their natural habitat.

The impact that severe temperature events can have on the reefs is very well documented. On a lesser scale, even the simple shift between seasons can sometimes become a major stressor on all species. Take for instance collection areas that are not equatorial, that have more pronounced shifts in the seasons. Temperature plays a huge role in the overall robustness and vigor of any cold-blooded marine animal. We often see the residual effects of the stress imparted on animals who were experiencing environmental shifts during a seasonal change.

It is especially important that we here at Quality Marine do our part to alleviate as much stress as possible and to ensure our filtration and ultra-violet sterilization is operating at peak efficiency. It is of utmost importance that we monitor water quality upon arrival as just the first step in making the transition to our aquariums is as seamless as possible.

We encourage our clients to develop the same practice as well. You can never have too much information when it comes to receiving a shipment of live marine specimens. Keeping the impact of the transportation process to an absolute minimum is our goal. Another aspect that cannot be understated is light shock. Many species are much more sensitive to it than others. To be on the safe side, it is best to dim your lights during acclimation to slowly expose the animals to light after being shipped. When bringing in new species its always a good idea to document any procedures that go outside of your normal protocols. As always we are here to help you be as successful as possible.

If I'm looking for a great schooling reef fish to mimic the look of natural reefs I often turn to Anthias. Their varied colors and peaceful dispositions make them get along very well with a wide variety of other tank mates. The biggest challenge with these fish is keeping them adequately fed, but thanks to the availability of automatic feeding dispensers, feeding your fish 2-3 times a day has become much easier to achieve. One of our best looking Anthias at the moment are our Dispar Anthias (Pseudanthias dispar) from South Asia. They are very healthy, eating like pigs and are a good 2-3" in size.

One of my favorite fish, even from my early days in the hobby, is the Helfrichi Goby (Nemateleotris helfrichi). These are a deepwater firefish that are mostly collected down in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. Not having the relatively broad distribution of their other firefish relatives, they are a bit more uncommon in the trade and often command a premium. At the moment we've got a good supply of them and they are on special with lot pricing too! They are great for the nano reef tank, just keep a lid on it, they are often known to find a hole to jump out

Our MAC Certified Short Supply Chain in Fiji has been sending us some gorgeous looking Lemon Peel Angels (Centropyge flavisimus) recently. Their vibrant coloration pops in the aquarium just like it does on the reef. As with most of the Centropyge genus, keeping these in a reef tank is a little dangerous as these occasionally develop a nipping habit with meaty LPS and Clams. Not to say that it hasn't been done, we just caution those daring aquarists looking to push the envelope.

What's that? You think Derasa clams are boring? Well you haven't checked out our Aquacultured Striped Derasa Clams (Tridacna derasa). These beauties have a strip of vivid blue which lines their mantles and a crazy assortment of patterns. Mottled, tigerstriped, broadstripe, you name it. Don't get just one, give a few a try and see how varied these are. What's even better is that these are one of the easier to keep clams so they can fit in with a broader range of customer set ups than other Tridacna species.

Specialized eaters often get a bad rap in the hobby, and rightly so. One of the easier ones to keep happy and well fed is the Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans). Their diet consists of echinoderms, mostly starfish which are pretty easy to get your hands on. One commonly unknown fact is that adults are also known to feed on various species of Urchins as well. Watching their hunting behavior is extremely fascinating as they capture their prey and are able to flip them over. They start eating the starfish at the tip of the arm and work on up towards the central disc. These are one of the neatest animals you could put in your aquarium but make sure your customers are well aware of their feeding requirements and long term needs. Another plus is that you can sell more starfish.