News / Company News / Bob's Picks (09/21/12)

Bob's Picks

As we shift from summer to the fall I am reminded about the effects that the changing of seasons has on supply. Due to my close contact with our suppliers overseas, I stay well informed about the goings-on overseas and understand the impacts that changes in weather might have on our supply. Many hobbyists, on the other hand, really arent aware of how changing seasons can affect the supply of fish and how they help to shape the selection of marine life they see at their local fish store.

Some years the effects are more pronounced than others and it is nearly impossible to predict what will happen with each new season. In some areas current collecting conditions are good, but in others inclement conditions are making life difficult for many of our collectors. As seasons change so do temperatures. Not only do the temperatures change in the air, but they change in the water as currents shift and the intensity of the sun changes. These fluctuations can have a tremendous impact on the overall vitality of marine organisms. Colors of corals can shift responding to the change in temperature and fish might move to different parts of the reef. Another element that can affect collection is torrential rainfall. A massive influx of freshwater into a shallow marine environment can cause a drastic lowering of salinity. When you combine the two it is easy to see the possibility of increased stress.

Here at QM we work around local supply interruptions by utilizing our entire network of worldwide suppliers. We understand the importance of maintaining year-round regular shipments with our trusted vendors and we rely on this during times such as these. We cannot insulate ourselves from the effects of Mother Nature but we strive to minimize the impact by keeping a deep, varied inventory, while providing our loyal supporters the highest quality specimens the industry has to offer.

Here are this week's picks:
The Neon Dottyback Aldabraensis (Pseudochromis aldabraensis) are famous for their disposition, and it is not undeserved. They even have a grumpy look on their face. They are aggressive and should not be housed with the smaller peaceful fish (I said dont do it, youll be sorry)! However, they do have great colorations, very cool swimming motions, are very active and interact with their environment. This is a very striking fish, just give it like minded tank mates. Another neat thing about these is that our current stock is comprised completely of cultured specimens.

Dragon Eye Zoanthids (Zoanthid sp.) add instant, durable color to any aquarium. They are undemanding and spread quickly given good conditions. Because of this easy to please nature they look good, even in a display tank that may not be lit up like a full blown reef. Just make sure there is a little actinic light in there, and stand back when they glow. We have larger size colonies as well as frags, so you can cater to customers looking for small pieces and those who are looking for something that will take up more room.

Another great, but slightly higher maintenance way to get a good bright red into a reef aquarium is Blastomussa. The Red Blasto Frags (Blastomussa wellsi) are brightly colored, sustainable, and pretty durable. They need low flows, moderate lights, and this is the most important part, frequent marine based meaty feedings. The more you feed them, the faster they grow and the brighter they get. These are one of the most desirable corals in the trade.

Camel Shrimp (Rhynchocinetes uritai) have really unique looks and do a great job of cleaning tanks of uneaten food and detritus. I have even heard of them working on aiptasia and functioning as cleaner shrimp, but these instances are more rare, so they probably shouldnt be sold as such. They pair well, and will breed in small, stable aquariums, though few people have tried raising the fry. This is a great addition to nano aquariums that need clean up help. It should be noted that they may pick on LPS corals, so warn customers up front. They pose little risk to other corals and anemones.