News / Company News / Bob's Picks (08/24/12)

Bob's Picks

I was thinking about how complex the marine ornamental trade is and I started to take a trip down memory lane. My introduction to fish keeping was at the local Sears & Roebuck where they had a pet department which featured a tropical fish section. In a nutshell, it was love at first sight. Back then the aquariums all had metal frames, as opposed to todays often frame-less or plastic framed tanks. I later visited a specialty fish store, replete with a saltwater fish section. Oddly enough, back then it was not uncommon to see sea turtles being offered for sale and I just happened to see a recently hatched Hawksbill in one of the tanks. After seeing that, I knew I was hooked.

In the 60's a saltwater aquarium had an aura of mystery and intrigue which was reserved for only the "expert" aquarist. I wanted to be in that select group. As the hobby and the industry matured, that aura of mystery started to slowly dissipate and our knowledge increased. What was once reserved for that "elite" aquarist started to become more mainstream and some of the more adventurous full line pet stores began to add small marine sections.

Fast forward to the late 70's and I found myself working at a Pier 1 Imports that had a Tropical Fish Department complete with a Marine Fish section. My first experience with Marine Fish at the wholesale level still relied on air driven undergravel filters in epoxy coated plywood aquariums with glass fronts, a far cry from the aquariums of today.

It was in the mid-80s when I relocated to the hub of the Ornamental Marine Fish universe, otherwise known as Los Angeles. Here, I was introduced to centralized filtration systems and a mind boggling diversity of species. Through the years while working on the wholesale side of the business, Ive witnessed a continuously increasing pace of innovation and understanding about husbandry techniques. The internet has become one of the greatest accelerators to innovation by providing us all a platform to share our experiences and further advancing our knowledge on Marine life. Its as exciting a time as ever and I cant wait to see how the hobby continues to evolve. I think that we will see an increasing amount of cultured species available and a greater demand from the hobbyists will be placed on supporting sustainably managed collection across the globe.

This week we got a great shipment of Metallic Green Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens). These are in excellent shape and showing amazing polyp extension.

We also released a few more Reefhab items recently, and these Reefhab Green Chalice Frags (Echinophyllia sp.) were on that list. These are great looking, and in very nice shape. These are a steal, so scoop them up before someone else does.

We have an excellent selection of Aquacultured Black Pearl Eye Clarkii Clowns (Amphiprion clarkii) in stock. This is a very unique cultured clownfish, and these are all gorgeous and robustly healthy.

From our Short Supply Chain in Fiji, we have a good stock of MAC Six Line Wrasses (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia). This is a great fish, in stellar SSC shape.

This week we got a very healthy shipment of Purple and Yellow Chromis (Chromis insolatus). For the customer who wants a peaceful schooling fish, these are definitely something different.