News / Company News / Bob's Picks (02/08/13)

Bob's Picks

The first part of the new year can be a very trying time in the marine ornamental industry. Not only is this the busy season for the U.S. market, but it is also probably the most unpredictable time of year for collection and supply. One aspect that impacts collection the most is Mother Nature and her unpredictability. Currently the rainy season has been in full swing throughout the Indo-Pacific and to say that collection has been impacted would be an understatement. One area that has been especially hard hit is Australia. There has been massive flooding with coastal towns practically underwater. Not only does the influx of freshwater wreak havoc on the stability of the water quality parameters but I have been getting reports of near zero visibility that makes collection next to impossible. The widespread distribution of sediment as a result of flooding also impacts corals as they become covered in silt and the reef becomes stressed. The recent underwater earthquake in the Solomon Islands and the Tsunami that followed is another example of how the oceans landscape can be vastly altered in a short period of time. This wall of water as it plows through reefs and coastal communities is akin to the bull in the china shop.

Through all of this though, the resiliency of the ocean always impresses me. Given time and good conditions, reefs can recover surprisingly quickly. The shift in habitat also sometimes gives rise to previously rarely seen species as other abundant species relocate to more preferred locations. If the first 6 weeks of the year are an indication of things to come, then we should see some really exciting things happen this year.

Doing my picks this week was especially difficult, for all the challenges faced over seas, we still have a pretty amazing stocklist here right now, especially the aquacultured stuff. We have a limited number of Aquacultured Blue Eye Flower Pot Corals (Goniopora sp.) that are exceptional in that the blue eyes on them are very prominent.

Also on the limited supply front, we just received some seriously amazing Orange Tube Anemones (Cerianthus sp.) though I honestly think we should call this batch the "Nuclear Pink Tube Anemones". The color on these is just boggling.

Occasionally, I walk past the Green Plate Corals (Heliofungia actiniformis) and they just make me stop. The variety of striping, and color variations that all go into this "green" group can be really varied, and this week is no exception. Take a chance on one of these, they are showing absolutely amazing polyp extension and it is one of those weeks for great selection.

If anyone has a very large display and is looking for a schooling fish, or one of our public aquaria customers has a similar need, the Blue Five Lined Snappers (Lutjanus quinquelineatus) would make an excellent choice. We have a good supply of these and they are in superior health and condition. They are eating just about everything we throw at them so they are ready to go.

On the smaller, more rare front, we have a limited supply of Female Candycane Femininus Wrasses (Anampses femininus) in a very desirable small size. This is an excellent batch, if you've been waiting for the right time to get one, stop waiting.

From our outstanding Aquacultured Fish selection, this week the Aquacultured True Black Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) are really standing out. They are a nice big Medium, but are very black, very healthy, and we have an excellent supply of them.