NANFA-- Pet peeve
Sun, 24 Mar 2002 23:37:51 EST

After visiting yet another public aquarium, a new one at Fort fisher NC,
I have a pet peeve to vent. First I would like to say it is a great place
well worth the price and has many great fish. Being a sturgeon nut I could
hardly tear myself away from the live sturgeon display and the hellbenders
are a fantastic display, worth the price of admission alone! But the tiny
live coral exhibit "eeeuuuuwwww" Why bother? On the other hand I know that
huge aquariums are difficult to keep, sick fish happen, things just don't go
right sometimes But from what I've seen public displays of live coral are a
disgrace! If I couldn't do any better I would be the first to stand up and
say do not remove live coral from reefs. Since I can do much better I won't
say it but I wonder why public aquariums have so much difficulty keeping live
coral? My local pet shop has a better display (by about 5000%) in 40 gallon
by the door he puts odd pieces in! Other public aquariums are just as bad.
All the artificial coral is great, Ripley's aquarium in Myrtle beach has
great fake coral. But live coral? Fuzzy little algae balls with tiny patches
of almost live tissue adhering in odd places obviously dying fast as they can
from shear horror. Multimillion dollar facility? Cut me a break! And what's
with all the fish with lateral line disease? Has no one heard of Selcon and
fresh green algae? You could almost walk to the ocean at Ripley's and harvest
algae for the Tangs! It as though all these facilities are about 50 years
behind in everything but large sharks and rays. Don't get me wrong, public
aquariums are great places, almost all have magnificent fish but someone
needs to sweat the details. Just because someone has a Ph.D. behind his or
her name doesn't make them an aquarist. I've been doing it for 40 years now
on my own, lots of mistakes but almost all of those mistakes can be avoided
by just reading a few books less than 25 years old, Just because the average
person doesn't know a sick fish from a healthy one or dead coral from live
doesn't mean such animals should be displayed as healthy normal individuals.
Sorry, just my rant for the day, I'll take my medication tomorrow I promise!

BTW If any one From Ft. Fisher Aquarium is listening in I do have a couple of
nice freshwater fish that were meant for my own display that hasn't worked
out as of yet. Hog suckers and white horse suckers beautiful specimens from
the mountains. Raised from tiny individuals, very bold in an aquarium. Let me
know and I'll bring them to you and let you beat me up for the coral crack.
(not too bad I'm an old man!)

Fish monger

Stupidity got us into this mess -- Why can't it get us out?

--- Will Rogers
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