RE: NANFA-- Re:pulling our heads out of the sand & miniature

Crail, Todd (
Sat, 15 Jun 2002 01:33:17 -0400

>>The amount of live coral sold nationwide must truly be staggering.
Where does it all come from?

It is when you actually get to see it come in. SPS come mainly from
Fiji, Solomans and some from Bali. Soft coral and LPS come mainly from
Indonesia with some from the other places as packing for the SPS. A
good example of this would be Sarcophyton elegans (the yellow Fiji
leathers) that does well in about 10% of the aquariums state-side.
Please don't start me on Goniopora ;)

>>I just am not seeing that many aquaculture factilites hawking
captive-propagated coral
If you're not walking into an aquaculture facility, and you're not
seeing *small* encrusting specimens of coral (ie.. you see those
*awesome* large colonies) you're not seeing captive raised animals.
We'll avoid the whole "chop-shop" thing for now.
>> Desirable marine fishes, other inverts, &c..
40% mortality on these animals is a good and acceptable shipment when
you quarantine the animals without copper two weeks. When I told some
people how dismayed I was at the mortality they were like "You're doing
that well on Tranship! What are you doing!?" It disgusted me and I
took my debt and went home...
>> 1) PetsMart is not in competition with them for marine livestock
PetsMart here is and I almost purchased a flame hawk for the price of a
spotted hawk (read $13)... But I ran away before the temptation got too
great since my capitalistic senses had been tickled. My Cnidarian
friends were not worth the risk of copper ;)
>>>2) the markup and turnover is very attractive. Most of the time, as
the PSG's tell me,
their livestock is sold before it even leaves the distributor. The
reefkeepers want to pounce on their latest "pretty" before the pet
shop has time to kill it (they prefer to do THAT themselves).
If the shop isn't okay with letting the aquarist kill it... Well, it
becomes a financial burden ;) I've seen a lot of animals run out "in
the bag" at shops. I've also heard and spent plenty of time trying to
explain why this isn't the way to buy an animal. When it became my time
and some other shop's money and no one was listening... Again, it was
time to take my debt and go home ;) I've still yet to figure out how
these people sleep.
>>>The animals which do make it into the dealer's tanks are a pretty
lot. I certainly would not purchase animals in such poor condition,
but I guess there are plenty of desperate folks who do.
They do... And this is what keeps this Industry in business. If anyone
ever tried to be honorable about it, they'd likely see their customers
go elsewhere and then come back crying when they blew $40 on a dead
fish... But don't let my personal experience taint that ;) Basically,
we have too much expendable income in these United States to ever make
this a real issue.
>>>On the other side, we will never had widespread captive propagation
without widespread interest in the marine hobby, with economic
incentives to do so. I guess one way to ensure the latter would be
to severely restrict the amount animals that may be imported and/or
harvested so that distributors HAVE to grow their own if they want to
make any money.
Or provide a product that will stand the test of time. For example, I
have a P. heptus that was tank raised and I've never even seen a spot of
ich on it (which is completely amazing for this species). I paid $20
extra for it, but it never died like so many wild cousins before it.
However, trying to impress this upon the general consumer is a weighted
task indeed. If I were buying something I know nothing about, say a car
stereo, I'd have to say "they look the same.. they seem the same...
which one costs less?"

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