Divers and Fish

Craig Bingman cbingman at panix.com
Sat Nov 3 17:13:06 EST 2001

On Sat, 3 Nov 2001, James M. Cervino wrote:

> Hello,
> The problem with Craig's suggestion is that there is a very small
> number of peoples who  understand the basic RESPONSIBILITIES of
> owning a home living-room aquarium. Many peoples get into this
> hobby(without understanding basic chemistry) and consistently have to
> purchase new valuable endangered corals due to mistakes and not
> maintaining there aquariums. Hence the revolving door of wild caught
> corals continues the influx of corals into the USA.

I think the part that you don't understand is that it costs thousands of
dollars to set up and stock a typical reef aquarium.  There may well be a
"revolving door" of sorts operating in the reef hobby, but at a few
thousand dollars per trip through the door, it is expensive to get in and
out.  People who invest that much money tend to stay in the hobby and
learn.  Certainly not a hundred percent of them, but a good fraction.  I
do everything that I can to make that fraction as close to unity as
possible.  Having worked with people trying to get a grip on the necessary
chemistry required to understand what is happening in their systems, I can
say that you would be absolutely amazed at how hard some people are
willing to work to keep their charges alive, and how far people with
modest educational backgrounds are willing and able to rise to this
occasion.  I can't begin to count the number of people who have told me
that "if only they had known that chemistry was so important, they would
have paid more attention in high school/college."

Ultimately, it is love for their creatures that motivates people, not the
money.  But the money makes a very nice sticky trap that tends to keep
people from revolving out of that door prematurely.

I don't feel that there are any apologies that need to be made for the
fact that this fraction is less than unity.  After all, what is the
fraction of the graduate students in a typical oceanography program that
stay to degree completion, and how many of them spend the rest of their
lives in that field?  What fraction go on to tenured positions?


In another part of this thread, someone asked about the larval
capture/growout programs that exist for some ornamental marine species.
If you want additional information about those, probably the best source
of information would be Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics.


He is one of the leaders in the hobby in terms of offering captive-reared
and captive-bred marine fish and other captive propagated marine
invertebrates, and should be able to supply more information about those
programs to truly interested individuals.


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