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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly!
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marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly!
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pironya
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Posts: 141
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:47 am Post subject: marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly! Reply with quote

 hi
 
 we  seem  to  have  a  lot  of  people  interested  in  marines  here  at  IAH  and  many  of  us  have  stocking  and  compatibility  questions..this  thread  aims  to  provide  a  list  of  many  of  the  commonly  offered  fish  and  inverts  in  india  which  are  not  for  beginners..
 
 i  am  starting  this  thread  because  buying  an  unsuitable  organism  not  only  results  in  heartbreak  and  monetary  loss  but  also  affects  the  reef  from  which  these  orgainsms  come..
 
 so  here  goes  the  list...
 
 inverts

 anemones
 require  lots  of  lighting,pristine  water  quality,short  lived  in  captivity  and  yes..your  clowns  will  be  happy  even  without  one
 
 sea  lilies
 difficult  even  for  expert  keepers..need  phytoplanktion-IMO  not  worth  the  trouble
 
 sea  cucumbers
 can  take  poison  the  entire  tank  if  spooked  killing  all  the  organisms
 
 sea  fans
 need  constant  phytoplankton  feeding,do  not  travel  well
 
 sea  urchins
 some  small  species  are  suitable  but  many  grow  too  large  eating  your  corallinae  algae  and  many  even  hurt  you
 
 stony  corals
 these  are  banned!if  that  doesnt  stop  you  from  trying  them..they  require  supplementation  of  trace  elements,intense  lighting  and  good  water  quality
 
 soft  corals
 can  be  tried  only  after  some  experience  is  gained  with  more  hardy  organisms
 
 starfish
 many  are  suitable  additions  to  your  tank  but  some  of  the  species  ive  seen  in  stores  can  eat  your  inverts-be  sure  of  the  species  before  buying
 
 octopus
 bad  choice  for  your  tank  because  they  can  eject  ink  and  kill  your  tank  inhabitants..also  escape  very  easily
 
 
 
 fish

 
 moorish  idols
 these  fish  look  gorgeous,but  not  suited  for  beginners  because  they  need  a  big  tank  and  are  difficult  to  get  to  feed  even  for  experts
 
 butterfiles
 buy  only  if  you  see  them  feeding  at  the  store....many  species  are  coral  eaters  and  will  not  survive  in    your  tank
 
 angels
 many  get  too  big  for  a  beginners  tank...having  a  small  tank  and  hoping  your  koran  or  blue  ring  will  adjust  to  the  tank  size  is  a  very  bad  idea!
 Should  you  have  a  large  tank(atleast  150  gal)  and  have  good  water  quality  they  are  great  to  have.Even  the  dwarf  angels  shouldnt  be  crowded  in  too  small  a  tank..they  need  lots  of  swimming  space
 
 tangs/surgeons
 so  you  have  lots  of  algae  in  your  20gal  tank  and  the  guy  at  the  store  sold  you  a  tang-bad  choice!any  tang  requires  atleast  75  gal  and  a  supply  of  greens  like  macroalgae  or  seaweed..shoul  you  be  able  to  provide  these  you  can  keep  them  happy
 
 cleaner  wrasses
 waste  away  in  most  tanks,removal  of  these  fish  from  the  wild  affects  the  reef  badly-please  do  not  encourage  trade  in  this  species
 
 lionfish
 lionfish  are  hardy  fish  but  you  need  a  large  tank  with  an  efficeint  skimmer  and  a  filter  capable  of  handling  lots  of  waste  to  keep  them  happy
 
 groupers/basses
 that  tiny  polkadot  might  look  great  in  the  shop  but  hes  gonna  grow  to  more  than  a  foot,eat  your  other  fish  and  pollute  your  tank  like  crazy
 
 some  damsels
 many  of  the  smaller  varieties  are  alright  but  the  bigger  ones  such  as  dominoes  and  sergeant  mjors  can  terrorise  your  other  fish
 
 moray  eels
 they  get  huge,escape  through  the  smallest  opening  to  their  own  death  and  can  eat  smaller  fish
 
 triggers  and  puffers
 very  aggressive  period.need  a  large  tank,lots  of  rock  and  no  inverts  should  be  present.should  you  be  setting  up  a  predator  type  fish  only  tank  they  are  great  fish  to  bring  home
 
 sweetlips
 get  too  large,difficult  to  keep  alive  in  captivity
 
 boxfish/cowfish
 that  small  guy  may  look  cute  but  even  these  tiny  guys  can  grow  big!(18"  sometimes).
 
 sea  horses
 difficult  to  feed  as  they  prefer  live  foods.need  a  separate  species  tank  as  they  will  be  harassed  by  other  fish
 
 ive  just  complied  this  list  from  researching  in  the  net  and  talking  to  fellow  hobbyists  around  the  world  for  the  past  4  years..anybody  whod  like  to  add  more  species  to  this  list  please  go  ahead
 
 before  you  buy!
 
 if  you  like  a  fish  or  invert  at  the  dealer's  tank  do  not  buy  it  on  impulse!
 post  a  thread  here  or  on  any  other  good  forum  giving  your  entire  tank  details  including  light,filtration,gallonage,current  inhabitants  etc.
 if  you  get  a  favourable  reply  then  you  can  plunk  down  your  cash  on  that  specimen..this  way  a  lot  of  undesirable  loss  can  be  avoided
 
 another  common  mistake  made  by  beginners  is  to  get  a  juvenile  specimen  hoping  to  upgrade  to  a  larger  tank  as  it  grows..if  you  ask  me  this  is  a  bad  idea  cos  marine  tanks  are  expensive  and  a  huge  180  gal  cannot  be  setup  just  like  that!constraints  such  as  space  and  budget  may  prevent  such  an  upgrade  at    later  stage  and  your  inhabitants  suffer  for  it.
 
 
 
 my  list  of  species  above  reflects  my  opinion  and  may  be  unacceptable  to  some  dealers  who  would  like  you  to  believe  that  that  gorgeous  anemone  will  survive  with  one  single  fluorescent  bulb  and  that  the  butterflyfish  you  have  your  heart  on  can  thrive  on  simple  flake  food!please  do  not  support  such  dealers  because  what  we  choose  to  have  or  not  have  in  our  tanks  has  a  direct  impact  on  the  reefs..we  do  not  want  to  destroy  the  reefs  do  we?
 
 so  please  choose  well  to  ensure  that  both  you  and  the  organisms  in  your  care  are  happy
 
 hope  you  are  not  disappointed  by  the  long  list....there  are  quite  a  few  species  that  are  suitable  for  beginners(thank  goodness!)
 
 if  anyones  interested  i  can  also  make  a  list  of  the  suitable  species
 
 hope  this  helps..if  even  one  person  reads  this  list  and  resists  an  impulse  to  buy  a  species  that  is  almost  certainly  doomed  to  die,i  think  this  list  would  have  served  its  purpose
 
 regards
 
 arvind


Last edited by pironya on Wed May 24, 2006 11:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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rajeev
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:59 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nice  post  /  info  and  after  having  kept  a  marine  for  more  than  a  year  I  can  vouch  for  the  fact  that  everything  mentioned  in  the  article  is  bang  on.
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pironya
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 141
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:13 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

                                                   
rajeev  wrote:                
Nice  post  /  info  and  after  having  kept  a  marine  for  more  than  a  year  I  can  vouch  for  the  fact  that  everything  mentioned  in  the  article  is  bang  on.                

 
 thanks  rajeev
 
 and  hey  i  like  the  signature  of  yours..should  have  been  another  hot  tip  that  got  left  out  in  my  first  post...
 
 all  of  us  would  definitely  be  better  off  knowing  that  only  bad  things  in  a  marine  tank  happen  fast..patience  wins  in  marine  aquarium  keeping!
 
 another  fact  is  that  following  as  natural  a  method  as  possible  for  maintaining  your  tank  is  the  best  bet..i  mean  avoid  adding  high  tech  gadgetry  and  pouring  a  cocktail  of  additives  into  your  tank  when  simple  live  rock,protein  skimming  and  partial  wcs  will  do!
 
 keep  it  simple  -  your  pocket  and  your  tank  will  be  much  happier  that  way!
 
 however  when  i  say  simple  it  doesnt  mean  that  one  can  overstock  the  tank  and  skimp  on  water  changes  while  running  only  a  simple  ug  filter!
 i  meant  that  live  rock  and  a  skimmer  and  frequent  water  changes  are  good  enough  to  keep  most  marine  systems  thriving-you  dont  need  ozonisers,uv  sterilizers,calcium  reactors,canister  filters,denitrators,chillers  etc  except  in  special  cases  or  advanced  systems
 
 regards
 
 arvind
 
 ps:i'd  like  to  see  more  members  contributing  to  this  thread  and  add  their  input  also!
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rahulk
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:53 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Arvind,
         What  a  great  post,  This  really  helps  people  like  me  who  are  thinking  of  getting  into  marine  setup.
 
 Thank  you  Arvind
 
 It  would  be  great  if  you  could  list  out  some  hardy  species  for  biggeners,  also  the  requirements.
 
 Thanks  and  regards
 Rahul
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ajaikumarr
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:02 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nice  post  Arvind...    Clapping  How  about  writing  an  article  for  beginners  about  in  and  out  of  setting  an  tank.
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gokulin
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 1:11 pm Post subject: Re: unsuitable beginner marine fish and inverts Reply with quote

                                                   
pironya  wrote:                

 hope  you  are  not  disappointed  by  the  long  list....there  are  quite  a  few  species  that  are  suitable  for  beginners(thank  goodness!)
 
 if  anyones  interested  i  can  also  make  a  list  of  the  suitable  species
                 

 
 Great  Info!    Thumb Up  
 
 Thanks  for  sharing.........
 
 As  you  have  said,  could  you  please  list  the  species  suitable  for  begineers??
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Lancelot
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 1:35 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 pironya,
 
 Nice  article.    Keep  up  the  good  work.    One  more  thing....  the  more  you  give,  the  more  you  have  to  give...    Very Happy  
 
 With  this  list  of  aquatic  life  not  to  keep,  and  the  next  list  of  aquatic  life  for  beginners,  how  about  a  list  of  fishes  with  behavior  patterns...  
 
 please  note:  I'm  looking  for  aggresive  fishes  ....    Very Happy
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aquascapes
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 3:29 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nice  post  arvind!  Clapping  
 I  think  you  should  take  sometime  and  make  a  more  informative  thread  on  fish  and  inverts  for  the  beginners  and  a  list  of  forbidden  live  stock  and  then  we  can  make  the  thread  a  sticky!
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pironya
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:05 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

                                                   
Lancelot  wrote:                
pironya,
 
 Nice  article.    Keep  up  the  good  work.    One  more  thing....  the  more  you  give,  the  more  you  have  to  give...    Very Happy  
 
 With  this  list  of  aquatic  life  not  to  keep,  and  the  next  list  of  aquatic  life  for  beginners,  how  about  a  list  of  fishes  with  behavior  patterns...  
 
 please  note:  I'm  looking  for  aggresive  fishes  ....    Very Happy                

 
 hi  all
 
 thanks  for  the  great  feedback
 
 @lance
 im  definitely  interested  in  sharing  all  the  info  i  can  with  the  others..like  author  robert  fenner  says...
 
 "marine  aquarium  keeping  is  still  part  science,part  art  or  craft  and  part  voodoo"
 
 and  i  think  most  of  us  are  absolutely  amazed  when  beginning  this  hobby  and  unfortunately  end  up  making  the  wrong  decisions...trust  me  i  have  in  the  past  2  years  crashed  my  tank  twice,killed  quite  a  few  fishes  and  even  bought  an  anemone  that  i  know  i  shouldnt  have!
 
 and  sharing  knowledge  among  fellow  hobbyists  is  definitely  important  esp  in  india  where  good  knowledge  seems  hard  to  come  by
 
 now  for  my  next  list:
 
 as  i  had  promised  im  going  to  list  out  the  species  that  are  suitable  for  a  beginner.this  list  is  by  no  means  exhaustive  and  i  am  also  considering  the  cost  while  compiling  this  list  because  many  beginners  end  up  losing  a  lot  of  money  in  this  hobby  which  i  think  is  unnecessary
 
 you  will  find  that  many  of  the  families  that  i  said  are  unsuitable  in  my  previous  post  are  listed  here..i  am  listing  them  here  because  i  am  also  giving  the  conditions  and  species  which  are  suitable  for  beginners  even  in  these  families
 
 tank  setup  and  other  info  might  be  coming  in  a  later  thread...not  decided  yet  but  most  probably  id  be  writing  it  by  this  week
 
 anyway  here  goes  the  suitable  species  list
 
 
 damsels
 the  quintessential  starter  fish  which  have  even  been  used  for  cycling  the  tank..damsels  are  nearly  indestructible  and  make  great  first  marine  fish...their  small  size  also  makes  them  suitable  for  smaller  beginners  tanks
 however,aggressiveness  is  a  problem  with  this  group  and  make  sure  you  give  lots  of  cover  to  prevent  loss  of  damsels  due  to  infigthing...some  of  the  nastier  species  include  the  dominoes,sergeants  and  the  humbugs
 the  smaller  ones  such  as  the  blue  damsels  are  also  aggressive  but  dont  do  much  harm  because  of  their  size
 water  quality  can  be  less  than  other  marines  but  i  think  good  water  quality  will  definitely  result  in  better  individuals..feeding  is  not  a  problem..accept  flakes,frozen,freeze  dried  or  fresh  foods
 
 
 chromis
 these  fish  are  related  to  the  damsels  and  have  gorgeeous  iridescent  coloration....unlike  their  cousins  these  are  not  aggressive  and  are  one  of  the  only  marine  fish  that  school  in  the  aquarium..buy  a  group  of  3  or  5  chromis  for  your  aquarium  as  they  are  schooling  fish  and  should  not  be  kept  alone
 chromis  are  quite  hardy  and  stay  small  enough  even  for  a  20  gal  tank
 feeding  is  not  a  problem  either..an  ideal  beginne  fish
 
 
 clownfish
 everyone  knows  clownfish  are  great  beginner  fish..they  are  good  looking  and  are  quite  hardy...however  beginners  would  be  advised  to  make  sure  they  select  good  quality  clowns  as  i  have  seen  that  the  wild  caught  clownfish  in  india  suffer  from  diseases  like  brooklynella(clownfish  disease)  which  is  fatal
 look  for  a  fish  that  is  alert,feeding  and  does  not  show  any  whitish  patches  or  rapid  breathing
 clownfish  can  be  kept  in  even  15  gallon  tanks...some  species  like  the  percula  and  ocellaris  are  less  agressive  whereas  the  tomato  and  maroon  clowns  can  be  very  nasty!so  choose  the  species  you  want  according  to  the  tankmates
 one  important  thing  to  be  said  here  is  that  anemones  are  not  necessary  for  clowns..you  can  even  breed  them  without  one...please  dont  buy  an  anemone  if  you  do  no  have  a  proper  system  for  it..your  clowns  will  even  ccept  a  bunch  of  rubberbands  as  a  surrogate  anemone  and  you  can  still  enjoy  watching  the  clown  among  the  tentacles!
 
 
 dottybacks

 the  so  called  pseudochromis...should  be  kept  as  pairs  or  as  single  individuals  as  they  are  very  agressive  and  at  the  same  time  very  hardy
 they  are  brightly  coloured  and  do  not  have  any  feeding  problems...do  no  put  these  fish  in  a  tank  with  timid  species  like  cardinals,gobies  or  blennies
 the  dottybacks  are  jumpers-cover  your  tank
 they  are  quite  tiny-mostly  only  a  couple  of  inces  and  can  be  had  in  a  small  tank..make  sure  you  give  lots  of  cover
 
 
 cardinals
 these  are  tiny  nocturnal  fish  that  are  great  to  watch  after  turning  the  tank  lights  off....do  not  keep  them  with  more  aggressive  fish  of  fish  large  enough  to  eat  them..require  frozen  or  fresh  food..wont  thrive  on  flake
 
 
 gobies  and  blennies
 small  interesting  lively  fish  for  the  beginner...make  sure  you  research  the  species  before  buying  because  some  have  special  requirements  like  fine  sand,hiding  places  etc
 some  blennies  are  nasty  nippers  and  hence  be  careful  of  what  you  are  getting
 neon  gobies  can  be  used  for  cleaning  parasites  off  fishes
 
 
 wrasses

 wrasses  are  good  hardy  fish  as  long  as  you  know  the  species  you  are  getting  and  provide  an  adequate  sized  system  for  it...some  wrasses  stay  small  and  are  reef  safe(fairy  wrasse)  while  others  can  get  huge  and  eat  up  all  your  fish  and  crustaceans
 please  avoid  buying  cleaner  wrasses!
 
 
 lionfish
 the  dwarf  species  (fuzzy,fu  manchu  etc)  can  be  kept  in  atleast  a  40  gal  tank
 the  larger  volitans  and  radiata  lions  require  atleast  a  120  gal,efficient  skimming,good  skimming  and  freq  water  changes  as  they  eat  and  defecate  a  lot
 lions  have  huge  mouths  and  will  eat  damsels,clowns  or  any  other  small  fish..they  do  not  harm  inverts  and  require  hiding  places..esp  if  you  have  bright  lights
 these  fish  can  sting  you  with  their  spines...be  careful  when  handling  dead  or  live  specimens
 lions  should  not  be  fed  feeder  goldfish  as  they  can  be  trained  to  accept  other  meaty  foods  of  marine  origin..goldfish  lessens  the  lifespan  and  causes  water  quality  problems
 
 
 tangs
 they  require  lots  of  space  as  they  are  a  group  that  cruise  large  areas  of  the  ocean  and  do  not  do  well  when  confined  in  a  small  space....atleast  a  75  gal  is  a  must  for  any  tang..the  stripes  sailfins  seen  commonly  in  india  can  get  to  atleast  12"  and  need  atleast  a  120  gal
 tangs  are  great  herbivores  and  canbe  used  to  get  rid  of  algae  in  your  tank..they  also  need  meaty  foods  and  seaweed  should  also  be  fed  for  good  health
 tangs  require  well  oxygenated  good  water  and  will  be  the  first  to  die  if  your  water  quality  falls
 this  family  is  also  prone  to  ich  and  quarantining  is  an  absolute  must!
 and  please  stay  off  the  powder  blues..these  seem  to  be  very  popular  but  are  quite  difficult  to  keep
 tangs  are  called  ich  magnets  and  should  be  kept  only  after  you  have  got  a  bit  of  experience  and  a  large  system
 
 
 these  are  most  of  the  beginner  fishes  that  are  reef  safe...any  clarifications  please  feel  free  to  ask
 
 coming  soon...aggressive  fish,non  reef  safe  fish  and  inverts  that  are  suitable  for  beginners..keep  watching  this  space!
 
 hope  this  helps
 
 regards
 
 arvind


Last edited by pironya on Mon May 29, 2006 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pironya
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:12 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi  all
 
 mmm..could  add  more  info  so  that  this  thread  can  be  made  a  sticky....i  think  this  thread  combined  with  aquascapes'  thread  on  skimmers,fuges  etc  will  be  one  nice  info  resource  for  beginners  and  experts  alike!
 
   Thumbs Up  
 
 lets  see  how  it  works  out..i  hope  to  add  more  beginner  suitable  species  as  i  said  in  my  previous  post..i  consciously  gave  less  information  in  the  unsuitable  species  list  so  that  people  do  not  try  to  keep  such  species  just  for  novelty  value  and  to  be  different  from  the  rest
 
 anyway  keep  the  feedback  coming  friends!
 
 thanks  for  the  support
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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aquascapes
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:20 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

                                                   
Quote:                
mmm..could  add  more  info  so  that  this  thread  can  be  made  a  sticky....                

 I  agree!  I  would  also  urge  you  to  upload  some  pictures  of  fish  (let  me  know  if  you  want  any  fishy  pictures!)
 so  that  people  who  are  absolutely  unaware  of  the  fish  can  easily  id  the  fish!
 Very  nice  work  buddy  -  keep  it  up!
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gokulin
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:25 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Arvind!
 
 The  information  you  give  out  here  is  excellent.
 
 Why  don't  you  come  up  with  an  article  on  Marine  Fish  Keeping  from  the  A  to  the  Z  instead  of  putting  them  in  different  threads.
 
 That  would  give  beginners  a  great  idea  and  help  them  jump  start  the  hobby  instead  of  going  around  for  gathering  information.
 
 Even  you  could  go  part  by  part.
 
 Marine  Fishkeeping  -  Part  I
 (dealing  with  Fish  and  Invert  species)
 Marine  Fishkeeping  -  Part  II,  etc.
 (dealing  with  tank  setups  and  maintenance)
 
 Please  consider  this  point.
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Lancelot
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:38 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Cheer    Cheer    Cheer  
 
 3  cheers....  good  write  up.    I  second  the  idea  for  articles...
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psimhan
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:30 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Nice  work,  Arvind!!
 You  should  write  an  article  on  some  of  the  more  commonly  kept  marine  fish,  possibly  with  requirements  and  care.
   Thumb Up
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pironya
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:03 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi
 
 the  article  idea  was  what  struck  me  first...i  decided  to  do  the  thred  so  that  inouts  from  people  with  more  experience  in  the  hobby  can  also  be  included...
 
 anyway  as  i  hav  already  started  the  thread  i  think  id  better  finsh  it!
 
 one  more  idea  of  mine  (more  like  a  dream)  is  to  have  a  very  small  scale  website  for  marine  hobbyists  in  india...i  think  the  website  should  have  the  database  of  all  the  marine  aquarists  along  with  extensive  details  of  their  tanks,fish  and  invert  profiles  written  by  indian  marine  hobbyists,as  well  as  detailed  articles  on  aspects  like  stocking,lighting,filtration,quarantine  etc...
 links  to  good  marine  sites  and  contact  details  of  good  quality  lfs  and  livestock  suppliers  can  also  be  included
 
 this  website  will  work  very  well  in  tandem  with  iah  because  we  can  continue  to  interact  and  learn  through  iah  and  at  the  same  time  have  a  one  stop  library  like  information  trove  on  which  we  can  always  fall  back  on  for  any  kind  of  info  on  marine  keeping  in  india...the  proposed  site  will  provide  lots  of  info  which  i  feel  is  not  readily  available  to  marine  hobbyists  in  india.
 
 please  share  your  thoughts  about  this  idea  of  mine....it  pains  me  to  find  that  though  we  have  many  experienced  hobbyists  in  india  we  have  to  refer  foreign  sites  and  books...so  do  tell  me  if  you  think  this  idea  is  alright  or  if  you  dont  like  it  also  pleae  say  so!
 
 thanks  for  your  patience
 
 regards
 
 arvind
 
 ps:this  website,if  made  should  in  no  way  affect  our  participation  in  iah  as  this  is  where  the  forums  are  whereas  the  site  will  be  more  like  a  library
 
 and  yeah..i  am  currently  working  on  the  remainder  of  the  beginners  suitable  species  thread..watch  this  space  for  updates!
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