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E. stellata, Nesea, LFS and Clubs, Loricarids

Hi guys, no sooner have I gotten off e-mail from Olga telling me the
Vancouverites are raising Eusteralis stellata (B2,D,G), than I get a phone
call saying there's some in my favorite LFS (well, one of my *two*
favorite LFS, Andrew).  They also had Nesaea sp. "Red leaved" (B2).
Both of these seem to be really high light.  Any experiences or tips
on these very unusual plants?

> From: Hoa Nguyen <nguyenh at nosc_mil>
>   Aquarium: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/2637/

A very nice set of comparisons.. Only thing missing is the sun. :)

> From: George Booth <booth at hpmtlgb1_lvld.hp.com>

> The local LFS "with attitude" owner related a club experience to me: he was 
> approached by a member of the Denver club (60 miles away from Ft. Collins) 
> looking for donations for a club event or, at the least, a place to put a flyer.  
> The member made the mistake of showing the owner a copy of the club newsletter 
> that just happened to have an article on "Why mailorder is better than your 
> local store".  The clueless member escaped with his life but the LFS now has 
> nothing to do with clubs or other forms of advertising "which are too 
> expensive". 

I've always felt the Seattle club treaded a thin line.  We're
constantly having to visit and revisit "Why does this club exist?" and
"Who does the club serve?"  Promoting the hobby includes supporting
the LFS that also do so, but often times the club forgets about the
local stores except when it's looking for auction donations or a place
to put up posters...and then wonders why many stores are grumbly about
it.  Back five years ago, there was RABID forbidding of any talk about
mail order, when the president of the club was himself a store
manager.  I try to find more of a balance, i.e. yes mail order exists
and yes it's very much cheaper than the local stores, and yes I do big
orders from them 'cause we'd never be able to afford it otherwise.
And yeah, I'd be a fool to buy 200 pounds of gravel from the LFS when
I get it for $10 at the quarry.  But you gotta remember who brings in
the good fish and plants.  I think the other balance aspect is that we
try to have lots of cheap ad oppotunities for the stores (heck, some
of them have web presence for free thanks to us), so they know we're
promoting them.  And we also have several meetings that are more
"service" oriented, like free big name speakers.  The stores are
always glad to put up posters for Lee Finley.  There might be a run on
cories the next day.

Nonetheless, there are always some people that are going to be
assholes and flaunt to stores "Why should I buy that *here*?" and
there are always going to be some store owners who think that once
someone's in a fish club they buy everything mailorder (I did have a
manager tell me that point-blank).  We try and educate the former, and
the latter do not receive support from us (that manager's store is,
interestingly, out of business now).

> From: Conwayte at aol_com
> Subject: Re:  Loricariids
> How are the Loricariids as far as algae eaters?
> Do they damage plants?

They range from good to "too good" (they eat the algae AND plants).
Smaller ones such as Ancistrus and Pecoltia work quite well.
Farlowella are good algae eaters but are very delicate and die easily.
Standard pl*co's get too big and can rasp the plants to death.

  - Erik

Erik Olson				
eriko at wrq.com