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Pet peeve

    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