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Author Archives: Eileen Daub

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Marine Biologist/Aquatic Husbandry Manager I was one of those kids who said "I want to be a marine biologist when I grow up!"....except then I actually became one. After a brief time at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I graduated from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 2004. Since then, I've been a marine biologist at That Fish Place - That Pet Place, along with a Fish Room supervisor, copywriter, livestock inventory controller, livestock mail-order supervisor and other duties here and there. I also spent eight seasons as a professional actress with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and in other local roles. If that isn't bad enough, I'm a proud Crazy Hockey Fan (go Flyers and go Hershey Bears!).

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New Aquarium Livestock at That Fish Place

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten a lot of new and exciting livestock in our fish room for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. These are some of our favorites, but hurry in because they aren’t likely to be here for long!

Ruby Red PeacockLots of colorful adult peacock cichlids:
In addition to our smaller, juvenile African cichlids, we’ve gotten in a lot of colorful adult male peacocks over the past couple of weeks. These cichlids range from three to six inches in size and have the bright, mature color prized by collectors. Some of the species we have right now are:
Aulonocara rubescens, both the “Ruby Red Peacock” and the “Albino Ruby Red Peacock”
Aulonocara hyassae “Red Shoulder Blue Peacock”
Aulonocara steveni “Albino Taiwan Reef”
Aulonocara maulana “Bicolor Peacock”
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi, both the “Lemon Jake” and Lwanda” variants
Copidachromis mloto “Ivory Head Mloto”
Sciaenochromis ahli “Electric Blue Ahli”

Friendly fish for small marine aquariums

Two fairly uncommon, peaceful blenny species are back in stock – the Segmented Blenny (Salarias segmentatus) and the Lined Blenny (Ecsenius lineatus). Both are adorable small species that are perfect for smaller aquariums that might be too small for another algae-eating blenny like the Lawnmower or Starry Blennies.
The even smaller Panda Goby (Paragobius lacunicolus) is ideal for tiny nano-reef aquariums. These tiny gobies have a maximum size of only one inch and have white bodies with black fins and an orange head. They aren’t available often so when they’re gone, they might not be back for several months.
Another small goby, the Tangoroa Shrimpgoby (Ctenogoboips tangaroai), is a good partner for small pistol shrimp or on their own in community aquariums. They have generally white bodies with a long dorsal ray and can be found building a burrow or scooting along the bottom of the aquarium.

Rare and unusual saltwater fish:
Hybrid Lemonpeel Pygmy Angel (Centropyge flavissimus var.) – a first for TFP! We only have one of these pygmy angels in stock, but it is a new favorite worth mentioning. While most of its coloration is typically of the Lemonpeel Pygmy Angel, this particular fish has a black tail and black trim around the back of its body, making us think it hybridized with an Eiblii or Half Black Pygmy Angel at some point. Very unique!
Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) – This rare little wrasse has been here for a few weeks now and is making himself at home! The Mystery Wrasse has a gorgeous blue and green coloration and is safe for most reef tanks. The one we have is super active and definitely has put aside the secretive “mystery” part of his common name!
Helfrichi Firefish (Nemateleostris helfrichi) – This little dartfish is on on the wish list of most of our Fish Room staff. It has a beautiful coloration, a peaceful nature and small adult size, and isn’t a picky eater. These fish never stay in our Fish Room long when we are able to get them and we don’t expect to be able to keep the one we have left for very long.

Acro, Acro Acro!
It’s been a good week for SPS lovers! A few new coral shipments have left us with some gorgeous Acropora’s – ultra colorful, unique formations, dense colonies, even a large Table Top Acropora.

Keep in mind, patrons of our Lancaster, PA retail store have first dibs on the livestock listed here. If you are interested in a species, I would recommend giving the livestock department a call ASAP at 1-877-367-4377. Even if we’re no longer in stock, most times we can special order what you’re looking for.



Go with the Flow: The “Yes, and..” philosophy of aquarium care

Please welcome Eileen Daub with her first post to That Fish Blog!Eileen, Marine Biologist at That Fish Place

As a professional actress in my free time away from That Fish Place, I’ve learned a lot from the theater world that I’ve brought back into our fish room (and vice versa….pronouncing the Latin scientific names of some of these fish really helps to untangle Shakespeare sometimes, believe it or not). One of the biggest tips that the dramatic community can give to aquarists is the theory of improvisation and “Yes, and…”, like the actors in shows like “Whose line is it, anyway?” use to think up those jokes and skits on the spot. To an actor, improv means saying “Yes, and…” to whatever someone else throws their way.

“Hey, you! You’re hair just burst into flame!”

“Yes, and…it saves on heating bills.”

“That dog there just jumped over a house.”

“Yes, and…he fetched his own ball from the gutter while he was up there, isn’t that nice.”

So, what does this have to do with keeping your fish alive and getting your plants and corals to grow? You’d be surprised. For example, our store alone currently sells over 30 products to raise pH or lower pH or raise pH but lower hardness and all kinds of things to make the number on your pH test match what your fish should be kept in. Well, instead of matching your water to a fish, why not try it the other way.

“My pH is really low.”

“Yes, and…discus, killifish, tetras, and other Amazon species love more acidic water.”

“My water hardness is really high and I can’t get the pH down.”

“Yes, and…that doesn’t work for these tetras but those African cichlids love hard water, and hard water with lots of minerals makes a good foundation for reef and marine tanks.”

Need more convincing? Ok, what about all that algae in your aquarium. Instead of scrubbing until your fingers have blisters or putting more chemicals in your tank than in a high school chemistry lab, work with it. Is the hair algae going crazy in your marine tank? Why not try a blenny, bristletooth tang, or a sea hare to help eat it up (or if you get really creative, pick up a small pair of craft scissors and make it your damsel’s new front lawn…tiny garden gnome statue optional)? If lighting is an issue, remember that fish don’t have a 9-5 schedule like the rest of us. If you are only home in the evenings to enjoy your tank, adjust the timers so the lights aren’t on when you aren’t around.

Better yet, how about those inevitable outbreaks of disease or an unpreventable accident. It happens to the best of us – I once wiped out my entire home saltwater aquarium because of an unquarantined new arrival – but the key to enjoying your aquarium instead of dreading its maintenance is how you respond.

“My tank just keeps getting ich outbreaks/bacterial infections/cloudy water/aquatic alien abductions.”

“Yes, and…now I’m going to figure out what to do about it.” (I hear aluminum foil tank covers work well for alien abduction problems. Doesn’t prevent the crop circles in hair algae though, sorry)

Very few things in the aquarium hobby are spontaneous; the cause of the problem might just be tricky to find and sometimes, we just might have to learn to adjust to and live with the problem. Ich and other parasites can be almost impossible to completely prevent, but if you’re fish seem to be especially prone, you might want to switch their diet, add supplements to boost their immune system, or avoid invertebrates and keep a low copper dosage in the tank, for example.

A favorite director of mine likes to refer to improv actors as “Chaos Surfers” – they take whatever anyone throws at them, accept it and ride it forward. I say, why stop there? Aquarists can do the same. We can take whatever our aquarium is telling us and instead of fighting against it, we can accept it and make what we have work for us. We just have to be flexible enough to realize that even when our aquarium “scene” is going the way it might have been planned in our head, what we do have is just as good in a completely different way.

Thanks, Eileen

We look forward to more blogs from you in the future!