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Contains articles regarding fish and aquariums in the news.


Well, MACNA XXI is in the rearview mirror, along with all the traffic on the Atlantic City expressway.  This years MACNA was number six for both myself and That Fish Place, and I must give my complements to the New Jersey Reefers Club and MASNA for a very well organized and well run show.  What a great bunch of folks, I lost count of how many times someone from the club stopped me to make sure we did not need anything, or just to ask how things were going.

I would also like to thank all the attendees that stopped by our booth.  It is great to meet people who know us as a mail order company, but never get to meet us, or visit our retail store.  Lots of familiar faces as well, we really enjoy the interaction at events such as this.

With the venue in Atlantic City this year, we (along with several other vendors) put an element of gambling into our booth with a Plinko game.  Wow, was that a popular idea! We even had other vendors coming over to play.  We had some great prizes to win in the game, everyone won something, it was a lot of fun.  We had some special T-Shirts made up for the show, they were by far the most popular prize in the game, I think that you will see them make an appearance in our store in the near future.

One of the things that the New Jersey Reefers did with this particular show was set the workshop demonstrations up in multiple locations within the exhibit hall, a great idea.  With the video system they used, it allowed far more people to see the Demos.  Especially for the folks who only attended the show for one day, I think that it let them get more done in a short period of time than at past shows.   They had three demo areas running at once, for an hour each.  Each demo lasted 15 minutes, then repeated, this allowed you to see all three demos within the hour, without having to move from room to room.   I sat in on a couple of the demonstrations, one by Justin Credabel (great name, I think I need a new one) and Kelly Jedlicki, both were very interesting, short, and too the point.  I will post a follow up blog about the topics that they discussed.

The speaker hall was in a nice sized room, a short walk from the exhibit hall, and again very well organized with video systems so that no matter where you were sitting, you had a good view of what was going on with video screens and monitors throughout the hall.  Unfortunately, time did not allow me to get away from the exhibit hall to see most of the speakers, but Cory and I did get a chance to see a few. We will also post some blogs about the topics of discussion in the near future.

We had a great time at the show, and from what we saw, so did most everyone else.  For those of you who have never attended a MACNA show, I would very much encourage you to do so.  There is so much to see and do, and everyone is there to have a good time.  Hopefully, we will see you in Orlando next year for MACNA XXII.


That Fish Place Aquariums and Fish Recap – Week of 9/21

MACNA boothGreetings! The big news this week? MACNA!! Our team is on location in Atlantic City for this year’s main event, and Dave will be tweeting on all the cool stuff going on there. I’m sure we can also look forward to a blog recap highlighting the showstoppers.

In the news this week: more new species. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the diversity we find on this little blue planet blows my mind. This time the newly discovered critters were found at around 500 meters depth near the Canary Islands. Don’t be expecting to see these deep water oddities in your local aquarium store, but take a look anyway because they’re just cool.

There was also this article on a risque new Chimera or Ghost Shark species discovered off the Southern California coast!

PufferfishAs if there wasn’t enough at the beach to look out for as a hazard, people in New Zealand now have to be aware of puffers and puffer toxin when they’re frolicking on those beautiful coasts. This piece should hit home with aquarists, too, as fun and adorable as puffers are there is a risk involved in keeping them in aquariums that has to be kept in mind, as the toxin has the potential inflict some serious damage. Read more on puffer toxin in Eileen’s blog about toxins.

And now for a look at the future of the aquarium hobby! We all know that leaving our precious aquariums home alone for extended periods of time can be stressful, and many of us can relate to the horror of tank disasters that can occur while we’re on vacation or working long hours. Why not construct your own robot to monitor your tank? Seems like an impossibility? Not when it comes with the help of the braniacs at Erector! The Spykee Robot may be the key to giving you a little piece of mind.

This week we got some pretty cool stuff in the fish room in addition to all the favorites. Here are the highlights:

I’m a fan of Possum Wrasses. Also known as Arrowhead Wrasses and Pygmy Wrasses, these little beauties are fun to watch, s Tanaka Possum Wrasseand they’re reef safe. Their small size makes them suitable for even smaller tanks. The Tanaka Possum Wrasse is the newest arrival!

We also received a lovely little Polleni Grouper. Only about 3-4″ and very pretty! Of course, I’ve never seen an ugly Polleni.

On the fresh side, the Zebra Loaches that arrived this week are looking particularly robust and active. Those attractive stripes would complement any community tank. The new Bug-eye Squeaker Cats, Synodontis contractus, also caught my eye. Synos are interesting looking cats in general, but the patterns on these are very attractive and the current stock is fat and happy. If you’re on the market for African Cichlids, I recommend the adult Pseudotropheus acei with their spectacular blue color.

Until next time, Patty

Pufferfish image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Mbz1

That Fish Place Aquariums and Fish Recap – Week of 8/24

Ah, Friday. Best day of the week! Though there is never a lack of interesting fish/aquarium/ocean related news to reinvigorate us and carry us through. Let’s take a look at the news and newbies!

  • Blue TunicateThe Grunion are running! AHHHHH! Actually, if you don’t know what grunion are and you’re concerned about why they are running, don’t worry, it’s actually a good thing. This might be something I would put on my bucket list of things to experience before I die. (I’m easily amused.) http://www.al.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-19/1250767015290200.xml&storylist=national&thispage=1
  • Of course I’d much rather be faced by thousands of little fish than have “Died of Toxic Algae Gases” imprinted on my death certificate. Visiting the French Coast is off my bucket list. Of course it will be something to reconsider if they get the situation under control in the next (hopefully) 50 years or so. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8195180.stm
  • Snooty WrasseIf anything could be more exciting than the running of the grunion, check out the image captured by Google earth!!! I always knew she was there somewhere, not even Nessie can escape the spying eyes in the sky! http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/aug/27/loch-ness-monster-google-earth
  • I can’t imagine that the guy in this article has much left on his list if he has one. Seems to me if he wants to do something he has little trouble accomplishing his goals. This guy is pretty amazing IMHO, but not just for his endurance, but for his guts at swimming in some of the rivers and conditions he has. We aquarists all know what lurks in the muddy depths, so this guy gets a big WOW “what a crazy-cool thing you did!” from me! http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2007-04-07-amazon-swim_N.htm
  • Spotted Pike Characin Everybody has an opinion on goldfish in the aquarium world, and sadly, the opinions are not always good. But when you see those bulging eyes and that bobbing, bulbous body, its hard not to smile. In case you didn’t know already goldfish do have some redeeming qualities, and they may be cause to consider them again as a new family pet. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1209316/Gulp-Why-life-goldfish-bowl-lot-exciting-thought.html
  • There was an interesting article I read this week on the renewed interest of creating biotopes. I have always found the idea of setting up and maintaining a biotope interesting, and with all the new technology and advances in the aquarium world this is a better idea than ever! Biotopes are displays that are more true to nature, a little slice of a specific habitat and conditions with only plants and animals that are native to that habitat. These setups are a lot of fun to watch, and are great to reproduce for keeping specific fish in a habitat as close as possible to the one they’re found in naturally. I’m hoping that we can create one or two as retail displays in the future.
  • Whitebanded Pygmy WrasseWe get questions all the time from customers about something that emerged from their live rock or from a coral or from seemingly nowhere. Strange worms are often a fact of life in reef aquaria, and though you may not always see them, chances are there are some hiding away in the dim recesses of your rock. This little gem might help you ID or at least get closer to IDing the little surprises that come along with reefing.
  • Lots of you have pretty strong opinions, like we do, on bill HR669. Frank gives a recap of what’s going on with it now over on the Reptile Blog.
  • The biggest news in the retail store this week is the new plant gravel in our plant room. The plant gravel has been furnished by Seachem and will not only improve the appearance of the space, but hopefully benefit the plants for their short time in the room. Check it out to see all the colors of the new substrate in action if you’re considering a substrate change or a new planted aquarium.
  • New and exciting this week at TFP:

    Check the blog for pics of these guys.

  • I get excited any time we get Oxycheilinus sp., Cheilinus sp., and other similar wrasses. These fish are often overlooked and washed out in our pale tanks but they are real gems in the home aquarium with tons of personality and flashy color too. Check out the Snooty wrasses (How you can you not love something with a name like Snooty?) in stock this week, and watch of other similar wrasses like the Twospot Wrasse and Floral Wrasses periodically.
  • Cave BassWe got a Cave Bass this week! These guys aren’t available often but they are super neat. They’ll tend to hide out in shadowy caves in your tank, but you’ll be pleased just to know he’s there.
  • This little beauty, the White-banded Pygmy Wrasse, only gets to be about 2 inches long. A-dorable, and safe for the reef. Think nano reef or biotope!
  • People don’t often get excited about tunicates. Generally they look like a lump of putty or nothing much at all when they arrive, but the blue tunicate that arrived this week is quite a looker!
  • On the freshwater side, these Spotted Pike Characins are pretty eye catching. Not community friendly, but nice for the right tank!
  • That Fish Place Aquariums and Fish Recap – Week of 8/17

    Patty here, and welcome to our Friday recap. Lots of fun and interesting stuff crop up both worldwide and right here at TFP over a week’s time, so we’ve decided to start hooking you up with sweet updates on these kinds of things. Be sure to let us know what you think of these posts (The little thumbs up, thumbs down at the bottom), and feel free to send us some of the excellent things you’ve read in the comments or on Facebook.

    This week’s Noteworthy Fish stuff

  • I know that a little romancing can go a long way, but who knew that a little Barry White could push a cold fish into a passionate frenzy?! At the Sea Life London Aquarium, they’re doing what they can to set the mood for poor Zorro the Zebra Shark to woo the ladies. Good luck, little guy, everybody needs a little love! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6054368/Barry-White-songs-used-to-encourage-shark-to-mate-in-aquarium.html
  • We already know the benefits of having live plants in the home aquarium, but it never hurts to say it again. I personally don’t think enough can be said about the benefits, and this article breaks it down in easy terms just to push the issue a little more. I mean, how would you like it if you were suddenly dumped in a bubble with only plastic trees and flowers? It would be like living on a Hollywood movie set! http://www.aquariumnews.com/only_browser/262411/
  • How lucky is this guy? I can’t say I don’t envy him! This beautiful behemoth seems to be just as fascinated by the diver as the diver is by him, so whatever he is doing to draw its attention is working, just watch out for flailing fins and tails. The amazing shots are definitely share-worthy. Sure, these are mammals and not fish, but still…. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1207590/The-underwater-dance-David-Goliath-Diver-perches-fin-friendly-50ft-humpback-whale.html
  • MACNA 21 is just a few short weeks away! The Marine & Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA XXI) is being held in Atlantic City, NJ September 25-27, 2009. This is one of the biggest annual events for people in the industry and hobbyists alike. There are loads of exhibitors, awesome speakers scheduled raffles and tons of other fun to be had, drop the family at the shore and head to the Sheraton! Check out the homepage for full details! *Shameless plug* Your favorite Aquarium Supply store will be there too, so stop by and say hi to Dave.
  • Meanwhile, back at That Fish Place the most exciting project going on is the newly constructed Coral Propagation room. The room will soon be slowly populated with lots captive grown frags and in house cultured frags for future sale both in the retail store and online!
  • Our 700 Display got bright new bulbs this week and a few new fish additions. If you look closely at the rock it would appear that we’ve had a spawning , as there are numerous tiny new colonies of either Pocillopora or Seriatopora appearing all over the place! Stay tuned, they have to grow out a little to be sure.
  • The results of our first cross-Facebook/Fish Catalog photo contest are in, and Michael S. from McConnellsburg, PA is the winner with this sweet pic of a Black Misbar and a Derasa Clam. Michael will receive a $100 gift card, and have his photo featured in the Fall fish catalog. Check out Michael’s picture here, and if you’re interested in entering for the Winter Fish Catalog, send your high-res photo to petsonline@thatpetplace.com.
  • Cool new stuff at That Fish Place this week

  • Spanish ShawlYou can see where the Spanish Shawl Nudibranch gets its name, flamenco anyone? Very cool but they are specialized feeders like many other nudis!
  • Chestnut Cowries eat algae when their little, but may develop a taste for sponges and softies on the side as they mature, so keep that in mind!
  • This Hawaiian Cultured Blue Maxima is A-mazing!
  • Two species of microrasboras, very cute, very tiny, maybe worth a small species tank, but probably not fitting for the average community right now due to their small size.
  • Though I’m not nuts about crazy hybrid cichlids, this Red Dragon Flowerhorn is pretty eye catching.
  • Two sweet War Coral Frags…Get them while they’re here!
  • And from ORA, Extreme Misbar Ocellaris! No two are alike!
  • Just a sampling, come see us and check out these and tons of other cool stuff!

    Until next time,


    Long Live the Queen Angel in Declining Caribbean Reefs?

    Melissa here. I recently read an interesting article (sadly, one of many) on the decline of Florida reefs.  The prognosis for the future of many Florida and Carribbean reefs is not looking good, especially if steps are not taken soon to stop the forces that are having such a negative impact on these environments. The reefs off the coast of Florida’s keys are in real danger, and according to this report, there has been a significant decline of both reefs and some fish populations in just the last 10 years. Snapper and grouper populations in particular have declined according to the article, and it is estimated that they are below sustainability levels. While I have been to Florida several times, I have yet to scuba dive there. I have been told by friends that it’s beautiful, and that wild queen angels (my favorite fish!) swim freely on these reefs. This article doesn’t address the Queen Angel population, but with their habitat being in trouble I wonder and worry about the impact on them over the next decade and beyond. I don’t know about you, but being an avid Queen Angelfish lover, I would love to take a trip to the Keys so I can take in the beauty of these reefs before it is too late. It may be sooner than we all think that this and other majestic species will only rarely be able to be observed, except in a captive aquarium environment. Feel free to let any thoughts you may have about the declining reefs and fish. Here is a link to the article if you want to read more: