Fish 'N' Chips
A Monthly Marine Newsletter
February 2000 Issue


From Liz
Critter Corner: T. crocea Update
Skimmer Review
What's Up @ ReefsUK
Caught In The Net
Upcoming Events
Prove It!, a Bibliography
Newsletter Disclaimer

From Liz
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/28/00

Fish 'N' Chips Website Is Back! Check it out and let me know what you think of the new site: (address updated 4/19/00). I'm not too pleased with the site's response time and I really hate the banner ads and the frames but it's the best we've got for now. (note 4/19/00: now, I'm pleased!)

Lost Turboflotor Hang On Review - Back in the November 1999 issue, I asked if anybody would like to submit a review for a couple of skimmers. I got a review for the Turboflotor Hang On. When my hard drive crashed, I lost it. To make matters worse, I also lost the name and email address for the hobbyist who did the review. Well, if you are out there and you still have that review, can you resend it to me? It would be most appreciated!

Speaking Of Skimmer Reviews Wanted... The skimmer reviews I was looking for back in November were for the Turboflotor Hang On (as mentioned above) and the Sipedon Technologies Acrylic Maelstrom 100 Tank Mount. I'm still looking for reviews for these skimmers. Anybody up to the task? Any format you like, you definitely don't have to use the one that usually appears in the newsletter. Remember, I can't pay for reviews!

Other Reviews Wanted - I'd like to keep up the tradition of a review in each issue. Right now, I have no reviews for future issues. So, if you'd like to review something, please let me know. It doesn't have to be a skimmer (although, they are always welcome). I'd really like to start publishing reviews on all sorts of equipment used in our hobby - lightbulbs, lighting units/systems, filters, pumps, the list goes on.

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Critter Corner
Tridacna crocea Update

By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/11/00

In the December 1999 issue of Fish 'N' Chips, the Critter Corner article was on the Tridacna crocea clam. During research for that article, I had the pleasure of an email conversation with Gary Meadows of Harbor Aquatics ( We discussed a good deal of what is currently happening with the clam trade, particularly in relation to the T. crocea. Following is a quote from Gary on the subject:

Crocea will be in short supply this winter due to the situation in the Solomon Islands. We'll have to be careful and inquire about the source of our clams. Some might be illegally caught wild clams, the quality would be questionable at best. Wild crocea are strongly attached, many will be damaged when they are removed from the wild reef. Hobbyists need to know the source of their livestock. The pet stores and suppliers need to know they care.

Discussions at the Marine Ornamentals Conference in Hawaii lead me to believe a crocea farm from scratch would take 8 to 10 years. If brood stock is found to start a farm it would still take about 3 years to ship. As the rules are now you have to spawn wild caught clams, raise the spat to breeding size (5-8 years) spawn those clams and then raise their young to marketable size (2½ to 4 years). It's amazing we have croceas at all.

Dave Palmer from the Solomons is exploring options to get the operation up and running again.

Gary and I also discussed "...the situation in the Solomons..." Following is another quote from Gary:

... We have two situations.

The Solomon farm has products we can ship, but is a dangerous area to be in right now. The regulations make it very hard for new commercial culture of slow growing species (like croceas). New farms aren't coming on line due to regulations designed to protect the organisms. Established farms are directing their efforts towards non-regulated organisms. The end result is reduced efforts in mariculture of CITES protected organisms.

Note from ELukan: CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The CITES web site is at

Just look at the newer CTSA publications: .

Note from ELukan: CTSA stands for Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture. If you have trouble linking directly to that page (I did at first), try and follow the link to Publications or and follow the links from there to CTSA and then to publications.

Tilapia, shrimp, pearls, tinfoil barbs and the rest are being commercially produced. Endangered species (CITES regulated) are not. The papers and manuals you see here are the result of setting up producing farms.

CTSA #117 is a perfect example. In 1995 it seemed the perfect solution to depletion of Silver Arowana in the wild. Raise them in captivity, make a good living farming a fish in high demand. Also reduce or remove pressure on the wild caught fish. Guess what, we can't import them. It's illegal to ship an Arowana to the US. I've heard of some being shipped to Canada, but the US is about 80% of the world market.

I still think the US laws would have to be changed once you had CITES approval on the fish. We pass laws above and beyond CITES regulations to help out endangered species. The people writing the laws seem determined to stop the farming of these organisms.

The simple statement would be ...:

To set up more projects like the Solomons, CITES and the laws, rules and regulations on the breeding and trade of clams need to be reworked.

Hopefully the Solomons will work out their problems. The problems with new farms will not go away until the rules are changed though.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the time Gary spent in emailing with me. The sheer amount of information we discussed on the subject of clams has been invaluable to me. As many of you know, I don't own clams and have very little knowledge of them. I don't maintain a reef tank that can house them, so I don't try. This article series has been my way of educating myself as well as providing information to you. What an undertaking it has been and continues to be (I still have a number of individual clam articles to do!). I really do appreciate Gary's time and his permission to quote him in Fish 'N' Chips.

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Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer Review
By Carol E. Keen
Edited By Elizabeth M. Lukan, 3/2/00

This is a skimmer that I use, and I love it! Finally...a good affordable skimmer that is made by a company I like! I love their Visi-Therm heaters by the same company (Aquarium Systems). I do not have problems with their heaters, or this skimmer either!

This skimmer cost about $35.00. For your money you get more than just a skimmer, you get a water pump also. That was a feature I liked, because I didn't want to pay for a skimmer and then have to buy an additional water pump.

The water is pre-filtered on a washable sponge, and then goes into the water pump. You can adjust how much water is skimmed, with an easy to read and see flow gauge. That is a fancy name for a plastic red marker that shows you how many gallons per hour you are skimming.

I have never had any troubles from this skimmer. It comes apart to clean it, more apart than most filters would! I didn't have any trouble getting it back together either...except when I tried to put one tube on upside down. The fit was too tight. When I flipped it over, that fixed it. I am rather glad of this feature, so in a hurry you can't mess it up.

The Visi-Jet Skimmer has suction cups, so it does go inside the tank, but I have not had any problems with that. The baby fish do not get sucked up, and they seem to think that it is a feeding station! A bonus if you ask me, because then food is eaten not drifting about.

You can use a tube that leads to the air hole in the top of the skimmer so that you hang this tube way out of the tank to take in air for tanks with high water levels, or in my case, I used the adapter. I have the air intake in the tank. As long as it reaches above the water level this works.

I have this skimmer currently on a 55 gallon tank. The dump cup comes off nicely, and if you get too many protein bubbles, you only need to drop the flow rate some. The bubbles then return to popping inside the cup.

The oxygen bubbles coming from this skimmer is my second favorite thing about it! They are small to medium bubbles, and the fish and invertebrates love them. I find fish taking bubble baths, and peppermint shrimps dancing in the bubbles.

The only think I found about it that I didn't like was the skimmer cup lid. It made noises when the liquid in the cup pushed too hard. I fixed this with more than one method.

  1. To fix this I put a small rock on the lid. That worked fine, but I am in and out of this tank a lot, so I decided to take the rock off.
  2. I simply took the lid off! That is right, no lid to the top of the skimmer cup.

Another advantage to an in tank skimmer other than not bumping into it in my crowded fish room is that if the skimmer cup starts to over is only going to go back into the tank, not all over the floor!

It is not hard to use, or assemble and I would highly recommend this skimmer!

Editor's Comments:
Editing was limited to spelling corrections and some grammar. Most of my editing work was putting the article into html and the newsletter. No other editing was done, what you read was exactly what was sent to me by Carol.

The Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer is manufactured by Aquarium Systems ( I found the skimmer for sale at two sites, with prices ranging from $28.99 to $31.95 (US Dollars). I was unable to obtain permission to use an image of the Visi-Jet in my article. If you would like to see this skimmer, images can be found on the Aquarium Systems website (address above) or on the That Pet Place, That Fish Place website ( Both sites were emailed for permission to use their Visi-Jet image but neither responded.

Carol E. Keen is the owner and operator of Fish To The Nth. At Fish To The Nth you can find much high quality livestock, although Carol specializes in Seahorses. Carol also runs the Ultimate Seahorse Mailing List. Fish To The Nth can be found at and those interested in the Ultimate Seahorse Mailing List should email Carol at

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What's Up @ ReefsUK
- -
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 3/2/00

1/26/00 - Adding and updating entries in the ReefsUK Database is now easier than ever with the addition of an online form. Follow the link for the "Captive Raised Livestock Database" and then follow the link to the "Form." Remember to provide as many details as possible about the species you have propagated/spawned/bred. After you submit your entry, you will be notified via email that it has gone live on the site for the world to see.

ReefsUK would like to encourage submissions to their database by anyone who has any species of fish or invert that has spawned/bred/propagated in their tanks, whether on purpose or by accident - even if the entire batch of eggs or fry were eaten in under 10 minutes. It is vital that the range of species within the list grows to encourage more people to attempt propagation or breeding. As bans on the importation of corals begin to become reality, it is becoming ever more important to increase the awareness and attempts at propagation. In the years to come this database may become an important source of obtaining marine livestock.

2/18/00 - With the inspiration of The ReefsUK Reef Tank at Scarborough Sea Life Centre another reef tank is in the planning. The second tank will be on a slightly larger scale. In an effort to keep the costs down, ReefsUK is looking for a power skimmer (a Seaclone, for example). The Sea Life Centre is more than willing to pay the going rate for second hand items and cover all shipping costs. If you have an external power skimmer, please contact ReefsUK.

2/23/00 - Chris Doane ( has a berlin skimmer for sale with or without a modified Grundfos pump. Chris is looking for £80 for the skimmer alone or £105 with the pump. For more details, email Chris. This price will include shipping if it isn't too steep.

2/24/00 - Jamie Craggs' article on the breeding and raising of Cleaner Shrimp has been updated to include photographs. To find the article, follow the Captive Breeding and then Articles links.

2/25/00 - A new article, "How to Keep and Care for Acropora's", by Martyn Hulyer covering the care and propagation requirements of Acropora and other SPS corals. Martyn has successfully propagated 13 different species of Acropora. If you have an SPS coral or you are thinking of adding one to you tank, this article is a must. To find the article, go to the Coral Propagation section and then the Articles link.

2/26/00 - A ReefsUK member is trying to establish a source for nanochloropsus algae cultures or rotifers in order to raise the Blue Striped Clownfish. If you can help, email

2/28/00 - The article and photographs of the ReefsUK Display Tank at Scarborough Sea Life Centre is now on the website. Follow the link for Marine Aquariums and then Articles.

2/29/00 - Chris Doane ( has a Tunze 230/2 skimmer for sale. The skimmer is 18 months old and is suitable for tanks up to 200 gallons. Chris is looking for a reasonable offer, email him if interested.

To join the ReefsUK Mailing List, send an email to

Editor's Comments:
Information in this section covers the latest happenings at Mark T. Taber's ReefsUK Web Site. Mark has given me permission to publish any information from his mailing list that I feel would be of interest to Fish 'N' Chips subscribers. So, the above, although reworded by me, should be credited to Mark or to Derek Scales who works closely with Mark on the running of ReefsUK. The dates in bold coincide with Mark or Derek's mailings and are provided as a reference.

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Caught In The Net
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/17/00

New York City Aquaria Society

The recently founded New York City Aquaria Society announces it's website which is located at The current message board on ( will be removed soon.

Reef Deaths By Dynamite Update

In the November 1999 issue, I had the pleasure of publishing an article by Dr. Romeo Arabone. Unfortunately, the topic of the article was as grim as any I've ever seen in this hobby - dolphins and turtles are dying and the reefs are being seriously harmed by fishing with dynamite in the San Bernadino Strait off the island of Samar in the Philippines (this is where this is still mainly happening). Dr. Arabone and I have kept in touch as he continues to fight his cause to end these tragedies. Even more unfortunately, a diver named Mario Sartirani has been killed. Please check out Dr. Arabone's Website for updates and what you can do to help stop this. Dr. Arabone's Website can be found at A direct link to the story of Mario Sartirani can be found at

New stuff on #reefs

Check out the Hitchhiker FAQ for the Reef Aquarist - Vers. 2., a new section on the #reefs website. The Hitchhiker FAQ's purpose is to assist hobbyists in identifying hitchhikers that arrive on your live rock and corals. The new FAQ can be found at

This Month's Selection From The Fish 'N' Chips Fishy Links List

Informational & Educational Sites

The above list matches a portion of the site list maintained on the Fish 'N' Chips Website as of the date of this publication. What you see above is what was listed as on their site by the submitter. The date that follows in parenthesis is the date submitted to the list. For the complete up-to-date list, check out the Fish 'N' Chips Website at (address updated 4/19/00).

Site Submission and Updating: To submit your site for inclusion in the Fish 'N' Chips newsletter and website based Fishy Links List, please go to the Fish 'N' Chips website at (address updated 4/19/00) and complete the Site Submission Form. Please do NOT send any site submission or update requests via email - I will not process them. Of course, emails are welcome if you are having trouble submitting the form or if your browser doesn't support forms.

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What We Want From The Local Fish Store
Tip Submitted By Alec Wilson 11/27/98
Article Written By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/17/00

I would like to see the LFS (Local Fish Store) supply a form with every fish they sell, telling the purchaser:

In fact, everything that you should know when you buy a fish.

To Submit Your Tip: Send your tip via email to with a subject of Tip Submission (information updated 4/26/00: coding replaces need for subject notation) and I'll publish it in an upcoming issue of Fish 'N' Chips. I'll write it up for you or you can do it yourself if you are so inclined. Make sure you let me know if I can include your name and email address or if you'd rather go anonymous.

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Upcoming Events
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/11/00

February 2000

Date and Time: from now until 3/1/2000 on (
Info: "Photo-ID Contest" The most photos submitted to be in the's Photo-ID section will win a copy of Martin Moe's Marine Aquarium Reference, revised edition. Both scientific and common name must accompany the image. Copyright information can be added to the image if desired. Winner to be announced March 1, 2000.
Access: Email images to the webmaster at

Date and Time: from now until 3/1/2000 on (
Info: "Favorite Fish Contest" Sponsored by FAMA. Tell them what has been your favorite fish since you started in the hobby. Post a reply to the message in "The Stream" and you might win a year's subscription to FAMA. The contest is for freshwater, but salties are welcome to enter. Winner to be announced March 1, 2000.
Access: See the Message Board "The Stream" at (

March 2000

Date and Time: 3/2/2000
Info: Speakers Roger Griffis (NOAA Coordinator for the USCRTF (United States Coral Reef Task Force)) and Mike King (head of CORL) will be at a public meeting on 3/2/2000 to answer your questions about the USCRTF and CORL.
Access: Go to for details.

To Submit Your Event: Send your event and all the specifics (date, time, location, pricing, contact info, etc.) via email to with a subject of Event Submission (information updated 4/26/00: coding replaces need for subject notation) and I'll publish it in all issues of Fish 'N' Chips prior to the event.

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Prove It!, a Bibliography
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 2/19/00

Article: Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer Review

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Newsletter Disclaimer

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