Reef nutrition

Bay Bridge Aquarium - thumbs up or thumbs down?

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Do you qt your fish once you purchase them?
Not any more. When I used to do, I felt I ended up stressing the fush more and at least in my case it was not a guarantee the fish will not get sick after the quarantine. The point i was trying to make is that I will treat any fish as quarantine. Just like i treat any coral as need dipping regardless if the system it came from..
I feel from buissness stand point ita not worth it because fish can get sick anyway.
 

Flagg37

Supporting Member
Not any more. When I used to do, I felt I ended up stressing the fush more and at least in my case it was not a guarantee the fish will not get sick after the quarantine. The point i was trying to make is that I will treat any fish as quarantine. Just like i treat any coral as need dipping regardless if the system it came from..
I feel from buissness stand point ita not worth it because fish can get sick anyway.
This may be where we differ. I was in complete agreement with you that even if a store says they qt I would treat the fish as not being qt’d. Like you said, there’s too many versions of what it means to qt and it’s too easy to contaminate the process and void the whole purpose. Therefore I do my own; what I think is a balance of hitting the most common problems while being as gentle as possible.

I guess it comes down to trust. Would I pay more money for a qt’d fish? Maybe. I am heavily considering purchasing from Marine Collectors for stocking my next tank because of their qt and guarantee so that I don’t have to qt them myself. From what the Bay Bridge owner has described, I’d give his stock a try as well (if I lived in the area). Neptune, AC, LA, DD; I’ve bought from all of them and qt’d them all too.

Last time I talked to Robert at Neptune he makes no claim to qt’ing his stock. From a business standpoint I don’t think it’s really scaleable. There’s got to be a point where the volume of fish that comes and goes through is too great.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
This may be where we differ. I was in complete agreement with you that even if a store says they qt I would treat the fish as not being qt’d. Like you said, there’s too many versions of what it means to qt and it’s too easy to contaminate the process and void the whole purpose. Therefore I do my own; what I think is a balance of hitting the most common problems while being as gentle as possible.

I guess it comes down to trust. Would I pay more money for a qt’d fish? Maybe. I am heavily considering purchasing from Marine Collectors for stocking my next tank because of their qt and guarantee so that I don’t have to qt them myself. From what the Bay Bridge owner has described, I’d give his stock a try as well (if I lived in the area). Neptune, AC, LA, DD; I’ve bought from all of them and qt’d them all too.

Last time I talked to Robert at Neptune he makes no claim to qt’ing his stock. From a business standpoint I don’t think it’s really scaleable. There’s got to be a point where the volume of fish that comes and goes through is too great.
Just to be clear am speaking purely from buissness prospective.

As a customer ofcourse I would like for the store to quarantine.

Would I believe its properly quarantine...No
Do I think its scalable and profitable for someone who has rent, employees and expenses...No.
Because I think, for every liz out there there are 10 Omar's who will depend on the store and fish look more than the claim of quarantine and not pay "much" above market just because store say they quarantine.

I personally do not quarantine but I am not saying what am doing os right..It just did not work with me, prob it was even my fault, so I am by no mean advocating for quarantine or no quarantine at home..


That's all.
I agree with all your points, maybe my earlier write up gave wrong impression..I was speaking from the prospective of what I think make sense for a buissness owner who runs a store with rent and expenses...that's all..

Again I wish this store all the success, we want more stores in the area..
 
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JVU

BOD
Staff member
I think it is up to the business owner to decide that for himself/herself. There have been lots of business ideas that most casual observers didn’t think would work but they became very successful because they generated new demand and premium pricing. There has recently been a large surge in people talking about providing QT’d/treated fish for a premium price, and I‘m supportive.

I’ve tried QT and fish treatment and despite my background that one might think would help with this sort of thing, I haven’t been very successful despite a lot of stress, and so I don’t want to anymore. I think the large (mostly silent) majority of reefkeepers don’t do any true quarantine or effective treatment. There are a few very vocal people who do it and report success, and generally make everyone else feel inadequate for not doing it. I think there is a big market for people who would like to buy fish that have already had the equivalent of the best of what they could do themselves. I just don’t know if they’d be willing to pay enough for it.

As a consumer my vote is with my money, and I’m willing to vote for stores that take livestock health seriously and do what it takes to this end.
 

Flagg37

Supporting Member
I think it is up to the business owner to decide that for himself/herself. There have been lots of business ideas that most casual observers didn’t think would work but they became very successful because they generated new demand and premium pricing. There has recently been a large surge in people talking about providing QT’d/treated fish for a premium price, and I‘m supportive.

I’ve tried QT and fish treatment and despite my background that one might think would help with this sort of thing, I haven’t been very successful despite a lot of stress, and so I don’t want to anymore. I think the large (mostly silent) majority of reefkeepers don’t do any true quarantine or effective treatment. There are a few very vocal people who do it and report success, and generally make everyone else feel inadequate for not doing it. I think there is a big market for people who would like to buy fish that have already had the equivalent of the best of what they could do themselves. I just don’t know if they’d be willing to pay enough for it.

As a consumer my vote is with my money, and I’m willing to vote for stores that take livestock health seriously and do what it takes to this end.
I think you are exactly right that it’s likely that the majority of the fish bought will not be qt’d. The thing is though, is that when a new fish dies or worse wipes out your whole tank, if it was known to have not been qt’d then you only have yourself to blame. If the fish store claims to have qt’d it then really it’s their fault. If you’re really lucky, you might get the fish you bought replaced but no fish store out there would replace other fish that had died. If they are so sure that their method of qt will yield a perfectly healthy fish then they should make more of a guarantee (the longest guarantee I’ve ever seen is for 14 days). After all, what are you paying a premium for then? A store owner could completely lie about doing qt and charge the premium and with no guarantee it doesn’t matter.

I’m in agreement with you about stores taking fish health seriously but I’m not sure that by qt’ing it means that they are more concerned and not qt’ing means they’re less concerned. I think Robert (Neptune) cares for the livestock he has but he doesn’t qt he doesn’t even use copper in any of his tanks. He simply believes that qt puts undue stress on fish (I would venture to guess that @ofzakaria is of the same mindset).
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
I think you are exactly right that it’s likely that the majority of the fish bought will not be qt’d. The thing is though, is that when a new fish dies or worse wipes out your whole tank, if it was known to have not been qt’d then you only have yourself to blame. If the fish store claims to have qt’d it then really it’s their fault. If you’re really lucky, you might get the fish you bought replaced but no fish store out there would replace other fish that had died. If they are so sure that their method of qt will yield a perfectly healthy fish then they should make more of a guarantee (the longest guarantee I’ve ever seen is for 14 days). After all, what are you paying a premium for then? A store owner could completely lie about doing qt and charge the premium and with no guarantee it doesn’t matter.

I’m in agreement with you about stores taking fish health seriously but I’m not sure that by qt’ing it means that they are more concerned and not qt’ing means they’re less concerned. I think Robert (Neptune) cares for the livestock he has but he doesn’t qt he doesn’t even use copper in any of his tanks. He simply believes that qt puts undue stress on fish (I would venture to guess that @ofzakaria is of the same mindset).
If you dig in the details as a store owner you must ask:
How much more would you pay?
What would the expectation of the warranty be?
A true quarantine means u placea batch of fish in a system and u do not add any new fish for 6 weeks..imagine the how many independent systems u need to run, imagine the true cost of such a thing on a store paying for real estate..to really do it u need large scale to make it worth while..

Funny story I actually once purchased an Achilles from a place. Paid 450$ ~200$ extra because they assured me they will quarantine it...in 4 weeks I got the tang. Looked awesome..fish did not eat and in 1 week it got ich and died in, it died.....who to blame? I have many tangs and other sensitive fish..all fine.??
True story..

The funny part, since it was "quarantined" there was not going back or even debating any type of arrangement, that was my loss because it was quarantined..am not bitter about it cause that was my choice..
I agree with you,to me keeping healthy fish is what is expected not what to pay extra for..there is a reason why I buy from Neptune more than anywhere else...
The store will be judged by how healthy their stock is not by statements..
 
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MichaelW

Guest
I've been a hobbyist for a very long time, and have seen so many in the hobby come and go because of failures and frustration, and it's sad. It's another reason I made the shop, really to help people and try to change what the typical experience might be.

The best in my mind (at least I'm hoping) long term business strategy is getting people to not leave the hobby and retain them in the long term; some of the industry pro data available says on average it's only about one year for most folks, both freshwater and saltwater included. That's because people end up spending tons of money, their fish end up dying, and they may replace them a few times and the store is happy to keep selling them again, and then they eventually get fed up and there's new people to replace them. You can thank the Petco and PetSmarts for that in the aggregate; unfortunately most of those new aquarists don't even know better and aren't given proper instruction or education. It's both the fish and the longer term aquarists that suffer in the end, with gross mortality that still risks public condemnation of even proper collection practices (e.g. Hawaii).

Even if it doesn't ever make a profit or is feasible in a large scale way, (and I'll try to change that one day, I'm a molecular pathogen engineer by trade, and have a plan), treating the fish is simply the right thing to do, as best you can as possible, so you don't potentially ruin someone's day and kill their pets. I have a conscience - at least a dozen folks in the past two months came to me traumatized, losing every single fish they had to velvet, some for many years, simply because of one small recent addition, and it's absolutely heartbreaking to see people contemplate giving up the entire hobby because of crashes like that.

Even as a pro, it's not that easy necessarily to treat everything out there currently and get it right every time, so it's hard to expect hobbyists to actually do it effectively themselves. There's currently a copper resistant strain of velvet going around, and that's seemingly causing a pandemic. That's from wholesalers keeping constantly low levels of copper in their systems for years, without effectively knocking out every stage of the life cycle, and having constant new fish additions. If it comes from the ocean, it's going to have both ich and velvet on it more than 85% of the time, if it doesn't already get cross contaminated at a supplier level along the half a dozen hands or more hands it may travel through.

I believe it's our job here as the delivery agent of these creatures to not let that get out into the open and to customers' tanks in the first place. I can't guarantee truly pathogen free, bet your life on it clean just fish yet, despite the microscopy verification (until one day when I get time to work on my PCR detection venture), but we do try our hardest to get there as muchbas possible, and my customers that know and trust me are confident that I would truly replace everything should something catastrophic happen at my fault (and everything in that tank were from me), or otherwise gladly take back/re-treat everything again if something snuck through. It's an easy promise to make when it's basically never happened before.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
I've been a hobbyist for a very long time, and have seen so many in the hobby come and go because of failures and frustration, and it's sad. It's another reason I made the shop, really to help people and try to change what the typical experience might be.

The best in my mind (at least I'm hoping) long term business strategy is getting people to not leave the hobby and retain them in the long term; some of the industry pro data available says on average it's only about one year for most folks, both freshwater and saltwater included. That's because people end up spending tons of money, their fish end up dying, and they may replace them a few times and the store is happy to keep selling them again, and then they eventually get fed up and there's new people to replace them. You can thank the Petco and PetSmarts for that in the aggregate; unfortunately most of those new aquarists don't even know better and aren't given proper instruction or education. It's both the fish and the longer term aquarists that suffer in the end, with gross mortality that still risks public condemnation of even proper collection practices (e.g. Hawaii).

Even if it doesn't ever make a profit or is feasible in a large scale way, (and I'll try to change that one day, I'm a molecular pathogen engineer by trade, and have a plan), treating the fish is simply the right thing to do, as best you can as possible, so you don't potentially ruin someone's day and kill their pets. I have a conscience - at least a dozen folks in the past two months came to me traumatized, losing every single fish they had to velvet, some for many years, simply because of one small recent addition, and it's absolutely heartbreaking to see people contemplate giving up the entire hobby because of crashes like that.

Even as a pro, it's not that easy necessarily to treat everything out there currently and get it right every time, so it's hard to expect hobbyists to actually do it effectively themselves. There's currently a copper resistant strain of velvet going around, and that's seemingly causing a pandemic. That's from wholesalers keeping constantly low levels of copper in their systems for years, without effectively knocking out every stage of the life cycle, and having constant new fish additions. If it comes from the ocean, it's going to have both ich and velvet on it more than 85% of the time, if it doesn't already get cross contaminated at a supplier level along the half a dozen hands or more hands it may travel through.

I believe it's our job here as the delivery agent of these creatures to not let that get out into the open and to customers' tanks in the first place. I can't guarantee truly pathogen free, bet your life on it clean just fish yet, despite the microscopy verification (until one day when I get time to work on my PCR detection venture), but we do try our hardest to get there as muchbas possible, and my customers that know and trust me are confident that I would truly replace everything should something catastrophic happen at my fault (and everything in that tank were from me), or otherwise gladly take back/re-treat everything again if something snuck through. It's an easy promise to make when it's basically never happened before.
With a heart and passion like this, you will prevail.
Kudos..
 

tankguy

Supporting Member
While I do qt ( mostly for observation ) its not 100 %. Think about it this way , your out with your best friend having a great time. He goes out to the doc the next day and finds out he's got terminal cancer. Your stunned cause he looked fine. Same thing with our fish. They look great and then bam, dead. Yes somethings you can see but somethings you can not
 

MichaelW

Guest
While I do qt ( mostly for observation ) its not 100 %. Think about it this way , your out with your best friend having a great time. He goes out to the doc the next day and finds out he's got terminal cancer. Your stunned cause he looked fine. Same thing with our fish. They look great and then bam, dead. Yes somethings you can see but somethings you can not
Pathogens aside, which you can sometimes see and sometimes not, this is a huge factor for fish that were shipped from afar and exposed to ammonia. The acclimation process matters in a really big way. When the fish are in a bag for 60 or 80 hours, the pH is often 5.x because of dissolved CO2. That keeps the ammonia nontoxic, fortunately. But the second you open the bag it's like a Perrier and the CO2 comes out, which makes the pH shoot back up rapidly. The tricky part here is that you can't just flood the fish with new clean water or Prime, as there is still ionized ammonia dissolved inside its tissues and body and it takes time to diffuse out. We match the low pH and flood the fish in lots of water so it can diffuse out before raising up pH, when we get in shipments like that directly importing. When a wholesaler is probably not doing it, and the fish was in a lot of annonia, it often hurts the fish internally and damages their organs. The fish may eat and appear just fine. It won't last more than 2 weeks though as it may not be able to internally recover.
 

MichaelW

Guest
60-80 hours in a bag? Geeze, where you getting your fish?
That's not to me directly, but it's not uncommon in the industry. Fish may get packed up in a remote spot, driven to an airport 12h away. Sit on a ramp and cargo terminal before departing for whatever scheduled flight. They miss them all the time. Fly 24-36h with a connection somewhere before getting to the US, and then sit for customs and Department of Fish and Wildlife inspection. Then be in one box of 50 to get unloaded and trucked to a wholesaler before actually getting opened up.
 

MolaMola

Supporting Member
Pathogens aside, which you can sometimes see and sometimes not, this is a huge factor for fish that were shipped from afar and exposed to ammonia. The acclimation process matters in a really big way. When the fish are in a bag for 60 or 80 hours, the pH is often 5.x because of dissolved CO2. That keeps the ammonia nontoxic, fortunately. But the second you open the bag it's like a Perrier and the CO2 comes out, which makes the pH shoot back up rapidly. The tricky part here is that you can't just flood the fish with new clean water or Prime, as there is still ionized ammonia dissolved inside its tissues and body and it takes time to diffuse out. We match the low pH and flood the fish in lots of water so it can diffuse out before raising up pH, when we get in shipments like that directly importing. When a wholesaler is probably not doing it, and the fish was in a lot of annonia, it often hurts the fish internally and damages their organs. The fish may eat and appear just fine. It won't last more than 2 weeks though as it may not be able to internally recover.
How do you adjust water pH?
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Any buffer to raise or lower, or vinegar/baking soda.
Am intersted in understanding how exactly you do that?
Ad you rightfully said once you open the bag the ph climbs up rapidly.. how do you know what's the ph in the bag to adjust for it and chose the course of action?
 
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MichaelW

Guest
Am intersted in understanding how exactly you do that?
Ad you rightfully said once you open the bag the ph climbs up rapidly.. how do you know what's the ph in the bag to adjust for it and chose the course of action?
Adjusting ph upon fish arrival is a first for me...
You probably don't ever have to deal with that unless you're getting the fish shipped, and it's been a long time in transit. This is more a concern on the collector to wholesaler side where the fish may really spend a loooooong time in transit.

But, you would open it up and immediately use a digital pH meter. (You could then close the bag again air tight). It isn't instant, but it's fast - minutes. It's difficult to get small adjustments in a bucket on oG so I usually use a 20 to 30g tub when I need to do this. You would want to get the temperature close also. I would probably use a tablespoon of acid in a cup or two of saltwater, and then out of that use drips of it to go down to the target. Flood with methylene blue too, increases hemoglobin's ability to bind oxygen and also chills the fish out a lot. When 20 to 30min are up, then drip to bring the pH back up to the destination (I like to do 7.6 to start so the delta is less) and when pH and temperature is matched, you can net the fish, then move it to the destination. If it's doing okay I'd probably do a freshwater dip in between, too.
 
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