Butterflyfishes for Marine Aquariums: Diversity, Selection & Care

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9781500425524: Butterflyfishes for Marine Aquariums: Diversity, Selection & Care
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Butterflyfishes are amongst the most easily recognizable reef denizens by aquarists and lay people alike. All species are beautifully marked and colored and fancifully shaped. What’s more remarkable is their like-insect named flitting about from place to place. Some of the best loved marine aquarium specimens are Butterflyfish family members. Where would the marine aquarium hobby be without the raccoon, threadfin, teardrop and the several Heniochus Butterflyfish species, among others? It would be much poorer certainly. These and several other Butterflyfishes are well-suited for captive systems; shipping and adjusting well, eating all types of foods, resisting disease and adapting to a wide range of water conditions. However, of the some one-hundred twenty nine described species, the majority of BFs (industry shorthand for Butterflyfishes) are best avoided by hobbyists for good reasons. These have proven to suffer from rough handling in collection, holding and shipping and adapt poorly to aquarium environments for differing reasons, and/or require obscure foodstuffs (mostly live coral polyps) to thrive.

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The diversity of life has always fascinated me; but the systematics of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians was blown away by the expansiveness and degree of unknown of the fishes. Few people had "companion animals" overseas, but many friends had bowls and aquariums with goldfish, guppies and other tropicals. I was born in Rhode Island, the smallest State of the U.S. but grew up in the orient as my father was career military. We had very few jobs "on base" for the "dependents" but I was fortunate to secure employment at a fish store that was associated with a restaurant in downtown Sasebo. Other vainglorious work overseas includes two years working for a Betta culture business, collecting and processing marines in Manila.Back to the U.S. in the late sixties I stuck to the trade as a retail clerk, a livestock wholesale worker (for Pratt's in San Diego), and eventually formed an aquarium service business with a school friend. This business cycled larger and smaller, and supported me all through college and beyond. It eventually became an employee-owned corporation with aquaristic retail outlets, fabrication (principally large acrylic systems), water feature construction, manufacturing and distribution divisions. Subsequent to the tax law changes, water-shortage "scare", and general decline in the California and U.S. economy in the late eighties these businesses were sold and liquidated. I worked for three years as a consultant and buyer for the mass-merchandiser PetCo in their bid to upgrade their stores, incorporating livestock. Is there a difference between what you do for money and for a living? Not me. Nowadays I write articles and books for the diving/underwater natural history and ornamental aquatics interests, and manage my rentals and securities. I browse the electronic bulletin boards to "chat" with others daily, and often travel, to go "hashing" (sort of running), writing and photographing with friends around the world. Have been an avid hobbyist since first memories. Active in the local SDTFS from the sixties; helped in development of all three goldfish/koi clubs in San Diego. At times more active in scientific (AVMA, IAAAM, ASIH) and industry professional/business associations.

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