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Old 07-16-2004, 02:17 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Atari
Does anyone think there's any validity in the argument that if we really care, we shouldn't keep any animals in captivity at all?
I dont...I think the point made that we bring a lot of attention to the reefs that wouldnt be there otherwise is enough to balance the scale.
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Old 07-16-2004, 02:30 PM   #42
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I don't either. I think there are more important issues in reference to our oceans, like overfishing, depletion of our reefs, shark finning, etc.
I have had many people over and when they see my tank, tons of questions follow. I agree it helps with awareness.
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Old 07-16-2004, 04:14 PM   #43
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Well, I did finally sit down and write a note to saltwater.com. ReefLady, I hope you don't mind but I paraphrased / plagiarized your post in my letter. Your wording on the requirements of the Idol was too good not to include. Here is a copy of what I sent:

To whom it may concern:
I am new to the saltwater hobby and have been doing a fair amount of research before making any purchases for my tank. I recently came across your site and was thrilled with the wide range of fish that you offer.

I was, however, surprised that you offer Moorish Idols for sale online. After reading about Idols and their care requirements and getting feedback from others in the hobby who have tried to keep Idols, it seems fairly certain that these animals die quickly in captivity. For even a remote chance of surviving beyond a couple of months, they need a minimum tank size of 500 gallons, and a constant supply of live foods and even then will probably die in less than a year. In your description, you don't make any mention of these factors or the likelihood of death in even the best conditions.

It is my hope that you discontinue selling Idols completely or at least supply them only upon specific request and after confirming that the potential buyer has a sufficient system to make the attempt and that they are fully aware of the extreme difficulty in keeping these animals alive. I don't think that classifying them with a care level of "difficult" is sufficient in this case.

As a responsible business person and member of the reef keeping community, I'm sure that you are interested in not only making a profit, but also in the proper care and treatment of the animals you sell. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Please feel free to contact me to discuss this further.

Sincerely,
Sean A. Berry


I just used the "contact us" link on their site so it may take awhile to get to the proper person. I will let you all know how they respond. And, like ReefLady said, "10 letters will have far more impact than 10 people not buying from that store."
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Old 07-16-2004, 04:19 PM   #44
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I'll see what I can do about putting my letter in and bumping the total up to two.
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Old 07-16-2004, 05:34 PM   #45
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I've read that as much as 90% of SW livestock is harvested from the wild. FWIW, someone recently posted a pic in a thread on this site of an sps "super tank", like 200 gal, private owner, w/ a school of idols gliding through the bottom of the pic. Apparently some w/ enough lr, etc. are able to keep them.
FWIW, if we are talking about this picture:



Image courtesty: SaltCorner

These fish are NOT Moorish idols but rather longfin bannerfish (heniochus sp.). They are mistaken probably frequently for MI's, but are better suited to tank life.
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Old 07-16-2004, 05:55 PM   #46
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[quote="HoopsGuru"]
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These fish are NOT Moorish idols but rather longfin bannerfish (heniochus sp.).
Now thse fish are a diffent story. I have 2 and they are very easy to keep. Excellent replacement.
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:55 PM   #47
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Ok, I am late chiming in on this, but here it is. As many of you know I purchased a Idol about 2 1/2 to 3 months ago. It was at the lfs for at least 2 months, and I thought wow it was so beautiful. I had not intention in buying primarily for the fact that the fish was so expensive ($110). One day I went to that lfs and bought a yellow tang. Upon returning home with my new tang, lo and behold there is my brother in law sitting at my house with a, you guessed it, a yellow tang. I turn around and head back to the lfs. The lfs has no returns. So I am looking around, and he tells me I can have the idol for the yellow tang and some cash. So very stupidly I give in, on an impulse, and buy the idol, not knowing all about it like I know today. The idol came out to cost me $81. Anyway, I bring it home, and it eats like crazy from day one. I have 105pds lr, and it nibble somewhat all the time on it. I fed it frozen shrimp, live shrimp, blood worms, flake, nori, homemade mush, spirulina flakes, and pellets. It ate it all! It never once stopped eating! I came home one day about 2 months later, put some nori in the tank, and he tore into it. 2 hrs later he was dead.

I think that it has alot more to do with unknown factors as to why the Idol cannot be kept in an aquarium. It's not just feeding and water conditions, there is more, that is unknown to us. Hey if you want one, I cant stop you, but I can tell you that it's probably not going to work, and that you more than likely will get your heart broken. I did. Anyway theres my 2.

Here is a pic of what he looked like. I am no photographer!
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:26 PM   #48
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It is brave of you to share your story and experience with everyone. The one thing that stands out is that the diet you fed had no sponge/tunicate matter that is the basis of their natural diet. I have no idea if this was the single cause of death, but it probably was a significant factor. Compare it to other fish that do poorly from only having brine shrimp, they just don't get the proper nutrients and they wither away. I'd be interested, in the hands of an experienced aquarist, if any better luck could be had with a feeding Idol (in my reading, getting them to feed is one of the major hurdles) with the sponge foods available for angelfish.

In the future, I think a breakthrough could be made with large tanks and more natural filtration. The sponge growth I have in my skimmerless 55g is interesting, actually fusing together most of the rockwork. The amount of natural food available in a similar large tank could most likely complete a fortified diet added to the tank and allow for natural feeding behaviors (less stress).
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:42 PM   #49
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Just to further highlight how public awareness/education is already helping in some way, here in UK it will soon be illegal to give away goldfish as prizes at fairs, and children will no longer be able to purchase fish or other pets if they're under 16
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Old 07-16-2004, 07:48 PM   #50
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The one thing that stands out is that the diet you fed had no sponge/tunicate matter that is the basis of their natural diet
Sorry forgot to mention that the lr had plenty of sponge growing on it at all times, and yes I fed it sponge too.
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