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Old 05-05-2017, 06:38 PM   #1
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Are We Responsible Enough To Keep Marine Fish

Hello all,

I am looking for some advice for if it is ethical that we should keep our marine fish. Recently our Blue Tang died from marine ich. We had only had him for around two years when I understand the lifespan of one in captivity is at least 8 years. My mother noticed that the blue tang had a white spot that looked like from rubbing around a month ago when our fish came back from being held in our specialist's shop (they had to be kept there whilst the tank was being fixed). She just thought it was aging. Our specialist only comes every two weeks and said only on the second visit back that it was diseased and that we should keep an eye on it. After a couple days we called for him to come look at it, but he did not have the time. A few days later the Blue Tang died. It was incredibly sad to see it lying on the bottom of the tank presumably suffering a painful death.

When we got the tank for marine fish three years ago, we were in no way marine aquarists and hoped that a specialist would be able to maintain the tank and fish. We have had no problems until now. However, thinking back, we have cycled through a number of fish that did not live back to their full captive lifespan. The Blue Tang was the last original fish we had. Our tank is 300 litres and we have about 8 fish at the moment. We have decided not to buy anymore marine fish having found out that nearly none can be bred in captivity and have to be taken from their reefs in the wild. I see people here who take their aquarium as a serious hobby whereas we originally wanted our fish as pets.

What is the solution to better care for our remaining fish? Should we find a specialist who can come to check on the fish every few days as opposed to two week? I might be able to buy and study how to use kits to check daily on their environment, but as the only one in the house who could take the time to do this, my medical condition might not let me care for the fish daily and indefinitely. The only benefit I can see for us continuing to keep the fish is that we have the surety we can afford to keep them as long as they need.

Thank you
Grimm
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RasputinGrimm View Post
Hello all,

I am looking for some advice for if it is ethical that we should keep our marine fish. Recently our Blue Tang died from marine ich. We had only had him for around two years when I understand the lifespan of one in captivity is at least 8 years. My mother noticed that the blue tang had a white spot that looked like from rubbing around a month ago when our fish came back from being held in our specialist's shop (they had to be kept there whilst the tank was being fixed). She just thought it was aging. Our specialist only comes every two weeks and said only on the second visit back that it was diseased and that we should keep an eye on it. After a couple days we called for him to come look at it, but he did not have the time. A few days later the Blue Tang died. It was incredibly sad to see it lying on the bottom of the tank presumably suffering a painful death.

When we got the tank for marine fish three years ago, we were in no way marine aquarists and hoped that a specialist would be able to maintain the tank and fish. We have had no problems until now. However, thinking back, we have cycled through a number of fish that did not live back to their full captive lifespan. The Blue Tang was the last original fish we had. Our tank is 300 litres and we have about 8 fish at the moment. We have decided not to buy anymore marine fish having found out that nearly none can be bred in captivity and have to be taken from their reefs in the wild. I see people here who take their aquarium as a serious hobby whereas we originally wanted our fish as pets.

What is the solution to better care for our remaining fish? Should we find a specialist who can come to check on the fish every few days as opposed to two week? I might be able to buy and study how to use kits to check daily on their environment, but as the only one in the house who could take the time to do this, my medical condition might not let me care for the fish daily and indefinitely. The only benefit I can see for us continuing to keep the fish is that we have the surety we can afford to keep them as long as they need.

Thank you
Grimm
I'd like to start by saying that you might be happy to know that there are many marine fish species that are now captive bred for you to enjoy. Here is a link that that list: CORAL Magazine’s Captive-Bred Marine Fish Species List for

As for are we responsible enough to keep marine fish, I'd have to say, it depends on you. I started dealing with marine fish back in the late 60s early 70s. A lot less was known back then but there were those who successfully kept marine tanks with fish and invertebrates. So the question is really are YOU responsible enough to keep marine fish? There is a lot of potential info not listed in your post so I will only address what was listed. 300 liters is, by comparison, a rather small tank for some marine fish species. But it's more than enough for others. So if you were to have the correct fish in your tank, you should be able to not be suffering these premature deaths.

Being from both the retail & wholesale end of the fish business, my preference was to have customers who had more interest in the maintaining of their aquariums and fish rather than just having someone take care of things for them. I found that those who did, were more vested in the outcomes and more observant to issues that may be developing in the tank. Sometimes, just the fish being a different color one day is a sign of upcoming issues. If you were not the one who noticed it, the situation may become worse or to the point of not fixable. Waiting for "the guy" to come look may be too long to cure the problem. Diseases need to be treated quickly as some can become deadly rapidly. Why should the fish have to suffer until " The guy" comes to check it out.

I don't want you to take this as a personal attack, just as a counter to your idea. Can people be responsible to keep marine life in an aquarium? Yes, they can. Many on here do. You seem to have the first step to be one too. You have a desire to want a healthy fish environment. You show concern So my suggestion would be to first learn what you can about the art of keeping marine fish in an aquarium, learn about the right fish that can be safely housed in your aquarium and once you know that, then you can have someone do the work in maintaining the tank if you are not able while you can be the educated eyes for during the times in between "the guy" being there caring for your tank. Not all fish are a good fit for every tank. In some cases, it's not volume that matters but footprint that does. For example: there are fish that will do fine in a 75 liter long tank that won't do fine in a 75 liter high tank. The two tanks have the same volume but not the same foot print. The 75 long has more space for fish that need to swim.

So I hope I have answered your question with some food for thought.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:46 AM   #3
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If you are concerned about the health of your livestock, you need to take the maintenance of your system into your own hands. Having a 'specialist' come in to tell you a tang that usually needs a 6 ft long tank that is in a tank under 80 gallons is diseased and should be watched is far from a specialist. That is someone who is there to change your water.
What is going on in the system is simply stressed fish due to the lack of maintenance and most likely overstocking fish not to be housed in the closed system they are housed.
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