Posted by: nyaquatic | January 25, 2012

What’s up with Red Sea fish?

Saudi Arabia used to account for about 90% of the Red Sea fish collected and exported for the aquarium trade.   In 2007, Saudi Arabia, followed closely by Egypt, the other main Red Sea supplier, banned collection and export of all Red Sea fish for the ornamental hobby.  Overnight, Red Sea fish had become impossible to find.

It’s taken several years, but some new suppliers, mainly Yemen and Eritrea, have begun to export Red Sea fish.  The numbers are nowhere near where they used to be, and therefore the price is MUCH higher, but we are starting to get Red Sea fish again.


Posted by: nyaquatic | November 17, 2010

NYAquatic is proud to announce our new location!

We’re finally up and running in the new facility.

Boy, is it nice to have some elbow room.

It’s hard to capture in pictures, but here goes.

And if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by.

Email us first since we’re still “by appointment only.”

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Posted by: nyaquatic | June 28, 2010

Post your NYAquatic fish pix here!


Post pictures of your favorite fish obtained from NYAquatic.

Every month, we’ll pick a favorite to receive a $25 gift certificate. 

Give it a shot.  You never know!

I’ll get us started with a couple of shots of my sons zebra octopus (don’t worry, I won’t win)

Such a cool animal!

Posted by: nyaquatic | May 7, 2010

Regal Angels

Regal angels have to be one of the most heartbreaking of all marine animals.

They are stunning, but if handled improperly, doomed to die.

Here are a few key points:

  1. Yellow belly vs blue/grey belly-Yellow belly regal angels come from the Red Sea, Kenya, Sumatra. Blue/grey belly regals come from Indonesia and Philipines.  The yellow belly ones are much brighter colored, and are typically about twice the price.  They are equal in terms of hardiness.
  2. How to get them eating-This is the first big hurdle to overcome.  Your best bet is to have them in a tank with live rock to graze on.  They cannot be in a tank with aggressive eaters who will intimidate them.  Best foods to start with are fresh clams on the 1/2 shell and spirulina flakes if you have good water flow.
  3. QT or not QT?-While it is always best to QT if possible, regal angels need to be handled delicately.  They will not do well in a sterile, medicated QT tank.  If you have a non-medicated QT tank with live rock, figure 30 gal min, then great.  Otherwise, you are left with 2 poor choices-don’t QT and risk your DT, or QT and risk your regal.
  4. Tankmates-Regal angels need to be in a tank with very docile tankmates-small tangs, anthias, gobies, etc.  They will not typically do well in a tank full of angels with whom they would need to compete with for food.
  5. Size-Size does matter.  With regals, the smaller the better.  They acclimate much easier.
Posted by: nyaquatic | February 17, 2010

Scuba diving in Hawaii

Being a marine fish hobbiest and business owner for many years, a truly delightful experience is being able to spend time underwater, seeing first hand the ocean’s beauty.  I’ve certainly seen plenty of beautiful aquariums, but nothing compares to what mother nature has to offer.

Posted by: nyaquatic | January 20, 2010

Quarantine Tanks

So, you’ve made the correct decision to set up a quarantine tank.

Now what.

Here are some keys to succesful QTing:

  1. QT size-A good rule of thumb is 25% of your display tank size.  This usually works out so that the fish that are appropriate for your size tank will fit in your QT tank
  2. Substrate-bare bottom is best
  3. Filtration-This is a MUST!  You cannot run a quarantine tank with just a heater and an airstone!  PERIOD!  You need biological filtration to keep the water safe for your new arrivals.  Just trying to do water changes instead keeps the tank constantly cycling, and will lead to stressed and dead new arrivals.  A hang on back filter really works best.  One where you can easily add or remove carbon is ideal.
  4. Live Rock-not recommended.  A few pieces of PVC to hide in is best.
  5. Medication-only as needed.  Not automatically.
  6. Plan on leaving new arrivals in QT a minimum of 4 weeks.  This should allow plenty of time for you to assess the healthfulness of the fish, and for the fish to adapt to captivity and develop good eating habits.
  7. Once you add 1 or more fish to your QT tank, do not add any more until the first ones are removed.  Adding new fish is a slow process.  Rush at your own peril.

Michael Stern

Posted by: nyaquatic | January 14, 2010

To QT or not QT, that is the question?

Should you QT new fish?

The answer is almost always yes!

New fish, whether bought online or at your LFS, have several issues that necessitate QTing.

1) New fish are, by definition, going to enter your system stressed and weakened.  This makes them prime candidates for disease and also aggression from existing tankmates.  4 weeks in an appropriate QT tank solves both of these problems.

2) While no system, regardless of how well you QT, is immune from disease, you are much more likely to introduce disease into your display tank with new,  un QT’d fish.

Additional questions to be considered (any thoughts):

1) are there any fish that should not be QT’d?  Hint, the answer is yes.

2) should you medicate your QT tank at all times?

These and other questions will need to wait for another day.

Back to work I go.

Posted by: nyaquatic | January 13, 2010

Keeping tangs together

Since I get asked this question all the time, I figured I’d throw my $0.02 out, and see what others’ thoughts/experiences are.

What size tank is suitable for a tang?

IMO, I would not keep any tang in a tank less than 55 gallons.  Tangs are very active swimmers that will be constantly stressed in a too small tank.  If you are at the lower end of the size range, stick with smaller tangs-yellow, kole, tomini.  If you’ve ever seen a 15″ naso, you’d understand why your 55 is too small.  Also, live rock is a big plus for tangs as they like to graze constantly.

What size tank is suitable for multiple tangs?

This question comes up all the time.  There are a number of factors.  In my experience, you never want a tank with 2 tangs (or angels but that’s a discussion for another day) as the likelihood of fighting is too great.  So if you want more than one, you need to think about 3.  IMO, minimum 125 gallons for multiple tangs.  Best way to add them is all together.  If that’s a problem, start with 1 and then add 2 more, but make sure the first one is not aggressive.  Hippo and naso are good choices.  Yellow, powder blue bad.

Posted by: nyaquatic | January 12, 2010

Moorish Idols-are they really so tough?

What’s the deal with moorish idols?

They are, IMO, one of the most majestic fish you can possibly have in your tank.

But why does everyone think they’re so hard to keep?

There are, I believe, 5 keys to success:

  1. Origin-Moorish idols come from all over the pacific.  They are found in Hawaii in abundance, as well as Bali and the Philippines.  From our experience, the ones from Hawaii fair MUCH better than other Indo ones.  Why?  They are after all the same fish?  I believe it’s a combination of better collection methods and shorter travel time to the US.  See # 2.
  2. Shipping-Moorish idols are not great shippers.  They do fine for relatively short trips (Hawaii to continental US, or overnight shipping within US), but really break down on longer trips.  Also, too many shipments (collector to large distributor, large distributor to regional supplier, regional supplier to store, store to home) tend to make them break down.
  3. Think small-the larger they are, the worse they acclimate to your home aquarium
  4. Solos-Moorish Idols are a schooling fish.  They tend to do better if you can keep at least 2, preferably 3, together.
  5. Feeding-Many people feel moorish idols are difficult to get eating.  If you’ve followed 1-4 above, they should adapt readily to typical aquarium fare-mysis, pellets and flakes:

Posted by: nyaquatic | January 12, 2010

Acclimating New Fish to Your Tank

One of the most common questions and debates asked by  new and experinced hobbyists is the best way to acclimate new fish into an established tank, There are sevel tried and true method.

Earlier today Jimmy D wrote

“IMO a slow drip acclimation is the BEST and ONLY way to acclimate fish and inverts. I drip 1-2 drops per second until I’ve doubled the amount of water the specimen came in. then I’ll dump 1/2 out and repeat the dripping. this time at a rate of 4-5 drops per second. dump again when you’ve doubled the amount again.repeat until you’ve done this 4 times. this way you should’ve, in theory,replaced all the water the specimen was shipped in with your tanks water. It takes time and patience, but works the best in my experience. I use a 5 gallon bucket (exclusively for aquarium use) and typically take upwards of 2 hours for the entire process. I hope this helps, and enjoy a WONDERFUL hobby! “

I would like to add a couple of cautions.

Typical acclimation should take 1 1/2-2 hours.
It is rarely advisible to acclimate longer than 2 hours.

People often make the mistake of seeing a fish that initially looks good, then starts to go down hill. They extend the acclimation longer and longer thinking the fish will come around. Most of the time, the fish are being acclimated without a heater or an airstone, so the water in the acclimation tank is getting cold and depleted of oxygen. This is especially true if you are acclimating several fish in the same bucket.

Please pass along your own tips you would like to share.


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