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If you could...

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If you could...

Post by GaryE on Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:33 am

Let's play a game. Let's imagine you have money, time, and energy. You care about your hobby and you are offered a guided trip to anywhere in the world to visit fish habitats and see where the aquarium fish that interest you come from. Where would you like to go, and why?
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Re: If you could...

Post by Biulu on Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:58 am

Oh my God! Can I only choose one?!

High on my list is the Rio Xingu habitat in the Brazilian Amazonas, for 2 reasons. The first reason is the fact that it is so diverse and many of popular fish species in our hobby can be found here: like dwarf cichlids, angelfish, discus, tetras, corydoras, plecos etc.

I would love to see how the vertical bands of the angelfish and discus that can be found there provide a perfect camouflage. See the angelfish float by majestically, see a huge shoal of corydoras roaming the bottom and grazing. But most importantly seeing how these species interact and how they have their own 'niche' in this system which allows each of them to profit optimally from the resources available.

The second reason is that this ecosystem will soon be gone. Unfortunately the Brazilian government has decided to dam the river for electricity production and this means that it is a matter of time before this unique ecosystem collapses.

I would love to have the opportunity to see this before it is too late.
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Re: If you could...

Post by Fishypastor on Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:55 pm

I want to come hang out in Gary's fishroom Smile
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Re: If you could...

Post by alexmtl on Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:21 pm

@Fishypastor wrote:I want to come hang out in Gary's fishroom Smile

Maybe we can offer this as a prize ! One free day doing water changes and cleaning filters
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Re: If you could...

Post by GaryE on Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:37 pm

If any of you are coming to Montreal, you are always welcome to be probably disappointed... but always welcome.

But meanwhile, as my wife says - nature is outdoors. I'd want to go to southern Cameroon and Gabon. I'd like to see some of the dwarf Cichlids and killies in their habitats.

Big spiders though. I bet they have big spiders.

Biulu's Xingu sounds nice, for the reasons she offers. It is apparently doomed.
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Re: If you could...

Post by ksimdjembe on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:56 pm

It's been a while since I traveled in West Africa, But I can attest that they have big spiders there.

It's a long story that starts with: The guy I met convinced me it would be a great idea to go stay in a village. What could go wrong? I had a bug net...
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Re: If you could...

Post by Sbenson11 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:48 am

Diving on a coral reef, to see all the amazing saltwater fish and coral.

However that will never happen.

I have had opportunities to do something similar, but I am WAY to claustrophobic to even try it. The best I could muster was to stick my arm down in the water with my GoPro. Sad I have tried to put on a diving mask a couple of times but would start to panic instantly.

Steve
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Re: If you could...

Post by Fores41 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:40 am

I would love to visit the Amazon and see what the various habitats are for Angels. Cories and then down to Australia and New Zealand for the Rainbows Habitats. Then up to Mexico for Swordtails and if I had the money over to Indonesia and Thailand for Bettas.
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Re: If you could...

Post by fish lady on Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:18 pm

Amazon for angels and thailand
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Re: If you could...

Post by alexmtl on Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:12 pm

I would like to go to areas where fish species need to be recovered and population stabilized, ultimately to return endangered or near extinct to some positive future. Mexico, Central America, South America etc, wherever a population can be saved. My dream to make an impact and help save the world one species at a time.

Selfishly, if I had the money I would build a facility that would house these species, like XGSC or other sanctuaries that maintain populations. I would donate money to fuel CARES programs and help more aquarists become involved in preservation.

My dream right now ...
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Re: If you could...

Post by GaryE on Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:30 am

Steve - that claustrophobia is a shame. I am a lousy swimmer, and I managed to spend a few hours in shallow water (3-4 feet deep) in the Caribbean bobbing about with my butt in the air watching Sergeant Majors and wrasses in some coral. It was really fun - no air tanks, and a snorkel I didn't use. I could stand on the bottom or float holding my breath, and the fish got used to me and became a pretty good show.
It wasn't an underwater diving, scuba adventure, but it was still pretty cool and surprisingly fun.  
The mask was a pair of glasses sealing my nose, but letting my mouth be free.
I believe Alex is a scuba guy, and hats off to him. I'm just an ambitious dog paddler.
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Re: If you could...

Post by Biulu on Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:30 am

I have done a similar thing as Gary said in Mexico and since I was completely unprepared, I only used swimming goggles. It worked great though!

I am about to go to Central Vietnam for work and I have already found out that great snorkeling can be done at the Cham islands; I will definitively take my mask!
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Re: If you could...

Post by alexmtl on Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:57 pm

@GaryE wrote:Steve - that claustrophobia is a shame. I am a lousy swimmer, and I managed to spend a few hours in shallow water (3-4 feet deep) in the Caribbean bobbing about with my butt in the air watching Sergeant Majors and wrasses in some coral. It was really fun - no air tanks, and a snorkel I didn't use.

Best time is just floating in the water watching the fish in the first few feet of water. These are the best levels for the best colours since after 20 feet the colours fade. If you can't take diving masks, use the swimming goggles (like the ones you use in the pool) and dip your head in and remember to go back up for air. It is a wonderful experience to watch and literally immerse yourself in their world.

If I were still instructing I would take you Steve. I indeed was a commercial diver and most of my time logged was expedition in cave mapping and wreck salvage. Not the same as enjoying the colours up above as most of my time was in decompression limbo at depth or in the chamber (not as glamourous as you think). If I had a choice based upon sheer beauty and ecstacy, I would prefer snorkelling and free diving (which I have done lots of).


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Re: If you could...

Post by GaryE on Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:30 am

It's funny - I have no desire to ever keep saltwater reef fish. They are often a non-renewable resource, they call for a fair bit of expensive technology, and they demand a degree of meticulous planning and attention to detail I just don't have. But I do love visiting them in their habitat.

I've only done it a few times and not for long as a bobbing non swimmer who isn't rich, but each time is a really good, vivid memory.

My equally limited experience fishing for aquarium residents in freshwater is another good memory though. That is also really fun, and if you play it right, you don't even have to put your head under water. I would still really love to fish for killifish in Cameroon or Gabon. Someday...
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Re: If you could...

Post by alexmtl on Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:25 am

@GaryE wrote:I would still really love to fish for killifish in Cameroon or Gabon. Someday...

I often read about adventurers going into natural habitat to search for fish species. It would be great to see of these adventures like Builu has posted in her adventures to habitats in Mexico. I altruistically envy @Biulu in her resourcefulness and I hope to see more of her sojourns. What is exciting is that there are several of our very own forum members who have posted their trips to natural habitats.
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