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Moorish Idols

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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2008 at 11:42am
Some more random thoughts and information...
 
17 times more yellow tangs are collected than Moorish Idols
 
A Moorish Idol is worth $3 to the collector
 
It is omnivorous but feeds more on animal life than algae; sponges dominate the animal
diet, but bryozoans, small molluscs, small crustaceans, hydroids, and tunicates have also been found in the stomach contents.
 
The Moorish idol is important in the aquarium trade, but it does well only in large tanks. Aquarium fish collectors seek only the smaller individuals because adults are too large and do not adapt well to aquarium life. Aquarium fish feed well on chopped clams or mussels, brine shrimp, and tubifex worms. Individual fishes have been reported to survive as long as 10 years in an aquarium.
 
The Big Hawaii MPA report
 
Waikiki Aquarium Report
Moorish idols are actually most closely related to the surgeonfishes, sharing similar teeth,
scales, and swimming style (using primarily the pectoral fins), but lacking the tangs' characteristic "scalpel". In shape, behavior and diet, through, the Moorish idol more closely resembles butterflyfishes. Omnivorous, the idol feeds mostly on animal material, like sponges, and extracts prey from crevices with a slightly elongated jaw. The diet makes this species difficult to maintain, but Aquarium Live Exhibits staff find that younger individuals can be trained over to the gelatin food we prepare.
 
I'll go get the full report on this, and email to anyone who wants it...
and this as well...
 
Adam
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2008 at 2:31pm
I'm interested in the full report. mjsavage@yahoo.com
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cl2ysta1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2008 at 3:56pm
achilles tangs are worth their weight :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2008 at 6:37pm
Adam--

can you send me the full reports also?

why do you consider it a success if you keep a fish alive only two years? i know you said it was from the past. maybe you can change the way you think about them.

just because most of the fry die soon after hatching doesn't mean that the adults don't matter either.

just because they only fetch $3 or sell for $50 or whatever doesn't mean just because you can afford them they should be expendable.

as a scientist animals are sacrificed to further the common good. that isn't the case in buying animals that will likely die soon in our care.

i do have lots of sponges in my system which i think are fascinating and maybe i could keep an Idol alive for an extended period, but i still am not going to encourage the collection of more Idols by buying one. that would still lead to the death of many.
idol food?








Edited by Reefski - September 29 2008 at 6:38pm
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Looks Like my tankWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2008 at 9:59pm
Carl-
All very good points.  Maybe off topic, but I'll follow up with a question. 
Is it okay to buy yellow tangs?  We can't breed them.  We can't keep them in captivity for a normal lifespan.  And many would argue we can't provide tanks big enough for them.
 
I don't disagree with any of your statements.  But I think we could take all your questions and apply them to any number of fish: yellow tangs, lionfish, frogfish, scooter dragonets, coris wrasse, niger trigger, etc.
 
For any of those fish we could say...
 
Can we provide a good environment for any of them?
 
Can we keep them in captivity for their entire lifespan?
 
Can we breed them?
 
Is keeping them for 2 years successful?
 
To be honest, I think the answer to those questions is the same for Idols as it is for anything else.
 
Adam
ps- I don't think anyone in this club has kept a frogfish for over two years, but numerous people have kept an Idol that long  ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 12:19am
Does anyone else besides me, want to see pics of Carl's sunlit tank?
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Me! Thumbs%20Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 9:38am
It is awesome.  My wife and I had the chance to stay at Carl's place for a weekend (with his wonderful wife Pam as well).  They are great people, and we very much enjoyed our visit.  I have a ton of pics I can post, but he also has some threads on his tank. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 9:47am
Here are some samples of photos I took at his house....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 9:57am
One more pic... my daughter really liked the easy viewing height for kids...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 4:50pm
Great pictures, especially the last one.Thumbs%20Up
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbauman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 5:10pm
Very cool. I liked looking at the setup on the other forum. Reefski, I hope you recover from your recent "bad tasting" experience quickly. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 6:41pm
Sweet, very sweet.
What is used for supplemental lighting at night?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dew2loud1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2008 at 9:06pm
I've been following carls tank from the beginning love the title on RC, how I spent my daughters inheritance,
We will most likely use a very similar lighting setup for our big tank, but I'm planning on filtering the light and using supplemental t5's for a much "bluer" color
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2008 at 12:54pm
I don't know if anyone is still following this or not but I'll add to it.
 
One of my coworkers asked me if I was still posting on the Idols because another article came across the desk.  Anyway I figured I'd read it and post some quotes here.
 
This comes to us from Julian Sprung
Sprung, J., (2007), "Moorish Idols in Captivity" Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, August 2008. Irvine, California.
 
"These idols, held in an exporter's tank, will need to be carefully cared for after they arrive at their destination. Otherwise, they may be susceptible to disease."
 
"They [Moorish Idols] have an extremely long larval period, which has two important results. They settle as juveniles at an amazingly large 2 1/2 to 3 inches, and they have the potential to drift very long distances during their larval period."
 
"the Moorish idol has a reputation of being extremely delicate in captivity. In fact, there is a debate among aquarists, because many feel that it should not be collected, while others insist it is "hardy." "
 
"the Moorish idol is a robust creature despite its dainty form, but it is prone to some diseases that can quickly kill it, and there are other important husbandry issues to consider if one wants to maintain it in captivity."
 
"I agree with the notion that this is a fish for the dedicated specialist and not for the average beginning hobbyist, though as I said, this does not mean I consider it a delicate species."
 
"I recommend a minimum tank length of 6 feet."
 
"A 100-gallon aquarium is really on the threshold of being too small for the long-term maintenance of this species."
 
"I have observed a few specimens that have been maintained in 30-gallon aquariums successfully for extended periods of time (a few years), but I think these are exceptional specimens in the care of exceptionally good aquarists."
(I knew Julian had seen my old tank, didn't know he'd call me an exceptionally good aquarist Wink)
 
Public aquariums do well with Idols when they have sunlight to promote algae growth.  Also, big ponds or pools are best.  Julian has seen them do well in ponds 12 inches deep!  Shallow enough that the dorsal fin sticks out of the water.
 
"The Moorish idol ranks among the most aggressive reef fish in captivity. It will harass its tankmates to death."
 
"If you buy a school of similarly sized Moorish idols, they will make a lovely display for three or four days. Then one of them will become isolated and will be chased by the other Moorish idols until it dies...   ... this goes on until only one Moorish idol remains."
 
"The typical advice for anyone contemplating the care of Moorish idols states that delicate fish need docile tankmates. Based on my earlier comments about the attitude of Moorish idols, one can imagine that I don't entirely agree with that advice."
 
"The main obstacle to the long-term maintenance of the Moorish idol is its low resistance to disease."
 
"The Moorish idol is very susceptible to the common parasites"
 
"once it becomes ill it tends to get worse and die much more rapidly than most other marine fish."
 
"it is not difficult to get a Moorish idol to feed, it is another matter to provide it with the volume of food it requires to remain healthy."
 
"the Moorish idol has a voracious appetite and often feeds on dried flake food within hours of being introduced into an aquarium."
 
"Normally, it [Moorish idols] eats just about anything offered"
 
"it tolerates a wide range of water conditions"
 
"High ammonium levels, as occur in shipping, probably damage the gills and increase the likelihood of illness."
(chalk up a point for Jake on that one!)
 
Adam
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2008 at 12:58pm
And one final item.  Important enough that I thought I'd post it after that list...
 
Julian Sprung, describing the sources of Moorish idols...
"Ecocean's project in Tahiti, where planktonic larvae are harvested at night by attracting them to floating light traps and then raised in tanks. This produces juvenile Moorish idols that are preadapted to living in aquariums and feeding on artificial diets."
 
Hopefully that answers Suzy's concerns about them.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2008 at 8:18pm
Originally posted by Adam Blundell Adam Blundell wrote:

Carl-
All very good points.  Maybe off topic, but I'll follow up with a question. 
Is it okay to buy yellow tangs?  We can't breed them.  We can't keep them in captivity for a normal lifespan.  And many would argue we can't provide tanks big enough for them.
 
I don't disagree with any of your statements.  But I think we could take all your questions and apply them to any number of fish: yellow tangs, lionfish, frogfish, scooter dragonets, coris wrasse, niger trigger, etc.
 
For any of those fish we could say...
 
Can we provide a good environment for any of them?
 
Can we keep them in captivity for their entire lifespan?
 
Can we breed them?
 
Is keeping them for 2 years successful?
 
To be honest, I think the answer to those questions is the same for Idols as it is for anything else.
 
Adam
ps- I don't think anyone in this club has kept a frogfish for over two years, but numerous people have kept an Idol that long  ;)


Adam-

yellow tangs. i think you are wrong about them. of course you need a big enough tank for whatever fish you might get and that varies from fish to fish. you wouldn't put most puffers in an average tank either, well maybe you would. i was at a house just yesterday that had a 20"+ puffer in the tank. however the tank was  over 3,000 gallons.

i don't know what a yellow tangs lifespan should be but it is definitely longer than 2 years. a friend i saw yesterday has a yellow tang in her 350 gallon tank that she has had for 15 years. that is what we should be striving for.

the other fish you cited probably aren't fish that should be collected either as they are doomed to a short life in captivity.

the answer for Idols is not the same "as it is for anything else". it is the same for some fish for sure and i don't think we should encourage collection of those fish by buying them either. but it is not the same "for anything else"

to say that all fish are the same is irresponsible and wrong.






Edited by Reefski - October 06 2008 at 8:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2008 at 8:30am
the answer for Idols is not the same "as it is for anything else". it is the same for some fish for sure and i don't think we should encourage collection of those fish by buying them either. but it is not the same "for anything else"

to say that all fish are the same is irresponsible and wrong.


I agree.  They aren't the same as all fish.  I'm fully aware of these fish being difficult to keep and a very risky fish to try and keep.  But I think we should keep things in perspective with how difficult other fish are as well, and what success/failures are out there.  We shouldn't just throw this fish off into its own category.
 
Adam
ps- it sounds to me like Julian thinks these fish aren't all that bad
also, we all know that Scott Michael is highly advocating for keeping frogfish... so even some experts out there have these thoughts.


Edited by Adam Blundell - October 07 2008 at 9:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2008 at 4:40pm
I know this is done all the time, but maybe it would be fun to do it here, in a new topic/thread of course....

http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=28540&PID=256135#256135



Edited by Mark Peterson - October 08 2008 at 4:44pm
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