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Discussion in 'Weekly Reef discussions' started by mnmuskyman2011, Sep 9, 2015.
So, group buy to get Marty a Conspicillatus Angel?
I say covert op mission to steal that Kriens Deepwater Candy Basslet and put it in some office tank downtown where multiple people will see it everyday. Theres a reason why I said dream fish in my first post and included it in my second post about comparing it to the swissguard.
Didn't you say brown fish are ugly?
That Mimic Tang must really be growing on you!
Vossen's would be much easier to catch and it's used to people traffic.
(But you didn't hear that from me.)
I wasn't sure how this topic would go but it looks like it's going well. Thank you all for participating.
For me, I have my $300 pair of clowns but that is about it for my higher end fish. As for corals, I just buy what I like. If it's expensive, my budget comes into play more than any other factor.
A mob is gathering to steal my candy bass... ! :cop:
fairy new to this forum but ive been around salt for years. hummm....
I guess ive changed over the years.... once when i was younger :rotflmao: i bought fish on impluse and ended up regretting what i just did cause that same day i found one that looked better for cheaper somewhere else. i guess it happen to me more then once...so now what i usually do is end up shopping around and bargaining if i see a fish i really like...
As for coral i get whatever that is nice and worth buying..i dont think ill buy a 1000 piece of frag since most of the time when people actaully see my tank they dont even know what they are looking at.
Everything in my tank is for my piece of mind so if i like it and it works with what i have already ill end up getting it.
Just hand it over and nobody gets hurt. lol
I'm sure this will come as a sock but I think $30-50/ zoa polyp or mushroom is really stupid. I can kinda get it with their ability to grow/reproduce but when pricing zoa's and counting heads at that price is something I struggle with.
In fact, the whole per polyp thing irks me, I always think of corals as per piece.
The most I've paid for a fish is $300 for a coral catshark, and I bought two at the price. I added another one at $250 from another vendor. It was very worth it to me because they don't come up much online and I can't buy one around here. Our stores don't have the space to house sharks, nor have the clients to buy them. There's other shark keepers I know that have them in stock where they live for under $100. What's rare to one person may be common to another.
The 180 I'm will be stocking over the course of the next several months, on the otherhand, will have fish averaging around $35. Not going after anything rare just to say I have it, just going after what I like and what I think is cool. The most expensive will be the $100 mystery wrasse I want to eventually get, but I'll probably think it's just as cool as a $15 royal gramma I'll add too. No impulse buys here, I've had a planned list for quite some time.
I understand the appeal of the rare and beautiful, but even the rare and beautiful fish is, in the end, just a fish. Now, I never like to say "just a ____ " about any living thing, because this sort of sounds like disrespecting them and minimizing their value, and all fish (and other living things) are fundamentally wonderful (OK, well, maybe not parrot cichlids... but you can hardly blame them for what fish breeders did to them! )
I guess my point is that fish like blue damsels, royal grammas, and firefish are all simply wonderful, and just as intrinsically wonderful as the rarer fish. Once they are in your tank, they are all fish, that interact with you and their tank mates in their various ways, and that are all trying to live out their lives as best as they can just the same, whether they are rare or common (each fish is as important to itself as any other, regardless of whether it is rare or common!).
I've always been really bothered by how much disrespect, say, damselfish get from many aquarists (to the point of people sometimes joking about feeding them to other fish, or doing other bad things to them). A blue damsel is a simply spectacular fish - how much cooler can you get than to have a fish that is entirely metallic blue? And have you ever seen a male blue damsel prancing about like an energetic butterfly, flashing his orange tail at females? There are few fish more spectacular than that, in my experience (I would LOVE to be able to set up a large tank with a harem of these fish - seriously, if you have never seen a male displaying like this you have NO idea how cool these are!). Being common, and being inexpensive, has no bearing at all on a fish's intrinsic worth, or intrinsic beauty, or intrinsic interestingness.
I've sometimes heard people talk about how much "better" red sea sailfin tangs are than the less expensive pacific sailfins. I've kept both, and they are almost identical fish except for coloration. And I find the colors of the cheaper fish much more striking, personally. And I've kept several purple tangs (and have one now) - they are pretty fish, but sailfin tangs are, to me, much more interesting, much more interactive, show more interesting color changes with mood, and have simply spectacular finnage!
And if we want to talk about super inexpensive and common fish, let's talk about comet goldfish. A well-grown ordinary comet goldfish (which is what most feeder goldfish tend to be) is a simply stunning, graceful, elegant, interactive fish. 12" or more of bright metallic orange, with long flowing fins (not so long to be droopy though), and a sleek graceful body - a simply stunning fish! (We have a lovely 10 or 15 year old comet at home in a 65 gallon tank that was given to us by neighbors years ago who miraculously hadn't killed it (which is the more common fate when novices get goldfish), and at 4" or so was outgrowing their small tank). If these were rare, just imagine how people would be coveting them and how much they'd be paying for them!
This being said, I could see wanting to pay a lot for something with really unique behavior or some other attributes. Fish like archerfish come to mind (these are not super expensive though of course).
But I find it outrageous that anyone would spend, say, $10,000 on a fish that is fundamentally not much different from other close relatives (e.g. a rare angelfish or something that just differs in color from its more common and also spectacular relatives). There are so many needs in the world, and so many better ways of spending that kind of money. (And if you add in all the things that can go wrong with any fish, regardless of whether it is common or rare, spending this kind of money seems even crazier to me.)
Of course, I know plenty of people who might say the same about spending $50 on a fish, or even $30, so this is all relative to one's personal perspectives.
Contradicting some of what I've said above...
Though fish that cost thousands of dollars are sort of in a different category than most clownfish, I should mention Joyce Wilkerson's comments on choice of species and cost in her wonderful clownfish book. She calculates the cost of keeping the fish over the years and compares that cost to the purchase price, pointing out that the initial purchase price is trivial by comparison, even for somewhat expensive species. Her conclusion was to just buy the clownfish species you want from the start.
When we got our first pair of clownfish in the lab years ago, we debated over whether to spend a bit more money to get a very striking pair of Solomon Island black percula clowns. We went ahead and did this. Now, about 18 years later, we still have this pair, and the price difference (no more than about $40 at the time) is really totally trivial at this point.
That being said, a pair of "ordinary" ocellaris clowns would have been just fine, and just as wonderful too.... (And of course, there really is nothing "ordinary" about the most common of clownfish!).
Within the realm of wild caught livestock, price and goodness are very loosely correlated. Shipping costs, losses, and the difficulty of collecting are the main drivers of price. Goodness and demand hardly factor into the equation at all. Some more expensive livestock is defiantly worth paying more, in other cases the more expensive livestock is clearly inferior. It is hard to make any generalizations.
For tank raised coral, price and goodness are often related, but inversely related. The best corals look great and grow quickly. The same attributes that make the coral great, cause the coral to become so abundant that the price will be very low.
And then there are the status symbols. Paying a ton more for something simply because it is rare or is the current fad is almost by definition not worth it. Status symbol livestock, just like status symbol cars or clothes are not the most wise way to spend your money. That said, if you have the money and it makes you happy, I will not think any less of you if you spend more on a fish than what I spend on my car. But I won't be impressed either.
i see some of these frag packs of SPS on other sites going for $500-$900 in minutes. thats just crazy to me. yeah, sure they have cool names and im sure as they grow into colorful colonies look amazing. but i can trade or buy a frag from you guys of some no name acro that look just as cool to me. ive bought a couple of those expensive frag packs for a few hundred dollars and after shipping and all they never make it for me in the long haul. plus, the only people that see my tank are my friends and they usually look right past the coral for the fish until i explain to them how cool all my other stuff is. and even then nobody cares. as for fish i just try to balance the color of fish to get a nice variety. its not like chad's tank at work where we all check it out while theyre bringing out our orders! so chad keep buying those expensive fish for us to awww at!
This past week I dropped over $1200 on corals at divers den. Some corals ranged from $40 to $300 dollar per coral. In general, I am able to rationalize the benefits between the pricing. I personally get more enjoyment out of a $250 dollar coral than a $40 dollar. Of course, the $250 dollar corals are a good 4 inches. I don't need to wait for the $40 dollar coral to grow. To each his own I guess..
Personally, as someone that has had several tank crashes in the past (power outages) etc... my spending habits for my tanks are directly tied to how well automated the tank is. I haven't spent big bucks on stocking my most recent tank (Red Sea Max 250) yet, and I probably won't until I have a full apex running and have my parameters in check with my dosing meters etc... As many have said, the controllers are like insurance (to an extent) for the $$$ you spend on livestock. I can't imagine having anything more than a $50 or less fish or coral in my tank when we might be gone for a week+ on vacations etc... with no current automation and no way to monitor things from afar.
One thing is that as far as corals go, one or two rare or expensive pieces is a great way to get into more rare or expensive pieces. That is to say if you choose well and people really like what you have, you can frag it and then trade or sell for other rare pieces. I'd rather trade for a $100 coral any day than pay $100 cash for it, just from the standpoint of how I'd feel if it didn't make it.
For me, first is what I can afford. $100 fish, sure... $1000 fish, no! Past that I try hard not to get caught up in what is common or rare or names of corals. I just want to buy what I enjoy looking at.
I bring my husband along to the fish store because he doesn't know names or prices or whats common and will tell it like it is since he doesn't have the bias of what's "high end". Something common like watermelon or radioactive dragon eye zoas look cool, they are bright, they pop, and have nice colors. Just because they are cheap and common does not make them any less colorful. I would put them right next to a "high end" coral.
This is my entire outlook on reefing. Looking good is the entire essence of why I do this.
If it looks good, and you can afford it, that's 90% of the battle.
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i can't rationalize what I send on my tank, so I don't even try. I tend to have lists of fish and inverts I would like to try and shop the list as stuff comes up. The longer you are in the hobby I find the more different things interest me. I love sail fin tangs, purple tang ext but I have had a bunch of them over the years and would not touch them again, been there done that..... ext
Right now I am on a deep water fish binge , a couple of years from now it will be something else of interest.
I struggle with the whole named corals thing and the $6000 paid for a single 3" WWC bounce mushroom ext, but hey if you can afford it and it brings you pleasure have at it.
I haven't bought a lot of expensive fish or corals to date. I got my purple tang and white tail for 130 and 85 dollars from SWE and PEA respectively. My most expensive coral to date has been a 130 acro colony from DD. Price is usually based on rarity or a named coral when so many others are just as cool or pretty and you're not paying for a named coral.