Saturday, November 6, 2010

LFS Jakarta Part 1!

Hello everyone. My Coral Adventures shifts back to Indonesia, where on Sundays, me and my friend like going to the local fish stores. My business partner/friend (name is Gili) has a 240 gallon plexiglass tank that I gave him while back. It is set up as a fish only tank and Gili does weekly water changes. Sundays are perfect for driving around Jakarta. You don't want to know about Jakarta traffic on weekdays, it is horrendous!

We use these five gallon containers to transport the water.

The water is sold at one of the stores. That hose connects to a reservoir and quite many reefers come to buy the water. The water originally comes from around Jakarta. Jakarta Sea World filters the water and sells it to the stores.

No water containers, no problem, plastic bags can be used!

Indonesians are very creative. They glue dead coral skeletons to make these cool aquascapes.

LFS's in the US could do the same. I would ask the customers to bring in their dead coral skeletons for credit. Then put together these coral "sculptures" as part of the rockwork in our tanks. After some time, it would be all coralline encrusted and look really nice. I think this would be perfect for nano tanks!

All tanks are made from glass. Acrylic is not readily available and very pricey. Here you see some local common fish, cardinals, rabbitfish, moorish idol, etc..

So this was kind of sad. Local wildlife is not closely monitored in Indonesia. But in Bali, turtles are revered by the Balinese Hindus, so there is much more awareness. Turtles are a favorite food item in most parts of Indo.

Another disturbing site, color dyed trachys. Coloring corals was very popular some years ago, especially with leather corals. The practice has tapered off quite a bit in the years, so that tells me that reefers are rejecting the bad practice. Part of the problem was that unscrupulous store owners were selling the colored corals without telling the customers!

Corner shot of a display tank. Note the fully opened fox coral and the green bubble coral. Recently, Cites has determined that Nemenzophyllia turbida can be sent under the bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa. Somehow Cites has determined that taxonomically, these two corals are the same or similar genus and species.

Lobos and fungias grouped together stands out, all part of positioning your corals so they look visually appealing to the eye - nice!

Surprised to see some high end dry goods. For sure these were brought in from Singapore.

A titan trigger. These are commonly eaten as "chicken fish" in Indonesia, and they do taste like chicken.

Blue ring angels and tangs.

A maroon clownfish pair playing around in assorted anemones.

Some common inverts from local waters.

Some very small black tip sharks cruising around in a 12 foot tank!

A stellatus puffer hanging around with sponges. These are the world's largest puffer species.

Assorted butterflies. Surprisingly, many people come by and buy these common fish. Most likely they end up dying and are simply replaced with new ones.

Like many other places around the world, the fish stores are concentrated in a certain area. This makes it easy for the customers.

Lots of fish in stock!

These had just come in earlier in the day.

Some fish are already prebagged for simple purchase.

Cool little starfish!

One of the bread and butter fish in the trade, the yellowtail damsel!

These powder blue tangs are from Sumatra, from the Indian Ocean!

On Sundays, it can get crowded. Here the workers are busy netting and bagging fish for customers.


Ok guys that is it for today. Stay tuned for more posts of Jakarta LFS's in the coming days.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Tonga - Day 12 Part 2 Final

Hello everyone. So I was at the edge of the reef looking for the intake pipe. The waves were crashing onto the corals. It made me think of how the corals are actually very strong. I decided to walk back to shore.

A shallow water acropora growing on a large coral rubble. Although the body was brown, it had nice purple tips!

A couple of blue damsels in a shallow pool!

The biggest corals in this area were from the genus Porites.

A nice sea cucumber that would fetch a good price with the buyers.

This long slimy thing is a medusa worm. It is actually not a worm but a type of a sea cucumber.

A cute little Acropora millepora hiding among debris!

A bright yellow brittle star!

Groups of stony corals like this were common. There would be nothing and then an oasis of these stony corals growing together!

A yellow Pocillopora in a foot of water.

A large colony of purple Montipora digitata!

A wild trochus snail! This is pretty amazing considering that the only trochus around Tonga were the products of aquaculture. The original brood stock were brought in from Australia. The stocked cultured specimens must be spawning on their own in the wild. I have seen large adults while snorkeling around the shallows many times, but never a juvenile one like this!

A crinoid sea star clinging onto my fingers!

These dead porites skeletons looked like tree stumps!

Everything is big in Tonga! Check out this monster blue linkia.

This patch of the reef had these table like dead porites. Since the coral couldn't grow upwards due to the shallow water, it kept growing sideways. It is an amazing sight!

A few hardy Acropora milleporas were making a home in this desolate zone.

Many of the porites "tables" had openings on the top. In this particular hole, a live porites was making a home. I wonder what it would look like in a few years as the coral continues to grow.

Even a sea anemone made a home in one of the crevices! There were clownfish too but couldn't get a photo. The clowns looked like cinnamon clowns.

As I walked back towards the shore, I spotted this local hunting for something.

He was hunting for octopus! It was pretty cool how he was catching them. Once he spotted the octopus hiding in the rocks, he would simply stick his hand into the opening. The curious cephalopod would then stick out its arms and grab the fingers of the fishermen. Once the octopus arms were securely wrapped around the fingers and hand, the fishermen would simply pull out the unsuspecting slimy guy! There would be lots of ink at this time but no where to hide.

This is a small one and the local guy offered to give it to me. I told him to let it go since it was so small. He said that on a good day he can catch up to ten good sized ones during low tide. He mostly catches the octopus for food, but will sell if he has extras. The hard part is locating the octopus hiding in the rocks, catching them is the easy part. Oh and he did keep the little guy:(

The weather had changed and started to rain, time for me to go!


Ok guys, that is it for posts from Tonga. I hope you have enjoyed my adventures in this small South Pacific Island. I do look forward in going back in the near future!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tonga - Day 12 Part 1

Hello everyone. After spending time sorting corals at the fisheries, I decided to take a walk out to the beach at low tide behind the pump house. I wanted to see if I could locate the water intake pipe.

And just for your info, my friend has set up a fan page on Facebook for me. Come on and join me, I would like to see how many people are following my posts. My friend also changed the layout of my blog, looks different and more modern now - hope you guys like it- thanks Ferry!

The tide was going out and the mangrove roots were starting to be exposed.

Little mudskippers and fiddler crabs were dodging in and out. I tried to catch them but they were too fast! The roots of the mangroves are a haven to many small animals.

All kinds of little fish were darting in and out as well. I heard that big mud crabs can be caught in this exact location. I looked for some traps, but didn't find any.

The tide was still going out.

Caught this little crab running about!

Some black ink shot out among the seagrass as I was walking. It could either be an octopus or a sea hare.

About 100 yards out, the locals were collecting something.

I followed one lady to see what was in the bucket!

Just as I suspected, sea cucumbers. These small black turds are not worth much, but at least they are readily available. The deeper more valuable ones have been picked through.

Lots of brittle stars were roaming about!

A turbo looking snail. Even this size is considered small in Tonga!

I was getting closer to the edge of the barrier reef.

About 10 yards before the breakers, I found corals in the shallows!

This Montipora digitata had orange polyps!

Typical of very shallow water acros, some of these species get exposed during low tides and can survive. This chubby short branched acropora looked like a humilus or a samoensis.

A large tabling acropora. Note the surrounding area devoid of coralline algae.

A huge beautiful piece of liverock! Great shape, but unfortunately no coralline.

So finally I got out to the edge of the barrier reef and discovered all kinds of corals!

Here is a closer shot of the area.

These acros must be tough. Not only do they have to deal with the hot sun, but also the constant pounding from the waves! For those of you who never witnessed corals growing in the wild like this, it is truly amazing. I saw photos like this in books and magazines, and then saw the real deal in life, I was shocked by the total beauty of it!

You can see the water color being darker left side of the rocks (corals). This is where the barrier reef stops and drops off real deep.

The drop off is pretty steep. Years ago, we used to collect crazy chalice, lobos and symphyllias in this area. I once saw a turtle and a clown trigger once while snorkeling here. We pulled up about 5 yards from the waves and anchored. My guys went down to collect chalice and lobos while I snorkeled around at the top. I was amazed by a clown trigger and didn't realize the current was taking me into the rocks (corals). I got slammed into the corals and holy crap! Drank some Tongan seawater and swam out to deeper water. A turtle saw me and ran off!


Ok guys that is it for today. I have more pictures and stories to share with you from this day, so stay tuned. One thing that was kind of strange was that there was virtually no coralline algae growing anywhere in this section of the island.

Oh, and I never did find the intake pipe. It must be have been way out there and deep down!


Aquaculture Northern Bali

November Corals Collection Part. 1

November Corals Collection Part. 2

Aquaculture - November Shipment

Coral Showcase - September 2008 Inventory

Holding Facility's Corals Collection Showcase 2007