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Old 06-23-2006, 07:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree that limited collection is fine. sometimes the reintroducing of species in not however, not when its endangered, but look at the wild environments of texas and florida. in the waterways you have oscar and pacu, on land in florida there are free breeding colonies of caimans, burmese pythons, and green iguanas let loose by reptile hobbyist (which i am one of, hobbyist not a releaser), water lettuce a common pond plant made its ways into texas water systems and was reeking havock just a few years ago.

Whats truly sad is the massive collection of animals for salt trade, pacific hard corals take years apon years to grow. and they are dying in droves from temperature fluxuation and pollution almost faster then they can collect it, that is when they arent blasting it apart to get a few more "Nemo" fish. and look at texas where there is a law not to sell turtles under 4 inches, who on this site has not seen baby turtles for sell at their LFS.

Now i dont have a lot of rock in my tank, but most of my wood came from my own back yard from deadfall, there is plenty of deadfall wood in the world that could probably be fine in a tank, i think mine is a type of birch, hasnt fallen apart and been in the tank for over a year, and has not changed my water quality much at all, i find it funny that a specific type of wood became sooo popular because it was what the stores were selling, not to say i dont have a few very small pieces of drift, but i cant afford what they charge for that wood here, not it large quantities.

So do i think its alright to collect, most assuredly, but not on protected land and not it large quantities,a few pieces of dead wood fall is actually safer to pick up, look at yellowstone, they have to use controlled forest fires to get rid of their deadfall, they had a disastrous one when they didnt do controlled burning, and the rate at which aquatic plants grow is so fast when compared to any kind of coral it would be easier to compare our hobby to just another form of gardening with a little more water, and you never hear anyone protesting again Houston garden center for selling hybrid plants, or excessive planting and harvesting. So respect laws, write your congressman or woman(i do) about the larger negative environmental practices, and dont worry so much about me using dead wood from my own back yard.
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

Great thread, and worth a bump. Nearly everything in my tank, from the substrate(local lakeside sand) to the plants(every one collected locally) to the fish(ditto, save a lonely oto, and a half dozen flag fish).
I do not feel in the least "environmentally insensitive" when I'm out collecting(ALWAYS legally, mind you..I even have a collection permit for darters from the State of Michigan), as I KNOW where the fish and/or plants or hardscape came from and I know it was collected in a location and manner that does not in the least endanger any existing populations. A point that was brought up earlier is VERY valid. Theres seems to be some idea that "store bought" means more "green". IMO, nothing could be further from the truth. As long as a species(plant or animal) is not in trouble..then collecting locally is FAR more environmentally safe, then purchasing one of any number of species that may have(and often are!) collected in VERY "sketchy" manner with little regard to the eventual effect it may have on that species, or the local environment.
Even the sale of local specimens(particularly driftwood, which I plan on exploring), being subject to in most cases rather strict laws, IMO is much less impactfull then buying a piece of "driftwood" that's been hauled half way across the earth, after being dug up or chopped from the roots of a living rain forest tree!( the research..).
Remember..with some exceptions, EVERY rock, or piece of driftwood you purchase..was harvested from the wild, some place. The same can be said for many fish, as a good number of them(and nearly all salt water) fish are wild caught...again, often in areas and under regulations that leave a LOT to be desired from an impact standpoint.
Wouldn't you rather know exactly where it came from, and that it was done in a safe and ethical manner?'s easy to do, when you do it yourself.
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

npnailer- dittos

I totally agree. Obviously, collecting from the wild is something that only a minority of aquarium enthusiasts are ever likely to attempt. Following state/federal rules is also important. In many cases permits are required but not a big deal to attain.

Maybe its because I grew up in ponds, ditches, and canals but I feel much more personally connected to things that I catch. Because of this connection, the personal value of the flora/fauna is much greater and probably leads to more attentive care. Its sort of like assuming farmers don't care about the health & welfare of their animals because they ultimately end up sending them to be slaughtered. Couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

Malaysia is not a third world country

the reason these things are freely collected in third world countries and developing countries is because majority of the people are not aware of the consequences of their actions. its hard earning a living in such places. the aquariums and fish business are hot things right now and collecting from the wild means more profits and less investment.
this does not mean that all the people don't care about the environment. its just that less people are aware of the consequences.
also a lot of these countries do not have good laws in place, to protect nature, and even if there are laws, there is no one to enforce the law.

IMO animals and other beings that are endangered should be collected and bred in order to improve the chances of survival for that specie which may not be possible, with the pollution, oil spills, poaching and other man made problems.....
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

the endangered flora and fauna are collected by professionals in the fish & wildlife resources, as well as, the experts with our local public zoos and aquariums. however, they only take what is needed to study and/or propogate in captivity. if lay persons (even hobbyists) were to take these endangered species, then they would disappear even faster. this is not an opinion, it is a proven fact.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

I never knew taking rocks would be an issue. There is a whole hobby centered around rock collecting. They are called rock hounds. Some of these people travel the country going on rock collecting trips. Same with shells. I don't think it is illegal to collect driftwood or shells from any beach even state parks. When I was a kid I went clam digging on Cape Cod, no permit required. In fact one time it was a school class trip. Mostly you just need to use common sense.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

Just stumbled on this Thread. I agree with most of what has been said (only cos I've not read the entire thing, just parts of it...). We as hobbyists, indeed humanity as a collective, have a duty of care to the environment and the welfare of natural resources.
I live in the Far North region of Queensland, Australia. Much of this region, such as the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef etc, is World Heritage listed and therefore protected from any form of pillage or destruction. The local area around Cairns is fortunate enough to have many rivers, streams and forest locations that are open to public access and use, where fishing, hunting and bushwalking (and collecting rocks and wood for one's aquarium) are permitted. Even still, there are limits and boundries on what a person is able to take from these places.
Recently, I have found myself enamoured of the idea of a monster reef/saltwater aquarium, perusing page after page of Forum DIY tank building Threads. The thing is, I don't know if I can do it. Not for the reasons of cost or practicality (although they are, of course, highly influential factors), but for the fact that I simply cannot abide the idea of keeping "live rock" or coral, that at some point was still firmly attached to an ocean floor off Fiji (or wherever) and was literally ripped from it's location and eventually sold to a "hobbyist". I also have issues with wild caught fish. I am not solely pointing the finger at the Reefer crew here, as there are many species such as Betta's and Loaches that are caught for commercial trade. To me, and this may or may not be hypocritical, there is a marked difference between keeping something that is captive bred, such as Goldfish, Tetra's or Barbs and keeping Lionfish, Clownfish, or Clown Loaches. Of course, it could be argued that Goldfish were once common carp, Betta's never used to have a class called "Splendens"; it's only through many years of selective (and surgical) breeding, that we now have the Ranchu or Crowntail.
I digress. A recent issue of TFH Magazine featured an article about Coral farming, where live Coral is, legally and sensibly, taken from reefs and propogated for commercial trade. It is through projects and initiatives such as this, combined with a liberal dose of common sense, accountability and the encouragement of each other (whether an experienced aquarist or Forum noob), that we should have little trouble in sustaining this environment, and the hobby, for many, many years to come.

This is a fantastic Thread, and a topic that warrants further discussion in all areas, and on all levels, of this hobby...

Last edited by ghengis; 07-03-2008 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

I collect all my stuff locally. Thanks for raising such a relevant topic. I'm from South India. We have a plethora of aquatic life here. There are many rare fish in fragmented and specialized habitats in the hills and forests here. I collect common native fish found in the irrigation canals and other water bodies. All these fish can be sustainably collected without too much harn to their numbers. In spite of the ubiquitous Tilapia (introduced by the Govt. in mid 50's as food fish) many native species cling on tenaciously. IMO indiscriminate fishing in bio-diversity hotspots in the Western Ghats for export is a major concern. Trawling in marine fishery causes far more damage to the reefs. Our Govt. has banned the sale and use of live rock in the hobby! Collection is no problem if properly managed and vulnerable species protected. Even P.Denisonii can be sustainably harvested in the wild when properly managed.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

Originally Posted by YuccaPatrol View Post
Is the rock you buy in a store that is removed from the earth by heavy machinery and dynamite from an unnatural quarry and then transported by diesel truck to your landscaping materials retailer more environmentally friendly than the one I pick up off of the ground and carry home in my backpack? I don't think so.
I think this was among the most important comments made. If you want to talk sustainability, taking a quick drive to your local ditch and picking up a few small rocks, bits of wood, or plants cuttings (which, as stated, will grow back in days) is much more eco-friendly (yuck... global warming talk) than paying $10 for a nice piece of wood shipped in from some other country, or even a different state, regardless of how friendly the collection method. Unfortunately, "common sense is so rare that it is often mistaken for genius."
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with local collection

I have accquired american val from lake ontario. Now, the peices I have collected were adrift. However with the zebra mussle infestation in our lakes, I had to make sure it was absolutely clean.

I've also collected driftwood and some rock. Much of the driftwood is collected by beach side residents to burn.

It depends. I won't object to taking home a rogue plant, but I would not go around digging them up.
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