The House of Fins 52nd Anniversary Splash event was a very special weekend for all those who attended. Not only was there a chance to see a top notch group of speakers, including the ever-affable, highly sought after, yet somewhat reclusive Scott Michael, in an intimate setting, but some very rare livestock was right there in the shop. Among the treasure trove of rare fish on display this weekend was the beautiful and elusive Football Grouper, Epinephelus amblycephalus, which boldly emerged from it’s hiding place to put on a great show. Grouper fans got another real treat, with a stunning and highly coveted Neptune grouper, Cephalophilis igarahiensis, parading around its aquarium in full glory. Once can only imagine how nice this fish will look in a full-blown display tank! Although a bit “under the weather” with a mild case of Marine Ich, specimens of the understated and elegant Bank Butterflyfish, Prognathodes aya, displayed amazing personality, sharing a tank with a rarely seen Guyana Butterflyfish, Prognathodes guyanensis. Not only are both of these Butterflyfishes rare in the trade, they are somewhat hard to find in their natural range, so it’s really unusual to see them at all. House of Fins personnel advised us that these fishes, although ill, were making a strong comeback and should be fully recovered and available for sale in the very near future. Seeing even one of the fishes mentioned above would be worth the drive alone- but seeing 4 really rare species in one location is enough to make even the most hardened marine fish geek get a bit excited! Follow the read link for more pictures and info on the fish and the Splash event.
Coral lovers had a lot to smile about, too, with some serious eye candy rocking the tanks at HOF, including an unusual specimen of Heteropsammia cochlea. Known as the “Shoe Coral”, or “Walking Dendro” , this uncommon animal consists of a LPS coral attached to the back of a “Peanut Worm”. It’s thought that both animals acheive an advantage in this relationship, with the worm gaining a protective “shell” around its delicate body, and the coral gaining mobility. Very few of these specimens have ever been imported, and most are used for scientificstudies. A very choice few actually make it into the trade Yet again, HOF was able to bring their considerable resources to bare to bring anotherwise unseen coral to the hobby. This was a really amazing specimen!
Freshwater enthusiasts were shown some love by HOF, too, with noted plant expert and AGA Aquascaping Contest judge Karen Randall bringing her expertise for a fascinating lecture on planted aquariums, followed by a demonstration on assembling an “Amano-style” planted aquarium for a live audience. More than one hardcore reefer was overheard muttering “I want one of those…”, so look out for a new group ofreefers-turned-planted-tank- junkies to burst on the scene soon. All in all, the HOF event was a weekend worthy of a store that has had tremendous impact on the hobby, and will continue to for some time to come. Big thanks to Michelle Lemech for the images of the butterflyfish and the football grouper.