Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bettababy 10-31-2006 12:47 AM

Who I am/What I do
Hi to everyone. I figured I should take the time to introduce myself, especially since you may all notice that I have been appointed the newest moderator. I'd like you to all know that I will do my best to help anyone who asks.
My name is Dawn Moneyhan. I'm an aquatics specialist and nutritionist by trade. I have been keeping fish since the age of 6, when I started with my first goldfish I won at a local fair. I've been in love ever since. :D
I have been trained by some of the best in the industry and hobby, from all over the country. I worked at Hoffer's Tropic Life Pets, which USED to be a good place to work or shop. I quit recently because I felt the company had gone down the toilet when it came to care of the animals and business practices which put animals at risk. It's sad, but there came a day when money was the number 1 priority. My #1 priority is and always will be the animals. During my almost 8 yrs in the store, I was in charge of training new staff members on complete and overall procedures in the fish room. Our jobs entailed knowing every species of fish in stock (350 + tanks in all), how to properly care for it, every dry goods product in stock, inside and out, how to fix them, etc... and live plants in about 300 of the tanks... any and almost all aquarium plants found on the open market.. and again, how to properly care for them. We were intensely trained in water testing and trouble shooting problems in a customer's tank. The list goes on, but needless to say, I've been doing this on a professional level for almost 9 years now, and I continue to work in keeping private tanks at Dr's offices and such.
I am happily married with 3 children, b18, g17, & g10. I met Rob, my husband, at work on my first day at Hoffer's. He was the marine manager, and is an aquatic biologist with many yrs of school behind him. Rob currently works for one of the largest aquatic manufacturers in the industry and alongside of me with private accounts.
We have a fish room in our basement with about 30 tanks still running, total. We are buying a new house, so will be moving soon. I expect to consolidate the 30 down to 17 by that time. Once settled in the new house, we are planning a 400 gallon reef tank, custom made and set into a wall. We have also started to pick out the lumber for our new headboard for our bed. We're making a "frame" headboard that sits over a custom made tank. It's still undecided about what will go into it, but surely something nocturnal. I also have 9 bettas, each in their own bowl/tank, 2 seahorses, 1 female red head goby (currently seeking a male for breeding purposes), 1 female yellow clown goby, 1 emerald crab, 2 peppermint shrimp, and 2 starfish in my 15 gallon nano. The seahorse have bred once, we're waiting for the next round. Of our 30 tanks, they range in size from 2 1/2 gallons to 180 gallons, and I still keep my 220 oscar tank at my ex's house due to lack of space. (yes, I still go there to take care of it and play with my fish, lol)
I have spent the last 6 yrs of my life working to open an aquatic rescue, you can read about it at
We are very close to begin launch for fund raising and construction. I am waiting to get home life settled a bit with the move before the final launch, as I expect it to devour my every waking moment. Currently I use my own tanks at home for orphan fish, reptiles, and amphibians. 3/4 of our current fish have been rescued fish.
Besides the fish, I also have a 5 yr old harlequin macaw named Bobbi, a 4 ft ball python that I'm fostering until my daughter gets her own place next year, 1 yellow spotted salamander, and 3 wks ago I finally found a home for the 2 red eared slider turtles I'd fostered for the past 3 yrs.
I am here to help and often available on Yahoo messenger. Anyone who wants to look me up there to say hi or ask for help, simply send me a PM and I'll give you my ID name.
Have a great night everyone, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Amphitrite 10-31-2006 03:23 AM

Hiya Dawn, and welcome :wave:

Glad to have you with us!

Lupin 10-31-2006 09:42 PM

Hi Dawn.:wave:

Glad you could join us.:mrgreen: Nice to make friends with you.:mrgreen: And I appreciate your advices.:thumbsup:

Happy Halloween!!!

joeshmoe 10-31-2006 09:50 PM


Tracy 10-31-2006 09:59 PM

Welcome aboard! I had already noticed that you are very learned about fish and have received good advice from you posted for other people. :)

stuby 10-31-2006 11:49 PM

Hi Dawn, with your experience I'm sure we all can learn a lot from you! Glad to see you aboard!

bettababy 11-01-2006 02:31 AM

Thanks for the warm welcome. I want everyone to know that I look forward to spending time here, and it's because everyone has been so nice. I have been on other message forums, and sadly enough, few are as good as this one. I am hoping my stay here will be long, happy, and productive. As I put in my opening, I am here to help. It's probably not a good thing to say, but I honestly think I care more about the animals than the people in many situations. One thing I've noticed around here is that the moderators are up on things, and they're doing reasearch, which is important if they want to continue to help. The fish keeping hobby and industry change all the time, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, but there is constant change somewhere. It takes research and an open mind, along with a lot of confidence, to keep the learning process going to a degree in which they can "help" with complicated problems. This bunch seems to know what they're doing, and nobody has a problem with sending someone a referral to a place to help when they can't. That's awesome! Great going to all of the mods!!!
For the record, I did not start this thread to intimidate anyone, or to blow up my ego in any way... I simply wanted everyone here to know that advice I give is solid and professional. I know from experience at the store, it's difficult to help someone who doesn't trust in your credentials. There is a lot of misinformation and bad advice going around in this industry. I have entertained the idea of writing to Walmart's corporate office and offer to work as a temp to train their pet department staff properly. I am frustrated by what I see going on in our industry, and the only way I can relieve that frustration is to help fix it. Our inexperienced hobbyists need places to go to fix what others screw up all in the name of money. I stood in a Pet World Warehouse fish room one night, listening to a staff member try to sell "the whole salt water set up" to a customer. I turned to the guy and said, "1/2 of what he told you is needed, is only 1/2 of what you actually need, and actually included in his quote, and 1/2 of what he told you is wasted money down the drain, buy it if you want, but get his name so you know who to talk to when you have dead animals in your tank." The employee turned bright red, asked me who I thought I was, and put his hand up on his hip. When I told him "I train the new fishroom staff at Hoffer's", suddenly his hand went down to his side and his face turned a brighter shade of red. The customer looked at me and said thank you, then told the guy he was going to take his money somewhere else...
Yes, I do things like that. I know I probably shouldn't, but the idea that animals were going to die, it just didn't sit well with me. So, with that in mind, I come here, hoping to do the same thing, save a lot of wasted money and save a lot of lives. I never dreamed I'd end up a teacher, but my boss said I was the best teacher he's ever had on his team. If that can benefit this board, then I'll gladly take the time. The bonus is that I can see a lot of potential friends in my near future. Unlike some, I actually like to chat about fish, lol.
One more note: My personal policy has always been that if I couldn't answer a question, then my job was in finding an answer, having no answer was and never will be an option for me. If you have questions, even about business practices or behind the scense info about the fish industry, please don't hesitate. I will help all I can. I think if the public knew more about what went on behind the scenes, much of it would have to stop for the industry to continue to thrive. It might not always seem so, but the power is in the people. A store with no customers isn't a store for very long unless they change what's needed to bring the customers back. This is an expensive industry to work in, and with life spans to consider, feeding, maintenance, etc etc... Stores do not design their fishrooms to keep animals long term. When that happens, animals die, money is lost, employees quit, and the doors close, saving countless other animals from the same fate. We write letters, we rant and rave, but we still shop there. These stores count on just that, it's the normal. We have to change if we want them to change. I ask all of you, when you see sick and or dead animals in tanks, complain to management, and shop elsewhere. Pass word to your friends in the immediate area, those you know frequent the place. If you crunch the pocketbook, it will force changes. There are relible places online to get most anything, and many times it's cheaper, too. Stop shopping for dry goods at these stores, that is where the money is for them. It's cheaper to change a sign, cheaper to educate the staff than to give up their pocketbook. 1 or 2 makes little difference, but 10 - 15 regulars can break a bank during a slow month. If it continues until the changes are made, and business comes back with change, then its considered an "easy fix". Speak up, use your voices in ways that are effective. Everyone has one, and it takes but a few minutes to complain. A few minutes of complaining vs a few hours of thinking about what you could, should, would have said if....
Help me make a change.

rev 11-01-2006 05:50 AM

...Welcome... :blueyay:

girlofgod 11-07-2006 12:37 PM

Hi dawn! Welcome to the forum! SO GLAD To have you around! It's great to know that there are people out there who appreciate and devote their lives to the preserving of wildlife.


The Shadow 11-29-2006 10:22 AM


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