What it means to be an SRC specimen

March 01, 2021

Our Quarantine & Conditioning Process

When you combine degrees in Science, Chemistry, and Biology with dedicated hobbyists, it is no surprise that new discoveries will arise. Resulting in the most innovative Quarantine & Conditioning protocols select to our facilities, producing pristine specimens free from harsh chemicals and carcinogenic medications. Chemicals misused heavily throughout the industry (such as Coppers/aldehydes/antibiotics) not only impact the current and long-term wellbeing of the animals but create larger issues, with parasites and diseases quickly building resistance to commonly used medications today. All specimens at Strikers Reefing & Co. go through a dedicated procedure catered to each species' needs and may stay at our facility upwards of 2 months before being deemed ready to be photographed and shipped out. Fish here not only have their weight tracked, but have samples routinely taken for microscopy to guarantee a clean specimen prior to becoming available. Species commonly deemed near "impossible" to keep in captivity long term thrive here on a variety of foods. Most of which have developed this reputation due to lack of scientific knowledge, improper collection, and feeding related issues where a specimen will refuse foods due to an underlying cause or accept foods but continue to decline in health. These include Purple Queen (Tuka) Anthias, Moorish Idols, and delicate deep-water angels/species. This is being made possible with an understanding rooted in the biology of each species where gut fauna, ability to digest common foods offered, socializing, and knowing how different medications will affect a species chronically, all come together to produce the desired outcome. The above-mentioned directly impacts the ability of a specimen to maintain weight long term, process body toxins, or fight off infections. We have spent the last 4 years investing tremendously into Research & Development to gain a better understanding of Marine Fish. When using modern scientific approaches that are able to provide exact answers, it no longer becomes a guessing game as to what makes a species fail to thrive in captivity. We continue to develop procedures born from our research, with new species currently not well understood regularly being added to our collection as new discoveries are made. We DO NOT use copper or formalin. To put it simply, they are both poisons. Although most fish tolerate it, they are put through a lot of unnecessary stress with lasting side effects and a large room for error. Not much is known about the long-term effects of either, with organ failure or gill damage being a common link in biopsies on fish exposed to either at previously deemed "Therapeutic levels". These levels are no longer high enough to fully eradicate rapidly adapting parasites and diseases which have become resistant to common treatments. Instead, these levels reduce the rate of infection to a sublethal level allowing enough time for the fish to develop temporary immunity against the parasite or disease. Upon arrival, specimens receive individual medication baths based on its species and diagnosis. For their first 2 weeks at our facility, fish are transferred into a sterile system every 24 hours alongside baths made up of exclusive medication formulas catered to each species needs. Specimens are transferred using disposable nitrile gloves, nets are avoided. Slime coats and scales are easily damaged with the use of nets. Fenbendazole is administered at proper intervals in baths we have found success with alongside in their diet for a period of 3 weeks to eradicate internal worms, gill & skin flukes resistant to praziquantel, and gastrointestinal parasites. After the initial 2 weeks, fish are weighed and moved into medication-free conditioning systems where they are kept for a further period of 2-8 weeks until they hit their target weight gain and are socializing well. During this period, they are fed a wide variety of foods designed for each species' dietary requirements, these include Mysis, krill, Pellets, Flakes, and Seaweed. With dry foods (pellets/flakes) it is incredibly important to know ingredients. A food may contain the proper amount of protein and fat, but when derived from the wrong and/or poor ingredients it will not be synthesized or properly digested by the fish. Similarly, an herbivore fed meat-based foods will not thrive and vice versa. Socializing/Social training plays a key role in their wellbeing, they need to know you are not a threat. By gaining a specimen's trust during its time here to the point where we can hand-feed, they are able to be handled and transported between systems without inducing excessive panic and high stress, both of which heavily compromise a specimens' ability to maintain homeostasis. This can not only cause loss of appetite but compromises their immune system. We are proud to offer a new standard of quality, providing Clean Conditioned fish without jeopardizing the long-term wellbeing of your new specimen caused by harsh chemicals & carcinogenics. One order from our dedicated team and you will know what it means to be an SRC Client, Thank you for entrusting SRC with your piece of the ocean!  


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