A Marine Livestock Wholesaler
By Robert Fenner
Reprinted from the September 1997 issue of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine
If you had the time and money to "do livestock wholesale right," how would you go about it? Design, engineering, construction, water treatment, location, layout, equipment...?
First of all, let's consider the site; where? Definitely near a world class airport and Customs facility; it's imperative to get the livestock in and out expediently - Chicago, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles!
The building - open, roomy, waterproof, and thermal insulation would be a giant plus. If I had the funds I'd buy it outright! and the holding system, acclimation, and bagging stations? Hire the best folks to design, build, and install a state-of-the-art, low to no-maintenance array; one part for invertebrates, the other for fishes.
Reality: The Dream
Fred knew what he wanted
from several lines of insight. Growing up in Indonesia, he developed a
strong interest in, and appreciation for, aquatic life. Prior to
joining the pet fish industry, he was a civil engineer, with a degree
from the University of California at Berkeley.
As with all world-class
wholesale distributors, Underwater World brings in stock from all
tropical seas (Hawaii, Red Sea, Australia, Caribbean, Fiji, Solomon,
Africa, Philippine, etc.) But, a central feature of this facility
is that a majority of their stock comes from Indonesia's reefs;
especially through a collecting station Fred helped develop in Bali in
Basically, there are two separate systems, fish and invertebrate, with differing specific gravities (1.019 and 1.023) utilizing the best available means to achieve minimal metabolic concentrations.
This is among the lowest maintenance, cleanest, most homeostatic system I've encountered in either private business or public aquariums. To give you an inkling, the foam fractionators (protein skimmers) feature dual automated washdown features of their collectors and contact chambers, which also incorporate low doses of ozone. The one on the fish side is 13' tall and 4' in diameter!
The fluidized bed's pressurized units are serviced with the most efficient low head/high volume pumps that could be found, drawing very little amperage.
Natural seawater is
utilized, trucked in by Catalina Water. Due to careful collection,
transport, and treatment, Fred asserts that "the real thing" is more
economical and preferable over synthetics, and there is tremendous
gallonage here (approximately 50,000 gallons total). The bases, or
supports, for the mainly brand new tanks and cubicles (or "cubes,"
smaller units for keeping individual specimens) are made of
polyethylene reservoirs filled with transit volume system water and
Fred Ong's business philosophy
is straightforward: "Consistently provide the highest quality, healthy
livestock at a fair price." Therefore, the initial purchase - along
with the enormous improvements in the building including waterproofing
throughout, cutting the concrete floors to install plumbing and
conduits below grade, the highly sophisticated acclimation and
filtration systems detailed by RK2 - all reflect the owner's
philosophy towards the highest possible quality.
General marine demand and reefkeeping are definitely on the positive slope of the growth curve. Overall, the marine aquarium hobby will grow: "the technology is there."
Distributors are upgrading to newer, lower maintenance, low energy consumption systems. Witness the conversion from swimming pool filter and pump technology to low head, high flow rate fluid moving and better protein skimmers, fluidized beds, and ozone.
For independent retailers: the next five to ten years, the mass-merchandisers will continue to make inroads into freshwater, but not marine. It's too specialized and needs sophisticated personnel.
FIVE REASONS TO BUY FROM UNDERWATER WORLD
1. Consistent Quality and Supply
2. Strong and Healthy Fish
3. Large Selection
4. Competitive Pricing and Extraordinary Value
5. Superior Packing
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Marine Fish Retailers:
Are you tired of low quality fish and poor service? Are you tired of transship fish which seem so cheap but ended up costing you more when freight charges and some bad quality fish are taken into account? Are you tired of not making enough profit? If these concern you, then read on.
Underwater World was founded in 1975 for the purpose of providing marine fish retailers with superior service and the widest selection of healthy, top quality saltwater fish, corals and invertebrates at fair prices. Today, we are one of the largest and most reputable marine fish wholesaler in California serving over 600 tropical fish retailers, wholesalers, importers and public aquariums all over the United States and around the world.
With stations around the world, we buy only the highest quality marine specimen directly from the collectors. Our exclusive stations allow us not only to get consistent quality, but the also allow us to offer you one of the best prices anywhere, thus giving you an unbeatable value.
We encourage you to try us and to visit our over 75,000 gallons state of the art solar powered facility here next to the Los Angeles International Airport. Your first shipment would tell you what we mean by quality fish and quality service. And if you keep buying from us you would see, like most of our customers, a marked improvement on your sales, profit and reputation.
Please feel free to call us at 310-670-1502 and ask for one of our sales representatives or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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