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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

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July 19, 2019

Kayla Breese/River News

Those who participate in the Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Tour at Foster and Smith March 18 will get a behind-the-scenes look at the facility. Pictured are a pair of Picasso Percula Clownfish, one of which is nestled in a Sebae Anemone. The clownfish are housed in the Clownfish system at the facility.
Kayla Breese/River News

Those who participate in the Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Tour at Foster and Smith March 18 will get a behind-the-scenes look at the facility. Pictured are a pair of Picasso Percula Clownfish, one of which is nestled in a Sebae Anemone. The clownfish are housed in the Clownfish system at the facility.
3/9/2017 7:28:00 AM
Explore the oceans during LiveAquaria event at Drs. Foster & Smith

Kayla Thomason
Feature Writer

There is something relaxing about watching pretty fish swim around in their tanks and those who want to learn more about caring for a variety of aquatic animals, or are looking to add to their tanks, may be interested in two events to be held at Drs. Fosters and Smith in Rhinelander March 18.

People can attend's Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Facility's one-hour guided educational tour, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., or the buyer's open house, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Educational tour

This tour is designed for members of general public who are interested in learning about aquatic life and's Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Facility.

"During the Guided Educational Tour, attendees receive a guided educational tour of our aquaculture facility which takes a behind-the-scenes look at: filtration equipment and their functions, details regarding our aquatic life and their habitats, as well as our extensive quarantine and conditioning procedures," said Christine Mueller, LiveAquaria assistant merchandiser at Drs. Foster & Smith. "Guests are encouraged to interact with our Aquatic facility partners as they enjoy viewing a wide variety of marine fish, invertebrates, corals and unique freshwater fishes."

Families can enjoy the tour, watching their children stare in amazement at the brightly-colored and unique aquatic life housed at the facility.

"The Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Facility Open House is a great educational opportunity that parents and their children would love to see," Mueller said. "We have many animals from oceans around the world not normally seen in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. We are dedicated to aquatic life sustainability and strive to condition and offer the healthiest aquatic life animals in a responsible manner."

Aquariums can be set up and stocked in a variety of ways, depending on the owner's preference.

"Starting a marine aquarium and the decision to stock the aquarium with fish or coral speaks to the individual preference and commitment to the hobby," she said. "Some prefer fish-only aquariums while others prefer a mixed reef aquarium with corals and invertebrates. While many coral species may filter out food particles from aquarium water, it is a common misconception that corals 'filter' the aquarium. On the contrary, corals require a high degree of aquarium water quality achieved through routine water changes and aquarium filtration devices."

Mueller is incredibly knowledgeable about corals and aquatic life, and is happy to teach others about them.

"There are a lot of misconceptions, myths and a general lack of knowledge regarding corals," she said. "Many people commonly mistake corals for plants but they are animals. So, one can say the significance or importance of corals is the tremendous learning and teaching opportunity they offer. Coral reef keeping, propagation projects and facilities such as our Aquaculture Coral & Aquatic Life Facility are imperative to the progress of scientific research so that we may continue to learn more about these beautiful animals and educate others."

Taking on the task of maintaining an aquarium is not something to be taken lightly, as some species are more finicky than others, Mueller noted.

"Education and patience is the key to setting up an aquarium and successfully caring for aquatic life," Mueller said. "Don't rush. Spend time researching anything and everything you can about the inhabitants you are interested in caring for in your aquarium. Our and websites have many articles and educational materials to help any new hobbyist. Most importantly, carefully and honestly assess your level of commitment and dedication you're willing to put into the proper care of any live animal."

Buyer's open house

Aquarists from beginner to advance can browse and purchase items to start or add to their aquarium during the open house.

"During this time we are 'open for business' allowing aquarium hobbyists to browse and purchase from our large selection of aquatic life," she said. "This part of the event caters to coral reef, fish and invertebrate enthusiasts, collectors and aquarist of all levels wanting something special to add to their aquarium. Both groups can expect to see how we propagate and grow and care for live corals that are offered on the web site. These propagated corals are then purchased by hobbyists or enthusiasts, and shipped to their homes around the country."

This is one of three events in 2017. The next ones are scheduled for Aug. 5 and Nov. 11.

Anyone interested in attending one of the events may register by either visiting the website or emailing On the day of the event organizers ask that all registered attendees meet at the Drs. Foster and Smith Retail Store at 2423 Air Park Road 30 minutes prior to their registered event.

Registration for the guided tour is capped at 100 people so guests can receive the best experience. The buyer's open house has no limit.

Kayla Breese may be reached at

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