Caring for Your Marafin: An Exclusive Guide
The Marafin is perhaps the most sought-after Petpet available. An elusive little
fellow, a Marafin fetches upwards from 20 million Neopoints on the Trading Post.
Perhaps its high price is due to its immense rarity as an impossible-to-get
Supporter prize from the second Maraquan War, or maybe those shiny baby blues
are just too much to resist. Whatever the case, if you've got the time and finances
for one of these persnickety little Petpets, you need to know the basics. After
all, your Marafin(s) can only thrive under very specific conditions.
I've divided this article into some handy categories so that you can peruse
at will or only skim what applies to you. Be sure you have the time and energy
for the demanding Marafin, for they can be quite a handful. But, if you're willing,
the emotional rewards you will reap are well worth the many expenses.
Firstly, you need a tank. One Marafin (and you really should get it some tank
mates, as they are quite sociable - preferably of a smaller but more flashy
schooling species. Multi-painted Primellas are best) requires anywhere from
150-375 gallons of space, a serious investment. Although there are some very
high-quality lightweight plastic models on the market today, you should probably
spend an extra couple thousand to get a beautiful, gleaming glass model. To
hold such a mighty behemoth of the deep, you also need a stand. Although wood
can often be very beautiful, always have it lacquered black and smooth to hide
scuffs and unsightly water damage. Also, be sure your stand has plenty of hidden
shelf space for supplies. Glass tanks need to be cleaned monthly if you really
want them to shine, but thankfully, this task isn't too much of a problem. And
afterwards, your tank will glisten more radiantly than a Diamond Hot Dog.
Yes, water. Ordinary tap water is too heavily chlorinated and laced with harmful
chemicals which can be very damaging to the Marafin's famously sleek scales.
I personally use a plethora of different products, always starting with the
essentials: unfiltered Terror Mountain glacial water.
For tropical Petpets?
Uh-huh. Glacial water is the purest, most natural artesian water available.
After letting it heat to approximately 77.3 degrees Fahrenheit, (further discussed
in #3: Heating and pH) the preferred temperature for the sensitive lungs of
Marafins. I also use about forty percent water distilled from the Mystery Island
Techo Mountain caldera, which contains 14 rare minerals that can only be found
in a few places scattered across Neopia, so I have a 3:2 ratio of glacial to
After combining the two waters, you have to ensure cleanliness. I use about
three to four drops per hundred gallons of Nereid's Cleansing Formula, available
by special order on the Shop Wizard, which keeps nitrates and other harmful
things, like the noxious tank invader Fluorescent Algae, at bay. However, if
you really want your water to be the purest in Neopia, you'll need to use some
Light Faerie Dust, which runs from about 400,000 Neopoints. Despite the weighty
price tag, this dust is well worth it. Just half a pinch and all disease, droop,
or malcontent in your aquatic flora or fauna instantly disappears, like... well...
magic! (A note: excessive use of Light Faerie Dust can cause a glowing, silt-like
residue to build up on your tank walls, and it's nearly impossible to polish
out without the help of professionals, which can come with heavy price tags
of their own. Don't overdo it.)
#3: Heating & pH
As mentioned above, Marafins are discerning little creatures and prefer a
temperature of a balmy 77.348 degrees Fahrenheit. To get the perfect temperature
does not mean letting your precious glacial and caldera water to evaporate into
the atmosphere as you attempt to heat it "naturally"- you'll need a water heater.
At about 38,000 Neopoints a canister (you need three for a 200 G model), they,
like most other supplies, can burn a large hole in your checkbook.
pH is slightly less worrisome, because Marafins can tolerate anywhere from
5-8 on the scale. But, if you want the perfect environment for your little bundle
of slippery joy, a pH measurer is the way to go.
This section could have probably fit into #3, but I think it deserves a little
"half-category" because it is very important.
You want your Marafins to be able to bask in the warm Maraquan sun without
frying them to a jumbo-sized seafood crisp from fraying electrical cords. What
you need is some Virtupets LED iridescent film lights- one for every side of
the tank. I recommend that you have two smaller bulbs with one moonlight and
one daylight setting to give a more soothing impression in the evening. Be sure
to turn them off after ten P.M. if you- or they!- ever want to sleep.
Lights are also important in #5: Plants.
Often making their home in abandoned treasure chests, Marafins are mesmerized
by glistening jewels. Considering all the hard-earned money you've invested
so far, you're probably wanting a little pocketbook breather.
If you want your Marafin to really enjoy him or her(self), you need a mixed
gravel bag of crushed diamonds (small enough so the sharp edges won't damage
your Petpet's fragile, tissue paper-thin scales), rounded and polished shards
of Maractite artifacts, such as old reliquaries and ceremonial masks, and, scattered
throughout, genuine Hermiteese Egg rubies. Rounded like glowing red marbles
and about the size of a large Kau eye, these shining beauties can each cost
3 million Neopoints alone. This is perhaps the most costly of the categories,
because for a tank as large as 290 G, you're going to need quite a lot of gravel!
Perhaps you should befriend your local jeweler?
Marafins love a good game of underwater hide-and-seek, as they're quite the
playful creatures! And what better way to indulge their love of fishy espionage
and shade then to fill their tank with beautiful, healthy plants?
Although Underwater Fishing is cheap and easy, the only plant that your Marafin
might enjoy would be the pretty Shimmering Seagrass. (Also, as a note: the Seagrass
often comes with some little extras thrown in- namely, ghostly little Spectral
Shrimp clinging to the roots. Creepy as they may be, these little guys are actually
excellent tank cleaners, and, at night, give your tank an all-natural moonlit
glow that is absolutely breathtaking.) Other than that, you should probably
check out a marine plant breeder near the Rock Pool. They have specialized environmental
kits to simulate the natural sea floor and can help you aquascape your tank.
Make sure you have the proper lighting to ensure growth, and talk a lot with
the plant breeder about what gardening techniques and tips might apply to you.
Terracing is a good way of displaying your gorgeous underwater flora. Kind
of like the rice paddies near Techo Mountain, graduating heights of gravel throughout
the tank can lead to a gorgeous, natural effect. To keep your plants lustrous
and glowing, release a Bottled Water Faerie into your tank. Even though your
Kougra may not kick as many pets out of the Battledome ring without the magical
boost, a Water Faerie is a grateful and indispensable tank-mate. Able to communicate
with your Marafin, she can even forewarn you in her squeaky little voice of
scale rot or other maladies.
Ah, yes. Decor. This kind of falls in with the last category, but this time
we're talking sculptures. Mini-palaces, shimmer, glitz, and coral-studded caves
that bubble and fizz.
Since Marafins adore places to hide, you might want to get him or her and
beautiful piece of underwater "property". No, not one kitschy little "No Fishing"
sign- a beautiful, minutely detailed palazzo grande of style. Perhaps a miniature
tea house and rock garden, complete with bonsai tree and a soothing bamboo.
Or maybe a gorgeously luxurious opal-studded palace plucked from the pages of
a storybook, perched high atop a delicately rendered mountain cliff?
If you have an artistic bent, perhaps you might try your hand at sculpting
your own farmer's cottage or Nereid's grotto. Or, if you really want to go all
out, head to an antique action and pick up some Maractite vases for an authentic
Maraquan flavor. Whatever your style, nothing is too expensive or luxe for your
So, now that you've read through the categories, are you still prepared to
go out and buy the Petpet of your dreams?
I certainly hope so. Come on, chop-chop!
'Til next time.