Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Corals get Herpesvirus too

The herpes viruses are a large family of large (for a virus) double-stranded DNA viruses enclosed in an icosahedral protein coat (see above). Many of these cause disease in humans: cold sores, chicken pox and the sexually transmitted herpes varieties, for example. They can also infect fish, and are known to cause problems in koi ponds. When it comes to coral diseases, the picture has been muddy: there are at least 22 described coral diseases, but for many of these we don’t know what the etiological agent is. Most of the time, bacterial agents are implicated, particularly the genus Vibrio. Now, however, research is beginning to show that corals are susceptible to herpesvirus infection as well (Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Using metagenomic analysis (where a researcher looks at the collective genome of the viral population, rather than at each single virus species), a group lead by Rebecca Vega-Thurber at Oregon State University has found evidence of viral particles inc orals, especially the herpes family. It is important to note the difference between “found viral particles” and “found viral disease”: while the number of virions did increase after stress episodes, there is no causative link yet established between the virus and the disease. It may be that the diesase is caused by another infectious agent or process, and the viruses are merely opportunists. Future research should be a… More:

Smithsonian Photo Contest

For nine years now the Smithsonian has sponsored a photo contest that includes some far out categories including “Altered Images”, which basically allows Photoshop and other tools.  You’d think this photo is rendered or tremendously modified, but in reality this is just a high quality image with a negative or inverse effect.  For the non-photogs, this is what an old school film negative would look like, but by itself it stands as an incredible piece of art and striking bit of eye candy.  We ran a negative effect on this and if you want to see what the original image looked like, follow the link.… More:

Digital Aquatics Lifegard Hands On

Our friends at Marine Depot got their hands on the new Digital Aquatics Lifegard, and since seeing is believing, we now have a pretty good idea of what this thing does.  The Lifegard is an aquarium monitoring system with essentially no expandability.  The point is that DA has removed the complexity of a controller based system and provided an option for aquarists who just want piece of mind when they leave their tanks for a couple of days (or hours!).  While DA as a company has stumbled a few times with their various products, this product eliminates the chance of problems by not being responsible for any OFF/ON decisions.  It’s informational only, and therefore is unlikely to be the source of any problems itself.  A great idea for nano tanks or aquarium owners who want better visibility to basic parameters, the Lifegard will be available soon for $200.  More pics after the jump.… More:

Your tank is leaking – what do you do right now?

Last night, or really early this morning, I heard a noise and discovered that my 400g reef had literally sprung a leak. 

I’m gonna need a really big bucket

 It’s 1 a.m. and I know that the tank has a lot of water left to drain out.  I stood there with my finger on the spot holding back the stream of water, wondering how to proceed for about sixty seconds.  I let go and dashed to get my iPhone, naturally. After taking that picture, I grabbed a Rubbermaid 100g container and started siphoning water out as quickly as I could.  Once the container filled up, I then drained more water into the sump’s extra capacity, and then more in an empty 55g barrel. The stream (pictured above) of water was caught in a handy 5g bucket, with a chunk of pink foam as an impromptu splash guard to keep the electrical components dry. With the surface water level just beneath the hole in the silicone, I still had to… More:

Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday Am Quick Tip #73: Pack Your Bags But Leave This Untouched

Vacations should be relaxing and this tip will help.

Cool tiny critters in the Philippines

 The upcoming issue of Reefs magazine will feature part two of the series documenting the Steinhart Aquarium in California Academy of Sciences role in the 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. Check out part one here, and until the new issue is out, here is something that was cut from the part 2: “As the night wore on, another cephalopod emerged, the Bobtail squid, Sepiadarium kochi. These animals are less than and inch long, fiercely noctournal, and like to bury themselves in the muck at the first sign of potential trouble. The bottom was thick with them. We didn’t collect any for display, but did get some great video of their burying behavior.”… More:

Mr. Saltwater Tank’s Coverage of Reefstock 2012 Part One

Every spring in the Mile High City hundreds of reef junkies gather for the most unique saltwater aquarium trade show in the USA. Can’t see the video? Follow this link Tagged as: ecotech marine , Jake Adams , kessil , LED , My Reef Creations , radion , reef builders , reef stock

Toyama Bay’s Firefly Squid

This is a scene from Toyama Bay in Japan, and no, it has nothing to do with the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor.  What you see on the shore are Lightning Squid, which are local to region and live in the ocean depths offshore.  Once or twice a year, the squid come up into shallower waters to create this incredible sight.  These squid are fished for food, and the boats turn into giant floating glow sticks during the proper fishing season.  Click through for more photos.… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.