posted by Dan Rigle on June 19, 2013
posted by AquaNerd on June 19, 2013
posted by mrsaltwatertank on June 18, 2013
posted by AquaNerd on June 18, 2013
Author Archives: Rich Ross
The 2013 edition of Drum and Croaker - A Highly Irregular Journal for the Public Aquarist, sponsored by the Columbus Zoo, is now available online. If you are not familiar with the publication, Drum and Croaker is a non-peer-reviewed journal that has acted as an “informal organ” for public aquarium professionals since 1958. This years edition includes:
- The Metamorphosis of the Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park into the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, with Historical Annotations by Barrett L. Christie
- Small Fish Feeding in a 212,000 Gallon Coral Reef Exhibit by Richard Ross, Matt Wandell, and J. Charles Delbeek
- Aquarium Cleaning Using Melamine Foam Pads by Richard Ross and Matt Wandell
- A Unique Program for Aspiring Aquarists by Christina J. Slager, Bruce Koike, and Chris Spaulding
Marine breeding is jumping forward in leaps and bounds! Marine Breeder extraordinaire Karen Brittain has done it again, this time with Genicanthus watanabei. The video shows 87/88 day old Watanabei angels being small, cute and awesome. Congratulations to Karen, and we look forward to more details about this breeding first. More info can be found in this thread… More:
From Outsidetheglassbox.orgPatience is a virtue – Prudentius Reef tanks are not instant art. They are mini eco systems that take a bit of time to become stable and trying to rush things is generally a recipe for disaster. We can all understand the excitement about wanting to do things quickly, but since the animals we keep are alive and dependent on a glass box for everything they need, it seems they deserve the consideration of a stable home.… More:
Pest anemones can be worse than a piece of popcorn stuck between your teeth; they annoyingly consume all of your attention, they multiply quickly, sting animals you like and it seems like no matter what you do to control them, there are always a few that appear impervious to any attempt at eradication. As part of the anti pest anemone kit the Majano wand is an easy to use, quite effective and cathartic way to deal with pest anemones in a reef tank.
The folks at Backyard Brains, known for their Spikerbox that can help you record and see neural activity, and researchers at at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA have applied the Backyard Brains protocol stimulating an amputated cockroach leg into motion via music to the chromatophores of squid skin, with very cool results. Squids, and other cephalopods, neurally control the pigmented cells in their skin, chromatophores, to reflect light. The squid skin in use belongs to the Longfin Inshore Squid, loligo pealei, and has three different chromatophore colors – brown, red and yellow – with each chromatophore surrounded by muscles that can contract to reveal the pigment underneath. According to Backyard Brains, “We used a suction electrode to attach to the squid’s fin nerve, then connected the electrode to an iPod nano as our stimulator. The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the fin”.
If you didn’t think cephalopods were cool before, this alone should change your mind. Perhaps in the future, dance clubs will be wall papered with artificially grown squid skin, or perhaps your television will be made of a squid skin analogue. I know, we still want our jet packs, but perhaps the squid can help us there too.… More:
Biologists from The Florida Aquarium, Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences, Moody Gardens, Disney’s The Seas, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have gathered at the Coral Restoration Foundation’s facility in the Florida Keys to continue to expand our understanding of the sexual reproduction of the areas endangered Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata corals.
The endangered corals seem to spawn within a few days of the full moon, but these cycles are not fully understood. So, each night of a probable spawn, the scientists SCUBA dive around coral heads late into the night looking for signs of gamete release.… More:
It took me a long time to purchase the three volume set of taxonomic goodness ‘Corals of the World’ by Veron because the price tag scared me but since I bit the bullet three years ago, I reference those books all the time. Now, that three volume set has a fishy sister set ‘ Reef Fishes of the East Indies’ by Allen and Erdmann, and instead of waiting I purchased it as soon as it became available. I couldn’t be happier with the purchase, and if you are anything like me (and I know you are because you are reading a reefkeeping blog site) and you don’t have these books in your hands already, you should click the link below and order these books. The set contains concise descriptions of each of the 2,631 currently known reef fish species from the region (25 new to science), and features over 3,600 color photographs – of which approximately 40% have never before been seen in print. Careful attention to detail has been paid to illustrate the morphological variances between species and within species to differentiate between the sexes, life stages, as well as those species that have multiple regionally specific color patterns. The books are beautiful and chock full of info and eye candy. Sure the set costs 250 bucks, but you prolly have at least that sitting around in the form of a box of no longer used equipment. Get on your favorite forum, sell that stuff and click here to order a set of books that you will reference for years to come.… More:
The Marine Breeding Initiative’s 2012 workshop is next weekend, so the timing to share a pic of a captive breeding success story. Metasepia spp have long been thought of as one of the ultimate aquarium display animals. Their colors and patterns that continually change and move across their skin make their common name obvious – the Flamboyant Cuttle. The problem? The only live about a year, and they have traditionally shipped poorly which means if you are lucky enough to get one that survived shipping, its probably near the end of its natural lifespan anyway. Captive breeding would be a no brainer, except getting brood stock has been near impossible because on the rare occasions these animals do get imported, the get imported in single digits. That changed several years ago when a shipment of about a dozen animals came through and were distributed to ceph heads at 2 public aquariums. Those animals were successfully bred, shared with other public aquariums and now we have several generations of captive bred animals at several institutions. Without captive breeding, these animals would have only been a flash in the pan display, but due to the dedication of aquarists and the commitment to captive breeding on the part of public aquariums, we are well on our way to establishing a potentially stable captive bred population. Captive breeding is fun, educational, beautiful, and holds the potential for anyone involved to make cutting edge breakthroughs and observations – 4 really good reasons to give it a try yourself. For more info on the Flamboyant story, click here and here.… More:
Ok, now that that attention grabbing headline is out of the way, here is what happened. A lady in Korea taste tested a part of a whole parboiled squid, and had pain in her gums, tongue and cheek. Turns out par boiling doesn’t diminish the squids spermatophores capacity for firing and shooting into whatever is nearby. Have I even mentioned how awesome and amazing cephalopods are? Evolution is amazing, the world is just awesome and gut your squid before you eat or cook it. The peer reviewed paper on this incident (its not the first time this has happened, really) is available here. Me talking about it on Penn’s Sunday School with Penn Jillette and Michael Goudeau is available here. Danna Staaf, the squid sex expert who first broke the tale here, talked about about the story recently at Nerd Nite SF in the video above – and does a great job explaining the complex apparatus of squid sperm delivery with amazing video support. PS – If you don’t know what Nerd Nite is, click here and find one near you. If there isn’t one near you start one. Super cool events.
PPS – If the above story isn’t enough squid sex for you, and not enough Nerd Nite for you, click here to see the talk I was privileged to give at a Nerd Nite SF last year about cephalopod sex.… More:
Too cute – of a bunch of tiny octopus paralarvae hatched from an un described, small egged species at the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences. If you want to learn more about the current sucesses and challenges of cephalopod breeding, head on out to Bloomfield Hills, MI on July 28 for the MBI workshop. Cephs won’t be the only thing covered at the workshop, other talks include: Eric Cassiano - Success and complications in species-specific embryological and larval rearing, and future projects.
Todd Gardner – current breeding work at the Long Island Aquarium
Dan Underwood - Seahorse Breeding See you there!… More: