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Category Archives: Corals

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Macro Monday: Galaxea fascicularis, wolf in sheep’s clothing


A close up photo of Galaxea, showing its retracted sweeper tentacles during the day. These are the semi-translucent hyaline ones bordering the main polyp. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 Galaxea is a ubiquitous cnidarian with quite the nasty reputation. Like most other “LPS” corals, Galaxea harbour sweeper tentacles capable of extending many times their normal lengths. These are often supercharged with nematocysts, where they are utilized in turf wars with neighbouring corals, stinging and dissolving tissue upon contact. It is, however, only on a macro scale, can Galaxea‘s malevolent nature be fully appreciated.… More:

Aquarium Technologies Borrowed from Other Industries

Actinic lighting was developed and used in other industries before reef aquariumsWe marine aquarists use a variety of tools to help keep our tanks healthy by either changing or removing the waste products of the animals we keep. But did you know virtually all of the devices we use were originally designed for other industries? OzoneFor instance, ozone is a naturally forming gas found in our atmosphere that helps protect us from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It was discovered in 1839 by Christian Friedrich Schönbein. Ozone was originally used to purify drinking water and as a health-giving gas. Unfortunately, that health idea produced just the opposite result because the oxidizing effect we can use to purify certain things will also oxidize us, especially our lungs.

Hope For Coral Reefs In Lab Grown Corals

It comes as no surprise that corals are under more stress than ever. It is a very troubling problem we hear about day in and day out. Global warming, overfishing, dredging, pollution, human influence and disease outbreaks are all to blame. For example, critically Endangered Elkhorn Caribbean coral has diminished its population by ninety eight percent. Coral conservation needs to be on the forefront of all of our minds.
Luckily, there is some good news too. New research was published recently in the Bulletin of Marine Science which shows that lab generated corals are able to withstand and thrive when placed in the increasingly stressed natural environments. Scientists took fertilized eggs from a Curacao coral reef, brought them back to an offshore lab until they were fully matured. The larger grown corals were then placed back into their natural re, and a year later, were observed releasing eggs and sperm.… More:

Super Saturday Live Sale!

live sale cherry corals flyer - reefsOur good friends at Cherry Corals will be opening up their vaults and hosting a live sale event this weekend on  You can find the sale here: Live Sale Event The online retailer is one of the nation’s largest propagators of premium aquacultured corals; their mantra is: “If it’s not HOT, it’s not here!”. They will be hosting the sale tomorrow night, Saturday, Feb 6, from 6:00 pm to Midnight (EST), and over 400 of their finest frags will be made available to the public, including a large selection of $1, $5, and $20 frags. This will be a great event, with T-Shirt giveaways and a $250 grand prize. As always, the live sale system includes a real-time chat venue as well as a coral purchasing system that is as much fun to use as a video game. You can interact with your hosts and other buyers while you snap up some of the finest corals on the market.… More:

Yellowline Arrow Crab, Stenorhynchus seticomis

ABOUT Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last ten years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest. General

Deep Sea ‘Purple Sock’ Provides Clues To Early Life Forms

Although this might look like one, it is not an underwater purple sock, this is a photo of  Xenoturbella profunda, a species of deep sea worm which was discovered by scientists and provides links to very early life forms. Initially scientists believed that the flatworms had evolved from more complex life forms, but this recent study, published in the Journal Nature, indicates that the flatworms are one of the early forms of life. The first specimen was found in Sweden over 60 years ago, but was mistakenly linked to a mollusk using early forms of genetic testing.  “What we’ve shown is that, no, they probably always were simple,” said Nerida Wilson, a research scientist with the Western Australian Museum.… More:

SECORE offers new hope for Endangered Caribbean Corals

1. Title photo reef site with intact elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) stand. Photo credit Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium HR-2

Diverse reef site with small elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) at Curaçao. Photo credit: Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & aquarium

 For the first time, researchers have raised colonies of coral, from lab-bred specimens to sexual maturity. 
Diverse reef site with small elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) at Curaçao. Photo credit Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium-2

Curaçao, Photo credit: Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium


What Constitutes a Reef Aquarium?

Here’s a recent shot of my 125-gallon reef aquariumQuestionI’m new to saltwater aquarium keeping and struggling to wrap my head around all the different ideas and terminology. For example, what exactly constitutes a reef tank versus a fish-only tank that happens to include a few invertebrates?” – Submitted by Brent M. Answer If you’d asked me to distinguish between these two aquarium types 20 years ago, I’d have a fairly straightforward answer. I’d tell you that a fish-only tank, as the name implies, contains only fish and possibly a few motile invertebrates while a reef aquarium (or “mini-reef,” as this type of system was known back then) puts the focus almost exclusively on corals and other sessile invertebrates, with any fish intentionally limited to small numbers and relatively diminutive species. But since you’re asking this question in 2016, I’d have to say—and, fellow salties, correct me if I’m wrong here—that most marine aquarists don’t fit so neatly into the fish-only or reef aquarium “camps” anymore. Nowadays, the distinction seems to be blurring. 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.