Category Archives: Eye Candy

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Captive Grown Coral Colonies

Here is a captive grown colony of Cortez Favia. 7 Polyps to full colony in 1 year.

Here is a captive grown colony of Cortez Favia. 7 Polyps to full colony in 1 year.

 One of my life goals is to become a key player in the restoration of coral reefs. Until that time comes, I get to play pretend with one of the world’s largest thriving reef tanks, Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon behemoth. Last year, Joe noticed how several of our (ReefGen’s) Cortez Favia frags had fused into large, healthy colonies, and asked me to make him one for his tank. I happily agreed. As an aside, this technique is also used by Jamie Craigs from the Horniman Museum and Aquarium to produce spawning-size Acropora colonies in a short amount of time.… More:

Write-Up Wednesday: Top-Down Viewers

I’ve got a strong hunch that you setup a saltwater tank to stock it with beautiful inhabitants for your viewing pleasure. I’m also got a strong hunch that 99% of the time, you view those inhabitants from the side -i.e. through your tank’s side panels. I’ll make one more hypothesis – as your corals start growing, you really, really would like to take some great photos of them.

Here’s some insider information for you – corals always look much better when viewed from the top down. Therefore, if you want some great photos of your corals, try taking them from above. But how do you do that without getting your camera wet?

The answer: the top-down viewer for cameras

Avast Marine Work’s Top-Down Porthole

Top-down viewers that are built for cameras give you an easy and safe way to keep your camera dry, while giving you access to stunning top-down shots. The way they work is simple. A water proof sleeve goes around your camera’s lens. The top-down viewer is secured to the camera’s lens through set screws and the viewer is rotated to zoom in or out to get closer to the subject matter. Note that the focus ring isn’t accessible when the viewer is attached to the camera so auto focus has to be enabled.

While most top-down viewers are meant for cameras with detachable lenses, there are versions available for smart phones like Avast Marine Work’s Smartphone Top-Down Porthole

If you’re using a DSLR/SLR camera or a smart phone, a top-down viewer gives you stunning photos of a completely new way to view your livestock. Corals display different colors and clams especially can look dramatically different when viewed from the top down.

Compare these photos of an acan colony.  The side photo shows mostly red and a hint of orange/yellow:

Here’s the same colony viewed from the top. Notice how the orange/yellow band jumps out in this photo. Plus the coral now looks more orange vs. deep red:

Checkout this photo of a clam taken from the side:

Here’s a top down photo of the same clam:

It looks like a completely different clam, yet it is the same specimen.

Top-down viewing of your tank opens up a whole new world that makes for some great eye candy. And for your FOWLR types, don’t worry, even your fish look different when viewed from the top-down.

(Special thanks to Josh at Murfreesboro Aquatics for the photos)

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Tattoo Tuesday – Guess Who?

FullSizeRenderMany of us in the reef industry and aquarium arts community have tattoos. Is it any wonder, considering how many hours we’ve dedicated to the art and science of cultivating the beauty of our aquatic world? For today’s Tattoo Tuesday, let’s play a game. Do you know which reef aquarium professional this tattoo close-up belongs to? Leave your guess in the comments below!  … More:

Insane Hyper Yellow Hammer

reefs.comCherryHammerIt’s no secret among my reefing peers that I’m a Euphyllia nut. I just love them. The variety of colors, the movement, fairly quick growth… what’s not to love! So yesterday when I stopped by Cherry Corals it was no surprise that they led me straight to check out this stunning yellow wall hammer (Euphyllia ancora). My jaw dropped, my hands started to shake and drool was dosed into the raceway. While it’s not likely to entice all collectors, this piece is certainly unique.  … More:

Tattoo Tuesday

justin tattooToday is our first “Tattoo Tuesday” on I’ll kick it off with my latest piece, which I just had finished by my good friend George Wilkinson at Spirit Gallery Tattoo Shop in New London, CT. It is definitely a shop worthy of its 5 star rating on Yelp. The design of the tattoo reflects my fascination with charge and opposing forces, the mathematics of the physical universe, facets of my wedding band tattoo, elements of my Ram/Taurus Zodiac signs, and, most relevant to my fellow reefers, cnidarian and cephlo-inspired design themes. Send a picture of your tattoo and its story to to be featured on a future Tattoo Tuesday post!… More:

Well Hello, Luzonichthys seaver! New Anthias species emerges from the depths of Pohnpei, Micronesia


Holotype of Luzonichthys seaver, Pohnpei, Micronesia. Photo: Brian D. Greene

 Allow us to bombard you with some rather exciting fish news this morning! Take a few moments to ogle over this gorgeous, rosy-bodied blonde holotype of the seventh member of the Luzonichthys genus, Luzonichthys seaverCollected by means of hand and net at depths of 90-100m in Pohnpei, Micronesia, the svelte Anthiinae seems to most closely bear semblance to Earle’s Splitfin Anthias (L. earlei), yet flaunts a striking, cheerier coloration. Unfortunately, no captures of an animate specimen have been made, but we imagine them to be all the more splendid with some life behind the eyes. As goes with most remote rarities, it’s unlikely L. seaver will be within any aquarist’s reach anytime soon, but let’s not allow that to detract from the sheer thrill that comes with a discovery from the interminable depths of our seas. We shall admire you from afar. Congratulations to all involved in this exquisite find! Source: Copus J, Ka’apu-Lyons C, Pyle R (2015) Luzonichthys seaver, a new species of Anthiinae (Perciformes, Serranidae) from Pohnpei, Micronesia. Biodiversity Data Journal 3: e4902. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.3.e4902  … More:

Dr. Sanjay Joshi Delivers New Photon Hybrid (just don’t air ship them because we all know how that goes)


Juvenile Half Black Picasso Photon (Hybrid)

 Meet the newest member of Sanjay’s Photon Clownfish family tree – The Half Black Picasso Photon! A true love story for the ages, the Photons all stem from a rather licentious female Onyx Percula (A. percula var. Onyx) Dr. Joshi picked up along with her chosen mate, a Black Ocellaris (A. ocellaris var. Darwin) in Colorado he dubbed “The Odd Couple”. Following the first unexpected spawns in 2009 that resulted in the handsome hybrid, the Black Photon Clownfish, and the loss of the original male, the female was paired with a subsequent string of suitors (a few of which were fated to murder). Sanjay threw us another surprise when the frisky female successfully paired with her own progeny in 2011, bringing us the Half Black Photon and, more excitingly, proved that the hybrids were indeed fertile (you can read a bit more about the history here). It’s been a while since we’ve since seen anything new on the Photon front, so we’re pretty giddy to announce the most recent spawning of a male Bali Picasso and a female Half Black Photon!… More:

Synergy Reef Overflow Now Shipping

reefs.comSynergyReefOverflowBack in December, 2013 I went on a little rant regarding how unsightly and bulky most mass produced overflows can be. At the time Reef Savvy had only teased us with a few pictures of their “Ghost Overflow”. I was able to see them in person a few months prior at MACNA Miami and instantly fell in love. What I wasn’t aware of at the time is that this overflow was actually co-designed with Synergy Reef, best known for their uber bright custom sumps. Synergy Reef has just announced that these units are in stock and ready to ship for you to install on any aquarium. The price point comes in at $199.99 retail, which is more than reasonable for such an awesome overflow.… 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.