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Category Archives: Fish

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Unusual Orange Sponge: Myripristis jacobus

Good morning friends, we are up at o-dark thirty trying to get ready for yet another very busy day.. Aimee and I leave for Washington this Sunday and I will try to post while I am at the Smithsonian so just hang in there if you don’t hear from us for awhile. Today we have two sub dives, the first starting at 9:00. I’m going to have my young intern shoot a go-pro movie of me photographing the sub today and I will try and post that as soon as I can. I have a KILLER, ultra unusual orange sponge for you all today that we found years ago growing in a small cave. To this date this is the only one of these we have ever seen and we visit it on almost every dive

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.

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:

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.

Top 10 Tips For Keeping a SPS Reef Tank

Top 10 Tips For Keeping a SPS Reef Tank Let’s face it.  Keeping a reef tank is not a simple chore but there are some basic tenants one can follow to optimize the chances for success.  With over 20 years in the hobby I have learned a lot from both my successes and failures.  Below are My Top 10 Tips For Keeping a Successful Reef Tank dominated by SPS.  I will dive deeper into each item on the list in future blog posts so stay tuned. The List Stability – It is critical to have stability for parameters such as salinity, nitrate, magnesium, and calcium. And perhaps most important in my book for SPS is keeping alkalinity at a consistent level. Strong Lighting – I have had a lot of

An Ode to the Beautiful Blennies of Cirripectes

Cirripectes castaneus male, from KwaZulu, South Africa. Credit: Dennis Polack

Cirripectes castaneus male, from KwaZulu, South Africa. Credit: Dennis Polack

 Blennies are a diverse lot, with some 400+ species scattered across several dozen genera, but, out of all this taxonomic richness, only a small number of these fishes commonly find their way into aquarium exports. The two most diverse genera, Ecsenius & Meiacanthus, are well represented by the Midas Blenny, Bicolor Blenny, Tailspot Blenny, Canary Blenny and so on. Some smaller genera are likewise quite familiar—Lawnmower and Starry Blennies (Salarias), the Molly Miller Blenny (Scartella), the Orangespot Blenny (Blenniella). But it’s always struck me as being a bit peculiar that one of the most ubiquitous, colorful and speciose groups is almost entirely absent from the aquarium industry. Whither the Cirripectes?More:

Two New MASNA Education Pages

pallette surgeonfish masna - reefs

image credit: © James Heilman, WikiMedia

 As many of you know, MASNA, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, is a non-profit organization whose focus is to educate, assist, support, and encourage marine aquarium groups, clubs, and hobbyists across North America.  To this end, the organization has just released two new educational articles, which can be accessed and downloaded for free from their website,… More:

Reef Threads Podcast #260

Reef safe?

A new week and a new podcast. This week’s topics include lighting, reef-safe fish, Paul Allen’s yacht, reefer phrases, and cosmetics. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Paul Allen’s yacht
Paul Allen’s yacht destroys coral reef, Business Insider

Reef speak
Phrases only a Reefer Would Say, CastAway, East Tennessee Reef Club, Reef2Reef

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