Category Archives: Industry

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Saltwater Smarts Turns Two: Another Gratifying Year in the Books!

Chris and Jeff discuss the website with Mark of Coral ReefIt’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating our second anniversary here at Saltwater Smarts. When Caribbean Chris and I launched this site back in April of 2013, we had no idea how it would be received—or whether we’d even last more than a few months in such a crowded online space. We just had the kernel of an idea that a certain subset of hobbyists out there might appreciate coming to a place where they can get reliable, authoritative information that promotes success yet still enjoy a few laughs along the way. Over the past two years, we’ve tried to take a more egalitarian approach to information sharing, in which different—even opposing—viewpoints are welcomed and respected. We know the methods that we share here will work for you, but we also want to know what you’re doing that might work even better. In other words, we stand to learn just as much from you as you do from us. And with more and more visitors from countries all around the world joining us every month and offering their input, we’re confident that this approach is resonating.New offerings Regular visitors have probably noticed that the last year has seen some exciting changes here at Saltwater Smarts. This January, we released our first ebook—The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes by Jay Hemdal—which continues to build momentum in sales

Fish Are What Fish Eat!

Aquarists have a wide variety of fish foods at their disposalWith so many fish foods on the market these days, it is really difficult to know exactly what your fish are eating. They will chow down with gusto pretty much anything you put in the tank, but do we really know what is in their foods? When we go to the market, I am sure the majority of us read the labels to see what we are ingesting. But is it the same for fish food? Usually not. Fish food labels provide a breakdown in protein and amino acids, etc., but we don’t know the exact ingredients since the FDA does not regulate fish food. Take dogs and cats for example

A Review of the Vivid Coral Film

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Some time ago I received a product sample from Vivid Coral Technologies. It appeared to be a 2″x4″ section of thin, amber-colored plastic sheet material. It is essentially a blue color filter, removing about 80% of blue light. The purpose of using this product, according to the company, is to create an enhanced and more natural-looking view of aquarium inhabitants while protecting the viewer’s eyes from harmful, excessive blue light glare. It basically allows the aquarist to use intense blue lighting on the aquarium while reducing its undesirable visual effects. It comes in a variety of sizes of sheets, which are apparently applied to the tank panel much like auto glass tint. The first thing I did was try it out with my own light, an AI Hydra 52. Run full blast, Hydras are really… More:

Breaking News! Designer Clown 12 Years in the Making Finally Debuts

nemo_strain3Here’s some news we can’t believe we’re even breaking today! Upon first glance, this Amphiprion ocellaris may strike you as your typical false percula clownfish. The familiar citrine-hued inhabitant has become what could be considered the Golden Retriever of the aquarium world – a docile, friendly, glistening little fish with a reputation that children fawn over – the perfect family pet! While this particular anemonefish is no stranger to the trade, it seems it was only a matter of time before someone honed in on the “Nemo” trend that caught so many by storm Circa 2003. … More:

Six Months With the Maxspect Gyre XF-150

reefs.comGyreReviewOn August 31, 2014 I met with the awesome crew of Coralvue at MACNA in Denver. Although I worked the show, they were the one booth I had to visit in order to catch a glimpse of the highly anticipated Maxspect Gyre XF-150 in action. Overall I’m not generally excited for most product releases these days. Many are subtle improvements on existing products that technophiles go bonkers over. But this thing turned my idea of flow upside down well before I had seen it in person. For years many of us had attempted to create gyre flow throughout our aquariums to keep detritus in suspension and replicate a natural environment for our animals. Sometimes it was successful, other times not even close. Regardless right off the bat I could tell this thing was a drop-in solution for any aquarist wanting to achieve amazing flow.… More:

Salt Speak – Episode 1: FishBit

In our 2015 outlook writeup at the beginning of the year, Jeff hinted at new media we would be bringing to our content stream, specifically video. Salt Speak is the first of those new features. It will be an ongoing series where I chat with folks involved in the hobby and industry to discuss a wide variety of topics.The inaugural episode focuses on FishBit, a new aquarium monitor and controller. I recently sat down with Nathan Levine, co-founder of Current Labs, to talk about how their product is different, BETA version testing, commercial releases dates, the aquarium automation segment, how FishBit could spark a whole new group of folks people interested in monitoring and automating their systems, and more. I hope you enjoy the chat! Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this post with anyone you think might be interested in FishBit. [embedded content] Learn more and get in touch with FishBit: Share this:

Weedy Seadragons Available to Hobbyists

reefs.comSeadragonColdwater Marine Aquatics is bringing in captive raised weedy seadragons (Phyllipteryx taeniolatus) available to the masses. For me this news is akin to the first time I heard Borbonius anthias coming into the industry after drooling over their pictures for years. I had the pleasure of meeting the C.M.A. crew at MACNA Denver last year. I can tell you that these guys are incredibly knowledgeable regarding their niche in the industry, seemingly offering only the healthiest animals all around. I asked C.M.A. regarding the rearing technique and they replied with, “Berried adult males are collected annually and the young are hatched out and raised in captivity.”… More:

Rabbitfish Fisheries Possible Model for Culture of Marine Ornamentals?

Photo by Leonard Low. CC by 2.0.

Photo by Leonard Low. CC by 2.0.

 Bagoóng is a traditional condiment for Filipino cuisine that is made of fermented fish or shrimp. Bagoóng isdâ, the fishy version, is fermented in brine for several months before it is finally prepared and packaged. This delicacy, which is typically used to enhance the flavor other foods, can be made in different ways with different types of fish. Especially popular is padas, a bagoóng isdâ that is prepared from the juvenile rabbitfish (Siganus spp.). A status symbol, it is customarily served during religious holidays. Vendors sell the specialty item in tightly packed jars in all kinds of shops and markets. Sometimes, the small fish are intricately and artfully arranged within the jar. For aquarists and aquaculturists, this would be just be an amusing factoid about one commonly kept family of fishes, were it not that intense demand for bagoóng padas products has led to a substantial fishery. Filipino farmers focus on several local rabbitfish species (collectively referred to as malaga or samaral), including Siganus canaliculatus, S. concatenates, S. corallinus and S. spinus. These fishes can easily sell for three times the price of common selections, so competition among producers is fierce. Today, in the Philippines, rabbitfish are a commercially-important fishery, contributing 560 million tons (with juveniles accounting for 60 million tons) to the total annual fishery production. That’s a lot of fish paste.  … More:

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