Category Archives: Industry

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Making Your Own Ice Packs is Cool and Easy

Summer is here and if you ship out a bunch of corals every week like I do, you’re going to need to keep them cool. Ice packs from most shipping supply companies cost anywhere from $1.00 – .50 cents each, that means I used to spend a few hundred dollars per year just on ice packs and you generally only have two size options. I have made ice packs out of gelatin in the past, but I find it to be messy, time consuming, and not vegan friendly. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile to try using water polymer crystals to make ice packs after seeing them used in floral arrangements, so I recently started doing it. 


Water Polymer Crystals after absorbing water

 Water polymer crystals… More:

MASNA 2015 Membership Drive – special prize!

The largest non-profit organization of marine aquarium hobbyists and clubs has begun its 2015 membership drive.  Every individual or family that joins during the month of June will be entered into a drawing to win a TUNZE  Universal Osmolator model 3155, which has been generously donated by the world-renowned company. tunze osmolatorIn addition, $5 of each new and renewed membership will go towards the Gary Meadows Reef Fund.  MASNA scholarship applications are due by June 19 – . So join or renew today; help encourage the ethical and true growth of the marine aquarium hobby, support captive breeding and propagation efforts, and maybe even win a TUNZE Osmolator! For more information, go to :

First Invasive Lionfish Found in Brazilian Waters

Thats right folks the infamous Caribbean species has made its way all the down the coast to Brazilian waters. A single lionfish was speared off the coast and a team of researchers including scientists from the California Academy of Sciences confirmed species analysis through DNA testing. A massive focus has been placed on the finding while scientists urge for a swift intervention plan: “For the past 20 years, invasive lionfishes have been restricted to the Caribbean,” says Luiz Rocha, PhD, Academy curator of ichthyology.fig1 “This new record shows us that lionfishes are capable of reaching far into other areas of the Atlantic, and other countries should be on guard, preparing for them to arrive.” The effort to stem invasion includes minds from all over the globe because the species (Pterois volitans) is particularly aggressive and can consume just about any an reef fish that will fit into its mouth. Rocha adds: “Brazilian fishes are being hit from all sides,” says Rocha. “Overfishing and habitat degradation are pervasive, and not even the most basic fisheries data are being collected. The best—and easiest—way to control an invasion is by trying to slow it down at the start.” Read more here.… More:

Rarely Imported Anthias Brought in by CMA

Basslet enthusiasts and temperate marine aquarists everywhere may rejoice: This week a small handful of healthy, vibrant specimens of the splendid (or swallowtail) seaperch Anthias anthias arrived in Oregon and is being carefully conditioned by specialty retailers Coldwater Marine Aquatics (CMA). Judging from personal accounts and photographs, these little beauties are making a surprisingly fine recovery, considering the great distances thus far traveled. The individuals in this shipment apparently originated from “very deep” waters near the Azores Islands of Portugal. Anthias anthias is distributed across the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. A rocky cave-dweller, it is believed to be most active at night. It inhabits deeper waters in the southernmost parts of its range. While there is some debate about its favored water temperature, 55-60 degrees F appears to be acceptable. It is somewhat less of an open-water feeder than its planktivorous brethren, preying mainly on slightly larger crustaceans and fishes nearer the seafloor. Overall, its predominantly pinkish and orangish coloration is rather similar to other, brightly hued, tropical anthiinae, and often sports brilliant blue rings around the eyes. However, it can most readily be distinguished by the large, showy, paddle-shaped pectoral fins of the males. Some of these recently imported individuals, coming in at about 5 inches, are already developing fairly impressive pectorals (the species is said to reach over 10 inches in the wild). According to the diver, “these… More:

Salt Speak – Episode 4: Blended Frozen Aquarium Foods

Here we go…the fourth installment of Salt Speak coming at you in 3, 2, 1! The topic of this episode is blended frozen aquarium foods – a product most aquarists use (or have used) in their aquarium. To gain some industry insights and pass them along to you, our loyal readers and viewers, I gave Larry DuPont (of Larry’s Reef Services) a call.First we discuss the types of seafood ingredients hobbyists can expect to find in blended frozen foods, non-seafood ingredients (both good and bad), and what types of additives should be avoided. Then we round out our general discussion with benefits frozen provides over other options for your aquarium, as well as what you should look for when purchasing a frozen fish food at your local fish store. After that we focus on how Larry got started with his business, Larry’s Reef Services, makers of blended frozen foods such as LRS Reef Frenzy®, Herbivore Frenzy®, and Fish Frenzy®. We discuss the growth of his business and team over the last few years, as well as what a typical week looks like at LRS HQ. In addition, we discuss the benefits of adding probiotics to foods, public institutions and breeding projects using LRS foods, and the types of testing that have been commissioned to evaluate the various LRS blends

Friday Rewind Anatomy Lesson

Today we will review an important coral anatomy lesson. Did you know that corals have a dual use mouth-anus combo? It’s true! Sometimes, when we refer to certain LPS coral or Zoanthids, we talk about mouths or eyes. But the label “mouth” is only half true. Folks, what we’re really talking about is mouths AND butts. It’s entirely accurate to say “How many butts does that Acan colony have?” In celebration of this two way street, enjoy this musical treat!   … More:

Marine Aquarium Photography: Post Processing of Coral Images

There is no such thing as an unprocessed “image,” but the degree of said processing can vary greatlyOften the subject of heated online debate is the post processing of coral photos—the manipulation of the coral image by software to tweak color and exposure levels. Post processing of coral images is a particularly hot-button issue because it is possible to abuse it. Hobbyists unfamiliar with the practice may decide to purchase a coral online based on a stunning photo and be disappointed once they receive it because the photo was the result of heavy post processing. Half the equationSome in the reefkeeping hobby associate post processing with deceptive trade practices, which is unfortunate because post processing is merely a tool. That may be an understatement because post processing is half of digital photography. Let me repeat that: Post processing is half of photography. Let’s say, for example, that you are hiring a wedding photographer and the first candidate proclaims he doesn’t do any post processing and whatever comes straight out of the camera is what makes it to print.

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: 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.