Category Archives: Invertebrates

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Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium Masterpiece

picasso1 Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium MasterpieceCertain fishes available in the marine aquarium trade are truly bizarre in their coloration and patterning. Ranked high among them when it comes to both exotic appearance and aquarium adaptability is Rhinecanthus aculeatus, better known as the Picasso triggerfish or the Humuhumu triggerfish. This latter appellation (which is also applied to the closely related and similar looking R. rectangulus) is derived from the Hawaiian name for the species: Humuhumu nukunuku apua’a, which, if memory serves, translates loosely into “Man, how many Mai Tais did I pack away last night!?” I could be wrong on that. Physical traits R. aculeatus exhibits “typical” triggerfish morphology, with a highly laterally compressed body; high-set, independently moving eyes positioned far back on the head; a deceptively small, forward-set mouth; and a stout first dorsal spine that can be “locked” in an upright position to secure the trigger in a reef crevice when the fish is threatened. The maximum recorded length for this species is around 10 inches. I could try to describe the color and patterning of R. aculeatus, but it wouldn’t do this fish justice More: Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium MasterpieceMore:

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Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance

Professor David Bellwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) in Australia has published an international study aimed at protecting the most important species within a reef ecosystem. “What we often assume is that if we lose one species on a reef, there are many others that can step in and take over their job,” explains Professor Bellwood. However, he and his colleagues believe a different theory that involves stressing the importance of “specialist” species that play very important and specific roles in maintaining the equilibrium of a reef. 140915153832 large Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance“It’s not about numbers of species,” adds Professor David Mouillot from the University of Montpellier who led the team. “Biodiversity is important and desirable in an ecosystem, but it is not necessarily the key to being safe and secure.” Using a parrotfish for analogy Professor Bellwood adds: “The parrotfish is a particularly valuable species. To protect ecosystems, we need to ensure that specific jobs are maintained, and that means we must protect the fish that do them.” Read more here!  … More:

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Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus

b0b4Octopus on Rock Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareusGood morning friends, how was your weekend??? I hope all is going well out there and you having a great summer! I have another Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus for you all today that was photographed by Aimee, not me! Pretty nice wouldn’t you say?? We often set up two different Ikelite systems and take them out on night dives together, it’s way more fun when your both busy taking photos! MOREMore:

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Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 3

ozone3 1 Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 3In the first two parts of this series, we talked about how ozone can function as a powerful tool in keeping your reef aquarium water very clear, how it can boost your skimmer’s ability to remove waste from the water column by breaking down the larger molecules, and how using ozone can be as simple as blowing the gas into your skimmer or injecting it into a dedicated reactor and carbon media reactor. This final installment will focus on how to keep yourself and your aquarium inhabitants safe while using ozone. Regardless of how you choose to administer your ozone, safety has to be your number one concern. Too much ozone in the tank will harm—or even kill—your invertebrates and fish. Too much ozone released into the room air can irritate a healthy adult’s lungs and is even more dangerous to anyone with lung-health issues. Keeping your livestock safe To keep their aquarium inhabitants safe, most keepers use an Oxidation/Reduction Potential (ORP) meter coupled with a controller that will switch the generator off when the ORP reaches a certain level. 300 mV is commonly considered to be a safe yet effective ORP level for the home aquarium. A controller uses the meter reading to shut the generator off when the water reaches the 300mV level or whatever level you may opt to use. Experts warn against ORP levels beyond 450 mV, as that level has been shown to cause major damage to aquarium systems. More: Clearing the Air on Ozone: Part 3More:

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Gigantic Mantis Shrimp Caught in Florida Waters

7c86Giant Mantis Shrimp Gigantic Mantis Shrimp Caught in Florida WatersWell isn’t this just the scariest thing to behold? A fisherman in Fort Pierce, Florida hauled up a massive mantis shrimp while doing a little nighttime angling. It appears as though the stomatopod was hooked through the tail (there is a treble hook just above the tail in other photos posted online), and it was estimated to be approximately 18 inches. When the shrimp was pulled up onto the dock, it was striking at its own tail, presumably in an attempt to escape capture. So the fisherman grabbed it by its back like a lobster, trying every way to avoid the business end of the very dangerous critter.Scientists haven’t been able to identify the species just yet, but they are supposedly pouring over the images that have been posted online in order to get an idea of exactly what was caught.Images and story pulled from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Conservative Commission. MORE: Gigantic Mantis Shrimp Caught in Florida WatersMore:

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Senate Report Calls for Greater Protection of GBR

A recent federal assessment made on The Great Barrier Reef has scientists and communities alike shaking their heads. The effects of land use water entering the surrounding reef waters, among other human induced threats, is eliminating the chance for recovery. “You have to make a quantifiable link between what is happening in the catchments and what’s happening in the Great Barrier Reef, where there’s been a decline in biodiversity,” said Alana Grech, from Macquarie University. great barrier reef diver 615 Senate Report Calls for Greater Protection of GBRPhoto courtesy of Natgeo.The assessment drew on many facts stating researchers had “identified overwhelming evidence that a range of threats are continuing to affect inshore habitats along the developed coast, and the species that use these habitats.” With improvements being stifled by new dreading permits, and massive port development projects in Queensland, the reef is taking hits from all sides. The Governments report concludes stating their “One-Stop Shop will streamline environmental assessment and approval processes by removing duplication between the Australian Government and states and territories. Importantly, this will be achieved while maintaining high environmental standards.” Read more here.… More:

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Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef Tanks

reef chemistry1 Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef TanksCalcium and alkalinity are vitally important chemical parameters in reef aquariums. They are used by stony corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons. A lack of calcium and alkalinity in the water will inhibit the growth of reef-building corals and invertebrates, which will eventually lead to health problems. What is calcium? Calcium is one of the major ions in salt water. It is the fifth most common ion in salt water behind, chloride, sodium, sulfate, and magnesium. In most healthy reefs, the calcium level hovers around 425 parts per million (ppm). More: Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef TanksMore:

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The Pros and Cons of a Bare-Bottomed Marine Tank

bare bottom tank1 The Pros and Cons of a Bare Bottomed Marine TankIf you’re in the process of planning and setting up a new saltwater aquarium, you’ll need to give some thought to the type of substrate you’d like to use. It may seem counterintuitive, but one of your options in this area is to dispense with any sort of substrate altogether and go bare-bottomed (BB). To help you decide whether the BB approach might be right for you, here are some of the pros and cons to consider: Pros: Very easy to vacuum up uneaten food, fish waste, and other detritus that has settled to the bottom without siphoning up sand in the process. Allows you to aim the effluents of powerheads and other sources of water movement in any direction desired to maximize water flow throughout the system and behind rockwork without creating an underwater “sand storm.” Detritus more readily remains suspended in the water column so it can be filtered/skimmed out efficiently. Cost savings from going sans substrate can be significant depending on the size of your system. Cons: Arguably less natural looking, though this is a matter of taste. (Plus, coralline algae and, potentially, various encrusting invertebrates will eventually conceal the bottom, giving the system a more natural look.) Can’t keep burrowing fishes as easily. Some BB aficionados get around this by placing a substrate-filled container somewhere in the system. Having no sand-dwelling microfauna can mean lower biodiversity More: The Pros and Cons of a Bare-Bottomed Marine TankMore:

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