Category Archives: Invertebrates

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Tread Lightly Off The Jersey Shore – Rarely-Seen Venomous Jellyfish Cruises Through Manasquan River

jellyfish 3 300x200 Tread Lightly Off The Jersey Shore   Rarely Seen Venomous Jellyfish Cruises Through Manasquan RiverSomewhere within the Manasquan River, which flows along Gull Island in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, lurks a potently venomous little jelly, the Tamoya haplonema jellyfish, aka, “Box Jellyfish” or “Sea Wasp”. Now, I hate all stinging insects so automatically all I can think is “NOPE”, especially so close to my home turf.… More:

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Having Crabs is a Good Thing for Coral

Smithsonian scientist Seabird McKeon, along with the museum’s predoctoral fellow Jenna Moore of the Florida Museum of Natural History, have published new research highlighting the importance of reef diversity and how symbiotic crabs can help defend against coral predators. “We found that diversity in both species and size of coral guard-crabs is needed to adequately fend off coral predators,” said McKeon. “It is an example of how biodiversity is crucial to conserving reef environments and the essential resources they provide for thousands of species, including humans.” coral crab 300x275 Having Crabs is a Good Thing for CoralSymbiotic relationships like those between an acropora crab and its colony are something we as hobbyists are well aware of, yet our opinions on the benefits between host and guest in a captive enviroment remain divided. This research shows just how important the relationships are to a natural environment, with Moore adding: “Seemingly small differences among crabs guarding their coral homes can have big effects on coral survival. “Not only does the level of protection provided vary by species, but the smallest crabs were defending the coral from coral-eating snails, a threat that larger crabs ignored.” Read more here!… More:

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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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