Invertebrates Archives - Reefs.com

Category Archives: Invertebrates

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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.

Snapping Shrimp May Play a Key Role in Reef Ecosystems

If you’ve ever heard a snapping shrimp, you know how loud a crustacean can be. New evidence suggests that the shrimp’s clicks play an important role in reef ecology and may be used to tell how healthy a reef ecosystem is. 

Claws on an alpheid snapping shrimp. credit: FWC Fish and Wildife Research Institute. Creative Commons

Claws on an alpheid snapping shrimp.
credit: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Creative Commons

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A Most Illustrious Worm: Ikeda taenioides

Credit: Yukihiko Otsuka

Ikeda taenioides, the “Sanadayumushi”. Credit: Yukihiko Otsuka

 
I’d like to draw your attention today to a remarkable worm,
Ikeda taenioides, whose immense size and bizarre morphology make it unlike anything you are likely to have seen before—a veritable living tape measure of a creature, stuck on its own lonely, idiosyncratic branch of the tree of life. Despite having been discovered over a century ago, despite occurring in an easily collectable habitat, despite having considerable appeal for the home aquarist, this remains an exceedingly obscure invertebrate yet to find its way into the aquarium industry.More:

Ultra Cynarina

Cynarina is a genus of stony coral in the family Lobophylliidae. It is a monotypic species which means that the only species in the genus is Cynarina lacrymalis. Sometimes reaching up to 6” for a single polyp, these corals are very fleshy in appearance and often referred to as the Cat’s Eye, Tooth Coral, Doughnut Coral or Meat Coral.  The coral is found in the Western Indo-Pacific Ocean and ranges in many different color forms from pastel to vivid and translucent.  The coloration in the Cynarina coral pictured above is both beautiful and very unusual and therefore classified as an “Ultra” coral.  This coral was just featured in a newsletter from livestock wholesaler, Eye Catching Corals. Aquarium Care Cynarina corals are not considered to

Three Colorful Red Shrimp: Cinetorhynchus manningi

Here are three beautiful Red Night Shrimp, Cinetorhynchus manningi that Aimee and I found together on our last night dive hanging out in the shallows on a big rock. They usually have red bodies and may have white to tan bands and spots with dark green eyes. These shrimps are very common in Curacao. They inhabit coral reefs or shallow rocky areas and are considered nocturnal. They hide deep in the reefs by day and appear in large numbers at night

Diodon holocanthus: an Endearing Puffer for Spacious Aquariums

Porcupine pufferfish (Diodon holocanthus)Circumtropical in distribution and ascribed more common names than one can possibly keep straight (spiny puffer, porcupine puffer, porcupinefish, longspined porcupinefish, and balloon porcupinefish, to list but a few), Diodon holocanthus can be a worthy, very pet-like aquarium candidate. This species does, however, have certain non-negotiable needs to be met if it is to live a long, healthy life in captivity. Physical traitsD. holocanthus has a robust, vaguely (American-style) football-shaped body with prominent, bulbous eyes and numerous elongated spines covering its body. These spines normally lie flat against the fish, but when threatened or harassed, it can swallow water or air, causing its body to inflate to nearly twice its size and its spines to stand erect (thus resembling what everyone else in the world calls a football with spikes all over it). The teeth are fused together to form a beak-like structure. Not the most colorful fish in the sea, D. holocanthus typically has a creamy to light-brown base color with dark-brown mottling and spots.

Need Help from Fellow Hobbyists? Don’t Spare the Details!

Before hitting the “help button,” make sure you’ve gathered all the relevant information about your systemWe’ve all been there at one time or another: A major problem arises that’s causing livestock losses—and/or loss of sanity—and we need advice from local fish store staffers, the members of our favorite forum, website moderators, or just friendly local hobbyists on how to find a workable solution. However, when we’re desperate to resolve a problem, we sometimes pose questions in a manner that’s, well, a bit counterproductive. In many cases, the question is worded something like this: “My fish/corals keep dying one after another. It seems like every day I lose one or two more. I don’t see any signs of disease, and all my water parameters are perfect. What could be the problem? Can you recommend a product or medication that will put a stop to this? Please help, as I’m about to quit this hobby in disgust!”While this question conveys a great deal of passion, what it lacks is virtually every pertinent detail that could aid in finding a solution.

Spotted Spiny Lobsters, Panulirus guttatus

Hello friends, it’s almost friday!! I wish I could say I had a fun weekend on tap but with this stupid cough it’s likely I will be stuck at home again. Aimee and I did carry a bunch of new Ikelite gear up the coast this morning followed by three dogs and finally got a few promotional shots for them that they can use for advertising. One of the cool new items is a completely new designed housing for my D-800 with white sides and new domes, they are promoting it as a shallow type of housing for taking photos in pools, waves, snorkeling and free diving, it’s only rated to 40 feet. So I have two Spotted Spiny Lobsters, Panulirus guttatus for you all today that were found late at night crawling around searching for dinner. Lobsters are pretty shy and most of the time our lights scare them back into their caves but occasionally a few will hang out long enough for me to quickly take a photo like you see here. 

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