Category Archives: Invertebrates

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Go Ahead and Buy a (Captive-Bred) Banggai Cardinalfish!

Being fascinating to behold, very hardy and adaptable to aquarium fare, an exceptional choice for reef systems, suitable for modest-sized aquariums, and even easy to breed in captivity, the Banggai, or Kaudern’s, cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) is a lot like Mary Poppins—practically perfect in every way. Physical traits P. kauderni is silver overall with tiny white polka dots and three prominent, vertical black bands, with one passing through the rather prominent eye, another anterior to the pelvic fins, and a third anterior to the caudal peduncle. The first dorsal fin is black with a white trailing edge, and the other fins are black with white dots. The tail is deeply forked. Glimpse its coloration and patterning, and it’s easy to see how this cardinal can readily conceal itself against or among the long spines of the Diadema sp. sea urchins with which it’s known to associate in nature.
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Deep Sea Stars, Linckia sp. Echinoderms

Good afternoon one and all, sorry about the late post but I have been in the deep-water labs all morning photographing a bunch of new specimens found by the Smithsonian Institution on their submersible dive yesterday. I spent the morning shooting a juvenile four inch toadfish found at around 800 feet, a beautiful hermit crab, two more slit-shells and this giant 12 inch tall sea star you see above. We think this is a Linckia sp. but until we know for sure I will just say “don’t quote me on that”. Unlike brittle stars that are so fragile and can move so fast, this sea star is hard and moves super slow
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5 Common Causes of Marine Aquarium Ammonia Spikes

Sometimes adding specimens to an already heavily-stocked aquarium will be too much for existing biological filtrationYou come home from a long, vexing day at work only to notice that the fish in your marine aquarium are all gasping at the surface of the water or cowering in a corner of the tank and behaving lethargically. Panicked, you promptly test your water parameters and discover that ammonia is present. The tank has long been cycled, so no ammonia should be detectable. What gives? When an ammonia spike occurs in an already-cycled system, one of the following circumstances is usually the underlying cause: #1: Overstocking Adding “just one more” specimen to an aquarium that’s already close to being maxed out with respect to stocking capacity can easily lead to a situation in which more dissolved waste is produced than the biological filter can accommodate. It’s always better to stock lightly—even if that means the tank looks more sparse than you might prefer (the usual state of my aquariums)—than to push your luck with the bioload. #2: Overfeeding Excessive feeding of fish or invertebrates, which often results in uneaten food left decomposing in the system, is another surefire way to overwhelm an established system’s biofilter and cause ammonia to spike.
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‘Coral Therapy’ by Coral Morphologic

reefs.comCoralMorphologicDesignMiami 300x200 Coral Therapy by Coral MorphologicCoral Morphologic is at it again in this time premiering their new film in a custom designed room at DesignMiami/ 2014. They’ve taken it to the next level making this film viewable on the Oculus Rift lending a 360° virtual reality experience to visitors. The room alone would be something to experience, and I have to imagine the film they created is nothing short of amazing.… More:

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5 Ways Holiday Parties Can Be Perilous for Marine Aquariums!

When planning a holiday party, we tend to worry about things like an undercooked main entree, running out of “spirits” before the evening is over, lacking adequate seating for all the guests, little Billy’s tree nut allergy, etc., etc. What we may not fret over—but probably should—is what bizarre eventualities might befall our marine aquariums while the party is underway. Here are just some of the hazards holiday parties can pose to aquariums. Some of these may sound familiar, and you can probably add a few more based on your personal hosting experiences. #1: “Uncle Ed” Whether it’s Uncle Ed, Sister Susie, Brother John, or Auntie Gin, we all have that family member or friend who, after drinking too much eggnog, may decide to do a little freelance “vodka dosing” of the aquarium (and not in that good nitrate-reduction way, either) because, the fish and/or corals “look thirsty.” #2: Airborne toys For some reason, young kids don’t feel as though a toy has been truly played with until they’ve tested its aerodynamics. Once while hosting a Thanksgiving dinner party, I looked on in helpless horror from across the room as my then four-year-old nephew launched a hard plastic toy into the air, the arc of its trajectory ending right where my 125-gallon tank began. Watching this unfold in slow motion, all I could do was yell, hoping the shockwave of my voice would somehow alter the toy’s flight path. What came out was an incomprehensible “Myyyaaaaaa!” (My wife said she thought I was doing an Edward G
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The Saddled Toby: Puffer Personality in a Small Package

Saddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini)Sometimes good things come in small packages. Such is the case with Canthigaster valentini, better known as the saddled toby, black-saddled toby, or Valentin’s toby (you may also see “sharpnose puffer” substituted for “toby” in various sources). Reaching only about 4 inches in total length and usually adapting well to aquarium conditions, this species can make a great choice for puffer aficionados with modest-sized systems and an intermediate level of hobby experience. Physical traits It’s hard to do justice to the saddled toby’s physical appearance with a written description, but I’ll give it a whack: This fish is somewhat laterally compressed with high-set eyes and a moderately elongated snout (hence the “sharpnose” moniker). White in base coloration, it has a series of brown markings along its back, the two in the middle extending downward to the belly. Small orange to brown spots appear all along the ventral half of the fish, and the face is scrawled with thin, brownish lines.
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6 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Marine Aquarist in Your Life

It’s only natural for family members and friends of marine aquarium hobbyists to want to buy holiday gifts that support their loved one’s briny habit. But choosing an appropriate hobby-related gift is sometimes easier said than done. Giving actual fish or invertebrates as a gift is a really bad idea for all kinds of reasons—not the least of which is the problem of salt water soaking through the gift wrap and giving away what’s inside (I kid!). Certain equipment can be dicey too. Depending on the hobbyist’s unique system and goals, an item that would seem to be a good fit may prove to be inappropriate, inadequate, or redundant. Plus, if you have to ask all kinds of questions about what to buy, you lose that fun element of surprise.
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Neptunes Cove Boasts Rainbow Carpet Nem

RainbowCarpetAnemone14b1 Neptunes Cove Boasts Rainbow Carpet Nem
Lately we have seen a surge in our hobby through avenues such as facebook and instagram. Communities within mediums like facebook are growing, and pages are created with their own regional attachments and colorful groups of people. Instagram is showcasing the latest and greatest coral imported through an instant feed, and the days of sifting through page after page to view comments or pictures are quickly disappearing. Everyday it seems the newest, biggest and baddest, coral hits the market and its no wonder why vendors are gravitating towards these mediums. With that said Im going to my best to bring you the latest and greatest in the “For Sale” worlds slowly being crafted here on the internet. For our first showcase were featuring a “Rainbow Carpet Anemone” from the retailer Neptune’s Cove. This thing is one of the most righteous nems ever imported and I can only imagine how it gleamed in person. Enjoy the eye candy because this beautiful specimen sold promptly for $1600 shipped.… More:

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