Category Archives: Invertebrates

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First Ever Fully Cultured Tridacna maxima Hits the Market

198fAcro Al Cultured Maxima Clam First Ever Fully Cultured Tridacna maxima Hits the Market Thanks to the extremely focused efforts of one individual, the world of Tridacnid clams has been completely changed. We’ve been following the work of one Australian “super aquarist” who goes by the name Acro Al. He has been breeding clams at his home for quite some time now, sharing much of his journey with fellow hobbyists on social media. And because we’re total clam junkies, we’re totally excited about the fact that his babies are getting old enough to hit the market. What makes the news even more exciting is that this is the first time that fully cultured maxima clams have ever been offered in the aquarium trade! To let the market fully dictate the price, this first individual, which is a total looker by the way, was posted in an online auction with a minimum reserve set at $250. The price quickly rose to well over $400 for this 40mm individual, which interestingly is about to turn one year old. The clam is not availalbe to purchase by US hobbyists, as the permitting and paperwork hoopla is far too difficult to overcome at this point, but it’s still groundbreaking news for the hobby. First fully aquacultured Maxima clam IN THE WORLD! Species: Tridacna Maxima (Röding, 1798) Batch No. MORE: First Ever Fully Cultured Tridacna maxima Hits the MarketMore:

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Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine Aquarium

water flow 300x169 Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine AquariumWe’ve mentioned several times here at Saltwater Smarts how the output of reef aquarium lighting gradually and imperceptibly shifts away from the desired level over time. But did you know a very similar phenomenon can occur with the rate of water flow in your aquarium system? That’s right! If certain simple steps aren’t taken on a routine basis, your aquarium’s water flow can very gradually slow to a crawl, leading to a variety of ill effects for your system and livestock. For example: Instead of remaining suspended in the water column where they can be filtered out, fish waste, uneaten food, and other organic particulate matter will tend to settle onto the rocks and substrate where they’ll decompose, promoting excess dissolved nutrients and detritus buildup in the process. Gas exchange will be reduced, decreasing the level of dissolved oxygen in the system. With no strong current to carry off their wastes and prevent detritus from settling on their tissues, the health of corals and other sessile invertebrates may suffer. Fish that are enticed to eat only when food is in motion and shy/site-attached fish that depend on the current to deliver food right to their “front door” (such as jawfishes) may either lose interest in feeding or find that meals are always just out of reach. Cyanobacteria, which favors areas of low flow coupled with excess dissolved nutrients, will be more likely to flourish. So what can you do to keep the flow going strong in your aquarium? More: Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine AquariumMore:

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Dozens of Huge Tridacnid Clams Seized from Vietnamese Fishermen

aecbSeized Clams from Mengalum Island Dozens of Huge Tridacnid Clams Seized from Vietnamese Fishermen Here is a very troubling story out of Malaysia. According to The Star Online, a group of nine Vietnamese fishermen were arrested for illegally harvesting dozens of giant clams whose combined weight totalled nearly 20 metric tons (almost 44,000 pounds). The arrest is reportedly the first of its kind, but officials strongly believe that this isn’t the first incident for these fisherman, who were arrsted on Monday. The clams have a value of RM500,000, which roughly translates to somethine like $150,000 US, as their shells are valuable in the curio trade as well as in the cosmetics industry. The giant clams, which are probably of the species but could include several others, are obviously endangered and protected marine species that require specialized permitting to collect. It is even illegal to sell the clam shells without special permits. In addition to the fishermen, the boat company is also under investigation, as it is believed that they entered into a joint venture with the fishermen to harvest the clams MORE: Dozens of Huge Tridacnid Clams Seized from Vietnamese FishermenMore:

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Posted in Conservation, Corals, DIY, Equipment, Events, Fish, Industry, Invertebrates, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A Rise in Acidification Means a Rise in Confidence for Scientists and Fish Alike

As ocean acidification increases so does the science behind it. Researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) are studying the effects of CO2 emissions near the Milne Bay reef in Papua New Guniea, to better understand how a lowered PH effects reef inhabitants. “We have found that ocean acidification will select large boulder-like coral over structurally complex branching (leaf-like) corals, which are the home of many species like crabs, shrimps and sea stars. As a result, OA has a domino effect: as the habitat structure decreases, the animals that live and hide in their nook sand crannies find it far harder to survive, simply because they cannot hide from predators,” explained Dr Kathrina Fabricius. When the PH is lowered in reef waters calcifying and reef building corals are robbed of their ability to provide structural integrity, and places of cover for other reef inhabitants. As a result inhabitants have to adapt to these changes, which means they will be venturing out further than usual from the reef to find new forms of cover and sustenance.140413135907 large A Rise in Acidification Means a Rise in Confidence for Scientists and Fish Alike Citing numerous findings researcher Alistair Cheal had this to add: “What we have now also found in our study of fish behavior in this environment is that the fish become bolder and they venture further away from safe shelter, making them more vulnerable to predators.” AIMS has been on-site studying this reef for five years as this is the only known location of a CO2 seep near a coral reef. The unique environmental circumstances in Milne Bay will continue to be studied as the site provides a foreshadowed look into the feature of ocean acidification. Read more here.… More:

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Brownbarred Goby: Sand-Sifting Species Well Suited to Aquariums

brownbarred goby 300x169 Brownbarred Goby: Sand Sifting Species Well Suited to AquariumsMarine aquarists looking for a sand-sifting fish to keep the top layer of their sand bed stirred often run into a dilemma. Many of the species renowned for this behavior, such as the ever-popular and commonly offered yellowheaded sleeper goby (Valenciennea strigata), have the frustrating tendency of wiping out all the benthic invertebrates in the sand bed and then proceeding to starve to death because they don’t always learn to accept the non-living food items hobbyists offer. One of the notable exceptions to this phenomenon is the brownbarred goby (Amblygobius phalaena), a.k.a. the bullet goby or sleeper banded goby. A. phalaena does a great job of sifting sand, but it’s much more inclined to accept standard non-living aquarium fare than V. strigata and many other sand-sifting species are. Physical traits A. phalaena is typically goby-shaped with a robust body, high-set eyes, and a comically oversized mouth. More: Brownbarred Goby: Sand-Sifting Species Well Suited to AquariumsMore:

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6 Ways to Prevent Photoshock in Aquarium Corals

photoshock coral 300x169 6 Ways to Prevent Photoshock in Aquarium CoralsMany of the corals and other sessile invertebrates we keep in reef aquariums are considered “photosynthetic,” meaning much of their nutrition is produced by photosynthetic algae (zooxanthellae) residing in their tissues. Thus, there is a direct link between the type and intensity of a reef aquarium’s lighting and the health—or even survival—of the corals and other invertebrates it contains. However, it’s very important to understand that corals acclimated to a certain level of lighting can be severely stressed if they’re suddenly exposed to higher-intensity lighting. This commonly happens when: A specimen kept under subpar (no pun intended) lighting during shipping or in a dealer’s tank is newly introduced to a brightly lit aquarium. The reef system’s lighting has just been upgraded, for example from fluorescents to metal halides or LEDs. The hobbyist waits too long to replace aging bulbs or tubes. Dissolved organic compounds that cause yellowing of the water are suddenly removed (e.g., via chemical filtration with activated carbon). So how can you avoid photoshocking your invertebrates? Here are six ways: 1) Research your inverts’ lighting requirements Photosynthetic invertebrates vary widely with respect to their lighting needs More: 6 Ways to Prevent Photoshock in Aquarium CoralsMore:

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Swarming Mysids

Springtime in New York brings the return of migratory birds and fishes, hibernating reptiles and amphibians, and if you know where to look, massive swarms of the mysid shrimp, Neomysis americana.  These mysids provide great opportunities for hungry marine life and thrifty aquarists.… More:

Posted in DIY, Fish, Invertebrates, Science, Seahorses | 2 Comments

Attention: European Aquarists

Aquarium tank public domain 300x185 Attention: European AquaristsEurogroup for Animals (based in Brussels) is asking MEPs, ahead of the May elections, to sign a pledge to work towards banning the import of wild caught animals OATA (The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) Chief Executive Keith Davenport sees it as the hobby being under threat: “Taken to its logical conclusion this would mean if you want to keep tropical marine or freshwater fish, corals, soft corals or other invertebrates you might as well forget it. All of these are either wild-caught and/or exotic, which means they’re not native to the UK, so they would no longer be available to buy.” OATA is urging keen fish keepers to contact MEPs to urge them not to sign the Eurogroup for Animals pledge.  A special #handsoffmyhobby campaign has been launched to get passionate aquarium hobbyists to shout about what they love about keeping fish. We’re all for keeping the hobby going, but at what cost? Is this pledge not a step in the right direction?  Should exotics be included in the pledge?  Should they not rather say that all exotics should be captive bred?  Why not tell them what you think.  Have a look at: http://www.ornamentalfish.org for more.… More:

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