Category Archives: Science

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Newly Discovered Algae May Help Coral Survive Hottest Reefs On The Planet

persian-coral-reef Researchers have traveled to the Middle East, to study coral in some of the Worlds hottest coral reefs, to see how they withstand such temperatures. Having lived in the Middle East for many years myself, and doing countless reef dives there, the water was some of the warmest I have ever dove in. Diving in the Middle East in the Summers was like swimming in warm bath water. The scientists went to Abu Dabhi to see how the corals could survive in such high temperatures, where they discovered a new species of algae from the coral samples taken.… More:

Video: Hydor Teases Third Gen Korallia

[embedded content] Heads-up, there’s a new player in ‘stream pump town’ and this time it’s Hydor launching an update to their respected Korallia line. No details other than that in the Youtube video description but they certainly look interesting and you can be sure we’ll be trying to get hold of some for testing.

3 Good Reasons to Quarantine Live Rock

Live rock serves as a vehicle for good and bad hitchhikers.Here at Saltwater Smarts, we emphasize again and again the importance of quarantining all marine livestock before introducing it to an established aquarium. But what about those pieces of live rock that we occasionally add to our established systems to bolster biodiversity and biofiltration or simply to spruce up the aquascaping? Do those need to spend time in quarantine too? While live rocks aren’t really living, per se, you can’t just plop them in your system and call it a day. (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!) They require a quarantine period just like any animal you choose to add to your tank. Here are three good reasons:1) Excluding undesirable hitchhikers Live rocks are, for all intents and purposes, vehicles for hitchhiking organisms. Notwithstanding their aesthetics and the structural purpose they serve in a reef system, we buy live rocks primarily for the life forms inhabiting them. But in addition to carrying interesting and/or beneficial fauna, they can also bring in their share of undesirable—if not outright nasty—critters, such as Aiptasia and majano anemones, crabs, mantis shrimps, etc

Anemone Propagation

bubble tip
Propagating anemones can be easy and quite rewarding.  While many of these animals eventually split on their own, the process can be sped up with some careful cutting and tender loving care.  The group pictured above was grown from a single bubble tip anemone over the course of a few months.  I cut the large brood stock animal with a scalpel into 6 pizza-shaped slices, being careful to include a portion of the mouth, base, and pedal disc in each fragment, and all 6 survived and grew into healthy clones of the original.  Starting with a large specimen that is in optimal health and using a very sharp instrument is essential.  Once the cuts are made, the animals should be returned into the same aquarium the mother lived in to reduce shock, and after a few weeks the cut specimens begin to take a normal shape and accept feedings.  Feeding meaty foods such as mysis or table shrimp a couple times a week will optimize growth and maintain good health while the animals heal.  Some anemones fare better than others with this process and the captive grown RBTA seem to do the best. As your experience with propagating anemones increases, so will your success, and the reward is well worth the work.… More:

The First Direct Observations of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Induced Changes to Earth’s Radiative Budget

Climate change and warming of sea surface temperatures are among the most oft-cited threats to coral reef ecosystems as they currently exist.

Despite the preponderance of scientific work on the issue, many, including even perhaps some in this hobby, deny most if not all of our current understanding of human contributions to global warming. That human contribution is primarily through an increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Since carbon dioxide absorbs and re-emits infrared radiation that would otherwise be lost from Earth to space, in order to maintain a radiative “balance”, or equilibrium, the surface temperature of the Earth must increase. Now, in principle this is not in the least bit controversial. Humans emit carbon dioxide, which has an extremely long residence time in the atmosphere, and the Earth is radiatively imbalanced until a corresponding increase in global mean temperature occurs.

Keeling Curve

However, reminiscent of tetra-ethyl lead and smoking-cancer linkage discussions of times past, many folks remain hard at work to maintain a public perception that correlation is not causation: essentially many  attempts at a “death by a thousand cuts” of logical fallacy. Unfortunately, the momentum of this misinformation lobby has gotten to the point where, to paraphrase Prof. Andrew Dessler’s reaction to the new findings discussed below, it has become necessary to provide something analogous to dropping a rock and watching it fall in order to demonstrate to audiences that gravity is real.

That rock dropped in a monumental way this week in the journal Nature.

Feldman et al. have used Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometry in both the Southern Great Plains and the Northern Slope of Alaska to explicitly detect the impact of rising carbon dioxide on the amount of longwave, infrared radiation that is returned to the Earth’s surface, instead of being lost into space. The instrument utilized is capable of measuring returning infrared radiation that is emitted by individual types of greenhouses gases. In other words, it is capable of distinguishing returning radiation of carbon dioxide from other well known greenhouse gas molecules such as methane and water vapor.

Extended Figure 1 from Feldman et al. [2015]

What was found is that from between 2000-2010, a highly significant trend of increasing carbon dioxide-emitted infrared radiation returned to Earth’s surface, from a 22 ppm increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Additionally, the energy changes documented are highly consistent with previous work estimating the radiative forcing of carbon dioxide. At the end of the day, this should all but silence any skepticism regarding our knowledge that an increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere also directly increases the amount of infrared, heat energy being returned to Earth’s surface.… More:

Fincasters Episode 59: Keeping Rock Anemones

Fincasters Episode 59 Keeping Rock Anemones Rock Anemones come from the Florida Keys in a huge variety of colors. They are easy to keep, fun to feed and add a lot of color at relatively low cost. In this Fincast John interviews an... From: fincasters Views: 1 0 ratingsTime: 03:29 More in Pets & Animals

Aquaponics Fast Becoming A Preferred Method of Cannabis Cultivation

Photo by Ryan Griffis. CC by

Photo by Ryan Griffis. CC by

 Aquaponics is pretty simple in concept. Imagine an aquarium that is plumbed into a hydroponic system; fish wastes are mineralized by microbes and ultimately utilized by the plants as nutrients. Technically speaking, even a mangrove propagule stuck in the back of an overflow box is aquaponic. The benefits of this type of cultivation are significant. A major attraction for some growers is the ease with which the highly intensive method can be practiced organically. The taste of aquaponic foods (unlike that of hydroponicially grown foods) is said to be as good as its soil grown counterpart. Because there is no soil, pests are far easier to prevent and control. Aquaponics also dramatically reduces… More:

Red Hind, Cleaner Fish, Epinephelus guttatus

Good morning from Curacao, how was your weekend out there?? We finally got a few little rain showers but to be honest it didn’t do much!! On my three hour mountain bike ride Sunday morning I was pretty shocked at how dry the island is looking, I hate the thought of another year of drought conditions! We found yet another bird (big pigeon) in need last night over at our neighbors house, it was just sitting on the steps and not moving very much. I watched for awhile from a distance and then towards dark went to check on him again and he was still there. I calmly walked up the steps, he didn’t move so I picked him up and took him home, he seems to have a bad foot or something, will take him to the vet on Wednesday

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