Category Archives: Tanks

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TripAdvisor announces Traveler’s Choice Zoo’s and Aquariums 2015

oceanario-de-lisboaIt’s that time of year again… TripAdvisor announces Traveler’s Choice Zoo’s and Aquariums. The number one aquarium in the United States this year is the Georgia Aquarium, while the number one aquarium in the World goes to Oceanario de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. … More:

5 Traits of a “Beginner” Marine Fish

Captive-bred Banggai Cardinalfish are a great example of a beginner fishWhat exactly does it mean when we say that a marine fish is “good for beginners”? After all, it’s not like certain fish species come with training wheels or have a set of care instructions tattooed on their dorsal fins (though I may just have to patent that idea). So what sets a “beginner fish” apart from ones better suited to more experienced hobbyists or even experts? While there are no hard-and-fast rules here, I recommend that hobby newcomers look for the following five traits when shopping for fish: 1) Community compatibleThere are always exceptions, but most novice hobbyists likely want to have an interesting mix of fish species rather than get too specialized. That means that any fish acquired should coexist in relative peace and harmony with its tankmates provided proper order of introduction is observed. Notice the emphasis on “proper order of introduction.” If you ignore the rule of introducing fish in the order of least aggressive to most aggressive, you’ll end up with chaos no matter how beginner-friendly the fish may be otherwise. Of course, some fish—such as clown triggers—become so explosively violent that they have no place in a community tank regardless of when they’re introduced. 2) Hardy and adaptable From time to time, beginners (and quite a few more experienced hobbyists, I might add) are going to make mistakes that negatively impact water quality and chemistry

Brookfield Zoo Closes Stingray Tank After 54 Rays Die

stingraysThe Brookfield Zoo, in Brookfield, Illinois,. has sadly closed it’s Stingray Bay Exhibit for this season, after 54 Stingrays died in the tank on this past Friday. Oxygen levels in the water  tank suddenly plummeted. The malfunction affected the heating and cooling systems of the 16,000 gallon pool which held the rays. The rays were inside of a popular shallow tank, which allowed visitors to touch and interact the rays.… More:

Inappropriate Feeding—Not Just Overfeeding—Kills Marine Fish

Everyone knows it’s feeding time in the aquarium!“We lose a lot more fish to overfeeding than we do to underfeeding.”I’ve read or written that sentence—or some variation upon it—more times than I can recollect. While I still consider this statement to be true on balance, I think placing undue emphasis on overfeeding versus other forms of inappropriate feeding can lead to some false conclusions. Among them: Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings. Good water quality takes precedence over keeping fish properly fed. Fish are secondary to corals in a reef system. Quantity/frequency of feeding is a more important consideration than the types of food offered. The risks to our fishes’ health are greater with overfeeding than with other forms of inappropriate feeding. Let’s take these points one by one and briefly examine where they go wrong: 1) Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Lawnmower Blenny: a Funny, Fascinating Fish of Unpredictable Utility

Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus)The lawnmower blenny, aka the jeweled blenny, jeweled rockskipper, or sailfin blenny (Salarias fasciatus), is commonly purchased not just for its comical behavior and only-a-mother-could-love looks, but also for the utilitarian purpose of controlling algae in marine tanks. While you can pretty much count on this droll little fish to provide interest and entertainment, its performance when it comes to eradicating problem algae from aquaria can best be described as hit-or-miss. Physical traitsS. fasciatus is “all blenny,” with an elongated body; long, continuous dorsal fin; blunt head; wide mouth; high-set, bulbous eyes; and frilly cirri on the head above and below the eyes. Color-wise, this fish is mottled in shades of brown, green, and white, and the eyes feature white stripes extending outward from the pupil in a radial pattern. Maximum length for this species is around 5 inches.

Reefing from Afar, Part 5: Plans and Wishes for the Future

Innovation in our hobby is the key to advancing automation and monitoring possibiltiesFinally, we have come to the end of my series, where I will set out some future desires of mine that are totally nonexistent today or are very close to market. These are the holes in my system for which I currently have no automated solution. This allows me to further innovate on my own for DIY specials or plant the seeds for entrepreneurs in the industry. I should probably write up some patent applications, but I doubt my employer would pay to process them. These patents take at least four years and a lot of money for patent lawyers to process. I currently have two patents for my current industry work, and it took such a long time that I almost completely forgot about them.Ultimately, innovation is still the key to advancing anything. For example, how much innovation did it take to get from the Lee’s wood airstone protein skimmer to today’s recirculating cone skimmers? Just think, even the solutions of today can be improved to further our hobby even more

Astronaut Takes A Dive Into The New England Aquarium

ryan_astronaut1_met Sunita Williams, 49 years old, has been an astronaut with NASA since 1998. She has spent over 322 days in space. On Thursday, to the pleasure of guests, Williams dove in the New England Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank. Williams is very comfortable with diving. Astronauts train underwater because it can emulate the weightlessness of space and challenges with gravity. Williams has also spent nine days living at the only underwater research center,Aquarius, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which is owned by Florida International University. … More:

Mindstream Aquarium Monitoring System

mindstream 3 Exciting news!  The scientists behind the Mindstream Aquarium Monitoring System have announced that they will be showcasing and demonstrating their product at MACNA this year! Aquarists have been eagerly anticipating this news since the product was first mentioned nearly two years ago. This monitoring system uses a patented fluorescing optical system to read concentration levels of 12 different aquarium parameters, including pH, alkalinity, NH3, NH4, NO2, NO3, Ca, Mg, K, O2, and CO2. It then uploads the information to its cloud every 15 minutes, where the data is accessible to the user free of charge (there will be no monthly fee).  While the Mindstream monitoring is automatic, the device requires aquarist to replace the test foil every 90 days.… More:

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