Category Archives: Tanks

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Marshawn Lynch Gets BeastMode Custom Fish Tank

marshall Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch will be appearing on this season of Tanked on Animal Planet. The Custom tank will include a Beast mode logo and skittles colored coral. Watch the tank preview here.… More:

Reef Threads Podcast #231


Fishing tyres out of the ocean. Photo: AFP

After an unplanned week off, we return to talk about pollen, a research job, Miami dredging, failed fake reefs, canopies, wall-of-rocks aquascaping, powerheads, live rock, and books. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Frost Museum technology prize
Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum restore reefs prize

Failed fake reefs
France fishes thousands of used tyres from failed artificial reef off Cannes, Henry Samuel, The Telegraph

Coral Morphologic
Colin Foord’s website.

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Coral Interactions in 20,000 Gallons

A cluster of interacting coral.

A cluster of interacting coral.

 I am continually fascinated by the goings-on in Joe Yaiullo’s massive aquarium. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this tank, and its mature age, 14+ years, allows for some dynamic interactions between coral species. I’m impressed with the way Joe is willing to push the envelope, and will often recreate coral combinations that have worked for him the past.… More:

Reefing from Afar, Part 2: Automation Options

There are a wide variety of solutions for automating your reef aquarium and monitoring from afarIn Part 1 of this series, I laid down some of the expectations for success, and now we are ready to dive into the functions that we can automate. Automation can range from low-tech to high-tech and fit various budgets, though the level of refinement of the solution and its robustness can be a function of cost and knowledge. As long as the solution serves the purpose you need it to perform, then it is a viable solution. Stages of automation based on budget or needThis is a major part of the planning phase since you need to understand what is available to you and for what cost. Fortunately these can be implemented as needed or as funds become available since very few people can afford all this at once. We will focus on the practical levels of automation, but if you have the money and the knowledge, you can reach very extreme levels of automation. So below are some ideas of what to automate and their options

Five Japanese Aquariums May Quit Association Over Taiji Ban

Japan controversial dolphin tradeFive Japanese Aquariums are Threatening to leave Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Jaza) based on the decision not to use Taiji Dolphins. Jaza made the decision to ban use of Taiji Dolphins based on the pressure asserted by the World Aquarium of Zoos and Aquariums (waza) that if Jaza did not stop using Taiji dolphins they would be expelled from the group. Five Aquariums have indicated they may leave the association. Seven aquariums are undecided as to their future membership, four declined to comment, and sixteen aquariums stated they will remain members. Compared to the United States where 70 percent of dolphins are aquariums are bred in captivity, only 13 percent of Japanese dolphins are bred in captivity.… More:

Tattoo Tuesday

This is but one of the marine themed tattoos Rich has

This is but one of the marine themed tattoos Rich has

 
Rich Ross Aquarium Champion

Rich Ross
Aquarium Champion

 Last week’s tattoo teaser belonged to none other than Aquarist of the Year Rich Ross. Rich is well known for his love of cephalopods, and his mastery of some species is legendary. Aside from taking care of one of the world’s largest reef tanks, he can blow glass and juggle knives while balancing on various objects. Rich is a man of many talents, and you can be sure he will be keeping a skeptical eye on reef industry developments. 
Rich Ross doting father,

Rich Ross doting father

 We’ve received some great submissions and we are excited to share them in the coming weeks. If you or a friend would like to see your ink featured here, send pics and a description to: xeniaforever030@gmail.com… More:

Fisher Island Corals & The Saga of The Deep Dredge (Part 1 of 3)

Aerial view of Biscayne Bay, Government Cut, and Fisher Island encircled in deep dredge silt Over the past eighteen months, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Deep Dredge of PortMiami has continuously released dirty water throughout Biscayne Bay and onto our surrounding reefs. The dredging will continue until at least August 2015. Over the course of the Dredge we have observed levels of suspended silt far beyond what is environmentally acceptable or healthy in a coral reef environment, and in areas well outside the area where the Army Corps predicted. One of Coral Morphologic’s biggest concerns during the Deep Dredge has been the well-being of the hybrid fused-staghorn coral (Acropora prolifera) colonizing the Fisher Island side of Government Cut. This coral is what kickstarted our interest in documenting the extent of coral colonization within Miami’s coastal waterways, and was the subject of Colin’s 2011 TEDxMIA talk. The concerns we expressed to the State of Florida about this coral is ultimately what led them to provide us with permits to rescue corals from the dredging far offshore… but not for the hybrid itself (or any other corals on Fisher Island). [embedded content] Colin’s 2011 TEDxMIA talk on Hybrid Acropora living within Miami city limits In addition to this highly unusual hybrid Acropora coral living within the shipping channel, we have found a variety of other Acroporid corals living on the seawalls of Fisher Island. There are at least three colonies of federally-protected Elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) and 2 different morphotypes of hybrid Acropora prolifera. As far as we know, Coral Morphologic are the only researchers documenting these critically important corals growing along man-made shorelines in Florida. Typically, elkhorn corals are found miles offshore on the outer reef crest where they receive clean water and strong water movement. Elkhorn corals were once the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean, and the most effective coral species at dissipating hurricane storm surges for coastal communities. But since the early 1980’s more than 95% of the populations across the region have succumbed to highly infectious diseases. One such disease, white pox, has even been proven to be a human gut pathogen transmitted to the elkhorn coral via human waste from leaky septic tanks and offshore piping of sewage. In fact, white pox is the first known pathogen to be transmitted from a human to a marine invertebrate species. Over the past 5 years we have watched as these colonies of elkhorn coral wax and wane. Some years they will show remarkable growth, while another year they lose multiple sub-colony branches to white pox. However, over the past year (during the Deep Dredge), we have observed a precipitously steep decline in their health. We now feel that their survival is endangered enough by the continuing dredge silt that their plight needs to made public, and that their long-term well-being is ensured. [embedded content] Fisher Island Elkhorn Coral pre-dredge/ mid-dredge health survey It should be noted that the Virginia Key Wastewater Treatment Plant sits just ½ mile (760 m) away across Norris Cut… putting these corals within potential reach of air or waterborne contamination. Furthermore, these elkhorn corals are living on the outside of the Fisher Island marina which houses a multitude of luxury yachts, along with the occasional sewage, petroleum, or chemical spill. Despite it being less than a square kilometer in size, luxurious Fisher Island features a 9-hole golf course and lush landscaping indicative of frequent fertilizer use and runoff. The likelihood of the Federally-protected elkhorn coral self-recruiting and growing to adult size in such a manmade environment defies conventional logic when taking all these factors into consideration. Therefore, these particular elkhorn corals on Fisher Island could be invaluable to the scientific understanding of the adaptability, resilience, and restoration potential of such a keystone coral species. Furthermore, the elkhorn corals of Fisher Island are surviving in an extremely shallow sub-tidal zone where they are subject to direct sunlight and intense UV radiation. At one point in time these colonies were up to 1.5 meters in diameter. What appears now to be multiple independent branches of living elkhorn coral are all that remain of a previously contiguous mother colony. Partial die-off of coral colonies presents a dilemma for coral researchers, as it can create the illusion of multiple smaller colonies, when actually they are all clones of each other. One upside to having discontiguous colony for research is that a single branch can be removed for transplantation without risking the rest of the colony to a subsequent infection. In the past year, both of the elkhorn colonies living on the Norris Cut side of Fisher Island have demonstrated significant mortality, and evidence of white pox. Both colonies have undergone approximately 60-70% mortality since the dredging began, but appear to have stabilized during the previous cooler months. Without direct intervention we are concerned that these elkhorn colonies may not survive through summer 2015. More distressing is the clear evidence of dredge silt that has lethally smothered neighboring brain and star corals that were simply rested horizontally onto boulders when transplanted there by Army Corps subcontractors. Upon trying to fan off the silt that was choking these corals, we noticed that many were not even cemented in place as required. Rather, they were simply placed on the flat upper surfaces of the seawall boulders and left to their own devices. Even a small storm (let along a hurricane) can easily flip these unattached corals off their perches and upside down in the sediment. Whoever was paid to transplant these corals did a completely negligent job, and without any regard for the future success and settlement of the corals. An unacceptable number of these corals have already died from dredge sediment stress or simply from being dislodged from their perches. Some accountability is required for the deaths of these corals. [embedded content] Fisher Island silt-smothered coral survey Read more about our proposed solution to ensure the future survival of Fisher Island’s unique Acropora corals in Part 2. Tags: Coral Morphologic, Fisher Island, Miami This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 at 4:55 pm and is filed under Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. 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Captive Grown Coral Colonies

Here is a captive grown colony of Cortez Favia. 7 Polyps to full colony in 1 year.

Here is a captive grown colony of Cortez Favia. 7 Polyps to full colony in 1 year.

 One of my life goals is to become a key player in the restoration of coral reefs. Until that time comes, I get to play pretend with one of the world’s largest thriving reef tanks, Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon behemoth. Last year, Joe noticed how several of our (ReefGen’s) Cortez Favia frags had fused into large, healthy colonies, and asked me to make him one for his tank. I happily agreed. As an aside, this technique is also used by Jamie Craigs from the Horniman Museum and Aquarium to produce spawning-size Acropora colonies in a short amount of time.… More:

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