Category Archives: Tanks

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Anemone Lookalike: The Long-Tentacled Plate Coral

Long-tentacled Plate Coral (Heliofungia actiniformis)Easily mistaken for an anemone at first glance, Heliofungia actiniformis is a large-polyp stony (LPS) coral that can be an excellent option for reefkeepers with modest-sized systems. Even relative newcomers to the reefkeeping hobby can succeed with this species, provided they make the effort to satisfy its few special care requirements. Physical traits Commonly known as the long-tentacled plate coral or disk coral, H. actiniformis (the only member of its genus) has a disk-shaped skeleton very similar to that of its Fungia spp. cousins. However, as its common name implies, it differs in having much longer tentacles that are usually brown or green with bulbous, contrastingly colored (typically white or pink) tips, giving this coral a decidedly anemone-like appearance. It also produces long sweeper tentacles, with which it can sting neighboring cnidarians, and can inflate its tissues to surprising dimensions

Tidal Gardens 2014 Year in Review

Tidal Gardens 2014 Year in Review 2014 has come and gone. It's been a big year for us here at Tidal Gardens. Let's take a look back at the major milestones of 2014. Check out for information... From: tidalgardens Views: 0 0 ratingsTime: 07:01 More in Pets & Animals

Live Rock Hitchhikers: Tunicates (Sea Squirts)

Tunicates can be found in a variety of colorationsAmong the more fascinating creatures that commonly make their way into marine aquariums as stowaways on good-quality live rock are tunicates, or sea squirts. In terms of visual interest, these animals can be quite dazzling, with some exhibiting spectacular coloration or resembling small, delicate, translucent pitchers or urns. What are they? Tunicates are filter-feeding marine organisms with a very simple body plan. Essentially, they’re water-filled sacks with two openings—an incurrent (or oral) siphon and an excurrent (or atrial) siphon. As you’ve probably deduced already, sea water is drawn into the animal through the incurrent siphon, tiny planktonic particles are filtered out, and then the water is expelled through the excurrent siphon. These creatures can be either solitary or colonial and are often mistaken for sponges.

New South Charleston, Oregon Aquarium Taking Donations To Open Soon

projectpage-charleston5In a couple of months, South Charleston, Oregon will hopefully have a new aquarium and museum called the Charleston Marine Life Center. The aquarium will look over the marina for a first hand look at the marinas which are home to Oregon’s largest commercial and recreational fishing fleets. The University of Oregon is currently assisting to complete the new project and taking donations to finish. They are looking to raise $30,000.00 to be able to complete the aquarium and museum in the next few months.  MOREMore:

Review: Maxspect XF150 Gyre Generator

Following on from our recent unboxing review in which we covered the basics of this unit, we’ve now had the XF150 running on our test tank for a few weeks so we thought we’d share out observations of this product in a full operational review. We’ve also been monitoring discussions on various forums with interest and we’ll aim to specifically discus some of the points raised with our own direct experience. Firstly, the XF150 is easy to install but it’s worth familiarising yourself fully with the operation of the device before sticking it straight in the tank. Although the unit comes in a single piece you will need to reassemble it if you are wanting to use it for anything other than constant one way gyre generation as the different rotors and cages will need to be fitted. It’s certainly worth running through this process anyway actually as being familiar with the principle behind the equipment’s operation will likely mean you get more out of it

5 Signs of Inadequate Water Movement in Reef Aquariums

Proper water circulation is one of many elements that are key to maintaining a healthy reef system. While there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all water-flow scheme (you really have to tailor the flow to the unique needs of the invertebrates you keep), there are certain signs that will tip you off to inadequate circulation. Among them: 1) Detritus buildup in “dead spots” Some settling of detritus is unavoidable in a reef system, but excessive buildup tends to occur in tanks with inadequate water movement or “dead spots”—specific areas in the tank with poor to nonexistent flow. A good level of water movement will keep most particulate matter in suspension long enough to be captured by mechanical filtration media (socks, sponges, etc.), so this is a sign that you need to either boost the overall flow in the tank, by adding more or stronger sources (e.g. powerheads), or redirect existing water-flow sources to greater effect. 2) Corals fail to expand When coral specimens remain in a prolonged contracted state—with their tissues/polyps withdrawn—one possible explanation is inadequate water movement. Now, many different environmental factors can cause this behavior, so failure to expand is by no means diagnostic, but that symptom coupled with others listed here may be a good indicator that better circulation is in order. 3) Leather corals have trouble shedding Along very similar lines, if your livestock includes leather corals (e.g., Sarcophyton and Sinularia spp.), which occasionally go through a natural process of contracting their polyps, developing a waxy coating over their surface, and then eventually sloughing off this layer, inadequate water flow may make it difficult for them to shed.

Reef Threads Podcast #211

Check out the teeth on this tang!

In our last 2014 show we talk about Mr. Clean magic erasers, aquarium-keeping difficulty, Christine’s tank, blind aquascaping, fish odor camouflage, and fish sound amplifiers. We hope you enjoy the podcast and have a great Christmas. Our first 2015 podcast will be Jan. 11. We appreciate all of you listening to our weekly offerings. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Using smell to hide
You are what you eat, if you’re a coral reef fish, Leonard Ho, Advanced Aquarist

Oyster-shell amplifiers
Oystershell amplifies pearlfish calls, Kathryn Knight, The Journal of Experimental Biology

Perfect Aquarium Nerd Christmas Gifts 2014 Edition

With Christmas about three weeks away and closing in fast, we’ve decided to compile our annual list of aquarium goodies that you can get the aquarium nerd in your life. This is a diverse list that represents different price points and different types of gear. Of course, this list isn’t all inclusive, but we tried to represent the most popular and most useful products available. is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.