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Diving With Legends

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau

 Last year I had the chance, as part of a commission for a magazine, to dive with a couple of heroes, Doctor Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau. MORE

Reef Life Support Systems WavePuck

  wavepuck - reefsDaniel Nguyen and the guys at Reef Life Support Systems (RLSS) have been working on an exciting new wave maker device known as the WavePuck. Slightly smaller than a hockey puck, this is the first public viewing of the 3-D printed prototype. I first had a sneak peek at the device in September at MACNA 2015 in Washington DC, but I had to keep this information under lockdown until now. Daniel, the owner of RLSS in Canada, has developed a low-profile magnetic pivotal wavemaker. At a nominal 1.5″ thick x 3″ wide, it is the lowest-profile wavemaker device of its kind. RLSS announced plans to produce 4 models of the Wave Puck with the first model generating a maximum flow rate of 8700 LPH (2298 GPH). MORE

Two Smooth Trunkfish, Lactophrys triqueter

Two face-to-face smooth trunkfish at night. Lactophrys triqueter. Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Unaltered/Uncontrolled. Digital Photo (horizontal). Model Release: Not Applicable.Good morning amigos, how is your week treating you? Our submersible just took off into the deep abyss with two guests from the States and won’t be back for at least an hour giving me a little time to post a blog. I have two cute as can be, fun loving, Smooth Trunkfish for you all today that I found on a night dive chilling out inside a little sandy bottomed cave. Both of these oddly-shaped swimmers were around four inches in length and really didn’t move around much while I was photographing them. As you can see, the water was crystal clear – in fact, it was crazy clear on this particular dive, making my job a whole easier and much more fun. The smooth trunkfish is normally solitary but sometimes moves around in small groups. It uses its protuberant lips to expel a jet of water which disturbs the sandy seabed and reveals any shallowly buried benthic invertebrates. It feeds on small molluscs, polychaete worms, acorn worms, peanut worms, small crustaceans, sponges and tunicates. Have a great day my friends, the sub is returning…
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The Trials & Tribulations of a Young Reef Tank

Cloudy water pic - reefsStarting and maintaining a successful reef tank is not an easy task, even for veterans of the hobby. There are many curveballs out there capable of bringing a reef keeper to their knees that can cause them to “cry uncle”, especially during the early part of a tank’s life. For my latest tank, I encountered a few bumps in the road, forcing me to endure what I would term a rough start. Now mind you, I have been in the hobby for over 20 years so the knowledge I accrued has certainly made it easier for me to steer clear of past problems. For instance, in an old tank I had a wicked type of invasive algae that hitchhiked in on some live rock, forcing me to shut the tank down. With that in mind, I used dry rock versus live rock for my new tank to minimize the chances of it happening again. MORE

Two Banded Butterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus


Good morning, we have an overcast day on tap and it looks like it wants to rain but I think it just forgot how. We continue to do our early morning “save the wildlife” by bringing in water and bird food every morning to our two big feeding areas out in the desert. I have a pair of beautiful Banded Butterflyfish for you all today that were found parked up against a monster sized barrel sponge in around 70 feet of clear Caribbean H2O. Banded butterflyfish adults are most often seen in male-female pairs and may be monogamous throughout life. Courtship between the two is drawn out and energetic; the fish circle each other, head to tail, then chase each other around the nearest coral reef, shooing away other fish that dare to approach. Spawning takes place at dusk as the female releases 3,000 to 4,000 small, pelagic eggs. The larvae , which hatch within a day, are characteristic only to the butterflyfish family, with the head encased in bony armor and bony plates extending backwards from their heads. The larvae are gray and almost transparent, useful adaptations for any species growing up in the water column. Butterflyfish spend weeks as pelagic larvae before undergoing final settlement to the reef and attaining juvenile coloration. MORE

Sometimes Fish Eat the Funniest Things!

While a fish might seem to have an exclusive diet, they’ll often chow down on “off-menu” offerings, as wellCarnivorous fish eat meat, herbivorous fish eat algae/plants, and omnivorous fish eat both. That’s the order of things, and any fish we buy for our aquariums should fit nicely into one of these categories so we know exactly what to feed it, right? Well, if that’s the case, why on earth do my blue-chin triggers (Xanthichthys auromarginatus)—carnivores by nature—always beat my tangs and foxface to the dried algae sheets I offer and actually eat the lion’s share? After all, FishBase describes X. auromarginatus as “[forming] loose aggregations a few meters above the bottom where it feeds on zooplankton, particularly copepods.” Nowhere in this statement do you see, “Oh yeah, and it likes to tear into algae from time to time, too!”On the flipside of the coin, just as my triggers seem to enjoy ordering “off-menu,” my herbivorous yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), Atlantic blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus), and one-spot foxface (Siganus unimaculatus) will greedily gobble up any meaty items that they can fit in their mouths as well. What gives? MORE

New Lower Price on the Neptune DOS Dosing Pump

Neptune DOS dosing pump

 Neptune Systems is lowering its price on the popular DOS dosing pump from $349.95 to $299.95, a $50.00 price decrease.  If you’ve thought about purchasing a DOS dosing pump or adding a 2nd unit to your Neptune Apex controller platform, then now might be the time to consider doing it. Neptune Systems spent a considerable amount of time and money developing the DOS system and strong sales have helped them recover the initial engineering and developmental costs so they have decided to make this product easier on your wallet or pocketbook. About the DOS: In a nutshell, using the DOS is as simple as telling the Apex Fusion DOS wizard how much fluid (in ml) you want to MORE

Creating Concrete Reefs

I’m fascinated by how conservationists create artificial reefs in the wild, but always thought they built them on the sea floor…not in this case!
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