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Giant Tube-Dwelling Anemone

tube dwelling anemone photoshop barry - reefsGood afternoon all. I had a request for another Photoshopped anemone, similar to the one I did about a week ago. I love playing with photos I take in Photoshop, it’s just endless what you can do and create and many times it’s possible to take a so-so photo like this was and make it even better. Enjoy this artistic take on a beautiful Cnidarian! MORE

Worm-Mollusks: a Bizarre New Reef Creature: part 2

Epimenia and two possible Cavibelonia, the last of which was discovered feeding on a coral. Credit: Toba Aquarium

Epimenia and two possible Cavibelonia, the last of which was discovered feeding on a coral. Credit: Toba Aquarium

 The diet, as judged from in situ photographs and feeding studies, seems to be specialized on nephtheid corals, particularly Scleronephthya. This presents the possibility of keeping Epimenia alive in captivity, presuming that a steady supply of its prey can be acquired. Of course, this would be an absurdly expensive creature to feed for the home aquarist, given the current market rate for a decent sized Scleronephthya. There’s no published information on the amount or frequency of coral tissue a full-sized Epimenia might need to consume to meet its metabolic requirements. I would hazard a guess that a six-inch tall coral might provide several weeks (or more) of nutrition, assuming the coral doesn’t wither and die before then.It should go without saying that Epimenia doesn’t make its way into the aquarium trade, at least not intentionally. There are photographs from Japanese aquarists that indicate it has been collected on occasion alongside its cnidarian prey (possibly Stereonephthya in this instance). It’s not uncommon for nephtheid corals to fare poorly in aquariums, and it seems quite probable that, on some occasions, this is due to a hitchhiking Epimenia that has gone unnoticed. Studies on specimens in the wild have shown them to be nocturnal, hiding under rocks near their prey during the day, often in great numbers. An aquarist with a nephtheid that fails to inflate it tissue fully would be wise to search at night for the presence of a worm-mollusk.

Fluval Marine & Reef LED 2.0 Review

fluval sea 2.0 Three years ago, I reviewed the Sea LED Light, Fluval’s first attempt to enter the reef-capable LED lights scene. At the time, it wasn’t a revolutionary light, nor was it a high end fixture. However, it had an attractive retail price, a large coverage area, a wide availability through chain pet stores, and it grew less-light-demanding corals just fine. The light became popular, and proved that low-power SMD (surface mounted diodes), when packed together tightly, can support growth of photosynthetic animals in a saltwater setup. The blog donated the light in 2012 to a struggling reefer who had lost his tank during Hurricane Sandy, and he still enjoys it to this day, growing zoanthids and leather corals in a 20g aquarium. A year ago, Fluval announced the second generation of its reef-oriented LED panels, consisting of the Fluval Halo Nano, the Fluval Sirius Reef (which never made it to the shelves), and the subject of my review today, a new version of the Sea LED, called the Marine & Reef Full Spectrum Performance LED 2.0. MORE

Coral Catfish: Cute-Juvenile Syndrome with a Venomous Twist

Coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus)A school of juvenile coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus) rolling and wriggling en masse along the ocean floor is among the more endearing sights one can behold in the marine realm. Not surprisingly, after seeing this phenomenon in nature or on video, many hobbyists are inspired to recreate it in their home aquaria. What’s more, individual juveniles of the species—the only catfish found on tropical coral reefs—are irresistibly cute, so even those hobbyists who have never observed their schooling behavior may be charmed by them at a local fish store. But before yielding to temptation and acquiring P. lineatus for your tank, it’s important to be aware of some key facts with respect to its growth potential, social behavior, and defensive capability. So, let’s take a closer look at these and other characteristics exhibited by this species.Coral cats and CJS The coral catfish, aka the striped eel catfish or saltwater catfish, is one of several fish species available in the marine aquarium trade that exhibit what I (as of this morning) like to call Cute-Juvenile Syndrome, or CJS. MORE

Monaco To Install 3D Printed Coral Reef Structures

boskalis-3d-printed-coral-reefReef reconstruction has come a long way, and it is now incorporating digital 3D technology. Monaco will be installing six 3D printed coral reef ecosystems, to restore coral population and marine life.  Netherlands-based maritime services company Boskalis, who was contracted by the Prince Albert II of Monocao Foundation, will be installing Six 3D printed coral reef structures in the Lorvatto reserve in 2016. MORE

Worm-Mollusks: a Bizarre New Reef Creature: part 1

Epimenia sp. on Scleronepththea(?). Credit: unknown

 One of the most enigmatic and poorly known marine creatures is surely Epimenia—an animal so obscure and of such seemingly unspecialized morphology that most zoologists and aquarists would struggle mightily to correctly identify it. MORE

Aquarium Nutrition: Part 3

Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins
Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. There are roughly 20 different amino acids, with half being essential and the other half non-essential.  Non-essential amino acids can be produced by animal cells when the building blocks are available, while essential amino acids are not produced by animal cells and must be acquired from the environment. The ultimate source of essential amino acids is marine algae and those who consume it up the food chain, which is why gut-loading is so important. Peptides are amino acid chains with 2-50 amino acids, and proteins are groups of amino acids and peptides that are metabolically active, and can be various sizes, from small to very large. During digestion, some proteins are ingested whole, others broken down into peptides and absorbed, and a small amount is broken down into simple amino acids for absorption. Much of the immune response is mediated by ingesting whole molecules that can be recognized as antigens. MORE

Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium: The Holy Trinity of Reef Keeping

 Reef Keeping can be very intimidating for most people. From softies like leathers, to Zoanthids, LPS, and even to SPS, each group provides a unique challenge. For many of us, it is a challenge to go beyond just the minimum requirements, and help our corals not only survive, but flourish in our little slice of ocean. An understanding of the interactions of a few chemical elements are needed to build and maintain a thriving eco-system. Proper lighting, temperature, and salinity are important, and after them, there are three major elements that seasoned hobbyists and experts agree is the “Holy Trinity of Reef Keeping”. Those elements are Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium. What are they? What do they do, and how do they affect our tank? Why are they so important? In the video above, Mark Esquenazi from ME Coral explains the purpose of these essential elements, and their importance to the survival of the corals in our tank. We need to carefully monitor these elements as they can be the key to a successful system or its potential downfall. Hopefully you guys learn a thing or two from this video and stay tuned because so much more is coming! Happy reefing and enjoy! 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.