Good 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
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 (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
Reef 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
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
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!