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The Alien Landscapes Lurking Inside Coral

photo 1 The Alien Landscapes Lurking Inside Coral

Massachusetts-based artist and designer Jessica Rosenkratz captured the close-up shots, including this star encrusting coral, during dives off the coasts of Windsock beach, Bari Reef and Tolo on the island of Bonaire. Encrusting corals grow on hard rocky surfaces. They grow larger in diameter, rather than height, which is common in many other coral species. This gives them the advantage over other corals in terms of size, yet they are brittle and can break in storm conditions

 From breathtakingly clear shots of brittle stars and vivid sea sponges, to the intricate, yet delicate skeletons of coral, one photographer has managed to document the beauty of Caribbean reefs in exquisite detail. Massachusetts-based artist and designer Jessica Rosenkratz took the shots during dives off the coasts of Windsock beach, Bari Reef and Tolo on the island of Bonaire.  MORE

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Fish Tank On Wheels!

If only pet fish could drive their tanks… Studio diip has built the rather aptly named Fish on Wheels…a little fish tank-carrying vehicle that operates, not by remote control, but by the fish swimming in said tank. “Fish on Wheels” forgoes remote controls, and instead uses the movement of the fish inside to steer the vehicle. The car itself was created using an Arduino-powered robot vehicle, a battery-powered Beagleboard, and a standard Webcam. While it is a novel display of technology, the practice of handling your fish and placing them on a remote controlled car is totally absurd and borderline fish abuse!  The Webcam sits over the top of the tank and tracks the fish’s movement using the contrast between the fish and the bottom of the tank. The position of the fish in the tank is used to send commands to the Arduino microcontroller to steer the vehicle in that direction. Studio Diip says, “By using a camera and computer vision software it is possible to make a fish control a robot car over land. By swimming towards an interesting object, the fish can explore the world beyond the limits of his tank.” There is currently no price or release date listed yet. MORE

fish on wheels Fish Tank On Wheels!

Posted in Equipment, Fish, Opinion, Science, Tanks | 1 Comment

Playing with the Ecoxotic EcoPico

0369EcoPico with LED Arm Playing with the Ecoxotic EcoPico Nano aquariums are so much fun. It’s as simple as that. The tiny little glass boxes can be put just about anywhere, and while they can’t house every fish or coral, they can be personalized in so many ways. One such nano that we’ve recently gotten to play with is the EcoPico from Ecoxotic. This tank measures 10”x10”x12”, which translates to just a shade over 5 gallons, and has a small LED light and filter that make it pretty much saltwater friendly out of the box. We have a hard time calling it reef ready, which for the record is not one of Ecoxotic’s claims, but it certainly has a lot of features to get it off to a good start. MORE: Playing with the Ecoxotic EcoPico

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Shipwrecks Removed From Protected Coral Reefs

shipwreck coral palmyra 01 76032 990x742 Shipwrecks Removed From Protected Coral Reefs

The F/V Hui Feng No. 1 was grounded on the reef at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

 On January 29, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) completed a $5.5 million conservation project to remove three wrecked ships, weighing a total of one million pounds, from protected wildlife areas in the Pacific Ocean. The restoration project is part of an ongoing investigation to see how shipwrecks damage the coral reefs and how fast the reefs can recover after the vessels are removed. 
shipwreck 21 Shipwrecks Removed From Protected Coral Reefs

The iron that leached into the environment from this shipwreck on Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge had encouraged the growth of an invasive green algae.

 The three ships, which all sank within the past 15 years, were in the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge and caused miles of damage to two important coral reefs: Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef. These wildlife refuges, located in the 2,575-mile stretch between Hawaii and American Samoa, are home to 176 species of coral and 418 types of reef fish. As the seawater absorbed iron from the ship’s body, a condition called “black reef” developed. Iron attracts invasive species to the area, such as corallimorph or algae, that kill anything that can’t get out of it’s way. The invasive species of algae takes over the area, obstructing the view of the many different coral species underneath. MORE

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Reef Threads Podcast #168

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #168

637djason15sm 300x240 Reef Threads Podcast #168

One of those colored-stick colonies.

  It’s podcastin’ time again. This week’s topics include a backup-power lesson from Dad Williams, carp intelligence, speaking gigs, fish disease, a new forum, our mentors, hobby books, second-hand equipment, HOB equipment, impulse buys, and ich killers. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #168

Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Captive Bred Bandensis Cuttles Now Available!

lg 0210141 376 Captive Bred Bandensis Cuttles Now Available!
Today Live Aquaria announced that they are now offering captive bred Bandensis Cuttlefish, courtesy of the master cuttle breeder, Laura Birenbaum from Reefgen.  These cuttles have been missing from the marine hobby for some time, but the first pair will be available on LA Divers Den today at 5PM CST.  They are about 2″ and will be available for $399.99 for the pair.  Don’t miss the chance to pick up these incredibly cute cuttles.

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How To: Paint Aquarium Background

OfficeTankFB7 300x264 How To: Paint Aquarium BackgroundAquarium backgrounds offer an easy way to hide unsightly electrical cords, plumbing and equipment. Subconsciously our eyes are drawn past the aquarium and beyond exposing things that could easily be hidden, detracting from the overall feel of the aquarium. Keeping the back panel of an aquarium clean allows the tank inhabitants to really ‘pop’ out at you. Over the years I’ve tried every method I could find in search of the best aquarium background that withstood the test of time and was easy to apply. Heavy duty tapes don’t last on ‘cut to size’ backgrounds, ‘peel and stick’ backgrounds are a nightmare to work with and fixing an accidental scuff overtime proved troublesome. Painting the background quickly became my favorite option in regards to longevity and ease of application. MORE

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Seneye, slide soaker as a gift again

slide 2 pack free slide soaker offer.2 Seneye, slide soaker as a gift againAs you all well know, to get the most from your Seneye system, you have to soak the slide for at least 48 hours before placing inside the probe, in order to avoid an incorrect pH reading, as well as ammonium. With this offer Seneye wants to pay homage to its customers with an accessory specifically designed to soak the slide without this might ruin. Until now, I put my slide in a cup of coffee with aquarium water, but this accessory seems, of course, much more practical. Of course 6 slides may seem not quite cheaper, but for those unfamiliar with the system, the slides are sold in sets of three, so… you have to buy two packs instead of the usual single pack, not a great problem, after all. MORE

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