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11 Hard Truths About Marine Aquariums

Reef keeping is an imperfect science. In many cases, it’s not science at all. When an un-informed person enters an aquarium store and decides they want a home reef, any number of things can happen. Even intermediate aquarists often have a finite understanding of the biological, chemical and physical processes that make a reef aquarium function, and many know very little about wild reef ecosystems. So often, aquarists are simply winging it, trying method after method, and tossing in livestock item after livestock item. People in general, are looking for quick results and immediate satisfaction. In reality, the reef aquarium hobby is the antithesis of this, rewarding patience and long-term thinking. While I like to encourage anyone with an interest, to attempt their own reef aquarium, I believe that it’s vital to understanding some serious realities about the hobby. Over the years, I’ve watched many aquarist’s prized tanks, go from being a centerpiece to basement clutter. In an effort to both educate those considering a new reef aquarium for the first time, and refresh those aquarists currently on the ropes, I offer the following 11 hard truths. AML 300x199 11 Hard Truths About Marine AquariumsHard Truth #1: It’s not cheap I often find those moving from the freshwater aquariums, to marine aquariums, quiet disillusioned about costs. Everything on the marine side is more expensive, from livestock to filtration. Tanks that are pre-drilled and designed for reef ecosystems cost more, and sumps and circulation pumps all add to the massive bill a properly designed aquarium system can create. Entering the hobby, with the mindset of doing things cheaply, can often lead to long term issues. Equipment designed for the bare minimum is often MORE

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The Many Possible Purposes of the Saltwater Refugium

refugium2 The Many Possible Purposes of the Saltwater Refugium“Refugium” is a hobby term that resists easy definition. This is probably so because, unlike most aquarium accoutrements—heaters, powerheads, protein skimmers, lights, etc.—there’s no single, readily identifiable purpose for a refugium. Ask 10 different hobbyists what a refugium is for, and you’re apt to get 10 different answers. Essentially, a refugium is some sort of tank, chamber, or reservoir that is isolated from the main display tank but shares the same system water. It could be another tank located under the display aquarium, a compartment within a sump system, a box that hangs on or inside the display tank, or one of many other possible configurations. In broad terms, and as the name implies, a refugium can be said to serve as a place of refuge for an organism that is sequestered from the livestock in the main aquarium for one reason or another—but even that definition doesn’t exactly apply in every circumstance. So let’s take a look at some of the more common uses for refugiums (refugia?) to get a better sense of what one is and why you might want to consider adding one to your aquarium system: Isolating an injured/bullied specimen A refugium is the perfect place to move a fish or coral specimen that has been injured/nibbled upon by a tankmate and needs a stress-free place to rest and recuperate in isolation More: The Many Possible Purposes of the Saltwater Refugium

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Cherry Corals to Giveaway Awesome Colorado Sunburst Anemone at RAP

2053Cherry Corals Colorado Sunburst Cherry Corals to Giveaway Awesome Colorado Sunburst Anemone at RAP MORE: Cherry Corals to Giveaway Awesome Colorado Sunburst Anemone at RAP

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Somewhere Along the Western Coast of Nassau, Bahamas, a Girl Carries The Weight of the Ocean on Her Shoulders

ocean atlas jason decaires taylor nassau bahamas 003 jason decaires taylor sculpture 225x300 Somewhere Along the Western Coast of Nassau, Bahamas, a Girl Carries The Weight of the Ocean on Her ShouldersJason deCaires Taylor, famous sculptor known for his underwater works that double as artificial reefs, introduces to us “Ocean Atlas”. Stemming from the Atlas narrative, the young Bahamian girl is depicted holding up the weight of the ocean on her shoulders just below the surface of the Atlantic. Commissioned by the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF), the massive sculpture is an ominous reflection of the burden we’re passing down to future generations, and is the largest resident in an underwater sculpture garden. The garden also features sculptures by local artists Willicey Tynes and Andret Jones, as well as an artificial reefball trail. In order to sustain marine life, and ensure they colonize and thrive within the garden, the pieces are constructed with sustainable pH-neutral materials. I really am quite taken by all of these artificial reefs. They combine stunning artwork with an incredible goal to preserve and encourage our reefs to flourish. I do hope to visit at least a few at some point in the future.
ocean atlas jason decaires taylor nassau bahamas 005 jason decaires taylor sculpture 150x150 Somewhere Along the Western Coast of Nassau, Bahamas, a Girl Carries The Weight of the Ocean on Her Shouldersocean atlas jason decaires taylor nassau bahamas 006 jason decaires taylor sculpture 0 150x150 Somewhere Along the Western Coast of Nassau, Bahamas, a Girl Carries The Weight of the Ocean on Her Shoulders

Posted in Conservation, Eye Candy, Reefs in Art | 1 Comment

Fish Eye Photo, Glasseye Snapper Eye

8b93Fish Eye web Fish Eye Photo, Glasseye Snapper EyeGood morning friends, we started our Caribbean morning out with a massive tropical downpour and we are loving it!! These next few months are typically our wet months and it’s looking like we are off to good start which is great for the island, bad for mountain biking! So how was your weekend out there??? Mine was fairly busy and a lot of fun. MORE

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Whoa There, Daddy! I’m So Happy Humans Don’t Give Birth Like This

 I’m pretty terrified to have just one baby, but HUNDREDS? Take a looksie and this incredible video of a seahorse bursting hundreds of tiny little seahorse babies out of his robust pouch. This video is old news, 2009, but it’s the first time I’ve caught a glimpse of it, so I felt compelled to share in case some of you reef lovers missed it as well. For those of you who have seen it, well, maybe you want to revisit it in all of it’s baby seahorse glory. Props to seahorse dads, those guys are troopers.

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Stunning Video On The Camouflage Of Pygmy Seahorses

 So, in the spirit of age old “chicken before the egg” inquiry, marine biologists over at the Steinhart Aquarium decided to explore the camouflage tactics of the adorable, wee pygmy seahorse. So here’s the deal – if a pygmy seahorse can’t blend perfectly into its environment, they’d surely die. They’d be too easy for predators to spot and snatch up. These little guys spend their days lounging around on sea fans. There’s yellow pygmies and there’s purple pygmies. The question? Do they change color to match each specific habitat or are they simply born this way? To find out, the biologists took itty-bitty baby yellow seahorses, which were a dull-brownish hue, and plopped them into tanks with purple sea fans. The result? They turned purple. So there you have it!

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Here’s a Heartwarming Story For You All

20141020  886751p1 200 Heres a Heartwarming Story For You AllWhat do you do when you’re an eleven year old boy diagnosed with terminal Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, a somewhat rare disease effecting one is every 3,600 boys? Ask Jacob Birx of Red Lion, as he was allotted a single wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation this past May. Jacob opted to travel to Florida with his family to meet Winter, an inspirational dolphin with a prosthetic tail and the inspiration behind the movie, “Dolphin Tale”. The 2011 film tells the story of Winter who learned to swim all over again with and without his new tail at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida. Thanks to Make-a-Wish, little Jake was able to meet the porpoise and even shake his fin and feed her some fish. His siblings were also able to meet Winter. Read more about the young, brave boy and his visit with his family to the aquarium over at
20141020  886751p2 200 150x150 Heres a Heartwarming Story For You All11163667 det 150x150 Heres a Heartwarming Story For You All

Posted in Too Cute | Leave a comment 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.