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Brookfield Zoo Closes Stingray Tank After 54 Rays Die

stingraysThe Brookfield Zoo, in Brookfield, Illinois,. has sadly closed it’s Stingray Bay Exhibit for this season, after 54 Stingrays died in the tank on this past Friday. Oxygen levels in the water  tank suddenly plummeted. The malfunction affected the heating and cooling systems of the 16,000 gallon pool which held the rays. The rays were inside of a popular shallow tank, which allowed visitors to touch and interact the rays. MORE

Jean-Michel Cousteau Tweets: #SaveTheSharks

  Shark Awareness DayIt’s #SharkAwarenessDay! Do you think you know your shark trivia? Jean-Michel Cousteau invites you to try the daily riddles and #SavetheSharks.

Great White Shark Saved on Cape Cod Beach

This amazing video shows a great white shark being rescued after stranding itself on a beach. In light of the recent shark attacks off the North Carolina coast, it is heartening to see people rally to save such a fearsome, beautiful predator.

Deepwater Pigments of The Red Sea

Together with an international team of researchers, divers from the University of Southampton, UK, Tel Aviv University and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI), Israel have found a colorful range of pigments in coral more than 50 meters below the surface of Red Sea reefs. Since only blue wavelengths from the sun reach coral at depths past 50 meters, the team was surprised to find specimens exhibiting pigments such as red and yellow. Jörg Wiedenmann, Professor of Biological Oceanography and head of the University of Southampton’s Coral Reef Laboratory, explains: “These fluorescent pigments are proteins. When they are illuminated with blue or ultraviolet light, they give back light of longer wavelengths, such as reds or greens.” 150624143152_1_900x600Dr Cecilia D’Angelo, Senior Research Fellow at Southampton sees a future for coral pigment use in industries such as biomedical adding: “We found, however, that some of the pigments of these corals require violet light to switch from their nascent green color to the red hue of the mature pigment. This is a particularly interesting property to develop markers for advanced microscopic imaging applications. Their optical properties potentially make them important tools for biomedical imaging applications, as their fluorescent glow can be used to highlight living cells or cellular structures of interest under the microscope. They could also be applied to track cancer cells or as tools to screen for new drugs.” Read more here!  

When elegance, performance and simplicity meet: The Vertex Omega 150

Omega-final-blogProtein skimmers today come in all shapes and sizes. Standard cone skimmers, oval skimmers, column skimmers, you name it. Skimming has changed a lot over-time. I remember the days when a skimmer was a simple acrylic device, powered by a lime wood air stone. In reality, they functioned well and ignited marine aquarist’s first forays into the world of removing solid organic waste from marine water. Skimming is a vital component of a reef system, especially if you intend to mix a decent fish load with corals and invertebrates. There is plenty of argument on what type of skimmer is best, with dedicated fan boys on all sides of the debate. When I decided to upgrade my existing reef to a larger tank, I decided to upgrade the protein skimmer as well, which brings us to this review of the Vertex Omega 150.  MORE

Spawning Frequency Regulates Reef Diversity

Reachers from Miami’s University of Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have been simulating and studying reproductive strategies of three reef species to better understand the relationship between larvae dispersal and diversity within reefs. The universities own Connectivity Modeling System was used to track larval movements in a simulated reef environment of the Caribbean sea plume (Anthiellogorgia elisebeathae), the bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus) and the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus).   new_study_shows_425“We found that the rate at which a species spawn drives the relatedness between distant populations,” said Claire Paris, associate professor of ocean sciences at UM. “Therefore more frequent spawning is more likely to stabilize the connectivity network.” “There is tremendous variability in how often reef animals reproduce and release eggs and larvae, yet they all find their way to coral reefs,” said Andrew Kough, UM Rosenstiel School alumnus and lead author of the study. “Our study explored how changes in reproductive frequency shape an animal’s connectivity network.” Read more here!

French Angelfish


Good morning friends,I hope you all had a good weekend! We have been crazy busy with our family members and yesterday we had submersible runs here at Substation Curacao all day long! On monday we took the family to Porto Marie, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Curacao, equipped with a dive shop, restaurant, and hundreds of beach chairs. I mostly hung out in the shade taking pictures of a three and five year old playing in the sand while their parents got in the water with Aimee and explored the shallows with fins and masks.  Here is a big beautiful French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) that lives out in front of the Substation, I see him and his or her mate almost every day. MORE

Inappropriate Feeding—Not Just Overfeeding—Kills Marine Fish

Everyone knows it’s feeding time in the aquarium!“We lose a lot more fish to overfeeding than we do to underfeeding.”I’ve read or written that sentence—or some variation upon it—more times than I can recollect. While I still consider this statement to be true on balance, I think placing undue emphasis on overfeeding versus other forms of inappropriate feeding can lead to some false conclusions. Among them: Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings. Good water quality takes precedence over keeping fish properly fed. Fish are secondary to corals in a reef system. Quantity/frequency of feeding is a more important consideration than the types of food offered. The risks to our fishes’ health are greater with overfeeding than with other forms of inappropriate feeding. Let’s take these points one by one and briefly examine where they go wrong: 1) Fish have uniform needs when it comes to the volume and frequency of feedings Nothing could be further from the truth. MORE


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