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Idaho Aquarium Sentenced For Illegal Trafficking

Public aquariums are intended to be places for education, conservation and entertainment. For any institution to knowingly advocate and participate in the illegal collection of display animals is a shame. It’s also a crime. Idaho Aquarium Sentenced For Illegal TraffickingThe Idaho Aquarium, Inc, was sentenced on April 15th in Key West, Florida for “conspiring to harvest, transport, and sell spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks, knowing the marine life were taken, possessed, transported, sold, and intended to be sold in violation of the laws and regulations of the State of Florida, contrary to the federal Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(2)(A), and 3373(d)(1) and (2), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.” The Aquarium had previously pled guilty to the charges and agreed to pay $10.000.00 in fines and 3 years probation as part of the plea. The Court additionally ordered that the Aquarium pay $50,000.00 to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit organization. The money will be used to help to promote education, conservation and research of coral reefs and marine life in the Florida Keys. Two Former Operators of the Aquarium, Ammon Covino and Christopher Conk were sentenced to prison time, in addition to additional fines and probation, in December for illegally obtaining and shipping three spotted eagle rays and two lemon sharks for the Idaho Aquarium. Illegal trafficking is a serious problem and it is good to see that Justice is being served and violators are duly prosecuted. It is also good to see that the fines are going to go back to help preserve the Florida Keys.  MORE Source: Outdoor News Daily

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Reef Octopus Elite Skimmers Add DC Controlled Pumps to Wine Glass Bodies

4491Reef Octopus Elite 220INT DC Skimmer Reef Octopus Elite Skimmers Add DC Controlled Pumps to Wine Glass Bodies What do you get when you combine the elegant shape of a wine glass bodied skimmer with the performance and controllability of a DC powered pump? The new Reef Octopus Elite skimmer, that’s what. Reef Octopus has taken their Prime protein skimmer line and given it a big boost with the addition of a DC pump, marrying two of the hottest features in protein skimmer technology into one product that is sure to perform. The RO Elite skimmer will come in two models, the 220-INT with a filtration capacity of 530-gallons and the 200-INT for aquariums 400-gallon and less. Both models will feature the popular wine-glass body, which is comprised of soft curves that gently bottleneck bubbles into the collection cup, along with tons of other nice features outline immediately below. Turbulence Reducing Super Cone Body Solid Cast Acrylic & Machined PVC Construction Bubble Dispersant Plate Vented Output Valve with Adjustment Dial Controllable RO-DC Pump “Twist & Lift” Collection Cup Efficient & Quiet Operation Disassembles for Easy Cleaning & Maintenance As for individual product specs, the largest of the two models is the 220-INT. It sports a 16.5″ x 12.2″ footprint and draws in air at a maximum rate of 2000 lph depending on the DC 5500s Pinwheel Pump’s settings. The smaller model, called the 200-INT, takes all of the same features and crams them down into a 15″ x 11.2″ footprint. It’s DC 3500s pump has an air draw of up to 1200 lph, but like its big brother, these numbers can be dialed back to fine tune performance. MORE: Reef Octopus Elite Skimmers Add DC Controlled Pumps to Wine Glass Bodies

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Reef Threads Podcast #178

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #178

The Dragonface pipe fish that lived to 6.5 weeks. More to come from Kathy with this species.Renowned fish breeder Kathy Leahy joins us this week to talk about her long and successful history in the hobby. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Christine and Gary Kathy’s Clowns MBI Workshop More: Reef Threads Podcast #178

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

Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine Aquarium

water flow 300x169 Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine AquariumWe’ve mentioned several times here at Saltwater Smarts how the output of reef aquarium lighting gradually and imperceptibly shifts away from the desired level over time. But did you know a very similar phenomenon can occur with the rate of water flow in your aquarium system? That’s right! If certain simple steps aren’t taken on a routine basis, your aquarium’s water flow can very gradually slow to a crawl, leading to a variety of ill effects for your system and livestock. For example: Instead of remaining suspended in the water column where they can be filtered out, fish waste, uneaten food, and other organic particulate matter will tend to settle onto the rocks and substrate where they’ll decompose, promoting excess dissolved nutrients and detritus buildup in the process. Gas exchange will be reduced, decreasing the level of dissolved oxygen in the system. With no strong current to carry off their wastes and prevent detritus from settling on their tissues, the health of corals and other sessile invertebrates may suffer. Fish that are enticed to eat only when food is in motion and shy/site-attached fish that depend on the current to deliver food right to their “front door” (such as jawfishes) may either lose interest in feeding or find that meals are always just out of reach. Cyanobacteria, which favors areas of low flow coupled with excess dissolved nutrients, will be more likely to flourish. So what can you do to keep the flow going strong in your aquarium? More: Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine Aquarium

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AlgaGen’s New Live Feeds Program

b046buryqanu 300x225 AlgaGen’s New Live Feeds Program Healthy reefs depend on plankton, and fresh is always best. AlgaGen recently launched its Live Feeds Program, which aims to set up culture holding systems in local fish stores across the country. Stores that offer the new program will have live phytoplankton, rotifers, brine and/or copepods available to customers to feed their reefs or breed marine livestock with. Reef aquarists will now be ale to provide reef nutrition found in nature and elicit the natural feeding responses from all of the tank’s inhabitants. Don’t be afraid to ask your local fish store if this is something they will be carrying. Heres a video all about it: MORE: AlgaGen’s New Live Feeds Program

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A Word From

It recently came to our attention that one of our writers was reposting content from other sites without giving proper credits.  In our investigation we found that whole articles had been copied with limited or no references to the original source.  While some of these posts are actually press releases and are allowed to be reposted in total, it is not in our DNA to repeat things without adding something to the topic. The majority of our writers come from academic backgrounds so we take the issue of plagiarism seriously.  We were not aware that this content was being copied, and upon discovering this we removed all posts by this author.  We have also implemented a copyright management system and we are working on hiring a senior editor to ensure this oversight does not happen again.  In our opinion, it’s just not cool. We do of course syndicate several blogs or news sources but these posts are listed here under their original author or blog name with a direct link back to the source.  The purpose of this is to bring this information to a larger audience.  All of our syndicated feeds credit the original authors. The issue of copyright on the internet is challenging.  Knowing when and where to cite and the method you use is challenging, we generally err on the side of caution but in this case it was a complete miss.  As an organization committed to educating hobbyists, we fully respect the content creators and will do everything possible to ensure that they receive full credit for their works. Should you notice anything on our site that appears to violate standard copyright and citation processes, please feel free to contact us at and we will immediately investigate. Thank you again for your support.

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New Shark Aquarium To Open In The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is a mecca for tourists who are drawn to it’s beautiful reefs and scenery. A new aquarium being opened in Marathon hopes to catch some of the tourist traffic. 

tank New Shark Aquarium To Open In The Florida Keys

Main Shark Tank at the Florida Keys Aquarium

 The Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters grand opening is planned for July 1st, 2014 and will be located on Mile Marker 53. A unique element about the aquarium is the shark tank that will allow guests to feed the sharks. The Shark tank will feature a 10 feet tall,  200,000 gallon tank with openings on the side, which visitors can use to feed the sharks. The sharks are being collected by Marathon based Dynasty Marine Associates. According to the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters facebook page, there will be also be an interactive sting ray tank. 
sting ray tank New Shark Aquarium To Open In The Florida Keys

The aquarium will feature an interactive sting ray tank.

 As a frequent visitor to the Florida Keys myself, the new aquarium will be a welcome addition to the area. Having worked in the public aquarium industry for many years, I am glad to see that the sharks are being sourced from Dynasty Marine, a recognized and responsible leader in supplying sharks for public aquariums worldwide. MORE Source: KeysInfoNet by Ryan Mccarthy

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