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An Award-Winning Coral Aquaculture Business Plan

Have you ever considered turning your reef aquarium addiction into a side business? I have. The reef aquarium hobby, like many hobbies involving livestock, is an enticing entrepreneurial opportunity.Successfully maintaining a healthy reef will result in an abundance of coral. That coral, if left to its own devices, will reward the aquarist’s hard work by making every effort to kill off its neighbors. To maintain harmony and prevent turf warfare in a mature, healthy reef aquarium, one must periodically prune back the coral colonies. Here is where the business opportunity emerges. What to do with the cuttings? MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #219

reefthreads
It’s an unusual podcast this week in that we do what we’re supposed to do–talk about forum threads. We choose three posts in which people are having trouble/need help and actually try to help them. We talk about a fish-only tank, cycling issues, and an open-top tank. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

How to Ship and Package Coral For Beginners

 In this CoralFish12g video I will teach the most simple and efficient way to ship coral. This is called the urine cup method. MORE

Parasite Responsible for Color of Popular Tetra

Photo by Oliver Knott.

Photo by Oliver Knott.

 Any aquarist knows that there are a lot of really colorful fishes out there. But, some really stand out. One such species is the bronze tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi). It is collected from floodplains and coastal waterways of the Amazon River Basin in Brazil and Peru as well as Rivers in Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. This otherwise unremarkable little characin can develop a shiny, golden metallic (and we mean metallic) sheen that is not really matched in the fish world. Its beauty is multiplied by the number of individuals in a shoal. Their golden glow is undoubtedly one main reason for the animal’s popularity in the ornamental fish trade. However, when fish farmers first sought to culture this potentially valuable species, it was discovered that captive raised specimens lacked the characteristic metallic luster of their wild counterparts. The usual culprits—diet, environmental conditions—were blamed. It took considerable investigation before it was determined that the bronze tetra’s coloration was actually derived from a much more unusual source.  MORE

Newly Discovered Algae May Help Coral Survive Hottest Reefs On The Planet

persian-coral-reef Researchers have traveled to the Middle East, to study coral in some of the Worlds hottest coral reefs, to see how they withstand such temperatures. Having lived in the Middle East for many years myself, and doing countless reef dives there, the water was some of the warmest I have ever dove in. Diving in the Middle East in the Summers was like swimming in warm bath water. The scientists went to Abu Dabhi to see how the corals could survive in such high temperatures, where they discovered a new species of algae from the coral samples taken. MORE

Video: Hydor Teases Third Gen Korallia

 Heads-up, there’s a new player in ‘stream pump town’ and this time it’s Hydor launching an update to their respected Korallia line. No details other than that in the Youtube video description but they certainly look interesting and you can be sure we’ll be trying to get hold of some for testing. MORE

3 Good Reasons to Quarantine Live Rock

Live rock serves as a vehicle for good and bad hitchhikers.Here at Saltwater Smarts, we emphasize again and again the importance of quarantining all marine livestock before introducing it to an established aquarium. But what about those pieces of live rock that we occasionally add to our established systems to bolster biodiversity and biofiltration or simply to spruce up the aquascaping? Do those need to spend time in quarantine too? While live rocks aren’t really living, per se, you can’t just plop them in your system and call it a day. (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!) They require a quarantine period just like any animal you choose to add to your tank. Here are three good reasons:1) Excluding undesirable hitchhikers Live rocks are, for all intents and purposes, vehicles for hitchhiking organisms. Notwithstanding their aesthetics and the structural purpose they serve in a reef system, we buy live rocks primarily for the life forms inhabiting them. But in addition to carrying interesting and/or beneficial fauna, they can also bring in their share of undesirable—if not outright nasty—critters, such as Aiptasia and majano anemones, crabs, mantis shrimps, etc MORE

Anemone Propagation

bubble tip
Propagating anemones can be easy and quite rewarding.  While many of these animals eventually split on their own, the process can be sped up with some careful cutting and tender loving care.  The group pictured above was grown from a single bubble tip anemone over the course of a few months.  I cut the large brood stock animal with a scalpel into 6 pizza-shaped slices, being careful to include a portion of the mouth, base, and pedal disc in each fragment, and all 6 survived and grew into healthy clones of the original.  Starting with a large specimen that is in optimal health and using a very sharp instrument is essential.  Once the cuts are made, the animals should be returned into the same aquarium the mother lived in to reduce shock, and after a few weeks the cut specimens begin to take a normal shape and accept feedings.  Feeding meaty foods such as mysis or table shrimp a couple times a week will optimize growth and maintain good health while the animals heal.  Some anemones fare better than others with this process and the captive grown RBTA seem to do the best. As your experience with propagating anemones increases, so will your success, and the reward is well worth the work.

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