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Palythoas with Two Mouths

tiny edited 2 Palythoas with Two Mouths
For most of us who have kept Palythoa, we know they can grow at awesome speeds. Normally, they produce babies at the foot or the base of the animal, but I have occasionally marveled at a rare occurrence of the polyps splitting in two, right through the mouth of the polyp. These polyps will have two mouths for quite some time before splitting into two completely separate polyps. The last one I observed in my tank took about 8 months to completely divide. During that time, growth on the colony as a whole slowed. Could this be a sign of a slower discarded method of reproduction? I’m not really sure, but this process is one that I keep an eye on every time I spot it happening in my tank.

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“Hello, Deep Sea? London Calling” – Meet The New Snail Species: A. Strummeri

AR 141219867 293x300 Hello, Deep Sea? London Calling   Meet The New Snail Species: A. StrummeriThis unbelievably badass little snail Alviniconcha Strummeri rocks a punk rock-esque spiked shell as it goes about its business around hydrothermal vents of the deep sea. These guys have purple blood and thrive in dark, sweltering acidic environments, pretty rock-and-roll if you ask me. So what better name for them than one shared with a punk rock icon? That’s what scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution thought when they named A. strummeri after lead singer and guitarist of British punk rock band, The Clash, Joe Strummer. MORE

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A Little Visit From a Bandit and a Tinkerii – More Incredible Shots From Keoki Stender

10348438 1003680099659153 6122588336903574238 n A Little Visit From a Bandit and a Tinkerii   More Incredible Shots From Keoki StenderMan, I really love when Keoki Stender photographs aquatic life on a white background, there’s just something so striking about the contrast. You might recall a while back I posted that face-melting Holanthias fuscipinnis photographed in the same manner by Stender with some pretty mind-blowing results. Now, we have these two beauties, a Bandit Angelfish and a Tinkeri Butterfly, caught in perfect detail. MORE

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Snorkel Bob: Friend, foe or lost soul?

seashepherdorg 300x83 Snorkel Bob: Friend, foe or lost soul?Snorkel Bob, it sounds almost like a Saturday morning cartoon character, that introduces our children to ocean wildlife, cracking a few corny jokes along the way. If you’re a marine aquarist, chances are you have heard Snorkel Bob’s name, and quickly he has become the one guy marine aquarists love to hate. Some call his actions a “war on aquariums” while others refer to him like the protagonist of the Harry Potter series, with a name that won’t be spoken. Regardless of your attitude towards Snorkel Bob, he has rallied environmentalists and legislators, starting a conservation movement with one endgame, a complete ban on any and all trade, collection, sale of marine wildlife. With the support of multi-national conservation group Sea Shepherd, and a growing number of independent followers, Snorkel Bob’s personal movement has gained traction. Who is Snorkel Bob, why does he hate the aquarium trade and within all the mud that gets tossed around, is there any silver lining?  MORE

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PetSmart Gets Bought Out for $8.7 Billion

9cfbPetSmart PetSmart Gets Bought Out for $8.7 BillionWho would have thought that PetSmart was worth $8.7 billion? Well, apparently that’s the case, as the pet retail giant has changed ownership for the aforementioned lofty sum. The acquisition was spearheaded by an investment team led by BC Partners, with this buyout tipping the scales as the single biggest private equity deal announced globally this year. This move was brought on by declining stock prices earlier this year, in which the company’s stock value slipped 18% MORE: PetSmart Gets Bought Out for $8.7 Billion

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The A160we is the Latest LED Pendant from Kessil

5a3fKessil A160we The A160we is the Latest LED Pendant from KessilI’m not entirely sure how or why we have yet to post about the new Kessil LED pendants, but hey, better late than never, right? A few months ago, Kessil debuted the follow-up to their immensely popular A150, the A160we. Where the A150 models had plenty of power and an awesome spectrum, they were a bit lacking in the functionality department. Sure, you could manually dim or brighten the light, but pampered aquarists prefer not to have to touch dials and knobs, opting for something a bit more tech friendly instead. We’re not saying the A150 was incapable by any means. MORE: The A160we is the Latest LED Pendant from Kessil

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Potassium is an Element that Needs a Second Look – Part 1

photo 2 300x225 Potassium is an Element that Needs a Second Look   Part 1

Goniopora benefit from higher Potassium as well as Iron and Manganese levels.

 Are your coral ugly? Do you have coral that are dying? Do you not know why? Maybe the silent killer is what’s missing! Potassium! Gardeners care about it. We are underwater gardeners. Why don’t we? Reef aquarists are keeping photosynthetic symbiotic animal gardens in their tanks. As important as potassium is for photosynthesis, it should be important to us in our aquarium maintenance regime. Along with all the other “iums” there are in the coral keeping vernacular, one that should also be in conversation is potassium. Why are we forgetting this critical element? There is as much potassium in the ocean as there is calcium. Potassium is a critical element in fertilizers. Phosphorous (in the form of Phosphates in aquaria) and Nitrogen (in the form of Nitrate in aquaria) are the other elements that are listed in the ever present NPK rating. It is important that the ratio is correct in the fertilizer, so as to best grow your crop. Potassium is considered a macronutrient, along with nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as familiar elements to reefers, calcium, and magnesium. Another macronutrient that is a not as familiar: sulfur. In Australia fertilizers are rated with an NPKS ratio. Maybe we need to look there for some more clues in the future. Seawater usually contains about 400 ppm potassium. Not far off from the 420ppm for calcium. It is a regular practice of reef aquarists to keep higher calcium levels in their aquariums to support stony coral growth. Also most home aquariums have higher nitrate and phosphate levels than what is found on coral reefs in the ocean. In keeping with regular aquarium husbandry techniques, and being mindful of maintaining a proper balance of the major NPK nutrients in our tank, many aquaria may benefit from controlled potassium dosing. 
photo 3 273x300 Potassium is an Element that Needs a Second Look   Part 1

Fungia and their relatives exhibit excellent growth and vivid coral with higher Potassium

 I only feel comfortable now encouraging the use of potassium chloride, after half a decade of using it myself on various aquaculture and display systems. I have found it safe if used properly and I depend on it to keep my corals vibrant and healthy. More and more people are trying potassium chloride dosing, so hit them up and find out what their experience has been.

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Reef Aquarium Tridacna Clams – maxima, crocea, squamosa, and gigas

 Giant clams of the Genus Tridacna are a popular mollusk in reef aquariums. More: Reef Aquarium Tridacna Clams – maxima, crocea, squamosa, and gigas

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