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Want Healthy, Spawning Fish? Feed Them Properly!

Feed your fish. They are hungry. That may sound obvious, but most fish in captivity are starving to death because we are so fixated on water parameters. It’s fine to worry about water parameters, but you still need to feed your fish. Yes, water parameters are important and it’s fine to worry about them, but if you want to keep fish along with your corals, they need to eat correctly. You can deal with the corals later.They’re fish, not iguanas! Most of us are spending so much time trying to keep those colorful corals that we forget about our fish. If your fish are not spawning or looking like they want to spawn, they are hungry or not getting the correct food. MORE

Find a shark…egg case

Haploblepharus_pictus_Dark_shyshark by Seascapeza

Picture: Seascapeza

 Sharks keep our largest and most important ecosystem healthy…our oceans.  Being at the top of the food chain in the marine environment, they regulate the populations of other marine life, helping to keep fish stocks in the ocean healthy.  As our oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface and houses 80% of life on earth, maintaining this ecosystem is crucial to life on earth. By monitoring and understanding local shark species and what they need in order to thrive, we can contribute meaningfully to protecting our natural heritage.  How, as members of the public with no scientific background at all, can we help?  All you need is a willingness to help and you can be a citizen scientist! MORE

Grooved Brain Coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis

Good morning friends, I’m off to a late start, had to do a quick dive to check a leaking housing that will now have to be sent off for repair. I have a drop dead beautiful colony of Grooved Brain Coral for you all today just sitting all by itself on a sandy plateau with no other corals in sight! These have to be some of the coolest looking corals on the planet, they can be found in the 3-135 foot range and can grow to be about four feet wide, this one here was about three. Grooved Brain coral colonies are known for forming beautiful hemispherical heads just like you see above. They have deep, often narrow, polyp bearing valleys that are separated by broad ridges with wide conspicuous trough-like grooves. MORE

Colour Changing Dottyback Is ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’

Published today in the journal Current Biology, a new study has shown that the Dusky Dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus can change colour to imitate other reef fish species both allowing it to prey on their young, and to hide from predators by blending in to its habitat. The research reveals a surprising and sophisticated new example of ‘mimicry’. While using mimicry to hunt or hide from other species is common in nature, scientists note that if the deception is encountered too frequently, prey species become vigilant to the threat and develop tactics to counter the mimics. The dottyback, however, is able to colour-morph depending on the particular colour of the surrounding species it is currently hunting (often damselfishes). Scientists say that this flexibility of physical mimicry makes it much harder for the dottyback’s prey to develop detection strategies and avoid getting eaten MORE

A Giant, Giant Clam

My job is pretty cool. Not only do I farm coral all day long, but I get to take part in some of the happenings of a thriving public aquarium. Sometimes it’s wrestling stingrays or wrangling monitor lizards, and other times, it’s moving enormous, giant, really big clams. Recently, a local hobbyist decided to take down his long-running 1,200 gallon reef aquarium following a house fire. A testament to his success was a huge Tridacna clam. Weighing in at 98.4 pounds this beast was enormous! Where do you put an almost 100 pound clam when you’re taking down rather large aquarium? One good option is a beautifully healthy 14 year old, 20,000 gallon reef aquarium run by reefing legend Joe Yaiullo. I look forward to watching this animal grow and thrive in its new home!

Ikelite, Fluoresence, Blue-Light Diving, UV Dive

Good morning friends! Our friends at Ikelite have just introduced a whole new line of products for all your blue-light diving needs. The photo above shows my Nikon D-300s all set up and ready to go. I have the Yellow Barrier Filter over my 105 macro lens, two Dichroic Excitation Filters over each of my DS-160′s strobes, a VEGA Video/photo light with a Dichroic Excitation Filter (to search with), a pair of Yellow Barrier Filter for the dive mask and my trusty Gamma LED (white light) which I use for an aid in focusing. MORE

Marine Fish Issues: When It’s Best to Leave Well Enough Alone

Triggerfish are prone to wedging themselves in rockwork crevices to evade dangerIn most cases, issues affecting marine fish—diseases, behavioral issues, compatibility concerns, etc.—should be addressed and rectified as quickly as possible, lest small problems transform into much bigger ones. But there are some circumstances in which the best course of action is to take no action at all—or at least take a wait-and-see approach. Here are a few examples: Minor mechanical injuriesGiven excellent water quality, fish can recover from minor injuries with surprising rapidity, sometimes within just a matter of days. Here I’m thinking in terms of mild wounds caused by physical trauma, such as a torn fin, bodily scrape, or single bulging eye (bilateral exophthalmia, in which both eyes bulge, is not typically caused by mechanical trauma and may require active treatment). Common causes of such injuries are netting, aggressive interaction with tankmates, and dashing into the rockwork after being startled or chased. As long as any stressors that may have precipitated the trauma are eliminated (e.g., a bullying tankmate has been removed) and water conditions are optimal, fish with these types of injuries can usually be left in the display tank to recover under close observation. Wedged in the rockwork When frightened or newly introduced to an aquarium, certain fish are apt to wedge themselves into crevices in the rockwork or other tight spots in an effort to evade whatever dangers they perceive might threaten them. Triggers are especially prone to this behavior, but I’ve seen all kinds of fishes do it over the years. MORE

Goniopora Micro-propagation

A small two polyp Goniopora grown from a piece of tissue

A small two polyp Goniopora grown from a piece of tissue

 How small is too small? For coral, I think there is none too small to be loved and cared for. The challenge is that past a certain size, the smaller they are the harder time they have surviving. For over a decade, I have been refining my craft of growing coral from asexually propagated fragments smaller than newly settled coral larvae. Coral are remarkable creatures, and their cellular biology allows them to survive even at these minuscule sizes. A large coral colony has a more robust immune system that matures with size; coral cells in a large network have an easier time growing into polyps and colonies of polyps, but it is possible to grow a full animal from colonies of cells, or even one cell. Coral are rife with stem cells, and in fact many of the various cell types in their bodies can revert back to stem cells, the only exceptions being MORE 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.