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Marine Aquarium Acclimation: Bridging the Specific Gravity Gap

sg ripples2 Marine Aquarium Acclimation: Bridging the Specific Gravity GapIn today’s post, I’d like to address a very common issue marine aquarium hobbyists encounter when purchasing livestock (particularly fish) and offer a simple method for addressing it. The issue in question is how to deal with the dramatic difference in specific gravity (SG) that often exists between dealers’ display tanks and home aquariums when acclimating new specimens. As every experienced hobbyist knows, dealers often keep the SG of their fish display tanks well below that of natural sea water—often in the vicinity of 1.020 or lower. While being kept at a lower SG is in no way harmful to the fish, it can present certain challenges if the tank in which they will ultimately reside is, say, a reef system with an SG closer to 1.025. Fish should never be subjected to such a precipitous increase in SG during a single acclimation session (Saltwater Smarts contributor Jay Hemdal recommends avoiding any increase in SG over .004), so you have to choose a way to safely bridge this gap. There are numerous approaches you can take to achieve this objective, but the method I prefer is to take advantage of evaporation during the four-week quarantine period. Here’s how: Before purchasing a specimen, contact your LFS or online retailer to ask where they maintain the SG in their tanks. Don’t leave this to chance. More: Marine Aquarium Acclimation: Bridging the Specific Gravity Gap

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Humbug Damsel: Prepping for the Hunt

humbug damsel1 Humbug Damsel: Prepping for the HuntThere’s a reason I chose to spotlight Dascyllus aruanus, the humbug or three-striped damselfish, in this profile. “Caribbean” Chris and I will soon be matching wits with four representatives of this species that have laid claim to a large marine aquarium situated in one of our local coffee shops. Steve, the shop’s owner, is at wits’ end with these four humbugs, which won’t abide most new tankmates, and would like to see them captured and relocated by any means necessary, short of (or possibly including) dynamiting the tank. Chris and I figure that between the two of us, we should have the mental prowess to outsmart these little devils, so we’re currently brainstorming the capture techniques we’d like to experiment with over the next week or so (suggestions from fellow salties are most welcome). We plan to document the process on video, so stay tuned for updates. For the time being, though, let’s take a closer look at our future quarry: Physical traits D. More: Humbug Damsel: Prepping for the Hunt

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Fincasters Episode 46: New Desktop Aquariums From Fluval

 Fluval is out with two cool new desktop aquariums that make keeping a small reef easier and more affordable than ever. More: Fincasters Episode 46 New Desktop Aquariums From Fluval

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Reefs In Art: Fantastically Bizarre, Twisted Edition

David Choe has used UV spray paint on a black surface to create the appearance of glowing underwater creatures in this surrealist street art painting Reefs In Art: Fantastically Bizarre, Twisted Edition So I’m in a mood today, something I have the habit of getting into, the kind that had me itching to do a “Reefs In Art” post as it’s been a while. But I wanted to look for something a bit more offbeat than usual, which brings me to this – a wild, surrealist street-art painting depicting a “bird” (dude in a bird costume?), ninja turtle (?) and a portly percussionist hitching a ride on a fish eating a girl with an octopus on her head, trailed by some shimmery jellyfish. Right up my alley. MORE

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Proposed New Aquarium To Replace One Destroyed By Hurricane Katrina

marine life Proposed New Aquarium To Replace One Destroyed By Hurricane KatrinaHurricane Katrina happened almost 10 years ago and was one of the worst natural disasters the United States has ever seen. Katrina destroyed many peoples homes and businesses, all along the Mississippi and Louisiana Coasts. The city of Gulfport lost the Marine Life Aquarium to the hurricane in 2005. Gulfport is trying to welcome a new aquarium that is estimated to cost over $100 million dollars and to hopes to be one of the 10 largest aquariums in the United States. The location for the aquarium has not yet been disclosed, but sources say it has been in the works for months. Its exciting to see the City renovating and getting back on its feet after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, even all these years later. While the aquarium is still in the works, fingers crossed that we have a fantastic new aquarium in the future of Mississippi. MORE

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Giesemann Is Here to Brighten Your Day With Release of Aurora-Hybrid LED/T5

 I’m a big fan of LED/T-5 hybrids, they’re a great option for those who are content with the  performance and even distribution capabilities of their T-5s, but would like to experience the energy-efficient spectrum of LEDs. A perfectly happy marriage of the two technologies. With that being said, I was super excited to see this product release from Giesmann this morning. Their new AURORA-HYBRID LED/T5 system is a glossy, handsome fixture – but it’s much more than just a pretty face. MORE

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4 More Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine Aquariums

repurposed2 1 4 More Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine AquariumsBack in June of this year, we ran a post titled “My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine Aquariums,” in which I discussed several inexpensive household items that can be converted to aquarium tools in various and sundry ways. Of course, that list, which included razor blades, plastic milk jugs, plastic storage bins, toothbrushes, turkey basters, and egg crate light diffuser, was just scratching the surface. So, here are several more oddball items that can be repurposed for aquarium use in ways you might not have considered: 1) Plastic colander Thanks to Matt Bowers for making this suggestion in the comment section of that original post (I think it deserves repeating here). As Matt noted, a floating, plastic colander “can be great for giving a rambunctious specimen a ‘time out’ without having to remove it from the system.” The colander can also be used to isolate a bullied specimen or introduce a new fish to an established community. The water flowing through the colander allows the fish, both inside and outside the colander, to sense each other’s chemical presence without actually being able to reach each other to do harm/be harmed until, hopefully, any aggression subsides. 2) Plastic ice cube tray Ice cube trays are perfect for pre-apportioning frozen fish foods (e.g., mysids) in the event that you’re leaving town and someone else will be feeding your fish. Just put an appropriate-sized quantity of the frozen food in a compartment of the tray for each day you’ll be gone or each day the person will be stopping by to feed. More: 4 More Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine Aquariums

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Beyond Tomorrow: A Response to Reef Threads

chemist 300x177 Beyond Tomorrow: A Response to Reef ThreadsI must say, on one hand, I was very flattered that Reef Threads felt it necessary to dissect my 11 hard truths about reef aquariums. Though on the other hand, it made me a bit queasy. Why, you ask? It reminded me, all too well, of the greedy aquarium store owner convincing some new customer that keeping a captive reef is easy. As Gary and Christine chatted up about how simple having a RODI unit was, they contradicted themselves by talking about all the fittings and adapters required to make it work. Heck, just listening to them describe it was confusing and frustrating. In fact, Christine even said, “My plumbing system doesn’t make it easy.” During a few moments, as they tried to prove that my 11 hard truths were nothing but foobar, I thought perhaps I was standing in the saltwater fish section of Petco, not listening to a podcast dedicated to the reef aquarium hobby. Gary kept saying, “If you just talk to Marc Levenson.” Folks, Marc Levenson is a MORE

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