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Pygmy Jawfish filmed in the wild for the first time

 It was just last week that I shared the story of the Pygmy Jawfish, an undescribed species of dwarf Opistognathus with some truly spectacular mating colors. And, wouldn’t you know it, right after I posted that I happened to stumbled upon a couple of high quality videos of this beautiful little fish in the wild. MORE

Ptereleotris grammica: A tale of two tails, and a lack of the black


Ptereleotris grammica with fins fully expanded. This exquisite species is as beautiful as it is shy, and requires a very peaceful tank with low traffic. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 Of the available ptereleotrine fishes, none are quite as spectacular or alluring as the genus Ptereleotris. These slender, slippery fishes are quite diverse, forming distinct clades with a myriad of species adopting various characteristic differences in their morphology and preference for habitat. Of which, the hanae and grammica clades are specialists of open, sandy bottoms far removed from the typical coral reef. This habitat is often monotonous and barren, with the silty substrate offering perfect conduits for the construction of vertical holes. Stonogobiops and Ptereleotris are frequently encountered here, and the latter are often seen taking up residence with the former and its shrimp partner.  MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #257


Thanks to all for listening in 2015

It’s our last podcast of the year and weird gifts are on our minds. Thanks to everyone for being such loyal listeners. We hope we’ve entertained you and, on occasion, expanded your knowledge. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

ReefGen Superduperman Zoanthid

Photo by Unique Corals

 The AquaNerd featured coral of the week originated from a zoa colony collected by ReefGen, called the Superduperman Zoanthid.  These beautiful zoas are brightly colored, very hardy, and grow rapidly once established in the aquarium.  For optimum growth, the Superduperman Zoa  prefers moderate lighting and moderate water flow.  We went to the ReefGen site to locate a price but it appears their site is currently under construction, however we were able to find these for sale at Unique Corals.  For Eight to Ten polyps a nice frag sells for $34.00. MORE

Signs You May Need to Lower Your Reef Tank’s Bioload

The maximum level of acceptable bioload is unique to each system based on a variety of factors

 The bioload in a reef aquarium increases through both the acquisition of new specimens as well as the growth/reproduction of established livestock. So, unless fish and corals are dying in significant numbers (which they shouldn’t be unless there’s a major problem), the bioload in any reef system is usually trending upward. While it’s exciting and rewarding to see our tanks bustling with life, we all know there is a certain threshold beyond which a system contains more organisms than it can reasonably sustain in good health. Unfortunately, there’s no alarm on our tanks that sounds when we’re approaching or surpassing that threshold. There are, however, certain signs that tell us it might be time to back off the bioload by rehoming a specimen or thinning coral colonies. Here are just a few examples: MORE

Thailand boasts captive bred Parachaetodon ocellatus


Parachaetodon ocellatus (Chaetodon oligacanthus). Photo credit: Ohm Pavaphon.

 The Kite Butterflyfish is a unique member of Chaetodontidae that suffers from a state of taxonomic limbo. Placed in its own monotypic genus, Parachaetodon ocellatus adopts a somewhat atypical form with its significantly taller anterior profile. Recent molecular and morphological studies nests the species within Chaetodon, making Parachaetodon now defunct and obsolete. Although ocellatus is the oldest name for the species, the name is already taken by the Atlantic species Chaetodon ocellatus, which predates the use of ocellatus for this species. Should the move from Parachaetodon to Chaetodon were to occur, the Kite Butterflyfish would also require a change in its specific epithet, which means that it takes on the next available synonym – Chaetodon oligacanthus. The specific epithet “oligacanthus” translates to “fewer spines”, which was what dictated its initial placement in Parachaetodon. Although the molecular and morphological study strongly supports this change in its generic and subsequent specific status, it is still not widely accepted, and the Kite Butterflyfish in turn, masquerades under two aliases.  MORE

The ACE 170 AIMBioSys System From Cayuga Aquatics

Image Cayuga-2.jpg Aquarium maintenance companies are often asked to set up up a fully-functional reef aquarium as quickly as possible, just like they do on those reality TV shows. Well, entertaining TV aside, that’s not how it works in the real world of reefkeeping is it? A successful start to a reef aquarium requires establishing the necessary bacterial colonies to manage nutrient loads and avoid toxic accumulations of nitrogenous waste. Nevertheless, the speedy set up of a life-sustaining reef aquarium is an appealing concept if it can be done in the interest of the inhabitants. And we’re not talking here about cycling a new system with stressed out damselfish. New on the reefkeeping scene is a system aimed at the professional aquarium maintenance companies, designed and developed by Steve Lowes of Cayuga Aquatics. Steve informs us that the ACE 170 aquarium is the result of 10 plus years of product development based off his experience designing, building, installing and maintaining high-end reef systems. With a 4 foot x 4 foot footprint and a 170 gallon low-iron glass display, the ACE 170 is well suited for installation… MORE

Pseudochromis colei and Cypho zaps, two rare dottybacks from the Philippine archipelago


A large male Pseudochromis colei. This represents the first known individual since its redescription in 2012, and doubles up as the first individual offered to the aquarium trade. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 The subfamily Pseudochrominae (family Pseudochromidae) boasts colorful small to medium sized, reef associated fish. Of the ten genera nestled within this subfamily, Pseudochromis is the most speciose, and perhaps the most familiar amongst divers and aquarists. And of the seventy or so species, not all readily fall into the acquaintance of the enthusiastic reefer, and at least a third or more are either extremely rare or elusive. One such fish fulfilling this status is Pseudochromis colei, which, until the turn of this century, was known only from one specimen.  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.