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Stove-Pipe Sponge Re-Growth

Good morning from Curacao… Here you see a fallen section of a Stove-Pipe sponge (Aplysina archeri) in purple, with new growth climbing up a Row Pore Rope sponge. The rope sponge acts like a sort of trellis, and supports the weight of the new stove-pipe by allowing it to not only cover it in sections, but to actually fuse with the rope sponge – that’s just way cool!! I’m guessing that once the stove-pipe grows large enough to get a good hold on the reef, it will be completely fused with the rope sponge, the two will become one cool looking sponge. It’s hard to see in the photo, but these sponges are home to little gobies, crabs, shrimps, and brittle stars, in fact the harder you look the more things you will see. MORE

Finding Dory Release Announced—Is a P. hepatus Craze in Our Future?

Paracanthurus hepatus, Pacific blue tang, widely known as DoryWell, the word is out that Finding Dory, the long-anticipated sequel to Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, is finally slated for release in June of 2016. If the impact of the sequel is anything like that of the original—a lot of youngsters clamoring to keep the film’s “star” as a pet—then I suspect that beginning next summer, the Pacific blue tang (Paracanthurus hepatus), the species that Dory represents, will be very popular indeed. I have to admit I’m conflicted about the pending release of this film. On the one hand, if Finding Dory holds up to the quality of the original in terms of animation and entertainment value, it will be well worth viewing. Jaded as I am by decades in the hobby and having spent plenty of time on real coral reefs thanks to the miracle of scuba, I still find the visually lavish representation of the ocean realm in Finding Nemo quite compelling. Plus, anything that sparks kids’ interest in marine life has to be a good thing, right?On the other hand, a burgeoning interest among youngsters in keeping P. hepatus in a home aquarium probably doesn’t bode well for the species MORE

Dr. Mac’s Black Friday Live Sale

Dr.-Mac's-Black-FridayBlack Friday is fondly known as the day when people lose their minds and beat each other senseless for a $10 discount on a TV.  Not feeling up for the USA’s version of the Running of the Bulls?  Thanks to the cool technology known as the internets, you can sit at home, sipping your hot cocoa, and score some of the best deals on livestock you have ever seen.  Saturday night, the festivities will be on full display as Dr. Mac and the fine folks at Pacific East Aquaculture unveil over 1000 corals, fish, clams and inverts to help you stuff the stockings of your reefing loved ones. Aww, who are we kidding, this is as good a time as any to treat YOURSELF to some one of a kind items that you can have in your tank before the holiday shopping season has gotten underway.  Please join us on Saturday at 6PM EST when the live sale kicks off, right here on

The Rossmont Waver

rossmont-waver-1024x504Rossmont has just announced a new product: Waver, a frequency modulator that adjusts an aquarium pump’s flow rate! In an earlier review, we lamented the fixed rate feature of the Rossmont Mover M5800, but today that gap has finally been filled in an elegant and practical way: the new Waver is just what we need to adjust the flow rate of our pumps. We can still use the same pumps, but now they will behave exactly how we want them to – with an adjustable flow! MORE

Product Review: The New EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40 QUIETDRIVE

Vortech MP40QD pump
Once every decade or so, a product comes out that redefines and revolutionizes the industry it belongs to. Just like a smartphone for mobile communications, an electric car that goes 0-60 in under 3 seconds for automotive technology, or a remote-controlled drone for aerial surveillance and photography, EcoTech’s introduction of the VorTech Propeller Pump in 2005, revolutionized the home aquarium water-movement products industry. This innovative product transformed Ecotech from a student-run start-up project to one of the best known names in the aquarium industry. Ten years later, the “wave-maker” has been remade for the third time, complete with new features and a completely  re-engineered  controller. What’s so special about the new driver? Let’s find out…  MORE

Actinostephanus: a Rare and Dangerous Sea Anemone

Credit: Ron Decloux

Credit: Ron Decloux

 Sea anemones pose many challenges for the home aquarist. Some (e.g. Radianthus magnifica) require exceptionally high light and water flow to thrive. Others (e.g. Exaiptasia pallida & Anemonia spp.) are notorious pests, growing where they are not welcome. And nearly all have the frustrating habit of wandering about the aquarium, usually resulting in a macerated anemone-soup whenever there is a powerhead present. One of the worst choices for the home aquarist is Actinostephanus haeckeli,  known variably as the “Snake Sea Anemone” or “Haeckel’s Sea Anemone”.

Colorful Brain Coral

Good morning friends, how was your weekend???
I have a cool brain coral photo for you today; I discovered this coral at 75 feet by the tiny island of Klein Curacao. What you’re seeing here is a small section of Boulder Brain coral on the top and Symmetrical Brain coral on the bottom. These coral buddies were butted up next to each other looking about as colorful and as healthy as corals can be.

The forbidden love between Cephalopholis igarashiensis and Plesionika flavicauda


Plesionika flavicauda, Coral Sea. An aquarium specimen at Cairns Marine. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 The genus Plesionika strikes a stunning chord of paradoxical dichotomy in the world of invertebrates. For one, this genus comprises well over a hundred species, widely distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean – from the reefs of the Indo-Pacific, to far east in the French Polynesia. Yet, it remains as one of the most poorly studied and documented genus of shrimps, with undoubtedly many more species awaiting discovery, and many more existing species awaiting rediscovery. These delicate, elegant crustaceans with spindly legs and wispy antennae are often ornately patterned, frequenting ledges and caves in deep waters. There, they occur in groups ranging anywhere from a dozen individuals, to seemingly endless hordes. More often than not, these marauding plagues travel in an almost fluid like manner, indiscernible in the murky darkness, sans the filamentous conglomeration of antennae and moving legs.  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.