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Epithet etymology: Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalis, the diamond-tail fairy wrasse


Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalis, the diamond-tail fairy wrasse. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 Today on epithet etymology, we feature yet another labrid, this time from the genus Cirrhilabrus. Cirrhilabrus are small, colourful fish that are are highly deserving of their colloquial name – “fairy wrasses”. Having extensively discussed about their biogeography and phylogeny elsewhere, we’ll keep this one short and dive right into the etymology behind the name. What makes Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalis, Cirrhilabrus rhomboidalisMORE

Macro Monday: Galaxea fascicularis, wolf in sheep’s clothing


A close up photo of Galaxea, showing its retracted sweeper tentacles during the day. These are the semi-translucent hyaline ones bordering the main polyp. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 Galaxea is a ubiquitous cnidarian with quite the nasty reputation. Like most other “LPS” corals, Galaxea harbour sweeper tentacles capable of extending many times their normal lengths. These are often supercharged with nematocysts, where they are utilized in turf wars with neighbouring corals, stinging and dissolving tissue upon contact. It is, however, only on a macro scale, can Galaxea‘s malevolent nature be fully appreciated. MORE

Preparing for Finding Dory with Alyssa’s Seahorse Savvy

maxresdefaultIn 2003 the marine aquarium world was taken by storm, thanks to the release of the Disney film Finding Nemo. Suddenly the clownfish was forever cemented as a children’s film icon, and kids all over the world wanted a “Nemo” of their own. Sadly, in 2003, the rise of captive bred clownfish hadn’t replaced all wild-caught fish with specimens born and raised in an aquarium. Parent’s rush to satiate their child’s nagging for a pet clownfish led to many specimens kept in inappropriate conditions, and eventually dying. In fact, the theme of the film that suggested fish believed a flush down the toilet led to freedom, generated controversy among aquarists and conservationists. Eventually Disney hired none other than Jean Michelle Cousteau (son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Yves-Cousteau) to offer a disclaimer video on the film’s DVD release, cautioning both parents and children about the responsibility required when keeping marine fish, and how aquariums effect wild fish populations. Now, 13 years later, Finding Nemo’s upcoming sequel, Finding Dory is expected to stir more youthful interest in marine aquariums. This time though, the hobby and trade are far more prepared than the first time, with 13 years of innovation and methodology that makes owning a marine fish easier than ever. Since the clownfish craze came and went via the first film, it’s likely another marine animal may be on children and parent’s wish list this time around, and that is none other than the seahorse. Since a seahorse is one of the film’s title characters, it’s quite possible this unique and alluring animal will excite movie goers into convincing their parents that a seahorse tank is a must.  MORE

A Guide to Aquarium Bandfishes (Cepola & Acanthocepola)

indicaBandfishes are a rarely seen offering in the aquarium trade, ideal for those desiring something a bit more unusual to add to their aquatic menagerie. They originate from silty habitats, where their eel-like bodies are used to create vertical burrows, which they hover above to capture their zooplanktonic prey. Unfortunately, in captivity, these are peaceful and retiring fishes poorly suited to the traditional reef aquarium, but, for those wishing to create a more unusual biotope, bandfishes make an ideal addition to a silt-themed fish tank.MORE

Meet the Lumpsucker, a Very Useful Fish

juvenile European Lumpsucker in a public aquarium

juvenile European Lumpsucker in a public aquarium

 Lumpsuckers are either cute and characterful or downright ugly; it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Whatever your view on their appearance, these fascinating fish are being raised to be cleaners for the fish farming industry. MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #261


The Reef Evangelist solves theater problems with her reef skills

  We’ve returned once again. This week’s topics include magazines we read, Gary’s tank leak, LED replacements for T5 lamps, and the reef hobby in theater. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

A Look at the Tunze Recirculation Pumps

tunze pump - reefs
Return or recirculation pumps have long been a part of the Tunze product line and this year, the company has added a couple of new models. This article will introduce the new pumps and also offer some general advice on Tunze product applications. Tunze offers 3 lines of recirculation pumps known as the e-Jet, Comline and Silence pumps. Flow rates range from a nominal 65 gph for small reactors up to 2900 gph for closed loops and large systems, and two of these models are DC controllable pumps. Tunze e-jet Tunze’s earliest line of pumps is the e-Jet series. These pumps are multipurpose and may be used as conventional powerheads, in-sump return pumps, or as quick polishing filters. Most notable for use as return pumps are MORE

Unusual Orange Sponge: Myripristis jacobus

Good morning friends, today we have two sub dives, the first starting at 9:00. I’m going to have my young intern shoot a go-pro movie of me photographing the sub today and I will try and post that as soon as I can. I have a KILLER, ultra unusual orange sponge for you all today that we found years ago growing in a small cave. To this date this is the only one of these we have ever seen and we visit it on almost every dive. You can kind of get an idea of the size of the sponge by the little seven-inch Cardinalfish above who we think has adopted the sponge and the cave as his own.  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.