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MACNA 2015 – Washington D.C.

reefs.comMACNA20158The Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) is the largest marine aquarium conference in the world. The gathering brings livestock vendors, equipment manufacturers and everything in between together for a three day extravaganza of reef geek utopia from around the world. Forget holidays, for me this is the most sought after weekend of the year. This year the Washington D.C. Area Marine Aquarist Society (WAMAS) hosted the conference at the Wardman Marriott in Washington D.C., and what a MACNA it was! MORE

Reefs Best of 2015: Reef Savvy Surreal Sump

reefs.comSurrealSumpReef Savvy is known to continuously raise the bar on what a high-end display aquarium can and should be. This year at MACNA 2015, their displays were as eye-catching and innovative as ever, and a sump resting front and center in their booth piqued my interest. Felix Bordon, president of Reef Savvy, calls this new product the “Surreal Sump”, which fits the namesake perfectly. MORE

The Freckled Jawfish, a New Species from Southeast Asia

Stalix navikovi, the Freckled Jawfish, seen at Palawan. Credit: Gerry Allen

Stalix cf navikovi, the Freckled Jawfish, seen at Palawan. Credit: Gerry Allen

 One of the more unfamiliar fishes in the ocean is Stalix. These are the ugly ducklings of the jawfish family, with most of the dozen or so species sporting a drab palette of brown, tan and cream. This chromatic ineptitude befits their preference for featureless sand and rubble flats, a habitat where rainbow-like colors are disadvantageous. While it may be somewhat aesthetically lacking, the genus is nonetheless special in its own way. The dorsal fin spines have a completely unique bifurcation at the tip, something not seen in any other group of fishes. However, this is an invisible feature without magnification, so, in general, these do qualify as rather unexciting creatures.MORE

2015 MACNA MiniCast, Day 2


Gary and Christine, recording “in the wild”

It’s the end of Day 2 and we recorded “in the wild” again, this time with guests Craig Bingman and Ret Talbot. We hope you enjoy the update. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Blue Whale Entangled in Netting off the Coast of Mexico

whaleOn Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and a whale rescue expert responded to a distressed Blue Whale that was entangled in fishing line and tethered to a red buoy, off the California Coast. The rescue team worked until Friday evening to try and get the Blue Whale free, and then suspended the rescue efforts at nightfall. When the team returned the next morning, the whale was gone. Search efforts went into effect almost immediately. A plane, a helicopter and a boat searched all day Saturday for the Blue Whale, without any success.   MORE

No Aquarist is an Island: 5 Reasons to Attend MACNA 2016

Thousands of salties attended the Saturday night banquet (this shot only shows part of the massive room)! Caribbean Chris and I just got back from MACNA 2015, held last Friday through Sunday in Washington, DC, at the Marriott Wardman Park, and what a weekend it was! From the venue to the speaker lineup to the banquet and everything in between, we think this year’s MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America) really delivered on every level. Kudos to all who had a hand in coordinating and presenting this massive convention and making it appear so seamless (extra special shout out to WAMAS and MASNA)! MORE

Long Island Collecting Log: Some days, it isn’t about the collecting

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

 Contrary to commonly-held beliefs, a day in the life of a marine biologist bears little, if any, resemblance to a National Geographic documentary. I remind my marine science students of this at the beginning of each semester. Even if you have the privilege of being paid to do real research on something really awesome, the reality is that most of your time will be spent reading papers, analyzing data, and writing grant proposals. MORE

Review: Ecotech Marine Vectra M1 pump

Vectra-1-502x320It seems like when Ecotech Marine releases a new product, it immediately becomes a hit. The Vortech circulation pumps have become the bar by which all circulation pumps are judged, and Radion lighting is often considered the high standard in LED lighting. So how does Ecotech fare in branching out to a less exciting product, the return pump? It’s not that return pumps aren’t exciting; it’s just that they aren’t really thrilling. They pump water from a sump back into the aquarium, and up until now most of them had a fixed gallon per hour (gph) flow rate. Although it could be argued that return pumps are a very under-rated part of reef aquariums.  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.