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FishEye Aquaculture Has Nifty New PearlEye Goldflakes on the Way

This seems to be the week of the designer clownfish. Besides the recently announced duo of DaVinci Clownfish from Sea & Reef Aquaculture, we find ourselves now gazing upon some rather amazing Goldflake Maroon Clowns from FishEye Aquaculture. Unlike the traditional goldflakes, however, these offer up something a little extra. MORE: FishEye Aquaculture Has Nifty New PearlEye Goldflakes on the Way

Fincasters Episode 47 Fluval 20 Gallon Reef

 Fluval unveils a unique 20 gallon aquarium that enables top-down viewing. The aquarium also benefits the Coral Restoration Foundation. More: Fincasters Episode 47 Fluval 20 Gallon Reef

Reefs In Art: Intricately Tangled Driftwood Sculptures From Tony Fredriksson

Shark-Anatomy How cool is that damn shark?! So wood has long been used as a medium in sculpture carving, dating back to Ancient Egypt when delicately carved panels lined the tomb of Hosul Egypt, at Sakkarah. To this day, there are some really mind-blowing pieces of work with unfathomable amounts of detail to be found around the world. What’s particularly notable about the driftwood sculptures of Tony Fredriksson is their seemingly mesmerizing raw form and almost haunting presence. Utilizing the driftwood’s organic shape, Fredriksson brings knotted, twisted beach-washed limbs to life in the form of humans, birds, mammals, insects and, of course, sea life.  MORE

“No Water, No Life. No Blue, No Green” – Honoring Sylvia Earle

sylvia-earle-woty-2014-w724 Growing up, Sylvia Earle’s mother encouraged her every step of the way. She filled her teenage daughter’s impressionable head with hopes and dreams of someday becoming a teacher, a nurse or even a glamorous stewardess. This was pretty much the status quo for women during these times. But Sylvia had much bigger aspirations for herself. Throughout her nearly eighty years on this planet, a great deal of which has been spent below the surface of the sea (over 7,000 hours actually), she’s made incredible strides not only as a woman, but as an explorer. MORE

The MochaVinci Clownfish is Another Nifty Designer Clown from Sea & Reef

Yesterday’s reveal of the brand new and totally awesome Black DaVinci clownfish wasn’t the only news from Sea & Reef Aquaculture. The marine ornamental breeders also unveiled another new object of our desire with the MochaVinci clown. While we don’t think it is anywhere close to the awesomeness of the Black DiVinci, we have our preferences, it’s an interesting fish in its own right. Like the Black DaVinci, the bars of the mocha variant blend together beautifully, though they seem to do so in a much smoother pattern MORE: The MochaVinci Clownfish is Another Nifty Designer Clown from Sea & Reef

Sand-sifting Starfish: A Job (too) Well Done!

If you’ve ever shopped for a marine aquarium cleanup crew, you’ve probably noticed that these packages often include so-called sand-sifting starfish—rather bland-colored, burrowing stars of the genus Astropecten that can reach about a foot in diameter. As their common name implies, these stars are sold to hobbyists for the purpose of consuming detritus and uneaten food and turning over the sand bed. However, what’s often left out of the language used to market these stars as utility organisms is the fact that they tend to do their job too well. Eating themselves out of house and home What do I mean by this? As sand-sifting starfish move through a sand bed, they consume any edible item they come across—and that’s not limited to uneaten fish food that you don’t want to decompose and foul your tank. In the process, they also gobble up all the microfauna they encounter, such as worms, snails, tiny brittlestars and sea cucumbers, “pods,” etc. This very efficient eating behavior has two undesirable outcomes: Very commonly, the starfish very rapidly consumes all the available microfauna and then starves to death (potentially unobserved in the sand bed, where it can decompose to the detriment of water quality). You’re left with a sand bed that’s now essentially devoid of all the life that was keeping it healthy to begin with—and that you more or less paid good money for when you purchased your live rock and/or live sand. More: Sand-sifting Starfish: A Job (too) Well Done!

Red Acroporas

Red Acroporas are an unusual sight, both in reef aquariums and in the Earth’s natural reefs.  The small colony pictured above was grown in captivity from a tiny fragment and has developed some amazing pigments.  The red coloration is difficult to attain in stony corals but worth the effort; it adds a splendid focal point to reef aquariums and is a favorite of many aquarists.  This coral is hardy, grows relatively fast under proper conditions, and will hold its color well if parameters are kept on point; it needs low phosphates and stable alkalinity, as well as optimal water quality.  It is a tabling type of Acropora and does best under bright light and strong random flow and circulation, in nature, it usually grows high up on the reef slopes.  It generally develops some green pigments in the base branches, but can also remain completely red, and the growth tips can appear white when actively growing.  I believe this coral is a Acropora Hyacinthis, which is abundant on our natural reefs, but the red coloration of this specimen is quite rare and makes it a unique and very beautiful.

Pacific Sun’s Kore 5th Magnetic Stirrer Automates Yet Another Time Consuming Task

Last year, Pacific Sun debuted the smartest, fanciest dosing pump system on the planet in the Kore 5th, so it only makes sense that they develop accessories that will boost the effectiveness of that system. One of the major drawbacks to automated dosing is the fact that the bottles of chemicals sit in an aquarium stand, untouched and forgotten, allowing the critical components of the solutions to settle on the bottoms of the bottles. While the responsible hobbyist might come by and shake the bottles regularly, let’s face it, not all of us do that step. To answer that conundrum, Pacific Sun has released some teaser info on their Kore 5th Magnet Stirrer, which as its name suggests keeps the solutions at their freshest by keeping them mixed up prior to dosing. If the Magnetic Stirrer is anything like what we see in other applications, then the hobbyist will have to drop a magnetic stir bar into each bottle and place it on the rack to let it do its thing. The stir rates and times are all controlled through the actual Kore 5th dosing pump, which attaches to the top of the rack, as seen in the photos MORE: Pacific Sun’s Kore 5th Magnetic Stirrer Automates Yet Another Time Consuming Task 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.