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Picture of the Week, Glowing Zoanthid Colony

b991Reef Currents Corals29 Picture of the Week, Glowing Zoanthid Colony
We don’t know what they’re called, and frankly, we don’t care what they’re called. These are some amazing zoanthids, regardless of their given trade name, and their colors are popping right out of the screen. We spied this awesome colony at a local frag swap, hypnotizing us under the blue glow of one of the vendors at the show. The coral features some sharply contrasting colors, including a neon green mouth surrounded by a dark center, a neon pink ring, another dark section, and tentacles tipped in neon green. The alternating colors, coupled with the utter vibrancy of the neons make this a nice piece of eye candy. MORE: Picture of the Week, Glowing Zoanthid Colony

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Reef Building Corals Responding to Acidification

An international team led by the James Cook University CoralCoE has provided some promising news for corals dealing with rising levels of acidification. “Our aim was to explore the effect of a more acidic ocean on every gene in the coral genome,” adds lead author Dr Aurelie Moya, a molecular ecologist with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook. Staghorn corals are known to be the number one reef building species of reefs worldwide and researchers gathered fragments of wild colonies collected from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and subjected them to elevated levels of Co2 in the lab.141203111222 large Reef Building Corals Responding to Acidification  “We found that, whereas 3 days of exposure to high CO2 disrupts formation of the coral skeleton, within nine days the baby corals had re-adjusted their gene expression to pre-exposure levels. Longer exposure seems to be less detrimental to coral health than we had assumed based on shorter-term studies,” states Dr Aurelie Moya, a molecular ecologist with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook. “We saw that within a few days juvenile coral adapted to CO2 levels double those experienced today with no obvious disruption to its life processes,” adds study co-author, Professor David Miller, who heads up the molecular biology group at CoralCoE. Read more here!

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Reef Shark Resists Climate Change

In more promising news about climate change, one species of reef shark can exhibit a physiological adjustment to the rise in CO2 levels associated with ocean acidification. The epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) has been studied before exhibiting a tolerance to low levels of oxygen in the water (hypoxia) and this discovery adds to the resilience of yet another reef inhabitant. 141015101539 large Reef Shark Resists Climate ChangeDr. Jodie Rummer, co-author on the paper says, “Investigating animals that are already experiencing challenging conditions in their environment may help us understand which species will fare well under future climate change conditions. Although the epaulette shark is not an apex predator, it plays an important role in balancing food webs and the overall health of coral reef ecosystems. The next obvious step is to examine predator species that live in the open ocean, as they may be more susceptible to future ocean acidification conditions.” Read more here!

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When Should Squabbling Marine Fish Be Separated?

squabbling1 When Should Squabbling Marine Fish Be Separated?Fish that share similarities are more likely to fight when confined to a smaller spaceI recently introduced a Kole tang to my tank, and it keeps getting in fights with the resident yellow tang. So far, neither one has been seriously hurt, but I’m worried about where this is heading. Do I need to separate these two, or will they eventually chill out and coexist peacefully?” Over the years, I’ve often been asked questions like this or read similar ones in print media and online forums. When a compatibility issue arises between fish—as is especially common when a new specimen is introduced to an established community—the combatants may eventually sort things out and establish a wary truce or there may be no alternative to removing one or the other. Here are some conditions that, in my opinion, necessitate separating the warring factions: There’s no room for escape Remember, confined spaces tend to magnify aggression. If the tank is too small to allow the subordinate specimen to flee the aggressor’s immediate vicinity or the aquascaping doesn’t provide an adequate number of retreats and hidey holes, the two won’t be able to stay out of each other’s way and will likely continue fighting. The aggression goes beyond bluster If the aggressive behavior greatly exceeds mere displaying and posturing or passive-aggressiveness (“What? More: When Should Squabbling Marine Fish Be Separated?

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One Coral May Benefit from Climate Change

In another positive spin on climate change, researchers from North­eastern University’s Marine Sci­ence Center and the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina at Chapel Hill have discovered one species of coral that can actually benefit from a rise in ocean acidification. The amount of change that would typ­i­cally occur in about 10 mil­lion years is being con­densed into a 300-​​year period,” Co-author and associate professor at Northeastern Justin Ries says. “It’s not the just the mag­ni­tude of the change that mat­ters to the organ­isms, but how quickly it is occurring.” siderastrea siderea01 One Coral May Benefit from Climate Change Sideras­trea siderea courtesy of coralpedia.bio.warwick.ac.ukThe study showed that this species of coral (Sideras­trea siderea) exhib­ited a peaked or par­a­bolic response to both warming and acid­i­fi­ca­tion, that is, mod­erate acid­i­fi­ca­tion and warming actu­ally enhanced coral cal­ci­fi­ca­tion, with only extreme warming and acid­i­fi­ca­tion neg­a­tively impacting the corals. This was sur­prising given that most studies have shown that corals exhibit a more neg­a­tive response to even mod­erate acidification. Ries added. Acid­i­fi­ca­tion of the sur­rounding sea­water is cer­tainly impor­tant for marine organ­isms, but what is equally as impor­tant — per­haps even more impor­tant — is how the chem­istry of their internal cal­ci­fying fluid responds to these changes in sea­water chem­istry.” Read more here!

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Gifts for Your Aquarium Fiends (err Friends)!

It’s December and Christmas Day is getting closer…and fast!  Hands up who hasn’t finished their Christmas shopping?  Ok, tell the truth now…who hasn’t started their Christmas shopping?  Yup, that’s what I thought.  No fear, suggestions are here for your better half who thinks he/she is the next Fish Whisperer (or for yourself…or your kids  :)).  You can get the usual like: pumps, filters, quarantine tanks, another pretty fish, a gift voucher for fishy stuff, a book, 6 month’s supply of fish food OR you can get something like this: cellphone cover etsy 300x200 Gifts for Your Aquarium Fiends (err Friends)!Cellphone cover (Etsy) coral reef cushions etsy 300x238 Gifts for Your Aquarium Fiends (err Friends)!Coral reef cushions (Etsy) gift at cafepressdotcom Gifts for Your Aquarium Fiends (err Friends)!Mugs (Cafepress.com) MORE

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PIJAC and your right to reef

10665746 849819525043182 2234971712092756156 n 300x189 PIJAC and your right to reefIf you’ve been following NOAA’s recent findings regarding the health of coral reefs, and wondered how they will effect your right to own a slice of the ocean, then likely you’ve heard of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). If you visit PIJAC’s website you will find links regarding responsible animal ownership, environmental stewardship and the infamous right to own a pet. That Habitattitude flyer you get with online fish orders, is actually the work of PIJAC, trying to encourage fish owners not to release their unwanted specimens into the wild. Underneath the spit shine, PIJAC stands as a lobbying group on behalf of the pet industry. Since reef keepers are pet owners, we would assume PIJAC stands to keep us informed, and fight the good fight in Washington, making sure our right to keep a pet is protected.  MORE

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Wrap Your Mind Around This: LRS Reef Frenzy® Is Getting Even Better

  Now, the two top fish foods are under one roof.  Wrap Your Mind Around This: LRS Reef Frenzy® Is Getting Even BetterScreen Shot 2014 12 12 at 1.47.39 PM 150x150 Wrap Your Mind Around This: LRS Reef Frenzy® Is Getting Even BetterStay with me, guys. Every now and then a product comes along that blows all of the others out of the water (literally, in this case) and sets the bar at a seemingly impossible height. When it comes to fish food, this past year brought us face to face with Larry’s Reef Services and their Reef Frenzy®, a handcrafted frozen food that is simply untouchable in the realm of quality. MORE

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