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Maxspect Gyre Pitted Against EcoTech VorTech Pumps in This Flow Comparison Video

 It’s the moment you have all been waiting for. The Maxspect Gyre, which debuted earlier this year with a ton of buzz around it, has been put to the ultimate test. In this comparison video, hobbyist and YouTuber Ben Wagoner did a side-by-side flow test with the current king of the water pump mountain, the EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40w, or rather two of them. To compare the flows, Ben did two separate tests, both of which give great visualizations to how differently each operates. MORE: Maxspect Gyre Pitted Against EcoTech VorTech Pumps in This Flow Comparison Video

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OdySea Aquarium To Open In Arizona Will Feature Underwater Acrylic Escalator

blogposting1-rendering-2wx8479qtw8lxgylfinpqiSmall to medium sized public aquariums seem to be popping up across the country creating a golden age of aquarium offerings. Scottsdale, Arizona is the next place, with the OdySea Aquarium underway. The Aquarium will feature 16 acres, a two level facility with underwater tunnels to guide visitors through the exhibits and an acrylic escalator to transport guests between levels. Those who can’t use the escalators will not be left out, the aquarium also features an underwater acrylic elevator. Another cool feature will be the bathrooms, which will have a floor to ceiling acrylic wall with sharks swimming around. I like how the aquarium plans to highlight what other aquariums tend to neglect, bathrooms and elevators/escalators. Guests will be excited to experience both. The acrylic underwater tunnels and windows will be designed and supplied by Reynolds Polymer Technology, the same company which designed the fantastic tunnels at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China. The aquarium is slated to open in December of 2015 and sounds like it will have a whole lot to offer visitors. MORE

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Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium Masterpiece

Certain fishes available in the marine aquarium trade are truly bizarre in their coloration and patterning. Ranked high among them when it comes to both exotic appearance and aquarium adaptability is Rhinecanthus aculeatus, better known as the Picasso triggerfish or the Humuhumu triggerfish. This latter appellation (which is also applied to the closely related and similar looking R. rectangulus) is derived from the Hawaiian name for the species: Humuhumu nukunuku apua’a, which, if memory serves, translates loosely into “Man, how many Mai Tais did I pack away last night!?” I could be wrong on that. Physical traits R. aculeatus exhibits “typical” triggerfish morphology, with a highly laterally compressed body; high-set, independently moving eyes positioned far back on the head; a deceptively small, forward-set mouth; and a stout first dorsal spine that can be “locked” in an upright position to secure the trigger in a reef crevice when the fish is threatened. The maximum recorded length for this species is around 10 inches. I could try to describe the color and patterning of R. aculeatus, but it wouldn’t do this fish justice More: Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium Masterpiece

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Sweet Dreams, Dear Plankton, Have Some Melatonin

melatonin_larva_brainWell this is pretty interesting – turns out the sleep hormone melatonin that’s responsible for jet lag in humans has a similar effect on plankton. Supposedly, it could possibly be the cause of mass migration of the little guys in the ocean, according to scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. They’ve discovered that melatonin most likely governs their  nightly migration from the surface to deeper waters. Since the hormone is essential in maintaining our daily rhythm, scientist believe this role most likely evolved early in the history of animals and sleep patterns. So what’s the difference in how melatonin effect vertebrates vs. invertebrates? Detlev Arendt’s lab at EMBL took a close look at the marine ragworm Platynereis dumerilii to find answers. Because the worm’s larvae take part in what’s considered to be, in terms of biomass, the world’s largest migration, it makes them a perfect subject. Using their microscopic cilia “flippers” to propel them to the surface each day, the larvae reach the surface at dusk, then dive back down to the deep abyss where they’re shielded from harmful UV rays at the height of day. Researchers believe the melatonin is triggered by photosensors in the larvae’s brain, signaling the hormone to be produced at night. This then regulates the neurons that determine their day to night behavioral patterns. This study also suggests that the cells that control our very own sleep rhythms may have first evolved in the ocean, hundreds of millions of years ago, in response to protecting ourselves from the damages of the sun. You can read more about this compelling story over at Science 2.0.

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Baby/Juvenile Smooth Trunkfish, Rhinesomus triqueter

Good evening friends, what a day!! Sorry about the late blog  but yours truly has been very busy!! Yesterday after posting the blog Aimee called and begged me to come over to Dolphin Academy with my dive gear and help the trainers do underwater repairs to the dolphin lagoons. Because of this crazy wind we are getting monster waves which are causing damage to our underwater dolphin living areas. What we did in a nutshell was to lift giant rocks back into place and tie many of them down with ropes. The waves were rolling in so hard at times we couldn’t see the hand in front of your face with all the bubbling whitewater, it was actually kind of funny and I found myself laughing to myself more than once! MORE

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Another Exhibit I’ll Have To Visit. Maryland Zoo Debuts Penguin Coast Exhibit

 How cute! The Maryland Zoo of Baltimore just completed a state-of-the-art African Penguin exhibit, the nation’s largest outdoor penguin exhibit. The dozens of resident black footed penguins get to lounge around a swanky 1.5 acre enclosure. They’ll enjoy leisurely afternoons basking in the sun and taking dips in the simulated sea, modeled after the South African Coast. MORE

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Wish I Was There! Rare Footage of Killer Whales Surprising a Canadian Tour Group

 On the last trip of the season, a whale watching tour on Atlantic Canadian waters was treated to the thrill of a lifetime when a male orca swam directly up to their boat. Grand Manan’s Sea Watch Tours guide Durlan Ingersoll hasn’t layer eyes on the magnificent creatures in 16 years, so he was pleasantly surprised to see the 1.5-meter dorsal fin in the Bay of Fundy. “This is way up there. This is incredibly rare. I think a couple of years ago I had heard there was a lone killer whale off of Nova Scotia somewhere, whether it’s the same one or not I have no idea. This is really satisfying to see this animal, this close too,” he said. “To find this, to get to see this whale in The Bay of Fundy is pretty remarkable”. I’ve never had the privilege to personal encounter the giant apex predator in the wild, the closest I’ve come was in Maui when out jet skiing on our honeymoon, a pod of about 150 spinner dolphins showed up and began riding the bows of our jet skis, the juveniles breaching and spinning. It was quite the experience.
killer-whale-bay-of-fundy

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Reef Threads Podcast #199

reefthreads

Ret Talbot is our guest this week to talk about issues that affect the future of our hobby.Ret Talbot joins us this week to discuss endangered and threatened marine species, recent National Marine Fisheries Service regulation activities, and what all of this means for marine-aquarium hobbyists. This is an important subject that could affect the future of this hobby. We also encourage you to support PIJAC’s efforts to collaborate with regulation authorities. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #199

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