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BAKING SODA & THE REEF AQUARIUM

baking soda reef2reef BAKING SODA & THE REEF AQUARIUM
Sodium Bicarbonate is an amazingly versatile powder of goodness. How many things in your life has someone said that baking soda was the answer to your problems, or at least one of the ingredients? It is obviously used for baking, but it is in quite a bit of other products you most likely use. Arm and Hammer has made its powdery way into things like soaps, cat litters, floor cleaners, toothpaste, odor removers, and even the volcanoes from your 4th grade science projects. It has also made its way into our reef tanks! It’s Use in the Home Aquarium Baking soda is widely used to increase the amount of carbonates in reef tanks, pools, and any other water source that may need them. More: BAKING SODA & THE REEF AQUARIUM

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Paul Walker, a Friend of the Ocean

2cbcPaul Walker Monterey Bay Aquarium Paul Walker, a Friend of the Ocean

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder

 We tend to shy away from Hollywood news, both in our personal lives and here on the blog, as it usually is nothing but garbage that has zero influence on our daily lives. But this story is significantly different. We’ve all heard about the recent death of actor Paul Walker, best known for his roles in the Fast and Furious franchise. What he wasn’t so widely known for was his passion for the ocean. Recently posted on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Tumblr page, Walker originally went to school to study marine biology and was a self described “ocean addict”. Although he was eventually drawn away from his degree as he pursued acting, Paul used his influence to continually follow his original passion and even found a charitable organization, Reach Our Worldwide, which helped in disaster relief for events that occurred all over our globe. When not starring in popular car racing movies and spreading humanitarianism, Paul also served on the board of the Billfish Foundation and took part in scientific tagging expeditions of great white sharks. It truly is sad when an actor with such a heart and passion for man and animal kind loses his life so tragically. MORE: Paul Walker, a Friend of the Ocean

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Ocean Blues: The Curse of the Caribbean

4342Curse of Caribbean Full 2 Ocean Blues: The Curse of the Caribbean
“Curse of the Caribbean”: from an oil painting by Pascal Lecocq. A frequent presence at marine aquarium and dive industry events, French artist Pascal Lecocq has departed from his usual whimsical compositions and offered his statement on the tragedy of Pterois spp. lionfishes spreading throughout the Caribbean and tropical Western Atlantic. CALLIGRAMME DE GRENOUILLE 30/ Calligram of Frog #30 by Pascal Lecocq. Click to enlarge. Known as “The Painter of Blue,” Pascal is best known for a painting called Corrida III depicting a scuba diver playing matador with Great White Shark. Here’s how the artist describes his approach to painting: Having always my head in the clouds, I’m painting an imaginary universe between outer space and the depth of the oceans, a refuge to escape the contemporary reality, I offer too to my viewers. As it happens, the traditional oil painting is my best way to share my thoughts and I try to bring it to perfection since 35 years, just to be sure the viewer will focus on the subject, not the medium. I’m increasing the layers of meaning (aesthetic, political, ecological, symbolic and allegorical), in an endless play MORE: Ocean Blues: The Curse of the Caribbean

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Freezing Coral Sperm To Prevent Extinction

Researchers on the Great Barrier Reef are freezing coral sperm to help prevent some of the coral species from becoming extinct. Researchers are using human fertility processes to
to cryo-preserve the reef.  Dr. Mary Hagedorn from the Smithsonian Institute developed this technology and tested it island on great barrier reef off cairns in far north queensland data Freezing Coral Sperm To Prevent Extinction in Hawaii. The coral spawn are placed into cyro-tubes and floated in liquid nitrogen that freezes them at about 20 degrees per minute, down to minus-196 degrees Celcius. They are then immersed in liquid nitrogen and placed in a dry shipper. Biologists are now actively applying this technique on a larger scale on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Some of the sperm will stay stored for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years. Other sperm is already being used to help fertilise new coral and replenish the reef. Scientists could potentially select coral strains that are more resilient to the bigger environmental changes coming in the future. The researchers have collected billions of coral sperm during the annual spawning season. The coral gene bank will be stored at the Western Plains Zoo in outback New South Wales.  Read More

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A New Definition For ‘Reef Bones’

reefbone 285x300 A New Definition For ‘Reef Bones’A team from Swansea University in the UK, and China, have recently published a paper in the journal Biomedical Materials that shows corals’ stony skeletons could soon be used more extensively in bone grafting procedures. By partially converting their skeletons calcium carbonate into coralline hydroxyapatite (CHA), the resulting coralline hydroxyapatite/calcium carbonate (CHACC), has been shown to ‘considerably improve’ the outcome of bone grafts in 16 patients. CHA derived from coral skeleton has been used for many years as a successful bone graft material; but only having a limited stock, an autograft can cause discomfort, pain and long-term impairment in the area from which the the bone is taken. According to the paper, the CHACC composition, which contains 15 per cent of CHA More: A New Definition For ‘Reef Bones’

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VIDEO – ORA’s spawning pair of Amphiprion leucokranos

 ORA has shared this amazing time-lapse video documenting the third spawn of their Amphiprion leucokranos, the Whitebonnet Clownfish. This is a rare “species” of clownfish that is actually thought to be a rarely occurring natural hybrid, possibly the result of hybrid mating between A. chrysopterus and A. sandaracinos. Some reports and observations support this theory, while other observations suggest that even if a hybrid, they may breed relatively true. This particular pair has a rather long history behind it; check out ORA’s “Fed Ex Lost and Found” story of how these fish made the journey from New Jersey to Florida. We assume that ORA will be successful rearing the eggs from these fish, and hopefully this elusive variant will become more accessible to aquarists in the near future. When? Watch the video to the end to find out. Video Credits: ORA MORE: VIDEO – ORA’s spawning pair of Amphiprion leucokranos

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Fireworms, Sea Creatures Seen Under Blue Light

fce0Fireworm Fireworms, Sea Creatures Seen Under Blue LightGood morning friends, I first want to apologize for the lack of blog information this week but I just don’t have time!! We have had a crazy week here with our super cool little submersible and today again we have three dives scheduled! I just got back from a fast two hour mountain bike training ride and now have to get my gear on and get myself and the camera underwater for the first of the three dives. This Sunday is the “Curacao Extreme Mountain Bike Race”. I’m doing it with my buddy Dorian who is only 13 and I think we have to ride around 65 kilometers which is the short course, Stijn and his team mate have to ride 80-90k which is the normal course. MORE: MORE

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What to Consider Before Giving a Marine Aquarium for Christmas

christmas present 300x169 What to Consider Before Giving a Marine Aquarium for ChristmasA saltwater aquarium could be a fantastic gift or an unwanted burden.We marine aquarium keepers get so much pleasure from our avocation that we want to invite others into the hobby to share in the enjoyment and hopefully develop a similar passion for the underwater realm. It’s only natural, then, to contemplate giving an aquarium to a non-hobbyist family member or friend as a Christmas gift. However, while our underlying intentions may be pure and a saltwater aquarium might seem like a very thoughtful present, there are several significant factors to weigh before venturing down this potentially perilous road. They include: The recipient’s age and maturity Oftentimes, children are the intended recipient of such a gift because we want to awaken an interest in the hobby while they’re still young. But as every parent knows, kids tend to be extremely fickle in their interests, short of attention span, and lacking in follow-through. Even older children and teens can lack the maturity to be trusted with ongoing aquarium care. That means much, if not all, of the responsibility for maintaining the aquarium will likely fall squarely on the parents’ shoulders—a reality they may not appreciate. The recipient’s lifestyle There’s no getting around the fact that marine aquariums require regular hands-on care and maintenance—even if many of the chores are automated More: What to Consider Before Giving a Marine Aquarium for Christmas

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