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So Cute! I Want All of These Slimy Little Magnets!

10630704 345545768945123 3997627488163926739 o1 300x147 So Cute! I Want All of These Slimy Little Magnets! Another day spent finding more ways for the interwebs to drain my bank account. How did I not know of these little guys?! If any of you knew these existed, I hope you weren’t holding out on me. So anyways, this company out in Malaysia is handcrafting this adorable magnets (mostly nudies) with food-grade clay and food coloring. The whimsical gastropod mollusks of the Nudibranchia group will come in very handy, holding up “water change” reminders on your fridge. Fun fact – the word “nudibranch” comes from the Latin word “nudis” meaning naked, and “brankhia”, the Greek word for “gills”. Also included are some squirmy little garden eels and a surprised puffer. I’m ordering every last one. Check out more on the Marine Magnets Facebook page.
10653650 345206325645734 3364347843207334694 n 150x150 So Cute! I Want All of These Slimy Little Magnets! 10533879 338697902963243 6968044598090478812 o 150x150 So Cute! I Want All of These Slimy Little Magnets!

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Our Hobby is Under Attack

pijac1 1 Our Hobby is Under AttackWe’re currently facing legislation that could put an end to our hobby as we know it. And no, I’m not sensationalizing the situation. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking you and your home aquarium(s) wouldn’t be affected, because they absolutely could. We first heard about the potential issues at MACNA 2013, and this past MACNA further solidified the urgency of action to protect our hobby. The current issues date back to a 2009 petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to move 83 reef-building coral species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Just last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 20 of those species (5 Caribbean, 15 Indo-Pacific) as threatened. This happened after scientific information submitted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)—they’re on our side—proved that many of the 83 species did not warrant protection under the ESA. According to PIJAC, the NMFS will likely apply ESA’s “take” prohibitions to the newly listed coral species sooner rather than later. More: Our Hobby is Under Attack

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Super Rare Ballina Angelfish Shows Up Near Lord Howe Island Video

 For some reason, we’ve been sitting on this story for a couple of weeks and just never got around to actually publishing it. We will let MACNA take the blame for that. Regardless, here is an interesting find out of the waters of Southeast Australia. The crew at Pro Dive were spending a little time getting to know the inhabitants of Lord Howe Island when one of the rarest angelfish in the world just so happened to cross their path. The Ballina Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus ballinae), referred to as “one of those unicorns of the sea”, can be seen casually strolling about in its somewhat abnormally shallow habitat nibbling on stuff as it nervously keeps a safe distance from the diver in pursuit.These fish are incredibly rare. The first described specimen was hauled up in 1959, after which only a handful (or less) have even been seen. The species normally inhabits deepwater reef habitats in excess of 100 meters below the surface, but apparently at Balls Pyramid (just south of Lord Howe Island) they have been spotted in shallower waters.Due to its natural rarity and that its already limited range occurs within marine sanctuaries, the fish is non-existent in the aquarium trade and will continue to be for probably as long as we’re around. Still, it is a beautiful fish that is worthy of its moment in the limelight, and we’d love to see more dive footage of it. Or, we could take Pro Dive up on their offer (in the video clip) to come and dive Balls Pyramid to see them in person. MORE: Super Rare Ballina Angelfish Shows Up Near Lord Howe Island Video

Posted in Conservation, DIY, Equipment, Events, Fish, Industry, MACNA, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SeaLife LED Aquarium Lighting Review

1861118 orig 280x300 SeaLife LED Aquarium Lighting ReviewI remember the excitement about ten years ago when LEDs first came on the market for reef aquariums. The energy savings and heat reduction of an LED light were the biggest selling points, but the available spectrum array was small. Fast forward a decade, and we’re seeing more and more advances in the quality, construction, and color array of lights on the market. I have had a great amount of success growing and maintaining good coral color with LEDs, and I am always on the lookout for the next step in lighting technology.   I was curious about them, and when The Coral Reef’s owner Johnathan offered me the Reefcrest 26” to review, I happily obliged. The store’s display tank, which I had the chance to peruse while picking up the (light) has terrific color, and is full of thriving Acropora, Montipora, and a multitude of other SPS and LPS coral. The display has been running for 6 months with the new lighting, and the color on the coral was what I would normally expect from species grown under 12-14K metal halides; with full fluorescence, and without any bleaching, which can be a problem when transitioning from halide to LED. 

photo 6 300x300 SeaLife LED Aquarium Lighting Review

LED Grown Red Goniopora

 Armed with my latest toy, I returned to ReefGen headquarters and set up shop. I placed a large array of corals – Acropora, Montipora, Stylophora, and even Goniopora in a 36” by 24” trough, and positioned the light 12” from the top of the water.  Over the course of several weeks most of the coral exhibited the color I would expect at normal lighting levels with metal halide and T5 bulbs. Some of the Acropora on the top most rack, just 2 inches from the surface of the water did experience some initial bleaching, and when I tested the PAR with all the lights full blast the result was over 550. At the bottom of the tank, under 15”inches of water,  I had a reading in the mid 200’s, as strong as any halide.  After getting my high PAR reading I dialed back the intensity and MORE

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Graduate Student Discovers Over A Half-Dozen New Shark Species

paul Graduate Student Discovers Over A Half Dozen New Shark SpeciesHave you ever dreamed of discovering your own species of fish, let alone a shark?  Paul Clerkin, a San Jose State Graduate Student, working at the Pacific Shark Research Center, has discovered what he estimates to be 6-8 new species of sharks. He has traveled to the South Indian Ocean in 2012, and most recently, in 2014. MORE

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Palau Expedition To Document Proposed Marine Sanctuary

palua Palau Expedition To Document Proposed Marine Sanctuary
For the month of September, the National Geographic ‘Pristine Seas’ team will be surveying, studying and documenting the marine life in the waters in Palau. The 230,000 square miles of water has been proposed as what would be the largest marine sanctuary by President Remengesau back in September of 2013. MORE

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The Woes of “Fishbook”. Social Media VS The Hobby

facebook fish logo 300x200 The Woes of Fishbook. Social Media VS The HobbyChris Aldrich – our resident Saltwater Geek of Saltwater Smarts – was kind enough to allow me to chew his ear off for a bit and pick his brain as he seemed quite the informative source of information on just how Social Media effects the industry. He didn’t disappoint. Allow me to enlighten you all to his thoughts. MORE

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Reef Fish Seen Swarming in Hawaii Video


With the entirety of the aquarium trade forever under the judgmental microscope of anti-aquarium activists, it’s wonderful when good news surfaces out of Hawaii, the epicenter of the on-going debate. In this video from Hawaii News Now, which features footage from aquarium collector Ron Tubbs, reef fish are more than abundant in all areas of the state. The aquarium collector states that where he would normally see hundreds of fish, he is instead seeing thousands. Of course, there isn’t an accepted explanation for why this is happening, and some are giving credit to the warmer waters caused by an El Nino year.Despite the bloom in fish, anti-aquarium activists like Rene Umberger are raining on the parade. She thinks it will just fuel a greater appetite for fish by the aquarium collectors, though Ron claims that is far from the truth. Either way, it’s nice to see fish populations booming again. MORE: Reef Fish Seen Swarming in Hawaii Video

Posted in Conservation, Corals, DIY, Equipment, Events, Fish, Industry, MACNA, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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