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Diversity & Evolution of the Chrysiptera hemicyanea Complex: Part 1

parasema bali Masamichi Torisu

The ubiquitous Yellowtail Damselfish, Chrysiptera parasema. Credit: Masamichi Torisu

 Damselfishes are usually thought of as a cheap staple of the aquarium trade, more often treated as “starter fish” than desirable species in their own right. But such prejudices belie the fascinating evolutionary story these fishes have to tell. One group in particular—the Chrysiptera hemicyanea Complex—stands above its pomacentrid brethren for the vibrant beauty and evolutionary enigmas of its members. Here we find such common and recommendable species as the Yellowtail, Azure, and Springer’s Damselfishes, as well as several others less-familiar to the average aquarist.MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #246


A little purple nephthea


  We return once again. This week we talk about salt, Gary’s new Live Aquaria t-shirt, the Reef Savvy Dream Tank giveaway, the Internet as a research tool, placing corals, and Level 1 and Level 2 fun. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine   Internet researchIs the Internet a Viable Resource for Marine Aquarium Research?, Jeff Kurtz, Saltwater Smarts   Coral placementNeed help with coral location, gam3ovr, Reef Central

Aquarium Corals Poison People, Dogs And Cat in Alaska

Dragon's Eye CoralNow here is a story that I found it quite hard to believe until I checked the source and saw it was from the very credible Scientific American. There are few places that seem less  coral attack than Anchorage, Alaska. And yet the coral managed to poison around a dozen people and animals in their homes and places of work in Anchorage over the last few years. Most recently a man arrived at an Anchorage, Alaska hospital with some very peculiar symptoms on August 12, 2014. He complained of fever, cough, nausea, pain, and a bitter metallic taste in his mouth. He claimed it was due to a zoanthid coral in his 200 gallon home aquarium, which was located inside of his 1200 square foot mobile home. The man had not touched the coral, but it had been transferred into his aquarium that same day by a relative. While the coral was being transferred, some coral pieces feel onto his floor.   MORE

Wash Off: a New Coral Dip

wash off bottle - reefsMECoral a provider of high quality aquarium additives, is proud to introduce “WASH OFF”. The newly-developed formula for Wash Off includes lavender, lemon, and pine oil at a powerful concentration. The 100% pure plant extracts are highly effective at cleaning newly acquired corals with less stress or harm than harsher medicines, pesticides, or iodine based dips, and is very effective at promoting coral heath and rejuvenating damaged corals (Rtn, Stn, or Bacterial Infection). It is available at local fish stores and online at MORE

The Hammer Coral: A Sizeable Stinger with Showpiece Potential

Hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora) can be quite variable in colorSeveral of the so-called large-polyp stony (LPS) corals offer the advantages of being very hardy, adaptable, and beautiful and, thus, make excellent reef aquarium candidates, even for relatively new reefkeepers. The hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora), however, I would characterize slightly differently. There’s no question this coral is gorgeous, but I would rate it as rather less forgiving than, say, Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. Still, if its care requirements and aggressive nature are given proper attention, this coral can be a showpiece reef aquarium resident. Physical traitsE. ancora has long, tubular tentacles with tips that resemble, as you might guess, the head of a hammer or an anchor. Most specimens I’ve come across have had brownish to grayish tentacles with the tips being some shade of green, gold, or cream, but the color can be quite variable. Colonies of this coral can get quite large—upwards of 3 feet across—which must be taken into consideration when determining tank size, placement, etc MORE

Vinegar Will Fight Against Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish

starfishAustralia’s coral reefs are under attack from the rapidly reproducing crown-of-thorns starfish. The crown-of-thorns starfish currently pose one of the greatest threats to the Great Barrier Reefs. According to research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, coral population on the reefs has declined by about 50 per cent over the past 30 years, with Crown-of-thorns starfish attributed to at least half of this decline. Since the 1960’s, there have been four main outbreaks of crown-of-thorns populations. There are short and long term strategies currently in effect to try and control the ever growing problematic population. MORE

Flannel Beach: The Doom Years 12″ Record Release

coral morphologic image - reefs

coral morphologic

 Today we release an album we’ve been compiling for years: Flannel Beach – The Doom Years, a mixtape featuring great SoFL bands spanning the years of 2004-2012. The album is available in 12″ vinyl & cassette format(s) via our online store & IRL @ Gramps.  Tonight, Friday, September the 25th. ‘Coral City‘ & ‘Natural History Redux‘ are screening before Rick Guerre goes live, followed by a special Guy Harvey reunion set. The compilation benefits our current project, the South Pointe Park Coral Nursery. MORE

WWF Reports 49% Decline in Marine Animal Populations

Anthias under sunbeams. Swarms of anthias fish shelter near coral outcroppings and feed in the passing current. Fiji

Anthias under sunbeams. Swarms of anthias fish shelter near coral outcroppings and feed in the passing current. Fiji

 It’s never fun to jump on the negative news bandwagon, but a recently updated report from the World Wildlife Fund finds our oceans to be in far worse condition than just 45 years ago. The Living Blue Planet report, published annually, states that the average populations of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish declined by 49% between 1970 and 2012. Coral reef coverage has also decreased by more than 50% in the last 30 years. The report more or less attributes all population decline to anthropomorphic (human-driven) influences, including climate change. MORE 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.