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Tank Profile: Brian Babcock’s SPS-dominated Reef

With towering pillars of small-polyp stony corals framed against a spotless blue background, this aquarium makes me feel as though I’ve been plopped down smack dab in the middle of a coral reef, peering into the blue abyss beyond. Being a landlocked scuba diver, it’s easy to imagine the ocean dreams this reef elicits for anyone who gets the opportunity to enjoy it. The Aquarist Brian flexing his DIY muscles while building the stand for his reefThis reef is the work of Brian Babcock, also known as “Lazylivin” on a number of marine forums. A 15-year veteran of the aquarium hobby, Brian has spent 10 of those years on the dark…err, I mean, salt side. Starting with a 90-gallon fish-only system in the mid 90s, Brian kept this system up and running until a few years into the millennium when a move forced him to shut it down. It was revived a few years later as a soft coral system and then later upgraded to his current 125-gallon, SPS-dominated reef aquarium. MORE Top Pick 2014: Larry’s Reef Services® – A Year In Review

get-attachment-5.aspxEvery year, a flurry of new products and innovations hit the reefing market that grasp for our attention. They come and go, become mainstream and flit from our minds nearly as quickly as they came. Then, every once in a while, a product comes along that’s a complete game-changer. And this, ladies and gents, was one hell of a game changer.  MORE

Scientology V. Winter The Dolphin?

Clearwater, Florida is a pretty quiet place on the West Coast of Florida. Clearwater is also the spiritual headquarters to Scientology. While, I would imagine most residents of Clearwater are very excited for the major renovations which are brewing for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of the famous and inspiring dolphin with prosthetic tail ‘Winter”. winter-the-dolphin-2Winter-dolphin-tales-winter-the-dolphin-25515452-300-207MORE

Eye Candy

If any coral fits this description of eye candy, the candy coral has to be it.  The Caulastrea species is often called by the common name candy coral.  This is a very fitting name with the amazing color combinations it sports.  This particular specimen is very bright and stands out in any reef aquarium it resides in.  It is very hardy and can tolerate many bio types quite nicely.  Lower light seems to be its preference and it eagerly accepts food particles when healthy.  Some of this species will have contrasting color combinations with the center being a different pigment then the outer edge.  The most appealing quality is the fact that it is a great beginner coral with plenty of bling.  Being a larger polyp stoney coral and not exhibiting a extremely aggressive nature to surrounding specimens is a plus.  A couple inches of space is all that is required to minimalize warfare.  Many of the similar corals will become very aggressive to surrounding specimens and a battle for space will ensue.  This coral grows fairly quickly and forms new heads when active growth is realized.  This particular coral is so bright that it can become the focal point of the aquarium.  This specimen is a captive grown colony that was found at one of the many frag swaps I attend.  A single polyp was the starting point and only after a short time a mature colony developed.  New heads will grow on a elongated skeleton over time.  It is very easy to propagate with the stoney portion being a branching formation.  Cutting the branch below the soft tissue and attaching it to a solid substrate is quite easy.  All that is needed is some cyanoacrylate or reef epoxy and the proper location.  It can be placed lower in brightly lit aquariums and will do nicely in this location.  Aquariums with lower light levels can keep it closer to the top with no ill effects.  This may not be the type of candy you can enjoy as a snack but it surely is pleasing to the eye.

Mr. Saltwater Tank’s 206 Gallon V.I.P. Build

Building a saltwater tank is one of my favorite things todo. I enjoy the client interactions, the planning, the challenges and I REALLY enjoy seeing the finished product. It never hurts when the tank is thriving as well.  MORE: Mr. Saltwater Tank’s 206 Gallon V.I.P. Build

Why are Zoanthids So Expensive? The Zoanthid Debate

There are always fads in the hobby and right now one of the biggest is the selling, trading, buying, and collecting of rare Zoanthids. Some people are sick of other hobbyists creating rare sounding names to match barely different color variations. They don’t understand this craze for Zoas with special names. Others love that aspect of Zoanthids becoming collectors who can sell them to create additional revenue from their reef aquariums. So what do YOU think about this debate? MORE: Why are Zoanthids So Expensive? The Zoanthid Debate

AquaNerd’s Top 10 Stories from 2014

Phew…2014 is over. And while it was a fun year, it was also an exhausting one. But, we made it, and we can look forward to the brand new adventures that await for us in 2015. Before we can move on, however, we must pay our respects to the passing year with a robust recap of the top 10 stories that were featured on the AquaNerd Blog during that time. So, without further adieu, here is our list of posts we got the most mileage out of. MORE: AquaNerd’s Top 10 Stories from 2014

Nearly 40 Acres Of Protected Staghorn Coral Discovered Off Coast Of South Florida

acropora-formosa-16Here’s some great news to start off our new year with. During a research program initially intended to improve knowledge of coral reef habitats near the shores of southeast Florida, Brian Walker, a scientist from Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center, happened upon a dense forest of Staghorn coral spreading roughly 38 acres across the ocean floor.  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.