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Two Little Fishies Donates to Todd Gardner’s Marine Lab

The plethora of products provided by Two Little Fishies

The plethora of products provided by Two Little Fishies

 I have the honor of working with Todd Gardner at his phenomenal Marine Lab at the Suffolk County Community College. Our aim is to provide a world class aquatic education to the students at the school, and to that end, this lab is shaping up to be quite the workplace. A myriad of fascinating marine creatures are not only surviving but thriving here, from captive bred Personatus Angels to locally caught and raised Caribbean tropicals. Running a lab like this requires man hours, know how, and, as all hobbyists know, plenty of equipment; filters, media, additives, and food expenses add up very quickly. For a marine lab with a limited budget, the generous donation of filters, food, and supplies from Two Little Fishies is a huge help. MORE

Giant Plastic Like Organism Spotted Floating In Australia

 I bet you are thinking what the heck is that thing? Is it a big tubular piece of plastic or is it a giant silicone siphon tube? But you may be surprised to know that it is in fact a Pyrosome, whose name means ‘fiery body’. And while it looks like one large creature (or a large plastic tubing), it is actually a colony comprised of many little creatures called Zooids. Each Zooid is only a few millimeters in size, but they are embedded in gelatinous tunic that holds all the Zooids together. Each Zooid contains a pair of light organs, which make the colony appear bio-luminescent. “One long Pyrosome is actually a collection of thousands of clones, with each individual capable of copying itself and adding to the colony,” writes marine biologist Rebecca Helm in Deep Sea News. This footage was captured in Tasmania, Australia. .MORE

Look mom, no sand

imagesBare bottom tanks have never been uncommon in fish stores. Often, it’s much easier for someone selling marine fish to maintain a bare bottom tank, simply because decorations can easily be pulled out if someone buys a fish. These systems are normally based off multiple holding tanks which are filtered by a central sump which is full of live rock and sand. This refuge was a place for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria to flourish, creating the backbone of biological filtration. Bare bottom tanks weren’t common in private aquariums and I still wouldn’t refer to them as common. They are growing in popularity though and embracing a bare bottom tank is still a new trend for reef aquarists. Aesthetics aside, is running a bare bottom tank of any benefit? Those who have given up on substrate claim it prevents old tank syndrome and reduces the risk to coral health posed by sedimentation. Are any of these claims true?  MORE

Released Aquarium Fishes Plague Colorado Lake

Photo by George Chernilevsky.

Photo by George Chernilevsky.

 It really shouldn’t need to be said. But, apparently, even in the aftermath of ecological disasters such as the introduction of nonnative snakeheads into U.S. waterways, people still need to be told that it is a very bad idea to release aquarium pets into the wild. And, we apparently need very harsh laws to dissuade hobbyists from engaging in the practice. Accordingly, Colorado wildlife officials are presently seeking an individual who has released some number of goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) into Teller Lake #5 near Boulder, Colorado. According to a spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the illegal release (of perhaps a few individuals) occurred about two years ago. Clearly, those founding individuals were able to establish a breeding population in the area. Now, at this time, the population of the invaders is estimated to be approximately 3,000-4,000 individuals. The concern among local wildlife experts is that these feral fish will out-compete native species for precious resources, if not ruin the natural feel of the lake for its human users. Threatened fish species include channel catfish, bluegill and sunfish; various plant and invertebrate species may be at risk as well. MORE

A Review of the Vivid Coral Film

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Some time ago I received a product sample from Vivid Coral Technologies. It appeared to be a 2″x4″ section of thin, amber-colored plastic sheet material. It is essentially a blue color filter, removing about 80% of blue light. The purpose of using this product, according to the company, is to create an enhanced and more natural-looking view of aquarium inhabitants while protecting the viewer’s eyes from harmful, excessive blue light glare. It basically allows the aquarist to use intense blue lighting on the aquarium while reducing its undesirable visual effects. It comes in a variety of sizes of sheets, which are apparently applied to the tank panel much like auto glass tint. The first thing I did was try it out with my own light, an AI Hydra 52. Run full blast, Hydras are really MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #224

reefthreads Once again, it’s time to talk reefs. Topics this week include the beauty of “invasive corals,” local fish stores, California drought, and reef snobs. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Quality Marine Receives Biota Marine’s Cultured Balistoides conspicillum

Juvenile clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum) hatched and raised by Biota Marine Life Nursery“Caribbean Chris” and I are proud to assert that promoting sustainability in the marine aquarium hobby is an important part of our mission. However, every now and again, we’re asked to clarify precisely what we mean by “sustainability” in this context. After all, we have no direct influence on livestock collection practices or the various environmental factors that impact the health of reef habitats. What can we, as providers of educational online content, do to influence hobby sustainability? As we see it, the most powerful tool in maintaining a viable, sustainable marine aquarium hobby is fundamental information. The more budding hobbyists know about basic aquarium practices and the animals they might want to keep in their tanks, the fewer “unexplainable” livestock losses they’ll experience and the fewer replacement specimens they’ll end up buying. And demanding fewer replacements means less collection pressure on the wild reefs.Our stance on sustainability also means that, despite the fact that we don’t specialize in breaking news, we do like to shine a spotlight on breakthroughs in the captive propagation of marine livestock—including prior posts about captive-breeding efforts involving the clarion angelfish and the masked angelfish. Today we’re pleased to bring you a similar announcement about aquacultured clown triggerfish that were hatched and reared at Biota Marine Life Nursery and are now available through Quality Marine. MORE

Spear Fisherman Attacked By Shark Off The Coast Of Florida

shark attack Very sad news in Florida. A spear fisherman, whose identity is still unknown,  bitten multiple times by a shark Friday afternoon off Jupiter Inlet, Florida. Jupiter is a very popular place for fisherman and divers and swimmers alike and is known for some of the best fishing in South Florida. Witnesses on the scene state that it was a bull shark that bit the man in his back, torso and head. The man was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital Trauma unit. It appears the man was spearfishing for Cobia, a popular catch in the area, which were found aboard his boat. Luckily there were two other people aboard his boat who were able to call for help. 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.