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The Value of a Fish

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Discordipinna griessingeri (Flaming Prawn Goby) acclimating at a retailer. Credit: Austin Lefevre

 It’s a fish eat fish world out there. Wild fishes face daunting lives in nature; everything in the ocean either wants to eat you or outcompete you for territory or mates. Collection for the aquarium is only the beginning of a hectic and stressful time in their lives. Once collected they’re held in a facility and purged (allowed time to expel waste) for a period of time prior to shipping. Then they’re bagged, boxed and shipped off to wholesaler’s around the world. Ripped from boxes and exposed to bright light after hours of travel in complete darkness, they’re acclimated to holding tanks at wholesalers. Fishes are then offered various foods and sold to retailers around the wholesalers’ country. MORE

Don’t Overestimate Piscine Individualism!

Undulate triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus) are well-known for their belligerent natureLFS staffer to customer eyeing sohal tang as potential purchase: “Hmm, I don’t think that fish would be a good choice for your tank. It can get very aggressive, and most of the fish you have in there now are pretty shy and passive. Customer to staffer: “Yeah, I know sohals have a reputation for aggressiveness, but it’ll be the last fish introduced to the tank. Besides, you have to remember that individuals of a species are going to vary to some degree in their behavior. I’m willing to take my chances.”This is one of those circumstances (albeit a totally fabricated one) in which a hobbyist willingly ignores good advice and overrides common sense because, come hell or high water, he or she just really wants a particular specimen. And, in this context, referencing the variable behavior among individuals within a species is merely another manifestation of self-delusion. Don’t get me wrong, there most definitely can be considerable behavioral variation within a species. For example, I’ve kept several yellow tangs over the years, and these individuals have ranged in their level of assertiveness toward perceived competitors anywhere from pushover to outright bully MORE

Juvenile Queen Triggerfish

Good morning friends, I’m at work alone today; our crew, the sub, and the ship all left for another 2-day trip to Klein Curacao to further explore the unknown depths of that little island. I had to stay behind because Aimee left today for the States to a attend a dog training conference in Texas and we had no one to watch our two little fur babies.  Two weeks ago we did a four-day trip with the Chapman research vessel and our little submersible to the west end of the island and dropped anchor at a beautiful place called Playa Forti. This was a trip sponsored and paid for by the Smithsonian institution at a cost of about… (are you sitting down?) $17,000 a day!! Yep you read that right, renting a ship, crew and a submarine is not cheap but is 100% necessary for those that are in search of new and unusual creatures and fish never seen by any human before, like the beautiful juvenille Queen Triggerfish pictured above. MORE

Could California’s ban of Sea World’s breeding program backfire?

Seaworld_logo.svgYears ago when I worked for the Beautiful Oceans Academy, I was introduced to a lot of high profile conservationists. Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd, Phillipe Cousteau of Earth Eco, Stan Waterman (famous in certain diving circles and star of Blue Water, White Death) and many others. Most of them were not fans of the marine aquarium hobby/industry, and were highly skeptical of parks that kept marine mammals. Beautiful Oceans worked alongside various diving industry conservation groups to help generate content for its courses, which inspired divers to take part in oceanic conservation. We took that material to resorts all over the Caribbean and combined marine science with recreational diving, with the supreme goal of helping foster conservation. In everything I do in marine aquaria, I try to factor conservation into the equation. Whether it be ensuring animals survive and thrive in my systems, on down to managing my aquarium so it leaves as light a footprint as possible on the environment.  MORE

Thieves Caught On TV As They Try To Steal Aquarium

These may be some of the dumbest criminals ever. These twenty-somethings in Britain were caught on camera trying to steal an aquarium in Britain from Contact Pets aquarium store in Wales. The three bandits are decked out in hoodies, and can be seen smashing into the store and attempting to leave with an aquarium. After giving up on trying to figure out how to get the aquarium out of the store once the handle broke, the three quickly gave up on that prospect and instead went for the register, where they made out with $150.00 pounds and a broken laptop computer. MORE

Aquatronica Video Guides on Youtube

I reviewed Aquatronica’s Aquarium Controller when it first launched, and reported that it was a great product. It still is a very useful review (in Italian), and I recommend that you read it if you can. Today I am here to talk about Aquatronica, and to bring you some new news. Aquatronica’s brand is still going strong, and now the company has created and published a set of informational videos to show us how their new controller system works. For the past few years, the name Aquatronica has been associated with LED lighting, but I feel that its strength lies in their MORE

The Green Brittle Star: Little Fishy, Beware!

Green brittle star (Ophiarachna incrassata)“Voracious predator” is not a term one commonly associates with brittle stars—that is, of course, unless the brittle star in question happens to be Ophiarachna incrassata, or the green brittle star (aka “the green death”). This bold species has a well-earned reputation for not merely scavenging deceased small fish and motile invertebrates, as one might assume, but also for actively hunting and capturing these animals while they’re still alive and kicking. Physical appearanceO. incrassata, as its common name implies, is muted green overall with lighter colored dots forming a radial pattern on the central disc. Whitish to yellowish spines line either side of each arm. Specimens can reach a rather prodigious size of around 20 inches in diameter (arm tip to arm tip, that is). Feeding This brittle star is not a finicky eater. It will accept pretty much any foods offered to fish as well as consume detritus MORE

Unpleasant Ocean Encounter Saves Man’s Life

This is a story that you just don’t hear every day. And while really it has nothing to do with shark attacks, its a pleasant twist on an otherwise unlucky brush with fate. Eugene Finney, from Fitchburg, Massachusetts,  beautiful-ocean-wallpapers-freewas visiting his parents in Huntington Beach California this past July. He took the family for a day at the beach, and while swimming in the water, Finney was hit very hard on his back. “I was hit in the back hard. Really hard. I’ve never been hit that hard in my life,” Finney said. Luckily, he was able to swim to the shore, and obtain getting out of the water, was asked by his daughter why his back was bleeding. 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.