Latest Posts

Review: Cubic Orbit 20 Jellyfish Aquarium

IMG 2016 300x200 Review: Cubic Orbit 20 Jellyfish Aquarium Frequently on show in specialist exhibits like public aquaria, it seems a common perception that keeping jellyfish is beyond the average individual, perhaps even if they are already marine hobbyists maintaining complex reef aquaria. Maybe it’s due to the delicate appearance of the organisms themselves, or maybe it’s the almost clinical appearance of their holding systems that makes people often think it just isn’t possible in a home setting. Over the last few years though, technology and understanding has improved and now it is entirely feasible to maintain these fascinating and mesmerising creatures in your own home as easily as any small aquarium. In this review we take a look at one such system, the Cubic Orbit 20 which is distributed in the UK by London-based specialist Glass Ocean. Having already seen positive reviews on this product we were keen to try it for ourselves and, after we contacted Glass Ocean, a few days later our system was delivered. We must commend Glass Ocean here for some superb service…. both the delivery of the systems and the packaging were top notch. The manufacturers, Cubic, are a UK-based company founded in 2010 and their personnel includes those from a public aquarium background as well as a marine biologist. The Cubic Orbit 20 itself is the smallest More: Review: Cubic Orbit 20 Jellyfish Aquarium

Posted in Events, Fish, Science | Leave a comment

The New Vertex Omega 180i Skimmer Preview

2014 09 vertex omega 180i 001 The New Vertex Omega 180i Skimmer Preview The new Vertex Omega 180i skimmer, first presented at Interzoo 2014, is perfectly constructed of acrylic and PVC and comes in Vertex’s quintessential red and white color scheme. MORE

Posted in Equipment | Leave a comment

Strange And Cool Tanks

eerie 2 Strange And Cool Tankseerie 3 Strange And Cool Tanks Here is just another example of fish tanks serving as the base for some really cool art. Artist Mariele Neudecker has a collection of ‘tank works’ which are pretty awesome. These handcrafted sculptures are placed inside water filled tanks which include chemicals to create an atmospheric effect.  MORE

Posted in Photography, Tanks | Leave a comment

Norwalk Aquarium’s $2.7 Million Research Vessel Set To Sail This December

 Since this is in my neck of the woods, I’ll be sure to check this out as soon as it’s ready to depart its dock. The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT recently received a $2.7 million investment which will go towards a 63-foot aluminum catamaran, replacing their older vessel and doubling their capacity for tours. Captain Barry Natale said the boat also boasts improved visibility, maneuverability, and state-of-the-art navigation. Dubbed the “Spirit of the Sound“, this revolutionary, environmentally-friendly vessel will be set to take visitors to explore the wildlife of the Long Island Sound mid-December, starting with Seal Spotting Cruises. Spirit of the Sound, built in Mamaroneck, NY,  is the only research vessel in the world with hybrid-electric propulsion, allowing the catamaran to run silently on electric power 2.5 hour cruises. “It’s the first hybrid research vessel built in the world. It’s pretty special to have it here in Norwalk Harbor,” said president of Alternative Marine Technologies and project manager, Robert Kunkel. The vessel also features a net to bring wildlife aboard, a touch tank and a remotely-opererated vehicular camera that passengers can control to observe what lies beneath the water’s surface, allowing all aboard a variety of ways to interact with the wildlife. Onboard microscopes feeding onto a television enable you to get up close and personal with microorganisms like plankton. Spirit will be utilized for public cruises, elementary school educational visits and expanding their educational programs for middle school and high school students. The aquarium is also open to partnering with outside organizations interested in utilizing the boat for research on the sound. Again, this is so local to me I’d be completely mad not to go! Expect a followup and review come January. dsc03387 150x150 Norwalk Aquariums $2.7 Million Research Vessel Set To Sail This Decembersharktank 150x150 Norwalk Aquariums $2.7 Million Research Vessel Set To Sail This December

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

Looking For An Exciting Volunteer Opportunity? Head Out To The Caribbean

wp2d8e018b 05 06 300x217 Looking For An Exciting Volunteer Opportunity? Head Out To The Caribbean Caribbean Reef Buddy, a non-profit organization based on the island of Carriacou in the West Indies, has a slew of ongoing projects you can offer a helping hand to. Opportunities include reef monitoring, invasive-species (cough, lion fish, cough) monitoring & culling, and community outreach programs to raise awareness for conservation. Open to anyone over the age of eighteen, the programs are ideal opportunities to those who have a few weeks to spare, a passion for the ocean and marine species, a desire to travel, a positive attitude and the intention of helping our coral reefs. Check, check, check, check, and check. Looks like I’ll be blogging from the Caribbean soon, where do I sign up? What can you expect? Well you can register via their volunteer registration page on their website. Simply express your interest, any diving experience you have, and your reasoning behind wanting to participate. As for what to expect? The following: 

  • PADI dive training, including research and data collection dives once qualified.
  • Learn about the marine biology and ecology of our coral reefs and marine ecosystems.
  • Marine species and coral identification. Receive training in recognising, monitoring and recording important ecological and commercially exploited species.
  • Gain invaluable experience of working as part of a small, professional and highly dedicated marine conservation team.
  • Dependent on time and the progress of your dive training, you may also have the opportunity to assist our staff in other ongoing research, monitoring and conservation projects.
  • Finally, experience the magical island of Carriacou and immerse yourself in the local culture, their passion and infectious relaxed and happy nature.

Includes half board accommodation, PADI training and certification fees (exc. PADI Divemaster fees), all equipment use, and free boat dives.

Hotel accommodations are provided, but you’re on your own for other travel expenses such as flights and visas. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I hope those of you in the position to do so will take part in the worthy cause. Hell, maybe I’ll even bump into you there!
wpb5648057 05 06 150x150 Looking For An Exciting Volunteer Opportunity? Head Out To The Caribbean

Posted in Conservation, Corals | Leave a comment

Reefs In Architecture: Organic Design Proposal For Crisis Stricken Haiti

Arch2O CORAL REEF 06 VIEW FROM THE FOREST2 750x400 Reefs In Architecture: Organic Design Proposal For Crisis Stricken HaitiVincent Callebaut has designed and proposed a 1,000-unit plug-in matrix for “The Pearl of the West Indies”, inspired but the organic form of coral. The project, appropriately, if not bluntly named “the Coral Reef, is built upon seismic piers off the coast of the mainland. Destined to be composed of modular units, stacked on one another not unlike Legos, each plot would allow for families to have their own land, grow their own food and enable the minimization of energy usage, resulting in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly community. In 2010, a hurricane registering a 7.0 on the Richter Scale left the country devastated and in desperate need of rehabilitation. The matrix would serve as a rehoming location for refugees. MORE

Posted in Science | Leave a comment

Sydney’s Octopi Are Packing Their Bags, “To Tasmanian Waters!”

5807512 3x2 340x227 300x200 Sydneys Octopi Are Packing Their Bags, To Tasmanian Waters!In light of Tasmanian warming heating up, Sydney’s eight-armed sea-folk are packing up, heading south, and reproducing with a greater population turnover and greater growth rate. Talk about things heating up down there. The common Sydney Octopus (Octopus tetricus usually keeps residence  between southern Queensland and southern New South Wales. Jorge Ramos, a PhD candidate from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), has been studying hundreds of the little guys near the east coast of Flinders Island in the Bass Cape of Tunisia.  MORE

Posted in cephalopods, Conservation | Leave a comment

Should We Ban The Sale Of Nautilus Shells?

nautilus shell Should We Ban The Sale Of Nautilus Shells?Nautilus shells are beautiful, no doubt about it. These mollusks are also fairly rare. They are only found in the deep sea of the Indo-Pacific. Their gorgeous shells are also in demand. More than 100,000 shells (according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)) are imported into the U.S. each year, to be sold in stores or online. Additionally, the iridescent nacre on the inside of the shell is desired for its decorative use and for use as pearl buttons. A new study by Peter Ward, Professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, suggests this level of trade is not sustainable. Ward states: “There is no sustainable fishery for nautilus possible anywhere. ” Ward’s study suggest that Nautilus are already almost gone due to over-fishing in places like the Philippines. There is very little restrictions or regulations on Nautilus collection. Ward, along with other conservationists have tried to make the Nautilus protected. The FWS has claimed there was not enough statistical data to support the proposition that the Nautilus needed protective status. Hopefully the more data and awareness there is, the better chance of getting protection for these amazing mollusks. MORE 

Posted in Conservation, Science | Leave a comment 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.