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Reefs in Art – Imaginism Studios

Sea Life by imaginism Reefs in Art   Imaginism Studios
This image, Sea Life, was created by Imaginism Studios in Toronto.  They’re a boutique graphic and animation studio focused on unusual animal art and cute creatures.  In order to effectively translate from print to screen, the animals really need to have their personality baked into their look, and the image above is a perfect example of their amazing ability to do just that.  Check out their entire website here, it’s a really cool interactive site with lots of critters running around!

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Life before the big fish bowl…A closer look at Richard Ross

Many marine aquarium enthusiasts know about Richard Ross as the Aquarist Extraordinaire behind Steinhart Aquarium’s stunning 212,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef. He has kept marine aquariums for over 25 years and has made a name for himself through his many conference presentations, articles and for just being an all around nice guy. 222527 358755317547273 1699593298 n L Life before the big fish bowl...A closer look at Richard Ross
Those of you attended the banquet at MACNA 2013 will no doubt recall Richard’s brilliant and somewhat unorthodox  performance as MC.  For those of you who missed it…he juggled swords while precariously balancing on a board on top of a pipe while standing on a stool! Before seeing his performance at MACNA, I had no idea that aside from being a darn good aquarist, he actually had a few other “tricks” up his sleeve.  I managed to catch up with Rich for a quick  interview just before his talk at Reef A Palooza last week. I was curious to hear about how he became such a good showman and where he learned all his cool death defying tricks.  Rich began MORE

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Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support system

ed75attachment.php  Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support system
Aquascaping is a challenge in itself. The ability to place rocks in an aquarium in a way that looks appealing, that provides plenty of surface area for the planting of corals, that offers hiding spots for the fish, and that doesn’t look unnatural — it’s almost too much to consider. If all else fails, I’d strongly urge you to find a female to add her perspective because for some reason they have an incredible knack for this task. Ask your spouse, your significant other, or even a female friend for their input… trust me. You want to avoid a man-made pile (brickwork looking), as well as straight horizontal lines since these aren’t common in nature. With your counterpart chiming in, you may only need to make a couple of tiny changes to get a great looking reef.Once the aquascape has been perfected with nooks, crannies, tunnels, overhangs and interesting structures, it is possible that all your hard work can come crashing down MORE: Avoid a rockslide with an acrylic support system

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Reef Threads Podcast #153

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #153   The sun comes up every morning and we show up every week with a podcast. Our subjects this week includes Dirk’s stolen merchandise, Gary’s Arizona trip, swap expectations, coral buying and selling, designer clownfish, showing tanks, and fish we regret. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Christine and Gary Designer clowns Fish you regret More: Reef Threads Podcast #153

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Wrought Iron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon daedalma)

fbd3iron bfly 061311 251 Wrought Iron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon daedalma)
A very challenging fish to photograph. More: Wrought Iron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon daedalma)

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Anemones and Water Pumps, a Recipe for Disaster

05b6rbta Anemones and Water Pumps, a Recipe for Disaster In recent months, I’ve been toiling away at the nano aquarium, following a rigorous water change and maintenance schedule, and stocking it mostly with a few high end Zoanthids. The goal for this aquarium has been simplicity, since my work and personal schedules are both so hectic. Unfortunately, I couldn’t resist adding a rose bubble tip anemone, which isn’t exactly a difficult invertebrate even for a nano aquarium, but coupled with the type of equipment in the tank, housing the RBTA could (and did) lead to disaster. From the anemone’s introduction, I knew that it could wander all over the tank at will. I was also very aware that it could crawl into my VorTech MP10w water pump. Still, I pressed on. As a precaution, I did reduce the speed of the pump to just a fraction of what it normally operates at. I waited a few days, let the anemone settle in, then ramped up the speed of the pump. Of course, I monitored the anemone’s actions, mostly looking for any sort of movement. The anemone stayed in place, not moving an inch…until one random evening MORE: Anemones and Water Pumps, a Recipe for Disaster

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4 Reasons Not to Knock Nano Aquariums

nano aquarium1 300x169 4 Reasons Not to Knock Nano AquariumsNano aquariums boast lower initial and ongoing costs compared to larger systemsOne of our earliest posts here at Saltwater Smarts was titled “4 Reasons to Start with a Bigger Saltwater Tank.” In it, we outlined the various benefits of starting with a larger aquarium and the potential drawbacks to downsized systems—instability of water parameters, fewer stocking options, etc. We still think it’s best for beginners to get their feet wet with a larger tank, but as several of you nano-keeping salties out there have pointed out, the pro/con balance doesn’t tip entirely in favor of bigger systems. Nanos have their plusses too. Here, in no particular order, are four of them: #1 Significant cost savings Both initial and ongoing expenses are considerably lower for nano aquariums than for their larger counterparts. Not only are equipment costs more manageable, but also: You don’t need much in the way of live rock and substrate material for biological filtration and aquascaping. Fewer pumps are needed to create adequate circulation in the system. More: 4 Reasons Not to Knock Nano Aquariums

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Corky Sea Finger, Briareum asbestinum, Octocorals

0a97Corky Sea Finger 1 457x305 Corky Sea Finger, Briareum asbestinum, OctocoralsBelieve it or not I have a cool octocoral for you today that is actually a gorgonian, it’s called a Corky Sea Finger, Briareum asbestinum. These are one of the most overlooked and most under appreciated animals on the reef and yet are an essential part of our Caribbean coral reef system. Normally you find these colonies in one to several erect, unbranched, cylindrical rods, arising from a common encrusting base but in this case above they are growing in small low-growing clumps. When extended the large polyps give the colony a “hairy” appearance and the area around pore-like polyp apertures often swollen. Rods or the rind are violet to purple colored, occasionally with some tints of brown or tan with the polyps being greenish brown to brown or brownish gray MORE: Corky Sea Finger, Briareum asbestinum, Octocorals

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