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No Aquarist is an Island: 5 Reasons to Attend MACNA 2016

Thousands of salties attended the Saturday night banquet (this shot only shows part of the massive room)! Caribbean Chris and I just got back from MACNA 2015, held last Friday through Sunday in Washington, DC, at the Marriott Wardman Park, and what a weekend it was! From the venue to the speaker lineup to the banquet and everything in between, we think this year’s MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America) really delivered on every level. Kudos to all who had a hand in coordinating and presenting this massive convention and making it appear so seamless (extra special shout out to WAMAS and MASNA)! MORE

Long Island Collecting Log: Some days, it isn’t about the collecting

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

Sargassum weed off Long Island, NY

 Contrary to commonly-held beliefs, a day in the life of a marine biologist bears little, if any, resemblance to a National Geographic documentary. I remind my marine science students of this at the beginning of each semester. Even if you have the privilege of being paid to do real research on something really awesome, the reality is that most of your time will be spent reading papers, analyzing data, and writing grant proposals. MORE

Review: Ecotech Marine Vectra M1 pump

Vectra-1-502x320It seems like when Ecotech Marine releases a new product, it immediately becomes a hit. The Vortech circulation pumps have become the bar by which all circulation pumps are judged, and Radion lighting is often considered the high standard in LED lighting. So how does Ecotech fare in branching out to a less exciting product, the return pump? It’s not that return pumps aren’t exciting; it’s just that they aren’t really thrilling. They pump water from a sump back into the aquarium, and up until now most of them had a fixed gallon per hour (gph) flow rate. Although it could be argued that return pumps are a very under-rated part of reef aquariums.  MORE

Subtropical Acropora, warmer waters, and ocean acidification.

New, advanced online publication of research by Foster and colleagues in the journal Coral Reefs explores the impacts of ocean acidification and global warming on the development of the tabling coral Acropora spicifera, an iconic species of the subtropical western Australia coast. The workers implemented three experimental treatments: Acidified conditions (pCO2 of 900 μatm, with a water temperature of 24 °C), warmed temperatures (27 °C, pCO2 of 250 μatm, and a combination of warm and acidified waters (27 °C, pCO2 of 900 μatm). Settlement and calcification rates were monitored and compared to control conditions. 

Acropora spicifera from western Australia depicted in Corals of the World, by Charlie Veron.

Acropora spicifera from western Australia depicted in Corals of the World, by Charlie Veron.


2015 MACNA MiniCast Day 1


Editor’s Note: This is by far our favorite reef podcast of all time. 

It’s the end of Day 1 of 2015 MACNA and we recorded “in the wild.” Listen to our update and several MACNA guests. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine


Deadly Battle: Sea Snake v. Poison Fish

150901173418-sea-snake-and-stone-fish-1-exlarge-169These are two venomous creatures you generally want to avoid when you see in the ocean: the sea snake and the stone fish.  Sea snakes and stone fish contain venom, and although not likely to bite unless threatened, you generally want to steer clear of these guys. Rick Trippe, a champion spear fisherman in Australia, caught the epic battle between these two venomous creatures on camera. Trippe was on his boat in Darwin coming back from a fishing trip, when he noticed something floating in the water. MORE

Shark Skin Pattern Used As Model To Fight Bacteria

1370529935Although the hospital is intended to be a place people go to get better, many people get very sick from infections acquired while at the hospital. The overuse of antibiotics has been blamed for the rise of so called super viruses, which are viruses that are resistant to antibiotics. Scientists have turned to the sea to try and find a solution to this ever growing problem. Scientists have found a solution using shark skin. Shark skin is characterised by its grey colour and the contrast between the slippery appearance and its rough tactile texture. Sharks skin has dermal denticles, small structures that are placoid scales which give the skin its rough texture, similar to sandpaper. MORE

Zen in the reef aquarium

zen-symbol-tattoo-sampleLike karma, Zen has become a popular internet buzzword. Facebook is full of pictures of people enjoying a relaxing walk, their breakfast or a cup of coffee, tagging it as their moment of Zen. Most of the time the photos that subscribe themselves to Zen have bastardized the word, its meaning and simply point out the original poster’s ignorance on the topic. So what is Zen? In reality Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated during the Tang dynasty in China. It’s an entire body of religious study which has a host of different practices; meditation, daily liturgy services, funerals, etc. Like other religions, Zen has influenced art and literature, including books by noted western philosopher Alan Watts.  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.