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The Saddled Toby: Puffer Personality in a Small Package

Saddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini)Sometimes good things come in small packages. Such is the case with Canthigaster valentini, better known as the saddled toby, black-saddled toby, or Valentin’s toby (you may also see “sharpnose puffer” substituted for “toby” in various sources). Reaching only about 4 inches in total length and usually adapting well to aquarium conditions, this species can make a great choice for puffer aficionados with modest-sized systems and an intermediate level of hobby experience. Physical traits It’s hard to do justice to the saddled toby’s physical appearance with a written description, but I’ll give it a whack: This fish is somewhat laterally compressed with high-set eyes and a moderately elongated snout (hence the “sharpnose” moniker). White in base coloration, it has a series of brown markings along its back, the two in the middle extending downward to the belly. Small orange to brown spots appear all along the ventral half of the fish, and the face is scrawled with thin, brownish lines. More: The Saddled Toby: Puffer Personality in a Small Package

Millepora Love

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You’ve got to love Acropora millepora specimens.  They have the movement not often seen with other Acropora species.  The polyp structure and fuzzy appearance is second to none when speaking about this species.  The polyps flowing to and fro with current really catch ones attention.  They also come in a rainbow of color variations.  From the more common green varieties to the striking pink specimens to the more rare blue ones, they all have striking beauty.  They tend to require strong lighting and strong random flow to look the best.  Low nutrients along with stable parameters and excellent water quality will bring out the best colors and accessory pigments.  The growth can be quite rapid on some specimens.  They also seem to be very hardy in most scenarios when a healthy coral is the starting point.  The captive grown pieces do very well under many types of lighting as long as the required amount of par is supplied.  I have always loved the millepora corals and included several in my personal aquariums.

Picture of the Week, Group of Helfrichi Firefish

The helfrichi firefish is often considered to be the most beautiful of the firefish gobies, and we tend to agree with that notion. Of course, being the most beautiful, this fish is highly sought after, with a high price tag to match. That’s why we were blown away by seeing the fish in such a large group in the tanks of a fish wholesaler. One of my personal favorite fish in such large quantities…it was awesome. MORE: Picture of the Week, Group of Helfrichi Firefish

What Do Sharks Have In Common With Lady Parts? Lubricant

swjVxYHYup. Squalene, more specifically , which Wikipedia kindly points out is not to be confused with the hydrocarbon and triterpene derived by hydrogenation of squalene, “squalane“. They’re also both extremely dangerous and generally misunderstood. MORE

6 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Marine Aquarist in Your Life

It’s only natural for family members and friends of marine aquarium hobbyists to want to buy holiday gifts that support their loved one’s briny habit. But choosing an appropriate hobby-related gift is sometimes easier said than done. Giving actual fish or invertebrates as a gift is a really bad idea for all kinds of reasons—not the least of which is the problem of salt water soaking through the gift wrap and giving away what’s inside (I kid!). Certain equipment can be dicey too. Depending on the hobbyist’s unique system and goals, an item that would seem to be a good fit may prove to be inappropriate, inadequate, or redundant. Plus, if you have to ask all kinds of questions about what to buy, you lose that fun element of surprise. More: 6 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Marine Aquarist in Your Life

CT Coral Scans Highlight Ocean Acidification

Research from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), based at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM), has highlighted another damaging effect of rising ocean acidity. “It was surprising to discover that small-scale changes in the environment can influence ecosystem-level reef processes,” said Nyssa Silbiger, lead author of the study and doctoral candidate at HIMB. “We saw changes in pH on the order of meters and those small pH changes drove the patterns in reef accretion-erosion.” The noted increase in erosion has scientists battling two fronts in the understanding of the accretion vs erosion balance of reefs. Read more here.141124180121-large

Orange Cup Corals Seen Under Blue-Light

Good morning amigo’s!! We had such a great blue-light night dive last night entering at around 7:30 and exiting around 9:00 with very little air left! I used my 28-70 lens that was sitting around collecting dust, I figured I would give the macro a little break and try something new. We had one of those dives that was just fun from start to finish. Aimee was the finder of things, she would signal me with her light, blinding me at times and I would rush over and see what she found, she kept me busy non-stop all night MORE

Aquatic Experience 2014: The Interviews – Full Coverage Part 2

Aquatic Experience in Chicago was great! There were many awesome show tanks from vendors and in this video I highlight them and some other booths from the show. Enjoy! MORE: Aquatic Experience 2014- The Show Tanks- Full Coverage Prt. 2 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.