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Mystic Aquarium Transforms Debris Into Energy

coventaThe Mystic Aquarium has partnered with Covanta Energy to create a new exhibit called Covanta Cove. The mission of public aquariums around the world is to educate visitors and deliver a strong green message that supports conserving and protecting our oceans. MORE

“Ocean Gravity” – The Parallels of Sea and Space

 “Just like in the space, there isn’t anymore a top or a bottom. There isn’t anymore upside down and wrong side out. The ocean becomes cosmos, the man a satellite, and the bottom of the sea an unknown planet. Welcome in the fascinating universe of Ocean Gravity” – Guillaume Néry MORE

UltraReef Akula UKS-180 Conic Skimmer

2015_01_ultrareef_akula_UKS_nuovo_modello_08UltraReef has just restyled and updated its three-year-old skimmer, the Akula, and now offers us its new conic skimmer, the Akula UKS-180MORE

Scientists ask fish to be included in moral circle of compassion.

upside_down_tangDuring my last post, I addressed the question of whether or not fish feel pain and have a conscious mind capable of seeking pleasure or feeling emotional stress. I want to expand on this topic, based on another scientific paper which includes more information and research, asking the question whether or not fish should be included in our moral circle of sentient animals and provided protection under the law. Yesterday’s post was based on a scientific paper by Dr. Stephanie Cottee and the information shared today borrows from a paper by Culum Brown and Dr. Marc BekoffMORE

Do fish feel pain?

262627303It’s long been touted that fish don’t feel pain. Aquarists may argue this point on both sides of the line. Some may believe that fish feel an entire array of emotions, while others would assume that physical responses to stimulus are autonomic, taking place without any subjective “feeling” driving them. As we move through the 21st century animal behavior science is gaining new traction. As stewards of a variety of our animal kingdom cousins, scientists believe it’s vital that we understand the conscious capacity within them, in an effort to understand how to better create a comfortable life in captivity. Notions about animal consciousness and feeling are often very different when looking at various species. For example, people often view the conscious capacity of dogs or cats, different than that of snakes or spiders. As science progresses, allowing for physical representations of conscious functions to be measured (using MRI and brain scans) we are learning that animals likely experience a vast array of subjective emotions, and species that lack a neocortex (such as fish) use different physiological features and organs to serve the same role.  MORE

Water Chemistry

Optimal water chemistry is much more than a set of perfect numbers.  It is an over all balance of many minerals, as well as an ability to maintain stability over long periods of time.  When excellent water chemistry is achieved you can see it in the animals.  The polyps may be a bit larger and extended, new active growth tips will form more quickly, or the corals will just have that extra glow or sparkle that the observant reef keeper will appreciate.  Testing often and paying attention to details will train you to be able to see when parameters are beginning to skew.  After many years, I began to see various cues  when testing that helped me form opinions as to why the corals looked better or worse on a given day.  I started to realize where the sweet spot was for levels and began to shoot for stability of these various parameters rather then chasing that perfect number.  Through the years, opinions on where one should keep these numbers varied greatly as more knowledge was provided to the hobby.  At one time it was believed that keeping elevated alkalinity or calcium was the best practice.  More recently the trend to keeping these closer to natural sea water levels has been more popular.  Finding that perfect number or sweet spot takes time and patience.  Close observation will help you master this and then the ability to keep it very stable becomes most important.  Rather then give you a specific set of parameter to follow here I would suggest to strive for stability and shoot for levels as close to natural sea water as possible.

Life Discovered Under Antartica’s Ice

antarctica-fish-ross-ice_88132_990x742 Scientists have discovered an abundance of life living under Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf. It had been believed that nothing could survive under Antarctica until recently. With the ice sheet over 30 feet deep, and temperatures below freezing and no sunlight, it is shocking to find out there is flourishing life. The Ocean never stops amazing me.The discovery comes from the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling Project (WISSARD). The project was the first to drill through the layers of ice to reveal the flourishing life underneath. MORE

A Sad Day For Shedd Aquarium

DolphinThe Shedd Aquarium said goodbye to it’s oldest, white sided dolphin on Friday Tique, who was 30 years old, had been with the aquarium since 1991. Tique was suffering from kidney disease and was euthanized by the aquarium after many years of unsuccessful treatment . White sided dolphins normally live between 20 to 40 years of age and are found in the North Pacific. Working at public aquariums for much of my career, the decision to euthanize animals has always been a difficult one. At what point do you decide whether an animal is better off being kept alive in a less than humane way and how do you decide whether euthanasia is appropriate? The American Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums has published guidelines for Zoo and Aquarium’s on medical practices of Euthanasia. As for the controversial topic of keeping cetaceans in captivity, I am a huge believer that when kept in appropriate sized pools and under AZA approved conditions, these animals are a great ambassador for their species which foster understanding and compassion for all marine animals. 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.