On March 27, 2015, the Toledo Zoo Aquarium will re-open it’s doors after two years and a $25 million dollar renovation. While the historic 1939 exterior remains the same, the interior is new and improved. The tank size has tripled and the aquarium now features 32 new exhibits. Notable additions include a 90,000 gallon saltwater tropical pacific reef display that is 35 ft wide in diameter and includes 6 viewing windows. MORE
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the year to come. My name is Noel Heinsohn, and I am an aquarist at the Long Island Aquarium. I have been working here as the aqua culturist for the last year and a half after Todd Gardner left. I don’t know about you but my year has been off to a great start! I made myself a promise at the beginning of last year to raise at least one pelagic species in 2014. Little did I know, that not only would I accomplish it, but it would be a species first! Back in October, I collected eggs out of Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon MORE
Having worked with the Newport Aquarium developing exhibits during my time at Living Color, I am very excited to hear about the latest editions coming this year. The Aquarium will soon feature North America’s only suspension shark bridge, where visitors get to walk just feet above dozens of sharks.
Researchers, in a paper published last month in The Journal of Fish Biology, believe they have solved the mystery of how a tank containing only three female sharks, led to the birth of a shark pup. In 2012, at the time when the shark pup was born, there were just three female sharks residing in the California Aquarium, without any dad’s to be found in the tank. To make it even more interesting, the females hadn’t been in contact with any male sharks for years. The researchers analyzed the two possibilities: parthenogenesis (a sexual reproduction) or long term sperm storage. MORE
I have a bio-sphere, a small glass orb that I purchased from Amazon. Within it, there is a bio-pellet substrate bottom, marine water, a tiny clump of macro-algae and seven tiny marine shrimp. The entire ball is totally sealed, and the minute ecosystem within is said to last a minimum of two-years. The instructions for caring for the bio-sphere are minimal. Keep it out of constant direct light, but provide enough light for algae to grow, and keep it at room temperature. It’s fascinating to me, that within the nearly 12 months I’ve owned the bio-sphere, nothing within has changed. The tiny shrimp are thriving, the patch of algae remains the same size, and day after day it’s business as usual in the tiny sphere, which rests on a shelf in my living room. I could go throw the host of complex interactions taking place within the little sphere, that allow it to remain sealed from the outside world and still flourish. Then I could write and write how these same systems apply to the health of our aquariums. In reality it boils down to one thing, the food chain. We all know the basics of a food chain. Often though, we don’t apply knowledge of marine food chains to our aquariums. These systems complete an entire cycle of waste assimilation and animal nutrition. They are vital to every ecosystem on Earth, including the one within your aquarium. MORE
Down in Sunny Dania Beach, Florida, something quite refreshing is rumbling within the trade – a wholesale facility brought to us by Hydra Aquatics International and Tony’s Vault that focuses on the wellbeing and health of livestock as opposed to simply turning a profit. Many wholesalers have a tendency to do what could be considered “flipping” livestock – they get in an order of fish/corals and have it available for sale within days. This means many of the beautiful specimens you see at your local fish store were most likely halfway across the world just a few days ago, swimming (or slowly building a calcium carbonate skeleton) along, minding their own business. MORE
Most reef aquarists are familiar with coral’s symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae algae. These tiny algae are responsible for providing corals with nutrition, in the form of sucrose which is over-produced during photosynthesis. Scientists have uncovered that coral’s have another (possible equally as important) organism living with them. In keeping in line with my recent posts on marine microbes, I thought it pertinent to discuss the relationship between corals and various species of marine bacteria. Many aquarists don’t realize the extent of this relationship. Various bacteria actually produce antibiotic which helps heal coral infections, and establish networks of bacterial communication, literally serving as coral’s microscopic caretakers. Since we are just beginning to understand the importance of microbes in the marine ecosystem, it’s also vital to understand how remarkably crucial earth’s tiniest organisms are to living corals. MORE