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“Mouthbrooding” – So Much More Attractive Than “Mouth-Breathing”

66b0d314-be62-4393-b448-27de921b3777Apologies to anyone with sinus issues, but facts are facts. Anywho, very much like that little tidbit of a fact, this is hardly news, but thanks to Ret Tablot, I’ve got Bangaiis on the brain and figured I’d merge that into an ongoing theme of fishy breeding habits, so here we go.  MORE

Diamond In The Rough

You just never know when you will find a gem.  This coral is a prime example of this premise when speaking about corals in captivity.  This Acropopra tenius started out very different then it appears today.  Even with the couple decades of keeping corals under my belt I did not see the potential in this specimen.  It was a small seed fragment I acquired from a hobbyist at one of the many frag swaps I attended.  The coloration was quite unimpressive so I did not give it much attention or prime real estate in any of my systems until recently.  After a few months in the original location it was placed I saw the yellow pigments and a hint of blue on the axial coralites.  I promptly decided it was worthy of some attention and better placement.  I positioned it to receive strong light and random flow in one of my most mature reef aquariums.  After several months in the new location the pigments began to develop into what you see now.  As each month passes the coral becomes more vibrant although  is not adding mass as quickly as I would anticipate.  The polyp extension and new active growth tips tell me I did the right thing.  Now I must have patience and watch my new gem grow into a mature colony with hopes of propagating this coral in the future.  I believe it has the genetics to be a worthy addition to my brood stock and only time will tell if I made the proper decision.  The moral of the story is you just never know.  Never assume a certain specimen will not become your next diamond in the rough.

The Amorous Pufferfish: Sexiest Fish Alive?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until: 11/11/2014 - Programme Name: Life Story - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 5) - Picture Shows: Cameraman Hugh Miller spent weeks designing and building bespoke equipment to capture the extraordinary    landscaping    bPerhaps according to Sir David Attenborough, though I’ve seem some pretty sexy anthias  (have you SEEN a Holanthias fuscipinnis?). But we’re not talking aesthetics this time around, we’re going strictly based on their romance game. At first glance, the unassuming porky pufferfish, with his rotund cheeks, toothy grin and goofy, bulgy eyes wouldn’t strike you as any sort of Rico Suave – in fact you’d probably assume him to be a stuttering, clumsy buffoon in the sack. This is why you shouldn’t make snap judgements! Turns out Mr. Pufferfish has some seriously sultry tricks up his metaphorical sleeve. MORE

Importance of Disaster Plan’s For Public Aquariums

sharknado-attackWinter is coming. With it comes notoriously unpredictable weather. Snowstorms and blizzards can poise difficult challenges for zoos and aquariums and even your average hobbyists. Infectious disease and natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and typhoons are not just cause for concern for people. Natural disasters leave aquariums susceptible to power outages, staff shortages, and possibly lack of food, clean water and medicine too. Infectious diseases can devastate animal population. Its important to be prepared with a plan in case of emergency. For the past four years, folks at the US Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Care and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and  the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine has been having emergency preparedness trials at small and large facilities. The main point is there needs to be a plan. Its important to stay calm in the face of chaos. To stay calm you need to know what to do, how to do it, and who does what. Knowing what animals to move and in what order makes the most out of valuable time. There is nothing worse than spinning wheels when time is running out and the crisis is approaching.Hopefully this has inspired you to create your own disaster plan to save your fishy friends from the zombie apocalypse or other impending forms of doom. MOREMORE

Elasmobranch Enthusiasts (Part 4): Modern Husbandry—Reproduction

Different elasmobranchs produce different styles of egg cases. Shown right to left: Brown Banded Bamboo Shark, Clearnose Skate, and White Spotted Bamboo Shark.From the ferocious great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) to the graceful white-spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), Elasmobranchii are a diverse group of boneless fishes that are circumglobal, inhabiting a diverse array of habitats, temperature ranges, salinity, and niches in the world’s oceans and rivers. It is no wonder that these unique creatures, while usually boasting comparably bland coloration to the typical teleostei reef fishes, pique the interest of pretty much every hobbyist. This group of fishes definitely has its challenges but, with proper information and species selection, can be kept fairly easily by a moderately skilled aquarist with a generous budget. Breeding and raising elasmobranchs You may skim over this installment of Elasmobranch Enthusiasts because your goal maybe isn’t to breed them…but you shouldn’t! Many elasmobranchs that are sold in stores are eggs or babies, and special care needs to be taken to provide the right conditions to be successful with these smaller, more delicate aquatic animals. Because it is just the beginning of our “baby” season right now, this the perfect time to talk about elasmobranch reproduction. The birds and bees Male and female elasmobranchs are morphologically different from each other. More: Elasmobranch Enthusiasts (Part 4): Modern Husbandry—Reproduction

PADI Unleashes Fancy New Scuba Diving App

16114_10154825778800570_572127924437975842_nAnd given my impending certification, this couldn’t have happened at a better time, but more on that at a later date. The app is available to all iOS and Android users and has a wealth of really super duper cool features like a dive center locator, dive tool checklists, top destinations, PADI eCard access, dive logs and more! Naturally, the best way to give you an idea of whether this app is worth the space on your mobile device was to download it and try it out for myself, so here are my thoughts. MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #206

reefthreads It’s time once again to do the marine-aquarium hobby podcast thing that we do. This week’s subjects are our “Where Do You Listen” contest, the St. Jude/Reef Savvy reef system raffle, women in the hobby, lionfish videos, Ret Talbot’s new series, hobby expense, and mysis shrimp and other frozen foods. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #206

Checkin’ Out Will’s Mixed Reef Tank

I haven’t done a tank video in a long time, mostly because I’m a hermit, but I did manage to get out of my pajamas and visit my friend Will. Will is a long-time customer of Tidal Gardens More: Checkin’ Out Will’s Mixed Reef Tank 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.