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Digital-Reefs Update – The Difference is Black and White

As usual it’s pretty difficult to find time to produce general updates on our test system as more often than not, on top of our ‘proper job’ and family commitments, we are frequently busy collecting, unboxing and reviewing new kit, rooting out interesting stories for the blog, or producing material for ourselves or our clients. To be honest a lot of our blog work hinges on regularly chasing companies for the latest info and let’s say some are more responsive than others! Sometimes it can get a little frustrating but we certainly appreciate having the fantastic spread of sponsors that we do… you can tell these companies are the best in the business by their willingness to ‘show off’ their products at a hobbyist level rather than adopting a secretive, isolated approach. Anyway, before we digress, let’s get back to the task in hand and take a look at the Black Tank which is our 100 UK gallon test bed system, now just over 2 years old. Well, overall the system is progressing nicely and many of our colonies are continuing to grow steadily and fill out the tank. Aesthetically we are pretty happy with the system as it is, but it’s certainly not a finished product by any means. MORE

Virtual Reality Meets the Reefs with Submersible Headset

nautilusvr-02While it’s many a passionate reefer’s dream to experience the biodiverse splendor of a coral reef in the flesh,  this isn’t always logistically or financially feasible. Maybe you have a crippling fear of what lurks below the surface in the open ocean, or you’d like to save yourself the embarrassment of exposing your less than stellar swimming skills to your dive buddy. Whatever the reasoning, there could be an interesting alternative in the near future if you’re willing to use your imagination a bit. MORE

Huge Leatherback Sea Turtle Released After Rescue

turtle Yawkey, a 475- lb Leatherback Sea Turtle, was released back into the Atlantic Ocean, off the South Carolina Coast Thursday. Leatherbacks are critically endangered species. The turtle was found the week prior, stranded on the beach, and brought to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital. Despite its massive size, the gender of this turtle was not able to be determined.  While Leatherbacks are the worlds largest turtles, their reproductive system does not develop until the turtles are fully grown, which can take a long time. Although the precise age for maturity varies and is not known, female leatherbacks have been estimated to become sexually mature at around 35 to 40 years old. MORE

Salt Speak – Episode 1: FishBit

In our 2015 outlook writeup at the beginning of the year, Jeff hinted at new media we would be bringing to our content stream, specifically video. Salt Speak is the first of those new features. It will be an ongoing series where I chat with folks involved in the hobby and industry to discuss a wide variety of topics.The inaugural episode focuses on FishBit, a new aquarium monitor and controller. I recently sat down with Nathan Levine, co-founder of Current Labs, to talk about how their product is different, BETA version testing, commercial releases dates, the aquarium automation segment, how FishBit could spark a whole new group of folks people interested in monitoring and automating their systems, and more. I hope you enjoy the chat! Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this post with anyone you think might be interested in FishBit. [embedded content] Learn more and get in touch with FishBit: Share this: MORE

Fish Bowls v Fish Tanks For Goldfish

golsfish Nobuaki Okamoto, also known as ‘Dr. Goldfish’, has written a book on how to enjoy keeping goldfish in bowls. The book aims to bring goldfish into closer contact with their owners and advocates for the use of fish bowls instead of fish tanks. Okamoto states:“What has distressed me is that goldfish have simply become an object of viewing through glass tanks. That distances fish from humans.” He recommends using bowls which one would typically use for serving Japanese noodles. His aim is to cultivate the same type of relationships which owners have with their cats or dogs. MORE

Definitely Not Reef Safe – Gargantuan Stingray in Thailand May be a Record Breaker

 Deviating from saltwater here, this giant freshwater stingray (Himantura polylepis) discovered in Thailand’s Mae Klong river may be the largest freshwater fish recorded! Scientists happened upon the beast while filming Ocean Mysteries, an ABC production hosted by nature conservationist Jeff Corwin. Among those wrangling in the beautiful creature was veterinarian Nantarika Chansue, a professor at Chulalongkorn University who’s been studying the rays in the area for nearly a decade. MORE

New Species: True Bursa Trigger

Heads-up, we’ve just added yet another new species to our livestock database! Our latest addition, Sufflamen bursa takes our Triggerfish gallery tally to a total of 18 profiles in that section. Inhabiting a variety of shallow, clear reef habitats, the True Bursa, Scythe or Boomerang Trigger is a voracious species that feeds on a variety of organisms including hard shelled crustaceans and molluscs. Growing to a maximum size of 25cm, this species will only tolerate tough tankmates and should be housed in a well-planned aquarium. It should not be confused with Rhinecanthus verrucosus which is also commonly known as the Bursa Trigger. For a larger image, species profile and access to numerous other Triggerfish profiles, click HERE (you must be subscribed and logged-in to access this gallery). MORE

Contest Time! Take a Look Behind the Scenes at Orphek’s Production Facility

Win one of 30 free Orphek Azurelite flashlights – Stay with me and I’ll tell you how! So a few weeks ago I was slipped a bit of information from an insider over at Orphek about a new light, complete with exclusive images straight from their production team. Well, the monstrous Dual Core LED studded Atlantik Pendant 300 made it’s debut about a week later at Reefstock in Denver. Intrigued by this little sneak peak I was allowed, I wanted to know more about their production facility and how they actually manufacture Atlantiks.  I hoped for maybe a description or a few pictures, so imagine my surprise when they sent me the video featured above  MORE

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