It’s Regular Guy Week, this time with Elliott, a hobbyist from the Phoenix, AZ area and owner of a 900-gal. display and an overall amazing system. We had a great time talking with Elliott about his system and hobby experiences. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine Elliott’s video Below are some images Gary made when he visited Elliott. More: Reef Threads Podcast #157
Good morning friends, I apologize for the NO Blog yesterday but I was swamped with trying to submit 800 plus new photos into the US Copyright Office which is a major undertaking and I’m still working on it! So on Wednesday I briefly mentioned that I had spotted a Peppermint Bass out on the reef and more than one reader wrote me asking if I had gotten a photo!?? Well on the day I had seen him which was at around 75 feet I did not get a photo because he would not come out from his secret cave hidden deep in the reef. So like a good photographer and faithful to my readers i went back down just for you and waited and waited for him to come out and say hi and finally just as I was running out of time, he did a quick “swim-by”!! MORE: MORE
Hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora) use long, stinging “sweeper” tentacles to attack neighboring coralsAt a casual glance, corals would appear to be an inoffensive lot, generally espousing a “live-and-let-live” philosophy. After all, when you’re firmly affixed to the substrate, how much trouble can you really cause for your neighbors? Plenty, as it turns out! Corals and other sessile invertebrates may seem harmless, but they actually take aggression to such a diabolical level that they make even the most pugnacious fish look like Ghandi with fins. They’re just much more sneaky and insidious about it. Depending on the species and particular circumstances, corals may employ one or more of the following aggressive mechanisms: Rapidly overgrowing neighboring invertebrates—i.e., actually growing directly onto the neighboring colony or extending over it and preventing it from receiving life-sustaining light Stinging neighbors with nematocyst-laden tentacles Extruding digestive organs (called mesenterial filaments) and essentially digesting the tissues of adjacent corals Exuding toxic chemicals (e.g., terpenoids) into the water to kill neighboring corals or impede their growth What can reefkeepers do to counteract these hostile tactics? #1 Research before you buy We’ve advised this time and time again here at Saltwater Smarts, but it bears repeating. A little modest research on the characteristics of different corals will reveal all kinds of vital information regarding their relative aggressiveness/noxiousness, for example the fact that Sarcophyton leather corals are notoriously toxic and that various Euphyllia spp. corals are known to produce long, stinging “sweeper” tentacles. More: 5 Ways to Counteract Coral Combat in the Marine Aquarium
Traditionally, it was assumed that corals do not face a risk of extinction unless they become very rare or have a very restricted range. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii — Manoa (UHM), Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that global changes in climate and ocean chemistry affect corals whether scare or abundant, and often it is the dominant, abundant corals with wide distributions that are affected the most. The researchers evaluated both the geologic record of past extinctions and recent major events to assess the characteristics of dominant corals under various conditions. They determined that during periods advantageous to coral growth, natural selection favors corals with traits that make them more vulnerable to climate change. Read more here!
As an aquarium hobbyist who is also fairly passionate about photography, I am always looking to capture those unique moments when I’m at a fish store or some other venue where fish, corals, and invertebrates take center stage. Often times, I’ll have my camera in hand and I can snap off a few decent shots here and there. More often though, I’ll be without my DSLR and have to rely on my smartphone, which isn’t exactly the most ideal option. The phone of choice for me has been the iPhone, with the 5s being my most current option. For those of you familiar, this phone can actually take decent pictures. Unfortunately, the pitfall for the on-board camera, like with most cameras, is blue LEDs. Thankfully, I stumbled upon this cheap little hack that can get you photos that are closer to what we see with the human eye. MORE: Aquarium Photography Hacks, Using Polarized Sunglasses to Knock Down the Blues
Traditionally, it was assumed that corals do not face a risk of extinction unless they become very rare or have a very restricted range. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii — Manoa (UHM), Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that global changes in climate and ocean chemistry affect corals whether scare or abundant, and often it is the dominant, abundant corals with wide distributions that are affected the most. MORE
Gorgonians are a type of soft corals easily distinguishable by the complex branching shape, which has also probably inspired their name, coming from the Gorgon Medusa- a creature from the Greek mythology that had hair made of venomous snakes. The existence of Medusa outside myth might be debatable, but gorgonian corals do exist and decorate our ocean with complex patterns and vibrant colors.
Paint and commercially manufactured sheets are two common types of backgroundsWhen setting up a new saltwater aquarium, one of the many decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to put a background on the tank and, if so, what kind you’d prefer to use. The choice of background may seem like an insignificant concern when your mind is swirling with all sorts of equipment and livestock decisions, but don’t sell it short. A background—or lack thereof—can make a big difference in your aquarium’s aesthetic appeal. Not to mention, it won’t be so easy to add or change a background once the system is up and running, so which type of background to use (or not) is a choice you’ll need to make sooner rather than later. Benefits of a background An aquarium background can offer a variety of potential benefits, including: Concealing cords, hoses, and tubes running down the back of the tank Increasing the perception of visual depth—i.e., creating the sense that the aquascape extends beyond the glass or acrylic walls of the tank Giving fish a greater sense of security Either enhancing the naturalistic beauty of the aquascape or introducing a touch of whimsy When a background isn’t your best bet Obviously, there are situations in which putting a background on an aquarium would be counterproductive—for example if you’re using the aquarium as a room divider and want to be able to view it from both sides or, similarly, if the tank is installed in a wall between two rooms and is, thus, viewable in each room. What type of background suits you? Your options for a background are quite varied and can range from exceedingly simple to relatively complicated, depending on your preference. They include: Paint Simply painting the outside back pane of the aquarium is among the most common choices, and black and various shades of blue are the most commonly used colors. I’ve used flat black latex paint on the back of several glass aquariums with very satisfactory results. More: The Basics of Marine Aquarium Backgrounds
The aquarium hobby is teeming with all sorts of water pumps, with most of the industry’s best focusing on medium to large sized aquariums. There is a healthy offering for the smaller side of the hobby, and that segment is about to get a little more crowded. Sicce, the Italian creator of plenty of popular aquarium items, is now offering up a nano model of their crowd favorite Voyager pump. Aptly called the Voyager Nano, this pump comes in two different models, which both have an incredibly small size with a total length around 6.5 cm (barely over 2.5 inches). The flow rates for each model are 1000 and 2000 liters per hour (approximately 263 and 526 gph, respectively). Another interesting feature, which isn’t unique to the Voyager Nano but can be found on all of the newer Voyager models, is an automatic cleaning and lubricating system of the impeller chamber. In addition to keeping the motor and impeller clean and free of bubbles, the system also keeps the motor block cool, prolonging its life. This is especially important for those times when the pumps are being used on pulsing wave makers. In addition to the aforementioned features, the Voyager Nano also includes a vibration absorbing magnet mount, which is capable of handling glass thicknesses up to 12mm. The magnetic support also gives the pump a rotation of 360°, letting nano aquarists get the flow wherever they need it MORE: Sicce Targeting Small Aquariums with Voyager Nano Pumps
Originally founded in 1873, the US National Aquarium in Washington, D.C moved to the base of the Washington Monument in 1878, before winding up in the Commerce Building basement in 1932. Although the U.S. government pulled the plug on funding in 1982, the National Aquarium Society, a nonprofit organization, kept the facility running. In 2003, the Washington-based aquarium signed a partnership agreement with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the two worked together since. Construction and renovation at the Commerce Building finally prompted the closure though. In early October, staff and volunteers began the six-month process of closing down the facility – check out the video to see just how they dealt with the sometimes arduous task of rehoming their livestock. More: Video: Americas Oldest Public Aquarium Closes
For starters, This is no home for a tang!!! World’s Smallest Reef Tank image via reef2reef member jjreeftank Are you considering a stocking list for your aquarium? Probably not. If you are like most hobbyists you wish for fish but buy what you have available during that spontaneous moment, often leading to a future of regret and endless nights trying to capture your mistake. If you have not been in that situation than you are one of the few who do actually plan! We can’t all spend hours researching and not everyone has access to a reliable saltwater expert that isn’t just trying to sell something. There are a few things to rule out over all other reasons NOT to get that fish. Here are some issues other people have had with spontaneous purchases: Annoying things your livestock does and stupid mistakes. Size Matters How large does the fish at hand grow to More: What Fish NOT To Get: How To Know