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Australia Opens “Smart Aquarium” to Fast Track Coral Conservation Research

This month Australia opened up the “world’s smartest aquarium,” dubbed the National Sea Simulator, in order to help fast track research into the conservation of coral reefs. This 31.4 million dollar facility will use the latest technology in order to quickly and accurately change parameters of the aquarium water while researchers monitor the effects in real-time according to primary researcher Mike Hall. seasim “When we started planning SeaSim we visited over 40 marine aquariums around the world to identify key attributes of the perfect research facility,” said Hall. According to Hall workers will be able to quickly affect parameters such as water temperature and acidity, salinity, lighting, nutrient levels, and water quality. “What we’ve built takes the best in the world and adds new technologies and an incredible level of automation and control.” Early experiments will likely include research into the crown of thorns starfish and why their population booms periodically with disastrous results seen on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This is a prime example of how the marine aquarium industry can contribute greatly to the conservation efforts that maintain our resources. Technologies that are developed for our reef tanks will surely cross over, and in the future, companies should be able to feed the newest tech into National Sea Simulator research projects.  Times LiveMore:

Indigenous Amazonians Work with the Ornamental Fish Industry to Conserve Aquatic Habitat

The dry season is near. The river waters are fast receding. Only small, stagnant ponds remain over what once was an extensive riverbed.  The dry season commences. Ponds become puddles. Hundreds or thousands of small, colorful fish are hopelessly trapped in the shrinking muddy pools. However, by now, virtually every female amongst them has laid hundreds or thousands of viable eggs. On account of the immense accumulation of eggs, Nature has reserved a place in the future for the species. The outlook for these particular adults, on the other hand, is far less certain. For a relative few (approximately 40 million individuals), the slightest chance of salvation lies (somewhat ironically) in the hands of an ornamental fish collector. Absolutely, these tiny fish (or, piabas) are far more than the river’s leftovers to those who eke out a meaningful living from the shady Amazonian rainforests working in Brazil’s ornamental fishery. Indeed, these fisherman (or, piabeiros) and their communities are growing more protective of their native habitats as they increasingly depend on the fisheries to support their way of life.
This did not escape the attention of Massachusetts-born “fish nerd” (and now-senior aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium) Scott Dowd. Initially horrified by the massive volume of animals being harvested from the region, Dowd eventually became inspired by the sustainable fishing practices of the… More:

Marine Breeding Initiative Workshop Coming in July, Ticket Prices Increase Soon

 If you’re a fan of captive bred marine ornamentals, then the Marine Breeding Initiative (MBI) has the event for you. The breeding centric club is hosting its fourth annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop on July 13, 2013 at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The Saturday event will feature guest speakers Matthew Carberry of Sustainable Aquatics, Chad Clayton from Reed Mariculture, animal verternarian David Watson, and aquarium industry legent Martin Moe…and all of them will be talking captive breeding. The event starts at 8:30am and runs until the last speaker wraps it up at 4:00pm. If a single full day of marine breeding goodness just isn’t enough to quench that thirst, there is a Friday evening reception at the hotel lobby bar, though we doubt much fish talk will get accomplished as long as there are boos around. That said, there is a post workshop barbeque at Fishtal Propagations on Sunday, July 14th, at 1pm. If you want to attend the event, be sure to get your tickets before they go up in price. The price is currently set for $36 per adult and $16 per student under the age of 16. On March 31st, however, the price will jump 20% to $45 and $20 respectively. Read MoreMore:

MACNA 2013 Banquet Gets More Entertaining with Master of Ceremonies, Richard Ross

 The committee putting together the 2013 Marine Aquarium Conference of North America isn’t using the same old format that past shows have followed, but are shaking things up in a very interesting way. Besides having the perfect location for the event, what’s better than South Florida right, they are going to put their own spin on the evening events that follow the long days of vendor hall roaming and guest speaker listening. A keynote speech will be given by aquarium industry legend Dr. Richard Pyle, and the Saturday evening banquet will be overseen by a “master of ceremonies”. The brilliantly comedic and always enjoyable Richard Ross has been given that responsibility, and we can’t wait to see what this new format has to offer. Don’t get us wrong, last year’s keynote by Jean-Michel Cousteau was absolutely terrific, but having what we assume will be a little comedic relief will make the night even more entertaining. So what qualifies Rich Ross, a biology nerd from the California Academy of Sciences, to be the master of ceremonies? Well, he’s no slouch on the stage. Rich has given tons of talks to aquarium clubs and at various trade shows, and he has even done some work in California television and at events like San Francisco’s Nerd Nite. In a nutshell, Rich is the perfect guy for the job in our opinions. Oh, and did we mention Rich is a snappy dresser.  Read More… More:

ATI Discontinues Powermodule T5HO Fixtures in the US

 ATI Aquaristik has done something I never would have imagined seeing, they have officially stopped selling their Powermodule T5HO fixtures in the United States. Earlier this month, we were browsing the ReefGeek website (the former distributor for ATI) while looking for new information on the LED/T5 Hybrid Powermodule, which had recently been announced as being available to purchase. To our surprise, the site was almost completely devoid of the regular and dimmable Powermodules, but we just chalked it up to the site revamping their inventory and product pages to accomodate the new fixture. Unfortunately, something far more surprising was taking place.  Read MoreMore: 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.