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Fused Montastrea in Belize

14 300x200 Fused Montastrea in Belize

Close up of shared polyp between two colonies.

 I was recently going through pictures from my exploratory trip to Belize earlier this year. I was especially interested in coral that were growing in close contact with one another, and I took many pictures and videos of coral interactions. A relationship that struck me as particularly interesting was one between two colonies of Montastrea growing side by side. There was a streak of color in one colony leading from one coral to the other across the area where the two colonies met. I zoomed up with my camera and discovered that one of the polyps was shared by both colonies. I have seen this happen with many of my Acanthastrea echinata grafts (another coral species with high Thrausto counts), where only one area or polyp will fuse while the rest of the graft remains separated. I speculate that there is a regulation between the two corals’ immune systems, only at that location, aided by the presence of similar populations of Thraustochytridsymbionts. The white paper “Identification of a protist-coral association and its possible ecological role” by a team of scientists in Israel, (http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps2006/317/m317p067.pdf ) expounds on this idea. The article has several pictures that show the colored striations of Thrausto populations in several coral species. Enjoy this video of photos I took in Belize of the coral, starting close and zooming out from the shared polyp between the two colonies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dt3DCCCWUUMore:
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GHL Mitras Lightbar Announced in Smaller Sizes and More Colors

517cMitras Lightbar GHL Mitras Lightbar Announced in Smaller Sizes and More ColorsGHL is updating their Mitras Lightbar for 2014 by offering them up in one brand new color configuration and two new sizes. Where the first generation of the Lightbar saw its smallest fixture tipping the scales at roughly 60 cm in length, or just under two feet, the new nano models will be suited for 40 or 50 cm aquariums. This is a good move to hit those smaller desktop nano aquariums that are all the rage these days, and nano owners could certainly appreciate the access to this high end LED striplight.As for the new color, the Mitras LED striplight will now be available in a deep actinic. Prior to this release, the Lightbar was only available in a daylight (freshwater), actinic (saltwater), and an ocean blue (mix of fresh and salt) configuration. This new color offers up the deep blue that has become synonymous with reef aquaria and it gives users more options for color blending and bolstering coral coloration.The Mitras Lightbar fixtures for 40 and 50 cm nano tanks are currently available in the GHL webshop, and the deep actinic models will become available in mid-October.Features common to all models:Selected high-power-LEDs of Cree MORE: GHL Mitras Lightbar Announced in Smaller Sizes and More ColorsMore:

Posted in Conservation, Corals, DIY, Equipment, Events, Fish, Industry, MACNA, Photography, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pacific Sun’s Cube Bridges the Gap Between Bluetooth and WiFi

1112Pacific Sun Cube Bridge Pacific Sun’s Cube Bridges the Gap Between Bluetooth and WiFiFor the longest time, Bluetooth technology was one of those highly touted bullet point features of multiple aquarium products offered from lots of different brands. It was supposed to revolutionize how hobbyists communicated with their aquarium equipment. The devices could be controlled wirelessly by all sorts of Bluetooth enabled devices, but due to its severely limited range, it was quickly overtaken by WiFi, which offered worldwide functionality via the internet. Thankfully, those Bluetooth products aren’t in any way obsolete thanks to a new device from Pacific Sun. Called the Cube, this simple little device acts as a bridge between Bluetooth and WiFi signals, allowing formerly Bluetooth only devices to connect to a wireless network and receive work direction from any place in the world.The Pacific Sun Cube will be available in 4Q 2014, which is less than a month away, and it will be compatible with all of their existing products like the LED/Hybrid fixture, T5HO fixtures, dosers, etc. A mobil and computer based app will accompany the release of the Cube, and all of the data will live in the cloud, another ever growing feature of the aquarium industry.Pricing will be announced upon the Cube’s release. In the meantime, check out these screen captures of the software. This entry was posted in Aquarium Equipment and tagged Aquarium Equipment, pacific sun, Pacific Sun Cube by Brandon Klaus. Bookmark the permalink. MORE: Pacific Sun’s Cube Bridges the Gap Between Bluetooth and WiFiMore:

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Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse Aquarium

Hot Seahorses Desert Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse Aquarium
Summer’s here, and seahorse aquarists are starting to see tank temperatures rise. Seahorses, are particularly vulnerable to warmer temperatures , so for many seahorse aquarists, even moderate heat can lead to a mad dash to lower the water temperature. The consequences of warm water can be deadly for seahorses. Bacteria spread at a faster rate in warmer water, so the warmer it gets, the more likely you are to see illness pop up in your aquarium. Another often overlooked problem is that warmer water holds less oxygen, stressing out the inhabitants of your aquarium. This tends to be worse for seahorses than other fish due to their lobed gill structure. Fans, your first line of defense Often, open tops with fans blowing across the water is enough to drop temp a few degrees. This works by evaporative cooling. Removing tops, and placing a fan so it blows across the water will make More: Hot Summer, Cool Seahorses: Cooling The Seahorse AquariumMore:

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Do You Need a Chiller for Your Marine Aquarium?

temperature 300x169 Do You Need a Chiller for Your Marine Aquarium?In a previous post titled “Turning Up the Heat on Tropical Saltwater Aquariums,” I explained that it’s important to maintain a stable water temperature somewhere in the range of 76° and 80°F in marine tanks, and that using a quality submersible heater will help prevent the temperature from dropping below that range. But what about the opposite extreme? What about preventing the water temperature from climbing too high and stressing the inhabitants in a tropical marine tank? Do you need to buy an aquarium chiller for that purpose? Well, the answer to that question is “possibly.” Here are some factors to consider in determining whether a chiller might be a sound investment for you and your saltwater critters: Summer highs in your area Summers here in Toledo, Ohio can be stiflingly hot, and it’s not unusual for the temperature to fluctuate by many degrees in a relatively short period—75°F one day, 95° the next, and 103° the following Sunday. If you live in an area that’s subject to similar scorching temps in summer or all year round, your marine livestock can really take a beating depending on how your home is cooled—which brings us to… Whether your home has AC Having central air conditioning in your home, or even a window air conditioner to cool the room that houses the aquarium, can eliminate the need to invest in a chiller. More: Do You Need a Chiller for Your Marine Aquarium?More:

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“Like Something Out of a Nightmare”

Ross Bobbitt “Like Something Out of a Nightmare” There are two Academy groups currently in the Philippines for the 2014 Biodiversity Expedition: one from Research, and the other from the Aquarium. Though we’re staying at different locations, we collaborate when we can, like tonight. It all started with a 90-minute night dive at Anilao Pier to try to collect a Bobbitt worm—a creature that lives in the sand, has jaws like a bear trap, and might be several meters long. It shoots up with lightning speed to catch fish and other animals, yanking them down into the muck like something out of a nightmare. In the 1990s, Academy Senior Curator Terry Gosliner named the Bobbitt worm after Lorena Bobbitt (and her legendary attack on her husband), and Academy crews have been trying to collect this animal both for display and for our preserved collection ever since. One look at the photo shows you why catching this animal isn’t easy, but take a look at this video for an even better demonstration. Tonight’s effort was unsuccessful, though I did get my hand on one of the worms—yes, my hand. My wife is less than thrilled about these attempts, but she understands that we have to do what we have to do for science. More efforts are planned, and hopefully there will be success. Hopefully. After the worm hunt, there was a party—a party that started without MORE: “Like Something Out of a Nightmare”More:

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Reef Threads Podcast #181

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #181 We’re back once again. This week we talk about reef chemistry, sand-sifting animals, restoring a neglected tank, and external stressors. We hope you enjoy the show and will share it with others. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Christine and Gary More: Reef Threads Podcast #181More:

Posted in Corals, Equipment, Events, Eye Candy, Fish, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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