Tag Archives: Aquarium

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Rare Blue Montipora! Ah no, it’s actually Collospongia

I’m continuously fascinated by all of the different things that live in our oceans. Sponges are the simplest of multicellular organisms and also among the oldest, with a fossil record extending back to the last part of the Precambrian, about 550 million years ago. When I go snorkeling at the fossil reef at Key Biscayne (my local reef) I see all types of sponges; bright red fire sponge, large brown barrel sponges, delicate blue encrusting sponges, etc. They inhabit turtle grass beds and coral reefs alike. Sponges filter the water while providing food and shelter for a myriad of creatures. 

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Blue Layer Cake Sponge – Collospongia

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Salt Speak – Episode 4: Blended Frozen Aquarium Foods

Here we go…the fourth installment of Salt Speak coming at you in 3, 2, 1! The topic of this episode is blended frozen aquarium foods – a product most aquarists use (or have used) in their aquarium. To gain some industry insights and pass them along to you, our loyal readers and viewers, I gave Larry DuPont (of Larry’s Reef Services) a call.First we discuss the types of seafood ingredients hobbyists can expect to find in blended frozen foods, non-seafood ingredients (both good and bad), and what types of additives should be avoided. Then we round out our general discussion with benefits frozen provides over other options for your aquarium, as well as what you should look for when purchasing a frozen fish food at your local fish store. After that we focus on how Larry got started with his business, Larry’s Reef Services, makers of blended frozen foods such as LRS Reef Frenzy®, Herbivore Frenzy®, and Fish Frenzy®. We discuss the growth of his business and team over the last few years, as well as what a typical week looks like at LRS HQ. In addition, we discuss the benefits of adding probiotics to foods, public institutions and breeding projects using LRS foods, and the types of testing that have been commissioned to evaluate the various LRS blends

The Pros and Cons of Using a Marine Aquarium Cover Glass

To put a lid on it or not to put a lid on it, that is the question!Okay, with profuse apologies to the Melancholy Dane, the point I’d like to mull over in today’s post is whether it’s a good idea to use cover glasses on marine aquariums—you know, those oft-hinged glass or acrylic lids that are available in various dimensions to fit tightly atop aquariums of different sizes. As with so many aspects of the marine aquarium hobby, there’s no all-encompassing right or wrong answer to this question. Suffice it to say that cover glasses may be appropriate in some circumstances but totally inappropriate in others. To determine what’s best for your system, consider these cover glass pros and cons: Pros: Having a cover glass in place reduces evaporation, which in turn can reduce the size and frequency of freshwater top-offs and helps lower the humidity in the room housing the aquarium. Fish prone to jumping or slithering out of a tank are kept in the aquarium where they belong. Some fish, such as eels, and even certain invertebrates, such as octopuses, are such good escape artists that a tight-fitting lid is a must when keeping them. However, for many fish species, there are alternatives to glass/acrylic lids that may do the same job, e.g., covers made of some type of mesh or screening material or plastic egg crate. The light fixture is better protected from splashes and corrosive salt spray.

Friday Rewind

…and because it’s my birthday I’ll indulge myself and you all with a Friday afternoon look back at one of my favorite coral and music videos. More:

Xenia Refugium. What’s in/by your sump?

A twist on the refugium concept. The Xenia refugium.

A twist on the refugium concept. The Xenia refugium.

 Inspired by Jake Adams and Julian Sprung’s friendly debate on Refugiums last MACNA, I decided to remove algae from my Refugium and replace it with Xenia. I wanted to remove any nuisance algae as well as Chaetomorpha and Caulerpa, so I added urchins, snails, and tangs. I also decided to try 24-hour lighting for the benefit of a more stable pH. I wasn’t sure how the Xenia would respond, and I was ready to switch to a reverse day/night cycle if needed.… More:

Reef Threads Podcast #223


Some anemone tentacles up close.

It’s time once again to chat with the Reef Evangelist and her minion. This week’s topics include NERAC, the Toledo Aquarium, World Aquarium, Pitcairn reef preserve, and aquarium complacency. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Two Aquariums
Renovated Toledo Aquarium Ready For Grand Opening, Francis Yupanco, Reefs.com

World Aquarium Cited For Dirty Facility and Unfed, Francis Yupanco, Reefs.com

Giant reef preserve
World’s Largest Single Marine Reserve Created in Pacific, Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic

Are you complacent?
Beware Marine Aquarium Complacency!, Jeff Kurtz, Saltwater Smarts

Toledo Zoo Aquarium Renovation—Update 14: Fish Start to Arrive, Grand Reopening Set for March 27

Salties who have been following our updates on the Toledo Zoo Aquarium renovation these last few years will be excited to hear that the ambitious, $25.5 million project will soon be coming to fruition. Read on for the very latest from our friends at the Toledo Zoo.An epaulette shark gets accustomed to its new digs in the touch tank The Zoo’s innovative new Aquarium experience is slated to open on March 27 with incredible aquatic experiences like nothing else in the region. The Aquarium closed in October, 2012, for major renovations. Now that renovation of this historic Works Progress Administration (WPA)-era structure is complete, animals are starting to arrive, with key arrivals in the touch tanks and the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Epaulette sharks and southern stingrays are adjusting to the new quarters of their spacious touch tank, a dynamic encounter that brings visitors close to these amazing animals. Nearby, the first tropical reef fish have been introduced to the Pacific Coral Reef exhibit, a huge 90,000-gallon exhibit that will feature sleek sharks and Zoo divers who interact directly with visitors. This is the largest exhibit in the new Aquarium. Other animals will continue to arrive at the Aquarium and “graduate” to new exhibits after completing their quarantine requirements.

Reef Threads Plus #1


We are very pleased to present our first podcast in a new monthly series we’re calling Reef Threads Plus. In these podcasts we’ll choose a single topic and discuss it in depth with experts/knowledgeable people. For our first Plus podcast, Ben Johnson, Ret Talbot, and Jim Walters discuss what the hobby will be like if we reach a point at which we are no longer able to collect/import reef animals. As always, you can download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter @reefthreads. We hope you enjoy our new series, find it thought provoking, and will share it with others.—Gary and Christine

Ben Johnson, Captive Aquatic Ecosystems
Ben Johnson’s Captive Aquatic Ecosystems website

Ret Talbot’s Good Catch Blog
Ret Talbot’s Good Catch Blog

Jim Walters’ Old Town Aquarium
Jim Walters’ Old Town Aquarium website

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