Tag Archives: archives

Latest Posts

Unboxed: Sicce X Stream E Compact Wave Pump

With a global reputation for quality, Sicce products represent the culmination of over 40 years’ experience in the industry. Based on innovative research and advanced technology, their pumps are highly regarded, being incorporated into many systems, either in stand-alone application, or as parts of other devices. In this unboxing review, we take a look at the latest offering from their aquarium division, the X Stream E compact wave pump. Actually, Sicce have made our job rather easy here with their own promotional video which gives a really good overview of the new pump. Although we will be bringing your our own operational review in due course, the video covers the key features and shows in-tank operation also. We suggest you watch the video. [embedded content] In terms of our initial thoughts, we were very happy with the packaging and presentation of this pump.

Video: A Timelapse Encounter… With LPS Corals

[embedded content] OK, so it’s been a little quieter than usual on the blog over the last few weeks, and we can now reveal why. In short, we’ve been busy behind the scenes creating this short video which we hope will be the first in a series of similar productions. In this introductory piece, we get ‘up close and personal’ with a range of LPS corals currently residing in our Black Tank, employing some timelapse macro and pure fluorescence imagery to ‘shed light’ on some of their otherwise hidden habits. Don’t forget to select full 1080HD resolution to see the fine detail! As said, we hope to continue the series as time permits and expand to focus on different groups of invertebrates… and as ever, we’ll certainly be looking to keep pushing the envelope in reef imagery by investing in new equipment and software for future offerings.

Review: Elos OsmoController Digital

Dealing with evaporation from a reef tank can be a real chore if you haven’t got a robust system in place and there’s also a pretty high element of risk involved if your chosen system isn’t up to scratch. For a start, it could fail to keep-up with demand (in which case a low water level could expose equipment and lead to a system failure), or at the other end of the scale, overfilling could make your tank literally ‘runneth-over’ (causing untold damage and recrimination). In either case your Salinity is also going to be ‘all over the place’ too, stressing livestock, possibly to death…. in short this is one area where cutting-costs can come back and ‘bite you on the bum’! Having started-off with the ‘religiously-trickling-in-a-jug-of-RO-every-day’ method back in the day, we’ve since been through a few different systems, each progressing in complexity. Our second system was a simple peri-pump on a timer which delivered Kalkwasser during the night (and which worked fine but couldn’t cope with seasonal fluctuations very well) and next we experimented with float switches… briefly

Coral Spotlight: Fascinating Fungiids

In celebration of our 500th blog post, in what we hope will become a bi-monthly feature, we bring you the first instalment in our ‘coral spotlight’ series which examines the natural habitat and captive care of selected groups of Anthozoans. Currently containing 13 distinct genera, the Fungiidae is a fascinating family of corals both in terms of appearance and behaviour. Commonly known as plate, disc or mushroom corals (not to be confused with Corallimorph ‘mushroom anemones’), species from the Fungia, Cycloseris, Heliofungia and Herpolithia genera are the most commonly encountered Fungiids in the trade, and they generally all share the same habits and ecology. Found over much of the West Indo-Pacific region, these Large-polyp Stony (LPS) corals naturally reside in shallow lagoon or reef environments where they occupy a benthic location usually on sand or gravel substrates, sometimes in turbid waters. Here they live out their lives fuelled by photosynthetic Zooxanthellae within their tissues, and by direct capture of zooplankton. These corals are both interesting and unusual in that they can move around slowly by inflating their tissues, and they can even excavate themselves if buried by substrate

New Twist For Seahorse Tail Research

(Image: Courtesy of Dominique Adriaens/Ghent University)In a discovery which could help could help in the development of tough, flexible armour or slender grasping robots, a team from Ghent University in Belgium have created a 3D computer model to reconstruct seahorse tail movement. The model allows them to analyse exactly how specific tissues and bones contribute to this grasping and varying degrees of bending. It is already well-known that, despite being covered in armour, the tip of a seahorse’s tail remains flexible enough to delicately unwind itself after grasping an object. With the aid of the new model though, it has been shown that each sheet of tissue stretches across many vertebrae in the tail, and it is this support of several vertebrae without fixing them firmly together that might both allow flexibility and encourage rigidity. Surprisingly, the team says, tails of different species of seahorse show greater variation in anatomy than expected, despite having the same bones and muscles. The work was presented today at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Boston, Massachusetts.

Colour Changing Dottyback Is ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’

Published today in the journal Current Biology, a new study has shown that the Dusky Dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus can change colour to imitate other reef fish species both allowing it to prey on their young, and to hide from predators by blending in to its habitat. The research reveals a surprising and sophisticated new example of ‘mimicry’. While using mimicry to hunt or hide from other species is common in nature, scientists note that if the deception is encountered too frequently, prey species become vigilant to the threat and develop tactics to counter the mimics. The dottyback, however, is able to colour-morph depending on the particular colour of the surrounding species it is currently hunting (often damselfishes). Scientists say that this flexibility of physical mimicry makes it much harder for the dottyback’s prey to develop detection strategies and avoid getting eaten

Review: TMC V²Pure Advanced RO System

Arguably one of the most critical components of any reef system, the humble RO Unit sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Sometimes a hobbyist may end up selecting a unit that ‘seems’ up to the task without really researching it. Once in place RO Units can also be ‘taken for granted’ and, as a result, actual performance under ‘typical’ home operating conditions (membrane efficiency, actual GPD, ease of assembly etc) is sometimes overlooked. In this review we’ll take a closer look at TMCs V²Pure RO system and see how it stacks-up against other units we’ve used.

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).

Reefs.com 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.