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OATA Petition Needs Your Support!

Calling all UK hobbyists! OATA have recently launched a campaign to defend the UK ornamental trade and hobby from a host of overzealous campaign groups who are seeking to bring an end to the practice of keeping fish in captivity by introducing bans on the importation and sale of wild-caught and exotic species. Clearly the ramifications of such a ban would be huge – not just stopping us from enjoying the beauty of such life in our own homes, but also destroying a myriad of businesses across the country, and even beyond these shores. We strongly recommend you visit the site by clicking HERE and show your support as we have.

Patter of Tiny Tentacles Heard at Mote Aquarium, Florida

Baby Caribbean pygmy octopus born at Mote Marine Lab. Credit Mote Marine LabHaving already hit the spotlight earlier this year, the Caribbean Pygmy Octopuses of the Mote Aquarium in Florida are in the limelight again – but this time they aren’t the babies, rather they’ve gone on to become proud parents. Previously shown in an image dubbed one of the “most amazing science and technology images of the year”, the aquariums Octopus mercatoris are nocturnal and secretive in the wild, and experts at blending into the reefs and rocky outcroppings they inhabit. As such, it’s perhaps no surprise that the 20 new babies from the one mated pair are currently hiding behind the scenes, too delicate and secretive to be on exhibit.

Review: Radion XR15w Pro and Reeflink Controller

Following on from our recent unboxing review, we’ve now had chance to install our XR15w over the test tank, hook it up to one of EcoTech’s ReefLink wireless controllers and have a good old play with the various settings and functions on offer. In this review we’ll detail exactly how we’ve integrated it onto the test tank, and evaluate the units capabilities in a real hobbyist setting. So the first thing we needed to do with our unit was to mount it, and to achieve this we decided to use a custom-cut sheet of glass to support it from underneath. Although any of the EcoTech mounting systems would have been fine for our tank, the other light we are currently testing (an AI Hydra 26) wouldn’t fit with this system so we needed something universal.

Glimmer of Hope For Staghorn Corals

In a surprise discovery more than 38 acres of critically endangered Acropora cervicornis Staghorn Coral has been found in patches on reefs along the South Florida coast. A stony coral, A. cervicornis typically grows in a branching form and is among the most important coral species for its ability to build reefs which in turn create a habitat for fish and other marine creatures, and provide a natural wave-break that protects the coast. A scientist from Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center found the coral while doing a survey for the environmental agency which wanted a better map of shallow reef system. Specifically, the dense patches of the coral (which is federally protected), were discovered through dives and the analysis of aerial surveys

Review: Maxspect XF150 Gyre Generator

Following on from our recent unboxing review in which we covered the basics of this unit, we’ve now had the XF150 running on our test tank for a few weeks so we thought we’d share out observations of this product in a full operational review. We’ve also been monitoring discussions on various forums with interest and we’ll aim to specifically discus some of the points raised with our own direct experience. Firstly, the XF150 is easy to install but it’s worth familiarising yourself fully with the operation of the device before sticking it straight in the tank. Although the unit comes in a single piece you will need to reassemble it if you are wanting to use it for anything other than constant one way gyre generation as the different rotors and cages will need to be fitted. It’s certainly worth running through this process anyway actually as being familiar with the principle behind the equipment’s operation will likely mean you get more out of it

So Here It Is – Merry Christmas!

So the holidays are finally here and at last we’ve got a bit of time to spend tinkering with the test system. Hopefully the short break will allow us to get to all those jobs we’ve put on the back burner while we got on with the everyday grind! It’s also a good time to stop and reflect a little on how things are going, indeed in the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.

Clams – Beautiful and Talented

Giant clams (Hippopus and Tridacna species) are already known to play a part in various important ecological roles in coral reef ecosystems, but so far, many of these roles are poorly understood. Now, a team of marine ecologists from the National University of Singapore have show how clams have been doing a lot more than perhaps they have so far been given credit for. For a start, clam shells both contribute to the structure of the reef (some species produce 80 tonnes of carbonate shell material per hectare each year) and they provide a substrate for colonisation by a host of other organisms. On the inside, the fleshy mantle cavity can host a myriad of commensal and ectoparasitic organisms while clam tissues are food for a wide array of predators and scavengers. Discharges of live zooxanthellae, waste products and spawnings are also eaten by opportunistic feeders and they can even potentially counteract eutrophication via water filtering

Review: EcoTech RMS (Radion Mounting System)

Having already taken a look at EcoTechs gorgeous Radion XR15w Pro LED light in our recent unboxing review, we now turn our attention to their much-anticipated RMS (Radion Mounting System) which ties-in beautifully with the Radion Pro range and allows these lights to be elegantly suspended above even the most tricky of systems. As ever, the kit (XR15 version in our case) comes effectively packaged and all the parts are present and correct on initial inspection. After a quick skim of the simple instructions it obvious that we aren’t going to need a degree in rocket science to assemble this piece of kit, which is great. We are immediately and pleasantly surprised that some of the components here are metal, indeed the whole thing feels reassuringly heavy-duty compared to other brackets we’ve handled in the past. Somehow, the RMS still manages to look sleek and minimal though and it’s also nice to have thoughtful design features like integral cord management included. Overall the bracket also allows for a good deal of flexibility with the light able to slide back and to, or to be rotated on the X bracket (although this is primarily of use with the XR30)

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