Tag Archives: beautiful

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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
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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”.
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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
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Reef Threads Podcast #201

The comb jellie Deiopea kaloktenota, photographed by S. Haddock, jellywatch.org.We didn’t quit at 200. We’re back for more. This week we talk about equipment redundancy and backups, pyrosomes, comb jellies, refugiums, and buying animals online. Don’t forget to go to our Facebook page and tell us how you listen to the podcasts. The standout entry will win a free Coral magazine subscription. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine Covering your butt Pyrosomes Comb jellies Refugiums
Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Giant Barrel Sponge, Xestospongia muta

Good morning friends, this is for those of you just sitting around wondering what is the largest sponge species in the Caribbean. Well, it’s the beautiful “Giant Barrel sponge”, Xestospongia muta and no two are alike. I found this glowing red giant on wednesday at 90 feet east of the Substation and it stands about five feet tall, pretty incredible!! During the day the sponges are home to crabs and shrimps, and all kinds of fish swim in and out of them, they are truly one of my favorite sea creatures!
Posted in Contest, Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blue-Light Photos, Blue-Light Photography

Good morning friends, I’m trying hard to wake up this morning after a late night out playing under the sea. I always try to do night dives later in the evening as you will see way more stuff the longer you wait. Last night I entered the watery darkness at 8:30 and didn’t get out till quarter till 10:00 and yes, I was a bit frozen! I have started a new weekly routine and that is to start doing one blue-light/fluorescent dive a week and it’s looking like wednesdays are going to be that day. For those of you new to the blog blue-light diving is where you use a yellow filter over your camera lens and place blue-filters over your flash strobes, this combination produces wild fluorescent colors that you will never see with normal white light
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Ikelite VEGA Video Lights, Underwater Go-Pro

Good morning friends, I apologize again for the late blog  but I have been under the sea most of the morning. I spent the morning getting ready for a dive with our friend Tessa (above) who is here currently doing research at the Dolphin Academy. So, since we were headed out to a beautiful reef I gave her my brand new, state of the art, Ikelite setup designed especially around the GoPro. This sweet little baby has two ultra powerful VEGA lights, a beautiful red aluminum tray and two cushy grips to hold onto, I mean really can it get any better than this?? Shooting professional quality underwater video’s used to be so far out of reach because of the cost involved, not anymore folks!
Posted in Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rare, Deep Sea Octopus, Octopi, Cephalopod

Good morning readers, feast your eyes on this tiny little octopus sp. found yesterday with our manned submersible at 640 feet!! He was spotted by the Smithsonian Institution walking around on the sand and at first glance they didn’t know what it was as it looked like a hermit crab from a distance. This beautiful little cephalopod is less then 3 inches in length (with arms out) and was flashing all different colors as we watched. Notice the brilliant blue stripes along the arms, talk about one sexy looking sea creature
Posted in Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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