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‘Tis the Coral Frag Swap Season, Fa La La…

Bellevue High School students getting tips on coral fragment selection, transportation, and quarantine on a recent field trip to Cherry CoralsSeptember may be a long way from Christmas, but for reefkeepers, it’s the next best thing. September is the unofficial kickoff of the coral fragment swap season. Soon the eyes and hearts of reefkeepers everywhere will turn to swapper pages and message boards, searching for that special piece that the keeper just can’t live without. But before we blow our children’s college fund on new coral this fall, let’s make sure we are fully prepared to give those new pieces the best chance to thrive in our systems. First things first Discussion should start with the question: “Where are we going to put this piece?” That question should be followed by the equally important: “Does that spot give the coral the proper lighting and water flow?” Another consideration is whether the coral will get along with its new neighbors. Many corals use some sort of sweeping tentacles to keep space for themselves. Left unchecked, stings from these sweepers can result in coral death. Most corals will respond fine to being trimmed to keep their place in the system. This is especially true of stony corals, yet some soft corals will not respond as well, and that must be taken into consideration before purchase. The right coral for the right spot—let’s go get it!
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Diving with Endangered Hawksbill Turtle in Bonaire

Good morning friends, don’t you just love sea turtles? They’re one of the most universally loved of all the earth’s ocean creatures but they are in danger of literally being loved to death. At just 10% of their numbers a century ago, the Hawksbill sea turtles of the Solomon Islands especially could really use your help. How you ask??
Posted in Conservation, Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What to Consider Before Giving a Marine Aquarium for Christmas

A saltwater aquarium could be a fantastic gift or an unwanted burden.We marine aquarium keepers get so much pleasure from our avocation that we want to invite others into the hobby to share in the enjoyment and hopefully develop a similar passion for the underwater realm. It’s only natural, then, to contemplate giving an aquarium to a non-hobbyist family member or friend as a Christmas gift. However, while our underlying intentions may be pure and a saltwater aquarium might seem like a very thoughtful present, there are several significant factors to weigh before venturing down this potentially perilous road. They include: The recipient’s age and maturity Oftentimes, children are the intended recipient of such a gift because we want to awaken an interest in the hobby while they’re still young. But as every parent knows, kids tend to be extremely fickle in their interests, short of attention span, and lacking in follow-through. Even older children and teens can lack the maturity to be trusted with ongoing aquarium care. That means much, if not all, of the responsibility for maintaining the aquarium will likely fall squarely on the parents’ shoulders—a reality they may not appreciate. The recipient’s lifestyle There’s no getting around the fact that marine aquariums require regular hands-on care and maintenance—even if many of the chores are automated
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