Tag Archives: Coral

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Spiral Grafting

photo 21 293x300 Spiral GraftingMy most recent spiral graft is part art project, part science experiment, and involves a genus that I have had great success with in the past, Acanthastrea. I used two corals that originally came from the same mother colony; over the span of two years, one line of clones took on a remarkably different coloration. One set of clones was kept in the aquaculture system connected to Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon reef tank. The other set was kept in the ReefGen aquaculture on the other side of the aquarium. Both systems receive the same original make up water but have different coral and fish populations, as well as different lighting (T5 vs LED). I have made numerous grafts of various sorts of the years. Not all grafts take, but those that do produce stunning results. I knew that these two lines would indeed fuse since they are clones, but I was curious to see how they would influence each other’s color after such a long period of separation in different conditions.… More:

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Reef Threads Podcast #199

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #199

Ret Talbot is our guest this week to talk about issues that affect the future of our hobby.Ret Talbot joins us this week to discuss endangered and threatened marine species, recent National Marine Fisheries Service regulation activities, and what all of this means for marine-aquarium hobbyists. This is an important subject that could affect the future of this hobby. We also encourage you to support PIJAC’s efforts to collaborate with regulation authorities. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #199

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Fused Montastrea in Belize

14 300x200 Fused Montastrea in Belize

Close up of shared polyp between two colonies.

 I was recently going through pictures from my exploratory trip to Belize earlier this year. I was especially interested in coral that were growing in close contact with one another, and I took many pictures and videos of coral interactions. A relationship that struck me as particularly interesting was one between two colonies of Montastrea growing side by side. There was a streak of color in one colony leading from one coral to the other across the area where the two colonies met. I zoomed up with my camera and discovered that one of the polyps was shared by both colonies. I have seen this happen with many of my Acanthastrea echinata grafts (another coral species with high Thrausto counts), where only one area or polyp will fuse while the rest of the graft remains separated. I speculate that there is a regulation between the two corals’ immune systems, only at that location, aided by the presence of similar populations of Thraustochytridsymbionts. The white paper “Identification of a protist-coral association and its possible ecological role” by a team of scientists in Israel, (http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps2006/317/m317p067.pdf ) expounds on this idea. The article has several pictures that show the colored striations of Thrausto populations in several coral species. Enjoy this video of photos I took in Belize of the coral, starting close and zooming out from the shared polyp between the two colonies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dt3DCCCWUUMore:
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Keeping the Magic Alive, Cyphastrea Combos

photo 1 1 1024x768 Keeping the Magic Alive, Cyphastrea Combos

Long term stable combo of Seriatopora and Cyphastrea

 I love Cyphastrea; it is a beautiful coral, and one that I have had great success with, but one day I realized that I had been growing it for so long that the excitement was gone.  I didn’t want to stop my work with one of my favorite corals, but I knew I had to make a change. There was only one solution for me – give it a hat of SPS! I am fascinated with coral interactions, from complete fusion of soft tissue to understanding long term competition and overgrowth. Sometimes, the success or failure of the experiment is size dependent, other times, food availability or water flow are the most important factors. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed replicating certain… More:
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Coral Growth Plummets on GBR

A recent study has documented a historical decline in coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. A team led by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira compared measurements of the rate of calcification on a segment of the GBR called Bird Island between 1975 and 1979 to those made at a neighboring Island in 2008 and 2009. The team found that the rates of calcification were 40 percent lower during the 2008-2009 period than in the 1975-1979 period. 140917121225 large 300x199 Coral Growth Plummets on GBR“Coral reefs are getting hammered,” said Caldeira. “Ocean acidification, global warming, coastal pollution, and overfishing are all damaging coral reefs. Coral reefs have been around for millions of years, but are likely to become a thing of the past unless we start running our economy as if the sea and sky matters to us very soon.” Read more here.… More:

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Coral Spawning 2014, Curacao Coral Spawning

56e5Coral Spawning 1 for blog Coral Spawning 2014, Curacao Coral SpawningGood morning from the sunny Caribbean!! Aimee and I are walking around like zombies this morning after being out in the ocean till 11:00 last night filming coral spawning! Yes, it’s that time of the year again and for us it’s the one time of the year we love diving the most! Last night we entered the sea in all it’s darkness at exactly 9:30 and by 9:45 we saw our first eggs getting ready to be released. Aimee found this beautiful colony of Boulder Star Coral. Montastraea annularis that you see above and we decided immediately that this would be our 1st photo stop MOREMore:

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Our Hobby is Under Attack

pijac1 1 Our Hobby is Under AttackWe’re currently facing legislation that could put an end to our hobby as we know it. And no, I’m not sensationalizing the situation. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking you and your home aquarium(s) wouldn’t be affected, because they absolutely could. We first heard about the potential issues at MACNA 2013, and this past MACNA further solidified the urgency of action to protect our hobby. The current issues date back to a 2009 petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to move 83 reef-building coral species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Just last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 20 of those species (5 Caribbean, 15 Indo-Pacific) as threatened. This happened after scientific information submitted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)—they’re on our side—proved that many of the 83 species did not warrant protection under the ESA. According to PIJAC, the NMFS will likely apply ESA’s “take” prohibitions to the newly listed coral species sooner rather than later. More: Our Hobby is Under AttackMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank Covers MACNA 2014 Part 1

MACNA is the premier tradeshow for the saltwater aquarium world and here’s part of what caught my eye 
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