Tag Archives: corals

Latest Posts

3 Misconceptions About Small Marine Fish

A juvenile three-spot domino damselfish (Dascyllus trimaculatus)As human beings, it’s in our nature to assign certain traits to small animals—cute, dependent, harmless, defenseless, etc. Perhaps we think this way because when it comes to animals, people included, smallness is usually correlated with infancy. However, if applied to marine fish, this type of anthropomorphic thinking can lead to some rather significant compatibility issues in our aquariums. So let’s dispel a few of the misconceptions we may have with respect to smaller marine fish species: Small fish are peaceful While many smaller fish species seem to know they’re vulnerable to predation and bullying by larger fish and so have learned that their best defense is beating a hasty retreat whenever danger threatens, some species apparently never got the memo. For example, as mentioned in my previous post on humbug damsels, certain damselfish species, including many representatives of the genera Dascyllus and Stegastes, can be explosively belligerent despite their small size, making it very difficult to house them with other fishes (though “Caribbean Chris” claims he can calm dusky damsels into a tonic state and lead them away from the reef like an aquatic Pied Piper by playing soothing tones on a conch shell). Many of the dottyback species also pack a fairly powerful territorial punch for their size, e.g. the irresistibly colorful royal dottyback (Pictichromis paccagnellae) and the gorgeous magenta dottyback (Pictichromis porphyrea), both of which reach only 2 to 3 inches in length.
Posted in Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Science, Tanks | Leave a comment

Fish Faces, Caribbean Fish Face Photos

Good morning friends, here’s a few more “fish faces” for your viewing pleasure today that I got yesterday morning right here on our own Substation house reef! Most of you know that for the past year I have been really trying harder than usual to get some fun fish face photos but as it turns out these are the hardest photos I have ever tried to shoot! Why you ask?? Go ahead ask why!! Fish are not prone to look a diver or a potential predator in the face, they just want to flee! I spend most of my dives in hot pursuit and mostly taking tail shots.
Posted in Contest, Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleeping Parrotfish, Parrotfish Cocoon, Parrotfish

Good morning from wet Curacao!! The rains started at around 2:00 this morning and it’s still going, we have very overcast skies at the moment. Aimee took off out the desert early to feed the birds and to see if she could spot her little pigeon she released a few days ago but no “for sure” spotting. I did a fun night dive last night starting at around 8:00 and took the macro lens as my weapon of choice.
Posted in Contest, Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LED lights that make corals pop with color

I wanted to talk about LEDs for a few minutes. I've had the Radion Gen 2 over my anemone cube (60-gallon aquarium 24" x 24" x 24") for the past 12 months. As a light, it functions perfectly. Is it the best fixture ever? My feelings are a tad mixed, and I'll discuss why. The light itself provides sufficient lighting for anemones, SPS, LPS, gorgonians, zoanthids and even a T.
Posted in Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Science, Tanks | Leave a comment

Pectinia – The Next Big Thing?

Pectinia - The Next Big Thing? Nobody knows what the next super popular coral might be, but a contender is Pectinia. The common name is Spiny Cup Coral and you can see why. They have a very distinctive cup shape that grows... From: tidalgardens Views: 0 0 ratingsTime: 03:34 More in Pets & Animals
Posted in Corals, Opinion, Science | Leave a comment

Deep Sea Hermit Crab Found Living in a Sponge

Good morning friends, I have another “possible” new species of hermit crab that was brought up last friday by the Smithsonian Institution and our crew at Substation Curacao from 808 feet!! This is such a major cool find!! In the four years I have been photographing deep-water hermits this is the first one like this I have seen. The little round piece of sponge that he lives in and carries everywhere is only about an inch and a half in diameter. And since this is a sponge home he is hauling around it weighs almost nothing meaning this guy can flat out move on the sand compared to his other relatives that are using discarded shells and rocks.
Posted in Contest, Corals, Fish, Photography, Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Trouble with Coral Trade Names

A frag of “Fruit Loops” zoanthidsThe reefkeeping hobby today is full of colorful trade names for corals, and it appears that, for better or for worse, the trend is here to stay. Tidal Gardens has plenty of corals with goofy names, so we are the last folks in the world who should be judgmental about the practice. As a seller, it is clear that named corals sell better than corals with a descriptive name such as “red and blue” coral. Higher prices and greater overall demand are incentive enough for sellers to continue naming corals. The other reason that coral naming continues is that it’s literally the number one most asked question we get. When customers ask, “What is that coral called?” they aren’t asking about the genus or species; they want to know “what it’s called.” Even if the vendor were to draw a line in the sand and say no more stupid names, the market is like the mafia. It will draw you right back in
Posted in Corals, Fish, Science | Leave a comment

Unboxed: EcoTech Radion XR15w Pro

Widely regarded as market leaders in LED lighting technology for reef aquaria, EcoTech’s products are some of the most advanced and desirable available to today’s hobbyist. With a line-up that is constantly evolving to incorporate the very latest technology, we use this review to take a preliminary look at their latest and most compact LED light to date – the Radion XR15w Pro. So, getting hands-on with this unit, we are immediately impressed with the quality of presentation. The slick packaging presents the tile with beautiful simplicity and the supporting materials included reflect this. To be honest we feel like we are excitedly unpacking the latest tablet or computer peripheral rather than an aquarium item! Anyway, the light is literally ready-to-go as soon as it is lifted from its from its moulded receptacle and out of the box. Build quality appears to be excellent and we love the look of the honey-comb fan aperture. With the ducted cooling system of its larger brethren, the operating temperature of the LED array should be managed quietly and effectively. Refined in gloss black this unit looks every inch the ‘bleeding-edge’ option you craved. Measuring just 7”x7”x1.5″, the XR15 certainly is remarkably compact. Despite its diminutive size though, and thanks to the 120 degree TIR lenses fitted as standard, it is rated to illuminate a 24”x24” footprint from 8” or more above the water line. Clearly this makes it copesetic for a range of aquaria, from nano tanks up to fairly large systems (in the latter case, when used as part of an array of multiple units). Emitting a claimed maximum PAR of 825, and with a full spectrum (and UV) output optimised for coral growth full, it should be possible to maintain a range of species under this light, including light hungry species like SPS corals. Consuming just 75watts though, this is also one efficient light unit. In terms of bulbs, the XR15 is a single-cluster unit featuring 21 high-output, energy-efficient LEDs covering the full light spectrum. Specifically we have: 4 Cree XP-G2 (20W) Cool White, 4 Osram Oslon Square (20W) Deep Blue, 4 Cree XP-E (12W) Blue, 2 Cree XP-E (7W) Green,2 Osram Oslon SSL (6W) Hyper Red,1 Osram Oslon SSL (3W) Yellow, 2 SemiLEDs (5W) Indigo, 2 SemiLEDs (5W) UV. All-in-all, superb quality and more than enough colours to provide a spectrum for both coral health, good colour rendition and to replicate a diverse range of aquatic scenarios. The XR15 continues to impress when we look at its functionality, and with a variety of presets (including acclimatisation mode, weather simulation and lunar cycles) built-in, this is already one versatile unit. Take into consideration the fact the tile has a built-in RF Module that can communicate wirelessly with other Radion lights and VorTech pumps (through EcoSMART Live) and we enter a new dimension of control. Finally this unit is also ReefLink compatible and can therefore be controlled wirelessly using an ios or Android device. When you come to mount this light take note that it can easily be connected to EcoTech’s new modular RMS (Radion Mounting System – which we’ll be looking at shortly), hanging kit, or the multi-light mounting rail. Retailing here in the UK for around £360 (at time of this feature), the XR15w Pro comes backed-up with EcoTech’s 1yr warranty for the fixture/2yrs for the LEDs. To show exactly what the unit can do in the real world, we’ll be producing a full operational review of this unit when we’ve got it installed on the test tank in the near future. While you wait, take a look at EcoTech’s official run down on their website by clicking the banner below.
Posted in Corals, Fish, Science, Tanks | Leave a comment

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.