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The LTR Rainbow Incinerator Paly is a Knockout

Being that it is Friday and Christmas is so so close, we decided to relax a bit and enjoy the view. So, we are going to make today all about some awesome corals we recently spotted on the web. First up is the Rainbow Incinerator paly from Love The Reef. This awesome polyp symbolizes all that is awesome with these corals, sporting intense colors that would make any hobbyist stop and drool for a moment or two. They sport long skirts that have a striped pattern, along with a vibrant swathe of colors on its oral disc.
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5 Signs of Inadequate Water Movement in Reef Aquariums

Proper water circulation is one of many elements that are key to maintaining a healthy reef system. While there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all water-flow scheme (you really have to tailor the flow to the unique needs of the invertebrates you keep), there are certain signs that will tip you off to inadequate circulation. Among them: 1) Detritus buildup in “dead spots” Some settling of detritus is unavoidable in a reef system, but excessive buildup tends to occur in tanks with inadequate water movement or “dead spots”—specific areas in the tank with poor to nonexistent flow. A good level of water movement will keep most particulate matter in suspension long enough to be captured by mechanical filtration media (socks, sponges, etc.), so this is a sign that you need to either boost the overall flow in the tank, by adding more or stronger sources (e.g. powerheads), or redirect existing water-flow sources to greater effect. 2) Corals fail to expand When coral specimens remain in a prolonged contracted state—with their tissues/polyps withdrawn—one possible explanation is inadequate water movement. Now, many different environmental factors can cause this behavior, so failure to expand is by no means diagnostic, but that symptom coupled with others listed here may be a good indicator that better circulation is in order. 3) Leather corals have trouble shedding Along very similar lines, if your livestock includes leather corals (e.g., Sarcophyton and Sinularia spp.), which occasionally go through a natural process of contracting their polyps, developing a waxy coating over their surface, and then eventually sloughing off this layer, inadequate water flow may make it difficult for them to shed.
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Perfect Aquarium Nerd Christmas Gifts 2014 Edition

With Christmas about three weeks away and closing in fast, we’ve decided to compile our annual list of aquarium goodies that you can get the aquarium nerd in your life. This is a diverse list that represents different price points and different types of gear. Of course, this list isn’t all inclusive, but we tried to represent the most popular and most useful products available.
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6 Comments Non-Hobbyists Make When Viewing Marine Aquariums

The other day, two installers were in my home laying a new vinyl floor in my kitchen when they took note of my aquariums. One of them was especially enthralled by my reef tank (which is ironic—more on this later) and asked about a dozen questions. He even took out his phone and snapped a picture of the tank to show his wife. It’s always interesting to hear non-hobbyists’ reactions to my aquariums because they’re surprisingly consistent and, I suspect, give a pretty good sense of how most non-salties perceive our avocation. Here are just a few of the more common questions and comments I hear. Perhaps some will sound familiar to you. 1) “Is that a freshwater or saltwater tank?” Now, I’ve been asked this question aplenty, but it still surprises me a little bit every time.
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Aqua SD Shows Off their Bright Phoenix Suns Monti

Here is part two of hopefully a three part montage of awesome corals with which to fill your Friday. It is one sick monti from Aqua SD called the ASD Phoenix Suns Montipora. If you follow professional basketball at all, then you’d instantly be able to associated this lovely coral with the rather bright logo and team colors of the Phoenix Suns. Where the basketball team has more of a purple and yellow, the monti counterpart sports more of a vibrant pink and yellow, with blue polyps that dot the landscape. What is most catching about this piece, at least in our opinions, is the utter intensity of the colors. These are really bright colors that would make this coral a showstopper in any tank
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Deep Sea Stars, Linckia sp. Echinoderms

Good afternoon one and all, sorry about the late post but I have been in the deep-water labs all morning photographing a bunch of new specimens found by the Smithsonian Institution on their submersible dive yesterday. I spent the morning shooting a juvenile four inch toadfish found at around 800 feet, a beautiful hermit crab, two more slit-shells and this giant 12 inch tall sea star you see above. We think this is a Linckia sp. but until we know for sure I will just say “don’t quote me on that”. Unlike brittle stars that are so fragile and can move so fast, this sea star is hard and moves super slow
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Picture of the Week, Glowing Zoanthid Colony

We don’t know what they’re called, and frankly, we don’t care what they’re called. These are some amazing zoanthids, regardless of their given trade name, and their colors are popping right out of the screen. We spied this awesome colony at a local frag swap, hypnotizing us under the blue glow of one of the vendors at the show. The coral features some sharply contrasting colors, including a neon green mouth surrounded by a dark center, a neon pink ring, another dark section, and tentacles tipped in neon green. The alternating colors, coupled with the utter vibrancy of the neons make this a nice piece of eye candy.
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ORA Fish and Frags Roundup from 2014

A continuing theme in the aquarium hobby over the years has been that of captive bred fish and aquacultured corals, and as each year passes, the list of conquered species just grows and grows. The efforts are obviously from the cumulative efforts of several individuals and organizations, though companies like ORA are at the forefront of the awesome and unexpected breakthroughs. Last year, we celebrated ORA’s long list of captive bred fish and corals, and just as they continue to crank out new livestock this year, we will continue to cover and applaud their efforts.
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