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Is the Internet a Viable Resource for Marine Aquarium Research?

Virtually since the advent of the internet, there’s been a tendency in our hobby to rate the reliability and trustworthiness of online content beneath that of print-format materials—books, magazines, and so forth. But is this assessment really fair?The general premises behind this viewpoint are: Anyone with a computer and internet connection can post anything they want online, whether or not he or she has the requisite expertise to expound on the subject. Online articles and posts are seldom given professional editorial treatment and/or subjected to peer review, so you can’t trust that they’ve been vetted properly for accuracy. There tends to be an “echo-chamber effect” online, so inaccurate or outright fallacious information appearing on one site can be picked up immediately by others and repeated ad nauseam, creating the false impression of consensus on the information/viewpoint. Now, there’s truth to each of these arguments, but as someone who’s made his living as a writer/editor for nearly 20 years (primarily in print format) and once served on an editorial committee that reviewed book submissions for a major retail pet chain, I can say with some confidence that print materials have their limitations as reference sources, too. Among them: Just as with online materials, print books and magazines are no more reliable or accurate than the writers and editors who produce them. You can’t assume that just because someone went to the effort to produce something in hardcopy, the information it contains was properly vetted.

5 Reasons New Aquarium Hobbyists “Crash and Burn”

A misguided and hasty approach often leads to a failed aquarium and exit from the hobbyIt’s a tale as old as the hobby itself: A novice marine aquarist sets up his or her first system, runs headlong into every conceivable obstacle and pitfall, responds with a series of misguided decisions, loses a whole tank’s worth of fish and corals, and finally chucks the entire hobby in frustration and despair, all the while cursing Neptune and that silly enchanted trident of his. Just as this scenario is all too common (with the possible exception of the Neptune part), so too are the reasons many novice marine aquarists fail and drop out of the hobby. A post-mortem analysis of the average hobby failure would likely reveal one or more of the following five underlying elements:1. Failure to research I’m including this point first because it’s the most significant contributor to hobby dropout and encompasses many of the major oversights that newcomers make. Failing to cycle, skipping quarantine, overstocking/overfeeding, combining incompatible species, and choosing inappropriate life-support equipment (skimmer, lighting, etc.) are just some of the bad decisions new hobbyists sometimes make due to lack of prior research—and all can have hobby-ending (not to mention budget-breaking) consequences. Without ever reading hobby literature, perusing informative websites, seeking advice from more advanced hobbyists, studying up on the habits and demands of various species, etc., newcomers don’t even know they’re supposed to be concerned about these things—or, as Caribbean Chris and I like to say, “They don’t even know that they don’t know.” And that’s a recipe for certain disaster in this hobby! 2. Having no coherent strategy The best way to get started on the road to success in our crazy pastime is to establish a set of long-term goals—a strategic vision of the type of system and livestock you’d like to keep—and then implement the appropriate tactics, equipment purchases, and stocking approach to help you achieve those goals.

Neptune Systems Par Monitoring Kit

neptune systems PMK
Neptune Systems is pleased to announce that it will begin shipping its new Par Monitoring Kit, priced at $299.95, to North America next month. For more information, go to:

BREATHTAKING Reef Aquarium! HD -104 Gallons

Marco's Email- This 104 gallon reef aquarium belongs to Marco Pardun of Dortmund, Germany. It is a room divider reef and it really is breathtaking. The equipment list is rounded out with a Bubble Magus Curve 5 protein skimmer, Jebao DC-3000 return pump, Jebao RW-8 wavemaker, Eheim Jager heater, DIY activated carbon and GFO reactor, and sump. The corals he has include a diverse variety of SPS and mix of assorted LPS, soft corals, and zoanthids.

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.

ORA Hector’s Goby is the Latest Conquest of Captive Breeding

No sooner than we wrap up our coverage of all of ORA’s 2014 captive bred fish and aquacultured frags, the famed fish breeders announce one more entry for the year. Yesterday, they revealed tha they had bred the Hector’s Goby (Koumansetta hectori), a nifty little fish that is as strikingly beautiful as it is peaceful. This tiny fish measures just 2″ long at its maximum size, and it spends a majority of the day hovering hear the rocks while grazing on various types of algae. Thought to be the first time this fish has ever been captive-bred, ORA had some difficulty getting this fish to market, so to speak. This was due in part to the fish’s extremely tiny size, unreliable spawning amongst broodstock individuals, relatively long larval stages, and overall fragile larvae. Thankfully, ORA’s experience with the Priolepis genus translated flawlessly to the Hector’s Goby and they were eventually able to overcome those barriers.

Pacific Sun’s Kore 5th Magnetic Stirrer Automates Yet Another Time Consuming Task

Last year, Pacific Sun debuted the smartest, fanciest dosing pump system on the planet in the Kore 5th, so it only makes sense that they develop accessories that will boost the effectiveness of that system. One of the major drawbacks to automated dosing is the fact that the bottles of chemicals sit in an aquarium stand, untouched and forgotten, allowing the critical components of the solutions to settle on the bottoms of the bottles. While the responsible hobbyist might come by and shake the bottles regularly, let’s face it, not all of us do that step. To answer that conundrum, Pacific Sun has released some teaser info on their Kore 5th Magnet Stirrer, which as its name suggests keeps the solutions at their freshest by keeping them mixed up prior to dosing. If the Magnetic Stirrer is anything like what we see in other applications, then the hobbyist will have to drop a magnetic stir bar into each bottle and place it on the rack to let it do its thing. The stir rates and times are all controlled through the actual Kore 5th dosing pump, which attaches to the top of the rack, as seen in the photos

Sea & Reef Debut Their New Wide Bar Mocha Gladiator Clownfish

MORE: Sea & Reef Debut Their New Wide Bar Mocha Gladiator ClownfishMore: 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.