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The More The Merrier: Increase The Peace… With Fish

In the first investigation of its kind, experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter have assessed people’s physical and mental responses to tanks containing varying levels of fish. Their findings were recently published in the journal Environment & Behaviour. The researchers conducted their study when the UKs National Marine Aquarium refurbished one of its main exhibits – a  45ft, 550,000 litre tank – and began a phased introduction of different fish species. Assessing the mood, heart rate and blood pressure of 112 participants as fish numbers in the exhibit gradually increased, they found that found that increased biota levels were not only associated with longer spontaneous viewing of the exhibit, but also greater reductions in heart rate, greater increases in self-reported mood, and higher interest. “Fish tanks and displays are often associated with attempts at calming patients in doctors’ surgeries and dental waiting rooms,” said Deborah Cracknell, PhD Student and Lead Researcher at the National Marine Aquarium. “This study has, for the first time, provided robust evidence that ‘doses’ of exposure to underwater settings could actually have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.” Dr Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at the University of Exeter, added: “Our findings have shown improvements for health and wellbeing in highly managed settings, providing an exciting possibility for people who aren’t able to access outdoor natural environments.

The Two-Stripe Damsel: Hardiness and Hostility in Equal Measure

Two-stripe damsel (Dascyllus reticulatus)Among the pomacentrids (damsels and clownfishes) are many species that rank exceptionally high when it comes to hardiness in aquaria (thus their once common use as tank cyclers) but also tend to mature into little hellions that can turn a peaceful community tank into an underwater war zone. The genus Dascyllus contains more than its fair share of these hardy-but-hostile damsels, including the subject of today’s profile: Dascyllus reticulatus, the two-stripe or reticulate damsel. Though not chromatically gifted, D. reticulatus is striking in appearance nonetheless. Cute and peaceful as a juvenile, the two-stripe damsel can tempt hobbyists into making an impulse purchase only to discover later on that this Indo-Pacific pomacentrid is anything but passive. That aside, it can be a good candidate for a more rough-and-tumble community. You just have to keep that territorial belligerence foremost in mind when choosing a system and tankmates

New Era Aquaculture reborn as World Feeds

Yorkshire-based fish foods company New Era Aquaculture Ltd has been sold out of administration and a new company, World Feeds Ltd has been set up backed by sizeable financial investment which will facilitate a major expansion plan for the re-born operation. All existing staff have been retained by World Feeds and the products have been re-branded as Vitalis Aquatic Nutrition in the UK and in the rest of the world, and will be known as Balance Aquatic Nutrition in the USA. New Era had been burdened with the cost of trademark litigation in the US, which led to the appointment of administrators.  It was sold to World Feeds, the new company supported by investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Juvenile Trumpetfish

Good morning friends, many have written and asked what kind of fish is always floating in front of our LIVE underwater online video camera that we have at 50 feet out in front of our Substation lagoon. Well as you can see from the photo I took on friday it’s a little reddish/brown trumpetfish which has decided this camera is perfect for his new home. When I went out to take the photo he was right in front of the camera lens as you see here with his head down and tail straight up to the sky but as I got closer he drifted behind the camera and stayed there until I was gone. From a distance I watched as he then came back to the exact location and continued to hang there upside down, what a cool little fish. Pretty amazing that this fish can get up to three foot long! For your chance of spotting him just go to…… www.seasubmarine.com Waking up tired today from a long 40 mile mountain bike ride yesterday that I did with three other friends and countless other activities during the day…

Smiling Parrotfish

Good morning gang, more weird weather today, the ocean is still a mess and we have overcast skies with little chance for rain and of course lets not forget the never ending winds! We do have another submersible run today which should happen at around 11:15 and your truly will be under the sea taking pictures, you might luck out and see us at the link below…. www.seasubmarine.com I have another fun fish face for you all today that I took a few weeks ago on our Substation house reef. This is a beautiful parrotfish shot during the day at F22 creating the non-distracting black background and lots of great details.

The Pyramid Butterflyfish: A Hardy, Reef-Safe Chaetodontid

Pyramid Butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis)While many of the butterflyfishes are challenging—if not outright impossible—to maintain in captivity for one reason or another, there are various species that go against the grain and make excellent or reasonably solid aquarium candidates. Among the “reasonably solid” species is the pyramid butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis)—a generally hardy, adaptable, not-too-difficult-to-feed, and beautiful chaetodontid from the Indo-Pacific. I wouldn’t rate this species foolproof by any means, but it’s fairly durable as butterflyfishes go. Physical traitsH. polylepis is highly laterally compressed (flattened from side to side—typical of butterflies) with a relatively short snout and small, terminal mouth. Its head is brownish in color, and it has a broad, white pyramid-shaped pattern on its flanks, from which its common name is derived.

5 Traits of a “Beginner” Marine Fish

Captive-bred Banggai Cardinalfish are a great example of a beginner fishWhat exactly does it mean when we say that a marine fish is “good for beginners”? After all, it’s not like certain fish species come with training wheels or have a set of care instructions tattooed on their dorsal fins (though I may just have to patent that idea). So what sets a “beginner fish” apart from ones better suited to more experienced hobbyists or even experts? While there are no hard-and-fast rules here, I recommend that hobby newcomers look for the following five traits when shopping for fish: 1) Community compatibleThere are always exceptions, but most novice hobbyists likely want to have an interesting mix of fish species rather than get too specialized. That means that any fish acquired should coexist in relative peace and harmony with its tankmates provided proper order of introduction is observed. Notice the emphasis on “proper order of introduction.” If you ignore the rule of introducing fish in the order of least aggressive to most aggressive, you’ll end up with chaos no matter how beginner-friendly the fish may be otherwise. Of course, some fish—such as clown triggers—become so explosively violent that they have no place in a community tank regardless of when they’re introduced. 2) Hardy and adaptable From time to time, beginners (and quite a few more experienced hobbyists, I might add) are going to make mistakes that negatively impact water quality and chemistry

French Angelfish

Good morning friends, I know long time no blog, sorry about that! We have been crazy busy with our family members and yesterday we had submersible runs here at Substation Curacao all day long! On monday we took the family to a place called Porto Marie which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Curacao, equipped with a dive shop, restaurant and hundreds of beach chairs. I mostly hung out in the shade taking pictures of a three year old and a five year old playing in the sand while the parents got in the water with Aimee and explored the shallows with fins and masks.  Here is a big beautiful French Angelfish, Pomacanthus paru that lives out in front of the Substation, I see him and his or her mate almost every day.

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