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Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 2

reefthreads1 Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 2 It’s day two and we have so much to talk about. Here’s a just some of what we’re seeing, hearing, and learning. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 2More:

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Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef Tanks

reef chemistry1 Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef TanksCalcium and alkalinity are vitally important chemical parameters in reef aquariums. They are used by stony corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons. A lack of calcium and alkalinity in the water will inhibit the growth of reef-building corals and invertebrates, which will eventually lead to health problems. What is calcium? Calcium is one of the major ions in salt water. It is the fifth most common ion in salt water behind, chloride, sodium, sulfate, and magnesium. In most healthy reefs, the calcium level hovers around 425 parts per million (ppm). More: Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef TanksMore:

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The Pros and Cons of a Bare-Bottomed Marine Tank

bare bottom tank1 The Pros and Cons of a Bare Bottomed Marine TankIf you’re in the process of planning and setting up a new saltwater aquarium, you’ll need to give some thought to the type of substrate you’d like to use. It may seem counterintuitive, but one of your options in this area is to dispense with any sort of substrate altogether and go bare-bottomed (BB). To help you decide whether the BB approach might be right for you, here are some of the pros and cons to consider: Pros: Very easy to vacuum up uneaten food, fish waste, and other detritus that has settled to the bottom without siphoning up sand in the process. Allows you to aim the effluents of powerheads and other sources of water movement in any direction desired to maximize water flow throughout the system and behind rockwork without creating an underwater “sand storm.” Detritus more readily remains suspended in the water column so it can be filtered/skimmed out efficiently. Cost savings from going sans substrate can be significant depending on the size of your system. Cons: Arguably less natural looking, though this is a matter of taste. (Plus, coralline algae and, potentially, various encrusting invertebrates will eventually conceal the bottom, giving the system a more natural look.) Can’t keep burrowing fishes as easily. Some BB aficionados get around this by placing a substrate-filled container somewhere in the system. Having no sand-dwelling microfauna can mean lower biodiversity More: The Pros and Cons of a Bare-Bottomed Marine TankMore:

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Lower Keys Coral Bleaching Report (August 22, 2014)

600stag Lower Keys Coral Bleaching Report (August 22, 2014)
Having been preoccupied with the Miami Coral Rescue Mission this summer, we finally made our first excursion to the Lower Keys this summer on Friday August 22. Sadly, we found that a distressingly high percentage of corals living on the reefs in Hawk Channel are severely bleached. Most of the staghorn corals that we saw were severely bleached or actively dying, though there were a few hardy exceptions. Nearly all of the brain corals were bone white. All over the reef we observed an unhealthy mix of cyanobacteria and algae proliferating on previously dead coral skeletons. Even the normally hardy gorgonians, corallimorphs, and zoanthids showed significant bleaching on all three patch reefs we checked. The water temperature was an uncomfortable 89 degrees on the bottom. Without strong winds or storms to More: Lower Keys Coral Bleaching Report (August 22, 2014)More:

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A Recap of the MBI Workshop 2014

workshop1 A Recap of the MBI Workshop 2014Hosted by the Marinelife Aquarium Society of Michigan (MASM) and the Marine Breeding Initiative (MBI), and held July 19, 2014 at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, this was the fifth workshop they have offered dealing solely with the captive breeding of marine species. This approach supports the sustainability of the aquarium hobby and gives home aquarists the information needed to propagate marine aquarium animals in their homes. Aquarists who are successful at raising their own animals always learn skills along the way that translate to better aquarium keeping overall. Knowing that networking is at least as important as the lectures themselves, the MBI organized a pre-workshop reception and a post-workshop barbeque, allowing attendees to interface with the speakers and gain additional insight in an informal setting. I’ve attended this conference in the past, and presented on the Toledo Zoo’s efforts to propagate boarfish, as well as our pilot marine fish propagation program. Here are brief descriptions of the day’s presentations: 1. The first speaker was Matt Pedersen, an editor for Coral and Amazonas magazines, who spoke about clownfish species and varieties. He feels (as I do) that Amphiprion leucokranos and A. theilli are not valid species, but are, rather, naturally occurring hybrids More: A Recap of the MBI Workshop 2014More:

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Deep Red

IMG 8216sm Deep Red

Bigeye, Priacanthus arenatus. This specimen was found drifting in Sargassum weed.

 Red coloration and large eyes are typical of deep-water fishes.… More:
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Rising Tide Intern Joe Frith

Joes%2Bblog%2Bpic Rising Tide Intern Joe FrithHello Everybody!  My name is Joe Frith and I have been interning here at the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, FL for the past 2 months. I would first like to say “thank you” to Dr. Judy St. Leger, Eric, Kevin, Roy, Craig, Jon and the rest of the staff here at the Lab for giving me this opportunity and making this a meaningful experience. I’m currently an undergraduate at the University of Missouri-Columbia completing my degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a minor in Biology. As a child growing up in the woods of Missouri I was always very intrigued by the natural world and usually had several different aquariums spread throughout my house at any one time. My interest in the aquatic world slowly evolved from freshwater aquariums to saltwater aquariums to eventually trying my hand at breeding the Bluestripe pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus), which I had help with from Matt Pederson and the other members at MarineBreeders.org.  It was back in February of this year, after reading posts on the Rising Tide blog that I decided to contact Dr. St. Leger about possible internships they may be awarding for the summer. I received an email shortly after and we soon started laying the groundwork for me to become an intern at TAL. What was once a dream was now a reality. Over the course of this summer I have helped the Rising
Tide team with a number of different projects ranging from Pacific blue tang and
emperor angelfish spawning to water quality refinement in an attempt to
increase spawning and overall health of all brood fish. Specifically I constructed an algae scrubbing device, complete with mangroves, which has made a significant impact on lower the nitrate levels in the fish growout system (the details of which will be discussed in a future blog). In addition I have learned a lot about the whole marine fish larval rearing process including egg collection, egg counting, stocking and density, and important first food items such as copepod nauplii and rotifers. And if I wasn’t working on any one of these projects I was traveling alongside Dr. Roy Yanong to one of the many aquaculture farms here in the Ruskin area. This experience has opened my eyes even further to the wonderful world of
aquaculture and I can’t think of any other way I would’ve rather spent my
summer.… More:

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Reef Threads Podcast #194

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #194

Arm of a basket starfish.This week we talk about something for beginners and something for veterans. The beginner segment is mistakes to a avoid and the veteran segment is what to think about before turning your hobby into a business. We also learn that some people go to reef events carrying their own autograph pen so that they’re at the ready when a signature is requested. 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 #194

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