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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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Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention

Ever wonder where that vividly white sand on the beach comes from? Underwater giants produce the sand themselves through biological methods of metabolism. Yep thats right its technically fish poop. One of the largest producers of sand is the Parrotfish which ingests calcium carbonate skeletons of coral (sometimes with living polyps) and excretes them back out in the form of tiny sand grains that wash up onto beaches. These fish are the topic of a recent study highlighting how the both the positive and negative influences of such endangered species can be key factors in the success of an ecosystem. Bumphead Stiefel Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention

Douglas McCauly of the University at Santa Barbara explains his time in the field for this study: “We actually swam alongside Bumphead Parrotfish for close to six hours at a time, taking detailed data on what they ate and where they went. These large parrotfish crunch off entire pieces of reef and audibly grind them up into sand in their pharyngeal mill — specialized teeth in the back of their throat. You know Bumpheads are near when you begin noticing branches lopped off stony corals and golf-like divot scars marking the reef.

bite ENH Endangered Bumphead Gets Much Needed Attention“Most species do things to ecosystems that we would construe as both positive and negative. This viewpoint is ecologically misleading,” he states. “Endangered species are no different from their more abundant counterparts.” This dichotomy of influence is why McCauly and his team are pushing for a higher level of protection for endangered and threatened species adding: “We can, in fact, strengthen the integrity of the field of conservation biology by being rigidly objective about the observations we make in nature — even if this means reporting occasionally that rare species can damage ecosystems,” he added. “If anything, better understanding the full complement of ways that at-risk species use and affect their environment empowers us to more effectively protect them.” Read more here.… More:

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It Pays to Put Marine Fish on Hold

fish hold It Pays to Put Marine Fish on HoldMarine aquarists are always hearing that it’s unwise to purchase fish or other marine livestock on impulse—that they should thoroughly research any stocking decision to make sure the animal in question is appropriate for their system, compatible with their existing livestock, and a good match for their level of expertise. All good advice to take to heart! Now, allow me to add one more wrinkle to the fish-buying equation: In addition to doing your homework in advance of a purchase, it’s also a good idea to wait a couple days to take home a specimen that has just arrived at your LFS. I know, you’re first impulse when you see that fish you’ve been looking for is to snap it up as quickly as possible before someone else does, but practicing a little more patience and asking the dealer to hold the specimen for just a few days might pay big dividends. Why wait? But if you already know the fish you’ve got your eye on is a good choice for your system, what’s the point in waiting any longer to take it home? Here are a few good reasons to consider: Fish that die of “mysterious” causes often do so within just a few days of arriving at the LFS More: It Pays to Put Marine Fish on HoldMore:

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Picture of the Week, Dragonface Pipefish

ec5eDragonface Pipefish Picture of the Week, Dragonface Pipefish
For this installment of the AquaNerd Picture of the Week, we’re digging up a blast from the past. We’re showing off an image we took years ago of a dragonface pipefish, which is probably one of the first images we took with a macro lens as we started our foray into aquarium photography. While the image may not be technically perfect, meaning the lighting isn’t correct and the camera settings may not be right, we still love what we were able to capture. For those familiar with this particular pipefish, you know how hard they can be to photograph. They are quite small, move about quickly, and are often shy in the presence of people (especially those holding cameras). MORE: Picture of the Week, Dragonface PipefishMore:

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Friday AM Quick Tip: The DIY Nori Feeder That is Actually Secure

Feed your fish and keep your feeding device in one place.  MORE: Friday AM Quick Tip: The DIY Nori Feeder That is Actually SecureMore:

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