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Larval Rearing of the Purple Mask Angelfish

P.+venusta+d3+10913+40x+25C+photo+by+Karen+Brittain+jpg Larval Rearing of the Purple Mask Angelfish

Larval rearing trials began with the spawning of a Paracentropyge venusta pair in the summer of 2013. The first successful larval rearing trial started with a small spawn on November 13, 2013.  This was the fifth larval run with this species and the focus was on food density and consumption at different developmental phases.  The diet consisted of both cultured copepods and wild collected plankton with all food items being less than 100 microns in size.  To assess consumption rates, five random samples were taken for initial food counts at the start of each test period. All food items added to the larval tank during the test period were counted while maintaining a density of 1 to 2 food items per ml in the water column. At the end of the time period counts were again done to determine larval consumption. At this point a 75% water change was MORE:Larval Rearing of the Purple Mask AngelfishMore:

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Sharknose Goby, Gobies, Small Cleaner Fish

d388Goby Sharknose Goby, Gobies, Small Cleaner FishI guys and gals, I have a cute little Sharknose Goby, Gobiosoma evelynae resting in a little pocket of brain coral for you all today. These little fish as you may or may not know are known for engaging in symbiosis with other marine creatures by providing them cleaning service that consists of getting rid of ectoparasites on their bodies. In return, the Sharknose Gobies obtain their primary source of food, ectoparasites. Sharknose gobies are very small, torpedo-shaped fish. Although sizes vary slightly by species, they are generally about (1.5 inch) long. They have dark bodies with iridescent stripes running from the tip of the nose to the base of the caudal fin. MOREMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip: The Best Advice For Fish Food

Your college days may be filled with memories of living off just Top Ramen. Your fish don’t need the same memories. 
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Free Swimming Caribbean Reef Octopus at Night

52e1Free Swimming Octopus 457x305 Free Swimming Caribbean Reef Octopus at NightHi gang, I know I’m late again, what can I say?? The first thing I did this morning was to setup my camera and take off the sea for an hour and a half dive, what a great way to start the day. My goal for the dive was mainly to test my newly fixed camera housing that had a broken electrical connection last week but thanks to Bruce (one of our sub pilots) it’s working again like a charm. Bruce is our “Master of everything” around here!! He not only pilots the sub, he fixes and repairs any and everything on it, runs the crane, does electrical repairs for me all the time, he’s a crazy great diver, and on and on!! So while on my dive this morning I spotted a Peppermint Basslet at 75 feet and once he saw me he went into hiding somewhere deep in the reef and I never saw him again! MORE: MOREMore:

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Reef Threads Podcast #156

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #156http://cdn.wso.net/reefthreads/podcasts/rt156.mp3
One of those little fairy wrasses.We return once again, this week to discuss progress with Christine’s tank, the typhoon in the Philippines, Dana Riddle’s lighting research, flow, food, photographing coral with flash, and reef logs. 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 #156More:

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The Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia)

lobophyllia miami hurricane reef od The Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia)Do you feel like your reef could use a higher I.Q. Score? The number one cause of a stupid aquarium is a lack of brains! Okay, maybe the brain coral does not help much in the intelligence factor but they do add a massive increase of awesomeness. Open Brain corals add a certain fluff of color that is not available in other types of coral. The Lobophyllia can eat very large morsels of food, so they are fun to watch. They have many names: Large Flower Coral, Modern Coral, Meat Coral, Flat Brain, Carpet Brain, Colored Brain, and Lobed Brain. They come in any variation of color from bright red to gunship gray and everything in between. The Lobophyllia is a very varied species. They are semi-aggressive and have sweeper tentacles. During the night they stretch them out during feeding to capture food and keep their area free of trespassing corals. They must have adequate space around them. They are not hard to keep by any means. They simply require high lighting and moderate current, preferably a wave motion. They will spread onto surrounding rock and also create their own skeleton as they grow and colonize the area. As they grow you will need to move any corals further away to prevent a stinging war. lobo feeder tentacles image via AquaSD Keeping your water clean and stable is very important like with other corals. Testing and maintaining calcium, alkalinity, and pH will ensure supreme growth and longevity. More: The Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia)More:

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Entemnotrochus adansonianus, Pleurotomariidae

8cb8Slit Shells 650 457x305 Entemnotrochus adansonianus, Pleurotomariidae Hello all, sorry about the super late blog today but it’s been crazy around here today. As promised yesterday here are five live slit-shells for you viewing pleasure today and try not to droll on your computer. There are three Perotrochus Quoyanus shown here and two Entemnotrochus adansonianus, I’m betting you can tell the two species apart. The three on the left are the Perotrochus Quoyanus and the two on the right are the more rare Entemnotrochus adansonianus. Unlike other slit-shell specimens we have found the one Perotrochus Quoyanus with the greenish top is the hands down largest one we have ever found and the little yellow Entemnotrochus adansonianus all the way to the right is the smallest we have ever found. We also have a live Perotrochus Quoyanus the size of a pea in the lab right now, you kind of have to see it to believe it!! The Perotrochus Quoyanus are found at 450-500 around feet and the Entemnotrochus adansonianus are found deeper from 600-700 feet. I am still trying to find a name for the cool little sea-urchin and the tiny anemone that is hidden below the lowest shell in the middle. Our slit-shells love encrusting sponges and algae and do very well in MORE: Entemnotrochus adansonianus, PleurotomariidaeMore:

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Grooved Brain Coral, Giant Colony of Brain Coral

e834Brain Coral Grooved Brain Coral, Giant Colony of Brain Coral Good morning friends, here is a very threatened coral called Grooved Brain Coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis that we found at the little pier directly behind the airport in Bonaire. From my own observations as a diver and underwater photographer this specific coral has really taken a beating over the past few years and is becoming harder and harder to find. A few years ago Curacao, Bonaire and the whole Caribbean went through one of the worst seasons of coral bleaching ever and many of these coral colonies did not recover! Like many divers I am still haunted by what the reef was transformed into during this long period of warm Caribbean water which laid waste to so many hard and soft corals. Our reefs here in Curacao are now filled with mound after mound of dead brain corals that never made it through the last bleaching and are a constant reminder of global warming. So now when I find these beautiful colonies of brain corals on any reef I always stop and take a photo, if conditions don’t get better these will disappear and photos will be all that is left. Brain coral includes several varieties of coral that are generally round or oval in shape with grooved or smooth ridges meandering across their surface so that they look much like a brain. Brain corals grow in shallow, warm water in all of the world’s oceans. While brain corals look like colorful ocean-floor plants, they are actually animals. Colonies of polyps secreting a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate create the brain coral, which can live for hundreds of years. Colonies grow to as much as six feet in height. The name applies to corals in the Faviidae family, which are part of the Cnidaria phylum known as “sea flowers.” The appearance of brain coral ridges ranges from flattened to folded to figure-eight shaped. Brain corals live for hundreds of years with reports of some approaching 900 years in age or more. Their skeletons hold a wealth of information for scientists to study. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts has used cross sections of ancient brain coral to reconstruct 500 years of Atlantic Ocean climate data. Like most corals, brain corals gain nutrition from small marine animals and invertebrates that float by as well as from an algae that grows on the coral. Polyps in the brain coral colonies stretch out from the mound to collect the food floating past them.… More:

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