Tag Archives: food

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Mystery Circles on Seahorse Solved? Watch out for the Asterina Stars

Asterina seastar on glass. Photo by Vishal BhaveCC BY-NC-SA When are spots on a seahorse not spots? When they’re starfish bites. Recently, a fellow seahorse keeper Adrienne Smith asked about some unusual markings on her seahorses.

Larval Rearing of the Purple Mask Angelfish

3 day old P. venusta larvae.  Photo credit: Karen Brittian. 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 carried out. I was surprised at the amount of food these little larvae could put away and as an example, at day 28 post hatch the larvae consumed approximately 2,150 food items each over a 12 hour period, (5:00am to 5:00pm). 32 day old P. venusta larvae.  Photo credit: Leighton Lum.   At one month of age the larvae started targeting larger prey items and ignored the food items less than 100 microns in size. At this point newly hatched and enriched Artemia were added to the diet along with adult cultured copepods.  The larvae also began to display benthic behavior by associating with the corners of the tank, the air stone and airline tubing.  A piece of dried coral rubble was added where the larvae took shelter.   The larvae continued to grow and develop; they were moved into a growout tank at 57 days old.  At this point we had 17 larvae remaining which equates to 6% survival from hatch. The development of juvenile colors came slowly. On day 95 they had black pigment on parts of their fins and tail.  A month later at 130 days old they were the beautiful blue and yellow of the adults. 115 day old P. venusta juvenile.  Photo credit: Leighton Lum.  Larval rearing of this species proved relatively “easy” in their first few weeks of the larval stage after which point larval development and growth seemed to slow. This could be attributed to the type and amount of wild plankton collected and fed out at that time. I feel that the larval phase could be shortened and improved upon in the area of diet. After metamorphosis the larvae were again slow to develop with a reluctance to accept non-living food items and this is also another area for improvement. The Reef Frenzy and Herbivore Frenzy frozen foods were the first choice of the juveniles when they began to accept non-living food. Currently these juveniles are fairly bold and are consuming frozen and dry foods with gusto.

Sharknose Goby, Gobies, Small Cleaner Fish

I 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.

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

Hi 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!

Reef Threads Podcast #156

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 Christine’s tank Riddle’s lighting Flash and coral photography

The Open Brain Coral (Lobophyllia)

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. A calcium reactor or kalkwasser may be something to invest in if you have a large stony coral population or a small tank. The coral grows polyps like an Acan or a favite coral, so you do not have to feed each polyp if you do not want to. lobo feeder tentacles image via AquaSD To feed a Lobo you should wait until night time when it has its feeder tentacles out. You will notice them sticking out around the mouth. Turn off the pumps and let the water calm. You can feed them anything from tiny plankton to large pieces of krill. They will grab onto it and pull it into their mouths, usually spitting out the waste later on. This will cause large inflation in sizes which may last for quite a while. Like anything on this planet, the food intake dictates its growth speed. Inland bandsaw These corals are very easy to frag in comparison to the Wellso Folded Brain, which grows as a single polyp. Simply use a tile saw and slice the heads apart and glue them to a plug to heal and become full again. Keep the water stable to reduce the chance of infection during the healing process. If the coral starts to look bleached or is not responding to food you may need to reduce the lighting and flow while it recovers. The Lobo is known to have spontaneous problems with feeding and receding. In a perfect reef it still has a random chance of coming down with the “Lobo Flu.” This is when you need to treat the colony like a frag and place it in less light and flow. Try inducing its feeding mechanism with Shrimp Eggs until it finally puts its tentacles out regularly again. Once the Lobo is back to good health you can start to move it back to its original spot. image via Sexy Corals Lobos are a great addition to any tank no matter the skill level. As long as you keep the parameters reasonably stable, the only problem you should encounter is wanting more of them. The Lobophyllia is one of the coolest corals on the market. They are usually the among the first corals to be sold so make sure you know what days your LFS gets their shipments in! Online vendors are a great choice when trying to locate those Rare Color morphs. They look amazing under actinic lighting and if you are up when they are you can spot some very cool feeding behavior. This is one coral everyone should have in their reef. Check out the LPS forum for all types of first hand encounters with this awesome species. Reef2Reef LPS Forum: Start a new topic or browse the threads!

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 captivity. This is one of the “Holy Grail” of shells and we have sent them out to private collectors and aquariums all over the World. The superfamily of Pleurotomariacae Swainson, 1840, are among the oldest surviving mollusca on Earth having first appeared in the late upper Cambrian period over 500 million years ago. The Pleurotomariidae family includes all recent slit-shell species, first appeared in the Triassic period, some 200 million years ago. Since the discovery of the first living plearotomariid species, all have been commonly referred to as “living fossils” having previously thought to be extinct since the Tertiary. The slit-shell was first illustrated by a Japanese naturalist named Kimura Kenkado in 1755. The slit-shell family consists of top shaped shells characterized by a slit in the edge of the outer whorl. When threatened, the animal is capable of discharging a very toxic white solution! These mollusks like others do have a cool little circular operculum but it is not visible in this photo. The operculum is like a shield and uses it as a last defense to block entry into it’s delicate mantle area. Sixteen species are known to exist and all are found deep. Most extant species are in the genus Perotrochus and Entemnotrochus. The slit-shell is evolutionarily primitive and lives as a grazer. Sponges form the staple diet, although other food residues have been found in the esophagus and rectum of preserved animals. It is found in tropical and subtropical waters, typically at 300-3000 foot depths. Few people have actually observed a living slit-shell in it’s natural habitat, which can be easily explained by the nature of the habitat it is found in. The uniqueness and sheer beauty of these magnificent shells make them one of the classic rarities of the shell world. Sorry so short but I’m short on daylight, have a wonderful day!! See you soon, Barry

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