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Tag Archives: invertebrates

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CoralRX One Shots Are Back in Action After Re-release

After an apparent hiatus from the aquarium hobby (I say hiatus because of the “re-release” verbiage used in the promotional material), the One Shot single dose coral treatment from CoralRX is back and better than ever. These tiny little packets serve as a single dose coral dip that treats a wide variety of common issues (see the list below). And now they are in a much easier to use packet. Previously, the One Shots came in small glass vials, which weren’t always the easiest to open or the safest to handle

Marine Mesozoic Revolution

Stalked Crinoid Fossil. Source:

Stalked Crinoid Fossil.

 Throughout geological time, there have been many shifts in marine animal species. Amongst these shifts is a transition known as the Mesozoic Marine Revolution. This evolutionary phenomenon not only overturned a number of bottom-dwelling marine species, it transformed the appearance of the ocean floor. Roughly 252 million years ago – the start of the Mesozoic Era, the ocean floor was littered with immobile invertebrate species. These species included stalked crinoids, molluscs, brachiopods, and other large, stationary marine invertebrates that rested along the ocean floor. Soon after the Mesozoic Era began, many predators such as sharks and ichthyosaurs came onto the scene. These predators were considered “durophagous” – shell crushing, and used their strength to exploit these immobile, bottom-dwelling invertebrates. 
Ichthyosaur Fossil. Source:

Ichthyosaur Fossil.

 This caused a strong evolutionary shift: stalked crinoids lost their stalks and became mobile while molluscs and brachiopods began to bury themselves in the sediment rather than remain defenseless and exposed. These evolutionary adaptations paved way for a seemingly emptier, more modern ocean floor.… More:

AquaNerd’s Top 10 Stories from 2014

Phew…2014 is almost over. And while it has been a fun year, it has also been an exhausting one. But, we made it, and we can look forward to the brand new adventures that await for us in 2015. Before we can move on, however, we must pay our respects to the passing year with a robust recap of the top 10 stories that were featured on the AquaNerd Blog during that time. So, without further adieu, here is our list of posts we got the most mileage out of.

Perfect Aquarium Nerd Christmas Gifts 2014 Edition

With Christmas about three weeks away and closing in fast, we’ve decided to compile our annual list of aquarium goodies that you can get the aquarium nerd in your life. This is a diverse list that represents different price points and different types of gear. Of course, this list isn’t all inclusive, but we tried to represent the most popular and most useful products available.

LED lights that make corals pop with color

I wanted to talk about LEDs for a few minutes. I've had the Radion Gen 2 over my anemone cube (60-gallon aquarium 24" x 24" x 24") for the past 12 months. As a light, it functions perfectly. Is it the best fixture ever? My feelings are a tad mixed, and I'll discuss why. The light itself provides sufficient lighting for anemones, SPS, LPS, gorgonians, zoanthids and even a T.

Neutral Theory of Biodiversity Challenged Through Reefs

Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook university have challenged a long standing theory of biodiversity through their latest Caribbean reef study. “The aim of neutral theory is to explain diversity and the relative abundances of species within ecosystems. So the theory implies that, if you lose a really abundant species, then another can simply increase in abundance to take its place. However, the theory has an important flaw: it fails to capture how important the highly abundant species that dominate marine communities are” explains professor Sean Connolly of JCU. The theory, which has been relied upon for conservation research, is challenged at its core through a mathematical approach looking at 14 marine ecosystems sampled at 1185 locations all across the globe. fish_coral-1024x767Ranging from deep-sea to shallow waters, from polar to tropical ranges, the datasets were compiled of numbers from invertebrates, to fish, from plankton, to coral. To arrive at their conflicting conclusion scientists used a new mathematical approach that allowed them to identify predictions that would come from using the Neutral Theory, and then tested them against their datasets. With the assumptions of Neutral Theory this study showed that the chance occurrences that are a part of Neutral Theory do not account for the importance of those abundance species and their implications in the “common” vs “rare” debates. Read more here!… More:

Amazing Sea Hares from Anilao Pier

Anilao Pier, home to the notorious bobbit worm, is my favorite site in the Philippines for night diving. I first dove here in 2012, during my graduate studies at San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences. The diversity of marine invertebrates here is astounding, especially with respect to sea slugs, snails, and anemones. I’m particularly interested in sea hares, a group of sea slugs in the order Anapsidea. They’re called sea hares thanks to the horn-like structures on their head, known as rhinophores, which allow them to sense their environment—and which happen to resemble rabbit ears. Like the nudibranchs they’re related to (same phylum, different order), sea slugs have evolved potent chemical defenses to deter predation, since they’re soft-bodied and possess either a reduced shell or no shell at all. On one of my night dives during the expedition, I came across two beautiful, large, lime-green sea hares crawling through the sand and sea grass about 3 meters down. Overwhelmed with excitement upon spotting them, I actually squealed through my scuba regulator! I picked one up and let it go, watching it swim gracefully with its wing-like dorsal appendages (called parapodia), and later collected both for the Academy’s sea slug collection. This was my first encounter with a species I later learned was Syphonota geographica, the only species within the genus Syphonota. Despite it being circumtropical (distributed throughout the tropics) and an invasive species in the Mediterranean, the Academy’s Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Terry Gosliner, had only encountered this species once before in the Philippines. I’m thinking about investigating its taxonomy and chemical composition for my PhD, since it may actually represent more than one species and contain variable chemical composition, depending on where it’s found and what it eats. Syphonota geographica in the Indo-Pacific have been reported as feeding on brown algae, while those from the Mediterranean are considered specialists, feeding instead on the invasive seagrass Halophila stipulacea. Representatives from Greece have been studied chemically, but specimens from the Philippines haven’t been researched—offering a great chance to add another chapter to our understanding of the area’s biodiversity. —Carissa Shipman, PhD student at University of the Philippines Diliman

First Ever Fully Cultured Tridacna maxima Hits the Market

Thanks to the extremely focused efforts of one individual, the world of Tridacnid clams has been completely changed. We’ve been following the work of one Australian “super aquarist” who goes by the name Acro Al. He has been breeding clams at his home for quite some time now, sharing much of his journey with fellow hobbyists on social media. And because we’re total clam junkies, we’re totally excited about the fact that his babies are getting old enough to hit the market. What makes the news even more exciting is that this is the first time that fully cultured maxima clams have ever been offered in the aquarium trade! To let the market fully dictate the price, this first individual, which is a total looker by the way, was posted in an online auction with a minimum reserve set at $250. The price quickly rose to well over $400 for this 40mm individual, which interestingly is about to turn one year old. The clam is not availalbe to purchase by US hobbyists, as the permitting and paperwork hoopla is far too difficult to overcome at this point, but it’s still groundbreaking news for the hobby. First fully aquacultured Maxima clam IN THE WORLD! Species: Tridacna Maxima (Röding, 1798) Batch No. is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.