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Coral Atoll: A New App for Reef Enthusiasts

[embedded content] Atoll is a new app available for reef aquarium and diving enthusiasts to download on the iPhone. Atoll is an interactive mobile app which includes a comprehensive database of coral.  Atoll provides vibrant photos and detailed information allowing users to more easily identify coral which they encounter on a dive or purchase as an addition to their aquarium.  This can be critical information especially when dealing with corals which exhibit aggressive behavior and could potentially wreak havoc in your aquarium if placed in close proximity to other species.  Atoll also provides useful information to hobbyists relating to appropriate water temperatures and pH levels for your own aquarium. Atoll also allows users to submit photos of unknown coral for the community to identify. This is

Ultra Cynarina

Cynarina is a genus of stony coral in the family Lobophylliidae. It is a monotypic species which means that the only species in the genus is Cynarina lacrymalis. Sometimes reaching up to 6” for a single polyp, these corals are very fleshy in appearance and often referred to as the Cat’s Eye, Tooth Coral, Doughnut Coral or Meat Coral.  The coral is found in the Western Indo-Pacific Ocean and ranges in many different color forms from pastel to vivid and translucent.  The coloration in the Cynarina coral pictured above is both beautiful and very unusual and therefore classified as an “Ultra” coral.  This coral was just featured in a newsletter from livestock wholesaler, Eye Catching Corals. Aquarium Care Cynarina corals are not considered to

Jason Fox Lemon Lime Pocillopora

Jason Fox Lemon Lime Pocillopora Pocillopora corals have been in the US aquarium trade for about as long as SPS corals have been coming into to the US.  They are generally one of the more easy corals to keep and they are typically pale yellow, pink to reddish in color.  Pocillopora have also been know to sexually reproduce in the aquarium. The most common species in the trade is Pocillopora damicornis.  The growth form is cauliflower-like and the branches are often densely packed together.  Common names include; Cauliflower Coral, Brush Coral, or Cluster Coral. These corals are some of the most sought after with longer hairy polyps that are green in color and differ from the coloration of the coral which is primarily yellow. Pocillopora

A Look at Sandsifting Gobie: genus Istigobious

In our last article, A Closer Look At Sleeper Gobies, Genus Valenciennea, we covered the diet, care and behavior of the 15 recognized species of Valenciennea gobies.  Today we look at another genus of sand sifting gobies known as, Istigobious.  Istigobius is a genus of gobies found in fresh, brackish and marine waters along the coasts of the Indian and western Pacific oceans. Istigobius was described originally as a subgenus of the genus Gobius (Whitley, 1932; Murdy and Hoese, 1985) and then in 1979 Hoese and Winterbottom reviewed the family and subsequently elevated Istigobius to generic status.  Similar to Acentrogobius, Istigobius’s morphology differs by having its nose extend beyond the top of its mandible (lower jaw).  Additionally, Istigobius was found to be most closely related to Exyrias, though Exyrias

Sleeper Gobies: Genus Valenciennea

Valenciennea bella – Photo by Kevin Kohen Valenciennea is a genus of small, bottom-dwelling fish from the family Gobiidae. They can be found sifting sandy bottoms, along the edges of coral reefs and on flats in the Indo-Pacific. Behavior Valenciennea will perch directly on the substrate for extended periods of time while resting from sifting sand though their mouths.  Also referred to as “hover gobies”, these fish can also be observed floating motionless directly above the sand bed or other substrate.  The resting behavior of Valenciennea gobies has resulted in the common name “sleeper gobies”. Currently there are 15 recognized species of Valenciennea gobies but only a few are found prevalently in the US aquarium trade.  Below is a list of observed species in order

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. 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.