Tag Archives: marine

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Decisions, Decisions: New SAIA Tool Can Help Stock Your Nano Reef

Focusing on nano tanks, AquarioScenario is a new tool from the SAIA. Along the lines of their existing FishSelector, this interface offers the aquarium hobbyist guidance on selecting organisms for stocking a tank in an ethical and sustainable way, while avoiding impulse buying. AquarioScenario also incorporates the SAIAs ‘Lists of Unsuitable and UnsustainableSpecies’, and ensures the combinations of marine life suggested are suitable and compatible, considering not only size, but also behaviour and needs of the species. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the many decisions to make and options to choose from when planning your small reef, AquarioScenario can assist by suggesting possible combinations of marine life for each tank size range, while still ensuring an interesting display.

Bellevue H.S. Marine Science Lab Expands

The first (of three) coral study and propagation systems before it was filled with saltwater during setup.Last year I introduced you to David Bowers and the incredible marine science classroom laboratory he runs at Bellevue High School in Ohio, USA. Over the last 20 years, David and his students have transformed the humble classroom from a single modest aquarium to one of the best self-funded high school marine biology programs in the country. The classroom laboratory at this rural northern Ohio school features a 412-gallon mixed reef, 420-gallon bamboo shark research study tank, 250-gallon seahorse breeding study tank, several smaller student research project systems, and three new (not so small) additions. The new system(s) The three aforementioned additions are 8’ x 2’ custom-built (by Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems) tanks that will be used for coral growth studies and propagation. These tanks (and tons of support equipment: sump, skimmer, heater, T-5 lights, return pump, circulation pumps, frag plugs, super glue, shipping bags/cups, and more) were generously donated by Rob McCoy of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Rob had been following the marine science club on Facebook and reached out with the thought that David and his students might be able to make use of this equipment. Currently, one of the systems is up and running with a few corals calling it home. David is now searching for branching Acropora or related SPS coral colonies, encrusting and plating corals, and LPS corals (particularly Fungia, Trachyphyllia, and Favidae)

HLLE and the Activated Carbon Connection

HLLE in an ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus) caused by the use of activated carbon. Many different factors have been considered as possible causes of the disease known as Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)—a condition that typically causes disfiguring tissue erosion on the head and along the sensory lateral line of certain marine fishes. Poor water quality, nutritional deficiencies, protozoa of the genus Hexamita, stray voltage, and activated carbon use are just some of the potential causes that have been floated over the years. However, as Jay Hemdal explains in the following excerpt from his new eBook, The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes, there is now some solid scientific backing to the notion that activated carbon can cause this condition. From Chapter 3: Husbandry, Environment, and Your Fishes’ Health “A relationship between the use of activated carbon in aquariums and the development of HLLE in surgeonfish has been positively shown in two scientific studies. Other than that, no formal studies have been undertaken that identify other causes. However, a multitude of unproven causes have been presented by various people. Commonly, stray electrical currents and vitamin deficiencies are cited as causes, but one of the studies mentioned above ruled these out as common causes

Tank Profile: Brian Babcock’s SPS-dominated Reef

With towering pillars of small-polyp stony corals framed against a spotless blue background, this aquarium makes me feel as though I’ve been plopped down smack dab in the middle of a coral reef, peering into the blue abyss beyond. Being a landlocked scuba diver, it’s easy to imagine the ocean dreams this reef elicits for anyone who gets the opportunity to enjoy it. The Aquarist Brian flexing his DIY muscles while building the stand for his reefThis reef is the work of Brian Babcock, also known as “Lazylivin” on a number of marine forums. A 15-year veteran of the aquarium hobby, Brian has spent 10 of those years on the dark…err, I mean, salt side. Starting with a 90-gallon fish-only system in the mid 90s, Brian kept this system up and running until a few years into the millennium when a move forced him to shut it down. It was revived a few years later as a soft coral system and then later upgraded to his current 125-gallon, SPS-dominated reef aquarium.

What Scuba Diving Has Taught Me About Keeping Marine Aquariums

Rules and best practices of scuba diving can teach us some lessons about keeping saltwater aquariumsWhile sitting here contemplating how long it’s been since I’ve gone scuba diving (answer: way too long), it occurred to me that one can draw many parallels between the avocations of scuba diving and marine aquarium keeping. I’m not referring to the observation of marine life here—though that’s unquestionably a major element of both activities—but to certain rules or best practices that apply to both. Okay, right now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Maybe it’s a good thing this guy hasn’t been diving in a while—he’s obviously skipped one safety stop too many or really bungled his dive tables!” But fear not, I’ll bring it back around. (In other words, humor me!) So, with no further ado: Plan your dive and dive your plan Diving is safest and presents the fewest unforeseen contingencies when you plan ahead of time who will be diving with whom, how deep you’re going to go, the path you’re going to follow, when you’re going to ascend, etc.—and then adhere strictly to that plan. To my (nitrogen-addled) mind, the marine aquarium analog to this is carefully planning and researching the animals you want to keep, as well as the order in which you’ll introduce them, and then sticking with that stock list. This doesn’t mean you can’t make sensible substitutions if necessary, but it will help you avoid making impulse purchases that can throw your whole plan into chaos. Plus, knowing which animals you’re going to keep will help you make the most appropriate equipment purchases.

Deep Sea Stars, Linckia sp. Echinoderms

Good afternoon one and all, sorry about the late post but I have been in the deep-water labs all morning photographing a bunch of new specimens found by the Smithsonian Institution on their submersible dive yesterday. I spent the morning shooting a juvenile four inch toadfish found at around 800 feet, a beautiful hermit crab, two more slit-shells and this giant 12 inch tall sea star you see above. We think this is a Linckia sp. but until we know for sure I will just say “don’t quote me on that”. Unlike brittle stars that are so fragile and can move so fast, this sea star is hard and moves super slow

Unboxed: Nyos Quantum 220 Protein Skimmer

Officially unveiled at Interzoo earlier this year, and available to European hobbyists for a few months now, we thought it would be great to take a closer look at this immediately eye-catching and attractive range of skimmers from Germany-based experts in ‘high level reefing’ Nyos® Aquatics. Actually, sales were so successful on the first production run, we’ve had to bide our time for a second run to take place before we could even get hold of our unit! So now it has finally arrived, let’s get it out of the box and see if it really is ‘Built to Perform’. Receiving the largest unit in the range, the Quantum 220, we are immediately struck by the cavernous volume of this futuristic-looking skimmer. Measuring approx.

Don’t Get Burned by Flame Scallops!

Mention beautiful bivalves for the marine aquarium, and the various tridacnid clams (the so-called giant clams) will probably come to mind. Likely, the flame scallops of the genus Ctenoides will too. However, while the tridacnids have a fairly decent survival record in captivity if given proper care and a suitable environment, the flame scallops usually fare dismally in aquariums. The two usual suspects Based strictly on my personal observations, the two flame scallops you’re most likely to come across in the aquarium trade are C. Scaber (formerly Lima scabra), found in the Caribbean, and C. ales (formerly Lima ales), also known as the electric or disco flame scallop, from the Indo-Pacific. They range between 3 and 4 inches in diameter and have white shells and red to orange-red tissues. They also have long, tapering red, or sometimes white, tentacles extending from the mantle

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