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Reef Threads Podcast #201

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #201 We didn’t quit at 200. We’re back for more. This week we talk about equipment redundancy and backups, pyrosomes, comb jellies, refugiums, and buying animals online. Don’t forget to go to our Facebook page and tell us how you listen to the podcasts. The standout entry will win a free Coral magazine subscription. 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 #201More:

Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Cute Babies Turned into Cuter Sea Creatures


Ok, someone just turned the cuteness factor way up. Anne Geddes, a photographer well-known for her creative and adorable baby portraits, has created the best baby calendar in the world. Simply titled the “Under the Sea”, it features 12 unique scenes that have babies dressed up as mermaids, sea turtles, hermit crabs, nudibranchs, and even coral polyps. But it’s not just the babies that got all dressed up. The scenery created also involved a lot of work and planning. Each backdrop was handcrafted with such detail so as to truly capture the marine environment. We have never seen such aquatic cuteness all in one place.According to the video above from ET Now, the calendar photoshoot took nearly a year of planning and pre-production, 12 days of shooting, 20 babies, and probably a ton of patience. But this isn’t Anne’s first rodeo. MORE: Cute Babies Turned into Cuter Sea CreaturesMore:

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My Marine Aquarium Motto: Be Prepared!

be prepared My Marine Aquarium Motto: Be Prepared!I don’t know about you guys, but I like to be prepared for everything, not just for eventualities related to my marine tank, but for everything in life, as I don’t like surprises. Okay, I like some surprises, like once a busload of Miss Universe contestants stopped in front of my workplace and I was able to stare…I mean stay…there all day. Of course we can’t plan for everything, but we can plan for the things that already happened to us because they will most likely happen again. If your pump, skimmer, sump, or bathtub leaks once, there is nothing you can do about it, but if it leaks a second time, it is your fault because you should have planned for it to leak again. That squishy feeling About 15 years ago, I came down the stairs to my finished basement where my reef is and as soon as my foot touched the floor, which is covered in carpet, I heard that dreadful squishing sound and knew immediately that something in the tank leaked. It was my skimmer, which is a five-foot DIY model and is bolted to the back of my tank. If I had not been home, the entire tank would have emptied onto the floor. Now, my wife goes to the gym every day, so she can probably take me in a fair fight. She is a fanatic housekeeper and even washes the light bulbs, so you can imagine how she reacted to 25 gallons of salt water on the newish carpet More: My Marine Aquarium Motto: Be Prepared!More:

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Corals Stir up Their Own Cocktails

A new paper published by MIT has provided a deeper understanding into how coral utilize their external cilia in respiratory and metabolic processes. “These microenvironmental [findings] are not only important, but also unexpected,” says Roman Stocker, an associate professor at MIT and senior author of the paper.  “The general thinking has been that corals are completely dependent upon ambient flow, from tides and turbulence, to enable them to overcome diffusion limitation and facilitate the efficient supply of nutrients and the disposal of dissolved waste products,” adds Orr Shapiro, co-first author of the paper. “I was expecting that this would be a smooth microworld, there would be not much action except the external flow.” said Stocker. However, upon closer, microscopic inspection, he and his team found that it is in-fact “very violent.”140901211419 large Corals Stir up Their Own Cocktails “It appears that most if not all [coral] have the cilia that create these flows. The retention of cilia through 400 million years of evolution suggests that reef corals derive a substantial evolutionary advantage” Said Shapiro, and “It’s rare that you have a situation in which you see cilia on the outside of an animal,” adds Stocker. David Bourne, a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science who was not connected with this research, says the work has “provided a major leap forward in understanding why corals are so efficient and thrive. … We finally have a greater understanding of why corals have been successful in establishing and providing the structural framework of coral reef ecosystems.” Read more here!More:

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Rising Tide Intern Joe Frith

Joes%2Bblog%2Bpic Rising Tide Intern Joe FrithHello Everybody!  My name is Joe Frith and I have been interning here at the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, FL for the past 2 months. I would first like to say “thank you” to Dr. Judy St. Leger, Eric, Kevin, Roy, Craig, Jon and the rest of the staff here at the Lab for giving me this opportunity and making this a meaningful experience. I’m currently an undergraduate at the University of Missouri-Columbia completing my degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a minor in Biology. As a child growing up in the woods of Missouri I was always very intrigued by the natural world and usually had several different aquariums spread throughout my house at any one time. My interest in the aquatic world slowly evolved from freshwater aquariums to saltwater aquariums to eventually trying my hand at breeding the Bluestripe pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus), which I had help with from Matt Pederson and the other members at MarineBreeders.org.  It was back in February of this year, after reading posts on the Rising Tide blog that I decided to contact Dr. St. Leger about possible internships they may be awarding for the summer. I received an email shortly after and we soon started laying the groundwork for me to become an intern at TAL. What was once a dream was now a reality. Over the course of this summer I have helped the Rising
Tide team with a number of different projects ranging from Pacific blue tang and
emperor angelfish spawning to water quality refinement in an attempt to
increase spawning and overall health of all brood fish. Specifically I constructed an algae scrubbing device, complete with mangroves, which has made a significant impact on lower the nitrate levels in the fish growout system (the details of which will be discussed in a future blog). In addition I have learned a lot about the whole marine fish larval rearing process including egg collection, egg counting, stocking and density, and important first food items such as copepod nauplii and rotifers. And if I wasn’t working on any one of these projects I was traveling alongside Dr. Roy Yanong to one of the many aquaculture farms here in the Ruskin area. This experience has opened my eyes even further to the wonderful world of
aquaculture and I can’t think of any other way I would’ve rather spent my
summer.… More:

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Reef Threads Podcast #187

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #187 The squat lobster Christine and Gary photographed at Penn State Univ.It’s time once again for a Reef Threads podcast. This week’s topics include capturing coral criminals, Florida lionfish ban, the question of where to buy, Terrible Advice Tuesday, and repurposed accessories. 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 #187More:

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My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine Aquariums

simple accessories 300x169 My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine AquariumsOftentimes simple household items make great aquarium toolsVisit your local fish store, and you’ll see shelf after shelf of equipment, implements, doodads, and thingamabobs specifically designed to make the maintenance of marine aquariums more manageable. But when you really think about it, a lot of the handy tools and materials we hobbyists use on a daily basis come not from the LFS, but from hardware stores, housewares departments, supermarkets, or other retail venues not even remotely related to the aquarium hobby. Here, in no particular order, are six such items that I can’t live without: 1) Single-edged razor blades I’m never without at least one cartridge of these little wonders. No aquarium scraper seems to get algae (especially coralline) off the glass panes of my aquariums with as much ease. I also use a razor blade to carefully dislodge pulsing Xenia corals from the rear pane of my reef tank so I can then rubber band them to rocks or rubble and, once the corals have attached completely, trade them with Mark, Susan, and Nikki at Coral Reef for store credit. I’m always careful to rinse the blade in fresh water and dry it thoroughly after each use. Also, be aware that razor blades cannot be used on acrylic tanks, as doing so will cause severe scratches. 2) Plastic milk jugs A well-rinsed one-gallon plastic milk jug (juice jug, punch jug, etc.) has long been my go-to container for holding the fresh water I use for top-offs. You can also use one of these ubiquitous vessels to construct a basic DIY kalkwasser doser if you’re so inclined. To do so, simply drill a small hole in the side of the jug about 3 inches up from the bottom, insert one end of an appropriately sized length of airline tubing into the hole so it protrudes inside the jug slightly, seal around it with aquarium-safe silicone, and then attach an adjustable clamp or valve to the opposite end of the tubing. More: My Top 6 Simple Accessories Repurposed for Marine AquariumsMore:

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Reef Threads Podcast #184

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #184 It’s podcast time #184 and this week’s lineup includes PVC pipe in colors, frag mounts, photos through acrylic, Terrible Advice Tuesday threads, bulkheads, filter socks, and slime coat products. 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 #184More:

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