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The 2015 MBI Workshop Revisited

The Workshop took place at the Cranbrook Institute of ScienceLast weekend I traveled up to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with SWS contributor Dave Bowers to attend the 6th Annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop. It’s the only marine aquarium conference dedicated solely to marine ornamental captive breeding. My last trek to the workshop was three or four years ago, so it was long overdue. Just as I remembered, the day was chock-full of practical and educational content for active breeders, aspiring aquaculturists, and folks simply involved in the saltwater aquarium hobby. In fact, next time I need to bring along an extra brain to store all the information that’s lobbed about, but this year my notebook had to suffice. So now, for your reading pleasure, here are just some of the insights I could readily decipher from my scribbles.Unknowingly rearing anthias The event kicked off with Noel Heinsohn hopping on stage to talk about taking on many gallons of broodstock and unknowingly rearing anthias. At the young age of 21 with just five years spent in aquaculture, Noel has already had quite a variety of experiences and successes.

You Asked Us…So We’ve Answered!

An interior spread of The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine FishesSince we released The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes eBook earlier this year, the support from readers has been unequivocally positive. But, what’s the one thing that’s been requested many times since then? A print version – so folks could add it into their aquarium library! It’s totally understandable, Jeff and I had both toyed with the idea of adding a tangible version onto our respective aquarium collection shelves, too. In this extremely digital age, there’s still something very fulfilling about flipping open a great aquarium book while doing research or passing the time on a rainy afternoon.Today we’re happy to announce the print version of The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes is now available! The beautifully printed, full color, 194 page book is jam-packed with the same great content as the eBook and is delivered right to your door from our printer. You can learn more about the book and purchase it here: http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/marine-fish-disease-guide/ As a thank you to our readers who are among the first to purchase the print version, use discount code U6GNSK2K to save $5 at checkout

Irish Team ROV Images New Coldwater ‘Reef’

A new coldwater coral habitat has been discovered on a submerged cliff face almost 1km below the sea surface by Irish marine scientists. Operating at around 300km off the Kerry coastline, the research team onboard the Marine Institute’s research vessel MV Celtic Explorer were mapping some previously unconfirmed reefs on the edge of the Porcupine Bank canyon, using the Holland I remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Initially capturing images of a ‘blizzard’ of organic-rich particles flushing down the canyon, the ROV then moved closer to reveal a vertical cliff face habitat carpeted by coldwater coral and other marine life, including sponges, crabs and fish. University College Cork (UCC) scientist Prof Andy Wheeler explains, “The Porcupine Bank has 500km of cliff habitat at this water depth. Corals were found between 900 and 700 metres water depth,” This could double the amount of coral habitat already believed to be in the area, which is a designated special area of conservation. University of Ulster scientist Dr Chris McGonigle noted that the quality of data which the State’s research vessel and its ROV can collect is “phenomenal”.

Light Pollution and the Effects on Marine Coastal Environments

A bit of a duality was discovered when researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Bangor in the UK studied light pollution around coastal settlements. What they found was that light pollution from human coastal settlements can effect change in the ecological flow of marine coastal environments by both inhibiting and inducing colonization of specific invertebrates. 150429090144_1_900x600Dr Tom Davies from the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall adds: “We know that artificial light at night alters the behavior of many marine animals but this is the first study to show that it can disrupt the development of ecological communities in the marine environment. Further research is urgently needed to assess what level of light can be considered ‘safe’ so that legislation can be put in place to minimize future light pollution from new and existing developments.” Read more here!… More:

Fishing Line and “No-Take” Zones Studied to Combat Coral Disease

Coral CoE is at it again trying to understand how human impact can effect change on coral reefs around the globe. Studying marine reserves in and around the Great Barrier Reef scientists “surveyed more than 80,000 corals around the Whitsunday Islands for six different diseases that commonly harm reef corals around the world.” -Lead researcher, Dr Joleah Lamb from Coral CoE. What they found was that areas protected from human activity (no-take marine reserves) had a much lower amounts of indigenous disease, and that coral actually have increased rates of health.150602130652_1_900x600“We found three coral diseases were more prevalent on reefs outside no-take marine reserves, particularly on reefs with high levels of injured corals and discarded fishing line. Fishing line not only causes coral tissue injuries and skeleton damage, but also provides an additional surface for potential pathogens to colonize, increasing their capacity to infect wounds caused by entangled fishing line,” added Dr Lamb. “No take marine reserves are a promising approach for mitigating coral disease in locations where the concentration or intensity of fishing effort is relatively high,” says Professor Garry Russ from the Coral CoE. Read more here!… More:

Diving Through Swaying Gorgonians in Curacao

ABOUT Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last ten years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest. Pages

The Pros and Cons of Using a Marine Aquarium Cover Glass

To put a lid on it or not to put a lid on it, that is the question!Okay, with profuse apologies to the Melancholy Dane, the point I’d like to mull over in today’s post is whether it’s a good idea to use cover glasses on marine aquariums—you know, those oft-hinged glass or acrylic lids that are available in various dimensions to fit tightly atop aquariums of different sizes. As with so many aspects of the marine aquarium hobby, there’s no all-encompassing right or wrong answer to this question. Suffice it to say that cover glasses may be appropriate in some circumstances but totally inappropriate in others. To determine what’s best for your system, consider these cover glass pros and cons: Pros: Having a cover glass in place reduces evaporation, which in turn can reduce the size and frequency of freshwater top-offs and helps lower the humidity in the room housing the aquarium. Fish prone to jumping or slithering out of a tank are kept in the aquarium where they belong. Some fish, such as eels, and even certain invertebrates, such as octopuses, are such good escape artists that a tight-fitting lid is a must when keeping them. However, for many fish species, there are alternatives to glass/acrylic lids that may do the same job, e.g., covers made of some type of mesh or screening material or plastic egg crate. The light fixture is better protected from splashes and corrosive salt spray.

When Piscine Personalities Collide: Incompatible Energy

When yellowhead jawfish are comfortable with their environment, they’ll hover just above their burrow.When trying to determine whether different species of marine fish will cohabit peacefully in the same aquarium, we usually ask ourselves whether the combination will result in one fish eating another or whether interspecific squabbling is likely to be an issue based on disparate levels of territorial aggression. If we can answer “no” to each of those questions, we may be inclined to assume the species in question are, indeed, compatible. In many cases that may be a safe conclusion to reach, but it overlooks another important (albeit more subtle) aspect of fish compatibility that is often underemphasized if not outright ignored—the natural differences in energy level that exist among various species.What do I mean by this? I’m referring to combining shy and retiring species with more boisterous and gregarious ones. In this situation, the former takes no interest whatsoever in the latter from the standpoint of predation or territorial rivalry. In fact, it may not even acknowledge the shyer tankmate’s presence.

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