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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.
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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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Video: Gabon Creates Worlds Newest Marine Sanctuary

[embedded content] Encompassing some 18,000 square miles of ocean around the central African nation of Gabon, the world’s newest marine sanctuary was announced this week. Home to more than 20 species of sharks and rays, including threatened species like great hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, and tiger sharks, protection of the area had been a major aim of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, which conducted a marine survey of parts of the nation’s almost 500-mile (800-kilometer) coastline in 2012. Making the announcement on Wednesday at the opening of the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress, which has drawn several thousand delegates from 165 countries, the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, said: “Today I can announce our decision to create a network of marine parks covering about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ [exclusive economic zone], within which no commercial fishing will be allowed”. Via Newscientist
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Reef Threads Podcast #205

Support St. Jude research and give yourself a chance to win this reef system.We’re back again, this week to talk about our “Where Do You Listen” contest, the St. Jude/Reef Savvy reef system raffle, keeping sun corals, and five quarantine-tank myths. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine St. Jude raffle Quarantine myths
Posted in Contest, Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reef Threads Podcast #201

The comb jellie Deiopea kaloktenota, photographed by S. Haddock, jellywatch.org.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 Covering your butt Pyrosomes Comb jellies Refugiums
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.
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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
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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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