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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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Reef Threads Podcast #183

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #183

We return once again, this week to talk about Live Aquaria acclimation directions, fish acclimation, Habitattitude website, Reefs.com app, MACNA keynote Luiz Rocha, Steinhart Aquarium, Martin Moe’s updated book, price-per-polyp selling, and Diver’s Den soft corals. 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 #183

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“Like Something Out of a Nightmare”

Ross Bobbitt “Like Something Out of a Nightmare” There are two Academy groups currently in the Philippines for the 2014 Biodiversity Expedition: one from Research, and the other from the Aquarium. Though we’re staying at different locations, we collaborate when we can, like tonight. It all started with a 90-minute night dive at Anilao Pier to try to collect a Bobbitt worm—a creature that lives in the sand, has jaws like a bear trap, and might be several meters long. It shoots up with lightning speed to catch fish and other animals, yanking them down into the muck like something out of a nightmare. In the 1990s, Academy Senior Curator Terry Gosliner named the Bobbitt worm after Lorena Bobbitt (and her legendary attack on her husband), and Academy crews have been trying to collect this animal both for display and for our preserved collection ever since. One look at the photo shows you why catching this animal isn’t easy, but take a look at this video for an even better demonstration. Tonight’s effort was unsuccessful, though I did get my hand on one of the worms—yes, my hand. My wife is less than thrilled about these attempts, but she understands that we have to do what we have to do for science. More efforts are planned, and hopefully there will be success. Hopefully. After the worm hunt, there was a party—a party that started without MORE: “Like Something Out of a Nightmare”More:

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Ghost Pipefish in the Bag; Ever-elusive Bobbitt Worm … Still Elusive

Wolters1 Ghost Pipefish in the Bag; Ever elusive Bobbitt Worm … Still Elusive Greetings from Aniloa! After three and a half days of collecting in the field, we’ve amassed a nice collection of corals, invertebrates, and fish to ship back to the Academy—here’s a quick overview. The sites we’ve visited thus far include Twin Rocks, Devil’s Point, Bethlehem, Mapating Point, Dari Laut, Matu Point, and Anilao Pier, and we currently have 70 specimens on hand. They come from varying genera—Acropora, Fungia, Turbinaria, Tubastrea, Sinularia, and Sarcophyton—and they’re being kept in a temporary field aquarium set up at the Anilao Beach Club. (Rich Ross will be blogging about that setup later, so I won’t go into it here.) We were also able to acquire three snake anemones while on a night dive at Anilao Pier, and we’ll continue our quest for the elusive Bobbitt worm tonight during another night dive at the same location. Oh, and one more highlight: On this afternoon’s dive at Matu Point, Rich was able to collect a pair of ghost pipefish, which were way up there on our list of acquisitions for this expedition. With a couple more days of diving and collecting ahead, Aquarium Team One should be on track to collect most, if not all, of what we have set out for on this trip. —Seth Wolters, Assistant Curator for Steinhart Aquarium MORE: Ghost Pipefish in the Bag; Ever-elusive Bobbitt Worm … Still ElusiveMore:

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“6″ is a New Movie Exposing Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Mass Extinction

 The production team that filmed “The Cove”, a popular documentary that brought to light the extreme dolphin slaughtering in Japan, is back with a brand new movie that will focus on the larger issues of illegal wildlife trafficking and the possibility of mass extinction that are both taking place in oceans and seas across the globe as we speak. Simply called “6″, this movie utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and undercover tactics to expose the black market trading of endangered species, such as products made from whale sharks, giant clams, and hundreds of others. The trailer for the movie, posted above, shows some of the guerrilla reporting tactics used by the team, as they scour the streets of various Asian communities exposing black market dealers, who obviously aren’t always thrilled to find out they’re being investigated by the production team. Also displayed in the brief promo is a more positive side effect of the team’s efforts…a public awareness campaign involving a mobile projector, a fast car, and one very talented NASCAR driver. The trailer shows Leilani Munter driving a Jaguar fitted with a video projector around various parts of what we presume to be cities in the United States. The projector blasts imagery of marine life onto surrounding buildings, no doubt captivating pedestrians and drivers alike. Since increasing public awareness about travesties such as those currently taking place on the black market is so paramount to sparking a change. MORE: “6″ is a New Movie Exposing Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Mass ExtinctionMore:

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Saltwater Confessions: Bizarre Marine Aquarium Blunders

aquarium blunders1 Saltwater Confessions: Bizarre Marine Aquarium BlundersAfter many years in the marine aquarium hobby—I’m not talking Paul B years here, but let’s just say a reasonable length of time—I like to think I’ve acquired a certain degree of wisdom with respect to keeping saltwater organisms. What I don’t care to admit is how much of that wisdom was actually gained as a result of making really strange and downright inexplicable blunders from time to time. Some of these are too dark and horrifying to recount here, but I’d like to share a few of the less-mortifying ones so other salties out there can benefit from my experiences—or at least avoid making the same sorts of mistakes I’ve made. (Note: some details may have been changed to protect the innocent—or to make me look like less of a moron.) More: Saltwater Confessions: Bizarre Marine Aquarium BlundersMore:

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