Tag Archives: Photography

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What Makes Someone a Marine Aquarium Expert?

Being in a somewhat contemplative mood as I enjoy my third cup of coffee this Friday morning, I’ve posed to myself the philosophical question, what does it mean to be an “expert” marine aquarist? In other words, when I write something like, “That challenging species should be kept only by expert hobbyists,” who exactly am I referring to? As I mull it over, I’m coming to the realization that the answer to this question isn’t as obvious as it might seem.Years in the hobby? Is expertise a simple a matter of years in the hobby? If that were the case, someone who has been a hobbyist for 20 years but has never kept anything other than a single ocellaris clownfish would be considered an expert—when in reality, that individual is experienced only in keeping one specimen of a relatively bulletproof species. Further, there are plenty of long-time hobbyists out there who repeatedly exercise poor judgment, never learn from their mistakes, and make irresponsible stocking/husbandry decisions no matter how many years they keep at it. So time in the hobby can’t be the sole answer

School of Snappers

Good morning friends, it’s finally friday!! I have a beautiful school of snappers for you all today that we found living under a remote pier, or at least what was left of it. I know when most of you hear the word “snapper” your mouth starts watering and you immediately associate this with dinner but for me it means keeping them safe and enjoying the time I spend with them underwater getting to be part of their aqua world for just a few minutes. Most of the time when I find these large groups of fish I just stop and chill in hopes of showing them that I come in peace and just want to take a few photos and most of the time it works. Most diver are in such a rush that they don’t have the time to stop and smell the fish thus scaring them off immediately and I can tell you from experience that chasing fish doesn’t work either, they will win every time!

Reef Threads Podcast #239


Is it smart to quarantine several fish together?

This week’s podcast chit-chat topics are the reef side of Gary’s bicycle trip, collecting wild food, quarantining multiple fish, DC pumps, pipe organ care, and what we’d pay for fish and corals. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Multi-fish quarantine
Is It Okay to Quarantine Multiple Marine Fish at Once?, Saltwater Smarts

Splash-free surge tanks
Finally, a surge tank without the noise, bubbles, space, or plumbing!, LobsterofJustice, Reef Central

Pipe organ coral
Pipe Organ care, GOSKN5, Reef Central

Paying the most
What’s your max fish price?, 3FordFamily, Reef2Reef

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Smiling Parrotfish

Good morning gang, more weird weather today, the ocean is still a mess and we have overcast skies with little chance for rain and of course lets not forget the never ending winds! We do have another submersible run today which should happen at around 11:15 and your truly will be under the sea taking pictures, you might luck out and see us at the link below…. www.seasubmarine.com I have another fun fish face for you all today that I took a few weeks ago on our Substation house reef. This is a beautiful parrotfish shot during the day at F22 creating the non-distracting black background and lots of great details.

French Angelfish

Good morning friends, I know long time no blog, sorry about that! We have been crazy busy with our family members and yesterday we had submersible runs here at Substation Curacao all day long! On monday we took the family to a place called Porto Marie which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Curacao, equipped with a dive shop, restaurant and hundreds of beach chairs. I mostly hung out in the shade taking pictures of a three year old and a five year old playing in the sand while the parents got in the water with Aimee and explored the shallows with fins and masks.  Here is a big beautiful French Angelfish, Pomacanthus paru that lives out in front of the Substation, I see him and his or her mate almost every day.

Coral Letters

coral lettersTwo years ago, Barry and Aimee Brown began photographing “hidden” letters in the brain coral colonies around Curacao, the Caribbean island where they live. Their hunt, which sometimes took them as deep as 100 feet, gave them an even better understanding of the devastation shallow-growing brain coral have experienced from bleaching and recent strong storms. You can download the full set of letters for free here as a zip file. The photographers only ask that you give them credit and that you don’t use the work commercially.… More:

Fish Faces: Banded Butterflyfish

Good morning, I have a very gentle, super fun to watch, reef fish for you all today called a Banded Butterflyfish or Chaetodon striatus. The name is derived from the dark vertical bands on the fish’s body. This, combined with a vertical, black bar through the eye, is an adaptation that can confuse predators. These fish are around five inches in length, can be found easily in the 10-60 foot zone and  are usually always found in pairs. These two here can always be found in the same area and I have been swimming with them for years so they are more or less pretty used to me and my giant camera. As I was taking my pictures one of them (top photo) left the safety of the gorgonian and swam right up to the front of my camera and proceeded to just hang out there without a care in the World, it was great!

4 Tips for the Right-Brained Marine Aquarist

As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors may be aware, I was an English major in college and currently make my living working with words as a writer/editor. Admittedly, I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around more complicated mathematics and technical sciences. Now don’t get me wrong; I am capable of doing some pretty quick calculations in my head when the situation calls for it. For instance I can divide 12 slices of pizza among four people without so much as breaking a sweat (nine slices for me and three for the others to fight over, of course). But in general, I guess you could say I’m a fairly “right-brained” sort of person.What this means with respect to my involvement in the marine aquarium hobby—which, let’s face it, is a relatively high-tech pastime—is that I’ve had to find certain ways to compensate for my lack of technical prowess in order to achieve long-term success. What follows are some helpful tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you also happen to be “left-hemispherically challenged,” you might want to adopt these as well. 1

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