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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:

This Glittery Goniopora is the Best Looking Yet

The LPS scene was dominated by green goniopora for decades. They were just so commonplace that everyone had them, or at least tried them out in their reef with mixed results. Then, along came the bright red ones and everyone was like, “ooohhh, ahhhh”. These red gonis have since dominated, as they sported vibrant reddish pink colors and occasionally a blue disc atop their tentacles. While both of those morphs are fine and all, but there’s a new color morph on the block that is set to put all others to shame. It’s a sparkling, glittery red goni, and it is amazing.This stunning piece features reddish, almost copper colored tentacles that are infused with glitter and punctuated with those hypnotic yellow eyes.

Picture of the Week, Dragonface Pipefish

For this installment of the AquaNerd Picture of the Week, we’re digging up a blast from the past. We’re showing off an image we took years ago of a dragonface pipefish, which is probably one of the first images we took with a macro lens as we started our foray into aquarium photography. While the image may not be technically perfect, meaning the lighting isn’t correct and the camera settings may not be right, we still love what we were able to capture. For those familiar with this particular pipefish, you know how hard they can be to photograph. They are quite small, move about quickly, and are often shy in the presence of people (especially those holding cameras).

New Top Down Box On the Way from Building an Obsession

As aquarists who frequently dabble in the realm of photography, we can appreciate this new product from Houston-based acrylic fabricator, Building an Obsession. Announced just a couple of days ago, BAO has a swanky new top down box for DSLR style cameras, which, as you could imagine, would make taking photos of corals so much easier. The top down box features a 6″ deep carbon fiber tube that mounts to the camera via the universal tripod mount. The lightweight tube sports a crystal clear acrylic window that helps keep water off the lens while also preventing distortion of the images. The top down box also has an optional “lip clip”, which is an add-on that lets you better stabilize the camera be letting users mount the entire assembly to a tank rim or eurobrace. The clip is adjustable to allow for various angles of shooting. The first batch of these top down boxes is complete, and each will retail for $50

Sand Tiger Shark Attempts to Swallow Tankmate Whole

It is always easy to underestimate the feeding abilities of predatory fish, in this case a sand tiger shark at a marine park in Japan. You see the animal and think, “surely, it can’t eat that” when referring to its tankmates. But the 9-foot sand tiger at Aqua World surprised its keepers when after an extended fasting period, perhaps in preparation of the swimming meal it was eyeballing, the shark tried to eat a 3-foot long whitetip reef shark. The aquarium’s staff had been worried for days because the sand tiger was showing no interest in feeding. That is until, however, the tasty little whitetip morsel came a little too close. The shark attacked the much smaller whitetip and even managed to get most of victim into its mouth. But the 3-foot long shark proved to be a bit too much, as it was seen sticking out of the sand tiger’s mouth and was eventually spit out. Obviously dead at this point, the aquarium keepers removed the whitetip in fear that the sand tiger would return and try to finish the job

Graduated Caps on Fluval SEA Supplements are the Perfect Touch for Precision Dosers

Have you ever heard of someone singing the praises of a product for such a small, seemingly insignificant detail? Well, we’re doing just that for the Fluval SEA additives, which have impressed us with their bottlecaps alone. Dosing with aquarium supplements has always been a bit of a guessing game. The instructions are always a little iffy, and measurements have always been eyeballed. To avoid all of the confusion, however, Fluval did something special with their line of supplements, and it’s one of those fine details that will likely go unnoticed by many. To help dose their products, Fluval included a graduated plastic cap into the overall design of their SEA additive line. In a broader view of our daily lives, this isn’t anything special

Reef Octopus Debuts Regal Red DC Powered Skimmer Line

Reef Octopus is breaking out the DC skimmer pumps once again in this new protein skimmer release. Called the Regal Skimmers, this line of foam fractionators looks quite similar to the Super Reef Octopus Space Saving skimmers of recent memory, but will feature Reef Octopus’ own brand of DC controllable pumps. The pumps, which RO has been marketing extensively since MACNA last year, are becoming more incorporated into the product line, and for good reason. The controller allows for fine tuning of the pump’s speed, which affects things like air draw and the all important air-to-water ratio. Unlike the SRO skimmers, the new Regal line will feature red accent pieces laid over clear and white arcylic. This color scheme falls in line with the rest of what Reef Octopus has been doing, as their Prime skimmers sport a hefty amout of red as well. In terms of tank sizes, pump ratings, prices, and the like, we don’t fully know what the Regal skimmers will offer

AlgaGen’s New Live Feeds Program

Healthy reefs depend on plankton, and fresh is always best. AlgaGen recently launched its Live Feeds Program, which aims to set up culture holding systems in local fish stores across the country. Stores that offer the new program will have live phytoplankton, rotifers, brine and/or copepods available to customers to feed their reefs or breed marine livestock with. Reef aquarists will now be ale to provide reef nutrition found in nature and elicit the natural feeding responses from all of the tank’s inhabitants. Don’t be afraid to ask your local fish store if this is something they will be carrying. Heres a video all about it: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.