Tag Archives: reef

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Neptune Systems Par Monitoring Kit

neptune systems PMK
Neptune Systems is pleased to announce that it will begin shipping its new Par Monitoring Kit, priced at $299.95, to North America next month. For more information, go to: https://www.neptunesystems.com/pmk/More:

Fincasters Episode 76 Tang in the Wrong Ocean

Divers of of Florida identify a tang that shouldn't be there and go after it. It's the Work of REEF, a non-profit that protects the reefs off of the Florida keys. In this Fincast, REEF's Lad Adkins describes how the team located and safely removed a fish, released from someone's aquarium, that could have become an invasive species. More About REEF: http://www.reef.org More About John Carlin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=23140279&authType=name&authToken=wDED

Study Shows Corals Consume Microplastics

640px-Acropora_coral_ffs
Unfortunately, the solid plastic trash we often see in the ocean (bottles, bags, etc.) is only a portion of the plastic waste that has been deposited there. A considerable amount of waste may be present in the form of microplastic. Microplastics are basically miniscule bits of plastic that can be suspended in the water column. Though the environmental effects of microplastic pollution are not yet well understood, the consensus among marine biologists is that they pose a global threat to marine ecosystems. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University set out to see if corals (which are non-selective filter feeders) ingested microplastics. Corals from a clean area were placed in a contaminated area. After two nights, they were analyzed for the concentrations of plastics. Results indicated that the corals consumed plastic at a rate only a little lower than that of their natural planktonic food. Plastic materials were found engulfed in digestive tissue, suggesting that it may hinder a coral’s ability to digest its food. The team is now investigating what… More:

Aging Bony Fish

Pair of otoliths.

Pair of otoliths.

When conducting studies, many ecologists are posed with the question: How old is this fish? Because size is rarely a fair indication of age, the use of a more precise method is often required. The most prevalent method of aging bony fish is known as Otolith Analysis. This procedure entails the extraction and microscope analysis of the fish’s otoliths – small calcium carbonate structures that are located slightly posterior to the fish’s eyes. 
An otolith with visible annuli.

An otolith with visible annuli.

 These structures, which are used as gravity, balance, and movement indicators, grow continuously throughout a fish’s life and exhibit a unique growth pattern. This growth pattern is thought to be a result of seasonal temperature changes – during the winter, the otoliths grow slowly, accreting lightly-colored calcium carbonate; during the summer, the otoliths grow quickly, accreting darker calcium carbonate. The contrast between lighter calcium carbonate and darker calcium carbonate forms rings known as annuli. Since each annuli represents one year, scientists may determine the age of the fish by counting them.… More:

Neptunes Cove Boasts Rainbow Carpet Nem

RainbowCarpetAnemone14b(1)
Lately we have seen a surge in our hobby through avenues such as facebook and instagram. Communities within mediums like facebook are growing, and pages are created with their own regional attachments and colorful groups of people. Instagram is showcasing the latest and greatest coral imported through an instant feed, and the days of sifting through page after page to view comments or pictures are quickly disappearing. Everyday it seems the newest, biggest and baddest, coral hits the market and its no wonder why vendors are gravitating towards these mediums. With that said Im going to my best to bring you the latest and greatest in the “For Sale” worlds slowly being crafted here on the internet. For our first showcase were featuring a “Rainbow Carpet Anemone” from the retailer Neptune’s Cove. This thing is one of the most righteous nems ever imported and I can only imagine how it gleamed in person. Enjoy the eye candy because this beautiful specimen sold promptly for $1600 shipped.… More:

Spiral Grafting

photo (2)My most recent spiral graft is part art project, part science experiment, and involves a genus that I have had great success with in the past, Acanthastrea. I used two corals that originally came from the same mother colony; over the span of two years, one line of clones took on a remarkably different coloration. One set of clones was kept in the aquaculture system connected to Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon reef tank. The other set was kept in the ReefGen aquaculture on the other side of the aquarium. Both systems receive the same original make up water but have different coral and fish populations, as well as different lighting (T5 vs LED). I have made numerous grafts of various sorts of the years. Not all grafts take, but those that do produce stunning results. I knew that these two lines would indeed fuse since they are clones, but I was curious to see how they would influence each other’s color after such a long period of separation in different conditions.… More:

Barely There: Trace Elements in the Reef Aquarium

What are trace elements exactly and what role do they play in our reef aquariums? To put it simply, trace elements are elements that appear in very small quantities in salt water. They are vital to all sorts of biological processes and due to the limited size of our aquariums can be depleted rapidly. Trace elements can be replenished through regular water changes or with chemical additives, but before you run out and start dosing trace elements, it is important to realize just how scarce they are in our reef systems. To kick off this discussion, let’s take a look at the composition of salt water. Saltwater with a specific gravity of 1.025 is 96.5% water. “Sea salts” make up the remaining 3.5%. That 3.5% salt is made up of major elements and trace elements. The major elements are sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Those major elements comprise the vast majority of “sea salts.” If you were to remove those major elements from the mix, what is left is a whopping 0.7%.

Keeping the Magic Alive, Cyphastrea Combos

Long term stable combo of Seriatopora and Cyphastrea

Long term stable combo of Seriatopora and Cyphastrea

 I love Cyphastrea; it is a beautiful coral, and one that I have had great success with, but one day I realized that I had been growing it for so long that the excitement was gone.  I didn’t want to stop my work with one of my favorite corals, but I knew I had to make a change. There was only one solution for me – give it a hat of SPS! I am fascinated with coral interactions, from complete fusion of soft tissue to understanding long term competition and overgrowth. Sometimes, the success or failure of the experiment is size dependent, other times, food availability or water flow are the most important factors. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed replicating certain… More:

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