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BAKING SODA & THE REEF AQUARIUM

beautiful reef of swannyson7 BAKING SODA: NOT POWDER! Sodium Bicarbonate is an amazingly versatile powder of goodness. How many things in your life has someone said that baking soda was the answer to your problems, or at least one of the ingredients? It is obviously used for baking, but it is in quite a bit of other products you most likely use. Arm and Hammer has made its powdery way into things like soaps, cat litters, floor cleaners, toothpaste, odor removers, and even the volcanoes from your 4th grade science projects. It has also made its way into our reef tanks! It’s Use in the Home Aquarium Baking soda is widely used to increase the amount of carbonates in reef tanks, pools, and any other water source that may need them.
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The Sun Mushroom (Heliofungia Actiniformis)

The Sun Mushroom (Heliofungia Actiniformis) Commonly known as the Long Tentacled Plate Coral, this creature is quite unique. It is a Large Polyp Stony Coral, though without closer inspection will look just like an anemone. The Long Tentacle Plate Coral has the longest tentacles of any other LPS in our aquariums. Another thing that sets this coral apart is its ability to “walk” along the substrate. image via http://www.schwindyboo.com These corals require a moderate amount of care. For starters, they pack quite a sting. They may try to make their way over to another area and start a war with other aggressive corals. They require a moderate amount of lighting, so do not try to keep these under a low wattage fixture. They do not like too much light either. Since they must reside on the substrate you may have to increase or decrease your lighting rather than moving the coral itself. Maintaining your water quality will also keep these guys happy. Stability is key. Supplementing and testing calcium and strontium levels, along with maintaining alkalinity is important. They will thrive when fed plankton and various meaty foods that you would feed your fish. Stay away from “junk” food like adult brine shrimp unless it is infused with vitamins made specifically for corals and fish. zooplankton image via http://www.teachoceanscience.net These corals actually share a few traits with the anemone. They will regularly inflate themselves with water and get huge! They will also deflate themselves completely and look almost dead. The Long Tentacle Plate Coral will actually use its tentacles to catch food and wiggle the particles into the center of the body where their mouth is located. The size of the mouth is what limits what sized particles they will eat. Some can get fairly large and even swallow a silver side! image via http://mydayunderwater.blogspot.com/ So can these be fragged? Yes, but not very easily. In order to successfully propagate the Long Tentacle Plate Coral you must have a wet saw. A dremel tool will burn the flesh and generally cause it to die of infection. The wet saw keeps the coral cool and allows very easy cuts. The next must is stable water that is very clean. There can not be any sudden changes in water chemistry, salinity, or lighting. Any instability will result in death. If you have awesome water quality and a wet saw you can cut the plate coral into pretty small pieces, as long as you leave a few tentacles on each frag. If you are lucky enough for these to heal it will only take about a year for the frags to look normal and not square. These are not ideal corals to try to turn a quick buck on like Pulsing Xenia or Zoanthids. Even the short tentacle cousin takes quite a long time to grow into anything worth looking at when cubed up. If possible, try to make the cuts into something more natural than a square. Inland DB-100 Mini Bandsaw In short, these corals are another one of those that only the above average reefer should attempt to keep. Admire them from the safety of a more expert level reefer’s aquarium if you are having trouble with the easier LPS out there. Owning any plate coral is a commitment to having a bare sand bed where no other corals can get stung as it takes its daily stroll around the tank. Not all wander, so if yours has found a permanent place you may get away with a couple well placed corals as long as you keep a close watch on them, and don’t forget to show yours off in the LPS Forum! image via reef2reef member AquaSD
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Preview: CORAL July/August 2013 Issue

k COVER FEATURES: CORAL Volume 10, Number 4 Family Acanthuridae: The Tangs and Surgeonfishes Text and Images by Robert M. Fenner, Scott W. Michael, Daniel Knop, Keoki Stender Tang Captive Culture-A Progress Report: A Special Report by Matthew L. Wittenrich, PhD ALSO Forthcoming: Aquarium Safety, Classroom Marine Aquariums, Breeding Apogon spp. Cardinalfishes, Diving Lembeh Strait, and much more. Publication Date: July 9, 2013 Materials Deadline: June 14, 2013 Cover Image: Naso lituratus (Naso Tang or Orangespine Surgeonfish) by Keoki Stender, Marinelife Photography
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Reef Threads Podcast #111

Ret Talbot joins us this week to talk about fisheries developments and the Banggai Rescue project. This week we welcome back Ret Talbot to talk about recent activity in the Hawaiian fisheries, how those decisions are influencing global fisheries and supply chains, the Banggai Rescue project, and the potential impact of all of these developments on the future of our hobby. If you have any interest in the future of marine aquariums, we urge you to listen to this podcast, share it with your hobby friends, and post a link to the podcast in local club and hobby-wide forums. Our access to fish and corals is rapidly reaching a turning point and all hobbyists need to be informed and take action to protect the hobby we enjoy. A big thanks to Ret for dedication to covering these issues, balanced reporting, and generosity with his time. Download the podcast here , or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes . Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.— Gary and Christine Hawaii Contacts Testimony for the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area rules package can be submitted via mail or email to the following addresses: Mail: Division of Aquatic Resources 74- 380B Kealakehe Pkwy. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 Email: darkona@hawaiiantel.net Testimony for the Hawaii Administrative Rules for management of aquarium fish collecting on O’ahu can be submitted via mail or email to the following addresses: Mail: Division of Aquatic Resources 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 330 Honolulu, HI 96813 Email: Alton.K.Miyasaka@hawaii.gov Support PIJAC PIJAC’s website is www.pijac.org
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Reef Threads Podcast #110

Help needy kids have toys for Christmas by donating to the Toys For Kids effort at reef2reef.com. Fire up the mp3 players for another Reef Threads podcast. This week we discuss the Reef2Reef Toys for Kids effort, photography and stacked images, fisheries, aquarium backgrounds, and stocking-stuffer accessories. Download the podcast here , or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes . Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads. We hope you enjoy the podcast. If you do, please tell others.— Gary and Christine Toys for Kids Stacking Images
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Reef Threads Podcast #59

[unable to retrieve full-text content]It’s a new week and time for Reef Threads Podcast #59. This week we talk about basslet breeding, a new book, aquarium art, videographer Mike DeGruy, Aiptasia, and our Noteworthy Tank of the week. Download the podcast here, or subscribe … Continue reading →
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Reef Threads Podcast #58: Shark Week!

Great White Shark, Isla Guadalupe Island, Pacific Ocean It’s our version of Shark Week as we welcome back Alex Rose who just returned from an October trip to Isla Guadalupe Island where she spend several days in shark cages watching and photographing Great White Sharks. Alex tells us about the trip aboard the Nautilus Explorer , the diving, the photography and, most of all, the sharks!! Scroll down to see some of the photos Alex made during her dives.
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Reef Threads Podcast #52

We’re back on our regular schedule, this week with guest co-host Christine Williams, filling in for Sara, who remains sick. This week we talk about torching hydroids, Gary’s weekly photo offering at reefs.com, the Midwest Marine Conference, MACNA 2012, what … Continue reading →
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