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Heliofungia Propagation

Heliofungia 300x168 Heliofungia PropagationAlthough notoriously intolerant of tissue damage, the beautiful Heliofungia actiniformis is an exciting addition to any reef display. Willing to test this coral’s vitality, I made an attempt to propagate one. 1. The Heliofungia was forced to retract by hand. This reduces contact between the propagating tool and the coral’s sensitive tissue, minimizing damage and stress on the coral. Retracted 300x168 Heliofungia Propagation2. To reduce the amount of heat transferred to the polyp, the Heliofungia was cut in half using a diamond band saw. This saw uses a drip mechanism to keep the subject cool. The cut was made perpendicular to its mouth, which enables the mouth to recover more rapidly, allowing the coral to feed.… More:

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The Evolutionary History of Stony Corals

Although corals are considered one of the earliest, most primitive animal groups on the planet, the stony corals that grace our reef aquariums with color and vibrance actually arose later than some of us have been led to believe.   It is widely accepted that our ocean’s corals have been derived from sponge-like ancestors; however, the first “corals” to be derived from these sponge-like ancestors are not the ones we see in our reef aquariums. Roughly 500 million years ago in the Ordovician period (see table to the left), two orders of stony corals arose. These groups are known as Rugosa and Tabulata.     Soon after these two groups of corals arose from their presumably spongy ancestors, they attained prominence in our oceans and helped construct reefs with the help of their stable, calcite-based skeletons. These corals maintained their oceanic dominance until the mysterious Permian – Triassic extinction, which is thought to have been responsible for their demise. If these two groups abruptly became extinct, leaving our planet virtually devoid of corals, how do living coral species exist on earth today? Several millions of years into the Triassic period, another group of corals arose. Since Tabulata and Rugosa are thought to have already become extinct at this point, many paleobiologists hypothesize that this new group of corals had not been derived from one of these extinct groups, but came from sponge-like ancestors, just as the two extinct groups did during the Ordovician period. This hypothesis; however, has been countered by recent findings of fossil corals that host features of both Rugosa and the new group – Scleractinia. This suggests the possibility that Scleractinians – the corals that populate our planet today, may have been derived from ancient Rugosa corals.… More:

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Marine Aquarium Trade: A Force for Good in Saving Coral Reefs

58a7Fish Catch Marine Aquarium Trade: A Force for Good in Saving Coral Reefs
The fate of coral reefs worldwide is now a well-publicized, front-page, six o’clock news crisis. In fact, three marine scientists just published a landmark paper that leads with this daunting proclamation: “Coral reefs are at the brink of a global, system-wide collapse.” Lead author of the paper, Dr. Andrew L. Rhyne: “Ending cyanide fishing and effective trade monitoring are necessary and critical short-term gains for the marine aquarium trade.” Ending cyanide fishing and effective trade monitoring are necessary and critical short-term gains. For those involved in the keeping of marine aquaria, it is logical—perhaps even imperative—to wonder whether or not embattled reef ecosystems can sustain fisheries pressure in addition to all the other stressors they face. Often the heated arguments come down to these two points of contention: 1. Is it possible to harvest live fishes and invertebrates from coral reefs in a sustainable manner? MORE: Marine Aquarium Trade: A Force for Good in Saving Coral ReefsMore:

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Video: Mantis Colour Vision Makes Aliens Look Tame

 Mantis shrimp have got to be one of the most interesting of all reef organisms indeed new discoveries about these fascinating creatures seem to happen on an almost daily basis. Further to recent research that indicates they use similar ‘scanning’ eye movements to primates, a different team of researchers, this time from University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, have suggested that stomatopods combine these scanning eye movements with a previously unknown colour vision system. Read the abstract in the journal Science More: Video: Mantis Colour Vision Makes Aliens Look TameMore:

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Yellow Tang Captive Breeding Program Gets Big Funding Boost

1ef3Captive Bred Yellow Tang Yellow Tang Captive Breeding Program Gets Big Funding Boost Captive-bred yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens) may be coming to an aquarium near you. That’s the reality thanks to the efforts of the Oceanic Institute of Hawai‘i Pacific University (OI-PHU), who announced Friday that their groundbreaking research to breed yellow tangs has gotten a much needed infusion of cash…$75,000 to be exact. The funding comes from multiple sources, with the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority making up the bulk of that with their $35,000 donation. The Sea World/Busch Gardens Conservation Fund contributed $8,000 and the Oceanic Institute provided $32,000 worth of in-kind support. It is said that the funding will support a year long project which has the goal to bring the current level of yellow tang breeding up to the point that the research team can have its first ever captive rearing of the species. As part of the announcement, the OI-HPU also highlighted the fact that research scientist Chatham K. Callan, Ph.D., has lead the way with yellow tang breakthroughs when he discovered “breeding techniques that allow them to culture viable eggs in significant quantities and successfully rear the resulting larvae through their critical first few weeks of life.” As part of this joyous announcement, Callan will be speaking to the Science Pub-Hawai‘i tomorrow, January 27th. If you would like to read more about this ambitious work, be sure to visit: “OI-HPU yellow tang research gets boost from multiple funders” Story via MARSHReef MORE: Yellow Tang Captive Breeding Program Gets Big Funding BoostMore:

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‘Miami Coral Rescue’ Talk at the University of Miami

fluorescent prolifera 2 web ‘Miami Coral Rescue’ Talk at the University of Miami
Seen above is a fluorescence photograph of an ultra rare hybrid staghorn coral (Acropora prolifera) living in Miami’s Government Cut waterway. Colin first introduced this coral to the world at TEDxMIA in 2011. Now the Army Corps of Engineers’ “Deep Dredge” project to expand Miami’s port capabilities will necessitate the evacuation of this and thousands of other corals before their habitat is dynamited. It is Coral Morphologic’s mission to rescue them. More: ‘Miami Coral Rescue’ Talk at the University of MiamiMore:

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California Academy of Science Opens Up a Pair of Live Webcams on Philippine Lagoon Exhibit

40d4Shark Lagoon Cam California Academy of Science Opens Up a Pair of Live Webcams on Philippine Lagoon Exhibit Have you ever wanted to visit a public aquarium but just haven’t had the time to make the trip? Alternatively, do you frequent these aquariums and just can’t seem to get enough? Well, if you fall into either of those two categories, then you’re in a bit of luck. The California Academy of Science has recently put up two live webcams that focus on a couple of different areas of their massive Philippine Lagoon. Both feeds can be accessed via the academy’s website, where you just pick and choose which area you wish to view. With the lagoon view, observers can witness routine shark feedings every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30pm PST. The tank is also fed randomly on other days, so you might catch a feeding if you stick around long enough. The second viewing of the lagoon is called the “Reef View”. Unfortunately, it’s not aimed at a reef, rather it is another area where sharks and rays seem to accumulate. It differs from the lagoon in that it has a rock structure and more ocean life, but it’s not the massive collection of corals that we know are at the academy. MORE: California Academy of Science Opens Up a Pair of Live Webcams on Philippine Lagoon ExhibitMore:

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Refugium Lighting

466492700 6DLQP L Refugium LightingRefugiums are a great way to grow Algae for filtration, food, and provide excellent breeding grounds for pods, shrimp, and anything else that would otherwise be destroyed in your Display tank. Refugiums are not always designed for filtration. Some are designed purely for visual enjoyment and others are home to coral frags as they grow larger. They also make great Time Out spots for bad fish and are good places for injured fish to heal, but remember these are connected to your Display tank so They will not count as quarantine or hospital tanks. There are 2 main types of Refugium Lighting Plant Based- These refugiums are generally places for Macro algae like Chaetomorpha or Caulerpa. Mangroves are also grown in refugiums. More: Refugium LightingMore:

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