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Yorkshire-based fish foods company New Era Aquaculture Ltd has been sold out of administration and a new company, World Feeds Ltd has been set up backed by sizeable financial investment which will facilitate a major expansion plan for the re-born operation. All existing staff have been retained by World Feeds and the products have been re-branded as Vitalis Aquatic Nutrition in the UK and in the rest of the world, and will be known as Balance Aquatic Nutrition in the USA. New Era had been burdened with the cost of trademark litigation in the US, which led to the appointment of administrators. It was sold to World Feeds, the new company supported by investment from Finance Yorkshire.
Publishing their study in the open-access journal ZooKeys, Drs Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson from the Smithsonian Institution recently described a new species of Goby from the mesophotic zone, some 70-80m below the surface, in the southern Caribbean. Differing from its relatives not only in habitat but also size, the new Goby also exhibits distinctive colours and has been named Coryphopterus curasub in recognition of the Curasub submersible that was used in it’s discovery. These activities are part of the institution’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). Slightly more catchy, the new goby has been assigned the common name of ‘Yellow-spotted Sand Goby’.
If you’ve been following the blog you may know that in January we were lucky enough to obtain the very first of Red Sea’s REEFER range in the form of a white 170 model. Now we have had the tank running as our second test system for several weeks, we are pleased to bring you our detailed operational assessment of the system. Starting with the display tank, our initial high praise seems fully justified as the quality of this aquarium’s construction has proved to be a talking point more than once. The finish is superb and the high clarity glass used on this aquarium not only looks good from a design standpoint, but also gives a crystal clear view of what’s in the aquarium (initial photography efforts also confirm this). We’ve had no leaks, but given that each tank is tested before it leaves the factory, we wouldn’t seriously expect this
[embedded content] OK, so it’s been a little quieter than usual on the blog over the last few weeks, and we can now reveal why. In short, we’ve been busy behind the scenes creating this short video which we hope will be the first in a series of similar productions. In this introductory piece, we get ‘up close and personal’ with a range of LPS corals currently residing in our Black Tank, employing some timelapse macro and pure fluorescence imagery to ‘shed light’ on some of their otherwise hidden habits. Don’t forget to select full 1080HD resolution to see the fine detail! As said, we hope to continue the series as time permits and expand to focus on different groups of invertebrates… and as ever, we’ll certainly be looking to keep pushing the envelope in reef imagery by investing in new equipment and software for future offerings.
Credit: Joseph Pawlik, UNCWAs if corals didn’t have enough to contend with in nuisance seaweeds, another aggressive neighbour is moving in. Like seaweeds, sponges use an arsenal of toxins, mucus, shading, and smothering to kill nearby coral colonies and then, to add insult to injury, go ahead and grow on their skeletons. Furthermore, a recent survey of coral reefs across the Caribbean has shown that overfishing removes the predators of sponges, greatly increasing the threat to an already weakened population of corals. Headed by Dr. Joseph Pawlik at UNC Wilmington, the research team surveyed reefs from 12 countries across the Caribbean, where the combined effects of warming seawater temperatures, storms, and diseases have already decimated coral populations
Dealing with evaporation from a reef tank can be a real chore if you haven’t got a robust system in place and there’s also a pretty high element of risk involved if your chosen system isn’t up to scratch. For a start, it could fail to keep-up with demand (in which case a low water level could expose equipment and lead to a system failure), or at the other end of the scale, overfilling could make your tank literally ‘runneth-over’ (causing untold damage and recrimination). In either case your Salinity is also going to be ‘all over the place’ too, stressing livestock, possibly to death…. in short this is one area where cutting-costs can come back and ‘bite you on the bum’! Having started-off with the ‘religiously-trickling-in-a-jug-of-RO-every-day’ method back in the day, we’ve since been through a few different systems, each progressing in complexity. Our second system was a simple peri-pump on a timer which delivered Kalkwasser during the night (and which worked fine but couldn’t cope with seasonal fluctuations very well) and next we experimented with float switches… briefly
Published today in the journal Current Biology, a new study has shown that the Dusky Dottyback Pseudochromis fuscus can change colour to imitate other reef fish species both allowing it to prey on their young, and to hide from predators by blending in to its habitat. The research reveals a surprising and sophisticated new example of ‘mimicry’. While using mimicry to hunt or hide from other species is common in nature, scientists note that if the deception is encountered too frequently, prey species become vigilant to the threat and develop tactics to counter the mimics. The dottyback, however, is able to colour-morph depending on the particular colour of the surrounding species it is currently hunting (often damselfishes). Scientists say that this flexibility of physical mimicry makes it much harder for the dottyback’s prey to develop detection strategies and avoid getting eaten
Arguably one of the most critical components of any reef system, the humble RO Unit sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Sometimes a hobbyist may end up selecting a unit that ‘seems’ up to the task without really researching it. Once in place RO Units can also be ‘taken for granted’ and, as a result, actual performance under ‘typical’ home operating conditions (membrane efficiency, actual GPD, ease of assembly etc) is sometimes overlooked. In this review we’ll take a closer look at TMCs V²Pure RO system and see how it stacks-up against other units we’ve used.