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Reef Threads Podcast #239

Is it smart to quarantine several fish together?
This week’s podcast chit-chat topics are the reef side of Gary’s bicycle trip, collecting wild food, quarantining multiple fish, DC pumps, pipe organ care, and what we’d pay for fish and corals. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Tattoo Tuesday

tattoo tuesday 7-28Early in the 20th century, New London, Ct was a thriving port city, with a raucous nightlife fueled bu sailors and alcohol. In fact, my band practiced in an old speakeasy with a beautifully tiled indoor pool, dating from the from the prohibition era. It is said that the town wanted to discourage unruly Navy seamen from invading downtown New London (In Eugene O’Neil’s iconic works, it is known as “uptown”, as the city’s more well-to-do upper class lived 1 mile south of the city center). To achieve this, the town’s council enacted many new ordinances, including outlawing tattoo shops in the city of New London.  Just a few years ago, that ordinance was lifted, and there has been a sort of tattoo parlor renaissance in my old hometown. tattoo tuesday 7-28bOver the years, I have been a particular fan of the work of Elisha Schauer. I saw her art at friends’ houses, at local art shows, and online. These days, she is a tattoo artist at New London Ink, and I really dig the skin art that she has been sharing. The tentacles of all things fishy and reefy runs deep in popular culture. I’m proud to be a part of such a creative, thriving tattoo culture that can bring people into closer contact with our beautiful (and sometimes funny) ocean  world.

The Evolution and Biogeography of Stonogobiops – part 2

stono 9bYellownose Shrimpgoby (S. xanthorhinica) 

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A dark specimen camouflaged on dark substrate. Credit: Yuji Izumi

 A common goby throughout the Western Pacific, this is one of the most frequently encountered species offered in the aquarium trade. It can be found in water as shallow as three meters, and its range likely includes all of the West Pacific, though it is apparently unknown from Sumatra, Java and much of Borneo. There is a wide gap to the east of its range separating it from its closest relative, the Marquesan endemic S. medon. MORE

Sea Sheep

sea sheepThis is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable sea creatures I have ever seen – and it’s a slug! The tiny creature looks like a cartoon or maybe a Wallace and Gromit character, but it is most certainly real. Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short) is found in saltwater environments near Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines, and can grow up to 5mm in length. And, like the mammal it gets its name from, it likes its greens. The Leaf Sheep eats algae, and is one of the only animals in the world that is able to photosynthesize. And while it is not very efficient at it, some species can live for months on photosynthesis alone. As it eats, it partially digests the algae, but leaves the chloroplasts intact, incorporating them into its own body, and storing them in its multiple spiky appendages. The cute little slug then uses the chloroplasts to manufacture energy. The process is called kleptoplasty,a term derived from the Greek word Kleptes (κλέπτης), which means “thief”. and can only be found in certain sacoglossan sea slugs…like this little guy. MORE

Father Killed By Shark While Diving With Daughter

I went back and forth on whether I was going to write about this post. I am sure many of you have heard about it by now. However, it is a very difficult post to write and shockingly tragic. On Saturday, a 20 year old woman was diving for scallops with her father, off the coast of Tasmania, an island state off the coast of Australia. The father and daughter were diving in the Maria and Lachlan Islands, areas which are reported to be very popular with amateur divers for scallop diving and very ‘unusual’ location to spot sharks, especially large sharks. MORE

You Asked Us…So We’ve Answered!

An interior spread of The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine FishesSince we released The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes eBook earlier this year, the support from readers has been unequivocally positive. But, what’s the one thing that’s been requested many times since then? A print version – so folks could add it into their aquarium library! It’s totally understandable, Jeff and I had both toyed with the idea of adding a tangible version onto our respective aquarium collection shelves, too. In this extremely digital age, there’s still something very fulfilling about flipping open a great aquarium book while doing research or passing the time on a rainy afternoon.Today we’re happy to announce the print version of The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes is now available! The beautifully printed, full color, 194 page book is jam-packed with the same great content as the eBook and is delivered right to your door from our printer. You can learn more about the book and purchase it here: As a thank you to our readers who are among the first to purchase the print version, use discount code U6GNSK2K to save $5 at checkout MORE

Fluffy Pillow Art

Growing corals and selling them for a living seems like an ideal job to other reef aquarists; actually my time is filled with a lot of online work, fragging, aquarium cleaning, box making, and other tedious chores. The one thing that has kept me engaged for over a decade is the corals. Being able to experience the beauty of corals, their never-ending combinations of colors, shapes, and behaviors fuels my addiction. While watching a beautiful fireworks display during 4th of July I found myself thinking of corals. 


Stunning Pink Morph Wellsophyllia

 Wellsophyllia are one of those corals that most reef aquarists purchase during their first few months of owning a new aquarium; they are easy to keep and do well in medium light. As they grow in a reef aquarium they can inflate to epic proportions and fill in the area around them. Commonly found in mixes of red and green, those are just a small portion of the color spectrum that they occupy. Wellsophyllia are the abstract art of the reef world; fluffy pillows of MORE

The Evolution and Biogeography of Stonogobiops – part 1

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S. nematodes & yasha, alongside Amblyeleotris yanoi. Best friends forever! Credit: Takashi Nagamatsu

 The shrimpgobies of the genus Stonogobiops are a common sight in any aquarium store, with species oftentimes selling for not much more than the cost of a cheap damselfish. Because of this, it might come as a surprise to learn that the half-dozen species that comprise the genus were completely unknown to science as recently as the late 1970’s! The Filamented Shrimpgoby (S. nematodes), a particularly ubiquitous and affordable species in our hobby, was originally known from just a single specimen. So how do we explain this apparent contradiction between the rarity and monetary value of these fish? Clearly, our knowledge of how to locate these fishes in the wild has improved drastically. Unlike some of their close relatives, Stonogobiops is primarily found at MORE 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.