Latest Posts

Sponge Face

Good morning friends, I found a beautiful Azure Vase Sponge on the island of Klein Curacao that reminded me of the Cookie Monster, one of Sesame Street’s all-time greatest characters. As many of you already know, I love finding faces in nature, especially if they are underwater! Aimee and I have searched for years for fun faces but they are very hard to find making the quest that much more difficult. A few years back I had a photo assignment involving faces around the home and ended up selling a picture of a shoe that looked like a face to National Geographic Kids magazine, do any of you remember that one?? I am still looking for these types of photos so if you find something around the house, please let me know. We have a lot going on today, I have to get ready to splash…  MORE

Tiny Dancer – Crustacean Named After Elton John

Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man and Crocodile Rock are among the many hits by rock legend Sir Elton John.  Now, the music superstar can add to his list of accomplishments with the naming of a crustecean in his honor! An amphipod was recently discovered in the coral reefs of Raja Ampat,Indonesia but may also be found other south pacific reefs. The shrimp-like crustacean creature has been named Leucothoe eltoni, after the famous rocker.829eltonjohnMORE

Our coal powered reefs?

35000-walruses-are-all-crowded-together-in-one-spot--and-it-signals-something-ominousRight now 35,000 walruses are mobbed together on the Alaskan coast, an unusual occurrence. From the air it looks like a massive walrus protest, with tens of thousands of animals huddled together. Why would walruses pact together in such numbers? The answer, because the ice that they rely on has totally disappeared. Unlike seals (who can swim indefinitely) after a day of hunting, walruses need a place to plant their tusks and rest. Walruses in the Bering Sea usually rest on ice flows, which in the past, have been plentiful in both summer and winter. With rising global temperatures, artic sea ice has diminished, leaving the walruses no choice but to congregate on the Alaskan coast, just north of Point Lay. The melted artic sea ice presents a wide range of problems for the walruses, from access to food, ease of diving, on up to rearing young. This comes at a time when three category four hurricanes touched down in the Pacific Ocean. It’s a strikingly rare meteorological event, and experts blame warmer than average sea temperatures for the massive storms. These hurricanes come on the heels of what has already been a devastating hurricane season. The climate is changing, yet you may be wondering, what in the heck does that have to do with my aquarium?  MORE

Smithsonian Explores Klein Curacao

Good morning friends, how was your weekend out there?? We have been super busy here playing with the folks from the world-famous Smithsonian Institute. Last Wednesday, we took load after load of supplies to the Chapman (our research vessel) and getting ready to set sail for the remote island of Klein Curacao early Thursday morning. The photo above shows our 2.5 million dollar mini submersible named the “Curasub” on the back of  the Chapman, heading out to sea on the way to Klein Curacao. 


The Chapman

 The photo to the left shows the Chapman anchored at Klein Curacao; this killer  shot was taken by our sub pilot Barbara, who has a mini-drone and boy does she know how to use it!  MORE

ReefRack Customized Frag Display System

The ReefRack 102 in action! Over my many years in the marine aquarium hobby, I’ve constructed various and sundry coral frag racks out of egg crate light diffuser, ranging from simple one-tiered platforms to somewhat more complex stair-step configurations. It’s relatively easy to do; I just use a pair of diagonal cutters to snip out sections of the egg crate in the desired geometric shapes to form the platforms and supports of the rack. Then I join the components together with either cyanoacrylate glue or plastic zip ties. While cheap and easy to make, these racks do have their downsides. MORE

Dolphins Use ‘Mud Nets’ To Catch Fish

 Who among us doesn’t love dolphins? They are often considered some of the smartest animals and are very quick learners. With my many years working in the public aquarium industry I’ve developed quite an affinity for them and can vouch for how clever these marine mammals really are. MORE

It’s A Seahorse Kind Of Week

Seahorses have been a reoccurring theme this week and I couldn’t be happier! At the end of last week, friend of the Aquarium and local fisherman, James Bricca, brought us a pregnant Hippocampus erectus. We put the baby-daddy into one of our seahorse nursery tanks to await his labor. A few days passed by and finally, late Monday afternoon,  he gave birth to a million babies! Okay, that may have been an exaggeration, but it was a heck of a lot of seahorse fry. Below is a video that I took shortly after they were born.  


Hippocampus erectus fry.

 After removing the dad, I separated the fry into two tanks. I turned up the airflow and added a mixture of algae and copepods, specifically, Apocyclops panamensis, as well as some Euterpina acutifrons that I recently acquired from Tami Weiss. For more information on what techniques I use on rearing seahorse, take a look here. Once these little guys are a few months old, I will put them in our “baby” display tanks. This is where we feature things aquacultured here at the Long Island Aquarium. MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #243


  It’s MACNA week! In our pre-show podcast we talk about our plans for the big event in D.C., the 2016 gathering in San Diego, the Rod’s Food Summer Savings program, donating to the Reef Savvy Dream Tank effort, Gary’s tank plans, and things you wish you’d known before you got into this hobby. We hope you enjoy the podcast and look forward to seeing you in Washington. If you’re not going, be sure to listen to our daily mini-casts and follow us on Instagram at reefthreads. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine 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.