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Bleached reefs may mean easier picking for predators, but its not good news for their prey

Bleached coral in the GBR. Credit: Matt Kiefer, CC 2.0

Bleached coral in the GBR. Credit: Matt Kiefer, CC 2.0

 Researchers have found that fish living on reefs that are covered in algae, due to coral damage from bleaching, are at a greater threat from predators than fish living on healthy reefs. “Baby fish use chemical alarm signals released from the skin of attacked individuals to learn the identity of new predators,” said Professor Mark McCormick from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Australia in a press release.  MORE

The Rarely Seen Goldface Toby (Canthigaster jamestyleri)

Goldface Toby Canthigaster jamestyleri. Credit: Kevin Kohen / LiveAquaria

Goldface Toby Canthigaster jamestyleri. Credit: Kevin Kohen / LiveAquaria

 The Toby Pufferfishes of the genus Canthigaster don’t get nearly enough appreciation from aquarists. The three-dozen species in this group offer a little bit of everything, occurring in nearly every sort of tropical marine habitat, from seagrass beds to surge zones, and reef flats to steep, oceanic slopes. And it’s in this latter niche where we find some of the most poorly known members of the genus, few of which are collected for the aquarium trade. Recently, one of these deepwater denizens—the Goldface Toby Canthigaster jamestyleri—briefly appeared on LiveAquaria’s Diver’s Den, selling immediately.MORE

Giant Underwater Hermit Crab

Hi all, as I was heading out to photograph the sub I found the largest hermit crab I have ever seen in these waters, the old Queen conch shell alone that he is carrying around measures at least 10 inches across!! The crab itself is completely unafraid of anything as you can see above, I was in his or her face and he could have cared less and just kept posing for me. I also observed the crab in motion, walking in a sideways pattern, and get this, he or she can cover about a meter (3 feet) in less than 5 seconds, that’s one fast crab!! I sent this photo to my friend Darryl so we should know soon what his name is…. OK, I just heard back from Darryl L. Felder, PhD who is the professor of Biology at the University of Louisiana, he said we are looking at a Petrochirus Diogenes, one of the largest hermit crabs in the Caribbean. He said it can grow to twice this size and is usually found further offshore but occasionally will find it’s way to shallow waters. Thanks a million Darryl!!   MORE

Gramma dejongi land in US for the first time

Gramma dejongi at the East Campus Marine Lab

Gramma dejongi at the East Campus Marine Lab

 For more than six years, we have been taunted with images of the holy grail of reef basslets, Gramma dejongi, as it made appearances around the world. First described in 2010, this very close relative of the fairy basslet, Gramma loreto, has a very small geographic range which has been a contributing factor in its astronomical price tag.  MORE

Rapid LED new Corona light fixture 

 angledRapid LED, an American company that supplies LED parts for legions of DIY aficionados in the hobby, just announced their newest saltwater-specific LED panel, called Corona. Designed and assembled in-house in Burlingame, California, the light joins the wide catalog of aquarium lighting solutions Rapid LED offers, and has some impressive specs to get excited about.  MORE

Feeding your entire reef

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Photo courtesy of reefaquarium.com

 Not long ago, I explained on Facebook that it takes me about 45 minutes to feed my reef tank. Multiply that by three feedings per day, and over two-hours daily is spent on feeding alone. Reef keepers had a lot of questions, as to why I would spend so much time feeding. Some boasted that they use automatic feeders, and don’t have any time invested in feeding their tank. Others were confused about why a single feeding could take 45 minutes. I did my best to explain why feeding my reef took so long. I reminded aquarists of the importance of feedings, and the role they play in daily tank observation and management.  MORE

Testing: Nano-Bubbles

Image micro-nano-bubbles2.jpgRecently, the folks in my area got enamored with the topic of “nano‐bubbles” for the reef tank. Being a curious engineer and avid tinkerer of tanks, I jumped right in to test it for myself. So what are nano‐bubbles and what is the concept being prescribed? Well, there are many sources online that talk about the benefits of nano‐bubbles in various applications, from water and food processing to cleaning applications such as wastewater treatment. But with respect to our hobby, one site, Elegant Corals LLC, had been promoting the benefits of running “micro‐scrubbing bubbles” in the reef tank for some time. You can check out their Facebook page for the claimed benefits. The basic process, in short, is to produce the smallest bubbles possible and inject them into the main tank via the return pump. Wooden airstones are placed just before the inlet of the sump return pump, and the amount of bubbles is controlled by adjusting the distance from the airstone to the inlet. MORE

Study Shows Cephalopods Thrive While Coral Reefs Decline

Davy-Jones With media headlines highlighting the plight of our coral reefs around the world, it comes as no surprise that coral reefs, and the fish who call those reefs home, are in decline. What is more surprising is the increase in the cephalopod population since the 1950’s, in light of the decline in reef population. A study by the University of Adelaide in Australia sought to figure out why cephalopod numbers were on the rise. The study used scientific data and fisheries records to identify cephalopod catch rates from 1953 to 2013. MORE


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