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Alaska SeaLife Center Using Ocean Water For Heat

img_4913_1_1_The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) has issued a release announcing the use of a CO2 refrigerant heat pump system, which will shift 98% percent of the centers heating use from fossil fuel to salt water. “This project reflects the core mission of the Alaska SeaLife Center “to generate and share scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine eco-systems,” said Darryl Schaefermeyer, ASLC Special Projects Director. “It illustrates the broad and tangible ways in which our day to day work can contribute to the long term health and sustainability of the City of Seward, the State of Alaska and the global community.” The system was in development for over seven years, and after completing two phases, water is pumped in from Resurrection Bay in order to heat the 120,000 square foot building. MORE

Terminal Phase Sleeping Stoplight Parrotfish

Terminal phase stoplight parrotfish under gorgonian. Sparisoma viride. Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Unaltered/Uncontrolled. Medium Format (horizontal). Model Release: Not Applicable.Good morning all, do you remember my 10 deep-sea fish stamps from 2014? Well, I have more coming out, but this time instead of fish it will be all kinds of cool creatures, most found by our friends at the Smithsonian Institution. When I get the OK I will send them to you, but I am guessing that we will have to wait until they are officially released, stay tuned. I have a sleeping Stoplight Parrotfish for you all today that we found late at night underneath a swaying gorgonian. If you look carefully you will notice a bunch of brown blotchy spots all over the body, those are not there during the day, only at night. “Why?” you ask? Well, it’s a way to help them blend in, making themselves darker or a kind of camouflage if you will and itworks really well. Aimee and I love to seek out as many sleeping parrotfish as we can when night diving. Our goal is try to find those that are either the most hidden or those that lay out in plain sight, they really are amazing fish and super fun to watch. MORE

Newly Described Bryozoan Goby Filmed for the First Time

Bryozoan Goby (Sueviota bryozophila). Credit: Sascha/Lembeh Resort

Bryozoan Goby (Sueviota bryozophila). Credit: Sascha/Lembeh Resort

 Described just yesterday by Gerry Allen and coauthors, the brand new goby Sueviota bryozophila is a small but significant find for coral reef enthusiasts. This remarkable little fish evaded our attention up until now thanks to its remarkably effective camouflage against the coral-like animal it calls home. Now, for the first time, video of this amazing commensal relationship has been caught on film.MORE

Strange Sisters: the Peculiar Case of an Old Woman and an Aussie

The Blacktail or Old Woman Wrasse, Thalassoma ballieui, at Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Credit: Bill Stohler

The Blacktail or Old Woman Wrasse, Thalassoma ballieui, at Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Credit: Bill Stohler

 The genus Thalassoma is comprised of a diverse assemblage of large, reef-associated wrasses spread throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical waters. Included here are some of the most familiar, colorful and active labrids available to home aquarists—the Lunare Wrasse (T. lunare), the Banana Wrasse (T. lutescens), the Bluehead Wrasse (T. bifasciatum), and the unusual Bird Wrasses (“Gomphosus”). Aside from a handful of species with highly restricted distributions, most every species is regularly offered in the aquarium trade, but this isn’t so for the two most “primitive” members of the genus…
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Killer Whale Rescue In Russia

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There has been a lot of negative publicity concerning Russia and orca whales recently, but this story of killer whale rescue is welcome positive news. Four killer whales, including a small calf, were trapped in ice off the coast of Eastern Russia, in the Sea of Okhotsk, off of Sakhalin Island. It is unclear how the whales became trapped, but it was probably due to a cold front coming in overnight, which prevented the whales from being able to reach deeper water. The bay where the orcas became stuck was shallow and filled with large rocks and ice, which made use of a traditional boat to access the whales impossible. The crew from the the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) had to use a rowboat to access the whales. MORE

Salty Q&A: Is a Sump the Same as a Refugium?

Question: What exactly is the difference between a “sump” and a “refugium” (assuming there is a difference)? These are terms I didn’t hear in my 30-plus years as a freshwater aquarist, but I’ve heard them numerous times since starting my first saltwater tank.” – Submitted by Moira B  Answer: There is a distinction between a sump and refugium in marine aquarium hobby parlance, but sometimes there’s a degree of crossover between these two systems that can make it difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Let’s try to define each, and then briefly examine why they sometimes defy easy categorization. Sump defined: A sump is a separate (but plumbed into the system) tank or reservoir, situated below the level of the aquarium, that is typically used to hold various life-support equipment—protein skimmer, heater, etc.—so it doesn’t detract from the aesthetics of the display. A sump also provides the added benefit of increasing the water volume of the overall system. Refugium defined: A refugium is also a separate tank or reservoir that is plumbed into the aquarium system, but it serves a very different purpose. MORE

Unprecedented South Florida Coral Die-Off

coralimpacts-headerAnother bleak article highlighting the crucial situation our coral reefs are facing from bleaching and disease. Just last week, scientists announced that 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia had been affected by bleaching. This latest finding of coral bleaching hits especially close to home for me, since I live in South Florida. Just in the past couple of months, coral reefs in South Florida are having an unprecedented die-off like never has been seen before. For example, reefs off the coast of Hollywood, Florida, as of September of 2015, had live coral tissue covering 90 percent of the reef. As of December of 2015, just three months later, the reef was almost completely dead. Scientists have found widespread disease in Broward and Miami Dade County in just a few months time.  MORE

Obscure Reef Creatures – The Cobalt Slender Grouper (Epinephelus cf leucogrammicus)

The Cobalt Slender Grouper Epinephelus cf leucogrammicus. Credit: Pet Balloon

The Cobalt Slender Grouper Epinephelus cf leucogrammicus. Credit: Pet Balloon

 The groupers, hinds and lyretails of the Family Epinephilidae are one of the most speciose groups associated with tropical coral reefs, but, despite this immense biodiversity (~16 genera, ~165 species), few species make their way into the aquarium trade and fewer still are considered attractive enough to be desirable. The Coral Hind (Cephalopholis miniatus) is probably the most popular and affordable offering, followed by rarer and pricier species like the Polleni Grouper (C. polleni), the Spanish Flag (Gonioplectrus hispanidus) and the virtually unobtainable Neptune Grouper (C. igarashiensis), but perhaps the rarest of the bunch is a beautiful and obscure caerulean fish that few have ever seen in the flesh—the Cobalt Slender Grouper.MORE


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