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Camouflaged Filefish, Monacanthus ciliatus

Hi all, I have a super camouflaged, very hidden, Fringed Filefish for you all today that we found hiding on the side of a giant pillar that was holding up a monster sized pier. These little two inch fish are masters of camouflage and have the ability to change colors in a split second mimicking almost any underwater background color, it’s one of those things I just can’t explain you have to see it to believe it. Appearing very much like their close relatives the triggerfish, filefish are rhomboid-shaped fish that have beautifully elaborate cryptic patterns. Deeply keeled bodies give a false impression of size when these fish are viewed facing the flanks. Filefish have soft, simple fins with comparatively small pectoral fins and truncated, fan-shaped tail fins; a slender, retractable spine crowns the head. Although there are usually two of these spines, the second spine is greatly reduced, being used only to lock the first spine in the erect position; this explains the family name Monacanthidae, from the Greek monos meaning “one” and akantha meaning “thorn”. Some species also have recurved spines on the base of the tail (caudal peduncle). The small terminal mouths of filefish have specialized incisor teeth on the upper and lower jaw; in the upper jaw there are four teeth in the inner series and six in the outer series; in the lower jaw, there are 4-6 in an outer series only. MORE

Underwater in Okinawa

Fields of maricultured Acropora in Onna, Okinawa, Japan

 Okinawa, Japan is known for its great diving and lush coral reefs. I had heard heard all sorts of cautionary tales about diving in Okinawa due to its strong currents, but I’d also heard that the quality of the reefs is practically unmatched. The day of my scheduled dive was rough. It started raining heavily, and that pretty much limited the dive locations that were available for safety reasons. The single dive location would be just off the coast of our hotel in the Manza Beach area of Onna-son. Onna is located in the central part of the island and is where most of the resort hotels are located. MORE

Amazing Shark Vision Camera

bio sharkScientists have developed a ‘shark vision’ camera that allows us to see just how swellsharks and chain catsharks are able to view their underwater world. Both species of sharks have  brightly fluorescent properties, essentially meaning that these sharks are able to absorb external light and emit it in a different color. Scientists studied the low light photorecepters in the eyes of both species, which enables the sharks to detect light of certain wavelengths. Based on that information, the scientists were able to build a camera that uses the same wavelengths, allowing the scientists to see the underwater world from a sharks eye perspective. MORE

How To Eliminate and Prevent Diatoms in a Reef Tank

Diatoms - reefs
Ok, first of all, what are they? Well, diatoms are a brown algae that typically appear in a reef tank that has just completed its cycle but they can also appear in an established reef tank. They can cover sand, rock, pumps, glass, you name it. Diatoms look ugly but in most cases they are harmless so the key is to not panic when they appear. Diatoms feed mainly off of silicates but also consume dissolved organic compounds, phosphate and nitrates. Unfiltered tap water can contain silicates and is a good way to jump start a bloom if you use it to mix salt or to replace water that evaporated from the tank. The best way to prevent this from happening is to filter water through a RODI unit MORE

Caribbean Reef Octopus Living in Discarded Trash

Good morning friends, I have a very small Caribbean Reef Octopus peering out of the end of a metal pipe for you today that I found during the day out in the middle of the sand. As many of you already know octopus have this amazing ability to squeeze themselves into the smallest of spaces, that’s why I tell all my divers to check every piece of trash they find. Many times in the sub we have seen octopus hiding inside discarded bottles using them as their home, talk about a tight fit?? I found this one above in the mouth of an old metal plumbing pipe just hanging out watching reef creatures swim by without a care in the world. The opening of the pipe is about 3-inches giving you a pretty good idea of his or her size MORE

Can VR oceanic experiences, replace the desire for private and public aquariums?

riftblogpierre1I spend a lot of time researching. In fact, it consumes the vast majority of my time. As a science fiction writer, I am always looking for new material. Research takes me to websites catering to underground conspiracy theorists, all the way up to online astrophysics courses offered by major universities. Often, it’s simply jumping from rabbit hole, to rabbit hole, chasing a lead of information until it either escapes, or ends up the premise of a book. I research the aquarium world with the same veracity. Everything from the social implications of keeping reef tanks, all the way down to ground breaking new methodologies. Since the start of the anti-aquarium movement, I’ve spent a lot of time hunting down information about societies’ views of marine aquariums. This includes both public and private tanks, and how humanity interprets the hobby. Are they viewed as educational and beneficial, or are they seen as animal and environmental abuse? MORE

Freed Aquarium Dolphin Spotted With Baby In Wild

dolphin-captive-wild-calf.adapt.1190.1A dolphin which was released into the wild in 2013 has been spotted in a pod of 55 dolphins off the coast of South Korea. More importantly, she was spotted with a baby at her side. The Indo-Pacific dolphin was known as Sampal when she was in captivity at the Jungman Pacific Land Marine Park in Jeju. She was also featured in a National Geographic article about whether it was possible to reintroduce captive animals into the wild.  Reintroducing captive animals into the wild has been a source of much controversy. There have been lots of studies attempting to capture the success and failure rate of reintroduced animals into the wild. MORE

World Wide Corals Visit

chalice corals WWC - reefs

Some stunning chalice corals

 This past weekend, we were at Reef-A-Palooza Orlando and decided to drop in to see Lou, Vic and the team at World Wide Corals. While I was looking at all of the beautiful displays and the World Wide Coral Farm I bumped into Frank Lim from Real Reef Rock.  These are a few shots that Frank and I took with our phones using a yellow filter to counteract the 20K lighting.  It’s pretty amazing how far along our camera phones have come.  If you’re ever in the Orlando area, I highly recommend stopping by their shop.  Plan to stay a while! MORE


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