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Review: Big World BQ-5000L

2014_12_pompa_risalita_corallinea_BQ5000L_DC50q_2 We recently finished our in-depth testing of the Big World BQ-5000L, imported to Italy by Corallinea. We measured the hydraulic head, flow rate, power consumption, and noise, and as the BQ-5000L is an electronic pump with a digital external controller, we were also able to test the flow rate and the power consumption at each setting.  MORE

Rare Azooxanthellate Stony Corals in Japan: Part 3

Flabellum sp.

Note the more lenticular shape of this compared to Truncatoflabellum spheniscus. Credit: Kapaguy

Note the more lenticular shape of this compared to Truncatoflabellum spheniscus. Credit: Kapaguy

 There are a few species this might be (pavoninum, magnificum, politum, angustum), and a skeleton would need to be examined to determine an identification. Whatever this is, very few images exist of it, but the green fluorescent oral disc makes this one easily recognizable.MORE

Coney, Cephalopholis fulva

Hello from overcast Curacao. I went with Aimee and the three dogs before work this morning to plant baby yuccas; when the giant century plant in our front yard died, it left behind close to 500 babies which we have been taking out to the desert every single day and planting, in hopes of keeping the circle of life alive. I have a completely unafraid brown Coney for you all today that I shot while on my last trip to our small remote island of Klein Curacao. These are considered sea bass with their heavy bodies and large lips, and are very common in many areas around Curacao.  These fish can grow up to 10 inches in length and are found in a bunch of colors, including bright yellow with electric blue spots. Conies are easy to distinguish from other fish because of the two very visible black dots on the lower lip – that pretty much gives them away. MORE

How Simple Can You Get with Your Marine Aquarium?

While the title of this post puts me in mind of a song performed by Nick Rivers in the 1984 comedy film Top Secret, it’s a question many a novice has posed before setting up his or her first marine aquarium. How basic can it be? Or, put another way, what equipment is absolutely essential and what isn’t?This is a perfectly logical question because ours can be a highly equipment-intensive hobby, and the choices of gear and gadgets designed to make our lives easier can be downright mind-blowing. Add in all the online forum chatter about—and volatile disputes over—the latest-and-greatest hobby technology and methodology, and it’s no surprise that many beginners have a heck of a time distinguishing between the bare essentials and the “bells and whistles.” Complicating matters, of course, is the fact that opinions on what constitutes “essential equipment” can vary widely from one hobbyist to the next. I would humbly submit that the following items are all you really need for a bare-bones saltwater setup: (Note that you’ll also need various and sundry small-ticket items used for regular operation and maintenance, such as aquarium brushes, an algae magnet, etc. Plus, if you plan to keep a reef system, you’ll need to add some means of calcium/alkalinity supplementation to the list.) Some folks might say this list is grossly incomplete while others might contend you could get by without some of the items on it. MORE

Reef Threads Podcast #254

reefthreads It’s time for a new Reef Threads podcast. This week we’re joined by Ret Talbot to talk about the tremendous and exciting progress that is being made with the Philippines fisheries. Collecting in the Philippines has long been a sore spot for this hobby. But it’s all changing for the better through the efforts of a new under secretary. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Rare Azooxanthellate Stony Corals in Japan: Part 2

Caryophyllia cf scobinosa

Note this specimen seems to have been damaged and regrown. Credit: unknown

Note this specimen seems to have been damaged and regrown. Credit: unknown

 This small species is part of an immense genus of some 77 recognized taxa, though not all of these are thought to form a single group, and new genera are likely to be described in due course. Some eleven species are reported from Japanese waters by Cairns, and this species is tentatively identified as C. cf scobinosa based on its cornucopia-like shape. It is reported from waters below 500m.MORE

Master of mimesis: Manonichthys paranox, The Midnight Dottyback

Manonichthys paranox, the Midnight Dottyback. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

Manonichthys paranox, the Midnight Dottyback. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 Mimicry is an ancient art practiced and mastered across the board in the animal kingdom. The paradigm of mimesis is a multifaceted prism, each with unique modifications to the standard model. In a precarious world where “eat or be eaten” is the central dogma, organisms must evolve certain tricks to enable survival and proliferation. No one said that these have to be boring though, and as evolution would show, nature is a magician with a bottomless pit for its hat of tricks.  MORE

Simplified Frogfish Husbandry


Antennarius on display at the Long Island Aquarium. Photo credit: Alex Pilnick

 One of my favorite exhibits to take care of at the Long Island Aquarium is our frogfish exhibit. It’s a small focus display of around 36 gallons and is home to four personable frogfish: one Antennarius maculatus, one Antennarius pictus and two Antennarius commerson. 
Sargassum fish, hiding in sargassum. Weird right?

Sargassum fish, hiding in sargassum. Weird right? Credit: Todd Gardner

 The genus Antennarius contains 13 different species of frogfish. These frogfish can be found in both tropical and subtropical water; they spend most of their time in the benthos zone or floating around in Sargassum.
Besides their unusual appearance, frogfish also have another unique adaptation. Since they aren’t quick swimmers, these fish need to be able to capture prey (their diet is mainly fish and crustaceans)  in a different way. They are able to do this by using a rod (called an esca) that has a lure (called an illicium) on the end. These lures can come in all shapes and sizes, but they all function the same way – the lure resembles the food their prey eats – animals like worms, small shrimps or small fish. They can consume a prey that is up to twice their size. 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.