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Florida ricordea, Ricordea floridea, are one of the staple corals that come from the oceans south of my back yard in the Florida Keys. They are a type of soft coral that occur in shallow waters on Caribbean reefs. Generally they are very...
Florida ricordea, Ricordea floridea, are one of the staple corals that come from the oceans south of my back yard in the Florida Keys. They are a type of soft coral that occur in shallow waters on Caribbean reefs. Generally they are very abundant and grow in large groupings of solid or mixed colors in the wild. Ricordea grow quickly and are easy to keep, making them very popular with new aquarists. Standard colors are orange, green, rose, and grey/blue, but there are many morphs that are a mix of any of these colors creating a true rainbow of colors. Ricordea from different areas like Puerto Rico or Haiti tend to have unique color morphs that do not appear in most areas of the Florida Keys. For one species of soft coral to have such a range of coloration depending on its location is truly amazing. I wonder if it would be possible to map out Florida ricordea according to their color patterns . . . more to see on Reef Gardener. A ricordea rock I created with rare color morphs.    Readers also viewed: Predatory Ricordea yuma comes to life in time lapse feeding video Jawbreaker mushroom anemone is the most incredible captive strain of Corallimorph Is it an egg? Is it an anemone? No, it’s a Discosoma sanctithomae mushroom anemone Incredible red Goniopora going strong after three years and multiple fragging Orange beaded Discosoma mushroom anemone is much nicer than a Ricordea impersonator Early imports of Vietnam mushroom anemones include a few showstopping morphs Preis Aquaristik and Ricordea Farm launch Coral-Energize food
about 2 hours ago
Click through to see the images. Long, long ago the landmass that we now call Australia was located near Earth's southern pole. Through tectonic activity the continent began moving to the north at a pace of just inches per year thoug...
Click through to see the images. Long, long ago the landmass that we now call Australia was located near Earth's southern pole. Through tectonic activity the continent began moving to the north at a pace of just inches per year though, and after many millions of years drifted to its current location. As this occurred, the northern parts of the continent gradually moved into the tropics, and coral reefs began to form along parts of its coastline and continental shelf around 25 million years ago.1 Since that time, changes in climate and sea level caused coral growth to wax and wane significantly, but around 600,000 years ago a large-scale reef structure began its development and eventually became today's Great Barrier Reef.1 The early version of the GBR also came and went to a large degree, but the current living structure has been growing for about 20,000 years now.2 So, there have been corals and reefs growing, dying back, and re-growing there for a very, very long time. Strung along Australia's Queensland coast, the reef is located in the Coral Sea, and is the largest structure on Earth made by living things. So large in fact, that it can seen from space, and is commonly considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It starts at a bit more than half-way up from the bottom of the east coast and extends up along the continent's horn to Papua New Guinea. That's roughly 1,500 miles, meaning if you laid it along the east coast of the U.S. it would reach from Miami to Boston. It also covers about 130,000 square miles of the seafloor.2 It's not one humongous and continuous coral reef though, as it's actually comprised of about 900 islands and almost 3,000 individual reefs.2 Copyright Dive the World (http://www.dive-the-world.com/). Used with permission. Around and amongst these islands and reefs live a great number of organisms, including approximately 1,500 species of bony fish and 130 species of cartilaginous fish, plus 30 species of marine mammal, 14 species of sea snake, 6 species of sea turtle, and an occasional salt water crocodile that makes a long swim out from the mainland.2 There are also about 600 species of stony and soft coral, 40 species of anemones, 100 species of jellyfish, 330 species of sea squirts, 400 species of bryozoans, 630 species of echinoderms, 1,300 species of crustaceans, 1,500 species of sponge, and as many as 5,000 species of mollusc.2 Plus, about 500 species of marine algae to finish off the list.2 Thus, the Great Barrier Reef is certainly a great place to do some diving. This is just an example of the coral cover in some areas. A tiny and unknown (to me) fish on a branch of Tubastraea micrantha. This was an odd scene for sure. A crinoid climbing up the body of a standing sea cucumber, Bohadschia graeffei. A pixy hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus, hanging out next to a sun coral, Tubastraea sp., and a sponge, Nara nematifera. It took a few years, but I finally accrued enough frequent flyer miles to get a ticket to the land down under, and I made the long trip to the far southwest over my winter break from school last December. I spent several days in Sydney to get a feel for the big city life there, and also spent a week in the ancient and magnificent rainforests around Cairns in the north, but the primary reason for going was obviously to dive on the reef. Unlike many other places where I've been diving around the world, you can't just walk in and swim to any part of the reef. Nor can you hop in a small boat for a brief ride. Instead, you need to get on a larger boat and take quite a trip out for the good stuff. So, I pulled out my credit card and booked a week-long excursion on the 122' Spirit of Freedom out of Cairns, which was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The Spirit of Freedom, and Christmas Eve on board with Trip Director Nick Leigh. After getting out to sea, the diving started and didn't stop for the week. There were 28 div
about 3 hours ago
While “Guppy of the Marine Aquarium” has long been a title bestowed upon the Banggai Cardinalfish, I’ve long felt that the true guppy of the marine aquarium world, with its ubiquity of hobbyist breeding and ever-increas...
While “Guppy of the Marine Aquarium” has long been a title bestowed upon the Banggai Cardinalfish, I’ve long felt that the true guppy of the marine aquarium world, with its ubiquity of hobbyist breeding and ever-increasing diversity of aberrant, non-wild “designer forms”, is the Ocellaris & Percula Clownfish complex. If there was any remaining doubt, the appearance of a longfin / veil / butterfly mutation in a single Ocellaris Clownfish at Sustainable Aquatics seals the deal.  NEMO is the Guppy of the Marine Aquarium world. It was only a matter of time before a longfin mutation would show up in Clownfish – think about how many other freshwater fish species have exactly this same mutation (Guppies, Swordtails, Mollies, Angelfish, Koi, Goldfish, Rams, White Clouds, Danios, Black Skirt Tetras, Bettas etc…there is even now a longfin Discus!). The list goes on and on (I have even seen a photo of what I can only call a longfin Steelhead rainbow trout; aquatic biologist and long-time angling friend Mike Durkalec knows the photo I’m talking about). A Longfin Steelhead caught by Randy Gerrick and photographed by aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec. Proof that longfin mutations, while certainly “rare”, aren’t actually “uncommon”. Image copyright Michael Durkalec, republished with permission. So this is hardly surprising at all; I suspect that this longfin mutation might be a fundamental genetic “mistep” not unlike albino. Some sort of damage or doubling of an allele during cell division might be all it takes, and those types of “errors” might occur with some regularity. I was once told that “albino” mutations will occur roughly once in every 200,000 to 300,000 fish…not sure where that claim actually comes from, but it illustrates the point I’m trying to make. John Baker and I were the first to find Albino Astatotilapia latisfasciata, and now the fish is avaiable in the trade. Thus, longfin, like albinism, might be something that will occur only randomly, but occasionally. Everything suggests that if breed enough fish and you’re going to hit one of these common piscine mutations. You just have to get lucky and capitalize on the luck when it comes your way, just like Sustainable Aquatics has done. I’ll put money on it now – the trait is likely partially dominant; most longfin mutations in fish are either partially dominant or dominant genetic traits, the latter being a sentiment Sustainable Aquatics might agree with with. Take special note – Sustainable Aquatics is currently soliciting naming ideas for the longfin mutation (see below).  The full text of the informal release, made via the Sustainable Aquatics Facebook Page, is shared here for the record: A few months ago a member of our staff, marine biologist Matthew Jolley, noticed an odd fish being shredded by his brothers in one of our many grow out tanks. Based on Matt’s attentive care and quick action it was saved. This animal had very long fins and was being attacked by his brothers because he was different. We isolated him and he started to heal; although you can see he is still showing scars, he continues healing today. We paired him with a wild caught female Ocellaris, which went very well and they are well bonded now. Matthew Carberry’s idea is: if this long fin feature breeds true, then we want to start with as little in-breeding as possible. If this feature breeds true, we will cross the offspring in the near future with a wide variety of other designer clowns. We have not found a name for him yet, but we call him longfin. We will be taking suggestions from anyone who has an idea for a great name. If this breeds true and we select your name, the winner will be rewarded with two fish before they are released! The pair has begun spawning and we expect in the next few weeks they will be successfully tending a nest. We do not know if the
about 5 hours ago
Clownfish come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but this one is way out there. Recently on their Facebook page, Sustainable Aquatics shared an image of this very unique looking clownfish. The tiny Ocellaris has the typical...
Clownfish come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but this one is way out there. Recently on their Facebook page, Sustainable Aquatics shared an image of this very unique looking clownfish. The tiny Ocellaris has the typical orange, white, and black coloration, but it also possesses elaborate fins that would look more fitting on a betta fish. According to Sustainable Aquatics, a member of their staff found an odd looking clownfish with unusually long fins that was being harassed by its tankmates. Seeing just how unique the fish was, the staff member relocated the fish so that it could heal from all of its battle wounds. After all, clownfish can be very aggressive toward each other. After some time, the longfin clownfish was eventually paired with a wild-caught female Ocellaris. The hope obviously being that  the longfin trait could be passed down to another generation and potentially blended with other clownfish aberrations to created a whole new genre of designer clown. From the wild Ocellaris x longfin clownfish pairing, an estimated total of 25,000 offspring have been hatched. Of this massive amount, only one fish has shown signs of the longfin mutation, and it is currently pictured above. Here’s where you, the hobbyists comes into play. Sustainable Aquatics wants to bring this unusual fish to the aquarium hobby marketplace, but before they do, the fish needs a name. Clownfish have been called everything under the sun in recent years, from Picasso and Snowflake clowns, to Platinum Perculas and Midnight Ocellaris. And those are just a few of the tamer names from the bunch. So, they are holding a naming contest. If Sustainable Aquatics is able to maintain the mutation and spread it around, they need good ideas on what to call the fish. The winner of this contest will receive a pair of the longfin clownfish in return, and before they are released to the rest of the aquarium keeping public. Before we officially close, we will fully admit that we thought this fish was fake at first. Heck, even after Sustainable Aquatics addressed those claims, we still find it hard to believe. Our doubts are further deepened by the lack of a picture of the parent longfin clownfish. But, we’ll wait and see if any pranksters emerge, and until then, we don’t really have much reason to doubt the crew at Sustainable. That said, we’re curious what you guys think. Fake or real, let us know in the comments below.
about 6 hours ago
When it comes to corals and filter feeding invertebrates, having a large bioload can actually help them thrive. While most corals will rely heavily on photosynthesis, not all corals use sunlight to the same extent and invertebrates even ...
When it comes to corals and filter feeding invertebrates, having a large bioload can actually help them thrive. While most corals will rely heavily on photosynthesis, not all corals use sunlight to the same extent and invertebrates even less as much. So, things like fish waste and uneaten fish food will be put to good use in a reef tank. For tanks that are devoid of robust fish life, you will likely have to target feed invertebrates and certain corals so that they thrive long term. And be sure to not overlook clams. Although they rely mostly on sunlight, they will still benefit from phyto and zooplankton dosing.
about 7 hours ago
Click through to see the images. This solitary specimen was spotted at a depth of 120 feet at Kona, Hawaii, roughly 750 nautical miles away from its natural distribution at Johnston Atoll.  Centropyge nahackyi is almost never seen in the...
Click through to see the images. This solitary specimen was spotted at a depth of 120 feet at Kona, Hawaii, roughly 750 nautical miles away from its natural distribution at Johnston Atoll.  Centropyge nahackyi is almost never seen in the aquarium trade because of its limited distribution. Johnston Atoll was a US Military base (closed in 2004) and is currently part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, a highly protected area overseen by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  C.nahackyi is named after Tony Nahackyi, a veteran aquarium fish collector. We're told this specimen is located in a no-catch zone.
about 17 hours ago
As many new foods that come along in the marine aquarium hobby, many of them touting to be “The Best”, it’s hard to know which food you should feed your fish. In all reality, many of the top fish food brands all have so...
As many new foods that come along in the marine aquarium hobby, many of them touting to be “The Best”, it’s hard to know which food you should feed your fish. In all reality, many of the top fish food brands all have some unique attributes that they excel at – slow sinking, appetite stimulant, great color enhancers, probiotics etc. Here at Reef Builders we have long since given up trying to identify the best fish food for our fish, and instead we’ve just decided to let them all get equal treatment. Many of the top brands of prepared fish foods are all lumped together, in one of three categories which has most to do with size and texture than anything else. All of the flake foods are collected into one nice large bucket which makes it easy to see what flakes we are reaching for, with our pinching fingers or with long tweezers. The flake food bucket includes Seachem, New Era, Cobalt Aquatics, Sera and a smattering of others. The Seachem for the unique concentration of Chlorella, the New Era is in there for its high nutritional profile, the Cobalt Aquatics is in there for the blue pigments and the Sera Vipan is in there because we’re old school that’s why. The first jar of pellets is reserved for the sub-millimeter pellet sizes – this jar includes three different Omega Sea MicroPellets, the three formulas of Nyos fish food, Sera MarinMix, Otohime, AquaThrive and probably one or two others. The larger jar of food is where the real diverse mix of fish food is to be found, all in 1mm or larger sizes. This jar includes the three formulas of Nyos fish food in the larger size, Julian Sprung’s Sea Veggies, Sustainable Aquatics Hatchery Diet, Otohime in a couple sizes, New Life Spectrum and once again a couple more brands that escape us at the moment. The only pelleted food that is omitted from the smorgasbord is New Era pellets since these are made in such a way that preserves a certain amount of moisture which would be stripped by the other foods if they were combined. We feel that combining all the foods and feeding them as a mix not only gives our fish the best nutrition from a range of different brands, but it also allows different species to pick out the foods they prefer from the rain of highly diversified prepared fish foods. Readers also viewed: Seachem NutriDiet gets four new flake varieties Vpure flake food from H2O Life spotted on the shelves of Vivid Aquariums
about 22 hours ago
Ever dreamed of visiting and exploring a coral reef from the comfort of your own home? Well next to having a proper reef tank, the best thing is a new development of the Caitlin Seaview Survey which is documenting a number of the world&#...
Ever dreamed of visiting and exploring a coral reef from the comfort of your own home? Well next to having a proper reef tank, the best thing is a new development of the Caitlin Seaview Survey which is documenting a number of the world’s coral reefs with Reef Record. On the Reef Record website you can see any number of thousands of extensive panoramas of transects made of Australian and Caribbean coral reefs. The massive panoramic transect imagery is an effort to record what the reefs look like now so we can gather as much data about these ecosystems as possible before they change beyond recognition. The video above is an introduciton by Ove-Hoegh Guldberg, one of the world’s most esteemed coral reef ecologists. In the video Dr. Guldberg explains the reasons for Reef Record and why it is important to catalog the world’s coral reefs. Below you can see an example video of a transect of Holmes Reef, one of the sites where some ornamental reef fish are collected. [Global Reef Record] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY7GSiszEdM Readers also viewed: Google Hangout underwater at the Great Barrier Reef to celebrate Earth Day
1 day ago
Our pal, and aquarium industry legend, Robert Fenner has a brand new book hitting the virtual store shelves. Focusing on small aquaria, his “Livestocking Pico, Nano, Mini-Reefs; Small Marine Aquariums; Book 1: Principles, Algae & I...
Our pal, and aquarium industry legend, Robert Fenner has a brand new book hitting the virtual store shelves. Focusing on small aquaria, his “Livestocking Pico, Nano, Mini-Reefs; Small Marine Aquariums; Book 1: Principles, Algae & Invertebrates” is a 106-page Kindle ready electronic book that is just part of a larger series of books that is set to be released. If the title isn’t a dead giveaway, the book will focus on the basics of keeping a small aquarium, with special focus given to livestock selection, algae and invertebrates. The book was published on October 1st by WetWebMedia and is listed on Amazon with a retail price of just $9.99. It’s not uncommon to find new books in electronic forms nowawdays. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common that having a print copy of the book. Regardless, this direction is probably one that most new aquarium publications will go. Publishing a book is very expensive, and going the digital route shaves off so much of the overhead that it just makes sense. Sure, you miss out on some of the less tech savvy readers, or those just preferring a physical book, but everyone is going to ebooks in this day and age. We fully expect to see more aquarium related books take this route, especially since the audience is much smaller than other “self help” sort of books.
1 day ago
Ocean Nutrition’s Pygmy Angel Formula is a new frozen food recipe which is aimed squarely at the flames, coral beauties, and similar species of dwarf angelfishes. Based off of the most recnt understanding about the diet of Centropy...
Ocean Nutrition’s Pygmy Angel Formula is a new frozen food recipe which is aimed squarely at the flames, coral beauties, and similar species of dwarf angelfishes. Based off of the most recnt understanding about the diet of Centropyge species, the new Pygmy Angel Formula includes 10% sponge and 85% algae protein. Not only does the Pygmy Angel Formula contain sponge, the specific sponges selected for the new frozen food formula are species known to be non-toxic and non-defensive. Ocean Nutrition claims that the Pygmy Angel Formula has the highest concentration of sponge of any fish food, including their legacy Angel Formula, for now. The entire recipe of algae and sponge is held together with a newly selected binder which is particularly digestible by aquatic animals. Unlike classic frozen foods, it is not recommended to thaw the Pygmy Angel Formula as it will naturally sink slowly giving fish ample time to graze on the cubes. Ocean Nutrition is currently finalizing the packaging for the new Pygmy Angel Formula which should see wide national distribution in the coming months. ANALYSIS: Crude Protein (min.)……………. 3.5% Crude Fat (min.)………………….. 0.7% Crude Fiber (max.)………………. 0.5% Moisture (max.)…………………. 88.8% Ash (max.)…………………………. 2.0% Phosphorus (min.)………………. 0.1% Readers also viewed: Ocean Nutrition AquaYums, a good variety pack for your carnivores Centropye nahackyi found swimming far from home in Hawaii We just can’t get enough of the Cocopeel’s intense blue eyes! Aqua-Medic Defroster+ aims to make feeding frozen food cleaner “Golden Boy” coral beauty angelfish Hands on with Ocean Nutrition Sep-Art Artemia System Ocean Nutrition Coral food and marine Nano Pellet review Blackspot pygmy angelfish found living in Australia, net-caught and MAC certified
1 day ago