- Saltwater Aquarium Blog - Marine Aquarium Blog | Reefs

Seachem Phosphate Multitest


  Testing for phosphates is very important in the aquarium environment. We have already reviewed ReefStatus Calcium and ReefStatus Magnesium tests, and the results were good; today we’ll take a look at the Seachemphosphate Multitest.  MORE

Focus on Fish – Regal Angelfish

  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A Regal Angelfish is a striking addition to any reef tank, standing out among other fish as one of the main attractions. They have bright orange/canary yellow bodies with beautiful blue accents and vertical white bars. Regals from the Red Sea and Maldives are more sought after due to their orange/yellow bellies versus those with grayish bellies from Tahiti, the Coral Sea and Indo-Pacific region. A Regal’s beauty is certainly enticing but there are a few risks to consider before purchasing this expensive fish. For starters, they are very difficult to keep and require an established tank over 100 gallons with a lot of live rock to graze on. It is also imperative to find one that is eating. If you order one online, I MORE

Sudden mass coral/invertebrate mortality at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; cause unknown.

As if this year hasn’t been rough enough on Global Coral reefs, I learned this afternoon that mysterious mass invertebrate deaths had suddenly begun and were continuing like wildfire in the East Flower Garden Banks.  Many of the dying or stressed sessile organisms are being found coated with a whitish, completely unidentified mat-like substance. Discovered initially by recreational divers only Monday, by the end of this work week FGBNMS and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management had confirmed a mass mortality event is currently taking place within of the most isolated and closely monitored coral reef ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere. 

Dead sea urchin spines lay on top of dying massive star coral, coated in unidentified white mats. Image credit: FGBNMS/G.P. Schmahl

Dead sea urchin spines lay on top of dying massive star coral, coated in unidentified white mats. Image credit: FGBNMS/G.P. Schmahl

 Right now the root cause of this substance and the massive dieoff itself is still unknown. Some preliminary hypotheses which have been thrown about are BP dispersants, oil itself, and seasonal Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. Texas A&M University and NOAA have coordinated to launch an emergency 3-day research cruise to the Banks leaving tomorrow evening. The goal will be to collect water samples for an array of analyses in hopes of expediently identifying a cause or distinct stressor. The first, and so far only, press release can be found here, with gut-wrenching images: I will blog further on this developing situation as I receive more information, and more becomes known about the situation.

The First Ever Aquacultured Yasha Gobies Announced

 Quality Marine Press Release Announcement available for the public – The First Ever Aquacultured Yasha Gobies Headed to Quality Marine Pursuant to our continued efforts to support captive breeding initiatives, as well as our dedication to remaining a leading source of aquacultured specimens whenever available, Quality Marine is excited to announce we’re adding yet another breakthrough species to our growing list – the Yasha Goby (Stonogoniops yasha). S. yasha is easily one of the most desirable species of goby available to aquarists. Known as the Yasha Goby (or, alternatively, the White Ray Shrimpgoby), this tiny fish is definitely not small in beauty or personality, with its vibrant red and white patterning and its greatly elongated dorsal fin. Like others in its genus, the Yasha Goby associates MORE

Aquatic Life’s Reno LED Lights

aquatic-life-reno-saltwater-led-aquarium-light-fixtures-ebd - reefsAttention aquarium hobbyists – Aquatic Life, manufacturers of premium branded aquarium and hydroponics equipment for over 6 years, are now offering their Reno LED fixtures to the public.  These lights, which have only been available to stores as fish display lighting systems, will now be available through distributors throughout North America. For use with fish-only systems or as complimentary lighting over coral aquariums, the new Reno LED fixtures provide good color and sufficient lighting to showcase both fish-only marine and freshwater aquariums. Michael Elliott, co-owner of Aquatic Life, says, “There are a lot of LED fixtures on the market and most are sold at a high price point or offer limited size options for hobbyists. To fill that hole in the market, we created the Reno LED fixtures to offer hobbyists an affordable and efficient lighting system for their aquariums. Now, someone looking for an LED fixture for a 55-gallon tank could get one of ours at retail for under $50. You can’t beat that price.” MORE

Gene Expression and Zooxanthella Symbiosis of Coral Larvae

The relationship between coral polyps and algae is something we as aquarists have been well aware for a long time, but a joint study between James Cook University and The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University creates a link between the inception of symbiosis in coral larvae, expounding the changes throughout the larval stages of growth. “We wanted to investigate the gene expression changes when the symbiosis starts in the coral larvae,” Dr. Chuya Shinzato, co-author and group leader of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) Marine Genomics Unit. The general practice of studying gene expression during coral symbiosis had missed a huge window of time, as evaluation was conducted between twelve and forty-eight after lab-induced introduction of symbiotic zooxanthella to coral larvae, in all studies conducted previously on this matter. 160623095607_1_900x600“This study succeeds in analysing the very early stages of coral symbiosis,” Shinzato said. “We saw suppression of the genes related to mitochondrial metabolism and protein synthesis, which means that the metabolism stops working for a short time.” It was thought previously that a passive relation between larvae and zooxanthella existed, in where the larvae would simply accept the introduction of symbiotic algae, but instead of blind acceptance, this study explains how coral, in their larval stage, will reconstruct its genes in response to environmental factors. “The coral has to change its cell conditions to adjust to the symbiosis, Coral needs to prepare to welcome the symbiont. Then, the mutual relationship can begin.” Preparation for symbiotic acceptance is the focus of this study, but its findings a have much larger implication: “The symbiotic relationship[s] is the basis for these ecosystems, which is why it is so important to study. We must understand the mechanism of coral symbiosis in order to combat coral bleaching” Shinzato adds. Read more here!

NEW Species of Scorpionfish named after ME!

Good morning, or should I say GREAT morning, I got a fish named after me today!! Is that super cool or what?? For years I have been photographing all the new finds made by the Smithsonian, many I have posted for you all to see. Most of the fish and creatures that come up from the deep are new species meaning yours truly was the 1st to take their photos, it’s a honor beyond belief! Below is one of the many press releases; read on… LIVE SPECIMEN OF THE NEW SCORPIONFISH (SCORPAENODES BARRYBROWNI) Discovered by scientists using the manned submersible Curasub in the deep-reef waters of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, a new scorpionfish species is the latest one captured with the help of the sub’s two robotic arms. Found by Dr. Carole C. Baldwin, lead scientist of the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) and based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Ms. Diane Pitassy, also affiliated with the Smithsonian in Washington, and Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, the new species is described in the open access journal ZooKeys. In their paper, the authors also discuss the depth distributions and relationships of western Atlantic members of its genus. MORE

Obscure Reef Creatures – the Blackbelly Blenny (Stathmonotus hemphillii)

Blackbelly Blenny (Stathmonotus hemphillii)

This is Mini-B, a Blackbelly Blenny, Stathmonotus hemphillii. He was collected in Fort Lauderdale, FL in mid-2012. This video was taken several months after collection. At this time he was 2.8 cm long. He only ate live copepods for many months, but has finally switched to frozen food from a pipette.

Lurking throughout the Caribbean is a petite piscine which rarely goes noticed and of which little is written—the Blackbelly Blenny. This charismatic little fish is not quite like anything else available to aquarists, especially with regards to its idiosyncratic way of crawl-swimming about the reef. And, with a maximum size of just 5cm, this is definitely a species with great potential in smaller aquariums.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.