Dominican Slit-Shells

Good morning friends, I have two rare, deep-sea slit-shells for you all today; our crew found these a few months ago on the island of Dominica with our submersible called the “Curasub” at depths ranging from 350 to 600 feet. Here’s a small note from a pleurotomariid expert that wrote in this morning… “the bright colors in some shells and animals from deep water are astonishing…but don’t forget that yellow and red/pink colorations are the first to be filtered out by the light (wavelengths) reaching those depths….and thus are a kind of hiding colors in these depths for predators …..there’s also a hypothesis that particular color pigments present in the encrusting sponges, which form the main diet in most slit-shell species, are incorporated into the outer prismatic layers during shell development (and those yellow and red encrusting sponges are found around the same habitat where adansonianus lives, in the same depth cline).” These are the shallowest-occurring and most commonly collected pleurotomariids in the Western Atlantic with a range that extends from Bermuda to Southern Brazil. Slit Shells of this species live at depths of 180 feet to 700 feet so it’s safe to say that not many folks will ever see one while out diving! In the rest of the Western Atlantic, there are three species of pleurotomariids that co-occur in any given area, but they are not sympatric as they occur at different depths. These shells are a collector’s dream, truly a thing of beauty! MORE

The strange life of the Pilot Fish

RCA_1857Over the years I’ve been fortunate to swim with a number of shark species.  I recently spent time in the company of two Whitetip Oceanic sharks – these beautiful animals are quite inquisitive and as you can see, they got a bit close.  Back home, as I worked on the images, I found myself wondering about those Pilot Fish; what kind of life do they have? MORE

MACNA 2017 to be Held in New Orleans

MACNA-2017-Logo-2Bayou Reefkeeping (BRK) is elated to announce that MACNA® 2017 will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 25th-27th, 2017 at the Earnest M. Morial Convention Center and Hilton Riverside Hotel.
MACNA® is proudly sponsored by: Aquaforest, Deepwater Distribution, Maxspect International, Central Pets, Coral Vue, Reef Nutrition, eShopps, and more!
MACNA® is widely considered to be the top conference and trade show in the marine aquarium industry. MACNA® attracts attendees from all over the world that come to see the industry’s newest product offerings from the top manufacturers in the industry and interact with some of the brightest minds in the marine aquarium hobby.
MACNA® is currently in its 29th year and 2017 will mark its first trip to the Gulf Coast and the great state of Louisiana. For more information regarding MACNA® 2017, please visit www.macnaconference.org/2017. MORE

Crazy coral growths: Challenging and Inspiring Aquascapes

_DSC1017 Whenever I dive, I look for subjects to shoot that might offer aquarists some inspiration for their captive reefs; I hope that you are inspired by this collection of crazy-looking reef structures! My first is a ‘coral on coral’ concoction, where a piece of tabulate acropora fell from the reef crest, landed right-side-up, and became overgrown by what appears to be seriatopora.  There’s some great shade and cover for the less light-dependent species and shelter for shy fish. MORE

First video of the Omani Anemonefish (Amphiprion omanensis)

Masirah Clownfish

Morning Swim

There are plenty of rare anemonefishes in the world, but few are quite so enigmatic as the species found along the southern shores of Oman—Amphiprion omanensis. This is one of the only remaining species to have not yet been kept in captivity or captive bred, and even finding decent photographs of this fish can be a challenge. But, thanks to the wonders of youtube, we now have some amazing video footage to drool over, highlighting the unique beauty of this uncommonly uncommon Amphiprion.MORE

Ocean Micro-Plastics

Good morning all, as you can see Curacao just got hit with another major wave of floating ocean plastics!! This was caused after a week of strong winds and big waves bringing large amounts of trash to the shores of countless Caribbean islands, not just here. From my observations of looking through pile after pile of trash I noticed that this plastic and wood has been out to sea a long time and I bet your wondering how I came up with that?? Well, almost everything I found was covered in live barnacles meaning it was out floating in the open sea a long time. The big question now is; how in the world can this be cleaned up! I must say it’s enough to keep you up at night if you could see this mess in person, I personally felt very helpless just looking at it last night and even made a failed attempt to clean some of it up. MORE

Montipora nodosa

montipora nodosa - reefsThe Montipora Family contains about 19 different species but our featured coral is the encrusting purple Montipora nodosa. This unique Montipora will easily encrust on rock work or frag mounts.  It is a relatively fast growing coral and it is considered to be easy – moderately-easy to care for in a reef aquarium.  Encrusting Montipora Coral is classified by aquarists as a small polyp stony (SPS) coral often referred to as Cabbage, Lettuce or Velvet Rock Coral. It’s a relatively fast growing coral, and under the right conditions will spread and encrust on just about any substrate in the aquarium including the aquarium glass, given the chance. The coral polyps are very small and the calices are less than 2mm in diameter MORE

The Deep Dive on Reef Aquarium Lighting, Part 2: Lighting Technologies

I get asked fairly often what light is the best light. Unfortunately, there is no right answer. First off, there is the difference in aesthetics. That is a purely subjective decision that only hobbyists can make for themselves. Most of the time hobbyists gravitate towards the blue end of the spectrum because it is very flattering to corals that fluoresce brightly. In terms of coral biology, the type of lighting that will work the best for your tank will depend a great deal on what animals you intend to keep. As I mentioned in Part 1, corals will adapt to lighting by regulating their zooxanthellae, so most coral will grow under any of these lighting technologies. Having said that, it is also entirely possible to have some corals take on a desirable appearance while other corals become less attractive under the same light. Such is the price to be paid for a mixed reef tank MORE


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