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butterflyfish-reefs Hobby newcomers are often blissfully unaware of the challenges they may be putting themselves up againstQuestionI recently had a frustrating experience at a major chain pet store in my area. I watched as the aquarium department salesperson sold a type of butterflyfish that has a very specialized diet to a self-identified newbie, and he didn’t bother to tell this customer anything about it. The fish probably isn’t going to live very long for that person, so now I regret that I didn’t speak up at the time. Everyone says we hobbyists need to do prior research on all the animals we buy, but it seems to me the salesperson owed it to the customer to at least explain the fish’s feeding habits. What’s your take on this?” – Submitted by Veronica Answer Thanks for your question, Veronica! I’m afraid there’s no easy solution to this problem—or at least not one I’ve been able to brainstorm. While it is absolutely true that hobbyists should thoroughly research all of their livestock acquisitions, in my opinion, there’s a significant information gap for novices that’s extremely difficult to bridge. Why? Read More
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macna2016-tunze_booth Tunze Aquarientechnik, the legendary Bavarian company, had a minimal setup this year at MACNA, but all of the manufacturer’s latest products were on display and there was quite a crowd at the booth. The soon-to-be-released wave pump, Tunze Stream 3, took center stage, and I was able to talk to the company’s representative about this and other new products that will soon be hitting the North American markets.

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raja-ampat-reefs Those of you who have visited us before will remember vividly your adventures in this region while those who haven’t been here yet will begin to dream about it.  Raja Ampat, or ‘the Four Kings,’ is an archipelago made up of 1,500 islands in Indonesia’s West Papua province, It is situated in the center of the Coral Triangle and has some of the richest marine biodiversity on earth. Since Raja Ampat has become part of a protected marine park, a variety of animals including sharks, manta rays, dugongs and tortoises, are once again able to rule the ocean kingdom here. Of all these animals, the most curious is the Dugong.  It is the last survivor of the Dugongidae family to inhabit the coral reefs of Indonesia. Read More
Melanistic Amphiprion milii, at Ningaloo. Credit: Peter

  

A Melanistic pair of Amphiprion milii from Darwin, Australia. Credit: Cameron Bee / Monsoon Aquatics

A Melanistic pair of Amphiprion milii from Darwin, Australia. Credit: Cameron Bee / Monsoon Aquatics

 Monsoon Aquatics made waves recently with the discovery of a couple new species of Cirrhilabrus in the Timor Sea, and they’re at it again with the collection of one of the rarer anemonefishes in the aquarium trade, Amphiprion milii, from the waters near Darwin, Australia.

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biota-aquarium-tank-reefsBiota Aquariums is bringing something truly unique and wonderful to the US market: an all-in-one saltwater aquarium, with all equipment included, designed to ensure success for even the most inexperienced beginner.  Its goal is to “help reconnect people with nature through marine life education, inspiring them to look after our planet.” The company has already reached twice their funding goal on  indegogo, and will begin shipping in just a few short weeks!… More:

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macna2016- V2O Foods V2O Foods is a fairly new company, yet its product line is impressively extensive. The brainchild of Ocean Nutrition founder Christopher Turk, V2O makes various foods, nutrition supplements, and feeding tools for the aquarium market. Ranging from the (as the owner explains himself) “Old Standard Frozen Products, such as Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, Mysis Shrimp, Krill Pacifica, and others, to more specific frozen treats like Fish & Reef #1 that contains a myriad of fresh marine organisms, or a product called “Reef Caviar” made of Capelin (a small coldwater marine fish species) eggs.” The manufacturer offers a variety of food products for all your reef and freshwater aquarium inhabitants’ needs. Beside frozen treats, V2O also has a whole line of dry foods, various dried seaweed species, and four different liquid supplements.

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The gorgeous Sacura speciosa, collected by Brian D. Greene and up on display at the California Academy of Sciences. Photo credit: Lemon TYK.

 The mysteries of the twilight zone has never failed to captivate and enthral its target audience , be it hobbyists, reef enthusiasts, or scientists alike. And for good reason. Situated between two extremes, exploration of the mesophotic zone is plagued with logistical difficulties. On one hand, it’s not deep enough to deploy the same high-tech equipment reserved for the abyssal zone. On the other, it’s too deep for conventional SCUBA diving. These days, new discoveries are gently teased out of the mesophotic band by few intrepid scientists and explorers, mainly via the use of closed circuit rebreather diving. It’s unsurprising, to say the least, that this realm remains closely guarded with respects to its secrets. For mere mortals like us, the closest we’ve gotten to experiencing the twilight zone is by living vicariously through the numerous videos shared on the internet by these deepwater divers. Until now.    

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coral-frenzy-reef-pellet-reefs Coral Frenzy Product Overview – 1mm Reef Pellet Reef tank hobbyists have benefited greatly over the last few years as manufacturers now offer equipment that makes it much easier to filter and control the build up of excess nutrients. However, there is a downside to this benefit since many corals in a nutrient poor tank will not be happy and will require additional sources of food. I have used supplemental feeds for corals in my reef tanks for years and a while ago I began to use the 1mm Reef Pellet product from Coral Frenzy to feed my LPS. The pellet contains a variety of ingredients, including squid meal, herring meal and shrimp meal. All of the ingredients can be found on the product label. When I Read More