Our Tanks Are Lookin’ Good! But for Whom?

For me, it is about a healthy ecosystem, a learning experience, a pastime or hobbyThis is an easy question. Our tanks can be as good looking as we want. Of course, we can always throw more time and money into our tanks to make them look even better—but better looking to whom? And why? Do we want to have dynamite-looking tanks so we can win TOTM and tell everyone how much we dose, what types of lights we have and their PAR rating, where we keep our parameters, how often we perform water changes, what our quarantine practices are, which pests we’ve dealt with, and how much time and money we’ve invested? Or do we just want a tank that we can sit in front of and enjoy?It’s a hobby, not a beauty pageant (supermodels notwithstanding) For me, that’s easy too. I think my tank looks okay, but that is not why I have a tank. Unlike my interest in supermodels, my fascination with aquariums has nothing to do with looks.

ORA Unveils Latest Soft Coral, the Vargas Cespitularia

You would be hard pressed to find a more visually appealing soft coral in all of the aquarium hobby than the new ORA Vargas Cespitularia, whose commercial availability has only just been announced. This latest addition to the vast library of ORA aquacultured corals was donated by the world famous Tony Vargas, who gave them a couple of frags two years ago. The coral has thrived in ORA’s systems, demonstrating a level of hardiness that is much appreciated in the captive world, but nobody was sure about the coral’s identity, at least up until the experts were brought in. Because identifying corals isn’t always a walk in the park, ORA sent samples of the Vargas Cespitularia and a few others to coral expert Michael James of AquaTouch in Arizona. Michael took a very thorough approach to properly identifying the coral, using various microcsopic techniques to measure sclerites and other morphological features. He eventually landed on the species Cespitularia erecta while at the same time highlighting the difficulty in identifying corals, especially when it comes to factors like coral coloration and geographical distribution. If you would like to read Michael’s paper, here is the PDF found on the ORA website. There are plenty of images detailing the morphological features that Michael viewed during the ID process.

NOAA Continues to Crack Down on Marine Imports

After months of deliberation, NOAA announced this week that it will not grant Georgia Aquarium’s application for the import of 18 beluga whales from Russia, and though this might not directly affect the reef aquarium hobby, it may set a president to further...

Reefs Get Some Digital Love in New Call of Duty: Ghosts Trailer

The aquarium hobby often competes with video games for the attention of today’s youthful aquarists. So, it should come as no surprise that we are glad to see somewhat of an inclusion of reef life into one of the most popular video game series that the gaming industry has ever seen. The reveal trailer of the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts has one very beautiful and lifelike scene of a wild reef, complete with push corals, a powder blue tang, and a heniochus butterflyfish. According to the trailer, the action heats up on said reef, as the playable character in the game fights opposing forces. A large jet fighter appears to crash in the previously tranquil reef scene. Obviously the game will have a ton of intense action sequences, and the digital reef makes for a great backdrop. We just hope that some of those reef animals are interactive and add some details to the storyline. Image originally shared on the Pacific Island Aquatics Facebook page.

Rock Some Clownfish Footware with These Kicks from K-Swiss

Image taken from the ORA Facebook Page It’s not often we talk about apparrel, but when we do, you better believe it’s going to be related to the aquarium hobby in some way. Even then, our focus is usually on aquarium t-shirts. That all changed, however, when Oceans Reefs & Aquariums shared an image of this awesome pair of shoes on their Facebook page. Apparently, the shoes were purchased by an employee of the aquaculture company, most likely doing so because they look just like a clownfish. And obviously, ORA is big into clownfish breeding, so the shoes are a perfect fit. Stock photo of the shoe from the K-Swiss website Called the Kwicky Blade-Light, we doubt K-Swiss had any intension of making their shoes look like clownfish, but they somehow managed to hit that nail right on the head. These awesome looking running shoes are described as having a sunset yellow coloration, though any aquarium nerd (or kid who has seen ‘Finding Nemo’) will tell you that they are most certainly clownfish orange. The Kwicky Blade-Lights were designed for men and retail for $135, and would make for a great accessory to wear to the upcoming MACNA (or any other aquarium event for that matter).