ORA’s Latest Coral Cultivar – ORAnge Setosa (Montipora)

ORAnge Setosa – Montipora setosa cultivar from ORA (Oceans, Reefs and Aquariums) ORA’s cultured corals have maintained and ever-growing demand, and the latest introduction surely will be added to the drool-worthy list. It should come as no surprise that while there is a seemingly endless array of uniquely-named coral cultivars available from just as many aquaculturists, few (if any) rival the level of notoriety that an ORA coral can achieve. I believe, this is in large part due to the way ORA goes about selecting corals for commercial-scale culture. In some cases, such as the ORA Red Goniopora (see Rethinking Goniopora in the May/June 2011 Issue of CORAL Magazine), it can take a few years, to the better part of a decade, to bring a new coral into cultivation and establish enough broodstock colonies to provide a stable, ongoing supply of a genetically unique cultivar. Only the corals determined to be the most agreeable to captive-life and cultivation are ultimately selected for culture and sale. Perhaps it is a combination of rigorous quarantine, long term captive observation, and the patience to build up a suitable quantity of inventory, that explains just why an ORA coral introduction can truly be considered a “new product”, and not simply just a passing fad or a one-off piece of eye candy. Montiporas, particularly the non-encrusting types, continue to impress me as perhaps some of the most ideal SPS corals for beginners. By the same token, I believe this relative ease of care causes them to be overlooked by more advanced hobbyists who focus mostly on Acorporids- anyone out there have a Montipora-only reef tank?

AquaXplorer Live 3.0 Released by Puratek

via AquaXplorer Newsletter: Puratek is committed to introducing new and innovative products to the aquarium industry. With the latest release of our Aquarium Management software, AquaXplorer Live, you’ll see for yourself how our feature-rich platform will help you simplify and enhance your aquarium maintenance.  New Aquarium Dashboard Comprehensive and intuitive overview on a single page for simple monitoring and control New Extended Feature Set Calendar – Synchronize Insight Controller events and alarms to calendar or link calendar events to your personal Google Calendar and set schedules. Manual Chemistry Tracking – Configure any chemistry parameter you want to measure and trend. Set valid threshold limits and perform graphical trending to see history. Scheduler – Set up schedules to perform maintenance on daily, weekly, monthly or yearly intervals. Equipment Tracking – Keep an accurate list of all equipment in your system including manufacture, serial and model numbers, warranty period, attach receipts and user guides for safe keeping and more. Expense Tracking – Customize exactly how you want to track your expenses by setting up categories to log where and when you purchased things.

Better Late Than Never: Banggai Cardinalfish Book to Debut Soon

A Banggai Cardinalfish book sneak peek – the opening spread for the Appearance & Anatomy chapter, featuring artwork by project artist Karen Talbot. A year ago, I was preparing for a trip to Indonesia to immerse myself in the world of a small reef fish called the Banggai cardinalfish with the intent of contributing to an important book on the species. Editor James Lawrence recently sent me a revised copy of the manuscript (including some absolutely stunning layouts shown here), and it has me thinking back over the past year and the places this project has taken me both physically and intellectually. It also has me thinking about getting the book into your hands! Taking the Time to Get it Right While travelling halfway around the world to better understand a fish and its relationship to its environment and the fishers who interact with it is something to which I am not unaccustomed in my line of work, there was (and remains) something different—something very special—about the Banngai cardinalfish project. For one, it has been a much larger project than any of us anticipated, and the challenges along the way have been significant. From lengthy delays in getting the science done right to dealing with our own losses of broodstock secondary to the very virus about which we were writing, everything seemed to take twice as long as expected. Having said that, what we have learned has reinforced the importance of embarking on the Project in the first place. We have made the internal decision to take the time to do it right, and while we know the delay is frustrating, we think the final product (which is now over 300 pages–about 35% more than projected!) will more than justify our decision. As you know, we had originally planned on having the book signed, sealed and delivered last September, a timeline that, with hindsight, seems absurd. Speaking for myself, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the species and the fishery. After all, I have been covering it since 2008. I knew I needed to get up to speed on the virus impacting the species and the current fisheries data, and I knew I’d need to dig a little deeper into the species-specific physiology (with the help of my scientific illustrator wife and her microscope, of course), but that wouldn’t take that long, would it? It did…and it has…and it continues to. Take a lot of time, that is. A Deep Sense of Responsibility to the Reader When I work on any project, be it a blog entry, a feature magazine article or a book, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to give the reader as full a picture as possible, not because I want to tell the reader what to think, but rather because I want the reader to have enough information on board to engage intelligently in the dialog. To me, promoting discussion on topics I think are important is my number one job as a writer. A Banggai Cardinalfish book sneak peek – Into the Banggai Triangle opening spread. When it comes to the Banggai project, we have found a space full of controversy and politics, conflicting information and strong emotions. Capturing the many facets of this story, while also trying to work with divergent groups and navigate a geopolitical minefield inhabited by NGOs, international fisheries managers and a marine ornamental trade dealing with a host of its own controversial issues (many of which are both directly and indirectly tied to the Banggai cardinalfish) has been one of the most complex assignments I have undertaken. Collaborating with international partners has proved logistically challenging but essential. Dealing with a story that keeps evolving (I just got a call last week that could have major implications on several key aspects of the book), can be exasperating. Following each twist and turn has meant travelling thousands of miles, reading countless pages, taking multiple notebooks full of notes, and shooting more images than I care to edit. In all this, I want you, the reader, to know you have been on my shoulder. Whether you are an aquarist, a diver, a biologist, a fisheries manager, an aquaculturist, or any number of other epitaphs of potential readers of this book, I have tried to keep you in mind—and my responsibility to you—throughout the process. All of us who have worked on the Project have gone way beyond the work for which we knew we would be compensated, because the work has become a passion—because we care so much about the role this book can play in promoting critical conversations. Attempting to package all of this into a book that will encourage intelligent and essential dialog about the species and its future has been an extremely difficult and yet an infinitely rewarding experience. As I work my way through the draft manuscript James sent me, I am growing increasingly excited to get this book—and more importantly—this information out into the world. As I look at the layouts the team at Reef to Rainforest in Vermont has put together, I become more and more enthused about what we have accomplished and how that will soon be handed over to you so you can take the next step. Nuts and Bolts So what does this all look like in pragmatic terms? It means we are woefully behind our original timeline, but it also means we are rapidly closing in on a publication date of a book about which we are very proud. As we have asked already, we continue to request that you indulge us. Those of you who subscribe to CORAL and AMAZONAS know the very high quality of production for which Reef to Rainforest is known, and producing a book of equal quality and beauty takes time, but we think it’s worth it. A Banggai Cardinalfish book sneak peek – opening spread for The Cardinalfishes chapter. As much of the work has now shifted to production and moving quickly toward presses running, Karen and I here in Maine are freed up to get the next set of rewards into the mail. Most of you should either have some of your rewards already in hand or have a tracking number that was emailed to you. For the higher-level donors, we need to hold off just a little bit longer (sorry!), as some of you are receiving original artwork that is also appearing in the book. We decided to send everyone who made any contribution to the project, a notecard set, including three notecards featuring a scientific illustration by Karen and three notecards featuring a photograph by me. Those will be coming via USPS in the next two weeks, so be on the lookout. If you have any questions about any of these rewards (or anything else), please feel free to email me directly at Ret@RetTalbot.com. While we are eager to get these tokens of appreciation of your support into your hands, we want you to know we are also keeping our eyes on the prize and getting the best possible book published as soon as we are able. Source – The Banggai Rescue Website

Ecoxotic Introduces New EcoPico Plant Nano Aquarium

New EcoPico Planted – Upgraded LEDs specific for the green thumbs Inspired by a few passionate green thumbs, the EcoPico Plant was created specifically for aquarists wanting a clean, modern freshwater planted biotope. No matter what your skill level the EcoPico’s simple and elegant design will compliment any room in your home, turning your planted aquascape into a piece of art. Upgraded to include two of our new 8,000K/6,500K white LED strips, you’ll be ready to keep even the most light-loving plants. Ecoxotic’s new EcoPico Planted Nano LED Aquarium System The EcoPico planted aquarium system includes 6mm glass rimless aquarium, discreet internal filter with pump, beveled glass top with mounting clips, LED lighting arm with 1-12000K white/blue and 2-8000K/6500K LED strips, 3-way splitter and step-by-step instructions. Features include: - 9 watts of LED lighting - Full spectrum: 8000K, 6500K, 12000K & a hint of blue - Modern, clean, artistic design - Delivers 90+ PAR at 6″, 40+ PAR at the bottom SOURCE: Ecoxotic.com Newsletter – 5/29/2013
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