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?

CORAL Video & Highlights: Coral Reef Resilience

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHcsg3dnass Transcript of RESILIENCE, narrated by Bruce Carlson, Ph.D. Few places on earth captivate our sense of wonder as much as coral reefs. But how stable and enduring are coral reefs? Violent tropical storms frequently destroy fragile coral skeletons, but broken branches quickly sprout new growth. Coral reefs are resilient and adapted to recover from these natural events, but what happens when humans tip the balance? Let me show you two examples in Fiji. For centuries Fijians have harvested marinelife without serious harm to their reefs, but near the capital city of Suva there are may more people fishing. Let’s look more closely at this reef

CORAL Featured Video: Reef Life of the Andaman Sea

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0liBnH0xlr0 CREDITS Reef Fishes – Reef Life of the Andaman Nick Hope | Bubble Vision | You Tube This is Part 9 of Nick Hope’s excellent series, also available in feature length on the Andaman Sea, also known as the Burma Sea, part of the eastern Indian Ocean. Read more here.

MACNA 2013 Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU30rIt5oBI A live postcard from MACNA 2013 in South Florida, this short video by John Carlin catches the flavor of the exhibition hall, where startling corals, tiny cuttlefish and marine salesmanship vied for the attention of an estimated 2,500 attendees—a record turnout in the 25-year history of the event. CREDITS Video:  John Carlin | Fincasters Channel | YouTube MACNA 2013: Florida Marine Aquarium Society

Friday Photospread – How To: Count Fish Eggs

408 eggs to be exact…but who’s counting? Back in 2006, I found myself facing an interesting question – how many eggs were my Onxy Percs (Amphiprion percula ”Onyx”) laying?  It’s impossible to hedge anything more than a guess just by looking…definitely more than 10…probably more than 100.  Maybe 300?  How can you really know?  If you really want good data, you have to count. I guarantee I’m not the first to come up with this method for counting, and I’ve seen it duplicated many times since I first put it forward some years back. I’ll give you an easy, step-by-step method you can leverage to do your own precise egg counts (and I’m pretty sure this would be helpful for any other counting of something that is small and or moves). The key lies simply in starting with a clear photograph of the item you want to count.  So long as the photo is of sufficient quality and resolution, you should be able to discern each individual item you’re counting.  From there, you simply need to count in such a way that you don’t lose track.  And here’s how you do it: Each “color group” represents 100 eggs. Can you find the last group, the group of 8? Opening your photo in any image editor that allows you to do something as basic as “paint” can work, and that’s how i was able to count every last clownfish egg in the photograph above.  Shifting colors every 100 (or every 50…whatever works for you) helps you keep track.  I also have another trick up my sleeve to make it go fast and stay reasonably accurate.  So here’s a rundown with an Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) nest. Step 1 – get a good photo: Good photo of Angelfish eggs on ceramic tile – check! Step 2 – If you have an image editor that allows for layers (I use Photoshop), create a new layer.  If not, you’ll have to forego this elegant extra: Add a new layer “if you can”. Step 3 – get your paintbrush / pencil tool and select a bright, high contrasting color. Step 4 – start counting.  It generally helps to work with the eggs at full size so you can easily see each individual egg, rather than trying to click each individual egg looking at the whole picture. Here’s how I count. Working on my new layer, I start painting dots on the eggs.  Each click with my right hand I count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc…  Each time I hit 10, I raise a finger on my left hand while continuing to count (1 through 10).  So the first time I hit 50, my last finger goes up.  I make it difficult on myself by continuing with that hand, 60 being only 1 finger up again. When I hit 100, I stop counting. My image looks like this: 100 eggs in…many more to go… Step 5 – So once I’ve completed 100 eggs, I rename the layer (eg. 100), change the color of my paintbrush / pencil to something different but equally contrasting, and create another new layer. 100 done, more to go. From here, I start over and count up the next 100 (see Step 4.) It is a “rinse and repeat” until you get to the end with all eggs counted. 594 eggs… That last layer, I name whatever number I stopped at; in this case, 94. All counted and accounted for! I always save a new copy of the file with the final count…helps me remember just by the filename.  Now, the reason for using layers for each 100 is that it becomes very easy to go back and remove your “dots” (eg should you realize you made a mistake), as well as to keep track of your color groups (remember, each group is 100).  Using layers also makes it really easy to show the counting process in an animated gif like this: Egg counting start to finish… I’ve used this technique for years now, and have yet to find a better way to get hard data on something that otherwise is impossible to count by the naked eye (such as the eggs of the Cherub Pygmy Angelfish, Centropyge argi). 539 Centropyge argi eggs. Who’s counting? I am!