Stop, it’s hammer time. Cheesy throwbacks to the 80s aside, the hammer coral is a staple in many reef tanks much like MC Hammer’s song was a permanent fixture in many a Sony Walkman. Getting past all of this nostalgia, hammer corals offer the best of both worlds for corals. On one hand, they have a hard skeleton, but on the other they are adorned with flowy, fleshy tissue that draws in those seeking a little more movement in the water.
We don’t know what they’re called, and frankly, we don’t care what they’re called. These are some amazing zoanthids, regardless of their given trade name, and their colors are popping right out of the screen. We spied this awesome colony at a local frag swap, hypnotizing us under the blue glow of one of the vendors at the show. The coral features some sharply contrasting colors, including a neon green mouth surrounded by a dark center, a neon pink ring, another dark section, and tentacles tipped in neon green. The alternating colors, coupled with the utter vibrancy of the neons make this a nice piece of eye candy.
The helfrichi firefish is often considered to be the most beautiful of the firefish gobies, and we tend to agree with that notion. Of course, being the most beautiful, this fish is highly sought after, with a high price tag to match. That’s why we were blown away by seeing the fish in such a large group in the tanks of a fish wholesaler. One of my personal favorite fish in such large quantities…it was awesome.
For this installment of the AquaNerd Picture of the Week, we’re digging up a blast from the past. We’re showing off an image we took years ago of a dragonface pipefish, which is probably one of the first images we took with a macro lens as we started our foray into aquarium photography. While the image may not be technically perfect, meaning the lighting isn’t correct and the camera settings may not be right, we still love what we were able to capture. For those familiar with this particular pipefish, you know how hard they can be to photograph. They are quite small, move about quickly, and are often shy in the presence of people (especially those holding cameras).