Rad Reefs on the Big Island of Hawaii

Aloha Mai Kakou, Exploring coastlines and finding underwater creatures has been a passion of mine since childhood.  Growing up in coastal Florida, I kept what I caught locally in home aquariums before landing my high school job at a burgeoning exotic pet store and...

The Long Island Aquarium: A Pleasant Surprise Near the Tip of the Island

If you are ever visiting NYC and have time for a day trip out on Long Island, I would highly suggest the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center out in Riverhead as an excellent family destination. The center is about a one-hour drive from Queens on the Long Island Expressway. As an added benefit, there is a hotel right next door to the facility if you decide to spend additional time in the area. I have been to many small public aquariums during my work travels around the world, and due to its initial apparent size, I expected to spend no more than one or two hours going through the entire exhibit with my wife and seven-year-old daughter. I usually grade any attraction by the quality of the exhibits and how well it holds my daughter’s attention. I must say the Long Island Aquarium surprised me as we ended up spending up to four hours there and it was a lot bigger than I expected. My daughter was pleasantly entertained the entire time without any complaints. As you walk towards the entrance, a beautiful fountain greets you and draws you in

What Hobbyists Can Learn when They Visit a Public Aquarium

Public aquariums can provide hobbyists with numerous insights that can apply to their home systemsHere in the US, the summer travel season is well underway, and popular attractions all across the nation are swarming with tourists. For those of us enamored with marine life, vacation travel often involves a visit to major public aquariums, where we can spend several quality hours figuratively immersed in the underwater realm. (Turns out most facilities get pretty upset if you try to do this literally!) As a reefkeeper, what I find particularly interesting about visiting public aquariums is not just the enthralling experience they provide while I’m there, but also the information I glean from the exhibits that can be applied to my own systems back home.Here are just a few examples: Aquascaping inspiration The smaller display tanks that are often peripheral to the gazillion-gallon crowd-pleaser tanks in public aquariums can provide excellent insights on how to configure rockwork and other aquascaping features in your home aquarium for optimum aesthetic appeal. Sure, artificial elements (e.g., faux coral inserts, etc.) often stand in for the real thing in these tanks, but it’s easy enough to extrapolate from the design concepts on exhibit. Which fish species might coexist Seeing different fish species or conspecific groups “playing nice” in a public aquarium display tank can be helpful in determining whether they’re likely to get along in a home aquarium. However, you do have to take the size of the exhibit into account because both heterospecific and conspecific aggression tends to become more intensified as tank size diminishes.

California Academy of Science Opens Up a Pair of Live Webcams on Philippine Lagoon Exhibit

Have you ever wanted to visit a public aquarium but just haven’t had the time to make the trip? Alternatively, do you frequent these aquariums and just can’t seem to get enough? Well, if you fall into either of those two categories, then you’re in a bit of luck. The California Academy of Science has recently put up two live webcams that focus on a couple of different areas of their massive Philippine Lagoon. Both feeds can be accessed via the academy’s website, where you just pick and choose which area you wish to view. With the lagoon view, observers can witness routine shark feedings every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30pm PST. The tank is also fed randomly on other days, so you might catch a feeding if you stick around long enough. The second viewing of the lagoon is called the “Reef View”. Unfortunately, it’s not aimed at a reef, rather it is another area where sharks and rays seem to accumulate. It differs from the lagoon in that it has a rock structure and more ocean life, but it’s not the massive collection of corals that we know are at the academy.