Editorial: September 2006
When it comes to the biological world, things are rarely as simple as they sometimes seem. For example, from my past editorials discussing the tragic loss of my fish I felt confident that the culprit was a protozoan infestation, either Cryptocaryon or Oodinium (now called Piscinoodinium). After reading an article in the current Coral magazine, I’m no longer so sure. Beginning on page 60, of vol. 3, number 4 there’s a report entitled Pathogenic Bacteria in the Saltwater Aquarium Part 1, by Harald Muller. The subtitle of this report is Vibrio infections and their impact. The author talks about an importer of fish that experienced major losses of fish, who initially assumed that the culprit was one of the protozoans just mentioned, probably Brookynella or Uronema, but discovered otherwise.
With this new prospective, I began to discuss this with other aquarists, only to discover that what Mulder describes has in fact decimated a number of established fish in a number of closed systems – these where communities of fish that, like mine, had flourished for many years. And, often the problem occurred with the arrival of a new fish, or the stirring up of an old deep sand bed. Although, I still believe that the culprit in my case was Piscinoodinium, I’m no longer so sure. Therefore, I went out and purchased an ozonizer, and now inject 100-mg/hr of O3 into one of my skimmers.
As a side note, one of the problems with using O3 is that humidity greatly reduces the amount by as much as 70% of O3 that any given unit can deliver. The result is that I’m using a 3-foot air dryer before the air input of the ozonizer, because the air in my pump room is very humid.
I’m extremely proud of the series of articles done by Jake Adams on the importance of circulation. Part 3 appears in this issue, where Jake shows experimentally that the intensity of light one illuminates ones corals with requires more water movement: that is in his words, research demonstrating how flow speed and lighting intensity go hand in hand.
It is generally known to most successful reef keepers that water motion is important, and now thanks to Jake and other scientists we know why and with much greater detail. Knowledge like this empowers the aquarist to utilize better technology leading to more successful reef systems.