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By admin - Posted Oct 26, 2009 09:10 PM

Going back to my roots: Planted discus aquariums

These days, my heart and expertise lay with saltwater aquariums. But it was discus that drew me into this addictive hobby from a very young age. I still remember the first time I saw a discus when I was 7 years old; I was immediately hooked (no pun intended). When I saw discus in a planted aquarium, there was no turning back.

Like most fishkeepers, I started with common freshwater fish like bettafish, goldfish, mollies, danios, tetras, and gouramis won at fairs and easily purchased at local mom-and-pop pet shops.  However, it wasn't until I saw my first discus that my past-time became an obsession.  There's just something about the discus body form, docile demeanor, and (of course) colors that really speak to me.  Discus breeding is an addiction in and of itself.

A few years later, I saw my first well-aquascaped planted aquarium (before the days nature aquariums became a well-studied discipline), and by happenstance it contained a school of beautiful pigeon blood discus.  From that day, fishkeeping grabbed a hold of me and has never let go.

This heavily planted 65 gallon discus aquarium by Zachary Braverman really brought me back to my first love.  Every now and then, it's good to go back to our personal beginnings to remind us where our passion began.

A big reason why discus aren't commonly displayed in modern nature aquariums is because large fish ruin the sense of scale within meticulously aquascaped planted tanks.  Siddhartha Saive solved this problem by going big ... REALLY big ...  600 GALLONS BIG!

Mantis Shrimp Stronger than Airplanes

Mantis Shrimp Stronger than Airplanes

A mantis shrimp in the lab of David Kisailus. Photo credit: Carlos Puma

Is there nothing the mighty mantis shrimp isn't remarkable at? Inspired by mantis shrimp, researchers design composite material stronger than standard used in airplane frames.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest superstar

Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest superstar

Meet the flapjack octopus. Say hi.

Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest exhibit, "Tentacles," opened earlier this month and is all about cephalopods. The new exhibit has given rise to a new aquarium superstar: the incredible (and incredibly adorable) flapjack octopus.

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Must-have item for your baby

Must-have item for your baby

All that's missing is an anemone crib.

If babies and toddlers need knit caps to keep their lil' heads warm, they might as well sport one with serious style! Kerry Siegel sells this pattern for turning a string of yarn into a glorious fishy headpiece for your precious.

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Get to know Reef-A-Palooza, Orlando

Advanced Aquarist speaks with Lou Schiavo to learn more about the first ever RAP held in Orlando, Florida. The reefkeeping event starts this weekend, April 26 to 27th, 2014

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Three new beautiful tropical fish species described

Three new beautiful tropical fish species described

Top to bottom: Vanderhorstia lepidobucca, Maratecoara gesmonei, and Aphyosemion mengilai

The newest issue of AQUA, International Journal of Ichthyology is out, and in it is three newly described species of tropical fish including a gorgeous reef shrimp goby and two spectacular killifish.

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Florida may ban import of live lionfish

Florida may ban import of live lionfish

Lionfish are growing huge (in size and population) across the Atlantic. Photo by FWC

Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish are breeding and preying on Atlantic wildlife in plague-like proportions. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering the outright ban of all live lionfish. While the proverbial cat is already out of the bag and such a ban will likely have little impact on invasive populations, this proposal may pave the way for further bans of other wildlife.

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IceCap is back

If you've been reefkeeping for more than a decade, it's a safe bet you know of or have owned a IceCap product. CoralVue is resurrecting the venerable brand! They plan to announce at least six IceCap products at Interzoo (May 29 to June 1, 2014).

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Giesemann designates CoralVue as its North American distributor

Giesemann designates CoralVue as its North American distributor

Giesemann's advanced LED light, the TESZLA-S

German hi-tech aquarium manufacturer Giesemann has chosen CoralVue as its new North American master distributor. Coralvue will sell and service Giesemann products under the name Giesemann Aquaristic USA.

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"Clownfish are social animals" is an understatement

"Clownfish are social animals" is an understatement

Another Clownado! These beauties were bred and photographed by Dr. Sanjay Joshi.

This short video from 2007 is an oldie but a goodie (back from the days when "regular" captive bred clownfish were still the norm). Juvenile CB clownfish will often ball up in what can only be described as a Clownado. We need to trademark that word.

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Coffee table aquariums we actually like

Coffee table aquariums we actually like

Feet off the coffee table, please.

Most of the coffee table aquariums we've seen are uninspired novelty glass boxes amounting to nothing more than fish tanks that sit on the floor. Or they're simply not functional; Hint: Neither fully-sealed nor open-top designs are good ideas. Here are a three examples that are actually attractive and workable.

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2014 - 2015 $4,000 MASNA Student Scholarships

2014 - 2015 $4,000 MASNA Student Scholarships

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The Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) is proud to present the 2014 - 2015 MASNA Student Scholarships.

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Fish From Acidic Ocean Waters Less Able to Smell Predators

Fish From Acidic Ocean Waters Less Able to Smell Predators

Juvenile fishes from a carbon dioxide seep, such as damselfishes (pictured above), were less able to detect predator odor than fishes from a control coral reef, according to a new study in Nature Climate Change. Credit: Danielle Dixson

Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor were less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.

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New Red Sea dwarf goby described, and it's green!

New Red Sea dwarf goby described, and it's green!

Eviota oculopiperita. Photos by S.V. Bogorodsky

It ain't easy being green. Most Eviota sp. dwarf gobies are varying patterns of red, orange, and yellow. This newly discovered species from the Red Sea, Eviota oculopiperita, is a sublime tint of pistachio green with a see-through body.

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Recipe for must-see coral reef videos

1. Capture spectacular macro imagery of exotic tropical organisms that boggle the mind. 2. Add transportive ambient soundtrack. 3. Mix gently. Enjoy. Pairs well with any full-bodied beverage.

We serve up two delicious videos prepared by Global Dive Media:

To complete our three course prix fixe, here's a Global Dive Media video we've share before.  It's so amazing we couldn't help ourselves to a second helping.  Our planet is a ridiculously wondrous place!

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ADVANCED AQUARIST