Researchers collecting zoanthids from the Indo-Pacific realized that we haven't even come close to discovering all the zoa species. At least 9 of the 24 species they collected are undescribed. Even more remarkable, when they reviewed 600+ zoanthids collected as far back as the 1930s, they discovered many have yet to be formally examined.
From curious aquarium inhabitant to intriguing biological model. Clownfish continue to inspire science. These charismatic fish have attracted attention for their vast diversity across the Indo-Pacific reefs. Understanding how so many species that span such a variety of shapes and colors have materialized has been an intriguing question worth exploring and understanding.
The Japanese are experts at serving up novel fish dishes. Kyoto Aquarium is bringing back its ayu dog, a whole (head to tail) sweetfish served in a soft hot dog bun.
The IM Nuvo Fusion Nano aquariums are some of the sleekest, most functional, and most reasonably priced nano all-in-one (AIO) aquariums on the market, but there was one problem: there was no light specifically designed for this otherwise plug-n-play system ... until now.
When praziquantel reportedly failed to cure fish of flukes in their Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit, the staff at Albuquerque's BioPark Aquarium inadvertently killed about 100 fish - in front of patrons during operating hours - by using a more toxic and risky treatment, Dylox.
What is Dylox and praziquantel?
Dylox is the organophosphate, trichlorfon. Trichlorfon is one of the active ingredients in many over-the-counter fluke/worm medications. While it has been shown effective against monogenetic trematodes (flukes), some monogeneans have developed resistance to this organophosphate. Dylox is also a neurotoxin that can cause serious harm to animals including humans. Fish exposed to high levels of Dylox (or old batches of Dylox) can exhibit nervous system and respiratory problems leading to death. Even low dosages of Dylox can visibly stress fish. For these reasons, it has fallen out of favor as a first-option fluke treatment.
On the other hand, praziquantel is extremely gentle on fish and rarely causes significant distress or death. Overdosing with praziquantel almost requires willful intent because very large dosages are required to harm fish. It's also proven to be a highly effective anti-trematode treatment for both freshwater and saltwater fish, although BioPark Aquarium staff reported praziquantel failed to cure their fish of flukes.
Learning from Tragedy
This unfortunate event reminds aquarists that when improperly administered, the cure can sometimes be worse than the disease.
- Research your medication. Know what medication is useful for what ailment, and just as importantly, which medication is best suited for the species of fish you intend to treat. Some medications do not work well with specific fish (e.g. praziquantel and some loaches, copper and some angelfish).
- Carefully calculate dosage. Double and triple check your decimal points and conversions!
- Have emergency water-change water on hand.
- Do not mix medications unless you are absolutely certain there are no contraindication.
- Never use old or expired medication. For example, old Dylox can be particular harmful to fish.
- It is advisable to start treatment with the most proven, gentle medication first before advancing to more aggressive treatments as necessary.
- Weigh the risks versus reward when using any harsh chemical treatments.
A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A pinchy armored knight. That's what Trapezia crabs are to corals. A new research details the complex symbiotic relationship between crustacean and their host cniderian. These little crabs may be a coral's best defense against predators like Crown of Thorns Starfish.
Behold the machinations of the creative mind. As an avid aquarist and bonsai enthusiast myself, I am delighted to see Portuguese aquascaper Filipe Oliveira continue to champion the marriage of the two hobbies.
Have you ever wondered where your fish would explore if it was able to move beyond the confines of its glass box? In recent years, a few "out-of-the-box" designers have created robotic fish "cars" that allow fish to do exactly that. The Abovemarine is the latest version of this concept.
Remember the fish-controlled robotic concept vehicle built by Studio diip? Adam Ben-Dror has improved upon this idea with his Abovemarine, another mechanized electric vehicle that uses a camera and motion detection software to steer the "car." The Abovemarine allows his pet betta, Jose, to explore his surroundings and interact with Adam ... as well as his dog Einstein.
At the rate we're seeing creative people build these robotic fish cars, we wouldn't be surprised if one day you'll be taking your fish for a "walk" around your house.
There's no exaggerating how awesome mantis shrimp are. The eyes of these unique crustaceans seem to have no limits to what they can do. A new research finds that their compound eyes can detect the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue as well as visualize brain activity.
TGIF! This has been a pretty slow news week when it came to aquariums and fish/coral research. We end the week with yet another wonderful photo by Ned DeLoach.
Words not required. The videos speak for themselves.
This is an underwater photograph of coral and the life the it supports near Lizard Island. Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science President Matthew P. Scott
A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification may be playing an important role in this perilous slowdown.
We've shared videos of Dormero Rotes Ross Hotel's vibrant mixed reef before, but it's one of those aquariums we can't get enough of. Everytime we see footage of this German tank, we have a compelling urge to add an eel in our own reef tanks.
And a bonus video from last month with better white balance:
From time to time, we see fish with odd pigmentation. Usually, it's a fish that is albino, leucistic, or piedbald. This passer angelfish (Holacanthus passer) collected by Cortez Marine is as unique as it gets. Its pigmentation is literally split symmetrically down the middle.
People make aquariums out of old computers, cars, antique TVs, and even toilets. Why not an upright piano? I would have practiced a lot more as a kid if this was my piano.