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

A rock wall aquascape has never looked so good

"Rock wall" is often used as a disparaging description of the most basic reef aquascape: just as it sounds, an uninventive stack of rocks to form a wall. But when your rock wall is covered with big, colorful, healthy coral colonies like this ...

This is Martin Kunzelnick's recently reconstructed 1000 liter (265 US gallon) reef aquarium.  The spectacular tank has been featured in numerous publications - most recently in the latest issue (#97) of KORALLE .  If you've brushed up on your German, you can learn more about his incredible system at korallen-meer.de and /www.facebook.com/korallenundmeer.  Or just visit for the pretty pictures!

(This video requires Adobe Flash)

A new, red, mini pleco species

A new, red, mini pleco species

Photograph by M.H. Sabaj Pérez.

Meet Peckoltia wernekei, the newest member of the Loricariid (AKA pleco) family. It's reddish brown natural pigmentation is beautiful, and like other Peckoltia, P.wernekei is relatively small with an adult size about 10cm (4 inches).

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Vitamin C may be vital to coral growth

A new study investigating the poorly understood mechanisms behind coral calcification discovered something surprising: the most upregulated gene transcript for the process of calcification appeared to regulate Vitamin C.

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Cobitis takenoi: A new loach species

Cobitis takenoi: A new loach species

Spawning color (top) vs regular pigmentation (bottom) of Cobitis takenoi

We know there are loach fans out there! Sure; they might not be as sexy as new flasher wrasse species, but these bottom dwellers are fun fish with interesting behavior and winning personalities. Cobitis takenoi is the newest loach species described.

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Who wants to chip in for the ultimate timeshare?

If we all pool our money, maybe we could share this $2.8 million USD floating house with an underwater master bedroom and bath with a coral reef view to die for.

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Three new flasher wrasses + comprehensive review of Paracheilinus

Three new flasher wrasses + comprehensive review of Paracheilinus

Paracheilinus alfiani - superb nuptial display!

Calling all wrasse fans: A new paper published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation describes three new species of flasher wrasses: Paracheilinus alfiani, P.paineorum, and P.xanthocirritus, as well as thoroughly reviews the entire genus. Must-read reference material!

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A nassarius snail that sports a neon coat

A nassarius snail that sports a neon coat

The fabulous Nassarius margaritifer

This is one blinged-out snail! Some Nassarius margaritifer from the Red Sea host colonies of a biofluorescent Cytaeis hydroid on their shells, resulting in snails that look like they are covered in green fiber-optic lights.

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Fish fins can sense touch

Fish fins can sense touch

The pictus catfish can feel with its fins. Phot by Adam Hardy, University of Chicago

The human fingertip is a finely tuned sensory machine, and even slight touches convey a great deal of information about our physical environment. It turns out, some fish use their pectoral fins in pretty much the same way. And do so through a surprisingly similar biological mechanism to mammals -- humans included.

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Art reincarnated

A dead bonsai tree is a sad reminder of failure when it remains lifeless in its pot. Yet, when the deadwood is repurposed in an aquascape, it can breath spectacular new life.

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Flamboyant Cuttlefish ménage à trois

We share an oldie (well, 2012) but goodie video of three curious flamboyant cuttlefishes. When you've got a lifespan of just one year, you've got to make the most of your time on Earth.

Ignore the captions in the video.  Steinhart biologist, MASNA Aquarist of the Year and cephalopod guru, Richard Ross, explains (in the video's comment section) what the three cuttlefish are actually doing:

What is going on in the vid is breeding competition and actual breeding. The largest animal is the female (often donning 'drab' colors) and the other two are males. The larger male is trying to stop the smaller male from mating with the female, and being gentle about it. There is often a more spectacular color show with males doing this, with a lot of white coloration, and perhaps it does not occur in your video because the smaller male is so much smaller. The part that you questioned as being 'regurgitating' was the actual mating - the female rolling her arms back is a known mating position. It looks like both males deposit spermataphores.

Read Richard Ross' Advanced Aquarist article, "Metasepia pfefferi – the aptly named Flamboyant Cuttlefish," to learn more about these incredible animals.

IM introduces Nuvo Black: Five show-quality aquariums

Innovative Marine is recognized for their popular all-in-one aquariums and accessories. Now they're going back to "fundamentals" by introducing the Nuvo Black series, a line of premium quality aquariums.

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The passing of a beloved fish

Fishkeepers can all relate to getting attached to our finned friends. When they gulp their last breath of water, it is very sad time indeed. The video of the last moments of 'Red,' a red devil cichlid, is heartwarming.

Says Red's owner: "Red was my 5 and a half year old African Cichlid 'red devil.' I bought him when he was less than an inch long. Upon his death early Saturday Morning at 2:30am EST on August 22, 2009 he was 12 and a half inches long and 6 and a half inches tall. Red was hand fed all his life and loved to be petted. I had him for a little over 5 years. This morning at 11:00am EST I committed his body into Lake Hickory behind our home. I'm gonna miss him!"

Editor's note: The owner says the aquarium is a quarantine tank, not Red's regular aquarium; he moved Red to QT when his fish started to struggle, hoping he'd heal. Also, to correct the above statement, red devils are Central American, not African.  It is also important to recognize that the natural lifespans of red devils is 10-12 years (sometimes longer).  No one knows why Red died prematurely, assuming Red's owner kept accurate track of his age; Red looked big and healthy upon his death.  This article isn't meant to cast aspersions but rather to appreciate empathy for a passing of a finned friend.

Biodiversity's crowning achievement

Coral reefs are believed to have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on Earth. If you think your LFS/online store has a large selection of reef life, you really ain't seen nothing. The variety of amazing reef life in this wonderful three minute video is mind-boggling.

Motorboat noise gives predators a deadly advantage

Motorboat noise gives predators a deadly advantage

The predatory dusky dottyback eyeing up a juvenile Ambon damselfish. Photo credit: Chris Mirbach

The rate that fish are captured by predators can double when boats are motoring nearby, according to pioneering work led by a University of Exeter marine biologist.

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For your bucket list consideration: Four epic underwater restaurants

Eating exotic foods while surrounded by coral reef life – If this sounds like your idea of a dream epicurean experience, here are four restaurants that should make your short must-do list.

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