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

Geophagus mirabilis, a new South American cichlid

Geophagus mirabilis, a new South American cichlid

Geophagus mirabilis (living specimen in aquarium). Photograph by Oliver Lucanus

Meet the newest formally described cichlid, Geophagus mirabilis. This lovely cichlid is thus far only known from central South America (rio Aripuanã drainage to be exact). This isolated location has been a hotspot for numerous endemic tropical fish discoveries over the past few decades.

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Rare staghorn coral forests found off South Florida coast

Rare staghorn coral forests found off South Florida coast

Staghorn coral found off South Florida

Found by Brian Walker, a scientist from Nova Southeastern University's Oceanographic Center, the newly-discovered 38+ acres of rare staghorn corals give scientists new hope for the species.

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Mantis shrimps teaches us about monogamous relationships

Mantis shrimps teaches us about monogamous relationships

Photo by Alexander Vasenin

Of all the things we might learn from mantis shrimps, the last thing we'd expect is how their lifelong monogamy might shed light on why a few rare species (including humans) choose "boring" monogamous relationships.

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$450 operation to save a goldfish

$450 operation to save a goldfish

The anesthetized goldfish on the operating table.

We love to see people who love their fish so much they're willing to spend upwards of 100x the purchase price of the fish to save their pet. A British fishkeeper spent £300 (~$450 USD) to give his little buddy life-saving surgery.

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2014 Top Five Magazine Articles

Here are 2014's most popular Advanced Aquarist magazine articles. Clownfish, amino acids, hi-tech planted aquariums, LEDs' photosynthetic effect on corals, and mythbusting ... we ran the gamut this year. We can't wait to see what 2015 has in store! Happy New Year everyone!


#5: On the Clownfishes' Range of Hosts

by James W. Fatherree


When people think of symbiosis on the reef, the relationship between clownfish and anemone often is the first to come to mind. However, anemones are not the only hosts clownfish will adopt. James Fatherree explores both the iconic relationship between clownfish and anemone as well as some less conventional hosts.

#4: Amino Acids and Corals: Sources, Roles & Supplementation

by Tim Wijgerde, Ph.D.


Amino acids are a popular ingredient in aquarium additives nowadays, with many advertised beneficial effects on corals. In this article, I will provide some basic information about amino acids, and discuss their documented roles in coral biology. This will help the aquarist to make an informed decision about using concentrated amino acid as supplements for the marine aquarium.

#3: Geekphysique's high tech planted aquarium

by Gareth Dominy


What does a former reefkeeper do with a cache of high tech equipment? Start a high tech freshwater planted tank! Aquarist Gareth Dominy re-imagines uses for classical reefkeeping gear to create an automated 65 gallon planted aquarium that is a real showstopper.

#2: Photosynthetic Efficiencies of LEDs: Results of Short Term Exposure to LED Lights

by Dana Riddle


Dana Riddle studies zooxanthallae exposed to varying intensities and colors of LEDs between 365nm (UV-A) and 657nm (red). The collected data sheds light on how different spectra affect photosynthesis and the Xanthophyll Cycle, helping us to better understand how corals use and respond to light.

#1: Debunking Aquarium Myths

by Tim Wijgerde, Ph.D.


Myths are a part of life, and occur everywhere. So too in the aquarium hobby, where anecdotal observations and theories sometimes transform into facts, with little evidence to support them. We often make choices based on hearsay or "facts" presented by aquarists, who may dispense their advice with the best intentions. In some cases, unfortunately, we are misleading ourselves. In this article, we discuss some of the myths that still persist in the marine aquarium hobby today, and look at these from a scientific point of view. The take home message is that we should all keep an open mind, but remain critical towards claims that have no factual basis.

2014 Top Ten Blog Posts

Time sure flies, doesn't it? Another year has come and gone. We look back on 2014's most popular blog posts, which includes amazing aquascapes, must-see videos, fish surgery, outrageous aquariums, and one absurdly cute octopus.


2014no10b.jpg#10 (tie): Operation: Angelfish

What do you do when a Scribbled Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus duboulayi) has a bowel obstruction? Marine breeder Chad Vossen saved his friend's fish with surgery. We share this inspiring story of true dedication for the fish we keep.

2014no10a.jpg#10 (tie): Red light negatively affects health of stony coral

A new study led by Dr. Tim Wijgerde has concluded red light actively represses chlorophyll a and zooxanthellae growth in Stylophora pistillata whereas blue light appears to do the exact opposite.

2014no9.jpg#9: Pet(ting) Fish

Fish are not regarded as interactive pets, but don't tell that to these guys. We have no scientific evidence that man-made hybrids are more friendly and engaging, but these videos make a convincing argument.

2014no8.jpg#8: Distant Hollow: A dramatic aquascape by Exotic Aquatics

Exotic Aquatics is an Australian fish store specializing in freshwater/nature aquascapes ... and they are REALLY good at what they do. Their latest aquarium is called Distant Hollow. We don't have enough superlatives to describe the quality of their work.

2014no7.jpg#7: Designer clownfish as feeder fish

This video of a juvenile dwarf cuttlefish eating a captive raised designer clownfish is not just fantastic to watch, but it may point us in a new direction for feeding marine predators.

2014no6.jpg#6: The world's most expensive and ridiculous aquarium

Aquarium-related news has been quite slow this week so we've decided to have fun this Friday by turning the clock back to 2010 when Stuart Hughes introduced the most expensive and over-the-top residential aquarium ever made. You will not believe the price or the details.

2014no5.jpg#5: What eats a Great White Shark?

An electronic tag of a 3 meter great white shark washed ashore. The data it gathered is the stuff of nightmares, showing the shark had rapidly plummeted to a depth of 580 meters (nearly 2000 feet)! At that depth, the temperature sensor jumped from 46 degrees to 78 degress F where it remained for eight days at varying depth before returning back to sea temperature. Something had dragged the apex predator (or at least the sensor) down to the abyss ... and ate it!

2014no4.jpg#4: San Francisco to establish dumping pond for unwanted fish reports that San Francisco will soon establish an "amnesty pond" for people to dispose of unwanted pet fish. The Presidio Trust - a federal agency established to conserve SF Bay - decided to create this pond because too many pet fish were being dumped into local natural lakes.

2014no3.jpg#3: The ultimate kitchen aquarium? Coffee table aquariums have nothing on this.

Who needs cabinet space when you can have a massive aquarium instead? Robert Kolenik imagined the "Ocean Keuken" (keuken is Dutch for kitchen) into reality, and its the very definition of opulence for the modern aquarist.

2014no2.jpg#2: Monterey Bay Aquarium's newest superstar

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.

2014no1.jpg#1: AMAZING time lapse coral reef video

Every now and then, we encounter content that is so remarkable that we simply throw up our hands and say "You win! We aren't going to find better material for our blog today." This video was such an encounter. If your mind isn't blown by this time lapse compilation, you need to get your eyes (or sanity) checked.

Hawksbill Turtle shares Sponge with a French Angelfish

Sea turtles are the epitome of cool. Frans De Backer shoots (in stunning 4K high definition) this video of a critically endangered Hawksbill Turle sharing a meal with a Pomacanthus paru angelfish. The holiday spirit is alive and well in the tropics!

Don't panic. It's just Christmas.

Enjoy this absolutely precious animated short! We'll be back on the 29th. Happy Holidays everyone!

Breathtaking photos by Ned DeLoach

Breathtaking photos by Ned DeLoach

A Bumble Bee Shrimp (Gnathophyllum americanum) riding the poop chute of a sea apple. Nice.

When Ned DeLoach isn't helping scientists discover new reef life species, he's usually out taking some of the most amazing undersea photography. It's Christmas Eve, and I'm sure nobody wants to do any serious reading so feast on this eye ccandy.

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California Academy of Sciences had a very productive 2014!

California Academy of Sciences had a very productive 2014!

Meet Phyllodesmium undulatum -- a brightly-colored, poison-loving sea slug.

From its expeditions to Africa and Madagascar to the Philippines, CAS has contributed 221 new species to the catalog of life in 2014. Ants to spiders, fish to corals, worms to barnacles; our planet revealed a little bit more of itself to us thanks to CAS' team of dedicated scientists. Bravo!

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Giant clams are the Swiss Army Knives of coral reefs

Giant clams are the Swiss Army Knives of coral reefs

Tridacna crocea: a beauty with real talent. Photo by Nick Hobgood

A recently published research paper quantifies the many important ecological roles of Tridacna and Hippopus spp. clams. They serve as nature's buffet, filters, engineers, and homes. Beauty and purpose; we don't sing enough praises for these under-appreciated bivalves!

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Scary smell may help save corals

Scary smell may help save corals

Photograph of a giant triton eating a crown-of-thorns starfish by K Goodbun, AIMS.

Researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the University of Sunshine Coast (Australia) are attempting to replicate a new-found scent emitted by Giant Triton snails that scares the bejeezus out of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (AKA COTS AKA SPS Mass Murderer) in hopes of curbing their killing spree. Giant Tritons are natural starfish predators, and it turns out COTS can smell them and are terrified of the scent.

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Anybody want 3,000 protein skimmers?

Anybody want 3,000 protein skimmers?

Holy mountain of protein skimmers, Batman!

Oh, the crazy things you find on eBay! At least 2,000, if not closer to 3,000 D&D Marine Enterprises protein skimmers acquired via a company bankruptcy are up for sale for $16,000. Apparently there's too many units for the seller to physically count.

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eNCREST Nextsense aquascapes

We don't read Japanese, and frankly we have no idea what eNCREST Nextsense is or what this video is promoting. Is it an aquascaping contest? A promotion for a real estate development? What we do know is that the four aquascapes presented in this silent video are drop-dead gorgeous.

If you read Japanese (or if you understand really ambiguous English), here is the website for eNCREST Nextsense aquascapes.  If you can decipher what this website is about, please let us know in the comment section below.  In the meanwhile, we'll simply gawk at these masterpieces.

The video shows four unique and utterly amazing aquascapes. The works of these skilled Japanese artists are presented in the following chronological order:

Hironori Handa



Takayuki Fukada


Mika Baba


Jun Matsumoto


NMFS proposes Banggai cardinalfish for Endangered Species Act protection

NMFS proposes Banggai cardinalfish for Endangered Species Act protection

Photo by Jens Petersen.

Ret Talbot reports the The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has completed its 12 month status review for seven species. They proposed listing six of the seven species, including the Banggai Cardinalfish, for Endangered Species Act protection.

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