Theme Update: Autumn 2014

Well, after running the site with the ‘Twenty Ten’ theme for the last couple of years we thought it was finally time to rejig the site a little and go for a slightly different layout. Please note that over the next couple of weeks we may be making a few final touches to certain parts of the site as we iron out any imperfections…. please let us know if you spot something that you think needs to be changed and we’ll do our best to accommodate it. In terms of functionality, we still have all the features of the previous site. You should still be able to ‘log-in’ to gain access to the galleries and wallpapers as before, if you have subscribed/registered with us of course (for free!). Of course, we’ve plenty of new content on the way and we are hoping to ‘step this up’ now that our other commitments are easing slightly. Keep dropping-by, or better yet subscribe to the site RSS feed to be advised of new content automatically!

Review: iQuatics Ocean Reef Pro coral salt

In this ‘hands on’ review we’ll take a look at a salt that was originally launched back in early 2014. As a relatively new player in the market place this product comes from a company already well known in the UK as an online lighting and equipment manufacturer. Touted as a synthetic blend boasting Magnesium levels of 1360ppm, Calcium 445ppm and Potassium 405ppm (levels which the company say have been slightly raised to account for depletions in home aquaria), this salt also claims to be Nitrate and Phosphate free, and fast dissolving. But does this new kid on the block ‘do what it says on the tin’? Continue reading

Reef Predator Only Hunts With The Best

Reporting their results in Current Biology researchers have discovered that Coral Trout Plectropomus leopardus seem to be as good as chimpanzees at knowing when to engage in collaborative hunting. When hunting for food, the trout team-up with moray eels, which are experts at flushing tiny fishes out of coral crevices into open water where they are easy pickings for the trout. The trout are apparently even able to determine which eel is a better hunting partner and select that one for finding food in the future. Beyond the initial interest, the results also support the idea that a relatively small brain does not prevent some fish from being able to comprehend information as effectively as apes do in similar, albeit terrestrial, situations.

Video: Corals Stir It Up, For Themselves

Describing their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at MIT and the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel have found that corals are capable of engineering their environment to sweep water into turbulent patterns that greatly enhance their ability to exchange nutrients and dissolved gases with their environment.

By zooming in on the coral surface with powerful microscopes and high-speed video cameras, the team observed that the millimeter closest to the coral surface is particularly turbulent, with cilia on the coral’s surface arranged in such a way as to produce strong swirls of water that draw nutrients toward the coral, while driving away potentially toxic waste products, such as excess oxygen.

Watch the video for a detailed explanation!

Review: Bio Aquatek Bio-Phos 80 Phosphate Media and Reactor

Anyone using chemical media on their reef system will almost certainly have delved into the wonderful world of fluidising reactors at some point. There’s something mesmerising about seeing your chosen media churning and swirling, happily doing its job. More importantly of course, fluidisation is also a great way to avoid ‘caking’ and to make sure you get the best efficiency out of your media (as opposed to ‘passive’ use, in a mesh bag for example). It’s more than likely that this research hasn’t left you with a clear ‘winner’ though, indeed uncertainties about reactor sizing, pumps, volume, construction, plumbing options and the like often result in something of a ‘hopeful’ purchase. In this review we aim to take some of the guess work out of this buying process by bringing you one of our ‘hands on’ reviews. Continue reading