Femininus Wrasse Filmed At TMC

TMC Bristol have recently uploaded this video of some stunning Anampses femininus wrasse. Also known as Blue-striped Orange Tamarin Wrasse, this species is one of the most sought-after of the family.

Growing to a maximum of around 24cm, these fish originate from the Pacific waters of Australia and New Caledonia to Easter Island where they frequent rocky reefs in waters of around 10 – 30 metres depth. They are known to bury themselves in the substrate if alarmed or to sleep so a display tank with a deep fine substrate is recommended. These specimens look in fine fettle, but watch for damage to mouth parts when buying such species.

REVIEW: ReefPhyto ‘Reef Juice’ Live Phytoplankton

Forming the foundation of complex food webs in nature, phytoplankton is a generic term given to a range of autotrophic micro-organisms that float in ocean currents feeding on sunlight. Their presence provides food for a range of consumer organisms higher in the food chain, either directly or indirectly.

Generally, the nutrition provided by dosing ‘phyto’ has been proven to bolster diversity in reef aquarium systems and to provide knock-on benefits for a plethora of captive organisms.

However, with numerous manufacturers offering this product in a variety of forms, selecting the best product to use on your reef can be a bit of a minefield. Personally, we prefer to use ‘live’ phyto, and for this, a refrigerated product containing only specially selected species that enter a dormant phase under such conditions is required.

For our review we chose Reefjuice from Reefphyto as it fits the criteria above. This is a concentrated mixture of 4 phytoplankton species that provide a range of cell sizes (2-20 microns) which are all known to be predated by a range of reef aquarium organisms. Specifically, clams, feather duster worms, tunicates, sponges, soft corals and zooplankton (copepods and other invertebrate larvae) will directly consume these species, and other species will feed on the increased population of microfauna that is generated. This product is also concentrated and cleaned to a level that means that just 1ml each day can provide an effective concentration in a moderately stocked 20 UK gallon system, and will not introduce harmful substances. Furthermore, with a shelf life of 10 weeks, this product easily provided for the needs of our 45 UK gallon test tank, being all consumed a couple of weeks before it reached it’s expiry date.

In terms of our direct experience with this product, we were very impressed. For a start, delivery was excellent. Being a refrigerated product, this needed to be quick and Reefphyto didn’t let us down. Packaging was also excellent with the tactile pouch providing not only a satisfying view of the thick green soup within, but also means of easy addition to the system and storage. The cap didn’t leak at all and kept the product fresh throughout the test period (take note that a pungent smell is completely normal for concentrated phyto!). In terms of visible results, the tank showed noticeable signs of improvement after about 5 weeks with SPS polyp extension improving (see right) along with a noticeable Amphipod population boom. Water tests confirmed that pollutant levels did not increase during the test period.

So to summarise, we found that this simple programme of dosing provided noticeable positive results even after just a few weeks. Initially concerned about the potential for such a product to negatively impact on water quality, and doubts whether this food source would even be viable after storage in such a manner, we are pleased to confirm that we had no such problems. On a final note, it’s worth mentioning that we added the product directly to the tank in an area of high flow but didn’t turn the skimmer off for our tests… if you can turn your skimmer of for an hour or so after dosing we’d suggest that the effectiveness of the phyto may be enhanced.

Diversity Is Key In The Face Of Adversity

A scientific paper recently published by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies offers a compelling insight into the relationship between corals and certain reef fish species, suggesting how past extinction events may have driven the complex interdependency we see today.

Focussing on four reef fish families (Wrasses, Butterflyfishes, Angelfishes and Cardinalfishes) the study found that diversification among reef dependent species accelerated at higher rates than expected after geological processes replaced the Tethys/Arabian hotspot with a complex mosaic of reef habitats in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA). During the Oligocene/Miocene period, it is postulated that these coral reefs acted as a refuge and fostered the diversity and close relationships we see in these families today.

Looking into the future, the study also highlights the importance of protecting existing biodiversity hotspots, such as the ‘Coral Triangle’ region of the IAA, which continues to act as a cradle for the evolution of new species, and which may even help to ‘recharge’ other areas through dispersal.

 Read the paper HERE

Stunning Algae Bloom Imaged From Space

Resembling a giant ‘figure 8’, this stunning image of an oceanic phytoplankton bloom was captured by the ESA’s Envisat satellite (using it’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) in early December 2011. 

A relatively common occurence in the oceans of the Southern hemisphere, this particular event was located about 360 miles (600 kilometers) east of the Falkland Islands. Fed by upwelling currents laiden with minerals and nutrients, these tiny floating algae proliferate and are carried over vast distances by surface currents, forming great ‘slicks’ which vary in colour depending on species and quantity.

Forming the base of the marine food chain, phytoplankton plays a critical role in the sequestering of CO2 from the atmosphere and the production of oxygen in the world’s oceans. Other species however can prove toxic to marine life.


Affordable Range Of V2 Auto Top Up Systems Launched

Tropical Marine Centre has just launched its V2Auto Top Up – a safe, low voltage auto top up system incorporating a high quality float switch.

It is ideal for topping up evaporated water in both marine and freshwater aquariums and is simple to install using its unique mounting bracket.

The V2Auto Top Up is supplied complete with an energy efficient 3.5w 12v DC pump capable of 200 l/hr (max head 2m) and 2m of flexible hosing, and there are two versions available – Standard, incorporating one float switch and Plus, incorporating two float switches (the extra float switch functions as a back up, giving you additional peace of mind).

A full range of spares and accessories is available allowing additional components, such as a solenoid valve (soon available separately) to be easily integrated into the system.

RRPs are just £39.99 for the Standard system and £59.99 for the Plus System, finally making auto top up systems an affordable option.

Outstanding Imports At Seahorse Aquariums, Ireland

As the largest aquatic specialist shop in Ireland, Seahorse Aquariums offers one of the most complete selections of fish and aquarium supplies in the industry. Their experienced team evidently takes extraordinary measures to ensure that all stock on offer receives the best possible care until arriving safely to your home, indeed they even have their own in-house Marine Biologist! Their Seahorse Hatchery was the first in Europe to commercially produce seahorses and take note, there’s overnight shipping on all stock from Freshwater fish, corals and drygoods all over Ireland including Northern Ireland.

Going by some of the pieces available through their recent direct Indonesian hard coral shipment (via Golden Marindo) this Dublin based operation are also an excellent source for more unusual and high value pieces. If you’ve never ordered from this supplier but are tempted by the stock on display, keep your eyes on the blog in the coming weeks as we’ll be receiving something rather special from this outlet, and letting you know how exactly how we get on.




TMC Bristol Promises Youtube Stock Updates

This video of a stunning and healthy Conspicuous Angel Chaetodontoplus conspicillatus is just one of a series recently uploaded to Youtube by TMC Bristol. The videos give us ‘mere mortal’ hobbyists a chance to glimpse stock before it is snapped up by retailers for distribution and as such if you are on the lookout for quality stock, or something unusual, keep an eye on the channel and contact your local TMC stockist if you see something you like.

We hope that other TMC depots will follow suit.

Midland-Reefs Brings Sicce Syncra HF Pumps To UK Market

The new SICCE Syncra High Flow pumps take the Syncra range of pumps to another level. The High Flow models have all the features of the Syncra line and incorporate new leading edge technologies that put them in a class of their own. The exclusive technology, combined with the new electronic engineering of the motor, ensures optimized performances, while maintaining low power consumption and maximum energy efficiency – offering a saving of up to 50% of the electrical cost of comparably rated asynchronous pumps.

Offering unmatched performance in a compact package, SICCE Syncra High Flow pumps are available in three different models:

• Syncra HF 10.0 – 9,500 l/h (2500 gph)

• Syncra HF 12.0 -12,500 l/h (3200 gph)

• Syncra HF 16.0 -16,000 l/h (4200 gph)

Quiet, powerful, compact, and easy to maintain, these powerful permanent magnet synchronous motors ensure high-energy efficiency and reliability. They are designed to work both submersed or externally (Wet & Dry application). Syncra HF pumps are suitable for a wide range of applications: pond and garden (waterfalls fountains and filters), fresh and saltwater aquariums (large aquariums, centralised systems, bio- towers external filters, large reactors, protein skimmers, and sump use), water cooling, swimming pools, drainage, irrigation, water recirculation, hydraulic applications, fish farms and many other functions.

Versatile in positioning, can be mounted horizontally or vertically depending on application. Pumps come with pre-filter and standard male threaded inlets and outlets allowing them to be plumbed with fittings for any application. Cable length: Indoor application (aquarium etc.) 3 metres, outdoor (pond and garden etc.) 10 metres.

Through a combination of design factors these quiet, energy efficient pumps (providing highest power factor available for lower electrical consumption) run cooler than asynchronous pumps, while their forced self-cleaning lubrication system also contributes to ease of maintenance. There is easy access to the sturdy single unit rotor, which features ceramic bearings and a seal-less shaft for long life.

Safety features include thermal protection and Auto Shut-off in case of a blocked rotor.

CE, ETL and CETL certified. Comes with a 3 years + 2 years warranty.

SICCE is distributed in the UK by Midland Reefs.

Morocco’s AquaDream Is World’s Largest Conical Aquarium

Just opened, this centerpiece of the luxury Morocco Mall in Casablanca is a truly massive display. Over 9 metres tall and nearly 14 metres across at its widest point, it contains 1 million litres of water.

This aquarium isn’t unique just for it’s massive inverted cone shape though. In addition it is completely freestanding and isolated from the building structure making it resistant to earthquakes which affect this location. Furthermore, it even incorporates an integrated elevator so that visitors can take a five minute ride up through the middle of the tank while learning about some of the 3,000 animals (comprised of over 40 species) that the system contains. Although not live, the tank  contains more than 3,500 artificial corals on top of concrete constructed rockwork.

View more info HERE