New Sponsor: Taunton Aquarium Centre, UK

As Digital-Reefs continues to attract support from the UKs top marine retailers, we are pleased to announce our latest sponsor – Taunton Aquarium Centre (TAC).

Based on the extensive experience of staff, TAC was founded in April 1998 with the aim of supplying the best quality aquarium fish, corals and advise to UK hobbyists.

Now a specialist in marine livestock, this outlet is constantly evolving its systems to stay at the cutting edge of the UK trade. Their current coral and inverts systems total some 10,000 litres and, at anyone time, there are literally hundred of corals of all kinds in stock. In addition, they hold an average of around 450 fish in a system comprising some 4500 litres. Rare and hard-to-acquire species are also stocked in abundance, indeed the process of continuous improvement enables TAC to supply the most amazing, healthy stock.

As well as outstanding livestock, TAC design bespoke aquariums and related systems, with a full on site construction service. They are also stockists of  Seashell Elite Aquarium furniture, Tunze (full range), Aquamedic (Full range), Schuran, Deltec, Tropic Marin, Sea Chem, Salifert, Gamma foods, Eheim, Arcadia, Red Sea, New Era.. and many more!

Look out for our review of their mail order service coming very soon!

Lionfish Deliver Multiple Blows To Catch Dinner

A new study has shown that Pterois volitans Lionfish uses a unique tactic when stalking their prey… they use their cavernous mouths to blast a series of water jets at their quarry as they make their final approach to within striking distance.

Captured in this video footage, the behaviour is thought to serve a number of purposes. Firstly, due to the fact that the water jets seem to offset Lionfish’s tail thrusts, it is thought that they may ‘mask’ the predators approach by affecting the lateral line system of the target fish. Secondly, the blasts caused most of the prey to turn head-on to the approaching Lionfish, which helped it to swallow it’s prey in several ways.

The research is particularly interesting as it was observed more frequently in Lionfish native ranges (as opposed to in ‘invader’ populations). This suggests that prey in these native ranges are more likely to have adapted to Lionfish hunting techniques, and hints at why they are causing such devastation in areas where they have invaded.

Read more HERE

Red Sea Kit Promises Reef Readiness In 3 Weeks

Following on from the launch of the Marine Care Program, the Red Sea Reef Starter Kit is perfect for beginners or anyone who is looking for a fast and safe way to create reef-ready sea water.

The starter kit provides everything required to take a new aquarium to full biological maturity in 21 days.

Recommended for the initial set up of any reef aquarium up to 250 liters, including Red Sea’s Max 130D and Max 250 systems, the starter kit comes with three essential components: Red Sea Coral Pro Salt, the Reef Mature Pro Kit and the Marine Care Pro Test Kit.

Continue reading Red Sea Kit Promises Reef Readiness In 3 Weeks

Digital-Reefs Translator Now Available

Just a quick update – in light of increasing traffic from non-UK sources, we’ve now included the popular Global Translator widget into the sidebar on the right so now non English-speaking visitors are free to access all our content too (don’t forget to subscribe to get full access!). If your language isn’t represented, or if you notice any problems, please drop us a note.

Kent Marine Carbon Recall

We noticed yesterday that US based manufacturer Kent Marine recently issued a product recall on its Reef Carbon product on the grounds that certain batches are suspected of “contain[ing] unusually high levels of heavy metals which have an adverse effect on stony corals and clams in marine settings. ”

Specifically,  Kent Marine Reef Carbon in 1lb (1qt), 1.9lb (2qt), .1lbs (1gal), 7lbs (2gal),  15lbs (5gal), 25lbs, 44lbs varieties is being issued a stop-sale for retailers.

UK consumers should also take the time to check against the batch information issued as Kent have informed us directly that the batches in question may not be restricted to the US. The problem appears to have arisen at the mining stage, during which Copper may have entered the product in higher concentrations than normal.

More at reefbuilders

Catlin Seaview Survey Promises Unrivalled Views Of GBR

An exciting new project that promises to provide stunning interactive imagery of the Great Barrier Reef, has recently been announced.

Chief Scientist for the project, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the Global Change institute at The University of Queensland said that the scientific data gathered during the project will strengthen the understanding about how climate change and other environmental changes are likely to affect ocean ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. He stressed that the visual nature of the project will also help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public awareness.

“The Catlin Seaview Survey comprises a series of studies which will reveal to the public one of the last frontiers on Earth: the oceans. For the first time in history, we have the technology available to broadcast the findings and expedition through Google. Millions of people will be able to experience the life, the science and the magic that exists under the surface of our oceans. This project is very exciting.”

The Survey is not just another scientific expedition – it aims to capture the public’s imagination and engage people with the science like never before.

The Catlin Seaview Survey camera, developed specifically for the expedition, will capture thousands of 360-degree underwater panoramas which, when stitched together, will allow people to choose a location, dip underwater and go for a virtual dive at all of the locations visited by the expedition.

With full details viewable on their website, we think this is going to be a fantastic tool for reefkeepers.

New Blenny Species Described

image: GR Allen

A new species of blenny has been discovered and described by Dr. William Smith-Vaniz of the University of Florida and Dr. Gerald Allen of the Western Australian Museum.

Alloblennius frondiculus (meaning “a small leaf” and refering to the shape of the fish’s orbital cirrus), hails from waters near the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Read more HERE

REVIEW: Seahorse Aquariums Ltd, Ireland

Following their recent stunning Indonesian import, we were very pleased to take delivery of some lovely pieces from our friends ‘across the water’ at Seahorse Aquariums, and to report back how we got on with this ‘exploratory’ shipment. Although they don’t ship to the UK normally at the date of writing, take note that new developments may mean this changes mid-2012. A website revamp is also in the offing which could see a Premium WYSIWYG selection coupled with a Fedex or DHL express service. We think this could prove to be a great option for UK reefers looking for unusual corals at very competitive prices.

Continue reading REVIEW: Seahorse Aquariums Ltd, Ireland

Red Sea Ozone Hits UK Market

Red Sea has launched its established range of AquaZone Plus combined ozone/redox controller units into the UK market.

Ozone has long been known for its significant beneficial properties in controlling harmful pathogens, removing discoloration from aquarium water and significantly improving water quality and protein skimmer performance.

However, the requirement within the aquarium varies daily depending on a number of factors, and using ozone without an appropriate method of control is not only less efficient but can be harmful to both aquarium inhabitants and reef-keepers, as excessive ozone is undesirable.

Continue reading Red Sea Ozone Hits UK Market

REVIEW: TMC V2Skim Compact Surface Skimmer

If you are one of the many people who start out with a simple and perhaps relatively small reef, chances are you may decide that a sump isn’t something you want to dabble with until you have more experience.

Well, despite having certain drawbacks, sumps do offer some advantages, and one of these is the surface skimming that weirs and overflows provide. Without this process, many sumpless tanks accumulate an unsightly ‘biofilm’ on the water surface which reduces light penetration, interferes with gaseous exchange and can really ruin the look of a system.

Continue reading REVIEW: TMC V2Skim Compact Surface Skimmer