Clever Cuttlefish Cross Dress For Success

With males normally display pulsating stripes, and females mottled, the Mourning Cuttlefish (Sepia plangon) is already a unique looking species. However, this cuttlefish goes a step further in its use of variable patterning.

Observing wild cuttlefish in Sydney harbour for six years Culum Brown of Macquarie University in Sydney and his team noticed that whenever a male was courting a female, and there was a rival male nearby, the courting male started ‘lying’. He displayed male colours on the side facing the female, but female colours on the other side to dupe the rival and prevent him from interfering.

Males did not do this when there were two rivals present, presumably because it would be too difficult to deceive both of them. That suggests the animals were trying to avoid being caught out!

Video: Oceanlife Installation Gets Digital-Reefs Treatment

Taking a short break from our usual blogging duties, we recently brought our expertise in digital imagery to the service of our friends at Oceanlife Aquatics who are responsible for maintaining this stunning 380 UK gallon marine reef aquarium which they have designed and installed for a private individual.

Continue reading Video: Oceanlife Installation Gets Digital-Reefs Treatment

Review: Hydor Performer 600 Calcium Reactor – Unboxed

Hydor have really impressed us over the last few months, releasing a number of well-thought out products that balance a high level quality against attractive pricing.

Although they’ve been around for a while, the Hydor Performer Calcium Reactor range is the latest to pique our interest, recently being relaunched to both US and European hobbyists with a number of improvements.

Now boasting both stronger and clearer acrylic components, the new Performer has also had its original clear push-on tubing replaced with white semi-rigid pipework that slots nicely into John Guest-style connectors. This reduces chances of leakages drastically. In addition, redesigned bubble and drop counters are evident making critical adjustments much easier to achieve. Finally, the Hydor Universal mixing pump now features a cooling mechanism which, as well as allowing the reactor to be placed in or out of a sump, serves to purge the pump of noise-producing air bubbles.

Fresh out of the box, we have to say the new acrylic feels great and the fittings all appear to be sound. Instructions are very clear and all components are present and clearly identified (extremely useful if this is your first time setting up a reactor). Inspection of other components also reveals a pleasing level of quality and the wet test demonstrates that the pump does indeed run very quietly.

Hydor’s new and improved Performer Calcium Reactor comes fully guaranteed and in two sizes for European reefkeepers (see below). We believe that Maidenhead Aquatics are already supplying these in the UK. If you can’t find one at your local fish store we suggest you ask them if they can get one in for you.

> Performer 600 – £269.99* (feed pump extra £14.99*) suitable for aquaria: 300 – 600 litres volume. Dimensions: diameter 12cm – height 56cm – footprint 18x25cm – media volume 2.9 litres

> Performer 1000 – £299.99* (feed pump extra £16.99*) suitable for aquaria: 500 – 1000 litres volume. Dimensions: diameter 15cm – height 60cm – footprint 21x28cm – media volume 24.1 litres