Review: Simply Seahorses, UK

Having done a fair amount of work for Simply Seahorses over the last few years, we were pleased to be invited to drop in for a chat with owner Nigel Christie recently. The last few weeks have been pretty hard work for Nigel as he‘s been busy transferring stock and equipment, having decided to scale back the operations commercial premises. However, rather than being down about the move, he seems to be revelling in being able to focus solely on seahorses once again. You can’t keep a good man down, as they say!

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Coral Species Diverse in Madagascan Waters

A new study in the journal PLoS ONE has shown that the waters between Madagascar and mainland Africa, centred around the Northern section of the Mozambique channel, may be among the most diverse for coral species the entire world.

For nearly a decade, David Obura of the Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) has been running SCUBA surveys in the region. Through these surveys he has identified some 369 coral species, and there may be another 100 as yet unidentified. Furthermore, around 10 percent of these  species are known only from the Indian Ocean. Although still less diverse than the Coral Triangle (which has over 600 species) this would make the region as biodiverse as the Great Barrier Reef.

“The [western Indian Ocean] region’s reefs have a unique heritage, and contain many unique and old lineages of corals found nowhere else on Earth,” Obura explains in a press release. “The evolutionary lineage of the Indian Ocean fauna predates the Southeast Asia and Coral Triangle fauna, inherited from earlier marine biodiversity hotspots of 20-50 million years ago.”

Unfortunately, in common with most other coral reefs, the region faces local pressures such as population growth, overfishing, fossil fuel exploitation, mining, and tourism…. and of course climate change and ocean acidification are also significant threats.

New Sponsor: New Era Aquaculture

As passionate for fish nutrition as we are for reefkeeping, New Era have used years of experience in ornamental aquaculture to develop a unique range of fish foods and dietary regimes that are currently taking the market by storm.

With extensive international expertise in conservation, breeding, nutrition, disease prevention and aquatic ecosystems they clearly possess the deep understanding needed to create an unparalleled range of feeds for marine, tropical and coldwater species. Its no surprise that they collaborate very closely with public aquaria, vets and industry professionals throughout the world to develop feeding programmes and technologies with the aim of driving the industry forward.

From a hobbyist perspective, we’ve already been impressed with their range and currently incorporate a number of their products into our own feeding regime. As such we are thrilled to have them on-board… actually, keep your eyes on the site in the coming weeks as we hope to bring news of some new product developments!

TMC Signature Series Release Imminent

Following on from their introduction at Interzoo 2012, TMC’s ‘Signature’ range of braceless, rimless optiwhite tanks with matching cabinets is due to be released to the UK market in the next couple of weeks. We’ve now been provided with detailed spec sheets and price lists and have to say that these units look rather tempting.

Available separately, tanks range from 60 – 120 litres in capacity. Constructed from either 6 or 8mm premium quality optiwhite glass, with discreet silicone joints, these aquaria are set to enable truly ‘high definition’ viewing of your aquarium inhabitants from all angles. RRPs are set to range from £100 – £150. To support such a tank effectively, and set it off in the best way possible, a range of bespoke cabinets are also available. Coming in carbon grey, charcoal black and glacier white, these cabinets follow the minimal theme yet offer a high level of adaptability and durability. Cabinet RRPs range from £100 – £130.

UK reefkeepers take note that TMC is also offering predrilled tank, sump and cabinet ‘sets’ for certain sizes. As well as taking the hassle out of it for you, this this clearly opens up the possibility for you to take minimalist tank design to a whole new level. Take a look at the spec sheets below for full details.


New Sponsor: Bio Aquatek Ltd

We are pleased to announce another innovative and forward-thinking specialist marine supplier has lent its support to

Bio Aquatek’s aim is to provide high quality goods at affordable prices, and they strive to bring new and innovative products to the marketplace. This includes their own brand name products that have been selected or designed by them to provide the aquatic hobby with the standards expected by dedicated fish keepers.

Located in Stoke-on-Trent, they are ideally positioned to distribute goods across the UK, with a fast and efficient service, and their friendly team are willing to help and advise you in your purchases and ensure that they are delivered in a timely manner.

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to them, and we look forward to getting out hands on some kit for a hands-on review. Infact, keep your eyes open for a first-look at their new Biophos 80 Reactor, currently in the pipeline.

Take a look at their website by clicking the banner below to see what’s on offer.

Mystery Mimic Is Stunning Import From Papua New Guinea

Exhibiting an extremely unusual pattern, it’s no surprise that Digital-Reefs sponsors Ocean Corals recently sold this fabulous and unusual juvenile Mimic Tang Acanthurus pyroferus almost instantly after obtaining it through EcoReef UK.

With EcoReef UK using EcoAquarium PNGs unique labelling system, we can see exactly where this fish was captured, and even the man who caught it! (see image gallery below). Perhaps more importantly this also tells us the fish was captured without the use of destructive techniques, and was harvested in with sustainability in mind.

Acanthurus pyroferus occurs widely across the Indo-Pacific but the pattern exhibited by juveniles can vary depending on the species of Centropyge sp. Dwarf Angel prevalent in that particular area (as this is the species that they mimic). This individual is particularly interesting and unique though, and exactly which species of angel (or possibly other genus?) this fish is mimicking is unknown. Whether or not it is a hybrid is also uncertain.

Whatever the case, it certainly justifies the ‘very cool’ designation given on it’s ecolabel. We certainly hope the private aquarist who obtained the fish manages to keep it alive and perhaps one day we’ll be able to run a follow-up report.

Collection Of Giant Anemones Banned For 3 Years

Acting on the request of the Florida Marine Life Association, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on Wednesday to impose a three-year ban on removing Condylactis gigantea anemones from the wild, starting from November 1st.

The association said the anemone has suffered a sharp decline in the past few years, possibly from excessive collecting for the aquarium trade, and partly from the cold weather that blanketed southern Florida in 2010.

“The three-year closure will allow the species time to rebuild its population numbers,” states a commission news release issued Wednesday.

CoralCulture Roll Out Precision Water Testing… By Post

Digital-Reefs sponsor, CoralCulture (UK), has just announced it will be offering a new precision water testing service to the UK marine aquatic community.

In conjunction with Aquarium Connections (Surrey, UK) and Triton (Germany), CoralCulture can test water samples to a very high accuracy, and even offer advice based on the results, should it be required.

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