Superstorm Surge Floods WCS Aquarium

Sited in an area ravaged by the storm surges of Hurricane Sandy, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium has unfortunately not escaped unscathed.

According to a statement released by the organization, “The Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, located in an evacuation zone in Coney Island, experienced severe flooding from the storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy. The entire 14-acre facility was under water. As the water recedes, we will need time to assess the full extent of the damage. Our staff remain at the aquarium after working throughout the storm.”

Established in 1896, the aquarium is home to a wide-variety of marine species, including Pacific walrus, black-footed penguins, sand tiger sharks, loggerhead sea turtles, and hundreds of others.

Our thoughts go out to both staff and livestock and wish them a speedy recovery.

Firefly Inspires Improved LED Lens

image: shutterstock

In a discovery that may one day be used in advanced aquarium lighting systems, South Korean scientists have reportedly replicated the intricate nanostructure of a firefly’s underbelly to create what they say is an improved, cheaper LED lens.

Publishing their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, lead author Ki-Hun Jeong (Associate Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology) describes how, by copying the cuticular nanostructure of the firefly’s three-layered lower abdomen, the team managed to do away with the conventional and expensive anti-reflection coating used in existing LEDs.

The report therefore suggests that this biological inspiration can offer new opportunities for increasing the light extraction efficiency of high-power LED packages.

APS Offer Fully Controllable Aquasun LED For Under £500

With price hikes expected from all the major UK energy companies in the next few months, it makes sense to investigate how you can reduce your energy consumption and perhaps offset any bill increases. Perhaps the most costly part of running a reef system, one way to achieve this is to take a look at your tank lighting and consider finally changing to energy efficient LEDs as an alternative to costly metal halides or banks of T5 tubes.

Continue reading APS Offer Fully Controllable Aquasun LED For Under £500

A Glimmer Of Hope In GBRs Mesophotic Zone

We’ve been following this story for well over a year now and it’s interesting to see further discoveries being reported by Pim Bongaerts of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, who is now in charge of the deep reef operations for the Catlin Seaview Survey.

Although the Holmes and Flinders Reefs in the Coral Sea are renowned for having been badly damaged, Pims team have recently found that the deep ‘mesophotic’ reef zone in these areas is hardly disturbed at all. Indeed, using a combination of HD cameras, deep-diving robots and survey equipment to explore these unchartered depths, they’ve found a striking abundance of corals on the deep reef. “What has blown me away is to see that even 70 to 80 meters down [230 to 260 feet], there are significant coral populations. At the moment we know little about the extent of [coral] larval movements between the shallow and deep reef, but we are seeing species that exist in both zones,” he reportedly said. Although poorly understood at the present time, the suggestion is that larval recruitment from these deeper water corals could lead to the regeneration of tdamaged upper reef assuming conditions are favorable.

The researchers also point out that their findings indicate that recent reports that claim the GBR has sustained 50% loss of coral cover over the last 27 years may not be entirely accurate, as they do not take into account these relatively unknown yet extensive deep water reefs.

Bio Aquatek Now Official Sole UK Distributors of SICCE Products

Bio Aquatek have just announced that they been awarded sole UK distribution rights for SICCE’s entire product range.

As you may already be aware, Bio Aquatek currently uses SICCE Syncra Silent pumps on their very successful Gyractor range and they will now be stocking SICCE’s complete range of pumps, power heads, filters, heaters… and their new unique range of LED lighting.

Continue reading Bio Aquatek Now Official Sole UK Distributors of SICCE Products

Unboxed: Marine Sources RDC-850 Protein Skimmer

Whether or not you view them as a passing trend or a design that genuinely leads to improved skimming performance, the popularity of cone skimmers shows no sign of diminishing as times goes by. Indeed, this design currently seems favoured by the general majority of reefers and as such it’s no surprise that a plethora of new models continue to be released. What makes us so interested in the Marine Solutions range though, and in this case the RDC-850, is the attractive feature set available for such a low price. At less than £200, this unit seems set to give the market leading Bubble Magus NAC7 (which lies at the heart of numerous successful systems) a serious run for its money. But how does the RDC-850 measure up on paper?

Continue reading Unboxed: Marine Sources RDC-850 Protein Skimmer

Digital-Reefs Test Tank MkII – Construction Begins

Although we’ve managed to test most of the kit we’ve received over the last 18 months (since Digital-Reefs was ‘reborn’ in its new blog style incarnation) we’ve still got a few bits and bobs that we’ve been desperate to ‘get wet’ as it were. Given the current test tank size, location and sumpless configuration though, unfortunately this hasn’t been an option for certain items to-date. Anyway as we still have these items, plus a host of new kit lined-up for review, we’ve decided to finally stump-up, take the plunge, and go for a larger system which will be used as a platform for testing… amongst other things! We’ll also be taking the opportunity to ‘practice what we preach’ by setting-up the new system in accordance with our recently published Digital-Reefs approach, and also hope to incorporate the latest husbandry techniques that we’ve gleaned from top hobbyists and industry professionals.

Continue reading Digital-Reefs Test Tank MkII – Construction Begins

Review: Coral Aquarium Cabinets (CAC) Liverpool

We’ll be bringing out more detail soon, but for our latest project here at Digital-Reefs, we recently found ourselves in need of the services of a customised aquarium manufacturer.

After spending the best part of 4 weeks contacting (or in some cases, trying in vain to contact) around half a dozen of the most widely advertised companies, frankly we were on the verge of considering the ‘DIY option’! It was at that point though, we were fortunate enough to spot a display tank in sponsor outlet Ocean Gems showroom that immediately piqued our interest. Discovering that the maker was Coral Aquarium Cabinets, based just North of Liverpool, we decided to drop them a quick email to see if they could help. A quick web search revealed positive feedback and their website looked OK too.

Continue reading Review: Coral Aquarium Cabinets (CAC) Liverpool

Review: Fl!ppercleaner Scrubber/Scraper

There’s nothing quite like sitting back and enjoying your reef after you’ve given the glass a good clean. Once the debris settles the appearance of the system moves to a whole new level, with the removal of film algae revealing enhanced colours and detail not just on the small scale, but overall too. Removing the fine dusting that builds up over a few days is pretty easy with a standard magnet cleaner, but when it comes to removing growths of coralline algae, which typically grow near to the gravel line or along tank joints, these cleaners struggle in our experience.

Continue reading Review: Fl!ppercleaner Scrubber/Scraper

Tidal Gardens Demonstrate Exemplary Acan Care

If you have a passion for Acanthastrea genus corals take the time to watch this Youtube video from US based operation, Tidal Gardens. As well as showing of some stunning specimens in full HD glory we particularly like the sped up feeding sequences. Certainly gives food for thought… also take note of the propagation tips and the dipping process… potentially very useful if you keep, or wish to keep, these stunning LPS corals.