Video: Waikiki Giant Clam Ages Gracefully

We don’t usually post material that has featured on other blogs already, but we were so taken with this video from the Waikiki Aquarium, as featured over at AquaNerd recently, that we had to repost it. Clams are such wonderful creatures and it’s fantastic to see a specimen obviously thriving in captivity over the long term. Now 35 years old, the Tridacna gigas featured is named “Gigas-77″ and has been with the exhibit since 1982!

Review: Hydor Performer 600 Calcium Reactor

Maintaining proper mineral levels is a critical part of maintaining a successful reef tank. In high demand systems where a multitude of calcifying organisms constantly reduce Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium and certain trace element levels, water changes alone are unlikely to keep up with their needs. To stop minerals falling to dangerously low levels (which may detrimentally affect the health of livestock) there are a number of strategies that can be employed. The installation of a Calcium reactor is one of these methods, and widely regarded to be one of the best ways of providing balanced mineral supplementation over the long term. Continue reading Review: Hydor Performer 600 Calcium Reactor

Can Iconic Slug Make A Comeback?

With its vivid blue and gold colors, the nudibranch Felimare californiensis (also known as the California Chromodorid), has been a favorite species of sea slug for US marine scientists and students since its discovery in 1901. Unfortunately, water pollution from the heavily populated southern California mainland, historical over-collection and habitat loss has meant that it has been absent from local waters for almost 40 years.

However the deep blue slug with the bright gold spots reappeared in 2003 off Santa Catalina Island, and in 2011 the rare and highly sought animal was again spotted off Santa Cruz Island and off the coast of San Diego.

Although encouraged, Jeff Goddard (Project Scientist with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute and coauthor of a paper which was published in Marine Biology recently), remained cautious about the discovery. “Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, big strides have been made in reducing pollutants in the Southern California Bight, especially from large wastewater outfalls, and these improvements may have allowed Felimare californiensis to regain a foothold in the region,” said Goddard.

Via ScienceDaily.

Corals Fluorescent Glow Changes Under Stress

image: Digital-ReefsA new study by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has revealed that the way a coral fluoresces can be an effective measure for assessing its health.

As described in the March 12 edition of Scientific Reports, marine biologists Melissa Roth and Dimitri Deheyn describe groundbreaking research using fluorescence to test coral stress prompted from cold and heat exposures. In experimental studies conducted at Scripps, Roth and Deheyn tested the common Indo-Pacific reef-building branching coral Acropora yongei under various temperatures.

Deheyn said the new method improves upon current technologies for testing coral health, which include conducting molecular analyses in which coral must be collected from their habitat, as opposed to fluorescence that can be tested non-invasively directly in the field. Corals are known to produce fluorescence through green fluorescent proteins, but little is known about the emitted light’s function or purpose.

To read more about the study, click HERE

Review: Vertex Rx-U 1.5 Media Reactor

A popular way of getting the most out of a range of chemical filtration materials, fluidising media reactors are now a common fixture on many reef-keepers systems. With a variety of different models to choose from, each with a subtly different feature-set, we jumped at the chance to investigate one particularly attractive looking model recently launched by Cologne-based Vertex Aquaristik. We couldn’t find any existing reviews on this model, so let’s be the first to take a close look the Rx-U 1.5!  Continue reading Review: Vertex Rx-U 1.5 Media Reactor

Review: UFO UCO-180 Protein Skimmer

Let’s face it, there are quite a few low cost cone skimmers on the market at the moment. The Bubble Magus NAC7 is of course well known, and we reviewed the similar Marine Sources RDC850 ourselves not too long ago. Even so, we found our interest most definitely ‘piqued’ when we came across this offering from UKReef. It certainly looks the part, but how does it compare against the other major players in this competitive sector? Continue reading Review: UFO UCO-180 Protein Skimmer

The Digital-Reefs Black Tank – Passing 2 Months

It’s been just over 2 months since we started-up the new Digital-Reefs test tank, so we thought we’d squeeze in an update to keep you appraised of exactly what’s going on with the system. In our last instalment, with the tank cycled, we’d completed our aquascaping and added our first livestock. Well, what’s new we hear you cry?

Continue reading The Digital-Reefs Black Tank – Passing 2 Months

Video: Lessons From The Reef

Chances are you may well be aware of the issues raised in this brief promo video from the Living Oceans Foundation. It’s still worth a watch though indeed some of the facts are really quite an eye-opener and hit home how fragile todays reefs are. Don’t forget to visit their website of course. That’s also home to the Global Reef Expedition, who’s updates we’ve also been following.