Webcam Streams Yearly Coral Spawning

PHOTO: Caine DelacyEach year, usually during August or September, many of the corals in Cayman’s reefs spawn simultaneously, releasing eggs and sperm together to cross-fertilize and scatter in the current. This year, although it was touch-and-go whether Cayman’s webcam (a partnership between Ocean Frontiers and a nonprofit group in the United States called Teens4Oceans) would be up and running in time to capture the spawning event, viewers were treated to a live feed of a mountainous star coral spawning Thursday night.

“This is the first year we’ve tried to observe it with the webcam,” said Steve Broadbelt of Ocean Frontiers in East End. “We can tilt and pan the camera around, and there’s nothing quite like watching it live. Continue reading Webcam Streams Yearly Coral Spawning

A Reef Application For New Optical Technologies?

image: Richard Chesher, 360citiesMany of us will already have both seen and used interactive 360 degree VR imagery, actually there are a few such images here on digital-reefs.com. However, in a recent development, a team from the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, has developed the GigaPan EPIC Pro – a robotic ‘timemachine’ camera system that also makes it possible to create time-lapse sequences of panoramas that allow the viewer to zoom in at an incredible level of detail. Continue reading A Reef Application For New Optical Technologies?

Review: Burscough Aquatics

Having already visited and reviewed several different marine outlets in the North West UK over the last couple of years, frankly we’d though we’d already seen the best that the region has to offer. However, when we read what people were saying about Burscough Aquatics and saw some of their stock images online we decided we just had to pay them a visit. So how exactly does this outlet stack up against some pretty strong competition? Continue reading Review: Burscough Aquatics

Could Gorgonians Dominate Reefs Of The Future?

Image Credit: Howard LaskerDivers have noted in recent years that Gorgonians, also known as the Sea Fans and Whips, seem to be proliferating in certain areas of the Caribbean, even as their stony counterparts struggle. Often overlooked in favour of stony corals, these flexible, tree-like species can form impressive ‘underwater forests’, offering a canopy beneath which small fish and aquatic life of all kinds can thrive. Continue reading Could Gorgonians Dominate Reefs Of The Future?

Unboxed: Vertex Omega 150 Protein Skimmer

With a myriad of cone skimmers now available to reef hobbyists, choosing a particular model can seem a daunting task… let’s face of it, many offer almost identical features and overall design. Announced back in late 2012 and instantly memorable for its elegant ‘wine-glass’ shape, we’ve been keeping an eye on Vertex’s Omega 150 for a while… and now it’s time to get ‘hands-on’ with our preliminary unboxing review!  Continue reading Unboxed: Vertex Omega 150 Protein Skimmer

Breaking News: Orange-striped Rarity Comes To The UK

Originally discovered in Palau in the Western Central Pacific and formally described in just 2001, Cirrhilabrus earlei is still a relative rarity in the trade. We are getting information however that two pairs and one single specimen of this stunning deepwater species have been imported into the UK by TMC in recent days. With one pair settling-in at a store in the South of England (and on offer for a price of £2000!), the other pair are rumoured to be destined for export out of the country (exactly where we don’t know but we suspect these may show up in the US in coming weeks). Although there are no images of these fish as yet, we can see from the embedded video just how stunning they can be…. and ‘personality’ wise they are also rumoured to be a great fish. Let’s hope they go to nice systems and that we get to see more of them!