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Archive for March, 2010

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The new Hanna Instruments phosphate colorimeter has just been released. This great new reef tool, is easy to use, and more accurate than chemical test kits. This new portable handheld colorimeter features a resolution of 0.01 ppm (250 points), 4% ±0.04 accuracy of reading and an easy to read LCD display. An auto shut-off mechanism, will promote long battery life.

At less than $40, this Digital Phosphate checker is a terrific value, making it a reef took every hobbyist aught to have. With it’s one button operation, this simple reef tool will make at least one of your parameter testing a breeze.

From Hanna

Easier to use and more accurate than chemical test kits Adaptation of Standard Method 4500-P E Accuracy 4% ±0.04 ppm (mg/L) of reading 0.04 ppm (mg/L) resolution (250 points) Large, easy to read digits Auto shut-off. Dedicated to a single parameter Designed to work with HANNA’s powder reagents Uses 10 mL glass cuvettes. Small Size, Big Convenience Weighing a mere 65 g (2.3 oz.), the Checker®HC easily fits into the palm of your hand or pocket.Use for quick and accurate on the spot analysis. Single button operation: Zero and Measure Operated by a single AAA battery. Ideal for Natural, waste and drinking waters.


Orthophosphates are found in natural and waste waters. They are commonly added to drinking water as a corrosion inhibitor. The instantaneous analysis of orthophosphate by colorimetric determination provides rapid results using a standard analysis technique. The HANNA HI 713 Checker®HC bridges the gap between simple chemical test kits and professional instrumentation. Chemical test kits are not very accurate and only give 5 to 10 points resolution while professional instrumentation can cost hundreds of dollars and can be time consuming to calibrate and maintain. The HANNA HI 713 Checker®HC is accurate and affordable. The HI 713 Checker®HC portable handheld colorimeter features a resolution of 0.01 ppm (250 points) and 4% ±0.04 accuracy of reading. The HI 713 Checker® HC uses an adaptation of Standard Method 4500-P E. The contoured style of this Checker®HC fits in your palm and pocket perfectly and the large LCD is easy to read. The auto shut-off feature assures the battery life will not be drained if you forget to turn it off. The HI 713 Checker®HC is extremely simple to use. First, zero the instrument with your water sample. Next, add the reagent. Last, Place the vial into the HI 713 Checker®HC, press the button and read the results. It’s that easy.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The Acropora Crab, Trapezia sp., is a commensal crustacean living amongst the branches of (primarily) Acropora corals. This great little crab, maintains a symbiotic relationship with it’s host coral by keeping its branches clean while feeding on small particles trapped by the coral polyps. While several hobbyists consider the Acro Crab a “pest” (some claim that it discourages polyp extension), it is now believed that it may increase success with keeping SPS by keeping the coral clean, and fending off any invaders or predators. We regularly see these obligatory commensal crab picking small pieces of mysis shrimp off of the various host Acropora species.

As with most invertebrates, the Acropora Crab will not tolerate high nitrate levels, or any copper-based medications.

Photo by Felicia McCaulley

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The Red Spotted Goby, Trimma rubromaculatus, is a beautiful, rare fish that comes to us from the reefs of Cebu. This smaller goby has an opaque body, with irregular red spots. The eyes of the Red Spotted Goby are large for it’s size, and are speckled in red and gold. This goby is quite active and a very peaceful tank mate, appropriate for any reef or fish only tank.

This species requires a tank with plenty of live rock, creating numerous hiding spots and providing a food source. Pairs, or smaller groups, tend to do better as long as they are all introduced simultaneously. This species of gobies is not a suitable tank mate for larger, aggressive fish and invertebrates.

The Red Spotted Goby‘s diet should consist of a variety of frozen foods, brine shrimp and mysis shrimp.

Photo by Felicia McCaulley

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The latest version of Reefs Magazine is out. Several exciting articles are included in this edition. Sanjai Joshi outlines the secrets behind photographing fluorescence in aquarium corals. Jake Adams write about catching the act of pelagic spawning in reef fish. Keith Berkelhamer gives us his recipe for success with SPS. Matt Wandell provides a deep look into the Tuka anthias and their dietary requirements. Simon Garratt writes about a corals reefs in the Indian Ocean thriving in spite of adverse conditions caused by commercial over fishing, pollution, global warming, etc. Dominick Cirigliano continues his discussion about raising seahorses with “part two”. Finally, James Passantino, writes about the subtleties of keeping keeping both a reef tank and a significant other. Make sure to check out reefs magazine’s winter 2010 edition, it’s a great read.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Fuana Marin has released a new version of their popular filter feeder food Ultramin F. This ultra fine food is designed for Gorgonias, Sponges and non-photosynthetic corals, as well as various other filter feeders. Additionally, small fish and plankton feeders will also benefit from Ultramin F. Fauna Marin taglines the versions with “new mix, new design, more success”. The new food is said to be absorbed better by corals, and by so doing, making them more accepting in taking more Min D when mixed with Min-F. The larger particle-size range offered by the new version increases the number of coral species that benefit from the use of Ultramin F. “The filter feeders will grow faster producing more vibrant colours.”

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit a reef in a sub-marine? Well now you can (sort of). U-Boat Worx B.V., a Dutch manufacturer of exclusive private submarines, has opened a rental center in the Caribbeans.

“For tourists, this is a wonderful opportunity to discover the underwater world in an exclusive way. You do not need a diving license and our guests can chat with each other, while enjoying a glass of champagne.” say Peter de Hoop, U-Boat Worx Aruba’s managing director. The first of it’s kind, this rental center is to be used as a franchise model for other locations around the world.

A great feature of these submersibles, is that the passengers remain in a dry, “one-atmosphere environment”. This means that passengers can rapidly dive to the maximum depth of 100 meters and say there as long as the submersible will allow, then quickly return to the surface, without the need for decompression. Each C-Quester 3 unit can be configured for 2, three, and even four passengers, and has an operational autonomy of up to 6 hours. In case of an emergency, the unit can stay underwater for over 96 hours!! I know what you’re thinking…what about safety. Well, each C-Quester 3 is equipped with a lead weight that can be dropped, a depth sounder, underwater communication, and AC system and sonar. Optional accessories include video, tracking systems, an underwater modem, a high intensity lighting system, leather seating, and even an iPod docking station and speaker set. The C-Quester 3 (and 2) have surface speeds of 4 knots, and underwater speed of 2 knots.

The C-Quester start at around €550,000, so start saving your change now. For an hour on Aruba you pay approximately US$500 (so, US$250 per person per hour) which would be a pretty sweet deal for the rare chance to do something like this.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

A study suggests that as greenhouse gases turn the ocean more acidic, coral reefs around the world may actually be eaten away.

Dr. Jacob Silverman, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, has lead a study looking into the concern that as carbon dioxide levels rise, corals in the reefs will stop growing and will actually start to disintegrate. Dr. Jacobs says that “These ecosystems, which harbour the highest diversity of marine life in the oceans, may be severely reduced within less than 100 years.”

As the oceans soak up the greenhouse gases, they actually become more acidic as carbonic acid is formed. As these levels rise, corals are prevented from extracting the mineral necessary to build up their skeletal structure. Dr. Jacobs points out that mass reef bleaching which were very rare in the pre-industrial era, have become much more common nowadays.

More research must go into pin-pointing any other effects global warming may have on Coral Reefs as well as other natural resources.

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