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Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Here is a great video of lookdowns in their natural environment

Recently I’ve noticed some of my favorite LFS hot spots have been stocking lookdown fish (Selene vomer). The lookdown is an easily recognized fish with its tightly packed metallic scales, thin disk shaped body, and visible spine structure. The prices, seemed reasonable for such large and unique fish, but their temporary homes seemed unfit. I decided to research lookdowns and share the habitat needs in hopes of sparing some casualties. After all, many a newbie could find this attractive and affordable fish enticing and give it a whirl.

First of all, the fish prefer to be kept in schools of 5 or more. Now with each fish coming in at about $85.00, the investment just got a little steeper. Their actual aquarium needs, if researched should deter most potential suitors. For a juvenile lookdown, a tank no smaller than 125 gallons will do, but as they age the minimum tank requirement sky rockets to 900 gallons. For some of us, we could easily be talked into upgrading our systems to meet at least the juvenile requirements or even handle the adolescent mid-range, but the deal breaker is yet to come… Nothing should be in the tank other than the lookdowns. They prefer a soft sand or silt bed without rocks, corals, or any form of obstacle. These fish are open water dwellers and for long term success that needs to be replicated.

The lookdown is in line to be a popular trend in poorly kept aquaria, just like stingrays and small sharks have been for the past decade. A responsible LFS would educated anyone interested in buying one of these beauties, but then again if the LFS is keeping them in a 20 Long, how responsible can they be? If you are interested in this unique fish, do your research and plan for their growth.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

This is a great video of the Mayan Riviera’s abundant marine life that I found on JCVdude’s YouTube Channel. The video is short, but sweet. The schooling tangs are absolutely impressive. The Mayan Riviera is full of native species that are regulars in our home aquariums such as various tangs, puffers, and angelfish.

Just for fun, ID some of the fish in the video. Good luck.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

As many of us have experienced, Aiptasia Anemones can quickly take over our tanks and any failed attempt at removal generally leads to the rapid multiplication of these nasty little @$#%s. Hobbyists around the globe have used every concoction possible to rid their systems of aiptasias and very few of them have had success. I personally have failed with the following home remedies: kalkwasser paste, lemon juice, and hot water. Not that all of them didn’t kill the visible anemones, becuase they did. They just happened to cause the anemone to release planula (larvae) which subsequently led to huge future invasions.

After several failed attempts and horrendous break outs, I decided to take the commercial route. I purchased two of the leading brands in aiptasia removal. To be polite I will not mention the first product that was a total bust. I used the product first and watched over the next few weeks as the tank repopulated with pests. I then used the second product, Aiptasia X. The differences were clear from the from the first injection. The anemones did not retract, they latched onto the syringe like Whitney Houston to a crack pipe. The thick substance became adhesive-like and actually sealed the mouth shut after the anemone willingly ingested some of it.

The best part was yet to come, after watching the anemone slowly close up it imploded! I love a good firework style aiptasia implosion show. The Aiptasia X is not only reef-safe, but its remains are totally harmless to the reef’s inhabitants. It took very little product to fully eradicate the tank, which is great because this bottle should last a while. I am now almost four weeks out and I have not seen a single aiptasia. Thank you Aiptasia X for helping my nervous twitch disappear like the aiptasias that plagued my reef.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Nature-seekers are Victoria’s Goldstream Provincial Park witnessed an unexplained phenomenon this week – the river turned bright green. The waters ran green for only a few hours, but its impact on the environmentally sensitive estuaries that it reached are unknown.

In addition to the Goldstream River, a local fountain also spewed fluorescent waters briefly. The Ministry of Environment immediately sent teams out to the region to investigate. No animals have been found dead due to the substance, but further investigations will be needed to determine the cause and long term affects.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

If the aquarium trade had a livestock popularity contest the Bangaii Cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderini, would totally win. Bangaiis have been a first choice for many saltwater enthusiasts based on their great colorations and unique breeding habits. With such a demand, the fish have become nearly non-existent in their native home of Indonesia’s Bangaii Islands. It is guessed that over one million fish are captured annually.

It is speculated that an fish exporter relocated the bangaii cardinalfish to the Lembeh Strait in Sulawesi. Located 250 miles north of their native homes, the Lembeh Strait seems to be a perfect vacation home for the fish. Populations seems to be thriving with little to no impact on the native fauna.

Thank you Ana and Ed DeLoach for creating such an informative video that captures phenomenal shots of the Bangaiis in their new home.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I stumbled across this wicked goni (Goniopora) on the Cherry Corals website. The goni has purples, blues, greens, and pinks throughout and really is a quad-color. It looks like there is only one silver-dollar sized goni in stock and its going for $100. I think its a steal at twice the price for such a sweet looking goni.

Cherry Corals also have some of the sickest frag packs and offer Saturday shipping for $20 bucks. Check Cherry Corals out if you get a chance.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

A new forum has been launched for those of us treading the non-photosynthetic coral (NPS) waters.’s goal is to bring a greater understanding of the vibrant azooxanthellate corals that many of us reefers have tried and failed miserably to keep.

The forum will host a database of up-to-date information creating a mega source for the hobby. Azoox corals are unique and challenging which has caused the recent upswing in their popularity. If you are interested in learning more about NPS or have great info to share, check out the Azoox site.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

A 70,000 square feet aquarium has been financially secured for construction on the shore of Cleveland Flat’s west bank. The attraction is one of many new projects that the downtown area is launching in 2011, in hopes of revitalizing the once vivacious city center.

Jacobs Entertainment will be building the aquarium in two phases. The first phase will occupy the current Powerhouse building and the second will be a new build with the grand total coming in at about $73 million. The aquarium will be designed by the international aquarium builders Marinescape NZ ltd. Their work can be seen all over Europe, Australia, Asia, and their home country of New Zeeland.

The aquarium will have several exhibits and class rooms that will offer education and preservation opportunities. The aquarium’s stock plans are somewhat unknown as of now, but the future could hold some pretty big reefs for the Cleveland area. We will keep you posted as the development plans are made public.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

After months, perhaps even years of research I decided to take the plunge into clam ownership. I started preparing my tank months in advance, by implementing weekly water changes. I wanted to make sure that my clam was happy from the get go. Not to mention, I also have a huge fear of failure.

The delivery day arrives, and my new blue maxima clam opens up immediately after a long and steady drip acclimation. I was shocked at how quickly it made itself at home. After a few days, and light cycles, the mantle was fully extended. He is light and shadow reactive, which is a great sign of health. You could say that things were going swimmingly well.

I have read many pro and anti phytoplankton dosing articles and decided that with a well established tank with both T5s and Metal Halides I should be okay. Anyway, most of the research for maxima clam’s dietary needs seemed to be subjective. Months had gone by and he seemed to be, pardon my pun “happy as a clam”. This was true until a few days ago.

I was taking my nightly inventory, and noticed that the clam’s incurrent siphon was more open than usual. Several thoughts crossed my mind as to why this could be happening. One, I recently used AptasiaX near the clam. Two, the flow might be too strong. I adjusted my flow, and made sure that the appropriate amount was hitting the clam. Unfortunately, with clams once a sign of illness occurs, there is nothing that you can do to remedy it. It becomes a waiting game that usually ends in the death of a bivalve mollusk.

As the days progressed, I decided to do the final check one can do to discover if a clam is on its way out. I checked the feet of the clam and they were indeed detached, and had become a stinky brown slug-ish material. The end was near. I decided to remove the dying clam, prior to any huge releases of decomposing material were spread throughout the tank. When I removed him, I could smell my failure. Rotting clam is not a smell that is easily forgotten.

It all began with a gaping incurrent siphon, and within a matter of days it was over. I scoured the internet for answers. I researched every possible complication, and could not come up with a single connection to place the blame on. It was then that I read s great line that could benefit all of us obsessive hobbyists, “sometimes a clam just dies”.

If you have any clam related tips, please add them to the comment section below.

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

In the spirit of the recent shark attacks, I have become a bit preoccupied with our ocean’s most impressive hunters. While scanning the web I stumbled upon a pretty sweet shark news resource called the Shark Research Committee.

The Shark Research Committee is a pro-shark group that focuses on educating the public and keeping the sharks safe from us. For any of us ocean bound reefers, this is a great resource to keep up on the most recent bitings and sightings.

My personal favorite tales are the ones that the spotter mentions seeing Great White Sharks hunting Sea Lions weeks before, and then they went back surfing at the same location and are surprised when they see the shark swimming aggressively towards them. Gotta love the Fear-Factor lifestyle.

If you get a kick out of reading about other people’s brushes with death, definitely check out the Shark Research Committee site.

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