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Great Barrier Reef evacuations in anticipation of cyclone

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Over 300 people are being evacuated from various Great Barrier Reef islands as Cyclone Ului is anticipated to hit this weekend. Ului is currently a category four (out of five) cyclone, and is expected to cross over somewhere between Gladstone and Bowen or either Saturday and Sunday. The weather bureau reports expected swells of 8-10 meters which the Cyclone hits. It went on to add that a flood watch is in effect as well, due to potential heavy rains. It is important in cases like these, that tourists and residents are evacuated early enough that they are not trapped in hazardous sea conditions.

Julia Cook, acting police inspector, told ABC that “It’s unknown what will occur, however for safety … Lady Elliot and Heron Island, they will commence evacuation today.” Most agencies and resorts in the area will stay on high alert until Saturday, during which time they will reassess the risk potential.

The northeast coast of Australia was last hit by a category four storm back in 2006. Cyclone Larry delivered a devastating blow, causing over $321 million in damage to crops and infrastructure.

Transgenic Fish developed at the University of Rhode Island

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Transgenic fish have been developed by Terry Bradley at the University of Rhode Island. A 10-year scientific effort by Bradley and his team, yielded transgenic rainbow trout displaying enhanced muscle growth. After spending 500 hours injecting 20,000 rainbow trout eggs with several DNA types designed to inhibit myostatin. The fish spawned from these eggs developed “six pack abs”, even though fish do not have abdominal muscles. The fish also displayed enlarged shoulder muscle, with an overall total of 15-20 percent increase in muscle mass.

The fish seem to exhibit normal behavior, said Bradley, who believes that “The results have significant implications for commercial aquaculture and provide completely novel information on the mechanisms of fish growth. The results also allow for comparisons between the mechanisms of growth of muscle in mammals versus fish, and it could shed light on muscle wasting diseases in humans.”


Acrylic Bow Tank by Aqua Medic

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 10:55 am

The Aqua Medic Acrylic Bow Tank is featured in their latest catalog. This round aquarium, will be available in two sizes, 100cm (~39.4″) and 120cm (~47.2″) diameters. Each one of the Aqua Medic Bow Tank will be include an overflow and piping, and will be placed on a stainless steel stand with removable polished acrylic plates. Filters and lighting will be available for these tanks upon request, and stocking choices. This new aquarium looks pretty sharp and it is said that Aqua Medic is considering equipping it with the Blue Reef series of filters.

[via aqua medic]

CORAL Magazine March/April 2010 digital edition is out

Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 9:26 am

The new CORAL Magazine March/April 2010 digital edition is out with slew of informative articles. This CORAL Magazine edition is titled Smart Reefs and deals with energy-saving products and tactics. The articles cover the concept of green reef aquariums and provide some information about how to manage a thriving reef tank while using the least amount of energy. Selecting the best reflectors possible, in order to utilize every last bit of light products by your Metal Halides, T5 lamps, or LEDs is something that every hobbyist should consider. You may spend a little more upfront, but you’ll save both money and the environment at the end.

Other interesting topics covered in this issue of CORAL Magazine are Feeding Anemones, Controlling pH, and an inside look at the most diverse vertebrate group on earth: fish.

There are many other interesting articles included in the Coral Magazine March/April 2010 digital edition, so be sure to check it out.


Reef Angel controller kit

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Reef Angel is a new controller kit that offers the reefkeeper complete control over both hardware and software in order to accommodate any reefing needs. You can now build the controller you always wanted from the ground up, and use a simple interface and programming language to achieve your goals.

The Reef Angel utilizes a stable, open-source format, and is now available at a reduced price of $180 for the complete kit. The Reef Angel kit includes:
Main Board
– Assembled PCB board
* ATMega328P – microcontroller
* 2x 24LC256 – Serial I2C EEprom memory, one with jumper to block write access.
* PH circuit
* 128×128 color LCD screen
* DS3231 – Real time clock with battery backup
* Power LED
* Status LED, mainly used for alert and diagnostics.
* Thumb analog joystick
* 1x 8 Port I2C expander with inverter gate
* 1x 8 Port I2C expander with inverter gate circuit only (If you desire, you can solder the ICs to the board and have more I/O pins)

– Routed enclosure
– Mounting screws
– Assembly instructions

Relay Box
– Assembled PCB board
* 8x miniature relays
* relay driver circuit
* override and status LEDs circuit (the circuit is built in the board, but no switches or LEDs are going to be provided)
* PWM booster circuit for Meanwell drivers (Additional $15)
* 1000mA capable LED driver (Additional $25)
* 2x Plugable terminal connectors for LED cable if any of the 2 above choices are opted in.

– 8x Outlet sockets
– Inlet socket with built-in fuse compartment
– Connection wires
– Routed enclosure
– Mounting screws
– Assembly instructions

– 3x Temperature sensor ICs (They are not assembled in a cable)
– Connectors to assemble your own cable

Check it out on the Reef Angel website.

Premium Aquatics puts up a new website

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Premium Aquatics, a reef tools sponsor, has updated their website. The new Premium Aquatics website is nice and clean, is easy to navigate, and should do quite well for the gang at Premium Aquatics. Premium Aquatics specializes in “reef and saltwater marine aquariums, including lighting, halide, vho, compacts, protein skimmers, ro/di, liverock, cured and uncured, corals, crabs, snails, fish, miracle mud, additives, mysis shrimp, and more.”

You can always find the newest dry goods and great prices on the website, as well as get a peak at their choice livestock. Check it out at

Diablo Cone Skimmer coming soon to Reef Specialty

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

The Diablo Cone Skimmer is reported to be on it’s way to Reef Specialty, and should be available in about two months. This new pinwheel-pump driven skimmer, is has a footprint of 12.5″ x 8.5″ and is 19.5″ tall. The price has not been set at this time, but this powerful skimmer (25 SCFH or 700 liters of air per hour) is said to be reasonably priced. This 3″ x 6″ code skimmer delivers some design elements that have grown to be popular in the skimmer industry, namely, a bubble chamber, silencer, cup drain, twist turn cup removal, wedge valve and needle wheel. The Diablo Cone Skimmer comes with a molded venturi and pinwheel design that won’t require a mesh mod. Reef Specialty has been testing the prototype for a few weeks now, are have reported being “very pleased with this skimmer thus far.” We will release a few more detail shortly

California Sushi Shop Serves Whale Rolls… Deliciously Illegal

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 11:10 am

Santa Monica’s ubber-chic sushi restaurant The Hump will be facing some serious legal issues after two members of “The Cove” film team discovered Whale on the menu. “The Cove” a film about the annual slaughtering of dolphins in Japanese fishing village recently won an Academy Award for best documentary.

The investigation started when the two women were openly offered whale as an option and discretely snuck the pieces of meat out of the restaurant. They shipped the meat to a researcher at Oregon State University. He identified the sample’s DNA to be that of a sei whale. The sei whale has become the new target for whalers after the populations of right, humpback, fin, and blue whales have declined due to overfishing. The sei whale is now considered an endangered species.

The Hump’s parent company Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and head chef Kiyosho Yamamoto have admitted to serving whale meat. Their menu offers “a culinary adventure … unlike any that you have previously experienced.”, and they clearly delivered it. The receipts even list “whale” or “Kujira” on them at a price of $85. The restaurant has since pledged to set up procedures to ensure that it complies with laws and “becomes a good corporate citizen.”

The Restaurant posted the following message on their website.

“The charge against the restaurant is true: The Hump served whale meat to customers looking to eat what in Japan is widely served as a delicacy,” the statement continued. “In serving this meat, The Hump ignored its responsibilities to help save endangered whales from extinction and failed to support the world community in its uphill fight to protect all endangered species.”

The restaurant may face charges of up to $200,000 and a federal prison sentence of up to one year. U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. stated “Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species,” and with the help of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should not be able to go against the International Whaling Commission’s 1980 moratorium on commercial whale hunting.

DSPS tank from Thailand Oct 2009

Posted on Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Here’s another reef video of DSPS Tank from Thailand. This reef video, which was added on Oct 2009 shows this famous large reef tank in all of it’s glory. Beautiful SPS colonies “plague” this reef aquarium, and the colors are….well….out of this world. Some larger reef fish had been added to this tank, as well as clams, a blue carpet anemone, some scolys and so much more, that it makes listing an exercise in futility. Check it out and tell us what you think. Here is the most recent video of this tank, added on Feb.

EcoSmart Driver for Vortech Pumps by EcoTech Marine

Posted on Friday, March 12th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

The EcoSmart Driver for VorTech Pumps is the latest release from EcoTech Marine. Adding to their groundbreaking VorTechs, EcoTech Marine set out to make setting up and controlling multiple pumps a breeze. The result was the EcoSmart Driver, which allows for new modes and a wider wireless range.

“EcoSmart is the culmination of 18 months of development and our efforts at complimenting the best pump technology on the market with the most versatile, controllable and customizable driver ever manufactured,” said Tim Marks, president of EcoTech Marine. “The current VorTech wave driver is ground-breaking in its ability to deliver high performance and extensive functionality right out of the box. EcoSmart takes things to new heights.”

It is now easier than ever to position, set up, and automate the process of creating ideal flow in any reef tank. Just select a mode, and the EcoSmart will do the rest, basically a “set it and forget it”.

Adding to the “wow factor”, is the sleek LED interface of the EcoSmart, as well as the dial controlled speed adjustments, which offer a must more precise fin-tuning process, and allow the hobbyist the utmost control over their VorTechs.

Major features the EcoSmart Driver:

  • Convert any MP10 and MP40 to an EcoSmart driver, and to wireless
  • Increased master-slave pump relationship functionality
  • Easily auto-tune and program customized waves
  • New modes including tidal swell and nutrient transport for an even more realistic reef experience
  • Time and speed adjustable for feed and night modes
  • Sleek LED interface with on/off switch
  • Auto-dim automatically turns the LED’s off after a user-set amount
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