Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

»Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Blog, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

In the past blogs we have looked at the favorite nano and medium marine fish for our aquaria, now we are going to look the favorite large fish, 8”+, for marine aquaria. #8. Miniatus grouper- The miniatus is the perfect grouper for a large aquarium. Who can deny a grouper with fire engine red coloration with striking blue dots? They can handle the roughest of tank mates for those who have aggression issues. #7. Bluejaw Trigger- All types of marine aquaria always want to have a trigger in it. From reefs to fish only, the bluejaw fits the bill. They are peaceful enough to go with our medium sized selection as well. Males show a bright blue chin and yellow highlights in their dorsal and anal fins. #6. Lionfish- What large fish aquarium would be complete without a lionfish? They are the definition of exotic. They look the part while always having an air of danger. Keep cautious, they are venomous which we all react differently to. #5. Dogface Puffer- Come on, they look like a dog with the snout! They come in variations from simple grey to the color of a brick of gold. Those who keep these puffers should feed foods with a hard shell or are gummy to wear down their teeth. Otherwise, you will need a special dentist to fix their overgrown chompers. #4. Imperator Angel- No favorite big fish list can be complete without a few angels on it. What other family of fish are as beautiful as angelfish? The imperator is one of the favorites among marine aquarists. The coolest thing is watching an imperator morph from a juvenile coloration to an adult. #3. Harlequin Tusk- One of the most popular fish of all. The harlequin tusk is best known for its bright blue teeth and striking orange and red bars. They should be only cautiously mixed with other wrasse species. #2. Queen Angel- No large aquarium is complete without a queen angel. Its color and temperament makes it the perfect addition. Queen angels are one of the few species of fish available from the Caribbean. #1. Porcupine Puffer- One of the most popular marine fish in general. Every aquarist wants to have a puffer and who can deny the porcupine? Alien looking eyes, puppy dog attitude, and puffing into a ball of spikes make the porcupine the essential fish for a large...

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Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Jenn, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them Thanks to globalization, there’s a variety of aquatic plants and animals available in the aquarium trade that has never been seen before. While this means more gorgeous tanks and ponds than ever, it also brings a new threat: invasive species. You’ve probably heard about the snakehead, a predatory fish native to Asia that can travel short distances on land, leading it to populate New England, or maybe your rose bushes have been chewed up by Japanese beetles. Those are both invasive species, introduced to the US accidentally in the case of Japanese beetles, and purposefully as food stock in the case of snakeheads. Animals are not the only living things that can become problems when introduced to lands not originally their own. Aquatic plants can also cause destruction when introduced to rivers, lakes, or oceans. Following are the three most common invasive plants found in the aquarium trade. After learning about the damage they can cause, we’ll learn how to prevent it.   Anacharis: A common trait all of these plants have is their ease of care, which lends itself to their success in environments they should not be in. Anacharis is possibly the easiest plant on this list. It requires medium light (perfect for lakes) and doesn’t even need to be planted in the substrate to thrive and grow. Floating anacharis will grow roots along its stem, drawing nutrients directly from the water column. Anacharis can be propagated by breaking the stems into pieces, which is great news for a plant that humans try to physically remove from waterways. Any pieces left behind can immediately begin to repopulate. Problem: Anacharis grows faster than many native aquatic plants and can block out light and rob them of nutrients, out-competing them. Anacharis can also form thick floating mats that prevent recreation like swimming, rowing, fishing, and boating. An unsuspecting boater can get a nasty surprise when their propeller gets tangled in a mass of anacharis.   Water hyacinth: An admittedly gorgeous ornamental pond plant, water hyacinth has a dark side. Like anacharis, it can form massive, acres in width patches, blocking light from lower levels of the water and making recreation difficult if not impossible. Its light blocking effect doesn’t just slow down growth of other aquatic plants. Preventing light from reaching those plants prevents them from photosynthesizing, which prevents them from producing oxygen. Additionally, just the hyacinths’ presence on the water surface decreases the area for gas exchange. What we end up with is a body of water that is oxygen starved and full of dying fish. Waterfowl can’t land on hyacinths. Their habitat is effectively destroyed when lakes and rivers are clogged with floating plants. The density of hyacinth patches slows down any water movement at the surface, enabling algae growth and mosquito breeding (and remember, all the fish that might eat the larvae are already dying from a lack of oxygen). Hyacinths are also excellent at reproduction, employing two strategies: budding, and seeds. During their active growing season, hyacinths grow “daughter plants,” small hyacinths that grow off of the original plant until they are large and established enough to grow on their own, and then break off and begin growing and budding on their own. Hyacinths can also reproduce sexually, producing seeds. Seeds are the insidious sleeper cells. They can begin growing within a few days, or lie dormant for years in case of unfavorable conditions like droughts. Once the environment is more conducive to growth, the seeds will sprout and begin the invasion all over again. The main weaknesses of water hyacinth are herbicides and cold winters, which have prevented their spread into the northern half of the US.   Water lettuce: Can any plant sound less threatening? Water lettuce? C’mon. How dangerous can soggy Romaine be? Don’t be fooled: this plant is nearly as bad as water hyacinth. It is another floating plant that clogs up rivers and lakes, out-competing native plants, lowering oxygen concentrations, creating mosquito nurseries, and stealing habitats. Additionally, it’s invaded Hawaii, where some of their most important crops are grown at least partially underwater, like taro and rice, and is becoming a noxious weed. Another layer of difficulty in controlling water lettuce is its inedibility. Very few animals are willing to eat it, because it is full of needle-like crystals made of calcium oxalate. Eating water lettuce would lead to a severe itchy burning sensation in your mouth and throat, as well as damage to your GI tract. Only two animals can really make a dent: the hippo, and the manatee. Unfortunately, it would be a...

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Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

»Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Blog, Patrick D, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016 The following list compiles our best sellers among the small tropical group. Most of these fish make great nano reef inhabitants (30 gallons and under). Reef keepers of all sizes desire these fish for their color and behavior, making them the most popular among all marine hobbyists. For most of these fish it is advised to only purchase one per aquarium, regardless of size.   #8 Filamentosa/Flasher Wrasse These small wrasses get their name from the extraordinary dorsal fins and “flashing” colors. They are all from the Indo-Pacific reefs and must be fed Calanus Arcti-Pods to retain their colors. #7 O-Spot Prawn Goby These sand-movers and shakers are one of the most desired nano fish because of their symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. They are inexpensive, hardy, and fun to keep. #6 Maroon Clowns They are the only clownfish with a separate genus (Premnas). They use a unique spine on their operculum to spar with other clownfish and conspecifics, thus never add them with other clownfish. #5 6-Line Wrasses A hardy wrasse that stays small (less than 1.5 inches). Although look out! They can be aggressive toward other tankmates later on. #4 Yellowtail/Blue Damsels Only keep one per aquarium. These smallish guys never hide and are some of the most resilient yet docile Pomacentrids. #3 Royal Grammas This beautiful small basslett comes from Caribbean waters, often seen by divers off the coast of Florida. #2 Green Chromis One of the most widespread fishes of the Indo-Pacific tropical reefs, they can be kept in groups in 40 gallons or larger. We recommend not starting with them and only purchasing SHIEC-collected specimens. Come in and ask about this sustainability effort! #1 Ocellaris Clowns “Nemo” – Almost all in the trade are Aquacultured. This is a huge step for our industry. If interested, please call or stop in with any questions you may have on these fish. As an added bonus, mention you saw them on “the most popular 2016” list and get 20% off any of these fish for purchase. Stay tuned for Most Popular 2016 medium...

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Pests in the Reef Aquarium

»Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Blog, Education, Josh M, Reef Aquariums, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pests in the Reef Aquarium

  As aquarists, it brings us great joy seeing the organisms in our tanks not just survive but thrive and grow.  To the reef aquarists it’s a more acute feeling, whether it’s seeing our single polyp of rasta zoanthid start growing like mad or that acropora frag that you’ve had for months start growing ever so slightly at the base of the plug that it’s on.  That feeling of excitement at seeing our corals and other organisms grow in our tanks is, for most, the reason we keep a reef tank.  This is why it’s heartbreaking and frustrating when your corals become dinner for some strange little creature that has randomly appeared in your beautiful tank.  Sadly this happens more often than not, but there is hope! In this piece I’ll go over a few more common pests that can appear in a reef aquarium and how to remove them safely so that your coral can once again go about growing and thriving. Flatworms Flatworms, also known as planaria, are flat disc shaped worms that crawl on corals and coralimorphs.  The reason they do this is because they contain symbiotic zooxanthellae in their tissue that perform photosynthesis and provide the flatworm with nourishment and in exchange get a home just like corals.  This means they have to find a nice bright location for the algae to perform photosynthesis, and the best place in a reef tank is unfortunately on our corals.  When they do this they can effectively smother corals with their numbers and prevent the corals themselves from photosynthesizing. Treatment The best way to remove flatworms is by manual removal, the most efficient method is dipping the affected corals.  The best results we’ve seen is from Revive by Two Little Fishes.  The dip will knock off the flatworms almost immediately.  Another way to get rid of flatworms is using a predator.  Blue Velvet Sea Slugs of the genus Chelidonura are highly efficient at eating flatworms but unfortunately don’t live very long after eradicating them. Nudibranchs We all know about the beautiful, colorful sea slugs from nature documentaries.  The ones I’m talking about are anything but.  Coral eating nudibranchs typically feed on montipora and zoanthid corals in reef tanks.  The main problem with nudibranchs is that they not only eat corals but they also lay lots of egg clusters near their victim so that their offspring have a meal as soon as they hatch.  The eggs look like the cerata on the adult nudibranch’s back and are laid in clusters that often look like spirals on or near their host coral.      Treatment Just as you would get rid of flatworms, dipping corals affected with nudibranchs will remove the adults.  The eggs however can really only be removed manually with a pick-like tool of some kind.  If you don’t want to poke and prod your corals to remove the eggs dip the corals constantly until no more nudibranchs are found. Mantis Shrimp Everybody knows about these guys and dreads hearing that clicking sound in their tanks.  Mantis shrimp are not typically a threat to corals but pose a very real threat to the fish and other motile invertebrates that call a reef tank home.  Some species of mantis shrimp that hitch a ride in live rock are nocturnal and are active hunters during this time.  This is of course bad news for the unsuspecting fish that’s caught sleeping in a rock or the snail that’s happily grazing on algae. Treatment Unfortunately, mantis shrimp are difficult to remove from an established aquarium.  The best way to remove them is to make an effective trap or find the spot in the tank that it calls home and remove it manually.  If you choose the latter route, use caution. Mantis shrimp claws can hit with enough force to create light, heat and sound.  As one can imagine it’s not a great feeling when one of these guys attacks your hand so use extreme caution in removing and handling a mantis shrimp.   These are a few of the pests that plague reef aquariums.  The best way to remove these little devils is to ensure they don’t get into your tank in the first place.  Prevention is key when it comes to stopping outbreaks of these little critters from making your experience in reef aquaria less than...

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