Thursday, February 28, 2008

No Payments for 90 Days

Those of you who shop at our our store have probably noticed some new messaging lately about Bill Me Later.

What the heck is Bill Me Later, you ask?

Bill Me Later is a fast, secure and easy way to pay at Marine Depot (and hundreds of other online stores) without ever opening your wallet to use a credit card.

In fact, it's as easy
as 1-2-3!

  1. Place items in your shopping cart
  2. Select Bill Me Later at checkout
  3. Answer two simple questions
    and accept the terms
That's it! Approval takes just seconds, then you'll get a statement in the mail. It's that easy.

But what I really wanted to tell you all about was our new BML offer: No Payments for 90 Days on purchases of $300 or more (or, if you prefer: 90 Days Same as Cash on purchases of $300 or more)!

If you're wondering "How does this affect me?" or "Why should I care?", I'm gonna tell ya.

If you're anything like me
ridiculously rich and devilishly handsome—naw, what I mean is most of us aren't rich and may not have a grand to spend on an aquarium light in any given month.

The beauty of Bill Me Later is that you can make your regular purchases (food, filter media, etc.) and, when the time comes, you can buy that thousand dollar light. And, as long as you pay it off within 3 months, you won't be charged a dime in interest.

90 days same as cash: it's a beautiful thing.

Next aquarium purchase for me: a protein skimmer (finally!).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Butterfly fish 'may face extinction'

A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction, scientists have warned.

The case of the Chevroned Butterflyfish is a stark example of how human pressure on the world’s coral reefs is confronting certain species with” ‘blind alleys’ from which they may be unable to escape, says Dr. Morgan Pratchett of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Media Release and James Cook University.

In a study published in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology Dr. Pratchett and Dr. Michael Berumen of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) warn that the highly specialized nature of the feeding habits of this particular butterflyfish—the distinctively patterned Chaetodon trifascialis—make it an extinction risk as the world’s coral reefs continue to degrade due to human over-exploitation, pollution and climate change.

“The irony is that these butterflyfish are widespread around the world, and you’d have thought their chances of survival were pretty good,” Dr. Pratchett said today. “But they only eat one sort of coral—Acropora hyacinthus—and when that runs out, the fish just disappear from the reef."

The team found it hard to believe a fish would starve rather than eat a mixed diet, so they tested C. trifascialis in tank trials on a range of different corals. The fish grew well when its favorite coral was available—but when this was removed and other sorts of corals offered, it grew thin, failed to thrive and some died.

“We call these kinds of fish obligate specialists. It means they have a very strong dietary preference for one sort of food, and when that is no longer available, they go into decline. We still don’t have a satisfactory scientific explanation for this, as it seems like rather a risky tactic in evolutionary terms—but it must confer some advantage provided enough of its preferred food is available,” Dr. Pratchett says.

A. hyacinthus coral, which the butterfly fish feeds on, is itself highly vulnerable—to attacks by plagues of crown-of-thorns starfish (thought to be triggered by humans releasing excess nutrients onto the reef as sediment, fertilizer or sewage), to storms and to the coral bleaching caused by the heating of ocean surface waters to 32 degrees or more, which is thought to be linked to global warming.

“Although extremely widespread, the Chevroned butterflyfish may be at considerable risk of extinction following ongoing degradation of coral reefs around the world, because the coral itself is exceptionally vulnerable,” Dr. Pratchett explains.

“It is estimated that up to 70 percent of the world’s coral reefs are now badly degraded, which usually involves the loss of this particular coral—and, when it goes, the
C. trifascialis also disappear from the reef.

“To make matters worse, butterflyfishes are one of the main families of coral reef fishes being targeted by aquarium collectors. However, the specialized coral-eaters are clearly not suitable for keeping in aquaria—and often die because they cannot obtain their main food source."

A previous case in which a coral-dependent fish vanished occurred in the case of Gobiodon, a specialized coral-dweller known only from one site, Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea, which was thought by scientists to have possibly become extinct after its habitat was destroyed.

Researchers consider that such extinctions are likely to occur as part of the global mass extinction of species now taking place, and that marine ecosystems may be particularly vulnerable in that small changes in habitat or water quality can have a big impact on their species.

Dr. Pratchett and Dr. Berumen say theirs is one of the few studies so far to consider the evolutionary and ecological basis of dietary versatility, and has implications for the fate of specialised feeders throughout the animal kingdom.

Source: Environmental News Network

Deal of the Week


Friday, February 22, 2008

Weird new fish discovered off Antarctica

This otherworldly creature was among a haul of strange new fish trawled from the bottom of the oceans of Antarctica.

The eelpout Pachycara cousinsi is one of six previously unknown deep-sea fishes caught at depths of 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) during a British research expedition to the remote Crozet Islands in the Indian Ocean between Antarctica and Africa.

Team member Nicola King of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, recently announced the new species.

P. cousinsi is known from just a single, 1.35 foot (41 centimeter) long specimen caught during the 2005 to 2006 voyage. King named the fleshy-lipped species in honor of her fiancé, geophysicist Michael Cousins.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the marine biologist said.

National Geographic

Killer fish terrifies Britain

A savage fish more terrifying than a piranha has been caught in Britain for the first time — sparking fears of a deadly invasion.

The vicious giant snakehead eats everything it comes across and has even been reported to kill people.

The monster — from south-east Asia — has a mouth crammed with fearsome teeth, can “crawl” on land and survive out of water for up to four days.

News that a 2ft specimen had been hooked in an English river caused widespread panic among anglers and conservationists.

An Environment Agency source said last night: “The reaction was, ‘Oh s***’. This is the ultimate invasive species — if it starts breeding here it’s a disaster.”

Angler Andy Alder caught the snakehead while using a sprat as bait for pike on the River Witham near North Hykeham, Lincs.

Andy, of Lincoln, said: “It had a gob full of razor-sharp teeth. To be honest it looked terrifying.”

Experts who studied photos of Andy’s catch confirmed it was the predator which is on a list of species that cannot be imported into the UK.

It is feared the fish had been smuggled in for an aquarium and then illegally released. Snakeheads caused chaos when they were found in America in 2002, with snipers setting up on banksides to shoot them and entire lakes being poisoned to kill them.

Ben Weir, of fishing mag Angler’s Mail, said: “In all my time of working within fishing I have never heard so many concerned voices.”

Adult snakeheads can grow to 3ft long and weigh as much as 44lb.

Source: The Sun

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2008 SouthWestern Coral Farmers Market

Scott, a member of our purchasing team (and one of our bloggers), sent me a link this morning to the SouthWestern Coral Farmers Market. They have an event this Sunday, February 24th, 2008 that I thought I'd share with you since 1/3 of the visitors to our blog are from California. The following text is from their website:

This 2008 Coral Farmers Market sanctioned event is the third annual event run by the SouthWestern Coral Farmers Market company. We now have confirmed reservations for 33 coral farming and exhibiting vendors who will be selling or displaying their captive grown, cultured corals or reef related products to the public. This is scheduled to be the largest Coral Farmers Market event to date. This will also be one of the largest displays of the absolute best exotic captive grown corals ever presented to the buying public. We expect at least 400 total attendees. Some of the best coral farming vendors from Southern California, the states of Utah, Nevada and Arizona along with farmers from the California Bay Area and Sacramento will be setting up coral displays. Farmers include aquarists, retail reef shops, online coral shops and full scale coral farming enterprises. There will also be exhibitors present who will be demonstrating and selling their products. This SW-CFM event will also feature coral auctions, raffles and door prizes throughout the day. Reef aquarists new to the captive reef market can also expect to see a fine collection of easy to keep beginner corals. For the first time in a Coral Farmers Market event we will also have a Marine Fish Hatchery company exhibiting and selling captive bred marine fish. Aquarists and enthusiasts can attend this one-day event by purchasing a SouthWestern Coral Farmers Market day ticket online for ($25). Tickets will also be sold at the door ($30) during the day of the event, but may be limited by occupancy restrictions. We are also encouraging our farmers to bring plenty of farmed soft corals along with their usual excellent farmed stony corals.
For more information, visit the SW-CFM website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marine Depot to carry Deltec Products

In an effort to deliver the best products for your reef aquarium setup, Marine Depot and Deltec have formed a partnership to bring you their professional line of protein skimmers, calcium reactors and fluidized reactors.

Deltec aquarium equipment is renowned throughout the world for its high performance and superior quality. Deltec has been working in the European marine aquarium industry for over 20 years and developed the pinwheel impellar more than 19 years ago.

Deltec products will be available online exclusively at
Marine Depot. Our expert staff will help you find the right products for your needs. Deltec will be available on our website beginning in April '08.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Researchers probe Southern Ocean's icy depths

Researchers from Australia, France and Japan have returned to port from the Southern Ocean following a two-month jaunt to probe the icy depths, which yielded some impressive footage of the abyss as well as a range of hitherto-unknown Antarctic sea monsters.

Oz's Aurora Australis joined France's L'Astrolabe and Japan's Umitaka Maru on the "census of life" dubbed the "Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census" (CEAMARC). While the French and Japanese ships busied themselves with examining the mid and upper ocean environment, Australian researchers concentrated their efforts on the ocean floor.

Aurora Australis
head scientist Dr. Martin Riddle says that the vessel's expedition uncovered "a remarkably rich, colorful and complex range of marine life in this previously unknown environment".

He added: "Some of the video footage we have collected is really stunning – it's amazing to be able to navigate undersea mountains and valleys and actually see what the animals look like in their undisturbed state.

"In some places every inch of the sea floor is covered in life. In other places we can see deep scars and gouges where icebergs scour the sea floor as they pass by. Gigantism is very common in Antarctic waters – we have collected huge worms, giant crustaceans and sea spiders the size of dinner plates."

CEAMARC, the Australian Antarctic Division
explains, forms part of the international Census of Antarctic Marine Life which it coordinates, and will involve 16 voyages to Antarctic waters during the "International Polar Year" of 2007-2009.

The census will "survey the biodiversity of Antarctic slopes, abyssal plains, open water, and under disintegrating ice shelves", and aims to "determine species biodiversity, abundance and distribution and establish a baseline dataset from which future changes can be observed".

Riddle elaborated: "This survey establishes a point of reference to monitor the impact of environmental change in Antarctic waters. For example, ocean acidification, caused by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, will make it harder for marine organisms to grow and sustain calcium carbonate skeletons.

"It is predicted that the first effects of this will be seen in the cold, deep waters of Antarctica. Our results provide a robust benchmark for testing these predictions."

There are links to more pictures and movie material of the Southern Ocean's depths

The Register

Monday, February 18, 2008

Deal of the Week


Friday, February 15, 2008

Pom Pom Crab sans Pom Pom

We've had a Pom Pom Crab in the marketing tank for 9-10 months and recently we noticed that one of his/her "pom poms" was missing.

Normally the Pom Pom is pretty coy and cautious about coming out of the rockwork, but recently we began feeding the tank a little less to help thwart an issue we were having with
flatworms, so the Pom Pom has been coming out into the open more ... which is how we noticed the missing pom pom.

So we're curious: is this normal, or was the Pom Pom perhaps injured somehow?

cleaner and coral banded shrimps molt, so I wasn't really sure if this little crab goes through similar changes. We don't have any predators in the tank except for, perhaps, the coral banded. We have your usual mix of snails, hermits and fish (clown, midas & scooter blennys and a blue assessor).

I described this scenario in the
Marine Depot Forum this morning, so hopefully some of you help us find an answer.

If you're interested in joining the discussion, please leave a comment here or
visit the thread on our forum.

Schooling fish and a fish going to school are not the same

Most of our regular readers are familiar with my Maroon Clown, Malcom, since he’s been featured in a few comic strips and blog posts. What you may not know about my favorite clownfish is that he also does tricks.

Yeah, that’s right. I said tricks.

Take, for example, our morning feedings. On days when I lag or outright forget to feed, Malcom will remind me of my oversight by gently tapping on the glass (don’t ask me how he does this; every time I look over, he’s just there staring at me with hungry eyes). Should further negligence occur, he’ll rear back, aim and spit water at me.

I also use food as an incentive to get Malcom to peform: many times I’ll have him swim backwards and wiggle his tail before I’ll drop food into the tank.

So all this trickery got me thinking: do other fish do this?

I decided I’d Google “fish tricks” to see if there were any other fish out there like Malcom. And, “Who knows?” I thought. Maybe I’d find some other circus performers out there and even some info to help me teach him a new act.

So that’s how I stumbled upon the R2 Fish School, brought to you by the same folks that manufacture R2 Aquarium Moonlighting.

After watching the videos, I was stunned. The myth about fish only having a 3-second memory was busted.

Immediately I began searching for the “Add to Cart” button only to discover that The R2 Fish School Complete Training Kit will be available “soon.”

Soon?!? When is soon? I want it now!

Well, I guess I’ll have to wait somewhat patiently until the messaging on R2’s site is updated.

In the meantime, you can join me by teaching your old fish some new tricks.

Here’s to education!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whale Crossing

Happy Valentine's Day!

I received an email this morning from the
Ocean Conservancy that I thought I'd share with you.

Oh, and hey: don't think we're getting all political on you or anything. This is more or less FYI in case you want to get involved or learn more.

Anyhoo, here's the meat of the email:

February 20th is an anniversary we do not look forward to celebrating. That day marks one full year that the Bush administration has stalled ship strike protections for endangered North Atlantic right whales—a year in which two more North Atlantic right whales were struck, out of a population that totals only about 350. How many more whales need to be injured and killed from ship strikes before the Bush administration will take action to protect them? Let the President’s Office of Management and Budget hear your voice on behalf of whales.

Ship strikes are the number one cause of death and serious injury to endangered whales, but rather than demanding responsible business practices from shipping companies, the government has stalled rulemaking that would force ships to slow down to protect critically endangered whales. A few influential shipping industry interests have the resources to be heard loud and clear by the Bush administration, while the administration continues to ignore clear scientific evidence showing that slower speeds would save whales. The Bush administration needs to hear your voice on behalf of whales.

If you'd like to sign the petition to tell the Bush administration to stop stalling protections for endangered whales, click on the button below.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Judge limits Navy's use of sonar to protect marine mammals

A federal judge has ruled that the Navy must stop blasting sonar in several areas of the world's oceans to protect whales and other marine mammals.

U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte found that the Navy's use of low-frequency sonar to detect submarines threatens the animals' ability to find food and avoid predators.

Five years ago, Navy officials agreed to shut off the sonar when they spot whales and other marine mammals, but the Laporte said yesterday that visual monitoring wasn't reliable enough.

The San Francisco-based judge ordered the Navy to establish sonar-free zones in several parts of the world, including the Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and the Davidson Seamount near Monterey Bay.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled the President Bush cannot exempt the Navy from complying with a no-sonar zone off the Southern California coast.

Source: The Associated Press

Deal of the Week

Lumatek 250W/120V Digital Ballast


"Trash Island" discovered in the Pacific Ocean

It has been described as the world's largest rubbish dump, or the Pacific plastic soup, and it is starting to alarm scientists.

It is a vast area of plastic debris and other flotsam drifting in the northern Pacific Ocean, held there by swirling ocean currents.

Discovered in 1997 by American sailor Charles Moore, what is also called the great Pacific garbage patch is now alarming some with its ever-growing size and possible impact on human health.

The "patch" is in fact two massive, linked areas of circulating rubbish, says Dr Marcus Eriksen, research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, founded by Moore.

Although the boundaries change, it stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the coast of California, across the northern Pacific to near the coast of Japan.

The islands of Hawaii are placed almost in the middle, so piles of plastic regularly wash up on some beaches there.

"The original idea that people had was that it was an island of plastic garbage that you could almost walk on. It is not quite like that. It is almost like a plastic soup," Dr Eriksen says.

"It is endless for an area that is maybe twice the size as continental United States," he says.

The concentration of floating plastic debris just beneath the ocean's surface is the product of underwater currents, which conspire to bring together all the junk that accumulates in the Pacific Ocean.

Moore, an oceanographer who has made the study of the patch his full-time occupation, believes there is about 100 million tonnes of plastic circulating in the northern Pacific - or about 2.5 per cent of all plastic items made since 1950.

About 20 per cent of the junk is thought to come from marine craft, while the rest originates from countries around the Pacific like Mexico and China.

Australia plays its part too, he says.

The waste forms in what are called tropical gyres - areas where the oceans slowly circulate due to extreme high pressure systems and where there is little wind.

The garbage in the patch circulates around the North Pacific Gyre, the world's largest.

A lack of big fish and light winds mean it's an area of the Pacific less travelled by fishing boats and yachts.

Moore says he discovered the floating mass of rubbish by chance, after steering his catamaran into the gyre while returning home from a yacht race.

Historically, flotsam in the gyres has biodegraded. But modern plastics do not break down like other oceanic debris, meaning objects half a century old have been found in the North Pacific Gyre.

Instead the plastic slowly photodegrades, becoming brittle and disintegrating into smaller and smaller pieces which enter the food chain and end up in the stomachs of birds and other animals.

Because the plastic is translucent and lies just beneath the surface, it is apparently undetectable by satellite photos.

"It is not like going to a parking lot after a rugby match. It is not like a landfill," he says.

"The material is breaking down continually. It is photodegrading all the time. It is what I call a kaleidoscope or an alphabet soup. You won't see it from a satellite shot of the ocean. You only see it from the bows of ships," he says.

If the waste is to be controlled people must stop using unnecessary disposable plastics, otherwise it is set to double in size during the next 10 years, Moore warns.

Dr Eriksen said the small plastic particles acted like a sponge to trap many dangerous man-made chemicals that found their way into the ocean, like hydrocarbons and DDT.

"What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate, It is that simple," Dr Eriksen said.

Larger pieces of plastic are also a threat to birds, which mistake them for food.
Dr Eriksen said he has found syringes, cigarette lighters and tooth brushes from the patch inside sea bird carcases.

Professor David Karl, an oceanographer from the University of Hawaii, said the garbage patch represented a new habitat, and more studies were needed to find out what impact it was having on the ocean's eco-system.

Source: Australian Associated Press

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fact Or Fiction

Cruising the World Wide Web as I often do (not at work, boss, honest!), I came across a very unusual fish.

In fact, I’m even sure if it’s real.

One photograph reveals what appears to be a fish so long that it takes 10+ grown men to hold it up for the shot.

Is this fact … or fiction?

In any case, it seemed
beyond belief so I thought I’d let you, dear reader, decide.

Here is the link:
Strange Fish

Marketing vs. Flatworms - Round 1: Draw

Just a quick update before the weekend in case any of you were wondering how Blue Life's Flatworm Control dealt with our little worm infestation.

I can say with absolute certainty that this stuff does indeed work and there hasn't been any noticeably adverse effects to any of the fish, inverts or corals in the marketing tank.

But the problem is far from solved.

Clearly there has been a reduction in the number of flatworms since we used the flatworm treatment. But there are still flatworms in the tank, especially in areas where there is less flow.

Our tank is in the office, for those of you who are just joining us, so we don't have a lot of room for equipment. Within our 24-gallon AquaPod we have a Hydor Koralia 1, Hydor Koralia Nano and Hydor FLO Deflector to produce movement within the tank, and the rock work has been epoxied together so we don't intend to move anything around.

I'm wondering though: should I try to achieve even more flow? Should I mount another Koralia Nano and point it at the rear of the tank where the flatworms seem to form a single file line up the back wall?

Perhaps dealing with flatworms is like dealing with aiptasias: an ongoing process that we'll deal with as necessitated by their presence in the tank.

Steven Pro reports in his article, "
The Use, Overuse, and Abuse of Biological Controls" on Reef Hobbyists Online that "the common rust-brown flatworms are not parasitic. They don't do any direct damage to corals or fish. At worst, they are simply unattractive when their population blooms to plague-like proportions."

I think we'll try another dosage of the
Blue Life's Flatworm Control next week, then heed the advice of more advanced reefers and try feeding a little less and maybe reposition our powerheads.

I don't want, as Mr. Pro so eloquently states, to "overuse and abuse" the flatworm treatment, especially if they're not doing any real harm.

Glassbox also left a couple of suggestions as comments to our last flatworm post that we're taking into consideration.

If anyone else has any feedback on the subject, feel free to share your experiences!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Flatworms ... I like Flatworms (not really)

As if Aiptasia anemones weren't nuisance enough, now we have these little buggers to contend with.

It can be difficult to rid ones tank of
flatworms. Our 24-gallon AquaPod has an infestation of your common Rust Brown Flatworm (or Convolutriloba retrogemma, for you true fish geeks out there).

I should preface that we got a
Six Line Wrasse to help, but he jumped into the back of the tank and croaked before we even got a chance to put him to work. Next we thought about getting a Blue Velvet Nudibranch to eradicate the flatworms, but after the untimely death of Nudi Giuliani and then the Six Line, we thought it best to try something new.

Fortunately, Jeremy from Blue Life USA visited the office recently and dropped us off some supplies to help us remedy the problem.

He advised us to check our Phosphate level using a 2-part solution test kit from
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. Heeding his instructions, we learned our Phosphate was nearly 0.0 ppm, so there was no need to use the Blue Life Phosphate Control he so generously provided us.

The box for
Blue Life's Flatworm Control states that you should "add 2 drops of Flatworm Control for every 10 gallons of water."

That's where we're at as of this writing. Since flatworms can be toxic to aquarium inhabitants, we'll be performing a 25% water change once the results are visible.

I'll report back soon to let you know how everything worked out!

Swimmers' Sunscreen Killing Off Coral

The sunscreen that you dutifully slather on before a swim on the beach may be protecting your body—but a new study finds that the chemicals are also killing coral reefs worldwide.

Four commonly found sunscreen ingredients can awaken dormant viruses in the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that live inside reef-building coral species.

The chemicals cause the viruses to replicate until their algae hosts explode, spilling viruses into the surrounding seawater, where they can infect neighboring coral communities.

Zooxanthellae provide coral with food energy through photosynthesis and contribute to the organisms' vibrant color. Without them,
the coral "bleaches"—turns white—and dies.

"The algae that live in the coral tissue and feed these animals explode or are just released by the tissue, thus leaving naked the skeleton of the coral," said study leader Roberto Danovaro of the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy.

The researchers estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons o
f sunscreen wash off swimmers annually in oceans worldwide, and that up to 10 percent of coral reefs are threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching.

The study appeared online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Activated Viruses

Danovaro and his team studied the effects of sunscreen exposure on coral samples from reefs in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

Even low levels of sunscreen, at or below the typical amount used by swimmers, could activate the algae viruses and completely bleach coral in just four days, the results showed.

Seawater surrounding coral exposed to sunscreen contained up to 15 times more viruses than unexposed samples.

Several brands of popular sunscreens were tested and all had four ingredients in common: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and a camphor derivative.

Dangerous Dose

Robert van Woesik, a coral expert at the Florida Institute of Technology, was not involved in the research.

He questions whether conditions in the study accurately reflect those found in nature.

For example, the coral samples were exposed to sunscreen while in plastic bags to avoid contaminating the reefs. But van Woesik worries this prevented dilution of the chemicals through natural water circulation.

"Under normal situations on a coral reef, corals would not b
e subjected to these high concentrations because of rapid dilution," van Woesik said.

But according to study author Danovaro, the effect is not dose dependent—so coral's exposure to a very small dose of sunscreen is just as dangerous as a high exposure.

"It is more like on-off," he said. "Once the viral epidemic is started, it is not a problem of toxicity."

Alarming Trend

Rebecca Vega Thurber, a ma
rine virus and coral researcher at San Diego State University in California, said the new results are further evidence of an alarming trend.

"Other [human-induced] factors such as coastal pollution, overfishing, and sedimentation all contribute to coral reef habitat degradation, and this work continues in that vein," said Vega Thurber, who was also not involved in the research.

(Related news: "
Coral Reefs Vanishing Faster Than Rain Forests" [August 7, 2007].)

"But before we ban sunscreens, we must first determine if local ambient concentrations of sunscreens are positively correlated with coral bleaching events."

Danovaro says banning sunscreen won't be necessary, and points out two simple things swimmers can do to reduce their impact on coral: Use sunscreens with physical filters, which reflect instead of absorb ultraviolet radiation; and use eco-friendly chemical sunscreens.

Read about other ways you can protect the oceans.)

Australian researchers are also working to develop a sunscreen based on a natural ultraviolet-blocking compound found in coral.

Source: National Geographic

Monday, February 04, 2008

Responsible Reef Keeping

As promised in my post last week on $150 Yellow Tangs, I am going to start bringing you the, the reader, the latest in Marine Ornamental Aquaculture.

This week, I would like to bring to your attention a website that has an ever growing library of information on this subject,

Coming up on it first anniversary, this site already boasts over 500 members dedicated to the "Art & Science" of breeding fish and inverts.

In the forums you will find over 16,500 articles posted on many common aquarium species.

For a bit of freindly competition check out the
2008 Breeder's Challenge. This years choice of fish, the Bangaii Cardinal, is especially important because:

"We can anticipate the Bangaii Cardinalfish to be deservingly listed with CITES under Appendix II protection." Matt Pedersen (mwp) MOFIB
CITES Appendix II protection prohibits the import of a species into the United States. This is why it is important to promote research into sustainable breeding programs.

For more information on proper breeding practices visit their

For broodstock you can visit the

If you can't find the species you want, then start with something close and experiment. You might just be on the cutting edge of Aquaculture.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Deal of the Week

Pacific Coast Flow Accelerator


Learn More ...