I love the rockwork in this innovative Fish Only With Live Rock tank:

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Actually, despite the name the tank clearly has a few soft corals, too.

Tanks like this are cleverer than they look. They’re not just pleasing on the eye — keeping the decoration in the middle like that effectively doubles the territory, and keeps fish out of each other’s sight.

The drilled rock has been pinned together using plastic rods. A fair bit of effort, but worth it!

Politicians won’t move to save the people of Bangladesh or the Maldives so hoping they’ll sort out climate change for the seas – the most neglected of all Earthly habitats – is wishful thinking.

But that doesn’t mean such hopes aren’t right, that efforts are futile, or that this video isn’t worth sharing with as many people as you can, via your own reef blogs and websites:

Coral reefs and climate change, a message for Copenhagen.

The reviews have started coming in of the revamped Sea Life London Aquarium, which is located on the South Bank of the Thames river here in the city that headquarters AquaDaily.

The highlight of the London Aquarium relaunch is new ‘Shark Walk’ over the surface of the water.

Perspex viewing windows enable you to look down on tiger, brown, zebra and nurse sharks, as well as southern stingrays, and an escape route has been built in for those who find a 4-metre long shark scarier than they expected to.

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The Vortech MP10 pushes 500 to 1,575 gallons per hour

The Vortech MP10 pushes 500 to 1,575 gallons per hour

Rated for tanks from 20 to 50 gallons in size, Ecotech Marine’s new Vortech MP10 propeller pump looks an excellent addition to the company’s innovative line of circulation devices.

Vortech MP10 specs

Flow: 500 to 1575 gph
Wattage: 8 to 18 watts
Maximum Tank Thickness: 3/8″
Tank range: 2.5 to 50 gal
Dimensions: Wet Side- 2.5″ by 1.5″ long; Dry Side – 2.5″ by 2″ long
Space needed behind aquarium: 2.25″

Like EcoTech’s other Vortech pumps, the nicest aspect of the MP10 is that the pump comes in two parts. The electrics and motor sits outside of the glass, with the propeller powered within the tank via magnetic induction through the tank glass.

This two-part design keeps heat transfer in the tank to a minimum, compared to other water-cooled pumps, which is especially handy for the nano-range tanks the MP10 is aimed at.

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Non-photosynthetic coldwater corals are definitely not for beginners

Non-photosynthetic coldwater corals are definitely not for beginners

Photo by: Steve Weast

Blame my holiday, but I’ve only just caught up with the latest issue of Advanced Aquarist, and its article on coldwater marine aquariums.

It’s a pretty good read, particularly if you want to know more about the physics of heat and light that leads to such different coastal habitats in the chilly North compared to that enjoyed near the equator:

Due to differences in seawater density (the result of different seawater temperatures), sea level is approximately 8 cm (3 in) higher at the equator than it is at the poles. The resulting slope is sufficiently steep enough to move enormous amounts of water to the poles. Cooled, denser polar waters sink and creep back to the tropics from the deep.

Another, more complex, system of currents is driven by the planetary wind system. At the equator, moist, heated air rises and drifts toward the poles. Much of the moisture is lost by rain as the air cools en rout. At about 30° north and south, this drier, cooler, denser air sinks. It is then reheated and rehydrated, it rises again and flows to about 60° north and south were it produces yet another high-precipitation area. These much cooler winds flow into the polar regions.

There’s lots more where that came from, as well as a discussion about whether coldwater marine keeping could take up some of the demand currently exerted on tropical reefing, and what the consequences might be.

Keeping coldwater marine creatures

While the article touches on one big problem – the limited supply of livestock – there’s not much else about the practicalities of coldwater marine fishkeeping.

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The Fluval Edge is clearly meant as a designer aquarium

The Fluval Edge is clearly meant as a designer aquarium

Hagen’s new Fluval Edge aquarium is due to go on sale next week. It’s a striking design, but I’ve got a few queries about how this fish tank will perform in every day use.

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Previously one of the excellent bloggers at the Microcosm Aquarium Explorer website, Mike Maddox has now moved his marine blog over to Captive Aquatics.

Captive Aquatics is Maddox’s new Texas, U.S.-based aquarium installation and care business:

The staff at Captive Aquatics have over twenty years’ combined experience in the field of aquatic science. We are experts, and are well-renowned in our field. Experience is what sets us apart: anyone can read a book about aquarium keeping, or buy a few animals and hope for the best, but we have vast amounts of experience to draw upon. This isn’t our first time to set up an aquarium: we’ve done this before, and done it well, and can do the same for you.

The company says it will cater for clients of all sizes, from those looking for an expertly set-up home aquarium to a company putting together a collecting station in the Philippines.

While it would have been far preferable not to bomb and poison the reefs of Pemuteran to the edge of oblivion in the first place, this restoration initiative by Dr Thomas Goreau using his ‘Biorock Process’ is pretty inspiring:

The method delivers safe, low voltage electrical currents via cables, and through seawater, to submerged metal reef structures. This causes dissolved minerals to crystallise out onto the structures as a white limestone substrate (similar to that which naturally makes up coral reefs and tropical white sand beaches), meanwhile accelerating the formation and growth of the skeletons of corals and other shell-bearing animals – at two to six times natural rates.

The structures eventually become rapidly colonised by a full range of coral reef organisms, including fish, crabs, clams, octopus, lobster and sea urchins. Species typically found in healthy reef environments are given an electrical advantage over the weedy organisms which often overgrow them in reefs stressed by humans.

According to Dr Goreau, if the current is maintained, coral reefs can often be restored in areas where water quality would prevent their recovery by any other method.

Read the full story at Science Alert.

Fish video of the week, mid-March:

This complex freshwater system uses plants in refugiums.

I wrote recently about a small bommie-themed reef aquarium I’m thinking of setting up.

Bommies often occur in the semi-sandy, semi-rocky back reef areas known as patch reefs.

If I was setting up the larger tank my heart would love but my head resists (because I’ll very likely be moving house soon) then I’d definitely create a patch reef habitat.

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