A feeding exercise designed to keep this octopus occupied almost turned to a disaster when it squeezed through a two-inch gap into a small box contained crabs.

Happily, he squeezed back out again after half an hour.

Check out the full story at Pantagraph.com.

Here in London, scientists at the Natural History Museum have discovered a new species of fish that sports bone fangs.

The BBC reports that the ‘Dracula’ fish is about 17mm (0.7 inches) long, and hails from just one stream in Burma.

It has been named Danionella dracula after the fictional bloodsucker.

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Practical Fishkeeping is running a news story based on a statement from Mars Fishcare, the owner of the Rena brand, saying that it will no longer be making aquariums.

The magazine reports Mars Fishcare as saying:

“In recent years, the sharp rise in competition in the tank market has made it difficult for Mars Fishcare to optimise its resources in this area.

Mars Fishcare Europe is taking steps to refocus its European business in aquarium equipment and water treatment, and to strengthen its position in the European fish food market.”

Existing customers whose tank is under guarantee with Rena will be protected as normal.

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Marine Depot has just posted a pretty comprehensive guide to when you should change your reef aquarium light bulbs.

Author Keith MacNeil points out that:

Corals have an alga called zooxanthellae within their tissue. When the zooxanthellae photosynthesize, it produces enough sugar to not only feed the zooxanthellae but the coral as well. To do this properly, they require the proper spectrum of light as well as the proper intensity.

The spectrum and intensity of your light bulb(s) will fade over time. Often this change is subtle enough that the human eye cannot detect a difference.

It is quite the contrary for the organisms requiring light to survive.

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Surprisingly, there's no trends in SPS plugs yet to match the frag fashions!

Surprisingly, there's no trends in SPS plugs yet to match the frag fashions!

Glassbox-Design spotted this LiveAquaria.com guide to the plugs used by different companies for their aquacultured corals.

Forgotten where an old frag came from? Carry your laptop down to your reef tank and compare and contrast the plugs on the site with the ones in your tank.

The coral frags plug guide might also prove useful for those trying to avoid corals ‘chop-shopped’ and passed off as aqua-cultured specimens.

Perhaps I’m suffering from Bad Day At The Office syndrome (there’s a reason why I haven’t been able to update AquaDaily much this week) but I’m sorely tempted to apply for one of these two positions at London Zoo.

Obviously you need to be based in London, and you need to have plenty of experience.

In return you’ll get £21,635 a year and the chance to put your hands in fish tanks all day.

Full details below.

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Practical Fishkeeping has posted an interesting article about fish breeder John Rundle’s fish room maintenance routine.

John keeps 22 tanks, and dedicates most of Sunday to keeping his tanks ticking over:

The room consists of 22 tanks, plus additional containers that hold killifish eggs or fry and live food cultures.

The tanks set on wooden racking attached to the wall range from 90 x 30 x 30cm/36” x 12” x 12 “; 60 x 30 x 30cm/24” x 12” x 12” to 30 x 20 x 20cm/12” x 8” x 8”. At any time there could be up to 12 plastic tubs holding killifish fry and about another 12 holding killifish eggs.

Resting on the glass covers of the top row of tanks are live food cultures of microworm and Grindalworm and two bottles that contain my hatching brine shrimp.

In the tanks there are adult breeding stock and young fish that could go down in size to minute just free swimming fry.

John’s schedule is very organized. It even drills down to little pre-prepared reminders he leaves himself when he changes the water in tanks and so on, so he doesn’t get confused by all the tanks he’s cleaning.

If like me you dream of having a dedicated fish room, the work he describes might make you think twice!

Scientific American just drew my attention to the video below of Histiophryne psychedelica, a new species of fish named for its crazy brown and peach stripes, and its strange hopping motion through the water.

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Speaking as somebody who didn’t do the Marine Biology degree I should have, I was interested to read a post on Deep Sea News asking So You Want To Be A Deep-Sea Biologist?

You Won’t Be Jacques Cousteau. Are you still here? Well, now you better realize a few other things.  You are not going to be rich or famous.

You will not ride on Zodiacs chasing after charismatic megafauna. You are not likely to spend every day riding around in a sub wearing a red stocking hat. One week per year, one month if you are lucky, you will spend at sea.

How that time will fly by! You will spend the rest of the year analyzing that material.  You will spend most of the remaining year writing. Writing proposals, grants, papers, emails, etc. I hope you like to write.

When you are not writing you will be doing menial and repetitive tasks. Entering numbers into Excel, counting snails, programming, picking absurdly small organisms out of mud, mixing chemicals, these are the tasks that will fill your day.

You will also be spending a lot of time on a computer. Not Facebooking, Ichatting, surfing the web for fun, playing the newest game. O’ no my friend, your computer will be the vessel of menial tasks. Thankfully, those menial tasks may actually produce some sort of scientific product.

That’s just one of eleven points!

If you’ve ever thought your life would be better spent counting corals and tangs off the coast of Fiji, the full post makes sobering (but very helpful) reading.

Back to the desk job I go.

Bommies are outcrops of coral or rock on the natural reef

Bommies are outcrops of coral or rock on the natural reef

Regular readers may remember I’m considering setting up a couple of small reef aquariums, as a stop gap before I move house again.

One possibility I’m mulling over is a coral bommie-themed, hard coral dominated aquarium.

Coral bommies are outcrops of rock and coral. They emerge from flatter areas of coral and rock, or sit in sandy areas in the back reef.

I’ve an old 35-gallon Aqua Medic Chromis tank that I could use to create a small bommie-themed aquarium.

The idea would be to have a central pillar of rocks, completely exposed on all four sides to the current, with sessile lifeforms growing up and outwards from this central column.

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