Underwater Hotel in Dubai

May 7th, 2012

Underwater Hotel in Dubai Planned

A company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is planning to build an underwater hotel.

This is the second attempt to build such a structure. It was proposed in 2006, but the plan was dropped.

The hotel would be comprised of both above and below water sections with all of the underwater bedrooms featuring floor to ceiling views of the surrounding reef.

To learn more, click here.

Sea Cucumbers: Nature’s Calcium Reactor?

March 25th, 2012

Sea Cucumbers: Nature’s Calcium Reactor?
By Shane Graber

Research shows that sea cucumbers account for a remarkable half of total nighttime calcium carbonate dissolution for coral reefs. In other words, as cukes sift and process sand through its digestive system, they dissolve a lot of CaCO3 and recycle calcium and carbonate back into the water as nutrients for new coral growth.

Sea cucumbers: Dissolving coral reefs?

Washington, D.C. — Coral reefs are extremely diverse ecosystems that support enormous biodiversity. But they are at risk. Carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the ocean, threatening reefs and other marine organisms. New research led by Carnegie’s Kenneth Schneider analyzed the role of sea cucumbers in portions of the Great Barrier Reef and determined that their dietary process of dissolving calcium carbonate (CaCO3) from the surrounding reef accounts for about half of at the total nighttime dissolution for the reef. The work is published December 23 by the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Reefs are formed through the biological deposition of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Many of the marine organisms living on and around a reef contribute to either its destruction or construction. Therefore it is crucial that the amount of calcium carbonate remain in balance. When this delicate balance is disrupted, the reef ceases to grow and its foundations can be weakened.

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A short reminder why Halcurias anemones are awesome

March 24th, 2012

We covered the first Halcurias anemone that appeared at live aquaria a couple weeks ago, and as there is more and more of these puppy’s popping up in the trade, here is a reminder why they a freaking awesome. One glimpse at the picture above should make you agree that this is an anemone that would truly deserve to be in a biotope aquarium.

Halcurias anemones come from cooler waters so they require much cooler temperatures than any conventional reef tank, preferably below 72F. A perfect temperature to keep deep water fish along with the Halcurias anemones, if they wouldn’t eat your fish of course, because they are of course non-photosynthetic. Because these Halcurias anemones are azoox they do require regular feeding every day. Anyways, this is just suppose to be an eye candy post and we’d love to see a setup with these Halcurias anemones as the center piece. Keep reading for more pictures.

Read more: http://reefbuilders.com/2012/01/19/halcurias-anemones/#ixzz1q5TyL5Ff

Another Rare Two Face Clam Surfaces, This Time from Pacific East Aquaculture

March 24th, 2012

The human mind typically favors symmetry when it comes to determining what’s beautiful. Well, this latest two faced clam challenges that completely, as it’s patterns are nowhere near symmetrical. Back in November of last year, we saw what we thought to be a one-of-a-kind two face Tridacna maxima clam from ReefKoi Corals. The mantle from that rare clam had completely different colors and patterns on either side, almost as if two different clams had been cut in half and glued together. At the time, that clam was the first we had ever seen with that type of coloration, despite all of the insanely colored clams we’ve seen over the years. But that clam is no longer alone in the aquarium hobby. The guys at Pacific East Aquaculture have also gotten their hands on a similar specimen. Their two faced T. maxima clam, which they are calling the “Chimera Maxima”, also sports two distinctly patterned halves, but the patterns on this clam’s mantle seem to more complete on either side, with less bleeding of the other colors.

The asking price for this individual is set at $1000, which is quite a bit more than the previously seen two faced clam that came in at $250. However, this new two face clam is also a bit bigger with a length of just under four inches. Regardless of all this, both of the two face clams are very rare and are just plain cool.

Read more…

Reef Aquarium Wedding Cake

March 24th, 2012

Reef Aquarium Wedding Cake
By: Brandon Klaus

Reef Tank Wedding Cake

You know you’re an ultimate aquarium junkie when your wedding cake can double as a fully functioning reef tank, complete with LED lighting. Reef2Reef member “drainbramage” recently shared images of such a cake from the wedding of fellow Reef2Reef-er “Scubajay”, whose wife is obviously very understanding of the addiction that so many of us share. According to “drainbramage”, who happens to be the genius behind the wedding cake reef tank, the aquarium has a 4″ water level that is the same height as each of the other tiers on the cake. While I would have probably gone with as big a tank as possible, assuming my wife would have let me, this aquarium was designed to not detract from the wedding cake so much.

The tank itself was built out of acrylic, with a 1/2″ acrylic “X” and blue tinted acrylic top used to support the weight of the cake, provide a place to mount the Ecoxotic Stunner Strips that illuminate the small reef, and prevent debris from getting into the water. A Hydor Koralia 2 powerhead was used for circulation and a 200watt heater was placed in the tank as a precaution to keep the temperature stable. The corals in the wedding cake reef aquarium were chosen based on their size and fluorescing ability when lit up by the Stunner Strips and the fish were borrowed from a local fish store. The cake, which was said to be very delicious, kept the reef them going with sea shell and starfish designs, as well as fake sand. The sand was actually brown sugar, though you could never tell from the photos.

Read more…

Sea Changes: Ocean Acidification Is Worse Than It’s Been for 300 Million Years

March 24th, 2012

Sea Changes: Ocean Acidification Is Worse Than It’s Been for 300 Million Years
By Bryan Walsh | @bryanrwalsh | March 2, 2012 | 160

White coral skeleton, Cocos Island, Pacific Ocean. Such coral bleaching events are one consequence of ocean acidification

Human beings doing unprecedented things to the Earth, which is sort of impressive when you realize that the planet has existed for more than 4.5 billion years. But that’s what happens when 7 billion people produce and consume more and more stuff, emitting enormous amounts of gases like carbon dioxide and generally making of muck of things for everyone else.

Take the oceans. Researchers already know that the seas are becoming more acidic, thanks largely to the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon. (Much of the carbon in the air is absorbed by the oceans—think of the fizz in a soda can—which over time makes them more acidic.) Over the last hundred years, the ocean pH—which measures the relative acidity of a liquid—has fallen by 0.1 unit to 8.1 That may not sound like much, but according to a new study published in Science, it’s all but unprecedented. Ocean acidification is now almost certainly occurring faster than it has for at least 300 million years—and as the rate of manmade carbon emissions increases in the future, acidification will likely only accelerate. That will have dire effects on corals and other ocean life that will struggle to adapt to a marine environment that will be changing—by geological standards at least—at breakneck pace.

Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/03/02/sea-changes-ocean-acidification-is-worse-than-its-been-for-300-million-years/#ixzz1q5QZYREl

Aquarium Chemistry: Tap Water in Reef Aquaria By Randy Holmes-Farley, Ph.D.

March 20th, 2012

Many aquarists ask whether it is acceptable to use tap water for their reef aquaria. The answer obviously depends on what is in their tap water. We have all heard of aquarists who use only tap water and are seemingly very successful. We’ve also heard the opposite, such as folks that had significant problems until they purified their water. How is an aquarist to decide what to do?

Aside from the standard concerns about chlorine and chloramine,1 there are a variety of chemicals to be concerned with. One source for information on these chemicals is the annual water quality report from your municipal water supply, if on a public system. If you have a private well, you may need to get a test of your own water to know if it is suitable.


Best List of Aquariums on the Market

February 28th, 2012

Here’s a great resource that shows a large selection of aquarium types back to back for easy comparison. It can be found on NorthSide Aquatics website.

There is also a site for commonly available stands – here.

The site also lists aquarium and stand dimensions, so you can easily match a tank and stand, or order something to match what you already have. You can also use this page to figure out how many gallons your aquarium is.

If you live in Arkansas, and can come get the tank, it’s a great way to shop for a new tank. They don’t ship, however; so if you live further away, print out the picture and take it to your local fish store.

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate: What Does a Protein Skimmer Actually Remove from Aquarium Water?

February 28th, 2012

Elemental Analysis of Skimmate: What Does a Protein Skimmer Actually Remove from Aquarium Water?
by Ken S. Feldman, Advanced Aquarist

Recent efforts primarily by Hatcher and colleagues (Mopper, 2007; De la Rosa, 2008) using sophisticated mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques have revealed that authentic ocean TOC is comprised of tens of thousands of discrete compounds that include chemical representatives from all of the major biochemical groups; lipids, peptides, carbohydrates, heterocycles, aromatics, etc. The relationship between ocean TOC and aquarium TOC still remains to be established, but it seems likely that the TOC in our aquaria is equally diverse and rich in its chemical complexity.

Read about the study here.

Underwater Storm is 90 Miles Wide

February 27th, 2012

The gargantuan whirlpool, spotted off the coast of South Africa, is thought to have peeled off from a current that flows along the coast of Africa and around the tip of South Africa.

Read more at the Daily Mail