Monday, December 13, 2010

Atlantis Casino's French Angel (iPhone 4 Photo)

In the aquarium for a little over two weeks now, the Atlantis' French Angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, (Belize), is doing great, eating everything offered and is being a model community fish in the 1300 gallon circular aquarium.

The French Angelfish is one of three very popular "large angels" among marine aquarium hobbyists. The other two being the Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus Imperator) and the Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus Ciliaris). These marine angelfish are widespread throughout the Caribbean and are commonly sighted by divers in that area. This is an expensive fish, small specimens usually retail for $80-$90 USD with large adults (Show quality) costing $200 and upwards. It is also sold fresh as human consumable food, particularly in Singapore and Thailand. Reports of ciguatera poisoning exist.

Here is a photo that I took of the French Angelfish in the wild at Bonaire's "Angel City" dive site....rightly named as seeing these beauties in the wild was an ease. Angel City has a maximum diving depth of around 80 ft and is suitable for all divers. The average visibility is 30-60 feet and access to the dive site is by shore. Also seen at this dive site was the difficult to find Longsnout Seahorse, plus many Blue Tangs, assorted Eels, Tarpon, Queen Angels, Rock Beauty's, Trumpet Fish, numerous Wrasses, Yellowtail Snappers, Porcupine Fish, Cowfish, Trunkfish, Spotted Drums, Filefish and the Flamingo Tongue Cowries. (Nothing like taking good notes after a dive!) Definitely one of my favorite dives ever! And one of my favorite aquarium fish I have ever placed.

If you are ever in the Reno/Tahoe area, go into the Atlantis Steakhouse and have a meal or a cocktail and check out this beautiful animal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reef-a-palooza 2010

Last minute decision to attend this years Reefapalooza, Orange County Fairgrounds, October 23 & 24. Looking forward to hearing some great speakers and seeing many of my suppliers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PODCAST: MARS 5/2010: Mr. Tony Vargas - Philippine Reefs & Captive Coral Care

The Marine Aquarist Roundtable of Sacramento was fortunate to have Mr. Tony Vargas come in town and give a great talk about his experiences diving the Philippine Islands and keeping corals in captivity for their month of May general meeting. Mr. Vargas has been an avid aquarist since the age of seven. He started with freshwater fish and invertebrates. His introduction to saltwater began with under gravel filters in the 70's and became a coral-a-holic in the early 80's. Tony is among one of the first in this country to successfully keep and maintain Acropora alive in captivity long term, in the mid to late 80's.

Tony started to write articles on the husbandry of many different types of coral and reef fish. His articles have been published by several national publications, first here in the US, with a monthly column called "Feature Coral", than published overseas. He has been acknowledge in Carden Wallace textbook on Acropora (Staghorn Corals of the World), and many others.

Mr. Vargas is a successful SCUBA diver who spends his free time diving around the world observing many of these creatures in their natural environment. And, with his writing he has effectively communicate his experiences and observations. An accomplished photographer, with many dives in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean. Many magazines and catalogs seek after his photos across North America. A consultant and frequent lecturer he has traveled the States and Europe to express effectively his findings on corals and reef fish husbandry.

Mr. Vargas presentation will focus on the reefs of the Philippines and their amazing recovery. It will also emphasize the differences, on how some corals survive in their natural environment and how they should be kept in captivity.

A BIG thank you to Tony for allowing me to post this recording for our
members that were unable to attend the meeting to hear his talk.

Here is the link to the Podcast. To download, use the VBR ZIP link on the left of the page, to listen simply push the play button below.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

New Account: The Atlantis Steakhouse, Atlantis Casino; Reno, NV - 1100 Gallon Fish Only Aquarium

Big thanks to my clients Tim & Tracy for their notice to me of the issues that were taking place with the Atlantis' recently renovated 1100 gallon aquarium. And an additional thanks to clients Chuck & Cindy for recommending Sierra Saltwater Systems to the owner of the casino.The aquarium has been in place for over twenty years, but the interior reef structure was recently replaced by Poseidon Construction out of Corona, CA. during a major restaurant renovation.

Unfortunately the aquarium currently is unable to house live animals due to improper return flow and low pH. Chris Wirth of Blue Planet Waterworks will be employed to rescue the situation by replacing the current 1.5" plumbing with three inch, adding an overflow skimmer box to remove surface detritus and improving with additional filtration needs.

Look for future posts on the improvements of this aquarium and the stocking in the weeks to come.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

BAYMAC 2010: This Saturday, May 8th !

The Bay Area Marine Aquarium Conference (BAYMAC) is all set to go off big time next Saturday, May 8th at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. The conference runs from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The event is going to include guest speakers, manufacturers, coral vendors and local aquarium clubs.

I go down to Los Angeles a couple times a year for these types of conferences, and to have this available at a relatively close destination for Northern California residents, is an incredible gift. And to make a great thing better, this conference is FREE! If you are serious about learning more about your aquarium, the latest new products or just to kick back and hear some experts talk knowledge, I'd recommend attending. Vendors setting up to share the latest in the aquarium hobby include; Reef Nutrition, IceCap, Inc., Warner Marine Research, Frag-a-Rack, Reef Builders, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Marco Rocks, Reef Brite, Boston Aqua Farms, Neptune Systems, Lumenarc Lighting, Illuminarium, Inc., CPR Aquatic, Ecoxotic, Nano Customs, Karen Talbot Art, Sun Bright Lighting, Sustainable Aquatics and Acan Lighting.

Speakers include Richard Ross, Aquatic Biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium, topic title: "Are you sure that thing is true or did someone tell it to you?" - Skeptical Reefing - why it matters, why will it help you and why it's good for your animals! From 11:30 - 12:30. Second speaker will be Christine Williams, she is the head of the Industrial Marine Microbiology team for her division of a “very large international chemical company,” topic title is: "When Aquariums Attack! Bites, Stings, Cuts, and other unfortunate events...and what to do". From 12:40 - 1:40. The third speaker of the day will be Sanjay Joshi, in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. His topic tile is: "LED Basics and Comparison to Other Lighting Technologies", from 1:50 - 2:50. The fourth and final speaker of the day is Joe Yaiullo. Joe is a marine scientist and built and runs the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead, NY. His topic is: "20,000 Gallons of Reef and its not just about the corals anymore" and runs from 3:00 - 4:00.

Now for what I think is the coolest part of this conference, the "Aquascape Contest"! Matt Wandell of the Steinhart Aquarium takes on Bay Area Reefers VP Jeremy Foster in an auquascaping showdown. With just one hour of time, the two will battle to see who can create the best live rock design based on water flow and aesthetics with pockets for Long Polyp Stony corals. The simplest tools will be given to the artists to complete their design in a Solana 34 gallon, they will include a hammer and a screwdriver or chisel, that's it. The winning grand prize will include bragging rights and a cookie.

To close the event there will be a fantastic raffle, with possibly a few cookies too! Prizes were donated from; Reef Nutrition, Neptune Systems, Instant Ocean, NextReef, Brightwell Aquatics, Marco Rocks, Mobile Aquatic, CPR Aquatic, Neptune Aquatics, Rod's Food, New Salmon Queen Sportfishing, Coral Magazine, Marineland, Hydor, Ecoxotic, Acan Lighting, Sunlight Supply and Reef Brite.

Go there!

Click on photos to see larger.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Marine Aquarium Expo; April 10 & 11th, OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

I am looking forward to getting down to Los Angeles next weekend for the Marine Aquarium Expo and seeing some old friends/contacts and meeting some new. The Marine Aquarium Expo (MAX) is the largest consumer event for the marine aquarium hobby in North America. There will be over 100 booths in the 30,000 square foot showroom. And by looking at the list of exhibitors, it looks like there will be quite a few new companies displaying their goods. But also, there seems to be quite a few from the years past missing from the list.....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MARS 2/10: Rob Toonen - What Deep Reefs Tell Us About Keeping Corals

Ex MARS member and University of California, Davis PhD Graduate Rob Toonen gave an in depth talk about coral reef research at the University of Hawaii Manoa with relations to reefkeeping to the Marine Aquarist Roundtable of Sacramento, February 19, 2010.

Rob is a Biologist/Assistant Researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Kane'ohe, HI where his current research focuses on the processes that influence dispersal and recruitment in coastal marine invertebrates, with a particular interest in the evolutionary consequences of larval developmental modes among marine invertebrates.
Rob is well known to the marine aquarium world via his numerous published articles in Aquarium Frontiers On-line and Advanced Aquarist magazine. He is also a frequent speaker at marine aquarium conferences and events.

Photographed with Mr. Toonen is MARS President Brian Prestwood (right).

Here is the link to the Podcast. To download, use the VBR ZIP link on the left of the page, to listen simply push the play button below.