The Rainforests of the Sea: Coral Reef Ecosystems


The Rainforests of the Sea: Coral Reef Ecosystems By: Ashley Gustafson Every organism has an important role when it comes to making an ecosystem successful. Since coral reefs have achieved the prestigious title of “Rainforests of the Sea” they are known for their successful ecosystems and thus diversity earning them their nickname. Ecosystems are delicate structures that require a strong foundation of energy and int … [Read more...]

What is a Coral Frag?

Porites red with yellow center

What is a Coral Frag? by: Michael Phife Many newcomers to the saltwater aquarium hobby usually ask the question, "What the heck is a coral frag?" If you have seen a coral frag in an aquatics store, then you also probably wondered how they got the coral on a piece of rock. In this brief article, I will not only explain what a coral frag is, but also how to do one yourself. A coral frag is simply a cut off piece … [Read more...]

Bacteria Reproduction – They Go Both Ways

bacteria rods

Prokaryotes, who are they? Bacteria reproduction is intriguing in that there are 4 different ways in which they are able to reproduce.  But first we need to go back to the basics: there are two different types of cells, Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.  Eukaryotes are the “new and improved” cell type,because they are found in multicellular organisms in addition to being much more complex and higher functioning.  Conversely, … [Read more...]

A Trip to Belize: A Diver’s Paradise


A Trip to Belize: A Diver’s Paradise By: Ashley Gustafson Imagine a country tranquil and diverse, from its rainforest dominant interior to its clear blue coastal waters, filled with a different sort of rainforest. Coral reefs are often nicknamed the “rainforest of the sea” for their rich ecosystems full of every sort of life. Belize is famous for its barrier reef that stretches 155 miles from tip to tip, making it the … [Read more...]

Warming California Waters Cause wandering Nudibranch Species

Hopkins' Rose Nudibranch

Warming California Waters Cause wandering Hopkins’ Rose Nudibranch Species By. Ashley Gustafson   Nudibranchs, better known as sea slugs, are an incredibly beautiful, hypnotizing, and  often Technicolor animal found in oceans all over the world. Just like any ocean dwelling  animal, certain species of sea slugs have specific temperature requirements and limitations of the water they reside within. As the glo … [Read more...]

5 “Jaws” Shark Myths Proved False

whale shark

5 "Jaws" Shark Myths Proved False by Gabbie Baillargeon How many times have you been in , or even near, the ocean and thought about the chances that sharks were lurking under the water? My guess - a lot.  It is only natural, for the media has sensationalized and stereotyped all sharks as man eating beasts, whose soulless being strives to prey and feast on humans.  Ever since the movie Jaws came out in the summer of 1 … [Read more...]

I Poop Sand: The Life and Times of a Parrotfish

Bicolor Parrotfish

I Poop Sand: The Life and Times of a Parrotfish by Julie Cremer What eats coral, poops sand and wraps itself in a ball of mucus? The parrotfish, of course! These colorful reef dwellers in fact play a significant role in maintaining populations of coral and algae within the reef they call home. If these fish didn’t eat the algae that they enjoy, coral would not be able receive the proper amount of sunlight they need in … [Read more...]

Moorish Idols: The Dream Fish for Aquarists


Moorish Idols: The Dream Fish for Aquarists by: Michael Phife   Remember Gill from "Finding Nemo" and you weren't sure what type of fish he was? Well, he is what's called a Moorish Idol... which, in my opinion, is one of the most stunning and magnificent fish in reef life. However, keeping this type of fish is not nearly as easy as the movie made it out to be. Many people who have saltwater tanks and are even … [Read more...]

Took our submersible for a spin in the frag tank this morning

acropora-green-branching Took our submersible for a spin in the frag tank this morning Got a new camera and took it for a tour of the frag tank.  It makes me wish that I could just snorkel my way through there someday!  We start on the left side where all the LPS and some SPS are under the T5's.  We then motor on down to where the LED's and MH lighting is. You can see some of the fish underneath the egg crate too wo … [Read more...]

Think like an Oarfish


Think like an Oarfish By Julie Cremer Its cold everywhere I go, cold and very dark. My long, thin body sways and ripples with the strong currents. Down here the pressure is so strong, other fish would be crushed in seconds. Thank goodness my body is flat so that it can withstand the force. I spend the majority of my days floating in this infinite liquid called an ocean waiting for food to pass me by. There … [Read more...]