A reef in Bunaken, Indonesia. Photograph by James Fatherree.
The overwhelming number of threats facing coral reefs today require quick, effective action before the reefs are wiped out entirely. A main concern is how to regrow corals following a traumatic event, such as bleaching or storm damage.
One method to grow corals in situ that is being used in Bali is known as Biorock. Basically a domed structure made out of metal is placed on the area where the corals are supposed to grow, and a low-level electric current is run through it. As German marine architect Wolf Hibertz discovered, the electricity causes dissolved minerals to crystallize on the metal. Marine Biologist and President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, Thomas J. Goreau, found the result is encrusting white limestone for corals to settle on and that the corals grow much faster on Biorock than they would if the reef was left as is. Below is a video of the reef grown on Biorock.
The Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City, Utah did just that by connecting the electric eel display to a Christmas tree with four strands of colored lights that flash whenever the eel moves (thereby discharging electricity). Of course, electric eels are completely inappropriate for the home aquarium, and can deliver quite a shock to any unsuspecting individual in the water with them, but they do their job well in the aquarium.
A 50-gallon planted riparium. Photograph by Devin Biggs.
For people who are fascinated by the intersection of land and water, and still want the ability to make changes to their setup, a riparium might be the perfect option. Ripariums are open-top aquariums or aquariums with a section that is not underwater (but still has a cover to keep the humidity high). They allow for plants to grow above and below the water’s surface, although they do not have a specific land section for animals.
Jake Jung offers his advice for creating a beautiful riparium in “An Introduction to Planted Ripariums” in the December 2011 issue of TFH. Here is a look at Jake’s 40-gallon setup.
The world's longest aquarium. Photograph by NTD Television.
By David E. Boruchowitz
How does a 110-foot aquarium sound to you? Well, one went on display last week at a fish expo in Taipei, Taiwan. With a volume of close to 7000 gallons, the setup houses hundreds of fish, mostly cichlids. The decor of the aquarium focuses on dozens of well-known Taiwanese landmarks, and the design is meant to evoke various Chinese artistic styles.
Several of the details provided in the news account make me wonder what is meant. For example, the tank is composed of seven sections that are connected with “a curved tank displaying waterfalls.” The video gives us a glimpse of these connecting tanks, but it isn’t possible to determine if they have waterfall backgrounds, incorporate overflows for the sections on either side of it, or represent waterfalls in some other way. Also, the tank boasts “tempered glass with an extra explosion-proof layer,” whatever that is!
Mysteries aside, it appears to be a great display, and the seven sections enable them to include a great variety of types of fish that otherwise could not be kept together. Those of you with 12- or 15-foot tanks, this gives you something to strive for, and the rest of us can just dream bigger…