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Bigfin Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)

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The bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana), a member of the pencil squid family Loliginidae, ranges from the rocky shorelines and near-shore reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans, where it feeds mainly on crustaceans and small fish. This squid’s common name derives from the large oval fin that extends almost around its entire mantle, giving it a similar appearance to a cuttlefish. Like many other cephalopods, S. lessoniana is capable of rapid, dramatic changes in body coloration and patterning, including displays of vivid iridescence. Bigfin reef squids grow to maturity very quickly, but are a correspondingly short-lived species, with a maximum recorded lifespan of about ten months.

Shutterstock # 412258393

David Litman/

from the May/Jun17 issue, pages 4-5


Posted June 5th, 2017.

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About the Cover


This large school of green chromis (Chromis viridis) is a common sight in the waters of the Bunaken National Park, a natural reserve of fringing coral reefs in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Explore this world-class fish-watching destination in ”Diving in Bunaken: The Heart of the Coral Triangle” (p. 54).
Photograph by Francesco Ricciardi

Posted June 4th, 2017.

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Parting Shot Gran Cenote in Tulum, Mexico

from the May/Jun 17 issue, page 96

Posted June 4th, 2017.

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Bonsai Reef


Bonsai Reef are the easiest way to create a beautiful reefscape. The open space available with a Bonsai Reef reefscape improves flow, offers more swimming space for fish, and decreases detritus build up. The shelves of the Bonsaii Reef are removable, which allows for changing the layout to offer the best fit for your reef. Purple and white shelves are available, with or without holes for coral frags. Bonsai Reef are available in sizes to fit nano aquariums to large reef aquariums.


Posted April 25th, 2017.

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The Water Cleanser


The Water Cleanser controls algae, improves water clarity, reduces the frequency of water changes and filter cleanings, and promotes healthy fish through the accelerated consumption of organic waste in your water.  This product is completely natural, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and easy to use.  Simply place the aquarium balls in the filter and let The Water Cleanser “Harness Nature’s Cleaning Power”!

Posted April 25th, 2017.

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Tetras and Barbs


Chapter 5 Free Download The Tetras and Barbs Aquarium

A complete guide to the  care and breeding of two of the most popular groups of aquarium fish

by Randy Carey

  • E-Book $9.99 / ISBN: 9780793844036 128 pages

Tetras and barbs are among the most popular community fish, with dozens of species readily available in pet and aquarium stores. Written by one of the leading experts on these groups of fish, this comprehensive guide features five important fish groups spanning hundreds of species and covers topics essential to aquarists interested in tetras and barbs such as feeding, water requirements, species, diseases, and breeding. Full-color photos, sidebars, charts, and tip boxes illustrate key points and nicely complement the informative text. Inside you’ll find:

  • everything you need to know about caring for tetras and barbs – tank setup, water conditions, feeding, species compatibility, etc.
  • a guide to many families and species
  • advice about breeding tetras and barbs
  • more than 150 photos, including both rare and common species


Posted December 20th, 2016.

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Aquarium Care of Oscars


Aquarium Care of Oscars

by Neal Pronek & Brian M. Scott

E-Book $10.99

The oscar is an intelligent and enjoyable fish to own. From selection to health and nutrition concerns, this book helps take the guesswork out of taking the best care of oscars in a home aquarium. Useful tip boxes in each chapter show every member of the household how to make the most out of owning a pet.

ISBN: 9780793843121 (E-Book)
112 pages


Posted December 15th, 2016.

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Freshwater Problem Solver


Chapter 1 Free Download Tank Cycling Problems Solved 

This troubleshooting companion addresses both common and infrequent freshwater aquarium needs, from keeping the water balanced and clear and maintaining equipment to plant choices and how to handle lost or missing fish. Useful tip boxes in each chapter.

ISBN: 9780793847778 (E-Book)

Posted December 15th, 2016.

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Nano-Reef Species



Adventurous Aquarist Guide™: The 101 Best Nano-Reef Species

by Scott W. Michael


E-Book $13.99

The popularity of nano tanks (or tanks under 30 gallons) has exploded over the past few years. These delicate systems require specialized species that are able to survive and thrive in a smaller tank. The 101 Best Nano-Reef Species offers expert advice on selecting and keeping brilliant and hardy fishes, corals, and invertebrates for nano-reef tanks.

Each entry in this stunning field guide is accompanied by a color photograph, plus information on the fish’s common name, scientific name, maximum length, native range, minimum aquarium size, feeding, and habitat. The entries are arranged alphabetically by genus name within their family groupings, which makes this guide extremely user-friendly. A bonus section on species to avoid helps hobbyists steer clear of species that just won’t work in diminutive tanks. You will also find troubleshooting advice that deals with the most common problems in nano-reef tanks.

Adventurous Aquarist Guides™ are a critically acclaimed series dedicated to the art of aquarium keeping. Written by experts, these fully illustrated field guides offer the most in-depth information on the aquarium hobby.

ISBN: 978-0-9820262-4-3 ()
192 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7938-4960-4 (E-Book)


Posted September 30th, 2016.

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Producing a Nature Aquarium


Takashi Amano advocated the long-term maintenance of Nature Aquarium aquascapes. Thirty years ago, the technology to efficiently grow aquatic plants was still in its infancy, and layouts using them generally looked best right after planting. However, Mr. Amano’s intent in developing any Nature Aquarium aquascape was to plan how it would look after the plants developed and changed from their original size and shape from when they were first planted. He would create the layout so that it would grow into a beautiful arrangement over time, and then maintain its appearance for up to several years.
Aquatic plants started growing more efficiently after substrate materials and lighting improved, and a CO2 injection system was developed later on. However, overgrowth became a new problem. Densely grown aquatic plants not only fill open space and spoil the beauty of an aquascape, but they also prevent light from reaching the lower part of plant stems, which affects their condition and can eventually result in their demise. The flow of water also becomes affected and can lead to a proliferation of algae. The regular trimming of aquatic plants using scissors specially designed by Mr. Amano alleviated this ongoing concern. Also, when necessary, plants were pulled out, cut to a proper length, and then replanted. The development of these maintenance techniques made it easier to sustain an aquascape over longer periods.

New Developments

Mr. Amano was not completely satisfied with the advancements he had made, so he kept working to design a type of layout in which a beautiful aquascape could be maintained without too much effort. Two methods of expression—the use of cosmetic sand and a form of creative plant arrangement called sozo haishoku—came from this pursuit.

Cosmetic Sand

Cosmetic sand, which is a fine river sand, is primarily utilized in the foreground section of a Nature Aquarium layout. Short underbrush plants, such as Glossostigma or Cuba pearl grass, are also typically placed in the foreground. These plants tend to grow horizontally instead of sending shoots upward. Leaves and roots pile on top of each other over time and form a thick mat. If left unchecked, the leaves and roots on the bottom tend to turn brown and deteriorate, leading to cyanobacteria outbreaks. To prevent this condition, they need to be trimmed on the surface to keep them from getting too thick. If one of these plants stops developing new shoots well, it must be pulled and its top portions replanted. If this task is neglected, it becomes difficult to maintain an aquascape long term.
Mr. Amano devised the use of cosmetic sand instead of underbrush plants for the foreground specifically for this reason; it spared the aquarist from having to continuously trim and rejuvenate aquatic plants through replanting. Additionally, this type of sand is easy to keep clean by siphoning out detritus that collects in it during water changes.

Sozo Haishoku

Sozo haishoku is a method used for long-term maintenance of an established composition. While sozo haishoku is similar to the process of rejuvenating plants through cutting and replanting, it dramatically changes the impression of an aquascape because aquatic plants are replaced with different ones after the originals are pulled out. While performing sozo haishoku, the removal of as much old substrate material as possible along with the plants promotes better growth and enables the aquascape to be maintained for longer periods.
The impression of an aquascape may be drastically altered by sozo haishoku, but its composition of does not change because the framework comprising stones and driftwood remains the same. For this reason, the composition materials must be arranged very securely in any layout intended for performing sozo haishoku. If they are not, it will collapse in the process, making the practice pointless.

Arranging the Elements

Well suited for long-term maintenance, the aquascape featured in this article has undergone sozo haishoku. Cosmetic sand was placed in the foreground, and sansui stones and branch wood were arranged securely as layout materials. These stones have the fine surface texture characteristic of lava stones, which allows them to stay firmly together when stacked.
Branch wood has multiple limbs coming from its base, and placing just a few of them together can present an intricate appearance. Creating a planting space by stacking sansui stones and arranging some branch wood produces a composition that will not collapse when sozo haishoku is performed. The aquatic plants in the center were primarily stem plants before sozo haishoku, after which the impression of the aquascape was altered by adding more tape-shaped aquatic plants, yet another technique that makes it easier to maintain an aquascape for a long period of time.
Aquascape Design and Photography by Takashi Amano
Translated by Tomoko Schum

Posted September 28th, 2016.

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