I had hoped to have some more extensive notes than I do but I did promise to share what I did write down so here it is. These are some highlights of the sessions that I had time to sit down and acutally listen to what was being said.
Steven Pro - Recent Experiments with 'Reef-Safe' treatments.
Steven gave a great presentation on some of his work with establishing how reef safe some of the treatments that are sold on the market. Steven is hobbists like the rest of us whom just has had the drive to perform some product tests to establish how different products perform under controled testing. This round of tests where to establish how reef safe various treatments where by using xenia as a basis. His next set of tests will be on garlic and how effective it really is aganst ich.
Dirk Petersen - A step ahead: the new caribbean deep reef exhibit at Rotterdam Zoo.
Dirks presentation talked about how the people at the Rotterdam Zoon in germany renovated one of their large exhibits into a caribbean reef exhibit. He outlined many of the struggles they had when putting the system together as well as talked about the kinds of corals that are being featured in the exhibit.
Rebecca Swenson - Methodologies for Aiptasia eradication - use and culture of Berghia nudibranchs.
I wish I had an opportunity to listen to more of Rebecca's presentation but the basics of is was her work with the Berghia nudibranchs for natural aiptasia removal in the aquarium. She outlined that the berghia have an incredable appitite for aiptasia and if one wants to keep the berghia in captivity one really needs to cultivate and grow aiptasia in a seperate tank so as to keep up with their appitite. She mentioned that it was not uncommon for a nudi to consume up to 5 or more aiptasia per day. Her presentation included videos on the Berghia egglaying and embronic development.
Dana Riddle - New information on coral husbandry
To my suprise one of the first things Dana said was this "some tanks are over illuminated". Thats right. To much light! He went on to explain that one of the issues with this over illumination is infared heat transfer. What he found is that while the water temperature might have been fine using an infared thermomoter the coral itself was sometimes much warmer than the surrounding water. This heat buildup can lead to coral bleaching as well as other issues. Some studyies where done using various color LED
's and Dana found that red LED
's almost always lead to coral bleaching. The conclusion that was drawn is that the red light produced by the led
's and ultimatly by lower kelvin bulbs caused the coral itself to heat up beyond the level at which it could survive.
In many instances Dana said that some corals have almost totally shut down their photosynthis process by 'mid-morning'. This is most likly a natural development to compensate for changing weather conditions in the wild. The only invert that was found to almost never shut down the photosynthis was the maxima clam.
More information about Dana's study can be found at http://www.advancedaquarists.com
Julian Sprung - A review of sponges and their husbandry.
Julian's lecture was very informative for anyone whom has wanted to keep orenmental sponges or has had them crop up in the tank and just wondered how to care for them. The sponges skelital composition is made up by something called spongin and he compaired it to collogen. As far as what sponges feed on he said this. Many sponges have symbionats that help feed the sponge either by photosynthists or other means. In addition sponges consume disolved organic mater, bactera, phytoplankton and ultra fine particulate mater. Along the lines of feeding the orentation of the sponge to the water current can be critial to its development and survivability. Sponges will grow with a specific orentation to the water current that will permit them to trap as much food as they need. Changing water currents or changing orentation to those water currents can lead to a sponge's starvation.
Julian hinted that in the correct volume sponges can also be benifital as bio filters. Since sponges harbor nitrifying bactera in large enough volume sponges can acutally help reduce nitrates in ones aquarium.
While he did mention that most times people will say 'dont let that sponge become exposed to air or it will die' he also said that this is not always the case and there are many sponges that reside in tidal areas that get exposed to air during low tide. He did go on to say that keeping sponges from being exposed to air is overall a good idea just to be safe.
One sponge to be sure to never put in the tank is the Amphimedon sponge. This is because the sponge is very toxic to fish even in small doses.
Justin Credebel - Sucessful Goniopora culture in the aquarium.
Justin's presentation was very informative as well as entertaning to anyone that stayed around for the final two speakers. Justin over the last few years has been able to not only sucessfuly keep Goniopora in the aquarium he has sucessfully fragged and grown goniopora in the aquarium. During his presentation he showed many videos of the various goniopora colonies as well as video on direct feeding and fragging techniques. As far as feeding what he has found is that many varieties of gonniopora will feed on frozen rotofers, cyclopeeze, cyclopeeze juice, DT oyster eggs, liquid life plankton with cyclopeeze as well as various home made food mixtures. What he has also found is that the smaller the sized food particles are the better the overall growth rate for the goniopora. One of Justin's gono tanks is lit with 2 X 400W MH
and 2 X 250W MH
. Even though the tank is 300 gal
in size he only has 3 fish. One of the reasons for this is that the fish and other inverts will take the food from the goniopora before its had a chance to consume it.
The conclusion of the weekend was Charles Delbeek giving a visual wondershow of some GIANT reef aquariums over the world. Many of these aquariums where at public aquariums in countries like the US, Germanay, Japan, Netherlands, etc.