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Old 09-23-2006, 07:16 PM   #11
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Awesome Lindsay. I wish I could of gone but Massachusetts is a long ways!
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:22 PM   #12
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Yeah. I had to fly in to this year's. But the good news is that next year MACNA is back on the East Coast (Pittsburg, PA). I can do that in a drive! I can't do Houston in a drive.

Hara and I are on a little break before the Gala Dinner tonight, which should be lots of good food and a presentation on the Flower Gardens (popular local dive spot I've come to learn) given by Eric Borneman and James Wiseman.

Should be a great time. I'll try and go over a few more of the notes I took soon.

Btw, Hara took all the pictures. ALOT of pictures. I'm sure she'll get around to uploading some soon.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:30 PM   #13
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So from yesterday,after Robert DiMarco, was Larry Jackson who spoke on "reefs and reefkeeping".

Some of his main points were:

- Too much liverock is bad...sometimes less is more. Good point!
- Mixing of hard and soft corals "generally" should not be attempted. He says there is less growth rate overall for both when mixed. Dedicate a tank to each.
-Keep spares of all equipment, you never know when something will go bad.
-Euro-Reef skimmers win high praise from him, as they do with most other people.
-You can make a nice DIY skimmer including limewood airstones.
-He is big on dosing limewater to upkeep the calcium and described spectrameter dosers.
-He also bred clownfish and said that clownfish hatch 10 minutes after lights out.
-He had a pretty ingenious design of catching the new fry that involved a syphone tube and a small LED light that simulated moonlight. He actually got the fry to swim right into the syphon and to safety. Was a pretty ingenious design that I had never heard of before.
-They should be fed greenwater, then rotifers, then artemia w/ selcon.
-Suggests the addition of strontium for enhanced coralin growth.
-Uses a hamster ball to catch fish. Again, a neat idea!
-He touched on making sure to have lots of inverts to reduce nutritents and cut out on hair algae.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
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Barry Neigut spoke on Tridacnids.

- In regards to selection, there are a few very important things to check for.
1. Response, make sure it moves when stimuated.
2. Look for bleaching. Too much lighting can cause bleaching, as well as too less.
3.Inspect the byssal opening (footing)- White is good, brown is bad.
4. Check for signs of broken shells.
5. Most importantly, check for snails (pyrams) on the clam. They are the number one killer of clams. A sixline wrasse can help eat them. They live in sacks on the clam, a toothbrush can be used to scrub them off, but they usually come back.

-Acclimation is important, temp from 75-82 is optimal.
-Lighting aclimation is VERY important.
-In order of light intensity needed, starting with the lowest.
1. T. dersea (the easiest)
2. T. squamosa
3. T. gigas
4. T. crocea
5. T. maxima (very tough to keep alive!)

-Be sure other inhabitants are compatible.
-Addition of calcium is important when keeping clams.
-Clams are hemaphrodites.
-Commensal shrimp (shrimp that live inside the clam) are good, not a bad sign.
-Pinched mantle is very common. Freshwater dip used mainly to cure it, but use with caution, some species may not survive.
- Cultured species survive better.
- dip for 25-30 minutes atleast.

And the coolest thing about clams that I never realized is that they change color when you look at them from the top of the water, and through the glass. So, when you are looking to buy a clam, make sure you see the color from both angles. What is green on the top of the water, may look blue when you look at it through glass. Beware.

More later.
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:42 PM   #15
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Okay, so on to more updates. btw, the convention is officially over right now, and I'm trying to best enjoy my last night in Houston.

Saturday morning's first speaker was Julian Sprung whom spoke on Nano-Reefs. He did THE coolest things with nano-reefs including single coral polyps in this as small as mason jars (which was weird...but he made it work!). Here are a few key points of his.

-He used all homemade filtration, even showed us some of his homemade protein skimmer pictures.
-Uses no filtration but skimmers in nano tanks.
-Temperature is very important in a nano due to O2 content.
-Heating pads are a good way to heat a nano.
-Water changes important.
-Corals that need to be fed alot are good for nanos.
-Candy basslet and gobies are good fish selections.
-Acropora not a good selection for nano tanks.

He showed so many pictures of his small tanks...even ones that were WAAAAAAAY too overstocked. Everyone got a chuckle out of it.

Next up was Anthony Calfo, and if you've never gotten a chance to see Anthony, it's definitley worth the trip to MACNA just for that. He is a great informative speaker. He spoke on coral farming, and how to make money from our tanks, let alone helping to repopulate reefs with coral farming. A few key points of his:

-Soft corals and macroalgaes are where the want is.
-LPS and anemones is where the reef need is.
-Trade magazines are a good way to sell corals.
-Always frag outside of your aquarium, never in it.
-A pond sponge fitler is great for a frag tank.
-Airlift tubes rock!
-Ozone in tanks help with coral chemical warfare.
-And the coolest thing of all that I did not know... If you have LPS and you look on the skeleton. If you see little polyp things, that is the coral trying to branch, but can't. He said you can take a paring knife and carve off the polyp as well as a bit of skeleton, glue it to a plug, and you can grow a whole other LPS coral. Pretty cool!

Afterwards Anthony did a coral fragging workshop. It was standing room only, and Hara and I got a seat right in the front. Anyways, here are a few key points from that.

-Always wear gloves and eyewear, he went through a number of nasties that he as contracted...and they don't sound fun.

With anemones (yes, he fragged a sebae!)
-Don't try and frag a white sebae...it's bleached. Normal color for them is chocolate brown.
-Anemones move around our tanks mainly becuase of chemicals in the tank from other corals. Another reason why he says mixing anemones and corals is not a good idea.
-Sebaes usually have a 1-4 month harvest time.
-They can be fragged at around 2-4 months.
-Most all anemones can be fragged, save for the ritteri.
-One good way to remove aipstasia or any anemone you want to get off rock or glass, it with an icecube.
-Leather corals are best kept alone with other leathers, or xenia.
-Some instruments used for fragging are:
Wood chisel
Scalpels (are best)
Wet Saw (used to cut hard corals)
Dremel

When packaging corals for shipment:
- A needle and thread are sometimes good ways to attach them to plugs, tile, rubble, etc.
-Use as little water as possible. Usually 1/3 water, 2/3 air.
-Don't pack anemones in water!
-When shipping, tape the corners of bags, or use bags with rounded corners/flat bottom.
-Always ship bags laying sideways.
-Powder on latex gloves are completely safe.
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:54 PM   #16
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Same day but a little later on way Dr. Rob Toonen, talking on Echinoderms. Was very interesting what he said about starfish, urchins, cucumbers, etc. Here are a few highlights.

Starfish
-Starfish feed by pisaster feeding (google it, it's really cool!!)
-Fromia sp. are good for our tanks, they stay small.
-Linkia should generally be avoided, but they are doable.
-Ophiroids, such as brittle stars, etc. are a great choice for our aquariums.
-Green Brittle Stars are hit or miss, but most this weekend reccomend to stay away from them. Bob Fenner actually used the phrase "It's probably eating someone's fish right now" which raised a lot of laughs.
-Basket stars and feather stars are not a good choice, low survival.

Sea Cucumbers
-Breathe though their anus and have a fish that sometimes lives in them. (Toonen put it as "breathe from their butt and have butt fish")
-Medusa worms are actually a type of sea cucumber.
-Catch Collagen-This was way cool. It's what causes a starfish to stiffen when you touch it. Cucumbers can stiffen, and can also liquify, literally, and get into rock crevices. He showed a gross picture of the same cucumber, one stiff, one that looked like a string. It was awesome.

About Urchins, he basically had to say to avoid the sand dollar.

We skipped a seminar in there to watch Eric Borneman frag some LPS corals and massive stonies. It was enjoyable...but not as good as Calfo.

Anyways after that we saw Sanjay Joshi, a pioneer in lighting if you don't know him. Most 90% of what he said went right over my head, but I do remember he said that you can extend the life of your bulbs just by lowering your fixture. That most of the time, the bulbs getting old doesn't mean they need to be replaced, just lowered.

After that, we had the Gala Dinner which was very nice and yummy. We sat across from some people from TX and chatted about all kinds of things. Eric Borneman and James Wiseman gave a presentation on the Flower Garden Banks, which was really beautiful.

And that wrapped up Saturday. Phew.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:40 AM   #17
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Wow, Super reports, Devilishturtles!! You really make me want to go next year, and I could do Pittsburgh in a day's drive. Better start planning now!
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:11 PM   #18
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great time at MACNA

Awesome reports DevilishTurtles! Almost like being there.

So I got out of work and made it to the convention at 1pm on Sunday. I was a little bummed out because it ended at 3pm but let me tell you how great it was. So my wife and I got in for free since it was so late. I'm also a MARSH member so that may have helped..don't know. We went up to the vendor booths and scored 100gal worth of salt mix for free from CaribSea. (GOTTA LOVE FREE STUFF..) It's a new salt mix especially made for RO water.

Then I got to see Bob Fenner speak which was great. Such a nice guy. I even spoke to him afterwards and he invited me out diving with him. I couldn't believe it. Very down to earth guy.

Then we bought some raffle tickets. They were giving away amazing stuff. The most amazing raffle was for 55 EuroReef RS-80 skimmers. I couldn't believe they were giving away that many. So I bought two tickets and I WON!!! That made my day.

Got to see some amazing new products as well. Saw a controller that is able to control almost anything on your tank via the internet. The box itself has an IP address so all you do is plug in your ethernet cable and you're good to go. You can control up to 24 switches. AMAZING! This was the debut of the product at MACNA.

ORA had an amzing open top square tank that I'm hoping someone took a good picture of. Overflow would trickle down all four sides of the tank into a surrounding water "moat" (if you will) and then back down into the sump. Just beautiful! It's really designed to look down from the top since there are no ripples. If someone has a nice picture of that I would appreciate it if they could send it to me.

All in all it was awesome even though we only spent a few hours there. I just wish I didn't have to work so much. lol
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:23 PM   #19
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Lol, where were you sitting yesterday? The guy next to us won two also. Just would be funny if it was you. Did you happen to catch Dirk? (Evil look) I will try and update the rest later...I can't seem to find my notes or anything...
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:34 PM   #20
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Yeah, the raffle was profitable for me too, I had put in a bunch for the Euroreef, was really disappointed on not winning..but then won the AquaC EV 180! That is a better skimmer for my tank anyway..so I was happy.
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