Kansan Reef

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Aquarium fish can be affected by disease and sickness

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If you notice you aquarium fish acting or looking different, it may be ill, which can often lead to death. Early recognition of illness is important to restoring your fish back to health.

Like humans, fish are more susceptible to illness when they’re under stress, Hannah Owens, a graduate student of ichthyology at the University of Kansas, said. “They’re just like people. When it’s finals week and your not sleeping and eating right, you get sick.”

“You can’t just call fish sickness one thing,” Owen Hurst, sales manager at Pet World, Lawrence, Kan., said. “As fish’s immune systems become weaker they become more susceptible to more things.”

Fish Sickness Infographic

Sickness among fish can be difficult to diagnose, so close observation is important. “Watch its behavior, is it swimming, is it lying on the bottom, is it eating, is it gasping for air,” Owens said.

There are many different kinds of sicknesses that can affect aquarium fish. Ick, fin rot, popeye, fungus, neurological disorders and parasites are some of the common things that make fish sick, Hurst said.

“Ick is the most common. There hasn’t been a week where I haven’t seen it,” Luke Ballou, aquatics specialist at Petco, Lawrence, Kan., said. Ballou said he’s learned everything he knows about fish illnesses from helping people work out their problems with their fish during his nearly 4 years at Petco. Ick is a parasitic disease that is highly contagious among fish.

Parasites can be harmful because they take nutrients from the food the host fish eat, which leads to starvation, and can cause internal blockage, which leads to digestive problems, Owens said.

Owens researched the relationship of sharks and parasitic tapeworms while working on her master’s degree. “For sharks, it’s no big deal because they’re huge and the worms are tiny and they’ve evolved together.” Continue reading


Reef aquarium “hitchhikers” can cause serious injury

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Transcript of the video.
Reef aquarium “hitchhikers,” or things introduced to the aquarium accidentally, can cause serious injury to reef aquarium hobbyists.

Seized corals find new home at The Deep

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Corals illegally harvested in the Cook Islands have found a new home at The Deep aquarium, Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The corals were being transported through London Heathrow Airport, where authorities said the transporters had “invalid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species documents.”
Source: BBC News
Photo Source: The Deep

Xanthic Triggerfish finds its way to New York

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A Xanthic  Triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus) recently arrived at Elos Aquastudio New York.  The Xanthic Trigger was collected in the Maldives and made its way to Elos Aquastudio via Russo’s Reef, an aquarium trade wholesaler. Elos is unsure whether they will sell the Xanthic or keep it as a store mascot. Xanthic Triggers can fetch prices upwards of $3000.
Source/Photo Source: Reef Builders

Aquarium trade and exotic fish are now invasive in U.S. waters

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What can we do to help control invasive species?
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Hannah Owens.

Transcript of the interview excerpt. 
Fish commonly kept in the home aquarium are turning up in waters in the United States, according to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, SEFSC. Hobby fish, such as lionfish, humpback grouper and clown triggerfish, are now considered invasive in the Southeast United States, according to the SEFSC.

“There’s no way for a reef fish from the Pacific, that’s tropical, to get to the Atlantic, unless somebody’s helping it,” Hannah Owens, a graduate student of ichthyology at the University of Kansas, said.

Studies have shown that lionfish have been introduced into the Gulf of Mexico multiple times, Owens said. A prevailing hypothesis is that somebody had an aquarium that they no longer wanted and dumped it, “it was definitely more than one introduction,” Owens said.
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CoralVue launches updated website

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CoralVue, manufacturer of products such as the Reef Octopus, Maxspect and Elos products, has launched an updated website. The site now allows customers to view part diagrams and prices for replaceable parts on their products. CoralVue also added a “Store Locator” for potential customers to view demonstrations at their local fish stores.
Sources: Aquanerd, CoralVue

Glow found to be indicator of coral health

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Sources: Reef Builders, Corals of the World Online
Photo Source: Kansan Reef
The amount of fluorescent glow given off from a coral has been found to indicate the coral’s health. Researchers studying Acropora yongei, aka Green Slimer, found that when water temperature is above or below acceptable range, the amount of glow given off from the coral decreases.