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ADVANCED SPS PROPAGATION
MAGNIFYING GLASS DIGITAL MAGIC
The most interesting thing that we've discovered about coral production is that each growing tip will produce the same number of polyps on each brood stock coral. If you have a brood stock coral with a base 2 in. wide that has nine growing tips and you compare it to a base from the same clone that has four tips you'll find that each tip grows to the same length. We discovered early on that anything we could do to produce bud tip initiation increased coral production.
We found that the best way to grow more branches on the coral base is to mount the coral base sideways. Each of the places where you remove branches close to the base of the coral will rapidly grow new tissue. If the cut coral base is mounted sideways many of the polyps around the cut frag will develop into new branches. When we mount the cut bases so that they are pointing in the same direction they grew the cut frag often only develops into one new branch.
The branches that you have removed the colony can now be grown into new colonies. Each 1 in. branch is mounted sideways on the live rock so the tissue from the coral will grow down on to the rock into a circle. Each type of SPS coral will act differently and I will explain what we have found about certain types of Acropora.
This research will be aimed at discovering if there are more hardy types of Zooxanthellae. These hardy strains may resist bleaching in the ocean. GARF's main interest in this part of the research will be to discover if hardy strains of Zooxanthellae can be transferred to other captive corals. In the future we may be able to inoculate difficult to keep corals so they can be mass-produced for eventual return to the oceans. Scientists are hoping to find new methods to combat the man-made pollution and higher temperatures that are devastating the wild reefs.
While we are waiting for the results, we will describe a practical application of this discovery in the next issue.
A phrase that carries with it, a lot of weight. Trying to take the perfect picture can be a challenging feat for most of us, and those who accept the challenge will find themselves believing that it can be done. So we react by taking dozens, if not, with the development of Digital Camera, and Digital Video Camera, hundreds of pictures without the fear of wasting a single roll of film. I would like to share with you, a method of using a Digital Camera that will help get great if not, perfect pictures. I am not a Digital Camera expert nor am I an expert in general. But, let me tell ya, I sure do try.
There are many brands of Digital Camera out there ranging
from $100 to thousands of dollars. And the prices don't seem to drop
any faster. I received the Kodak DC210 Plus Zoom Camera as a present
last year and since then; it has logged over 2800 pictures. Most
of the pictures I have taken came out great. However, I soon learned there
were certain limitations to its capabilities. Pictures would come
out blurry if the subject being taken is more than 5 feet away and also,
if the subject was within 12 inches of the camera. That is when the
trusty Minolta X-570 35mm comes in. Another negative aspect on most
digital cameras is battery consumption. I'm not even gonna go there so
lets move on.
Taking pictures of my land locked reef aquarium
and its inhabitants with the digital camera came to be the most challenging
event since getting the camera. At the start of taking pictures hundreds
were taken with only 20% of the pictures worth keeping. I almost
gave up when one day, I was taking more pictures of my tank, my daughter
was playing with a magnifying glass and asking if I could take a picture
of her with the magnifying glass close to her face. So I did.
After loading the pictures in the computer, and reviewing how the pictures
came out. I notice something peculiar about the picture I took of
my daughter. Most of the picture come out blurry. However,
her nose behind the magnifying glass came out clear. After saving my work,
I ran downstairs with the magnifying glass, and started taking pictures
until all its memory was used up. Went back to the computer, reviewed,
and sat on my chair, stared at the pictures with nothing but amazement.
Taking pictures of my land locked reef aquarium and its inhabitants with the digital camera came to be the most challenging event since getting the camera. At the start of taking pictures hundreds were taken with only 20% of the pictures worth keeping. I almost gave up when one day, I was taking more pictures of my tank, my daughter was playing with a magnifying glass and asking if I could take a picture of her with the magnifying glass close to her face. So I did. After loading the pictures in the computer, and reviewing how the pictures came out. I notice something peculiar about the picture I took of my daughter. Most of the picture come out blurry. However, her nose behind the magnifying glass came out clear. After saving my work, I ran downstairs with the magnifying glass, and started taking pictures until all its memory was used up. Went back to the computer, reviewed, and sat on my chair, stared at the pictures with nothing but amazement.
Magnifying glass. a converging lens that enlarges the image of an object. Used with the sun to burn small creatures smaller than you (e.g. ants). J/k Ok, I just so happen to have a dictionary next to me. Well, except for the ant part, a magnifying glass is a good tool. A tool that reduce strain to your eyes focusing on a subject. But, also through the lens of a camera. In my experience, glass and water plays tricks with the camera lens. I have found that using a magnifying glass helps the lens focus on a subject better. Particularly if the subject is at a close distance. With digital cameras not equipped with a macro feature, you will find using a magnifying glass to be very helpful. Most cameras come with an AC adapter and a LCD screen. These will help in capturing your perfect pictures. Plug in the AC adapter to the camera, turn on the camera LCD, turn off the flash, turn on macro feature (if applicable), hold the magnifying glass in front of the camera lens and watch the subject thru the LCD screen. While watching the LCD screen, slowly adjust the distance of the camera between you and the subject as necessary. When the subject appears focused, then click. Simple isn't it? Some magnifying glass comes with a magnifying eye. Using the eye in front of the lens allow the camera to come much closer to your subject. However, to get a clear picture using the eye, the subject has to be almost in front of the glass.
Please note that this method relies on short distances shots (1¾ to 12¾) for a clear picture using either the magnifier or the eye. Not all corals are placed in front of their tank, so if moving a corals that can be moved is imminent, remember some corals will react (sudden movement, lighting change, etc) and may not want their picture taken. Moving the animal a day before the shoot, in my experience, gave the animal time to adjust for just that event. If your camera has the capability to adjust exposure (more light, less light), your one of the lucky ones. If not, you may get too much lighting and the picture may come out too bright. Shielding the light from the subject can help. You may need to ask for assistance since both your hands are tied up. Be creative because the animal you moved probably prefers to be where he was at before you moved him.
(Left) picture without using the eye of the magnifying glass. (Right) Taken using the eye.
Not all digital cameras are built the same. It took time, patients and a lot of practice to get the pictures worth keeping. Learn the capabilities of your camera and its limits (distances for a clear shot). Learn to trust your LCD. I know this may look awkward holding the camera in one hand, and the magnifying glass in the other while you are bent over or kneeling in front of your tank. But, don't worry; you're the one taking the pictures. Practice, can only bring you perfect pictures. There are many pictures out there taken using a 35mm, and they are quite beautiful. With digital cameras, no more rolls and rolls of film have to be developed so take your time and take as much pictures as you can. Just shoot away. If you're an Austin Power fan, please don't yell at your animals.
Remember to use the ac adapter when you can. If you rely mainly on batteries, I recommend purchasing at least 2 sets of rechargeable batteries. Eveready has done me justice as long as I maintain it correctly. When running on rechargeable Eveready batteries it is best to run them down completely. After my camera shuts down while on batteries, it doesn't mean the battery is completely drained. Personally, I place the batteries in a flashlight until it is drained completely. I found the life of the batteries last that way.
The reef-keeping hobby has placed a lot of challenges towards the aquarist. As we learn more and more about maintaining the animals we love, along that line, we strive to keep records in one form or another. A picture is another form of record, without the words. And I have seen no better record of pictures than with LeRoy and Sally Jo at GARF. Thank you both for giving me the opportunity to be part of you. There are many who visit your website and leave with an understanding and the courage to make an effort toward making a reef ecosystem of their own. GARF being the roll model.
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ADVANCED SPS PROPAGATION
MAGNIFYING GLASS DIGITAL MAGIC
GARF'S CORAL ORDER FORM