Welcome to the third part of my story about the Reef Aquarium Aquaculture Products Testing Laboratory Consumer Reports project. I am listing several great products here this month.
The Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce a new two year research project. During this research we will be purchasing as many types of aquacultured reef aquarium products as we can. We will also conduct surveys both on the internet and in several magazines. These surveys will collect data from as many people who have purchased aquacultured reef products as possible. The third part of this research will consist of creating a data base that lists as many sources as possible of captive raised aquaculture products.
During this research we will award several best of the test awards in many catagories. This months awards are presented on this page.
Tom Frakes has the finest colored Florida Aquaculture rock we have ever received. |
Not only is the rock beautiful his shipping methods are the best. When one considers how delicate the sponges are for shipping, it was great that not one of them was unhealthy upon arrival. This was a very exciting week at the GARF lab. We received our first shipment of colored aquacultured live rock from Tom Frakes. This rock has been down for 3 years and is completely alive with coralline and other animals. Many of the species we have never seen or worked with in our lab before.
We have unpacked several tons of Florida live rock during this research project this is by far the best quality. We have never seen as much color on any Aquacultured rock! Tom has found a way to harvest, hold and ship his aquacultured rock that saves many of the rare invertebrates. These rocks are teaming with many species that have never made it to Idaho before.
If you want live rock that has bright colored healthy invertebrates and lots of them then this is the live rock you should buy!
HARDY AMERICAN CORALS
This rock will live in marine aquariums with 2 - 40 watt lights. If you have wanted to try live corals then these Florida natives are the best ones.
The sponges, tunicates and other invertebrates on these rocks will grow successfully and spread onto your base rocks so you can grow tank raised live rock at home. The rock that Tom Frakes sends has many species of very nice Macro Algae. We are using these algae in our new Glow In The Dark Mud Filters. We will share more on mud filters in our up and coming newsletters. I found a least 6 types of marco algae that I did not have. I was very happy to find some rare brown turf algae.
After one week in our reef aquariums these plants have started to grow. I have found several new types that I did not see at first. I have been working with so much Fiji rock during the last two semesters that I did not remember how many pleasurable hours could be spent sitting in front of a reef aquarium looking at a rock.
|THESE AQUACULTURED ROCKS ADD SO MUCH INTEREST TO A MARINE AQUARIUM. THEY ARE SO EASY TO CARE FOR BECAUSE THEY DO NOT COME THE TROPICS.
The animals that thrive in Tampa Florida are used to changes! In the Summer it is hot and the Water gets cold in the winter. Invertebrates that come from places like Fiji can not take the changes that many home aquariums make. If you want an aquarium that will forgive a mistake or two then you need to use this fine aquacultured live rock.
You will receive more live animals on 50 lbs. of Tom's live rock than will be on 200 lbs. of the best Fiji rock I have ever seen. I am very interested in the yellow sponges that are growing very well in the new 135 gallon reef we set up with two Carlson surge tanks. A ten and a twelve gallon plexiglass tank with a one inch siphons bent from PVC pipe surges the water from two Maxi-Jet 1000 power heads. These tanks are at each end of the aquarium.
I am certain that you can grow many of species that we are finding on this aquaculture rock in your systems. If you have plans for a horse tank grow - out system this type of rock will give you many valuable species that will colonize your tank raised live rock. I have talked to Tom Frakes and he is able to custom ship your live rock so you can receive it with as much biodiversity as possible. We had our shipment divided between buckets and styrofoam fish boxes. We are certain that some species are saved by using both methods.
You will receive many different types of rock in each 40 lb. package. Each rock is treated the very best way to insure that the animals are healthy when they get to your home.
|THIS AQUACULTURED LIVE ROCK IS CARED FOR FROM THE SEA TO THE AIRPORT BY ONE OF BEST MARINE AQUARISTS IN THE INDUSTRY|
You can be sure that this rock is properly handled every step of the way. The rocks have many living barnacles. This type of barnacle has lived in our reef aquariums very well. Most of the rock we have received from Florida in the past did not have very many healthy barnacles. We can always be certain that many rare small invertebrates and the larval forms of many others have survived collection and shipment if the sponges and barnacles are doing well.
This new exciting aquaculture product gives you a chance to help save part of the wild reef and have one of the most colorful aquariums possible.
The time has come for us to quit talking about saving the reef and start doing something. It is not often that saving part of the wild reef can be so fun and educational!
TOM FRAKES AQUACULTURED LIVE ROCK
It's time for another article sharing some of what has transpired in the past month. So much has happened its hard to decide where to start! This is how so many people feel about the conditions of our oceans reefs. It seems so overwhelming that people seem just to talk about the problems and do very little to help solve them. As of now most people who have visited our site know that we are dedicated to sharing all of our research and ask nothing back from any individual except to become involved with some part of our research. It is no secret that our Worlds ocean reefs are being hit hard by pollution and other factors that have cause them to be depleted.
VIEW A LARGER PICTURE OF THIS REEF
We have committed ourselves to learning and educating people about propagating corals, rock, janitors and sand. It is because of this effort we are proud of what we have accomplished in the International Year of the Reef. We developed this site, committed to writing newsletters once a month and posting them for all to see, we put together seminars and invited everyone to learn hands on from some of the leading experts in this field, we have had several articles written about us in Marine Fish Monthly, we have written articles in several magazines to promote propagation, we have been mentioned in several new books that have recently been released, we put together and completed our third annual reef tour and have taught people of all ages how to start and stay with a reef tank.
We are very proud of all of the above accomplishments and at the same time it is because of your response that we have continued to motivate ourselves in this journey. We thank you for all the memberships that have been harvested through this effort.
We humbly thank all of you whose hearts have been rekindled through our writing and have taken the step to raise your own corals and to set up your reef system once again.
I am very concerned with so many issues that surround our oceans and the condition that they are in. I want to bend your ear at this time and somehow plead to you to become involved, join the team and help us make a difference. The live rock harvesting in the US oceans has been stopped legally for a whole year now. This has not helped the condition of the ocean as matter of fact it is getting worse daily! We have learned of a report that in the first month of 1998 there may be a new Cites agreement that will be in effect that will touch and impact all of our lives. The report says there will be NO more collecting of any corals, rock or any other creatures that are bigger then 4". We will find out if this is a fact. We would support a rule that limited sps corals bigger than 4".
It is time to sharpen those propagating scissors, meet with your pet stores and inform them about your stock and growing of corals, but most importantly form a team of dedicated people who can have a voice in your Community to educate leaders and let them know we want a SAY in what happens to the Worlds reefs.
Here is my biggest problem with this. If all people who collect the oceans corals, rock and sand have their livelihood stopped and no longer take anything from the ocean it is not going to make the conditions of the oceans water quality any better. Why are we not regulating the farming that goes on next to the ocean, why are we not stopping the golf courses that are being built next to the ocean, why are we not putting back in the wetlands that will clean and filter the water and as a matter of fact cool down the water temperature. I could go on and on about the whys and why nots. What I am asking here from you is for you to ask these very same questions and don't stop until you get some answers.
We have to form a dedicated union of individuals who think locally and act globally. How many of you knew it was the International Year of the Reef? How many of you knew about the stopping of live rock harvesting in the US oceans? How many of you knew that this Cites is already passed and will become effective 1-1-1998.? On the bright side how many of you know it is going to be the International Year of the Ocean this next Year. This is a challenge from me to all of you lets get involved with this starting right here and now. Lets have a solid voice for the International Year of the Ocean.
It is a fact that hobbyist all around the World have made tremendous strides in understanding and maintaining our captive reef environments. We know that without dedication and hard work we could never keep these corals alive and that we have to pay attention to the needs of these animals as well as the conditions that we surround them with. We are propagating many species of corals and have shared the successes as well as the failures. We should be patting ourselves on the back for these incredible advances and not let anything stop us from moving forward with this knowledge. If we don't, there is so much to be lost at this time we could not identify what horrible impact will be left on future generations.
Researchers are studying these corals for cures for cancer, aids, and actively using them for some treatments for some illnesses already. If we don't make our propagated animals available to Universities who are studying them for medical reasons what possible result will that leave us with? What happens to the animals that are left in the unhealthy conditions that the ocean is in? I don't believe they will thrive maybe not even survive.
It is a true fact that if nothing changes in our lifetime over 70% of the Worlds reef will be LOST. I can not live the rest of my days believing or being a part of that statistic. The Foundation is going to do everything it can to make sure that this fact will never become your reality! However this is where we need your help. Please learn and share all you can about these corals. Volunteer your time to educate children who are learning in their classrooms about the ocean. Talk to leaders in your Community about the positive things you are doing. Make the attempt to talk to your local pet stores and educate them (they need it)! Most importantly do something and please share those accomplishments back to us. We will share them in our newsletters and on our site.
Now I need to take a breath and laugh at myself here I am going on and on about this not being the time to slow down or give up it is the time to get involved. I however am a little guilty because just the other day I told LeRoy that 'gosh our year of commitment to our monthly posted newsletter is almost up', he laughed at me and said no I think we should do this for another year as a matter of fact I'm going to put something new on our site everyday. I looked at him thinking he's got to be kidding, he is not. I am here to tell you we are going to roll up our sleeves even further. We are going to reach more people and we are going to pull at your heart even deeper.
You can count on monthly newsletters, daily updates, we will write articles and promise to provide you with seminars this next year.
Now that I got that out of my system for the moment I can now write about my three reef tanks and explain the changes that constantly occur. LeRoy decided to finally take pictures of the left side of my 55 gallon reef system so that I can talk about it and show pictures of the animals that are thriving on that side in this system. We are hoping to develop a site so that you will be able to click on the animal you want in your own reef system and I will then know which animals to propagate and fulfill your home needs.
I have over 175 different species of coral growing in this system and propagate them all the time. This tank is growing so fast that it is becoming harder to maintain. I have to make sure that all the animals are happy and healthy so that I can share them with others who will have as much fun as I continue to have.
This Pom Pom Xenia is now in many tanks around the US and it is a keeper for any hobbyist. You can propagate this animal almost once a week and it tends to grow faster the more you propagate it. This particular animal started as one polyp and has mothered at least one hundred babies. The SeaChem Reef Plus is the answer to keeping these animal thriving in any reef system.
What is seen in this picture is again the left side of my system. Which is now 1 year and 9 months old. It has brought me the most joy and I have been able to pass that on to other people. Out of the 175 different species of corals that are in my system only about five of them came from the ocean. The rest I have grown from the captive systems in the Foundations tanks or other propagators have shared their successes with me.
To be able to maintain this type of system you need to pay close attention to the animals and make sure you are consistent with what you do as far as maintaining the animals and the water quality. It is important to do water changes. Even if other people tell you it is not necessary I am here to tell you it is.
You also have to commit to using supplements as well as develop a routine schedule for checking your water, maintaining temperature, and checking your skimmer to make sure it is doing its duty. Clean your lights and make sure that you change them every six months, two lights at a time. Daily you need to look at the animals in your system to make sure that they are not touching each other or have fallen over. No one knows your system better then you do. These animals need your nurturing and will reflect their gratefulness back to you many time over when cared for properly.
You can see in the picture below how I've propagated some of my sps corals. You can refer back to last months pictures and see for yourself how much these animals can grow in one month. Dana Riddle even said while he was at the Foundation 'I think I may have to rethink my thoughts on the use of VHOs'. This tank could not be healthier and all the sps corals have great color and grow tremendously.
You have to decide how much money you are going to invest in this hobby, how much time you are going to invest in this hobby and what bottom line results you want to receive from this hobby. I am here to say that the sky is the limit it all depends on you and how much you are willing to invest. I must stress that you can never forget to stay with the commitment. These animals need you and they can not speak for themselves, it is up to you to pay attention and to take responsibility.
LeRoy and I will help you anyway we can. We want you to have fun and reap the rewards that we have been fortunate enough to have.
I also want to mention my cutting tank is full. So we are ready to sell you some of these corals that you see in these pictures. Please call our 1-800-600-6163 number and talk to our staff members to see what is available at what time.
I must mention again for all of you who have purchased our reef janitors you must keep replacing some of them about each six months. Count how many you have left and reorder the ones you need to replace.
We notice that by using the SeaChem supplements we can keep them alive for a long period of time. We are now growing our own rotifers and green water and are feeding our systems at least twice a week which seems to enhance all of the creatures living inside this closed systems.
I have no algae problems and I hardly ever have to clean my glass. It truly makes my role as propagator that much more fun, I leave the rest of the hard work to our janitors which I stock this system.
I make sure all the corals are healthy and when purchased by you they are ready to put in any reef system. One other exciting fact is that we are now raising baby hermits as well as snails.
This is another picture of the left side of my reef. Most of this reef is made up of rock that LeRoy made for me and then I just glued the animal where I wanted them in my tank. I now have over 900 grams of glue in this system and it keeps everything in place and happy. I go through withdrawals when I don't have a BIG tube in my office for safe keeping. As you can tell by this picture I am a firm believer if you can count how many corals you have in your tank you don't have enough!:)
The Seminar and tour were very successful. Dana Riddle and Steve Tyree enhanced all of our insights into reef keeping. One fact that I would like to share with you at this time is our product Magic Reef Dust. Dana Riddle explained to the people who attended the seminar that he has had no negative results with the Magic Reef Dust and stated that since he started using it his corals have better colors and continue to be brighter.
I use this Magic Reef Dust in all of the systems at the Foundation. If you are interested in this product we sell it for 3lbs for $20.00 delivered. You will notice a difference the first day!
|This picture shows a little Pom Pom Xenia that propagated all by itself. It really pulses. I have found another little baby that propagated all on its own and it is resting on my back glass. I never thought there would be the day that I would even consider passing this animal unto others.
I had such a hard time keeping them alive, now because of the use of SeaChem products they are becoming what I lovingly call weeds. I allow them to go to other individuals as long as I know that they are aware of the conditions that they came from. I even have talked to some of the owners and walked them through how to propagate them on the phone. Yes we seem to have mothers everywhere which makes my mother Xenia a GREAT Great Grandmothers Grandma?:)
I wanted LeRoy to take a picture of this Bubble algae eating emerald crab to show you that I keep them in my most cherished reef system. They are a great new addition to our janitor package.
They eat the algae that no one else wants. They will not hurt any other corals in your systems and are quite funny to watch. I tried to get one to turn around for you so that you could see he's bright orange dot that is under his arm pit.
He truly is a great addition to any reef system especially if one is fighting any algae problems. Just call our office and ask our staff if we have some on hand. Sometimes they have to steal them out of my office because I like them so much.
This is another close up view of my Pom Pom Xenia. You can tell by how many pictures LeRoy takes of this animal it is one of our favorite species in all of the Foundation's systems.
This species is a constant pulser and has a wonderful color. He grows right along with all the other corals. It grows so fast that I tend to propagate him at least once a month.
You can see in this picture I have tremendous color in this system. I also just had a article (my first ever and of course LeRoy helped me) printed in the December issues of FAMA, please if you haven't already received this magizine do so. It will walk you through all of the steps involved with propagating any of these animals.
VIEW TWO LARGER PICTURES OF THIS REEF
My final comment is for you to act locally and think globally and share with us the progresses you are making. I will go to sleep tonight knowing that we together will make this World a better place and that the next generation will have the same gifts that we have so richly shared in.
Sally Jo Headlee
Some questions from the mail box
>Well I just verified my order with Glenn for the 100 gallon janitor
>package. (he was very pleasant to deal with by the way) And I have one
>more question about your beautiful reef tank. Did I read correctly that
>you are using super glue to adhere corals to rock? Super glue, as in the
>stuff also sold as crazy glue? I know that it was originally developed
>for medical purposes, but I just wanted to make sure. Where there any
>anemones or fish in the tank. I want to use it if possible because it
>is so readily available and cost effective. Your input is greatly
Yes I have over 900 grams of super reef gel in my one system. Yes I have fish, I have
anemones and nothing bad has ever happened. I have tested several brands of glue
and the one that I like the best is very thick and comes out like a gel. It is called Reef
Glue and you should be able to find this or similar glue. I too learned about glue
actually being used on humans and decided to try it on the reef animals like soft corals. We were
the first to ever try this and the results are incredible and propagating took on a life of
Thanks for your letter and I hope to hear from you soon.
Sally Jo Headlee
> Hi. I was recently in Key West this year and I heard a lot of talk about coral
bleaching. It is so bad there that there is actually an update on the radio everyday
about new bleached reefs being found. After returning home I did a little research of
my own on the subject. I also questioned my right to be supporting a hobby that while
I enjoy, may actually be adding fuel to the fire. By this I mean that every time I go to
the store and purchase a new piece of rock for my tank or aquire a new fish that
means there was a boat emitting fumes and oils and other stuff into the water right
above our reefs. I have decided that it is ok for me to keep practicing this hobby. But I
have decided to make a point to give back what I take. What does GARF think ? Do
you plan to research bleaching? You don't say anything about it on your web page and
I think you should at least state your view point to your readers like me. just
Thank you so much for this letter. We feel that in Boise Idaho we are constantly
screaming at the top of our lungs to make people listen. The coral reefs are in REAL
bad shape not only in the US oceans but spreading faster then I can write.
Because of this we are dedicated to learning as much as we can to help save and
preserve and hopfully seed back some of these corals when the conditions are more
It is hard to make people act and put back the wetlands that provide the filter to clean
out the horrilbe stuff that emptys in the ocean and if we can do this the plants will
cool down the temperatures.
At this time we are dedicated towards propagation and not taking from the ocean that
has given us so much and we understand so little about.
We all need to team up and do this. Do not support your pet stores that take from the
ocean. How would you know that you are not picking up something that will cause
the same problems that the ocean is fighting. Coral propagation is the smartest, safest
and will promise the hope of saving the reef.
But stopping people from using the ocean does not stop the real problems it is facing. like
run off and temperature changes . We need to address these, fix
them and understand more so that there will be coral reefs left to the next generation.
If we don't pull together as a team over 70% of the Worlds reefs will be gone in our
life time. We are doing everything we can to change that. Mostly through research,
public education and this internet site. We teach everyone we can to grow their own
rock, corals and not to abuse the ocean.
As a dedicated team we can make a difference, but by not becoming involved the reefs
I can not thank you enough for your letter and most importantly your concern for the
conditions of our reefs. You are a special person and one who needs to get involved.
Sally Jo Headlee<
>MessageText: I've had an established 90 gallon reef tank for 3 years. The rock I
originally purchased is florida rock as it was the least expensive for me. Prior to this
tank, I had a 55 gallon reef which also used florida rock. However, to it's demise, the
reef ended up being taken over by algae, mostly hair.
>Anyway, we humans usually learn from or mistakes, unless financially unavoidable.
So, I have been experiencing more algae problems on certain rocks in this tank. I
added 30 lbs of Vanuatu(sp) rock about 4 months ago. Needless to say, the algae does
not appear anywhere on this rock. If you're thinking its because of coralline coverage,
well there's a couple of florida pieces which were substantially covered with coralline,
but is now some algae growth.> >So, Having said all of this, I must say I've tested all applicable parameters; Silica,
>To my original concern/question, why isn't the algae growing on the Vanuatu rock. I
must say some of the florida rocks are large, however, I have a lot of circulation in
tank, (2000 gph +return pumps) all controlled by an aquacontroller. I'm about ready to
tear down and replace all rock with fiji/Vanuatu. Or is this a mistake?????
Thank you for your letter and support of our site. We work really hard to make this a
postive experience for all who dedicated themselves to this hobby.
It sounds to me that you are in desperate need of our janitors. I do not suggest that you
tear this system down. To much time and investment has gone into it. I do however
suggest you purchase our janitor package. Make sure that your skimmer is working
and if you are feeding hold back on it a little.
I can not explain why one rock would be experiencing algae growth and others aren't
unless that it was found on the rock to begin with. You can get a few tangs and some
urchins as well. We have in stock some beautiful pink urchins.
Please before you tear up your system call our office at 1-800-600-6163. We want to help
in any way that we can.
Sally Jo Headlee
Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems, and help support our research!!!
LOW COST BULLET PROOF REEF AQUARIUM Learn to start an inexpensive reef aquarium
55 GALLON INSTA REEF Visit Rachel's 12 week old Bullet Proof Reef Aquarium
MORE PICTURES OF THIS REEF AQUARIUM
Research page for Xenia and related soft coral propagation Learn to propagate xenia. Please enter any data you have about these corals.
Soft Coral Propagation Page Pictures and details of soft coral propagation
Stony Coral Propagation Page Pictures and details of small polyp stony corals
Mushroom Anemone Propagation Page Pictures and details of mushroom propagation
Zoanthid and palythoa Anemone Propagation Page Pictures and details of Sea mat propagation
Learn to construct a 140 gallon plywood and epoxy reef tank
Image Page for Zoanthids and Palythoa
We want to share as much information as possible with you. If you have ordered any aquacultured live rock or tank raised corals please help with this research! We will continue to provide the most current data on reef farming for both education and profit.
ALL DATA AND NAMES ARE CONFIDENTIAL - YOU WILL NEVER RECEIVE E- MAIL FROM ANYONE OUTSIDE OUR OFFICE!