Roughly half a year passed by since we projected and built up a closed recirculation unit for the keeping of warm water corals at the GEOMAR in Kiel.
In 2 stages (4 days in all) a fully functioning coral reef aquarium was set up, with a rich stock of corals right from the beginning.
An approximately one year planning phase preceded this.
A former Photo lab was chosen as roomspace and a water-impermeable floor covering was installed.
This considerable facility is needed for diverse current and future research projects, which require the cultivation of reef building corals under controlled laboratory conditions.
Stage 1, 13th/14th May 2013:
During the first stage, the main aquarium (120x60x50cm³) and the filter sump were installed and put into operation: PVC-tubes, pipes and fittings, protein skimmer, aquarium computer with regulation of temperature, automized water refill, pH measuring, insertion of coral sand, construction of reef ceramics, live rock, fill up with both – fresh and mature salt water, and even the first robust pioneers were introduced as well: Various snails, hermit crabs, sea stars, macro algae and some modest soft corals and gorgonians.
Everything went like clockwork, although the 30-hour installation was a real challenge.
In the following, Dr. Isabelle Taubner and Dr. Florian Böhm lead the tank through an eleven-week run-up phase to obtain a biological balance. Since then they have been caring thoroughly for the animals, the technical devices and all relevant water parameters.
Stage 2, 30th/31th July 2013:
During the second stage, the culture tank for coral fragments (120x50x40cm³) was connected to the recirculation system and fish, invertebrates and corals were inserted:
14 fish out of 8 suitable species, shrimps, urchins, sea stars, tube worms, as well as 10 well-grown coral colonies entered the aquarium. Of course that was a real highlight!
The calcium reactor was put into service as well.
Equipped with everything that is necessary for the successful operation of a coral reef aquarium, we talked about everything in detail and finally we even performed a small coral fragmentation workshop.
In the following months the aquaria developed very well. The fish and corals were excellently supplied and fed with high-grade frozen food, plankton and pellet food mostly two times a day.
Despite this quite rich feeding regime the nitrate value remained low and the phosphate value was not even detectable.
The corals are growing excellently and are bright and colourful.
In January 2014 ten more fish and 22 invertebrates were introduced.
We will keep on reporting.
In august there will be again two „Marine Biology Workshops“ at Marsa Shagra / Red Sea Diving Safari, by now in the sixth year.
One 5-day workshop in german language, 8th -12th august (250 €) and
one 3-day workshop in english language, 15th -17th august (150 €)
The workshops are suitable for divers AND snorkelers, all age groups and no previous knowledge is required.
So they are especially suited for families or couples with one diver and one snorkeler. Therefore the dates are set during the summer vacancies this year.
The vivid and interactive workshops shall raise knowledge and awareness of these fascinating organisms and the multiple connections in marine ecosystems, investigating the coral reef by the participants themselves!
Learning about marine biology methods shall help the participants to deal with these topics further on by their own. Conservation, sustainability and knowledge about the today´s threats of marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs, are basic points of the course as well as changing and expanding the participants´ underwater perception.
For more information, please see the flyer and visit: www.redsea-divingsafari.com
On November 3, the BS Town Hall of the 26th ornamental fish exchange between the Harz and the Heide took place. There were about 2500 visitors, including many families.
More than 50 breeders from the region offered their offspring on 94 tables. The well-known author of the aquarium Andreas Tanker gave a talk about “ornamental fish search in Peru ” and about Loricariidae. At a raffle there were again great things to win, as main prizes three complete aquariums.
Great praise to the many volunteers of the aquarium club Braunschweig e.v., who made all this possible! For more information: http://www.aquarienclub.de/
We were of course also with some of our 65 brought corals there and some of them changed their pelvis. We wish you good prosperity, strong skeletal growth and always a little plankton between the tentacles 😉
The next dates for 2014 are already set: at 16.3 and 10.9, the 27th and 28th Ornamental Fish Exchange will delight the fish and water lovers once again!