Posted on August 30, 2014 by  —  from Aquanerd

Richard Ross

Behold your 2014 MASNA Aquarist of the Year, Richard Ross.

We are so excited to announce that Rich has won this prestigious award. For those of you who don’t know Rich, or at least follow him on social media, he has to be one of the most talented hobbyists with such an amazingly diverse background. He currently works for the California Academy of Science in their Steinhart Aquarium, maintaining their 212,000 gallon Philippine reef exhibit which has an added perk of getting to travel to the Coral Triangle for collecting and other awesome activities. He has done phenomenal work in the areas of cephalopod research, fish breeding, coral aquaculture, and spreading knowledge about the aquarium hobby. Rich pens the Skeptical Reefkeeping column on the Reefs Magazine and often contributes to other blogs and aquarium organizations.

As for his past in hobby, Rich was actually educated in philosophy at the University of California, but started to volunteer at the Steinhart Aquarium in 2008. Being a lifelong aquarist, this was a no brainer, and eventually he turned that into a very successful career as a full-time staff biologist.

When he’s not playing with aquatic life, Rich juggles, does a little stand up here and there, and dabbles in blowing glass. At MACNA 2013, Rich was the master of ceremonies and entertained the crowd with some amazing juggling skills and some all around good fun.

We couldn’t think of a more perfect candidate for the MASNA Aquarist of the Year award and we’d like to congratulate him once again.

Thanks, Rich. You’re AWESOME!

 

rtheader

From ReefThreads

“This week we reach a major milestone with our 200th Reef Threads podcast. To help us celebrate, we’re joined by Rich Ross, Ben Johnson, and Jeremy. This week we talk about various aspects of the hobby and what lies ahead for us”

From Ultramarine

Originally from Science Today at the California Academy of Sciences

Academy researchers are among the first to study tiny, fascinating pygmy seahorses that live exclusively on coral in the Philippines.

 

rtheader

From Reefthreads

“It’s a new week and time for a new podcast. This week we talk about Sanjay’s notification trick, Reefs.com, blogs, the MACNA banquet, Archerfish skill, and skeptical animal selection. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine”

From Advanced Aquarist

The answer to the struggle of what to feed marine predators that require live foods is right under our noses. Fish might be friends, but in the real world the may also be food.
Richard Ross' pair of Dr. Seuss fish, Belonoperca pylei

Richard Ross’ pair of Dr. Seuss fish, Belonoperca pylei

Back in March, I wrote about Chad Vossen feeding a platinum clownfish that was to be culled to juvenile Dwarf Cuttlefish, Sepia bandnesis, and talked about how clownfish destined to be culled might be a great source of marine feeders for predatory marine animals. As a follow up I present to you the below video: Dr. Seuss eats Nemo. In the video I feed my pair of Dr. Seuss Fish, Belonoperca pylei, some captive bred designer clownfish that were raised in quarantine conditions, and were destined for the culling block. These clownfish were provided to me by Bay Area Reefers President, Steinhart Aquarium Volunteer (Thanks David!) and clownfish breeder extraordinaire, David Sheh.

https://vimeo.com/104619466

Feeding marine predatory animals can be difficult because finding appropriate live foods can come with all kinds of problems. Availability can be challenging, as finding the right size prey items, in the quantity you need them, when you need them can be problematic. Disease and parasites from wild caught prey items can infect your predatory fish, and quarantine of such animals is and added expense, as well as taking up time and resources.  Worse, the ethical issues surrounding wild caught feeder animals are significant; using animals flown halfway around the world as feeders seems exceedingly wasteful.  Furthermore, with some aquarium fish potentially to be listed as threatened or endangered in the endangered species act, the practice of feeding out wild caught animals can become even more inflammatory. Cultured freshwater prey items don’t offer a great alternative as they can have a different nutritional profile from saltwater prey items, and can present sub optimal results – for example, in my experience Dwarf Cuttles fed solely freshwater ghost shrimp tend to lay much fewer eggs, and fewer viable eggs than cuttles fed saltwater shrimp.

If only there were a whole bunch of captive bred, saltwater animals that nobody wanted, weren’t sellable, and were often culled as a matter of course. Oh wait. There are.

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