From Reefs Magazine

By Richard Ross


 
In reefkeeping, there are a million products and techniques, each claiming to be a necessary ingredient for a successful reef tank. The problem is that many of these claims have little, if any, evidence to support them – so how are we supposed to know which ingredient, product or method is useful and which is bunk? Well, we can bellyache that someone else should figure it out and let us know, or we can get up off our collective butts and start producing evidence ourselves by doing some simple experiments. 

“Joe Yaiullo’s Magic Juice”, if it existed, would do whatever Joe said it would do because he would test it. He rolls like that. Photo by Rich Ross.

If “Joe Yaiullo’s Magic Juice” existed, it would do whatever Joe said it would because Joe would test it. Joe rolls like that. Photo by Rich Ross.

In previous installments, we discussed how real science takes time, resources and money. Real science is a pain in the butt to do. More »

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Published on Oct 11, 2015

We talk all things octopus with Rich Ross, senior aquarium biologist at the California Academy of Sciences.

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A Conversation Between Nathan Hill and Rich Ross 

From Reefs Magazine

For American readers unfamiliar with Nathan Hill, he might considered my analogue in the UK – he is a regular contributor to Practical Fishkeeping where he often tackles hobby issues from the stance of ethical, critical, and consistent thinking, while trying to get the hobby to look at itself in the mirror – he also has a degree in philosophy, which makes him super cool in my book. Nathan and I have been aware of each other for several years, briefly communicating from time to time with notes like, “Great piece, but I think I have a few disagreements – let’s talk,” but we have never found the time to be able to really dig in… until now. I have wanted to revisit morals in the Skeptical Reefkeeping series for some time now, and convinced Nathan to participate in a written discussion with me on a topic of his choosing, which turned out to be, “Is the hobby morally justifiable?” We wrote back and forth to each other in email, and then assembled the discussion below, doing some editing to make things more clear. It is important to point out that this is a conversation, not a debate. The point of a debate is to win, the point of a conversation is to hear each side and shift ones views based on good information presented from a perspective one may not have entertained previously. The point is for all of us to learn and grow together, not to try to ”win.” We hope you enjoy this philosophical conversation, and look forward to any feedback you might have (please post any feedback in this shiny new discussion forum:https://www.reefs.com/forum/skeptical-reefkeeping/ ) 

Most people think this fish is happy because it looks like it is smiling. However, this fish always looks like it is smiling, so how can we possibly tell when it is not happy? Photo by Google Search.
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