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Pooling Your Resources

Overcome the “glass-box-with-fish” syndrome by constructing a dynamic tide pool refugium in your own fishroom.

By Steven Bitter |

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After a visit to the Hawaiian island of Lanai, I was inspired by the uniqueness of the intertidal environments that I found in the tide pools near Hulopo’e Beach. Along the southern stretch of the bay, several hundred yards of jagged volcanic rock sat just between the high- and low-tide lines, creating countless pools when the tide receded. What fascinated me about these tide pools were the density and diversity of macroalgae, the influence of the tide cycles on the growth forms of these algae, and the number of cryptic and juvenile fish taking sanctuary in these pools.

Numerous species of algae, including Caulerpa, Padina and Codium, densely covered the volcanic rock surfaces of the pools, offering a food source and shelter to a variety of blennies, gobies and damselfishes, as well as juvenile squirrelfishes, butterflyfishes and tangs. It seemed that the more I searched the tide pools, the more species I uncovered. Green Zoanthus polyps grew in a shallow crevice no larger than a cereal bowl, while quarter-sized baby convict tangs (Acanthurus triostegus) took shelter in some of the smallest pools.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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Reader Comments

Brian    Riverton, UT

10/11/2011 5:39:51 AM

ok found the back issue at the library. great article, really thinking outside the box.

Brian    riverton, UT

10/10/2011 5:44:59 AM

I need to find this back issue to read the rest of the article. now that my interest is up.

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