When asked by hobbyists to explain the secrets of successful reefkeeping the answers almost always come back to the idea of balance–balance of import and export of nutrients, the balance between spectrum and intensity in lighting, calcium and alkalinity, aesthetics and practicality, expectations and reality. When you find the right balance things tend to work out alright.
Putting together this labor of love called Reefs Magazine, I’m struck by the similarities. As editor, I need to find the right balance of material to make the whole work. I need a proper balance of words and images, a well considered mix of familiar and unfamiliar authors, entry level and advanced topics, groundbreaking discoveries and tried and true methodology.
Our Fall issue has all these elements and more. Our feature takes us to the beautiful and eerie shipwrecks of the Red Sea where Richard Aspinall, diver, photographer, conservationist and editor of the British aquarium magazine Ultra Marine, eloquently and poetically describes the miracles of life that have sprung from such tragedy. Paul Whitby lays down the color theory in part 2 of his detailed look at aquascaping. Rich Ross is back as well, but not in his familiar skeptical garb. Instead, we are treated to part 1 of a detailed recounting of the groundbreaking California Academy of Sciences Biological Diversity Expedition of the Philippine reefs. More groundbreaking work is presented by Todd Gardner and Jay Hemdal whose seminal techniques for the spawning and rearing of the Boarfish (Capros aper) hold promise for a host of other species of greater interest to the hobby. Sanjay Joshi occupies our Fish Tales slot with a breathtaking photo essay on the courtship of the alluring Candy Basslet (Liopropoma carmabi). Our old friend Pedro Nuno Ferreira reaches across the sea from his native Portugal to remind us that the past really is present when it comes to reef keeping techniques. Finally, veteran author James Fatherree examines the open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) and offers us some fantastic photos and sound husbandry advice.
So, how did I do? I hope my careful balancing act provides you many hours of reading pleasure. I’m sure you’ll let me know. You always do. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have a wonderful holiday season and as always, happy reefing!