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The Fernbank Museum sent us the following e-mail:

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Fernbank Museum has recently received a large grant from NOAA to refurbish our 900 gallon Reef Aquarium. This exhibit will attempt to recreate the reef environment of Georgia's Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary as closely as possible in an artificial setting. Presently we are seeking advice and input from experienced hobbyists and professionals in the aquarium industry. Specifically, we are interested in rockwork fabrication, filtration and lighting, and species compatibility. We are also accepting proposals from experienced aquarium caretaking businesses to contract with the Museum and maintain the tank.

We would like to invite Atlanta Reef Club to conduct one of their monthly meetings here this summer. We will provide a meeting space and conduct a tour of our existing systems so your members can tell us what they think. We will also go over our region-specific species list and invite comments on compatibility and sustainability of certain livestock. Basically we would love an opportunity to "pick your brains" for an hour or two and draw from your years of collective experience.
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This presents the ARC w/ a great opportunity to get a tour of Fernbank's reef aquarium setup. This also allows us to help a local museum with some input on how to create a reef exhibit. We are very excitied about this offer from Fernbank Museum to host an ARC meeting.

The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, July 24th at 07:00 PM. I encourage every to attend. Hope to see you there. Details will be posted on our website as the date draws near.

Charles
 

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Did you mean to post this in the regular members forum, Charles?
 

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Snorkelholic
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I love that star-filled ceiling and that tank with the shell collection from around the world!

If you haven't seen this tank in Fernbank - you owe it to yourself to make a trip down Ponce and see it!

Make sure you pay attention to the tiles as you walk in - they are filled with fossils.

Maybe they can show us an Imax too.....?


Joe
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Now the tank Mike and I saw was empty. I went to the Coral Sea IMAX presentation a few weeks ago.

Ray
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Yeah I just think that it will be neat that when my kids see the reef tank, I can proclaim that I played some small part in it. I hope that the Atlanta Aquarium allows us to perhaps setup a tank or help design a reef. I think we have some serious knowledgeable people in our club. One day I hope to be one of them.

Ray
 

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Fernbank with Dr.Carlson

Bruce Carlson spoke at Fernbank on Tuesday 17 June 2003 in the IMAX auditorium. He is a University of Hawaii graduate, visited Fiji as a Peace Corps member, and is currrently GA Aquarium's Life Science and Research authority. While he ran the Wakiki Aquarium in Hawaii he created some video presentations to educate visitors about the beauty of coral reefs and some of the dangers to their survival. Although corals have survived for hundreds of thousands of years, their environment is very stable and this lack of adaptation to change is their undoing in a modern world where global changes are occuring.

Bleaching is an event named for the stark white appearance of the corals after they have expelled their symbiotic zooxanthelae algae. Although we can document the Pacific reefs for only several decades, since scuba gear, the affected corals can be up to 500 years old. The bleaching events of 1998 caused by El Nino and the year 2000 events have no prior mention in literature or oral history. This tragic problem is new and is likely caused when water temperature exceeds 90 deg F. The traditional problems of hurricane destruction or boat anchor accidents usually cause fragmentation and dispersal of the coral colonies which can recover if no further trauma occurs. However human waste runoff and fertilizer pollution can cause irreversible proliferation of algea, suffocating any corals in the area. All these problems and more are cause for concern as 27% of the ocean's reefs are now gone.

Predation of corals from Butterfly and Parrot fish has always taken place. A stable reef has lots of competition for space and Acropora corals can regrow up to 12" in a year. Corals spawn in mass events twice a year in conjuction with lunar New or Full Moon rising. The gametes cross fertilize on the ocean's surface and drift in the current to colonize vacant space, usually onto coralline algae encrusting old coral skeletons or rock. The problem with some of the major reef deaths is there is a lack of mother coral nearby to recolonize or the algae has so covered the base rock that there is nowhere for corals to settle. Where the Fiji 2000 bleaching is recovering nicely, other events may take decades.

Dr Carlson has been back annually to document the recovery and wishes others who simply visited to see the destruction would revisit to witness the incredible regeneration and growth possible. We should remember that the reefs themselves are layers of calcium left by ancestors of the current resident corals over geological lengths of time. The loss of a coral reef can be economically devastating to an island's population, but can also create the real loss of an island itself from the increased wave erosion. Palau New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as well as Australia's Great Barrier Reef are other areas to have experienced bleaching events from 1998 thru 2000. Genetic evolution or settlement of coral species adapted to higher temps would likely allow some species of coral to survive if these high temperature bleaching events persist.

Some have attempted to repopulate an area through human planting of coral frags from farming. This would be a time consuming and expensive task and no practical means of replacing mother nature has been found. All of us as aquarists in love with the coral reefs are interested in their long term survival and spending the evening watching videos of their beauty was wonderful. I am glad Dr. Carlson has taken the time to share his passion with the people of Atlanta and the world.
 

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Meeting At Fernbank
July 24, 2003

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

767 Clifton Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30307

The meeting is in the conference room on Upper level

p 404.929.6341

Meeting starts at 7:00 PM Promptly
Everyone can start arriving at 630 but because this is after
closing time we don't know if u can get in after the meeting
starts so please be prompt.
So that we will know how many to expect if You can RSVP here.The reason for RSVP is so they will no how many chairs they need to put out
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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My son and I will be there. So I need two seats.

Jenn, will Justin be able to get his membership card at Fernbank? I told him that I think that business is typically done at normal ARC meetings, however I would ask.

Ray
 
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