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About bradarmi

  • Rank
    Nano Reefer
  • Birthday 06/23/1982

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Profile Information

  • Location
    SW Chicago Suburbs
  • Interests
    history, orchids, marine life, koi, gardening, art, theology, foreign language, all things natural and science
  1. Day Job

    Almost done with my PhD in pharmacology/cancer biology! (Orchid grower and reefer addict on weekends and night)
  2. Clownfish "noisemaker"

    Funny, I have been away for a while and said "I'll post this when I get back"..looks like someone beat me to it. In any case, my lab wishes we had a microphone near the nano..we could have published in Science, lol Oh well maybe another time
  3. Corals spawning

    So in Chicago yesterday afternoon, we had some thunderstorms. As I was leaving work, I noticed the corals in the nano releasing gametes (sorry no pics). But it was amazing, every 2-3 minutes a cloud of gametes was released from my hammer coral. Pretty amazing, things like that never cease to amaze me. Then again, I had to drag all my co-workers to the tank to show them. The only problem is the corals do not like performing for an audience - and everyone thinks I am crazy. lol
  4. breeding feeder fish, need help

    I am not sure whyyou were told to stay away from live-bearers. I have heard/read that feeder goldfish are not good candidates as "feeder" fish since they can result in the predator being thiamine defecient. I dont remember the mechanism, but, I am guessing goldfish have high levels of another compound/element that render the digestion of its flesh to utilize thiamine. In any case, I would breed guppies and supplement with an occasional "other" fish and some frozen silversides since feeding live fish gets old after a while. Alternatively, you can place an add in the newspaper for people to donate unwanted, small fish!! P.S. Almost forgot -- glass shrimp may be acceptable as well
  5. Fish names?

    No, I don't beleive in giving animals ridiculous names - I call my fish what they are - Premnas biaculatus, Ampiprion ocelaris. etc. Then again, that is kind of ridicoulous as well. How would you like those names - maybe I will call them Bob and Nancy?
  6. z

    Saltwater is a rather recent foray - I have several goldfish in our pond that are well over 10 yers old, and in my freshwater tank - I just lost a Jili Corydoras that must have been 8 years old.... it is so old I can't remember when I got him, I just kept moving him tank to tank etc. until he ended up in my 55g planted tank. One thing about "old fish" is that when I have friends over and they look in the fish tank, their usual remark is "don't you ever get new fish?" The biggest compliment for me by far; well, that and "Are those orchids fake?"
  7. percula heavy breathing

    Well, my initial thought was that maybe the water temperature is too high - but the other clown is unaffected. You may be correct with the assumption of a parasite - any more news to report?
  8. Hammer Coral's sting

    Yea, I just cleaned my tank last week and noticed a slight burning sensation, I thought it was a open current through the tank, but then I realized I had brushed my frogspawn.
  9. Good fish stores in Chicago area

    Well, if you are in Chicago proper, on the North Side there is Old Town Aquarium (North Ave and Wells) and also Aquatic World, (new location, Lincoln Ave and something can't recall right now). If you are headed anywhere in the South Suburbs (35 miles south of the city) , Chicagoland Reptile, Bird, & Fish House (143 and John Humphrey Dr) is pretty good - near the Orland Square shopping mall.
  10. no sick fish products

    Beware of exactly what you are paying for - if it is all purpose and reef safe..what exactly is it? You are better off trying to prevent diseases via good water husbandry practices and buying healthy specimens that buying an ounce of magic-something. If it doesn't harm corals and inverts it may do nothing for bacteria or parasites - it is probably a stress coat -type formula. I hit the website and while Fred from Arizona sounds like a nice guy - I doubt he is a real person.
  11. Carbon questions...

    I like to run activated carbon on my freshwater tanks with the one week on, three weeks off rule - but I just use it to keep pollutants from accumulating. As for the reef, I have one of those pads made by "Pura Filtration Pads" that remove phosphate, ammonia, and other impurities (like heavy metals) a few days a month. Activated carbon and other porous "rocks" have a carrying capacity, and while I dont know the specifics, (nor care) I understand that they can release their compounds once they are "full." So changing the media often is probably a good idea. I garden, so I like to use the spent carbon in potting soils and transplants to keep the soil fresh. I have no idea if it works, but everything is growing.
  12. reef8

    Here is the reef tank after 2 years - at home in the lab!
  13. 75g

  14. Palytoxin Lit Search (PubMed)

    I didn't know I was talking to the world's expert on palytoxin Where to begin.... In your first post you stated three findings: So, you remove the coral from its native environment with a particular dinoflagellate and you still think that polyp and all subsequent polyps will have the same concentration of palytoxin. Removing the coral is stressful and possibly (only hypothesis, no one I know has tested this, don't get excited) the coral purges the toxin from its tissues. A common defense mechanism of many animals. What I proposed was a likely series of mechanisms that could potentially explain what we currently do not know. Do you, Mr. A, know for a fact that there is palytoxin in these corals? I was being hypothetical, not factorial. Thats the problem with forums, you cannot detect sarcasm or hypothetical discussion. It makes sense, if the dinoflagellate is the causative agent of palytoxin production, and the coral is no longer eating it/and or forming a symbiotic relationship with it, does that coral retain the toxin?..Probably so, but does that coral's offspring retain the toxin...at least in concentrations equal to that of the parent? How about the F7 generation, ...I like to ask the questions that aren't in Pub Med because if you base all your experiments on someone else...what will you do when they retire? The crux of the arguement is actually whether or not captive-bred cnidarians have the ability to retain their toxic profile. I will argue that if the dinoflagellate is not there then ..NO. I am not "making this up", I am proposing likely scenarios to explain observations (or in this case, lack of them). I thought that is what scientists do, or am I wrong? I don't care about the non-symbiont plankton that also contain palytoxin, I am talking about the zoanthid and palythoa corals, and when they loose the relationship with these dinoflagelites ...what happens? Highly toxic compounds like that must be maintained and sequestered so it does not harm the organism in vivo. As I hinted at earlier, cofactors and active enzymes are sometimes responsible for a chaperoning effect to maintain these toxins in an inactive form so as not to harm the organism containing it. Case in point, aside from palytoxin effects on ion permeability, and protein translation, it can also act as a mutagen. So if palytoxin was not somehow seqeuestered by a cofactor or chemical, I would expect palytoxin-infected/containing corals and other life forms to be riddled with tumors, or at least show some ill effects. See below: "palytoxin_skin_tumors" "Reported a similar toxin" refers to the fact that palytoxin is large and minor changes may render it a different chemical with distinct biological function, this is not voodoo - it is drug discovery #101. From Ostreopsis ovata algal blooms affecting human health in Genova, Italy, 2005 and 2006 C Brescianini1, C Grillo1, N Melchiorre1, R Bertolotto1, A Ferrari2, B Vivaldi2, G Icardi3, L Gramaccioni4, E Funari5, S Scardala5 O. ovata is a marine dinoflagellate species which lives on red and brown macroalgae on the sea bed. This species is usually found in protected, inshore areas in tropical and subtropical regions, but in recent years has been found more and more frequently in the Mediterranean. The blooms occur when water temperature and barometric pressure are high and hydrodynamism is low. Some Ostreopsis strains produce a highly toxic compound known as palytoxin and analogues which can accumulate in fish and are implicated clupeotoxism associated with eating clupeoid fish. Environmental conditions and factors promoting palytoxin production are still largely unknown. Which begs the question, do all strains of this dinoflagellate manufacture this toxin, or is it in crisis situations, cues from environment, (the signalling pathways we have been talking about). That implies that environmental changes cue the dinoflagellate production of this toxin. Why can't these changes cue incorporation or expulsion of the toxin from the cnidarian? We know that weather changes can influence algal blooms - I want to know what else. See also attached "paly_analogs " As far as antibodies, I know they are sensitive and specific and great at detecting foreign substances, but not all palytoxin reports are the same molecule. You saw how big it is, if you change a methyl group it is no longer is "classic palytoxin" but an analog with minor chemical changes.... if the antibodies' epitope was binding to that area, a methyl group can seriously alter affinity if it is changed with a larger, more steric, substituted R group. Do I need to find a reference or do agree on at least that much? I would think of palytoxin as the "base molecule" and all subsequent modifications from whatever the cause second and third generation moeities. Besides, there is both the innate and adaptive immune system mechanisms at play here. Again, point missed. I was refering to the rash many people refer to as palytoxin poisinong is not specifically palytoxin-related, but just a foreign substance. In reality, the mechanism of action is not consistant with a rash, but rather neurological impairment, cardiac insufficiency, and even translational protein changes. The toxin most likely has to be injected into the skin - as a result of a sting - not from touching water containing zoas. cnidarian_endocrine_signallg.pdf Palytoxin_skin_tumors.pdf paly_analogs.pdf
  15. Palytoxin Lit Search (PubMed)

    Of course it isn't a conclusion, it is an observation. Everyone has been skeptical of this toxin and what species it actually comes from. Some say it from a few species off the coast of Hawaii but others have reported a similar toxin in other corals and marine invertebrates. Is it all Palythoa and Zoanthid species - don't think so. Geographic distribution seems to be a factor as well as species localiztion. To the best of my knowledge, no one has reported this toxin from captive coral. Since all "captive" coral came from wild stock, I would hypothesize that being away from its native environment would be a very good explaination as to why they are no longer as toxic as before. MrA, interspecific and intramolecular competition is precisely what I was getting at. Signaling molecules from these organisms are just what drives the production of such toxins. What I am saying (and what you apparently failed to understand) is that none of the aforementioend events are singly important but all are necessary and sufficient to make efficacious palytoxin on the corals part. To argue teleologically, the coral wants to make its toxin, but cannot. And how does behavioural imprinting on a predator work exactly in the reef? Palytoxin is a sodium/potassium pump inhibitor, and inhibits all sodium/potassium pumps (they are traditionally highly conserved through the phylla). The coral doesn't care if it interferes with membrane polarity of its neighboring Xenia or a sea turtle. I was proposing a way in whcih these events are regulated - not writting in stone how they work. What I know about signalling processes in eukaryotes can be extrapolated to lower forms since many of these signalling pathways have an evolutionary basis. That implies they knew what compounds they were looking for - everyone thinks they are acting the same way - phenotypically look like the others- but do they in fact have all the same proteins and all the same behaviours? Deep sea life it very different from reef life - maybe they make a toxin we do not know about? As far as cofactors (vitamins and minerals) not being reported as the rate-limiting step of any protein production - where have you been? Many cofactors are the rate-limiting step of protein production. Ascorbic acid is the rate-limiting step necessary for the conversion of many proteins and chemicals from their inactive into their active state - ever heard of scurvy, and its effects? Why should the marine environment be any different? By the way even constitutive pathways can be turned off or at least lessened from environmental cues. I am sure many women have missed a week from normal menses when stressful situations arise in their lives (new house, failed marriage, etc). Estrogen and progesterone are always cycling in a 28 day cycle but sometime the message gets scrambled. Constitutive process are tightly regulated and reley on environemental cues. Everyone that has reported a "rash" and burning sensations blame it on palytoxin, but in reality, palytoxin acts much like the cardiac glycosides from Digitalis (foxglove), by interferring with membrane polarity and decreasing electric conductance velocity and force through the heart. This "palytoxin poisoning" that people talk about is none other than a histamine-based immune reaction to a xenobiotic, non-peptide compound. The burning sensation may be due to its sodium/potassium channel blocking properties.