Small Marine Aquaria

Marine aquarium 1 at Kuda Huraa
Our aquarium #1 is now home to one live rock (with natural sponges), along with:

  • Humbugs (Dascyllus aruanus),
  • Spotted butterfly fish (Chaetodon guttatissimus),
  • Highfin fangblenny (Petroscirtes mitratus),
  • Snapping shrimp (Alpheus species) – excavating sand, potentially destabilising the rocks!
  • Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkia) – territorial and aggressive towards each other as they compete for the single anemone. We plan to add a second anemone to resolve this dispute!

The Fungia corals are partially shaded, to promote zooxanthellae replication, and the Porites cylindrica provides important habitat for humbugs and invertebrates. Our mini coral frame is doing well, with most fragments showing calcification onto the frame/ties and growing new corallites.

Marine aquarium - territorial Clark's anemonefish

territorial Clark’s anemonefish

Marine aquarium - Acropora fragment on frame with new corallite on scar

Acropora coral fragment with new corallite on scar

Aquarium #2 contains more live rocks (with natural Pavona corals and Zoanthids); alongside the Humbugs and Anemonefish we also have:

  • Blue-green chromis (Chromis viridis),
  • Three-spot dascyllus (Dascyllus trimaculatus), Indian dascyllus (Dascyllus carneus),
  • Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus),
  • Two-spot surgeonfish (Ctenochaetus binotatus) – great for algae control,
  • Coral banded shrimp (Stenopus hispidus),
  • Bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolour) – claimed by a pair of anemone fish.

Coral species include Montipora digitata, M.foliosa, Porites cylindrica (all appear healthy) plus Fungia sp. and Ctenactis sp..
Our Toadstool leather corals produce branching tendrils of mucus that appear to catch debris from the water column. We think tube worms might be living inside the soft tissue of the coral (without detriment to the host).

Marine aquarium 2 at Kuda Huraa

Marine aquarium 2 at Kuda Huraa

Marine aquarium - Fungia coral with extended tentacles

Fungia coral with extended tentacles

Maldivian Marine Symposium #2

Marine Savers was delighted to attend the annual Maldivian Marine Symposium, held at Malé University on 24 July. This was a great occasion to meet with enthusiastic local students, and to network with fellow marine biologists from around the country.

Some of the topics included:

  • fisheries for the aquarium trade; grouper communities;
  • Mantas; turtle populations; whale sharks;
  • coral diseases; coral reef recovery;
  • marine debris; island geology.

Tori (our intern) discussed turtle satellite-tagging, and Carla (our Fish Lab expert) presented her study of Baa Atoll sea anemones and their clownfish populations.
The results will soon be finalised, and she will be submitting the article to a scientific journal for consideration. We are hoping that other marine biologists will be able to contribute to our study, or indeed start their own research.

By increasing the number of citizen scientists, we will be able to monitor the health status of anemones throughout the Maldives and better understand their dynamic abilities to face environmental challenges.

Carla at the Maldivian Marine Symposium July 2018
Carla at the Maldivian Marine Symposium July 2018

Marine Discovery Immersion Tour

During July, we were pleased to welcome students and teachers from 3 local schools in Baa Atoll, from the islands of Dharavandhoo (17 pax), Kendhoo (25 pax) and Maalhos (10 pax). The children were given a resort tour, followed by a presentation from our Manta Trust colleagues, before transplanting a new Reefscapers coral frame.

If you would like to visit our Marine Discovery Centres at Four Seasons Resorts Kuda Huraa (N.Malé Atoll, close to Malé) or Landaa Giraavaru (Baa Atoll) – then do get in touch with us!

Kendhoo School visit to Marine Savers Maldives

Kendhoo School visit on 28 July (click to enlarge)

Maalhos school visit - Marine Savers Maldives

Maalhos school visit on 30 July (click to enlarge)

Junior Marine Savers snorkel excursion Maldives [KH 2018.07]

Junior Marine Saver on snorkel tour

Junior Marine Savers helping with coral frame [KH 2018.07]

Junior Marine Saver helping with coral frame

It’s the Season for Manta Rays in Maldives!

We’re in the middle of the June to November season for Mantas, and there is something magical about snorkelling with these magnificent, graceful animals at the world famous Hanifaru Bay (Baa Atoll) in the Maldives.

With more than a decade of local experience monitoring Maldivian Mantas, the Manta Trust team ensure that a stay at Landaa Giraavaru provides the perfect opportunity to observe and to swim with gentle giants of the ocean. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale shark, too !

Check out the Hot Dates for 2018, and read about our popular “Manta on Call” service to join the Manta Watch trip of a lifetime !

Thanks to Michael Frey for contributing to our photo gallery. 🙂 

Manta rays - Marine Savers Maldives