Where do science, industry, and reef aquariums meet?
The reef aquarium hobby, on the surface, covers a discipline mainly focused around the biology of creatures found in the vicinity of tropical coral reefs. It involves establishing model ecosystems in closed recirculating aquariums, so it offers insights into ecological processes too. The hobby also involves a fair amount of chemistry, and the maintenance of theses systems can provide endless fodder for marine chemists wishing to study chemical processes. Students of engineering may find a reef aquarium niche in the study of water flow regimes, pumping systems, filtration methods, control devices, lighting, temperature control, automation, aquarium suitable materials, architectural design, among other options. While we aquarium hobbyists know and appreciate these things, there are still many unexplored areas that are ripe for research involving our aquarium systems or the living things housed within them. This lecture is an overview of some fascinating mysteries that can be studied using reef aquariums in the academic setting. The benefits of these studies are far-reaching, not just for the aquarium hobby.
Julian Sprung was born in 1966 in Miami Beach, Florida and is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology. He is President of the aquarium industry company Two Little Fishies, Inc. that he co-founded in 1991.
Julian has been keeping marine aquariums for more than 30 years, and is an aquarium design consultant, author, and photographer. He has dived in various Caribbean locales as well as in the Red Sea, Australia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Japan, France, Croatia, Maine, and Oregon.
Julian’s books include The Reef Aquarium, volumes One, Two and Three, which he co-authored with J. Charles Delbeek, Corals: A Quick Reference Guide, Invertebrates: A Quick Reference Guide, and Algae: A Problem Solver Guide. Julian resides in Miami Beach with his wife and son, five marine aquariums, one freshwater aquarium, and a Westie.