Corals in a Box of Water: Creating a Natural Reef Tank

We’ve come a long, long way in advancing natural marine aquarium keeping. Those of us who started out in the 80’s with barren “aquascapes” dead coral skeletons and crushed coral bottoms might look back with amazement at how so much has changed so fast. Just recall how many developments have taken place over the last …

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Types of Aquarium Lighting

Aquarium lighting has come a long way. There are now many, many different types to choose from. For sure, different lighting systems have different capabilities. The one that is best for you all depends on what you plan on keeping in your tank.  If you don’t plan on keeping any photosynthetic organisms (corals, tridacnid clams, …

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Reef Now: Financing Your New CADE Aquarium System

No one said that reef aquarium keeping is a cheap addiction (hey, at least it’s a healthy one!). The hobby is rife with stories of reefkeepers playing shell games to keep their spouses unaware of their aquarium expenditures… of reefkeepers eating raman so their fish can eat fresh seafood… of reefkeepers taking up a second …

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wild hippopus clams

Keeping Hippopus Clams

Particularly since the advent of clam farming, tridacnid clams (Family Tridacninae) have been steadily gaining both in popularity and presence within the aquarium hobby. They were once only available as wild-caught, were exceptionally delicate and were thus appropriate only for the most experienced of aquarists; nowadays, farm-raised specimens are in regular production, have proven markedly …

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Copepods under high magnification

Gutloading Live Microcrustaceans

In the sense that very, very few animals specialize to eat only one thing, all animals are omnivores, and prefer live foods. For example, when herbivores graze on turf algae, they’re not just eating algae but rather the entire “epilithic algal matrix” which includes those bacteria, protists, etc. that live on the algae. Similarly, in …

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iodate atomic weight

Dosing Iodine in the Reef Aquarium

Reef aquarium hobbyists already have enough on their plates trying to keep levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium levels up while keeping levels of nutrients like nitrate and phosphate down. That, and obsessing over all those other parameters… And now, all the sudden, everyone is saying we should be “chasing numbers” for iodine …

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UV light Sterilization Icon

Should I Use a UV Sterilizer?

The two most hated things for a saltwater aquarium keeper are fish diseases and “bad” algae. Some hobbyists make an attempt to go all out against these threats by using an ultraviolet sterilizer. At least in some cases, a properly sized and properly installed sterilizer unit can indeed help to reduce the incidence of disease …

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Why EcoPods are the Best Live Copepod Product Ever

Earth is a planet of pods. Wherever there is water, there are amphipods, isopods, branchiopods, and so on. Pods are an integral part of pretty much every freshwater, brackish and marine ecosystem. But even among all these big players, the tiny copepod is a giant; in terms of both biomass and sheer number, copepods (subclass …

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A Closer Look at Carotenoid Pigments

Meeting the dietary requirements of a reef aquarium–a delicate microcosm filled with diverse organisms with varied nutritional needs–can be a daunting task. One might find it hard enough just to provide the right balance of those basic components: Carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. But then there are all those other things to concern yourself with, such …

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Some snails are great detritus eaters!

A Look at the Detritus Cycle

One of the biggest challenges of keeping a successful reef aquarium, especially over the long term, is maintaining the purity of the main tank’s inner sanctum. We go through great lengths—expense, too—in order to achieve this. Think gravel vacuuming detritus, wringing filthy sponges over your kitchen sink, and so on… Is it necessary? The answer …

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Aquariums like this are very tuned for Coral Growth

Correcting Nutrient Instability

Oh, the paradox of algae. They have ruined many tanks–even caused some frustrated aquarists to leave the hobby forever. Yet, our tanks (especially reef tanks) cannot thrive without them–think zooxanthellae. Getting that perfect balance of nutrients, principally nitrate and phosphate, can be exceedingly difficult to ever attain, much less maintain. Part of this challenge lies …

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A brown Macroalgae

Mixed Macros in the Planted Refugium

There are plenty of reasons to install a planted refugium into your reef aquarium system. You might culture macroalgae for numerous purposes including removing excess nutrients, growing a live food for herbivores, creating pod microhabitat, or just for simple enjoyment. Some macros are better suited for some of these purposes than for others. Therefore, if …

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Someone Holding a Cerith Snail

The Cerith Snail: A “Must-Have” Cleaner

Most aquarists are already aware that snails eat algae. To be most correct, the majority of snail species are algivores. To be sure, some have extremely specialized diets that do not include algae; other snails are technically omnivores, eating all sorts of things including algae. Then, for marine aquarists in particular, there is the issue …

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Urchins are a wild animal to keep!

Sea Urchins in the Reef Aquarium

My first sight of a real, live sea urchin was in an aquarium (a friend’s) rather than in the sea. This was in my youth (i.e. quite a long time ago) in the upper Midwest–a time and place when/where marine aquarium livestock was quite difficult to get your hands on. Back then, and especially there, …

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Chaeto in the wild

Chaeto for Major Tank Cleaning

Whether from a lack of experience, or an abundance of neglect, some aquarists allow their reef tanks to reach a state of utter nastiness. Perhaps you’ve been there yourself… Where you once had a gorgeous, natural looking, sparkly clean system, there are now patches of filamentous and film algae, piles of detritus, clouds of suspended …

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