Captive Bred v.s. Wild Caught Green Mandarin Dragonets

They may look the same, but captive bred and wild-caught Green Mandarin Dragonets are different for many reasons. When it comes down to deciding which is better, the captive-bred kind is definitely it. Keep reading to find out why.   Diet The biggest difference between captive-bred Green Mandarin Dragonets and specimens that are collected from …

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A More In Depth Look At Captive Bred Livestock

Once upon a time, all of our saltwater fish, invertebrates, and corals were wild caught. Hobbyists were still using compact fluorescent bulbs and tap water in their reef tanks, under gravel filters were still cutting edge technology, and most people had their fish for six to twenty four months before they died of “old age.” …

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Nitrate Management in Your Saltwater Aquarium

When setting up new aquariums, most people worry about and focus on ammonia and nitrites. Everyone knows that cycling a tank with fish is dangerous because of these two compounds, as they burn the gills and body of the fish as the tank matures. But, once these get to zero, most people are satisfied and …

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Uncommon Saltwater Diseases and Infections

All saltwater aquarists will deal with common diseases in the beginning of their tank keeping journey. These include the infamous Ich, or “white spot disease,” skin and gill flukes, HLLE, Lymphocystis, velvet, and possibly even Brookynella, or “Clownfish Disease.” These each come with their own remedy, but the cures are well documented and easily available …

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Advanced Testing and Trace Elements

Starting out in the aquarium hobby, most people simply buy test strips (which I do not recommend whatsoever) or “master” liquid test kits. While these liquid tritration tests are pretty accurate, it can be extremely difficult to decipher color charts and differentiate between ever so slightly differing shades of yellow, green, and red. This leads …

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Eliminating Detritus in the Refugium

Ever feel like no matter how much time you spend cleaning your tank, it can never really ever get clean? Detritus build-ups can be especially frustrating as they seem to come from nowhere and seriously compromise the healthy and natural appearance of an otherwise beautiful exhibit. One solution is to construct the system in such …

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Manipulating Nutrient Levels to Control Algal Growth

Ahhhh… A freshly set up and (just now) fully cycled marine aquarium. No algae. No slime. Clean, shiny, beautiful. Two weeks later? Maybe three? Algae. Slime. All over. You want your “old” tank back. Particularly in newer set ups, these issues are pretty typical. Some aquarists believe something is wrong if they don’t encounter a …

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A Sump AND a Refugium?

Our aquarium systems grow over time. It’s almost inevitable. It’s well-nigh organic. And we surely all hope that as they grow, they get better. One proven way to dramatically improve the functionality of an existing system is with the addition of a sump or refugium. The conventional overflow-with-sump/refugium plumbing design (we can call it a …

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A Clean Start: The Benefits of Using Dry Base Rock

Considering that it serves as both aquascape material and biofilter medium, it’s safe to say that live rock is pretty important. We want it to look and “behave” as naturally as possible. Really, truly “live” rock can only be as good as the base you build it on. For reef aquaria, the best substructure is …

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Holy Grail Seaweeds: Are There Really Premium, Rare Macroalgae?

It is almost inevitable that people will pick “the pretty ones” out of the bunch. Many popular ornamental species/cultivars (koi, decorative maize, etc.) originated as farmed food species. We certainly may be seeing the same at this time with certain types of macroalgae in the marine aquarium hobby. We now have long-finned clownfish. Already. It …

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The Anti-Aiptasia Trifecta: Decimating Glass Anemones with Peppermint Shrimp, Molly Millers and Aiptasia-Eating Filefish.

A lot of us are pretty careful to avoid introducing pests when building and adding to a reef aquarium or refugium. This effort indeed pays off tremendously in the long run. As in so many cases, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Still, the occasional unwelcome critter will slip through the …

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How to Set Up an Aquarium for a Green Mandarin Dragonet

I should have done this! I should have done that! Throughout your experience in the saltwater aquarium and reef hobby, you will be finding yourself commonly saying these things. Maybe you did not dip your corals, or you bought the wrong additives, or maybe you added a fish without properly preparing your tank. This fish …

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Cultivating Ogo and Sea Lettuce for Your Tangs

These days, it seems that most marine aquarists are reef aquarists. And reef aquaria almost always house one or more tangs. This should seem reasonable enough, as representatives of this sizeable fish family (Acanthuridae) are found in abundance in pretty much every shallow water coral reef ecosystem on Earth. But their strong presence in the …

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Phytoplankton

The first link in a food chain is always a primary producer (i.e. algae, plants, various types of bacteria). This is because all other living things—consumers—are incapable of synthesizing organic substances from inorganic ones. Primary producers rely on inorganic sources of energy (sometimes chemical, but usually from light). Using this energy, they take substances such …

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Phytoplankton, Macroalgae, or BOTH?

As marine aquarists, we might think of algae as being divided into three (maybe four) distinct categories: the benthic (i.e. bottom-dwelling) microalgae, the open-water microalgae and the macroalgae. The first group consists of the film/turf-formers, the second group consists of the phytoplankton and the third group consists of the larger, plant-like seaweeds. The first group …

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