A Refugium of sorts, this algae bed helps clean the oceans!

Building Your Refugium Clean-Up Crew

No one ever said that keeping reef aquaria is totally uncomplicated. Especially keeping them clean! Sure, some maintenance approaches are simpler than others; natural methods are, for example, fairly effortless means to control nuisance algae, detritus and pests. Natural methods certainly require some research, planning and occasional monitoring; but for the most part, they involve …

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Aquarium Substrates

A Closer Look at Aquarium Substrates

We aquarists don’t talk much about sand. Quite frankly, it’s just not all that exciting–on the surface, anyway. But we don’t have to dig very deep to find that aquarium sand (or rather the stuff that lives within it) is not only quite interesting, but it also carries considerable importance for the health of our …

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The machinations of Microbes

Comparing the Metabolic Modes of Aquarium Organisms

in Few, if any, of us get “into” aquarium keeping to become marine ecologists, or become experts in metabolic processes. But it does happen, albeit over some time. We buy our first fish tank with the sole intention of keeping colorful animals–simple as that. We do soon learn, however, that an aquarium system is really …

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Close Up of Copepods

4 Tips for Seeding Live Copepods

We get it… Copepods aren’t always cheap. Especially if you use a clean, high-quality, high-density, expertly packaged product with as many as four copepod species at various life stages (e.g. EcoPods!). But, using top-shelf products, you do get what you pay for. That’s why making a little extra effort to get the most out of …

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What’s the Difference Between PNS ProBio and PNS YelloSno?

Reef aquarium keeping has gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years. Fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has gotten more complicated or more time-consuming. To the contrary, we now have the knowledge to create convincingly realistic representations of coral reef habitats with surprisingly minimal effort. While it’s true that we’ve now got some …

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A vial of phytoplankton

Phytoplankton Species and their individual Strengths

When purchasing live foods for your tank, many people simply take the shop employee’s advice when handed a jar of unidentified copepods for their reef tank. Most do not research into the different species of copepods, we just understand that they are a major element of our clean up crews and that our fish love …

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The moon over the Ocean

Your Reef Tank by Moonlight

In case you haven’t heard, lighting is a pretty important feature of a reef aquarium. This is understandable considering that the main feature of reef aquaria, zooxanthellate corals, require rather intense light to survive. So, just as so many aquarists endeavor to imitate nature in general, they specifically attempt to replicate natural sunlight with their …

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COS

Reef Aquarium Hobbyists Brace for Newly Emerging Coral Illness

  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION IN OUR YEARLY APRIL FOOLS TRADITION!  No, there is no real disease as I am sure you may have guessed! For being such good sports, and playing along, PLEASE USE THIS CODE: AprilFools2020 to save big TODAY ONLY (4/2/20) and get a FREE small jar of Swedish …

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Coronavirus Image from the CDC

COVID-19, AlgaeBarn, and Your Underwater Friends

Are orders shipping on time during the Covid-19 Pandemic? We are doing our absolute best to ensure that they are. We have reconfigured our entire shipping department to ensure social distancing, and are in direct contact with shipping companies regularly and will update customers immediately if any carriers situation changes. As usual, our orders are …

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Ultimate EcoPack

A Saltwater Smorgasbord: Using The Ultimate EcoPack

Though they are nowhere near as ecologically complex as actual, wild coral reefs, reef aquaria can be incredibly complicated and downright tricky to maintain in a “natural” manner. To be fair, reef aquarists have to sustain a precarious balance between underfeeding to the point of deprivation and overfeeding to the point of feculent nastiness. Waste …

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Copepods Under Microscope

How to Acclimate Your Pods

Particularly for animals that live in water, acclimating from one environment to another–even if quite similar physically and chemically–can present serious stress. Yes, “pods” (copepods, amphipods, etc.), are known to be incredibly resilient and adaptable. Indeed, the tidepool-dwelling harpacticoid copepod Tigriopus californicus is regarded as one of THE toughest of all invertebrate species. All that …

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A Beautiful Porcelain anemone Crab

How to Acclimate Your Captive Bred Invertebrates

Aquarists like to broadly divide classes of aquarium livestock into two big groups, the fishes and the invertebrates. The second group is a huge catch-all, as it includes all non-fish livestock ranging from sponges to crabs. Though invertebrates are overall more sensitive than fish to sudden environmental change, ideal acclimation procedure varies somewhat between the …

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copepods and various planktons

Oithona: A Keystone Aquarium Copepod Species

In terms of both numbers and biomass, the copepods (Subclass Copepoda) dominate the zooplankton oceanwide. These minute crustaceans are of immense value ecologically because they play a central role in the linear trophic transfer of nutrients and food energy as intermediaries between primary producers (e.g. phytoplankton) and higher animals such as fish. But it’s usually …

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A Closer Look at Coral Tissue Necrosis

Whether you are a dedicated, full-time coral farmer or a moderately invested hobbyist, reef aquarium keeping is risky business. This is due partly because of the inherent delicateness of corals in general, but also because coraliculture is still a relatively young (sometimes downright experimental) undertaking. Coral disease–and disease control–remains as one of the most poorly …

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Unique Algae Eaters for your Aquarium

Even though battling algae is best done by finding and solving the underlying nutrient or lighting issue, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a few algae eaters in your tank to help keep it in check. Home aquariums naturally have more nutrients than wild ecosystems, and the slightest change in maintenance can lead to short …

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