The new Kessil refugium lighting!

Advanced Refugium Lighting

Planted refugia are used to cultivate macroalgae. And that’s about the only thing that has stayed the same over the years. As time goes on and the saltwater aquarium hobby becomes more and more sophisticated, these set-ups are becoming increasingly complicated, specialized, and technologically advanced. They are designated for many different types of uses (nutrient …

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Blue Hypnea: The Next Hot Refugium Macro?

Though it sells out quickly when available, blue hypnea is out there for the grabs. And it’s well worth it for those that cater to its needs! This gorgeous plant can really spice up a refugium; it can also be displayed in the main tank (assuming no large herbivores are present) because it cannot overgrow …

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Upgrading to the ULTIMATE Refugium Starter Pack

You might be setting up a brand-new reef tank. Maybe you’re doing some upgrades to an existing aquarium. Either way, you’ll have a lot of individual concerns to address. First and foremost, “Is this system capable of managing a large(r) bioload?” And then, “How will I deal with all of the nitrate that my biofilter …

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Natural Water Quality Management for Non-Photosynthetic Reef Aquaria

There was once a time when zooxanthellate corals (especially SPS corals) were considered impossible to keep in captivity. Then advancements in aquarium lighting technology changed all that. It’s hard to imagine that there so recently was a day when marine aquarists abandoned the possibility of ever keeping Acropora–one of the most abundant genera of stony …

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What Do I Need for a Saltwater Fish Tank?

Whether scouting for your first aquarium, or “graduating” from a freshwater aquarium, there is something about a saltwater aquarium that is mesmerizing. For many lifelong aquarists, that feeling of captivating awe never goes away. Thankfully, the intimidating task of learning how to actually build and maintain a saltwater aquarium system does go away. In fact, …

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An Overview of the Filefishes

In the Age of the Reef Tank, many cool (but not reef-safe) saltwater fish families that were once extremely population are now relative rarities. One such group, for sure, is the filefishes. This is too bad, as filefish are intelligent and possess abundant character. They are also quite “marine” in appearance and behavior; even the …

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Keeping a Coldwater Marine Aquarium

Marine aquarists have always had access to temperate species. In fact, in the days before improved packaging/shipping procedures allowed for the massive import of tropical species that we enjoy today, most saltwater aquarium livestock originated from temperate waters. Catalina gobies, waratah anemones, garibaldi damsels… At least half of the seahorses… The coolest boxfishes… Anyone who …

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The importance of Aquarium Substrates

4 Great Saltwater Aquarium Substrates

Sure, maybe substrates are the last thing we dream about when we’re planning our next big tank build. Maybe some of us quite frankly don’t put much thought into it at all. But in the end, when you’re snapping those full tank shots for Facebook, you might be surprised how much the color and even …

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AlgaeBarn Pom Pom Macroalgae

Pom Pom Macro as a Replacement for Chaeto?

It appears that the chaeto macroalgae (Chaetomorpha spp.) has become what Caulerpa was around the turn of the millennium: The predominate go-to refugium macro. And it really can be great for this purpose. That being said, it has (like Caulerpa) its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In reviewing both the pros and cons of …

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The top of the line CADE 1800 aquarium is nearly 200g of total water volume!

CADE Reef 1800 S2: Ultimate Aquarium System, Ultimate Value

Over the last three years, the aquarium industry has witnessed huge advancements in so-called All-In-One aquarium system design and technology. There are actually a number of manufacturers that fairly deserve credit for this development, and we applaud all of them. However, one of them in particular–CADE Aquariums of Melbourne, Australia–really caught our eye last year. …

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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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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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The Whole Package: Integrating AlgaeBarn’s Kits & Combos

AlgaeBarn is hardly the only aquarium hobby-centered business to produce phytoplankton and macroalgae. But we like to think that we’re pretty darn good at it–if not the best! Consider our highly-acclaimed premium live phyto blend OceanMagik in various kits or our standard-setting CleanMacro series. If it needs to be stated, algae is kind of the …

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Red Macroalgae for the Moderately Illuminated Refugium

While there are many species of green, brown and red macroalgae (i.e. multicellular algae) in nature, it is the greens and reds that are most commonly used in planted refugia. Each species is attractive for its own unique set of positive characteristics. Still, one could draw generalizations about each of these latter two big groups: …

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Clean Sea Lettuce direct from our Algae Farm, perfect for your refugium!

Stocking a Refugium

Marine aquaria have a peculiar way of growing (in terms of both size and complexity) over time. These “add-ons,” be they filtration units, reactors, or whatever, grow from the so-called main tank in an almost organic manner. But, no matter how elaborate an aquarium set-up becomes, the sum of all the parts can always be …

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