Upgrading to the ULTIMATE Ecopack

Pods. Phyto. At AlgaeBarn, these are the bread and butter of the reef aquarium diet. And for sure, these two items form the base of most freshwater and marine food chains. Just consider OceanMagik, which is a blend of four distinctly different species of phytoplankton. Or EcoPods, which is a mixed-species (four, to be exact) …

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Hard to Kill: Using Cerith Snails and Siphonaria Limpets

Nuisance algae is almost certain to emerge—at least to some extent—in all reef aquarium systems. Of course, the maintenance of good water quality is by far the best way to combat them. However, herbivores present an effective and totally natural means of algae control. Snails in particular are a great choice of algae-eating herbivore. In …

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The Pincushion Sea Urchin: A Beginner’s Best

Seldom are sea urchins described as “difficult” or “sensitive” aquarium animals. Yet, they can be quite touchy. Seemingly small insults (such as a slightly reduced salinity following a water change) can send them plummeting fast. And, sea urchins don’t seem to recover well from sickness, shock or injury. Sometimes, it seems that just looking at …

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The brave and helpful cleaner shrimp in the mouth of a fish!

3 Symbiotic Relationships in the Marine Aquarium

Symbiotic relationships are perhaps the most amazing thing that occurs in marine environments. While there are some that you can deliberately recreate in aquaria, there are also many others taking place all on their own. In this article, I’m going to be discussing a few of the symbiotic relationships you can build in your aquarium. …

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Utilizing the Peppermint Shrimp for General Tank Clean-Up

Maintaining a squeaky clean aquarium environment is no easy task. It requires frequent water changes, constantly rinsing mechanical filters, gravel vacuuming, algae wiping, and so on. It also requires a substantial amount of cash; top-quality filters and filter media are not cheap. If we are to be honest, few of us can say that we …

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a Beautiful Scopas Tang

5 Overlooked Algae-Eaters

When it comes to your clean-up crew in your saltwater aquarium, you usually will think of snails, crabs and starfish. However, there are some other cool inverts and fish you can add that can help tremendously with your aquarium algae clean-up. There are so many saltwater fish that eat algae and this is just my …

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Aiptasia Anemones can be a horrible pest

How to Get Rid of Aiptasia

When you’re first starting out your aquarium, you usually will spend all day checking on everything in your tank ensuring everything is still intact. Then, one day you look and you see this translucent looking pink flower… I receive one of two reactions from customers when they first come across Aiptasia anemones. One is panic. …

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Green Bubble Algae

Identifying Saltwater Algaes

Hundreds or even thousands of species of microalgae and photosynthetic bacteria may appear in your aquarium. Before treating any type of algae, it is crucial to properly identify exactly what type of algae you’re dealing with. Luckily, most of them can be easily eradicated if identified properly. We here discuss a few commonly encountered saltwater …

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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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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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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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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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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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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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A micro-brittle star in a refugium

Kickstarting Your New Refugium

Whether it’s just been installed as part of a bone-dry, newly set up aquarium system or as an add-on to a well-established, heavily stocked reef tank, you’ll probably want your new refugium to be operating at its peak performance from the onset. Seeding the right beneficial organisms in the right amount at the right time …

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