Keeping Sinularia Coral

Thanks to huge improvements in technology as well as better livestock supply chains (including an ever-increasing availability of captive-raised specimens), more reefkeepers are enjoying success than ever before. That being said, no veteran hobbyist will ever be able to honestly say that maintaining a reef tank is completely without challenges–nor disappointment. Even the most experienced …

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Reconsidering Soft Corals

The domination of the reef aquarium hobby by stony, and especially SPS, corals is pretty obvious. An overall increase of our understanding of growth factors such as lighting technology and alkalinity management have boosted success with such “reef building” coral species across the trade. That notwithstanding, scores upon scores of attractive soft coral species are …

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Branching Green Star Polyps: Trash or Treasure?

The aquarium hobby in general, and certainly the reef aquarium hobby in particular, has changed a whole lot over the years and decades. As aquarists master the husbandry of new species, some “classic” species might lose their luster. For example, where Xenia was once a beloved coral for its ease of care and pulsing behavior, …

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Keeping Toadstool Leather Corals

These days, soft corals don’t get quite the attention they once did. One reason for this simply is the abundance of wildly colorful stony corals that have fairly recently become available. Another reason is the concern that soft corals can release allelopathic substances into the water that may harm other (especially stony) corals. Even so, …

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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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Do Corals Really Eat Plankton?

It’s hard to say for sure which came first for reef aquarists–the emergence of high-quality coral foods, or the realization that corals actually, really, truly do eat them. Though aquarists are generally a skeptical bunch, the initial apprehension to feeding corals is pretty understandable; in all fairness, many such foods sold in the recent past …

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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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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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Zoas are a beautiful addition to any reef

Knowing the Zoanthid

The zoanthid is one of the most stunning yet simplistic coral-like animals in this hobby. It can come in any color combination that you can imagine–along with any price point. This is why this particular anthozoan deserves an article of its own. There are over 100 species of zoanthids alone and the identification process can …

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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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When to Choose Poseidon’s Feast

Back in “the day,” to acquire a seed culture of copepods, aquarists would typically have to resort to scooping a couple cups of gravel from the bottom of a fellow aquarist’s tank. In these cases, you could only hope to have nabbed a few viable pods–and not any pests (like juvenile aiptasia anemones)! If you …

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