Using the Aquarium Cycle Kit

One of the more fundamental tasks one must undertake when maintaining a saltwater aquarium is controlling the nitrogenous waste cycle. Most critical is the elimination of ammonia and nitrite, which are both highly toxic and can “crash” a tank in very short time. Fortunately, this job is naturally (and quite effectively) handled by various microbes. …

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Keeping the Pinnatus Batfish

The pinnatus, or pinnate, batfish (Platax pinnatus) is instantly recognizable (at least as a juvenile), not just for its attractive appearance but also for its graceful form and movement. The species is coveted for its distinctive coloration as a juvenile; however, it is nevertheless widely avoided due to a couple of decidedly undesirable traits. These …

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Do I Need a Protein Skimmer?

There are a lot of tough calls in reef aquarium keeping. While the focus of attention should be on creating the healthiest and most natural environment possible for your animals, some thought will (understandably) go into the tank budget. For this reason, hobbyists often question whether or not a particular piece of expensive equipment is …

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Feeding Your NPS Aquarium

Photosynthetic corals dominate natural, shallow tropical coral reefs. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they are so prevalent in the reef aquarium hobby. But as some aquarists master the husbandry of more delicate/demanding stony corals types, and successfully keep them for long periods of time, they start to look to other …

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There are all kinds of incredible brackish fish!

3 Brackish Fish for the Marine Aquarium

Sandwiched between the freshwater and marine realms, and often capable of venturing into both, brackish water fishes are extraordinarily interesting from both a behavioral and ecological perspective. While a relative few brackish species are available in the aquarium fish trade, even fewer are commonly kept. This may be because relatively few aquarists maintain dedicated brackish …

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A green spot Mandarin

Quarantining Your Mandarin Fish

If you have even worked at the retail or wholesale end of the aquarium fish industry–even for just a week–you are probably keenly aware of the threats posed by viral, bacterial, and especially parasitic diseases. Between fish collectors, breeders, distributors, stores, etc., your new fish may have crossed paths with hundreds or even thousands of …

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Building and Maintaining a Peninsula Tank

Unlike other types of animal enclosures (bird cages, rabbit hutches, etc. ), an aquarium is a piece of exhibitry. Often, the keeper will go through a considerable amount of work and expense to build an attractive aquarium system that showcases not just the aquascape but also the cabinetry. In recent days, any home aquarist can …

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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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A Look at the Goatfishes

On account of their huge adult sizes, there are a few fish families that should be pretty much restricted to public aquaria (we’ll just kill the goatfish buzz right away). Some of these behemoths (to nearly two feet in length) are in fact better known as game fish. Yup, that would be the goatfish, typically …

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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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Tridacna Clams are a beautiful addition to any marine tank!

Keeping the Derasa Clam

Just about any reef aquarist will, at some point, wish to keep tridacnid clams in their system. Their colors rival those of any coral. They have an incredibly exotic appearance (even their shells look cool). And (at least for most tridacnid species) they may be kept on the bottom over the substrate, which is a …

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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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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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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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4 Macroalgae for Beginners

Macroalgae are a great addition to any aquarium. They remove excess nutrients in the water column (such as phosphates and nitrates) and provide shelter for copepods which helps with successfully breeding them in your tank. There are many different types of macroalgae; in this article I will be discussing the best types for beginners. Macroalga …

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Squamosa Clams for the Intermediate Level Aquarist

For many aquarium hobbyists, acquiring and displaying a beautiful tridacnid clam is one of the most definitive milestones in their mastery of the art. While these strange and beautiful bivalve mollusks are a real pleasure to have, they are perhaps even more challenging to keep than most coral species. Specifically, they demand (yes, absolutely require) …

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