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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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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Daphnia are incredible little freshwater critters!

Daphnia as a Live Marine Aquarium Food

Daphnia sp., widely known as water fleas, are hardly new to the aquarium scene. Freshwater aquarists (and perhaps quite a few saltwater aquarists too) have scooped them from ponds, ditches, etc. to use as aquarium feed for at least a century. Some particularly assiduous hobbyists have even found success culturing these tiny crustaceans for long …

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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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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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A Falkland Island Phytoplankton Bloom

Phytoplankton

The first link in a food chain is always a primary producer, like phytoplankton (i.e. algae, plants, various types of bacteria). This is because all other living things—consumers—are incapable of synthesizing organic substances from inorganic ones. Primary producers rely on inorganic sources of energy (sometimes chemical, but usually from light). Using this energy, they take …

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Brine Shrimp: Live Food Fast

Prepared foods have their merits. Aside from the obvious (their convenience), they are consistent in quality, easily available and relatively inexpensive. Some prepared diets may be as palatable and digestible as an animal’s favored item in the wild. They can also help considerably to vary most aquarium animals’ day-to-day diets. That being said, it’s hard …

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Tig Pods: A Food for Many

The reef aquarium hobby continues to reach new heights. This is most evident by the extraordinarily beautiful systems we see on display in public places, in images on social media, in advertisements, and even in some homes. These advancements have come about not only through improved technologies and supplements, but also through a better understanding …

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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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Tetraselmis: The Big and Fatty Alga

There is probably no single type of microalgae that is ideal as feed for a varied community of captive animals (such as a reef tank). Thus, the best phytoplankton-based aquarium foods are really blends, carefully formulated to meet the dietary needs of diverse creatures ranging from copepod nauplii to suspension-feeding tube worms. Sometimes candidates for …

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Mixed Microalgal Feeds for a Balanced Nutrition

Primary producers—those organisms (e.g. plants such as algae) that build new biomass from inorganic sources of energy—form the very base of all food chains. They are of most obvious importance to herbivores. But, of course, without producing the material upon which herbivores feed, nothing else down the chain could exist. And the dependence of carnivores …

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