Red Gracilaria loves good refugium lighting!

A Look at the Pom Pom Macroalgae

Of all the genera of macroalgae regularly used in planted refugia, Gracilaria quite arguably has the most representatives. While there are a few very soft and feathery varieties (most of which belong to the “ogos”), there are some Gracilaria spp. that are rather stiff and leafy. Perhaps the most popular of these fat-fronded varieties is …

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Eliminating Detritus in the Refugium

Ever feel like no matter how much time you spend cleaning your tank, it can never really ever get clean? Detritus build-ups can be especially frustrating as they seem to come from nowhere and seriously compromise the healthy and natural appearance of an otherwise beautiful exhibit. One solution is to construct the system in such …

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Large Fish are major Waste Creators

Manipulating Nutrient Levels to Control Algal Growth

Ahhhh… A freshly set up and (just now) fully cycled marine aquarium.  Nutrient Free, No algae. No slime. Clean, shiny, beautiful. Two weeks later? Maybe three? Algae. Slime. All over. You want your “old” tank back. Particularly in newer set ups, these issues are pretty typical. Some aquarists believe something is wrong if they don’t …

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Holy Grail Seaweeds: Are There Really Premium, Rare Macroalgae?

It is almost inevitable that people will pick “the pretty ones” out of the bunch. Many popular ornamental species/cultivars (koi, decorative maize, etc.) originated as farmed food species. We certainly may be seeing the same at this time with certain types of macroalgae in the marine aquarium hobby. We now have long-finned clownfish. Already. It …

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A Yellow and Blue Tang in a Marine Aquarium

Cultivating Ogo and Sea Lettuce for Your Tangs

These days, it seems that most marine aquarists are reef aquarists. And reef aquaria almost always house one or more tangs. This should seem reasonable enough, as representatives of this sizeable fish family (Acanthuridae) are found in abundance in pretty much every shallow water coral reef ecosystem on Earth. But their strong presence in the …

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Phytoplankton, Macroalgae, or BOTH?

As marine aquarists, we might think of algae as being divided into three (maybe four) distinct categories: the benthic (i.e. bottom-dwelling) microalgae, the open-water microalgae and the macroalgae. The first group consists of the film/turf-formers, the second group consists of the phytoplankton and the third group consists of the larger, plant-like seaweeds. The first group …

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Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca): The Most Underappreciated Macroalgae?

The use of macroalgae in marine aquaria has steadily increased over the years. Ever since they have become more widespread in the aquarium hobby, they are increasingly being cultivated for specialized purposes. This specialization has generated the demand for a more diverse selection of “macros” with each species being preferred for a particular application. Some …

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pacifica

A Look at Seven Great Red Macroalgae For the Refugium

It’s been a looong time since there was a “typical” refugium. And even if there was a typical sort of refugium today, it wouldn’t look exactly like the one of yesterday. One very notable change is the greater diversity of macroalgae used, including Red Macroalgae. Gone are the days where nearly everyone with a refugium …

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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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Red Gracilaria loves good refugium lighting!

Lighting the Refugium

There are plenty of reasons that you might consider installing a refugium in your marine aquarium system. Yours might be to add water volume to compensate for an increasingly crowded main tank. You might want to boost your copepod production. Most probably, you’re aiming to reduce dissolved nutrient concentrations. Particularly in the latter case, you’ll …

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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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Feeding Your Marine Animals Live Macroalgae

Farmed in the ‘Fuge: Feeding Your Marine Animals Live Macroalgae Seaweed grazing might appear to be an easy and carefree way for an animal to get its meal. This is, however, not often so. For one, plants have comparatively less protein and fat content than meaty fares. Herbivores therefore must consume considerable amounts of food …

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Ulva spp. Seaweeds: The Refugium Powerhouses

Virtually all marine aquaria have fish residing in them. And fish must be fed. Which is fine, because most hobbyists enjoy feeding their animals and do so quite generously. The result, however, is a whole lot of fish waste. These waste products are mineralized (that is, broken down) through biological processes into simple compounds such …

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An Overview of the Green Alga Chaetomorpha

The typical purpose of a refugium is to cultivate a thick bed of macroalgae. While some refugium plants like chaetomorpha provide important habitat for microcrustaceans (e.g. pods) and may even be considered to be ornamental, they are used primarily to take up excess nutrients (e.g. nitrate, phosphate) from the aquarium water. In practice, these nutrients …

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Clownfish hosting an Anemone

Aquariums: The New Medicine

Aquariums: The New Medicine You enter the waiting room of your doctor’s office and you know she’s not going to be happy about your blood pressure and weight gain. Your palms start to sweat as you try to think of excuses for your bad habits and lack of exercise. As your pulse quickens, you look …

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Sustainable Aquariums

Sustainable Aquariums

What are Sustainable Aquariums? An aquarium is a cornerstone of many homes and apartments, but how often have you come home to find your fish floating belly up? Whether the kids forgot to feed them or neglected to change the water filter, the bottom line is it’s time to go out and get a few …

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