Gorgonians in the Marine Aquarium

It should go without saying that the hermatypic, stony, reef-building corals will dominate most reef aquaria. Thankfully, so long as (1) key water parameters are monitored, (2) the appropriate light conditions are provided and (3) nutritious planktonic foods are present, these beautiful plant-animal symbiotic combos easily flourish even in the care of novice hobbyists. Especially …

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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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Phytoplankton

The first link in a food chain is always a primary producer (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 substances such …

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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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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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A Copepod Cornucopia: How to Maintain a Continuous Live Food Source in Your Reef Aquarium

Some of us aquarists are satisfied just to find a pod or two in our systems—just to know that they’re still there! Then again, some of us are always reaching for that endless bumper crop. Those who push for ever higher copepod yields might indeed be on to something really big. Let them eat pods …

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Using Phytoplankton to Control Bad Algae

Despite their lush appearance, natural coral reefs are extremely nutrient-poor environments. Corals everywhere should be just fine with that, since it means less pressure to compete for space with benthic (that is, growing on the sea floor) microalgae. Planktonic microalgae, on the other hand, are predictably delivered to the reef from adjacent, comparatively fertile open …

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Boosting Reef Aquarium Diversity With Live Phytoplankton

Saltwater aquarium keeping certainly come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Heck, we only started widely using live rock about a quarter century ago. Nowadays, almost any coral reef species (provided that it is not protected) can be obtained in the aquarium livestock trade. Sadly, however, not all of these can …

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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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pods in your reef, here is a tigriopus copepod

Pods In Your Reef: Seeding a Marine Aquarium with Copepods

Benefits of Pods In Your Reef: Microcrustaceans (or “pods”) in general, and copepods in particular, are an integral component of aquatic food webs. This is so in virtually every marine environment including coral reef habitats. Therefore, pods in your reef are a healthful addition to any reef aquarium. Lucky, a handful of useful copepod species …

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A green mandarin on the substrate hunting for algaebarn copepods that make mandarin goby fish care easy

Mandarin Goby Fish Care | Using Copepods to keep a Mandarin Dragonet

Mandarin Goby Fish Care 101: Foods and feeding are the foremost concern for any aquarist wishing to keep a green mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus). Most critical in the diet of a mandarin is (1) constant availability of feeding opportunities and (2) food sources that are varied but primarily consist of enriched pods. If you get …

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nannochloropsis

Getting Your Greens: The Benefits of Feeding Live Nannochloropsis

Most of us want—and should want—our aquarium systems to more or less function ecologically in a way that resembles natural marine environments. Probably the most critical aspect of this is establishing a naturalistic food web. Unicellular, free-living, perpetually suspended algae (i.e. phytoplankton) account for a great deal of primary productivity in areas over or close …

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Feeding Your Hungry Pods

Marine aquarists are really attempting to accomplish several goals when introducing copepods to their systems. These undoubtedly include elimination of detritus, controlling nuisance algae and providing excellent nutrition for countless reef fish and invertebrate species. But the general aim, of course, is to create a more dynamic and balanced captive ecosystem. After all, copepods are …

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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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Carnation Corals in the Home Aquarium: A New Hope of Success?

Advancements in the reef aquarium hobby have been developing at a dizzying pace. As our understanding of coral reef biota (and how to care for them in captivity) grows, many more tools are becoming available to those who wish to keep increasingly specialized aquarium systems. As of late, there has been a particularly strong interest …

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Dinoflagellate ceratium longpipe

Eliminating Nuisance Dinoflagellates with Ocean Magik Live Phytoplankton

      Maintaining a healthy balance of microalgal species remains as one of the most common—and challenging—tasks for the marine aquarist. Not only can marine aquarium systems be far less chemically stable than the natural reef environment, but they are also subject to disturbances that can occur following bouts of overfeeding, decay associated with …

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Choosing the Right Live Phytoplankton Reef Tank Blends

     Many common reef aquarium animals are filter-feeding phytoplanktivores. In other words, they eat tiny (usually single-celled) algae that they capture from the aquarium water. In the natural environment, they often eat a lot of it. Despite that, they are in many cases quite choosy about what they eat in terms of food particle …

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