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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Manipulating Nutrient Levels to Control Algal Growth

Ahhhh… A freshly set up and (just now) fully cycled marine aquarium. 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 encounter a …

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A Sump AND a Refugium?

Our aquarium systems grow over time. It’s almost inevitable. It’s well-nigh organic. And we surely all hope that as they grow, they get better. One proven way to dramatically improve the functionality of an existing system is with the addition of a sump or refugium. The conventional overflow-with-sump/refugium plumbing design (we can call it a …

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How to Set Up an Aquarium for a Green Mandarin Dragonet

I should have done this! I should have done that! Throughout your experience in the saltwater aquarium and reef hobby, you will be finding yourself commonly saying these things. Maybe you did not dip your corals, or you bought the wrong additives, or maybe you added a fish without properly preparing your tank. This fish …

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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 Beginner’s Guide to Setting up a Refugium

By Nathan Peel There are many benefits to building or creating a refugium in your saltwater aquarium. It allows for additional surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow, which filters out nitrates and nutrients in an efficient and natural way. They also provide a habitat for small beneficial organisms so they can reproduce without getting …

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Increasing the Efficiency of Your Sump to Decrease Water Changes

Water changes are the most dreaded part of regular tank maintenance to most hobbyists. So much so, that many people start skipping water changes for weeks or months at a time. I don’t blame them, lugging buckets, checking salinity and parameters of new saltwater, stressing fish and other tank inhabitants, and the inevitably of spills …

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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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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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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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Amphipods and/or Copepods: Can They Peacefully Coexist?

Detritus and algal films compromise the aesthetic appearance and environmental quality of any saltwater aquarium. For sure, they present some of the most serious (and frustrating) issues for an aquarist to contend with. The easiest and least expensive way to deal with these issues is through biological control. This typically involves the use of a …

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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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MarinePure: The Ultimate Biomedium

MarinePure: The Ultimate Biomedium Managing dissolved waste products might easily be the most important—and oftentimes most challenging—task for a marine aquarist. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are the waste products that usually dwell at the forefront of the aquarist’s mind, as they should be. Ammonia and nitrite are, of course, extremely toxic and can wipe out an …

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Feeding Your Marine Animals Live Macroalgae

Farmed in the ‘Fuge: Feeding Your Marine Animals Live Macroalgae 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 to …

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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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Aquarium Cleaning Machines: Cerith Snails in the Reef Tank

An aquarium substrate surface can be a dirty place. Detritus, feces, uneaten fish food, film algae and other unwanted materials might pile up there. Fortunately, there are many “clean-up crew” creatures that can be used to remove various types of nuisance algae and/or settled organic wastes. There are only a few cleaners, however, that will …

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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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