Enhancing Coral Nutrition with Purple Non-Sulfur Bacteria

Most people who are familiar with corals–whether admiring them in the wild or displaying them in a glass box–understand quite well that corals are incredibly complex animals. This certainly so with the zooxanthellate corals. Virtually all corals (zooxanthellate corals included) are predators of plankton and other tiny organisms. But the zooxanthellate types undoubtedly are the …

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Power Outage Preparedness

Some aspects of this hobby are often overlooked until problems actually arise. Marine aquariums require a lot of time and dedication, so it is easy to understand how small things may be missed. But, sometimes small things can snowball into a disaster. If the aquarist had been prepared sooner and had the proper equipment on …

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Nitrate Management in Your Saltwater Aquarium

When setting up new aquariums, most people worry about and focus on ammonia and nitrites. Everyone knows that cycling a tank with fish is dangerous because of these two compounds, as they burn the gills and body of the fish as the tank matures. But, once these get to zero, most people are satisfied and …

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Uncommon Saltwater Diseases and Infections

All saltwater aquarists will deal with common diseases in the beginning of their tank keeping journey. These include the infamous Ich, or “white spot disease,” skin and gill flukes, HLLE, Lymphocystis, velvet, and possibly even Brookynella, or “Clownfish Disease.” These each come with their own remedy, but the cures are well documented and easily available …

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Advanced Testing and Trace Elements

Starting out in the aquarium hobby, most people simply buy test strips (which I do not recommend whatsoever) or “master” liquid test kits. While these liquid tritration tests are pretty accurate, it can be extremely difficult to decipher color charts and differentiate between ever so slightly differing shades of yellow, green, and red. This leads …

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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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A Clean Start: The Benefits of Using Dry Base Rock

Considering that it serves as both aquascape material and biofilter medium, it’s safe to say that live rock is pretty important. We want it to look and “behave” as naturally as possible. Really, truly “live” rock can only be as good as the base you build it on. For reef aquaria, the best substructure is …

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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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Copepods

Imagine for a second how food energy from grass, a primary producer, is transferred to a bluebird. The bluebirds don’t eat grass. Rather, they consume grasshoppers—which certainly do eat grass. In this way every secondary consumer obtains life-giving energy and biomass from primary producers through an intermediate, primary consumer. So it is across the ocean, …

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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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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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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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Clownfish hosting an Anemone

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 or weight gain. Your palms start to sweat as you try to think of excuses for your lack of exercise and bad eating habits. As your pulse quickens, you look over to the …

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