Someone Holding a Cerith Snail

The Cerith Snail: A “Must-Have” Cleaner

Most aquarists are already aware that snails eat algae. To be most correct, the majority of snail species are algivores. To be sure, some have extremely specialized diets that do not include algae; other snails are technically omnivores, eating all sorts of things including algae. Then, for marine aquarists in particular, there is the issue …

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Keeping Mushroom Anemones

No one starts a saltwater aquarium because they hate challenges. Indeed, it is the difficulty (or at least perceived difficulty) of maintaining these systems that is so alluring to many first-time marine aquarists. That being said, it’s always good to take the stroll towards full-blown reefkeeping in baby steps. Veteran hobbyists have seen it so …

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Keeping the Striped Blenny (Meiacanthus grammistes)

There are a lot of blennioid fishes–something to the tune of like 900 species in 151 genera. Lots and lots of these are available for–and indeed quite appropriate for–the home aquarium. In general, blennies are hardy in captivity. They are small and so can live happily in smaller tanks. They are reef-safe and peaceful (though …

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Pod vs Sock: Do Mechanical Filters Kill Copepods?

Considering that aquarium keeping is a mere nerdy pastime, it can be surprising that there are so many contentious issues amongst hobbyists. One such big “controversy” centers around the impact of mechanical filtration (especially filter socks) on zooplankton (especially copepods). Naturally, as one of the world’s largest commercial producers of copepods, we have a couple …

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The Scribbled Angelfish

The Scribbled Angelfish: King of the FOWLR Tank

In many respects, the previous generation of marine aquarists got a raw deal; they caught just a teasing glimpse of what a reef tank could be–having access to a few hardy (generally soft and LPS) coral species–while not yet having access to the knowledge and advanced equipment we take for granted today. True, it was …

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A Beautiful Maxima Clam

3 Tips for Keeping Maxima Clams

For a couple of decades now, tridacnid or “giant” clams (genera Tridacna and Hippopus) have been regarded as the cherries on top of any well-constructed and well-maintained reef aquarium. Though there have been a couple of newcomers along the way, most members of the relatively small family Tridacnidae have been available in the trade all …

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Marinepure Ceramic Biomedia

Using MarinePure in the Aquarium, Sump and Refugium

Managing dissolved nutrients–especially ammonia, nitrite and nitrate–is among the major tasks of reef aquarium husbandry. Accomplishing this can be easy or difficult, cheap or expensive, depending upon how you go about it. And there are lots of ways an aquarist can go about this job. This ranges from operating planted refugia to performing massive regular …

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Coralline Algae Encrusted Rcok

What are Coralline Algae?

There are all sorts of bad algae–hair, slime, turf–and they are widely recognized by aquarists as a manifest sign of poor water quality. On the other hand, a healthy growth of calcareous algae is regarded as desirable. Calcareous forms are slow-growing yet they compete for space with (and thereby suppress) all the ugly bad forms. …

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Don't Let your Tank Turn into this!

4 Pitfalls for the Beginning Reef Aquarist (And Some Experienced Ones, Too)

If you’re reading this, you probably love marinelife. And if you don’t already have an aquarium (or two), you’re itching to fix that problem soon. We get your enthusiasm. Like any hobby, aquarium keeping is a highly enjoyable pastime. But it’s not all fun and games. Successfully maintaining an aquarium, especially a reef tank, requires …

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Limpets are incredible aquarium cleaners

Eliminating Algae with Siphonaria Limpets

In case you haven’t noticed, marine aquarium hobbyists have really upped their standards lately with respect to algal fouling. These much cleaner, healthier, natural-looking tanks surely are the fruit of numerous advancements in water filtration/treatment techniques. But we’ve slipped a few other cards under our sleeves, too; we’ve added an important new component to the …

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No, not this kind of cryptic zone!

Cryptic Zones in the Refugium

What are Cryptic Zones, Anyway? The planted refugium and its associated cryptic zones have gained a lot of traction among reef aquarists in recent years. This has largely been the result of a growing awareness of the need to control excess dissolved nutrients (e.g. nitrate and phosphate). As hobbyists experiment with specifics like macroalgae species …

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Coral Beauty Angelfish are amazing first Angels!

Coral Beauty Angelfish: The Best First Angel

As someone who has worked with coral beauty angelfish in the aquarium industry for decades, I can say two things with certainty: (1) Beginning saltwater aquarium hobbyists should always start out with super-hardy fishes and (2) beginners are almost always obsessed with, and only want, color, color, and color. While there are truly are many …

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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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The machinations of Microbes

Comparing the Metabolic Modes of Aquarium Organisms

Few, if any, of us get “into” aquarium keeping to become marine ecologists, or become experts in metabolic processes. But it does happen, albeit over some time. We buy our first fish tank with the sole intention of keeping colorful animals–simple as that. We do soon learn, however, that an aquarium system is really a …

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A Beautiful Porcelain anemone Crab

How to Acclimate Your Captive Bred Invertebrates

Aquarists like to broadly divide classes of aquarium livestock into two big groups, the fishes and the invertebrates. The second group is a huge catch-all, as it includes all non-fish livestock ranging from sponges to crabs. Though invertebrates are overall more sensitive than fish to sudden environmental change, ideal acclimation procedure varies somewhat between the …

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Unique Algae Eaters for your Aquarium

Even though battling algae is best done by finding and solving the underlying nutrient or lighting issue, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a few algae eaters in your tank to help keep it in check. Home aquariums naturally have more nutrients than wild ecosystems, and the slightest change in maintenance can lead to short …

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A beautiful marine Aquarium

Organizing Your Next Saltwater Aquarium Move

An Aquarium move can be a difficult task to go at alone. In the course of months of operation, the “system” can incorporate more and more components. And, the livestock collection grows. Eventually, what started as a simple fish tank can develop into an intricate mess of plumbing lines and gadgets; what started as a …

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