The Marine Planted Tank: Creating Your Ocean Garden

You’ve successfully kept saltwater fish. Then you moved on to corals. Then, maybe you took on the slightly greater challenge of tridacnid clams or some other delicate or specialized species—with yet more success! What’s next? There are hundreds of thousands of animal species that inhabit our planet’s tropical coral reefs. Even the most advanced reef …

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What is a Planted Marine Aquarium?

The cultivation of saltwater plants is nothing new. It has been fairly common for hobbyists to keep marine “plants” (more often macroalgae than true vascular plants) since the 1980s. Even so, we’ve seen very few aquarium systems that are built and maintained primarily for the display of marine flora. Indeed, to date, the vast majority …

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Creating a Suitable Growing Space for Your Mangrove

As of late, a few varieties of mangrove have become more available to saltwater aquarium hobbyists. With this, it will likely be a bit more common to see one of these beautiful plants poking somewhere out of one’s aquarium system. However, as keeping mangroves becomes more common, there may develop a tendency for aquarists (especially …

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Warning - Marine Aquarium Quarantine Area

Why You Need a Quarantine Tank

Most of us invest a lot into our aquarium systems. Some of us invest a whole lot. The best means of protecting your growing livestock collection (i.e. investment) is a rigorously maintained and monitored system of quarantine. But we all already know that, right? A quarantine (QT) tank is that one thing we should have. …

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Beginners Guide to Maintaining a Saltwater Aquarium

A major component of reefing and keeping saltwater aquariums that deters people from the hobby is the maintenance that is required to upkeep them. It may feel like reefing requires too much work, but it may also be that you have an uncertainty on how to maintain a saltwater aquarium. Luckily for you, this article …

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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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