General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. Diving back into the reef

    A "new" reef keeper takes a light-hearted look at the many changes she's noticed since she last kept a reef tank (13 years ago).
  2. Old Tank Syndrome

    Is this a myth? Something we heard about in the deep abbesses of when the hobby started (I think it was on a Tuesday) Is this something we need to worry about. Like we don't have enough to worry about with the heartbreak of psoriasis and wondering if we will be accepted into the "Hair club for men".
  3. Death Tank

    Thinking about buying a complete set up from a hobbyist that's already running? Be prepared beforehand to avoid problems when you get your new-to-you prize home.
  4. The intricate process of feeding

    This is a robust feeding regimen in and of itself, but is by no means complete. Feeding in this manner has to be controlled, meaning that one of the main points is to reduce waste. There shouldn’t be that much lying around and certainly not enough to sustain a diverse reef tank full of cleaner organisms. Most of these animals are primarily active at night, feeding on everything from uneaten food to fish waste, on down to biological sludge.
  5. 2017 The Year Of The Critical Thinking Reef Keeper

    Every year, more and more products enter the reef keeping world, aimed at making aquarists believe that simply by adding the directed dose, they will achieve a measure of success. Some claim to clear up nitrate problems, while others claim to balance water quality and maintain aquatic homeostasis. Each year, my email inbox gets filled with messages from aquarists who feel cheated. They’ve spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on reef keeping products believing each one to be the...
  6. New film to expose aquarium fisheries' dark side

    Snorkel Bob has ridden the anti-aquarium wave for quite some time, blaming the aquarium industry for much of what ails Hawaiian reefs, whether or not the evidence supported those conclusions. He has backed and aided in writing numerous bills to shut-down or severely limit Hawaii’s live fish collection protocol. As of yet, none have been overly successful and many of Witner’s theories have been debunked by marine biologists and researchers. I’m not surprised he’s decided to switch formats and...
  7. Ultimate Fail: What NOT To Do!

    Do you know that feeling? That feeling when you know something bad is happening in your tank and you don’t know what to do about it? That panic deep in your gut that says “ACTION! You must do something about this NOW!” We’ve all had that feeling at least once. The fear of losing $1000 or more of fish and coral because you didn’t act on a problem fast enough is a real one. The problem here is that nothing good in this hobby happens fast. This is a saying we have all heard and it’s true. So...
  8. A Discussion of US and European Reefkeeping

    I do not consider reefkeeping to be a competitive activity, but during my recent trips to Europe and then travels around the states the most frequently asked questions I got were “Are the states better than us” or “how far ahead of us are the Europeans”. I would love to be able to say definitively that one group of reefers or country or even continent is ahead of another, but from what I have seen that simply is not the case. I say this for several reasons:
  9. The Best Test Kit - A Different Philosophy

    So what is the best test kit to check your water parameters? A question often asked and even more often debated. Most have their favorites, are not bashful about sharing, and will argue and stomp their collective keyboards in defense of their choices. The fact is we all have our opinions and reasons for using the test kits we use; and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
  10. How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971

    How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971
  11. The Supreme Guide To Setting Up A Saltwater Reef Aquarium

    The marine environment is one of the most complex systems on the planet. The aquarium you are about to set up is only a tiny sliver of the vast ocean, but it is no where near simple. This task is going to take patience, a ton of reading, and a ton of patience...
  12. Featured

    The Past and Future of the Hobby

    At this time of year, we often look back on what has transpired in the past year both good and bad and think about it. For me, it was for the most part a good year in aquarium terms, as I wrote a fair amount, most of my tanks did well and I traveled more than I had in along time and as a result learned a lot and made more friends all over the world. But in thinking about this article I did not want to just write about where things are or were, but also how things may be in the future. In...
  13. Are you Moving???

    Moving your reef aquarium can be a daunting task. Like that meeting or test you have tomorrow that you didn’t prepare for – but you know if you buckle down for the evening and work hard, you’ll be ready to go in the morning. Either that or you'll just call in sick! Well, calling in sick isn’t an option when you have to move and are taking your beloved box of water with you. With some well-thought-out plans and the proper supplies, your fish and corals will make it to their new home with...
  14. Water changes, a thing of the past or necessity of the present?

    Turning your aquarium system into a fully automated, self-maintaining machine is beneficial in many ways. It greatly reduces micro-management and intervention on behalf of the aquarist. However, it’s not without cost and concern. It also encourages a “hand’s off” approach to husbandry.
  15. Joe Yaiullo awarded MASNA's Aquarist of the Year 2016

    While Joe is most certainly a celebrity in the world of reef aquaria, he remains humble and approachable, consistently offering advice to fellow hobbyists and sharing his aquatic discoveries with the reefing community.
  16. Refugium Lighting

    Refugiums are a great way to grow Algae for filtration, food, and provide excellent breeding grounds for pods, shrimp, and anything else that would otherwise be destroyed in your Display tank. Refugiums are not always designed for filtration. Some are designed purely for visual enjoyment and others are home to coral frags as they grow larger. They also make great Time Out spots for bad fish and are good places for injured fish to heal, but remember these are connected to your Display tank so...
  17. To jellyfish or not to jellyfish, that is the question?

    Like any pet, jellyfish keeping is an expense and responsibility. Luckily the jellyfish offered (usually moon jellyfish) with most packages are captive bred and raised, meaning that the jellyfish fad shouldn’t affect wild ecosystems. The package I purchased had adequate filtration, with an area for carbon media, live rock rubble and mechanical filtration floss. A small pump (like what is found on desktop fountains) moved water around the circular tank, creating the gyre current and pushing...
  18. The Importance Of Light Intensity Intervals In A Reef Aquarium

    Considering the photosynthetic nature of most sea life, the sun is very important. Keeping our lights on our tanks during regular daylight hours has been the standard since the beginning of our knowledge of photosynthesis. As we progress in biology we learn more and more stuff about everything. One thing we have learned is the benefit of darkness.
  19. A new generation of aquarists

    It’s these interactions that seemingly fascinate children and also show them the importance of care and consideration, when intermingling with oceanic life. You can’t just grab any reef dweller indiscriminately and even those that can be handled need compassion and restraint. For children, a clump of macro-algae is its own little world, full of unique creatures just waiting to be discovered. I leave some live rock in my sump, so that it can become engulfed in tiny brittle starfish, snails...
  20. Vacation Time!!!

    Photo taken from original post by @OceanRevive As we approach the vacation season once again, your Reef Squad thought it might be a good idea to address some of the questions that keep some reefers up at night prior to the trip. Worse yet, they can keep you from truly enjoying your well-deserved getaway. Let’s go over some basic things we can do to prevent that from happening. So the trip is booked, now what do I need to do? How will I keep my top-off water filled, how will I feed...
  21. Yes, Reef Aquariums inspire action.

    Lauren grew up about two hours from where I did, in what is still considered Western Maryland. Both of us lived far from a seashore and made yearly family trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks is a rich seaside community with a diverse abundance of oceanic life. Much of that life is highlighted at the Outer Banks Aquarium in Kill Devil Hills. Lauren was always interested in marine life, from catching crabs on the sand as a little girl, to studying my aquarium when she...
  22. Do Your Own Thing!

    I've had the pleasure of helping many people grow in this hobby. I typically advocate starting off small & easy, and then work up to something bigger & better as skills get sharpened and finances allow. The way I see it, the smaller tank can always be repurposed into a QT or frag tank down the road. It delights me to see how people get such a kick out of their mushrooms spreading from one rock to another, or watching their pair of juvenile clownfish mature and begin laying eggs. Some even...
  23. The current state of nano-aquaria

    It’s been a number of years since JBJ released the original nano-cube. When first released, many aquarists scoffed at the idea of a small, all-in-one marine aquarium. Yet, the idea surged in popularity and now nearly every major aquarium producer has their own version of JBJ’s original design. Now, they are even marketed and sold to beginners and many aquarists become addicted to the hobby via a 12-gallon box of water.
  24. When disaster strikes, be ready ...

    I recommend having a back-up power solution that is reliable, maintained and easy to use. For this, I’ve yet to find anything that beats Generac’s generator line and transfer switch. With this system, your generator can be kept outside the house, either covered (Generac makes an exterior generator cover) or housed in a specially built enclosure. With the transfer switch an outlet is installed on the home’s exterior where the generator’s power line can be connected. In the event of a power...
  25. Thermal Reckoning, a Fire in the making...

    I think we've all seen an alarming number of threads talking about electrical fires. Some the power-cords have caught on fire, others a power-strip was at the heart of the issue, and others the wall outlet shorted and flared up. While some of these seemingly had no major or catastrophic issues, outside of a burned cord or power-strip, others have actually ignited part of the stand. The worse cases have actually caught their home on fire. Instructions that ship with most electrical components...
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