General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. Beginner Corals - Leathers

    Leathers are one of the best starter corals around. Some of them can grow quickly enough to be considered invasive (the Kenya tree comes to mind here), but most are moderate growers, easily fragged, and won’t break the bank to purchase or care for.
  2. Featured

    Spouse Doesn't Get It?

    Hiding the receipt from your most recent trip to the fish store, getting home early so your spouse doesn’t catch you acclimating something new into the tank. The old stand-by “No honey, that’s always been in the tank” only works a couple times before they catch on.
  3. What to look for when buying fish at your LFS

    Ideally, when you buy a fish you want it to be perfectly healthy, eating right away and have a guarantee that it won’t die right away. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case at most local fish stores. Our policy at the LFS I work at is “no returns, no exceptions” and I find this to be the case at every LFS I have visited. You may find a few exceptions to this rule and if you do covet that LFS and bring them lots of business so they can stay open.
  4. Incrementalism in the Hobby

    There is an old Southern axiom of how to cook a bullfrog. You can’t just pop it into boiling water because as soon as it hits the hot water it will sense that the water is too hot so it will hop out. Instead you put it in cool refreshing water and then gradually increase the heat. By doing it that way before it realizes that the water is getting hot it is too late and it is cooked. As far as I know cooking bullfrogs is not a major aspect of reefkeeping, but that example is a good way of...
  5. ReefStock 2017: Denver Reefing is Going Strong, 10 Years On

    ReefStock is an annual reef conference in Denver, Colorado which is one of the most influential and longest running events of its kind in the world. But reef shows don't have to be huge to be great, and ReefStock is a great example of that. ReefStock, the official Reef Builders event, is coming up on its tenth show in a few weeks, and we hope to see you there.
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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".
  10. How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971

    How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971
  11. 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.
  12. Acclimation Made Easy: Aquarium Livestock Acclimation Tips

    Have you ever woke up from your warm, fuzzy blankets only to be frost bit by the cold air outside of your place of slumber? Have you ever taken a hot shower and opened the door to a gust of cold air? Luckily all humans do is complain, shiver, and then slowly get used to the change in temperature. With fish, corals, crabs, octopi, and anything else we normally see in aquariums, we have to be much more careful when adding a new creature to a new environment. Don’t put your animals through the...
  13. Video: Cooking Live Rock (not curing)

    Cooking live rock (not curing rock) is a process that rejuvenates used live rock safely and inexpensively, although it isn't actually cooked. I'm a huge proponent of using live rock in a reef tank rather than dry rock because of the beneficial biodiversity on and in the rock. If you want to re-use rock from an older system, cooking it will prepare it for the new setup. All you need is saltwater, a pump, and a suitable holding container. You may want to add a protein skimmer and a heater if...
  14. 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:
  15. 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...
  16. CYANORRA SUCKER: Getting Rid Of Cyanobacteria Algae

    Cyanobacteria is said to be responsible for the end of Oxygen intolerant life forms on the planet Earth. Before our atmosphere was extremely low on Oxygen. The Bacteria is photosynthetic, which means it turns light into energy, making Oxygen as a biproduct. After the Cyanobacterias first Earthly epidemic the composition of our atmosphere transformed into the Oxygen rich air we know today. Today’s plants are even thought to have evolved from early forms of Cyanobacteria. This photosynthetic...
  17. Black Ops Reef: How2Deal With An Aquarium Power Outage

    You are sitting in your big comfy lazy boy recliner watching “Da Bears” in one eye and your reef in the other. The window begins to shake vigorously as your team is getting creamed like usual, so you assume the booing coming from your surround sound is responsible until a massive bolt of lighting strikes the transformer right outside your window. All of the sudden your house is black, “Da Bears” are off, and you hear a bubbling sound coming from your reef tank followed by loud slurp caused...
  18. How to tell if your aquarium sucks ("What did you just say, Fellman?")

    Let’s say you’ve been in the hobby a while, and your reef is just kind of…average. Maybe it’s not even average. Or maybe it's amazing looking...but even if it is- maybe it…sucks.
  19. Spreading The Goods: Giving Coralline Algae A Kickstart

    Coralline algae is a very beneficial life form that most reefers want in their tanks. It can come in many colors and some even forms interesting branching shapes. It can encrust on just about anything. After a while, cleaning it can actually become an extra task on the weekly maintenance list. For those of you who are not to this level of growth or just starting a tank there is a great way to get those white rocks as purple as a grape.
  20. Lets Talk Substrates for the Marine Aquarium

    Bare-bottom (BB)? Calcium Carbonate (CC) Gravel? Crushed Shell? Sand? Deep vs. Shallow? With all the choices that are out there, no wonder new hobbyists are often confused about which substrate to use for their marine aquarium. In this thread, I shall attempt to address pros and cons of each of the available substrates. Please remember however, that the choice of substrate must be balanced with two things; Aesthetic value to the viewer and biological value to the livestock. Some fish and...
  21. Gone Fishing (Fish Collection)

    Have you ever wondered why marine fish are so expensive? Unlike a cichlid, or most other freshwater fish, marine creatures live in much harder to reach areas of the world. Some live hundreds of feet below sea level which is very out of reach to the Average Joe, thus it is more expensive to obtain these creatures. Not only are they harder to get to but they are also more difficult to capture. Yeah, people could just throw a hook and bobber over the reef but the odds of capturing the fish in...
  22. Step Away from the Tank (When is it time to quit the hobby?)

    Step Away from the Tank (When is it time to quit the hobby?) Animals are a fragile link in the chain of the immense ecosystem. Most of them were here before humans. The fact of the matter is that animals are important to the well being of the planet. Even maggots play a role in cleaning up messes. It may be disgusting, it may be raunchy, but a rotten animal will smell much worse on its own for a longer period of time than it would without a belly full of what makes us all sick to the...
  23. Pushing for a positive future...The responsibility of being a reef hobbyist.

    This Article is Sponsored by @uniquecorals I was sort of pondering the state of the hobby in a recent philosophical moment, and I realized that we are at a sort of “crossroads” in the hobby and industry, with very real pressures on us from outside forces who know little of what we actually do. As a group, marine aquarium hobbyists have a good sense of the responsibilities that come with acquiring and caring for aquatic animals, don’t we? We understand the impact of irresponsible...
  24. LFS: “Local Fish Shop” Or “Lying For Sales?!” Is Your Store Legit?

    What is the most common reason for giving up the salt water hobby? When you search through the endless listings of reef tanks for sale on Craigslist, the majority of tanks are not exactly top of the line. Someone will label “Full Blown Reef” on a tank that is nothing more than a fraction of what the educated reefer would even consider putting animals in. The lighting is outdated, they are usually not drilled, the ones with sumps have old overflow boxes filled with algae, and the fish have...
  25. Feed like a geek...Your reef will LOVE you for it!

    This Article is Sponsored by @uniquecorals As you know, when I'm not stoking fellow reefers with cool corals, I get to travel around the country and talk about geeky reef topics. One of my most in-demand topics is "Nutrient Control and Export", which, in other words, is a nice way of saying "Getting the nasty stuff out of your aquarium." I'm compelled to touch on this today (nutrient CONTROL) because of a (very) long phone call with a reefer yesterday about the crazy algae bloom his 225...
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