Articles

Featured Articles

  1. Dr. Joshi’s 500 Gallon SPS dominated mixed reef

    If you are a reef hobbyist, chances are that you are familiar with the legendary Dr. Joshi. Featured by almost, if not every, reef-keeping print publication, online blog and forum for his coral keeping ability, a quick Google search will reveal his legacy as well as pictures of his beautiful tank.
  2. 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.
  3. R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Júnio Melo - February 2017

    My name is Júnio Melo, and I am from Brazil. When I was a kid, I asked my mom for a puppy and she gave me a goldfish. She couldn’t imagine the monster she had awakened! In a short period, our apartment was housing 5 comunitary freshwater tanks. I had always dreamed of owning a saltwater tank, and that dream came true in 2005 after graduating and getting married. My wife is a sea lover as much as I am (we are both divers) and has always supported me in these 12 years of saltwater tank...
  4. All About Reef Safe Wrasses in Aquaria

    Below, you will find sections about: these guidelines, wrasses which qualify as reef safe, the general requirements, feeding, shipping, quarantine, adding new wrasses to your system, mixing species and genera, the acclimation box, protogynous hermaphroditism & sexual dichromatism, “pairing” wrasses & harems, pricing and rarity, a section about each genus (Anampses, Cirrhilabrus, Halichoeres, Labroides, Macropharyngodon, Paracheilinus, Pseudocheilinus, Pseudocheilinops, Pseudojuloides, and...
  5. It's 2016, where is the ich vaccine?

    In 2014 a US patent was awarded (Patent #: 8758774 B2) for a vaccination against marine ich and several other common aquatic diseases, most notable vibriosis. The vaccine was created by taking skin swabs from fish infected with the parasite. Cerebral spinal fluid is then removed from the infected fish and added to a fluid containing the parasite (de-activated via formalin).
  6. Review of the New Ecotech Radion G4

    LED lighting has become accepted as a legitimate lighting source in the reef aquarium hobby due to the advance features the Radion series of lights offers. We have come to expect WiFi control of our lights from our smart phones. When Ecotech introduced UV LEDs in the Radion we found out how important it was to have full spectrum in our lighting. With the Radion it became easy for owners to share their lighting schedules with each other online by exporting and importing lighting schedule...
  7. 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...
  8. Is AquaForest the next evolution of zeolite use?

    For any zeovit user looking into AquaForest, I can confidently say that AquaForest’s zeolite inclusive methodology is not zeovit. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but simply to point out that other than relying on a similar mineral and bacteria, the two are very different. Zeovit is a very hands-on approach to reef keeping that requires daily maintenance of the filtration media and consistent dosing. AquaForest’s method also requires dosing and maintenance, but has been simplified to...
  9. Why do the tang police exist?

    This captive stress often translates to a hurdle that must be overcome by the aquarist. It’s not uncommon for some tang species to be reluctant to feed and it’s not uncommon for small juvenile tangs to be harassed, if placed in a tank with larger fish. Because of this, a long quarantine period is required, which allows the fish to spend weeks alone in a tank where it cannot be harassed and special feeding techniques can be employed.
  10. 'Pairing' Wrasses: That's Not How Any of this Works!

    First, we really need some understanding of how wrasses interact and live in their natural environment. In the ocean, most genera of wrasses live in harems, which consists of a group of females to one dominant male. Often, there are a few transitional males in this group as well, which are essentially males-in-waiting – waiting for their chance to overtake the current or become the new dominant male. Within this harem, there is an established hierarchy. The hierarchy exists by the...
  11. The Shadow™ Overflow from Synergy Reef has arrived!

    The Shadow™ Overflow is the evolution of the Synergy Reef™ overflow system. Now 100% Injection Molded! Featuring a removable weir for ease of maintenance and our molded design for failsafe operation. Our ultra slim design has revolutionized the aquarium overflow and how aquariums get water into their filtration systems. It is a very simple to install, plug and play overflow system. Completely quiet operation when used to our specifications. Our years of testing and development are what sets...
  12. 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...
  13. Tank Parameters Of Some Masters

    To this day one of the most frequently asked questions I get, and actually that many “old time hobbyists” get is “How do I get rid of the algae in my tank. My first question then is “what are the parameters of your tank’s water? Invariably the answer is my tank’s parameters are “perfect”. I would love to say that this is not the case, but actually a lot of the time their parameters really are close to “perfect”. So this got me to thinking: “What really are perfect water conditions? And more...
  14. R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Broadfield - March 2017

    I first want to introduce myself. My name is Toby Broadfield and I am from Normal, Illinois. My overall goal for this setup was to be ultra organized with the equipment, make water changes a breeze (no more buckets), have somewhat of a minimalistic rock scape, and have a stunning display without spending a treasure chest of money on expensive corals. I think I have achieved my initial goals, but there’s always room for improvement. I have kept to my plan of not buying any rare/expensive...
  15. Review: Kessil AP700 light fixture

    The AP700 suffers from the same concerns present with other “puck” style LED fixtures. Kessil uses a proprietary dense matrix puck, which crams lots and lots of diodes into a tight space. The technique creates a very pointed light source and the ensuing cone effect creates a halide like shimmer. Kessil’s color control and management chipset works well, meaning that the individual diodes respond flawlessly to different spectral settings.
  16. TANK TERROR: Bacterial Infections In The Reef Tank

    Editor’s Note: The reef aquarium hobby is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining a complex ecosystem can be a daunting task with many variables in play that all have effect on one another. However, beyond the effort to maintain the ecosystem and address common day-to-day issues, there are catastrophic situations which can place the entire place the life in the reef tank in great peril. Many of these “Tank Terrors” can strike literally overnight leaving a trail of rapid death in their wake....
  17. Super Star Of The Reef: The Blue Star Leopard Wrasse–Macropharyngodon bipartitus

    Male and female Macropharyngodon bipartitus in the author’s aquarium. The Blue Star Leopard Wrasse, also referred to as the Divided Wrasse, Vermiculite Wrasse (as well as a few other common names) is one of thirteen species of leopard wrasse in the Macropharyngodon genus. As with most leopard wrasses, Macropharyngodon bipartitus is sexually dichromatic (males and females differ in coloration). Interestingly, all leopard wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they begin life as...
  18. 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.
  19. Ich! Eradication vs. Management

    Should you attempt to rid your tank completely of ich or should you try and "manage" the problem? R2R's Humblefish (the well respected and much-relied upon "Dr. Fish") presents an excellent guide to pros and cons of ich eradication vs. ich management. This article is a must-read for anyone new to the saltwater aquarium hobby. Seasoned pros will also find it highly informative. So dive in!
  20. Pipe Dreams: The In’s & Out’s Of Aquarium Plumbing

    You have a lot of options now-a-days when it comes to plumbing an aquarium and that can make the task a bit overwhelming. There are quite a few different solvents, glues, primers, fittings, piping, and sealants all with their own particular purpose. To complicate that a little more each one has its advantages and disadvantages for applications in our aquarium builds. In this article, we will attempt cover some of the different types of plumbing needs you will face, as well as the tips and...
  21. Are LEDs a suitable primary light source?

    However, determining if LEDs alone are viable sources of light, requires a better assessment. It’s certainly true that using multiple fixtures creates acceptable PAR readings throughout even a large reef aquarium. However, it’s tough to get totally accurate PAR readings from every nook and cranny within the tank.
  22. How to "Regenerate" Seachem Purigen

    Seachem Purigen is a synthetic polymer resin that removes dissolved organic matter. It also has a water-polishing quality, and it adsorbs a wide variety of chemicals. Many find this a great alternative and/or companion to Granular Activated Carbon. Purigen can be "regenerated" after it has been saturated, which is a pretty simple process - but a few tips never hurt anyone!
  23. A step back, a step forward: Kalkwasser dosing

    In this regard, the old way may not only be safer but also more efficient. This involves the use of a kalkwasser stirrer. These are a simple reactor with a water inlet at the bottom and a water outlet at the top. Running vertically through the reactor is a shaft connected to a stirrer. The stirrer can be as simple as horizontal PVC piping or as complex as a series of fins that slowly spin. The shaft and stirrer are connected to an external motor, that spins them either constantly or at...
  24. R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Mark's Rimless NPS Paradise - May 2017

    SPS corals were my passion until I got my first dendro and sun coral. I researched as much as I could about them, and finally last year after moving into my new home, I was able to set up a tank dedicated only to NPS corals and deepwater fish. I am totally in shock , having my second tank nominated as ROTM 6 years later, and I am especially proud of this one, as most ROTM are still SPS tanks and most people view them as the pinnacle of reefing. I hope this will bring more awareness about the...
  25. 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.
  26. R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Tamama - April 2017

    Keeping SPS in an aquarium is nerve wracking, and yet extremely exciting and fulfilling when you appreciate and enjoy the ups and downs of the hobby. I am glad that my tank can be featured in this forum that may help inspire hobbyists to join in the fun.
  27. Care of Large Polyp Non-Photosynthetic Corals

    This is a brief description in "Laymans Terms" of how to feed and keep large polyp non-photosynthetic corals (NPS coral). I see countless threads and questions regarding "how to feed my new sun coral", or "how do I get the polyps on my new sun coral to open?" They're honestly a relatively easy coral to keep, some just require a little TLC. The following process can be followed for any large polyp non-photosynthetic coral Genus, such as Tubastrea ("Sun Coral"), Dendrophyllia ("Dendros"),...
  28. What is Alkalinity?

    Most reefkeepers know they need to measure alkalinity, and most know it has something to do with carbonate. But what is alkalinity exactly? Why is it important? How is it measured? This article will answer those questions and give you all of the information that you need to fully understand one of the most important chemical parameters in our reef aquaria. Along with calcium, many corals also use “alkalinity” to form their skeletons, which are composed primarily of calcium carbonate. It is...
  29. DIY Bristle Worm Trap - How To

    Got a bristle worm (or worms) you need to deal with? R2R member Cromag08 has a great "Do It Yourself" article on how to make a simple bristle worm trap. It's clear, concise and has pictures! Check it out ....
  30. The Ice Cap Smart RODI: The highest tech RODI unit ever?

    I would be willing to argue that Ice Cap’s Smart RODI is the most technologically advanced unit available to average aquarists. RODI technology hasn’t leaped this far forward in a long time and Ice Cap’s innovations could easily evolve into RODI units that connect to our phones via wi-fi, giving aquarists the ability to make pure water on the go. Yes, we’ve gotten in-line TDS monitoring, filter replacement reminders and even some electronic performance monitoring. The smart RODI takes it...
  31. 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).
  32. The Many Methods for Supplementing Calcium and Alkalinity

    There is no aspect of reef aquarium chemistry more important than calcium and alkalinity. Many of my previous articles have described various aspects of these systems in detail. In reading those articles, aquarists will note one pervasive theme: that maintaining appropriate levels of each are very important. Moreover, the easiest way to ensure that things do not go seriously wrong in adding these to the aquarium is to use additives that have balanced amounts of calcium and alkalinity. For...
  33. 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.
  34. 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...
  35. ZOA SPOTLIGHT: How The Speckled Krakatoa Got Its Name

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been curious about how some zoas get their names. There’s almost an art to picking one with a good ring to it. Trying to have the name, the pattern, the colors of the zoa collide and become something special. Utter Chaos, Flaming Mohican, Krakatoa. I can’t say for sure on the previous mentioned polyps (actually I can on the Krakatoa, but that’s another story), but I was involved in the naming of one particular polyp, and it goes a little somethin’...
  36. R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Renton777 - January 2017

    This month, R2R is pleased to feature the reef of Nathan Gist (Renton 777). This 200-gallon tank was set up in September of 2012. Now that tank is absolutely packed to the brim with corals with an 80-gallon frag tank to go along with it. Definitely check out this thriving reef!
  37. Fish Disease Index - Pictorial Guide

    Use this guide to find a picture that most closely matches your fish's symptoms. Click the link, if available for more detailed information on the disease and how to treat it.
  38. SPS Spotlight: “Pearlberry” – Beautiful, Mysterious, And Finicky

    The Pearlberry is one of those corals that most people look at and think “It’s soooo beautiful – I’m going to try my hand at keeping SPS!” For sure, this is an inspiring coral – it is one of the most spectacular corals in our system, and we sure do love to stare at it. But as most SPS keepers know, the decision to move to the dark side and start keeping the “colored sticks” is not one to be taken lightly. SPS corals can be very demanding and frustrating; even with high-quality water...
  39. R2R Tank of the Month Spotlight: Stylaster - December 2016

    I started this hobby in 1990. Back then I had a 60-gallon system with metal halide lighting and a down draft skimmer. It’s amazing how much technology has changed in the past 26 years! There is a lot more automation now then there use to be and a lot more availability of hardware and livestock. I’m glad to see the hobby has progressed so much over the years. My current system is a 312-gallon acrylic tank (5’x5’x20”) running the berlin method without a sand bed in the system...
  40. Following the Masters Part Two

    When I decided to write the first article looking at the tank parameters for people who I consider masters in the hobby I did so thinking that their tanks would be pretty similar and that their success was at least partially due to their following some common recipe. I chose them somewhat randomly with the only criteria being that their tanks were successful and had been so over time, that they were willing to share what they were doing and that I thought most hobbyists would admire their...
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