Articles

  1. Explanation on How Zoas Get Their Names

    This Article is Sponsored by Legendary Corals. Hello fellow reefers! I was trolling the zoanthids section of this forum (as usual) and ran across a very interesting topic, asking what does a zoa name really mean (it was interesting because the reefer is a researcher interested in genetics and wanted to see if all zoas were lineaged back to one name)? To save him the trouble I wrote a brief explanation... That got a bit longer with a 1st edit.. and then longer with a 2nd... and then a 3rd......
  2. Eel care guide!

    Now I'm far from an expert on eels, but having been in this hobby for a few years now and owning/looking after quite a few eels in my time, I feel I can confidently write this guide on basic care of these impressive little guys. I want to stress the point that everything I say is based purely on my experiences. It does not necessarily mean any eel you buy or look after will behave the same way. Your milage may vary. And for the record, I'm trying to keep this guide as universal as possible,...
  3. SPS Spotlight: Mo Flo – The Beautiful Acropora Efflorescens

    This month, I present another thickly growing SPS, the beautiful A. efflorescens. The “efflo” as is frequently called in the aquarium trade, is a plating coral that is rare by SPS standards, growing natively mainly in the North Indian Ocean and indo-Pacific in a range that wraps around Indonesia, Malaysia, and the southern tip of India around Sri Lanka. While similar in overall shape to A. branchi and A. clathrata, Efflo’s have a very distinctive growth pattern, forming massive plates with...
  4. Nitrate in the Reef Aquarium

    Introduction Nitrate is an ion that has long dogged aquarists. It is typically formed in aquaria through the digestion of foods, and in many aquaria it builds up and can be difficult to keep at natural levels. In the past, many aquarists performed water changes with nitrate reduction as one of the primary goals. Fortunately, we now have a wide array of ways to keep nitrate in check, and modern aquaria suffer far less from elevated nitrate than they have in the past. In some case, aquarists...
  5. The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish: A True Asian Beauty

    The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish A True Asian Beauty Genicanthus semifasciatus G semifasciatus male with a unique shoulder marking The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish is a true beauty to behold. Males are gorgeous with irregular vertical bars on the upper body, mask-like yellow markings on the head and face which extend into a stripe on the mid-body, and yellow spots on the dorsal and tail fins. And while they do not have the striking markings and coloration of the males, females have a...
  6. How to Quarantine

    How to Quarantine The purpose of this article is to present an argument for quarantining saltwater fish, and then show the reader how to setup a Quarantine Tank (QT) and discuss quarantine protocols. Why quarantine? Setting up a QT does not have to be expensive or complicated. The saying “simple is better” applies here. So, let’s first list the reasons why you should quarantine: In addition to being able to treat a new fish for diseases, you are protecting your “core group” of fish in...
  7. How to: Building an aquarium stand

    Building an aquarium cabinet may seem like a daunting task if you have never done so before. Just the thought of turning a pile of wood into something that looks halfway decent, while at the same time withstanding hundreds or thousands of pounds of weight pushing down on it may be enough to drive you insane. I am definitely no carpenter, but have built a few decent cabinets through my time in this hobby. I have found that with the use of a few simple techniques, building a strong, good...
  8. Cirrhilabrus Complexes: Inferiority Need Not Apply

    This article is obsolete. It has been replaced by the 1st revision. Cirrhilabrus, the “Fairy Wrasses”, are one of the most elegant, active, and colorful reef fish. Their appeal in a reef tank is common to many, but not all have a well-rounded understanding of the compatibility amongst them. Enter the notion of “complexes”: groupings of very closely related species within a genus. Complexes create groups in which the species have a physically similar structure; the body shape, fin...
  9. 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...
  10. A DIY Alkalinity Test

    Alkalinity is one of the most important measurements that a reef aquarist can make. It can become rapidly depleted in many aquaria, requiring frequent measurement in order to maintain stable levels. While hobby test kits for alkalinity can be simple to use, some aquarists find them either tedious to perform, expensive, or of questionable accuracy. This article details how one can perform DIY alkalinity tests that do not involve visualizing color changes, should be appropriately accurate,...
  11. My Triton Testing Results

    There are many different ions in seawater, and as reef aquarists we generally only test for a small number of these. Calcium, magnesium, “alkalinity”, nitrate, phosphate, and ammonia, for example, are relatively easy for hobbyists to test at home using kits. Other ions, however, are more difficult to evaluate because they are present at such low concentrations or are otherwise difficult to detect. Even if there was a suitable kit for every ion in seawater, buying several dozen kits would...
  12. Easy, Breezy, Beautiful…Euphyllia

    The genus Euphyllia contains some of the most spectacular and recognizable corals we’ve come to love in the marine aquarium hobby. They fall under the hobby coined term, “LPS”, or Large Polyp Stony corals. While the term LPS can shed some light on their overall care, all corals should be looked at closer than that in order to determine if they’re a good fit for your aquarium.
  13. November 2014 R2R Tank of the Month Spotlight: Paul B

    Member Tank Thread: [URL]http://www.reef2reef.com/forums/reef-aquarium-discussion/55423-tank-birthday-40-years.html[/URL] I am honored that Reef 2 Reef would feature my reef this month. It is not the nicest looking reef and it does not have wall to wall corals. It's just a tank that has evolved over time to look like it looks. My family owned a sea food business so I grew up with fish. Mostly dead fish but since I spent so much time with fish, it was normal that I should keep them alive. I started my...
  14. October 2014 R2R Tank of the Month Spotlight: TJ's Reef

    My 125g Mixed Reef Build Thread:[URL]https://www.reef2reef.com/forums/member-tanks/137575-~tjs-125g-~-building-reef~.html[/URL] I'm an 'Old Salt' getting my feet wet in SW around 1979 and into my first 'Reeftank' in March of 1982 after meeting Martin Moe Jr. at a conference. Was working at a LFS in the Seattle area as an Assistant Store Manager and had several hundred gallons of mostly FW Discus, S.A. Apistogramma species and Lake Tanganyika African Chiclids breeding them for a handful of LFS's at that...
  15. Optimal Parameters for a Coral Reef Aquarium: By Randy Holmes-Farley

    Optimal Parameters for a Coral Reef Aquarium One of the main roles of an aquarist with a coral reef aquarium is to ensure that the conditions are right for their tank inhabitants. There are many different attributes of the aquarium that need to be controlled, including lighting, water flow, temperature, and the concentrations of the many chemicals in the water. This article focuses on water chemistry issues, showing my recommendations for the most important of the various chemical...
  16. September 2014 R2R Tank Spotlight: TinPanVa

    TinPanVa’s Geeked Out & Modified 29 BioCube R2R Build Thread INTRODUCTION: Howdy Fellow Reefers!! Let me just start by saying Thank You & Kudos to R2R for the spotlighting my little Nano-Reef. My name is Paul and I’ve had this BioCube up and running just over 2 years now. The first drop of water went in July 16, 2012 and boy oh boy has it been a ride ever since! It all started back in the late 70’s and early 80’s when my dad went from having 3 or 4 freshwater setups running to the first...
  17. August 2014 R2R Tank Spotlight: Siptang

    Member Tank Thread: [URL]https://www.reef2reef.com/forums/member-tanks/122302-siptangs-72g-bow-front-tank.html[/URL] Introduction: My name is Richard, and I started keeping fish since I was very young by helping my grandmother take care of her multiple small fresh water tanks. I got back into the hobby in college after getting a recommendation from a therapist that it's good for calming my nerves and that it will help me relax and possibly sleep better at night. I kept a fish only tank for many years,...
  18. July 2014 R2R Tank Spotlight: jourdy

    My current display tank is a zoas/LPS-dominated custom 90-gallon all glass aquarium with the dimensions of 48 x 24” x 18”. My stand is custom made by a friend and me. It’s nothing special – basically just something to place my tank on with no regards to aesthetics. After all, I was more concerned about what’s inside the tank.
  19. Zoa Spotlight: Fruit Loops!

    This month’s zoa spotlight will feature the “Fruit loops” zoanthid. These tiny zoas are in almost everyone’s top 10 most wanted zoas list. They are also in most people’s top ten want, but can’t have (because they are notorious for melting away) list. I will shed some light on a common misconception often attached to these beauties to give you a better understanding of placement and flow so you can be more successful with them in the future. I spoke with Andrea Stockhausen (a local...
  20. DIY Filter Socks

    A few people have asked me how I make my filter socks so I figure I'd post a thread in case this can be helpful to others. All you need is a sewing machine, very basic sewing skills and about 30-45 minutes every 2 months. I buy my polyester felt from JoAnn Fabric for about $2.50/yard (usually $5 but they have online coupons every month or so for 50% off). One yard of material will give me 15 12" socks which comes out to around .16 cents a piece. Old ones just get tossed and no need for...
  21. June 2014 R2R Spotlight: GlennF

    June 2014 R2R Spotlight: GlennF [URL]https://www.reef2reef.com/forums/large-aquariums-180g/138700-glennfs-300-gallon-dsr-reef.html[/URL] My name in Glenn Fong , from the Netherlands and I live in Rotterdam. All my life I have been keeping all kinds of fresh water aquariums,that was until I was infected with the saltwater virus . My current tank is 250x80x70cm(60cm WH) and was built in 1994. Until December 2004, it was a fresh water tank inhabited with Malawi cichlids. In Dec 2004, I drilled a hole...
  22. May 2014 R2R Spotlight: ritter6788

    My name is Gabriel Ritter. Staring at my tank everyday I sometimes only see the bad and not the good so to have peers mention my tank for the spotlight is a huge honor. I got started in this hobby 6 years ago. I've had small freshwater tanks off and on since I can remember. I kept a 45 gallon with freshwater Cichlids for 7 years while only browsing the saltwater section at the pet store and hoping one day to be able to keep such amazing fish. One day I came home to a heater malfunction that...
  23. April 2014 R2R Spotlight: Trido

    I’ve been keeping fish tanks for 27 years. Nine years ago I started the planning of my first 120 gallon in-wall salt water tank. I’ve been a reef keeper ever since. Four years ago, I broke down my 210, but I never really left the hobby because I custom built a couple of systems for others. Soon enough I had a 29G SPS tank, a year later upgraded to an old 65G I had laying around and one year later set the 210 In-wall back up. My total system is about 380 gallons, down from the 500 gallons the...
  24. Setting Up A Quarantine Tank and How To Quarantine Fish; A Guide

    This is a short guide on how to set up a quarantine tank for fish. Quarantining is a simple and easy way to help protect your display tank from diseases and parasites. This is also a great way to get your new acquisition eating frozen or prepared foods. A quarantine tank system is an individual system not connected to any other systems such as your display. Here is what you will need: 1 tank; 10g or more. A 20 long is good size for fish that swim a lot like angels, butterflies, tangs, etc....
  25. Like a 'broken record'...(Quarantine- again)

    I spoke with a fairly advanced reefer the other day, who had a terrible tragedy in his reef that could have been avoided with a very simple practice; one which he should have developed during his hobby "infancy." But he didn't. And he paid the price with lots of expensive dead fish. I've heard this so many times before that it's not even funny. It seems that the longer I've been in this hobby, the more often the same issues keep coming up. We seem to collectively go through periods of...
  26. March 2014 R2R Spotlight: Chrissy

    March 2014 R2R Spotlight: Chrissy [URL]https://www.reef2reef.com/forums/member-tanks/132522-chrissys-rsm-250-a.html[/URL] Introduction Hello, I'm Chrissy Gilbert from Franklin, MA, and this is my Red Sea Max 250 mixed reef aquarium. I got into the reefing hobby while living in the Seattle area in 2008. I saw a photo of a saltwater tank on the internet and asked my husband for a 12 gallon Eclipse for my birthday. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! After doing some research and seeing all...
  27. Aquascaping rears its ugly head again...

    So you know, before I became known for being an owner of Unique Corals, I was better known for being an armchair aquascaping critic! I would travel all over the country talking about aquascaping to anyone who would listen: Clubs, events, MACNA, etc. I gave a talk called "Aquascaping for the aesthetically challenged" (hey, that was ME!), about the ins and outs of reef aquarium aquascapong. It proved wildly popular, and was pretty sweet...I spend a lot of time telling people to "tear down the...
  28. Aquarium Dosing: You Have Options

    Aquarium Dosing: Brand new Reef Salt comes packed with good stuff, most of which precipitates or gets used up over time. There are many ways to replenish these things, the easiest of which is with regular water changes. Some tanks just consume far to quickly or require things that are not present in the salt used. For instances like these we use various methods of Dosing. Dosing is the act of adding chemicals to our aquarium. There are 3 methods of Dosing that we use today.
  29. How to take care of your Brain! (Trachys, Lobos, etc...)

    Okay, we spend absurdly large amounts of time talking about Acropora and their care around here, don’t we? I know it seems crazy, but there are actually some other corals in the ocean that are interesting and colorful. Really. I’m serious. Enter the “Brain Corals” (my spell checker wanted to call them “Bran” Corals…kind of goofy, huh?). These corals get their creepy common name from the grooves and channels on their surfaces that look like the folds of the human brain. Man- if there has...
  30. Copper Treatment For Marine Ich

    Copper treatment is a very effective way to rid and prevent Marine Ich. In a Fish Only system you can dose the display tank with it, but do not expect to ever keep a snail, shrimp, coral, anemone, or anything else BUT fish. This is one good reason a quarantine tank is a must for anyone who wants to have corals and it is not hard at all.
  31. Lyretail Anthias: Ain’t That The Truth

    So you want a fish who will brighten up your day? If you have a 6 foot or larger tank like a 125 gallon you are open to a type fish that can actually benefit your reef’s community in a way you would never expect. Lyretail Anthias are a very popular fish for larger aquariums. Before you dump one or two into your tank there are some facts to look over first.
  32. Modular In-Wall And Peninsula Design Aquarium

    When we dream of the perfect tank we often think of having an in-wall setup for the simple fact that it looks awesome. You don’t have ANY fish stuff in the room, not even a stand. In-wall setups keep the environment much more controllable and reduces unwanted tampering. This is a very nice setup for someone who does not plan on trying to sell their house for what it was worth before the In-Wall installation. Besides, the humidity often can cause localized water damage to certain materials...
  33. 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...
  34. Going deeper- some observations about "deepwater" Acropora

    We all love Acros! That’s not even like an opinion. It’s a fact…You just do, and if you don’t, you’re lying. End of discussion. Yup. That being said, we sell, and people seem to ask for, lots and lots of “deepwater” Acropora. What is it about them? Their smooth skin, unusual shape, cool colors- or something else? Maybe, the allure of the term “deepwater”, which evokes the mysterious… Anyways, since we deal with so many of them, let’s look at a few facts about their care that we’ve...
  35. February 2014 Spotlight: Joshporksandwic

    Hello my name is Josh. It's an honor to be nominated and selected for tank of the month. As I am kind of new to the hobby, it really surprises me that others appreciate my tank as much as I do. It all started out by watching an episode of tanked and I got caught the reefing itch. I bought an established tank from someone who introduced me to the hobby and showed me how to maintain my tank. My primary goal when I started was to have nice fish and a few corals. Little did I know I was an...
  36. Chalice Corals- looking beyond the "hype zone"

    Okay, all you tortilla chip lovers- this one’s for you! R2R's L'enfant terrible (moi) is back- uncaffeinated yet rearing to go... Obviously, this is not the first time I’ve written about the Chalice Corals, but I find many aspects of them fascinating…really- so they deserve more ink (or is that, pixels, or…whatever?). Trendiness in the hobby often confuses and amuses me, as you know if you read my ramblings and follow my MACNA talks. A case in point is the so-called “Chalice corals” or...
  37. Unravelling the challenges of Scolymia

    Believe it or not, one of my favorite corals is Scolymia. Yup, that’s right, the “Scoly!” I used to look at them as high-priced “doorstops”, with little to hold my interest: I mean, they don’t “branch”, they don’t wave around in the current, and they don’t encrust like other corals. And, they are surrounded by some of the same garbage-hype and pricing absurdity that I detest about Chalices and Acans...Yuck. You know how I feel about that stuff. However, over time, I found a lot of things...
  38. HOW2TEST: Coral Compatibility

    We have all had a coral or two try to kill its neighbor. The main cause for this is territorial, but some corals just kill nearby corals because they can. Some simply reach out and sting while others can pump out toxins that can do more than enough to clear their bubble. Some can even nuke a whole tank if the coral is large enough, or the tank is small enough for that matter. Even some corals of the same genus may feel threatened by their neighboring relative. Last but not least, some corals...
  39. 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.
  40. Reef Wrasse: Aquarium Duty

    Every fish has its reasons on this planet. Some are designed to control fish populations. Other fish have evolved into algae grazers. There are even fish who are designed to keep specific coral safe from predators or threats. Today’s topic is the group of reef safe wrasse and their duties in the aquarium...
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