Articles from Mike Paletta

  1. Tips and Tricks (No Secrets)

    One of the most frequently asked questions I get are what are the secrets of the people who are really good at doing this. I would love to tell you that there are a bunch of secrets and I am writing a book that you have to buy to get them, but that is not the case. There really are no secrets nor should there be. When I did the articles on the Master’s tanks I tried to show that there were none, by revealing exactly what they were doing. Despite that I have still been asked about what are...
  2. The Pros and Cons of Aquacultured vs Maricultured vs Wild Coral Colonies

    Visiting MACNA or any of the large frag swaps or shows 10 years ago the vendors present for the most part displayed large wild colonies of coral under metal halide lamps. IN the last five years this has changed dramatically as now almost all of the vendors show frags of corals under blue LEDs. So this begs the question: why have things changed so dramatically in such a relatively short time? Have hobbyists become more conscientious in terms of not wanting to take colonies from the ocean and...
  3. Stability and Consistency of a Reef Tank

    One of the most important things I learned from these individuals is that all of them believe that stability is one of the keys to their success. Most of them not only keep the parameters of their tanks very stable, but they also are not constantly adding or changing the fish and corals in their tanks either. Something I really need to do a better job of doing. While it is clear that some of the parameters of their systems vary markedly from one another, there seems to be little variance in...
  4. 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...
  5. Learning and Understanding

    This past fall and winter were a bit trying for my tanks due to the amount of travel I did and the resultant time away from my tanks. I have to admit that they were more neglected than they had been for quite some time and it showed. As a result, I lost a few corals and fish, some equipment failed due to neglect and some things were changed owing to what I learned in my travels. Looking back on why some of these problems occurred, made me think of what I have learned and how I could put that...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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:
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