General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. 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.
  2. THE NECROSIS COASTER Step right on up!!!

    I am absolutely serious when I say that there is a full blown "psychological journey" that I go on every time I happen upon the simplest malady in one of the pieces of my collection. More often, a small bit of exposed skeleton somewhere at the base, or somewhere on the body. Or it could be simple polyp retraction, or just a general sense that something is off. It can be a ferocious and overwhelming feeling, but this is a process I have come to fully understand, and even sometimes able to...
  3. The Other Way to Run a Reef Tank (no Quarantine)

    The other way to run a reef tank (No Quarantine) I was asked by my friend Humblefish to start a thread on my practices of running a tank with no quarantine, hospital tanks, medications, dipping or almost anything else. It is "not" just to take a fish from a store and drop it in your reef because that fish will probably die. You may not see many spots on fish in a store because just about all stores use medications in their tanks to suppress the parasites. They have to because they get new...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. The significance of reef tank lighting; a semi-scientific documentary.

    With the constant debates about different lights and which is better, I figured I'd share a recent experience. Many people believe lighting is everything, and expensive lights will keep expensive corals. Many other people believe that water parameters and husbandry play the biggest role. And the majority of people probably fall somewhere in the middle and agree that you can't value one over the other; they are all important and need to be given equal attention. This article will look at a...
  7. 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...
  8. The Tidal 55 by Seachem- Review

    Seachem has come out with a new hang on back filter for both fresh and saltwater applications. I spent some time with the Seachem rep who took me on a tour of this filter and pretty much sold me on it. Now that I have one, I want to tell you what my thoughts are on it.
  9. 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...
  10. Things I Miss About the Hobby

    Being with some of my long-time friends a bit ago, we started reminiscing about the early years of the hobby and some of the things that used to be common or major parts of the hobby and how many of them were gone. I am typically not someone who dwells on the past, but I must admit that I do miss some of the things that made the early days “fun”. Maybe I was just young and found simpler things more enjoyable or maybe it was because everything was simply new and exciting. Regardless of the...
  11. Things to consider - Nano Reef Guide

    Some of us reefers have been in this hobby for many years, and some just a few months. No matter what time-frame you have spent reefing at some point a nano-reef could possibly catch your eye, and I'm here to mitigate the intimidation factor that these bite-sized reef's put out, as well as map out a simple stable step-by-step process to maintain a stable marine life environment on a small scale. Nothing here will be high-tech and geared towards beginners but at the same time provide a good...
  12. Thinking about Reefapalooza and Orlando

    While sitting here in the gray of Pittsburgh, it has rained or snowed almost every day this Spring, I started thinking about my trip to Reefaplaooza in March and went back and looked at my notes. Yes, I take notes when I go to a show to remind me of what I saw that I found interesting as well as what products or corals I wanted to follow up on, i.e, buy, and the people I talked with. Probably a sign I am getting older, but I prefer to think I am getting wiser as at shows like Reefapalooza...
  13. Tigger-Pods (Tigriopus californicus): addressing the cold water myth

    top frustrations is the myth that Tigriopus californicus are a "cold water species". I hear this from store owners and hobbyists ALL the time. This copepod is eurythermal. For those of you that don’t know the term, it describes an organism able to tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Tigriopus californicus is both euryhaline and eurythermal, withstanding and remaining active in salinities from 4ppt (Vittor 1971) to 102ppt (Egloff 1967) and temperatures from 4C (39.2F) (Vittor 1971) to over...
  14. 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...
  15. Tips and Tricks on Creating Amazing Aquascapes

    Being a artist for fun and profession, I see things different than most people. I decided to create a article about composition, balance, color, and depth within your reef aquarium. I really hope this can help some of you out to create your dream looking reef that is pictured in your head. Once you have your tank in front of you with your rock, most people tend to blank out and just throw the aquascape together with little to no thought. When you search through the internet looking at the...
  16. Tips for Identifying Unknown Critters

    We all get them occasionally, those little unidentified critters that magically appear in our tank even after we’ve been so careful to source good quality, clean live rock (sometimes even starting with dry rock) and dipping our corals on top of carefully inspecting everything going into our tanks. But even so, they always appear at the most inconvenient time when we can barely catch a glimpse of them before they disappear into a crevice or hole. This article goes over several methods that...
  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. 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...
  19. Uncertain Loss

    In writing this first article of mine, id like to help people to investigate unknown reef conditions and to find the cause and hopefully the solution.
  20. Vacation Time!!!

    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.
  21. 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...
  22. VIDEO: Richard Ross, an Apex, and Coral Sex in Captivity

    Everything you wanted to know about how scientists are getting corals to spawn in captivity!
  23. Water Change FAQ

    A water change FAQ for beginners new to saltwater aquariums.
  24. 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.
  25. We play nature's game...

    As some of you might know, I’ve done a little “pivot” away from the business end of the reef hobby world, to focus on my other aquatic obsession, blackwater aquariums. Doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned reefkeeping. Nope. Just put my business focus on a different challlenge. It was funny, when I announced that I sold my interest in Unique Corals and started my own FW gig,some of my daily readers were sort of freaked,thinking,"Old Fellman's lost it and gone off the deep end!" Which, of course, I...
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