General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. 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).
  2. 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".
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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...
  6. Featured

    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. 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...
  8. 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.
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. Beginner Coral: Candy Cane (Trumpet)

    Candy cane corals are excellent for beginners! They are relatively fast growers and tend to be forgiving of lackluster water quality. They come in several colors and are easily fragged. Candy canes are mostly inexpensive as well so they are very attractive for new hobbyists since there is very little investment involved in this coral with potentially great rewards.
  12. The Best Test Kit - A Different Philosophy

    So what is the best test kit to check your water parameters? A question often asked and even more often debated. Most have their favorites, are not bashful about sharing, and will argue and stomp their collective keyboards in defense of their choices. The fact is we all have our opinions and reasons for using the test kits we use; and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
  13. 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:
  14. 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...
  15. How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971

    How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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.
  19. Are you Moving???

    Moving your reef aquarium can be a daunting task. Like that meeting or test you have tomorrow that you didn’t prepare for – but you know if you buckle down for the evening and work hard, you’ll be ready to go in the morning. Either that or you'll just call in sick! Well, calling in sick isn’t an option when you have to move and are taking your beloved box of water with you. With some well-thought-out plans and the proper supplies, your fish and corals will make it to their new home with...
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Joe Yaiullo awarded MASNA's Aquarist of the Year 2016

    While Joe is most certainly a celebrity in the world of reef aquaria, he remains humble and approachable, consistently offering advice to fellow hobbyists and sharing his aquatic discoveries with the reefing community.
  23. Featured

    You're Not Powerless: Surviving a Power Interruption

    Power interruptions are a fact of life. While some people may never experience one, most of us will, and it will pay to be prepared. Even if you’re an experienced aquarist with many years of success, my hope is that some of these ideas will be novel and provoke innovative thinking. With preparation in mind, here are some tips that could be useful.
  24. 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...
  25. 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...
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