General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. 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".
  2. 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).
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. Preparing Frozen Foods for My Fish and Corals

    I have been involved in a few discussions about how much and how to handle feeding frozen food to the tank, and how I prepare my weekly food for feeding. So here I've decided to lay out my process of frozen food preparation (which includes "slacking" for maintaining the food's freshness).
  11. 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...
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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:
  15. 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...
  16. 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.
  17. How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971

    How I Got Started in the Hobby in 1971
  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. 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...
  20. 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...
  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. 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...
  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. 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.
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