General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. Lets Talk Substrates for the Marine Aquarium

    Bare-bottom (BB)? Calcium Carbonate (CC) Gravel? Crushed Shell? Sand? Deep vs. Shallow? With all the choices that are out there, no wonder new hobbyists are often confused about which substrate to use for their marine aquarium. In this thread, I shall attempt to address pros and cons of each of the available substrates. Please remember however, that the choice of substrate must be balanced with two things; Aesthetic value to the viewer and biological value to the livestock. Some fish and...
  2. WILDEST AQUARIUM SHOW EVER! - (ReefaPalooza Orlando!)

    In this CoralFish12g video I take you with me as I explore ReefAPalooza Orlando 2017! I get to hangout with some other aquarium YouTubers like King of DIY, Jake Adams, Animal Bites TV, Solid Gold, and many others! Enjoy!
  3. LFS: “Local Fish Shop” Or “Lying For Sales?!” Is Your Store Legit?

    What is the most common reason for giving up the salt water hobby? When you search through the endless listings of reef tanks for sale on Craigslist, the majority of tanks are not exactly top of the line. Someone will label “Full Blown Reef” on a tank that is nothing more than a fraction of what the educated reefer would even consider putting animals in. The lighting is outdated, they are usually not drilled, the ones with sumps have old overflow boxes filled with algae, and the fish have...
  4. Acronyms, Abbreviations, Vocabulary, and Slang for the Reef Aquarist, Revised December 2018

    This is an effort to create one master list of acronyms and vocabulary for the reef aquarists from several previous lists published in different places.
  5. Color & Livestock: The Aquarium as Art

    (NOTE: This is a repost to “fix” the original thread.) The primary appeal of a reef tank is visual. We want to see a piece of the living ocean from the comfort of our favorite spot on the couch. For that reason it is beneficial to consider color in our aquaria. To start we can look at a simple RYB colorwheel. Reviewing the obvious, we have the primary colors, blue, yellow and red, with our secondary colors that are made by mixing the primaries, green, orange and purple. There are other...
  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. 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...
  8. Celebrating patience. Elevating the reef hobby.

    It’s kind of funny to me how the same sorts of topics and issues keep popping up in the hobby world. Now two years removed from the business end of the reef world, I can see with a bit more clarity some of the happenings and trends in the hobby. And, talking to aquarists of all types daily, I am seeing what I find s somewhat obvious “cultural issue” we have in the hobby. And I’ll come right out and state my “thesis” here: I think that we- as a hobby, are not doing a good enough job...
  9. 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...
  10. Beginners Guide to Acclimation and Quarantine

    My goal is to provide a simplified guide on how to acclimate and do a basic quarantine of fish. The quarantine method I am recommending is not comprehensive. It is designed for people who may not be willing or able to carry out a more thorough quarantine process. If carried out correctly, this will protect the hobbyists display tank from most common fish parasites.
  11. Reefing After Dark – Bioluminescence in the Reef Aquarium

    In all the years that I have been an aquarium hobbyist, there have been a few moments that have put me in awe of nature and the wonders contained within our oceans. Recently I have experienced one of these moments, and I feel it should be shared with the reefing community. I want to draw some positive attention to one of the natural wonders in our aquariums that often goes unnoticed. One topic that has always interested me is bioluminescence which is defined by Haddock, Moline, Case as...
  12. Cycling an Aquarium

    One of the earliest topics a new aquarium hobbyist needs to learn is how to properly cycle their aquarium. There is a ton of information on this process and many different methods on how to accomplish it. There are many different chemical and biological cycles our tank goes through as it matures but this addresses the one most commonly discussed.
  13. Reefing After Dark Part 2: Bioluminescence Observations & Research

    The sight of bioluminescent light in an aquarium can be compared to an evening of watching lightning from a passing thunderstorm. There is so much mystery and intrigue behind this living light we call bioluminescence that it continues to capture my attention. My first observations of bioluminescence last year compelled me to write an article on bioluminescence in the reef aquarium. When I wrote that article, my 1600-gallon aquarium system was just under three months old, yet the life that...
  14. Do Your Own Thing!

    I've had the pleasure of helping many people grow in this hobby. I typically advocate starting off small & easy, and then work up to something bigger & better as skills get sharpened and finances allow. The way I see it, the smaller tank can always be repurposed into a QT or frag tank down the road. It delights me to see how people get such a kick out of their mushrooms spreading from one rock to another, or watching their pair of juvenile clownfish mature and begin laying eggs. Some even...
  15. My New Tank: By Mike Paletta

    As I wrote in my last article for ReefBuilders last December, I am planning on setting up one last tank for myself. Over the years I have set up a fair number of tanks for myself as well as assisted on over 100 more for others. As a result, I am confident that with this new tank I can achieve the many goals I want, which is more than just growing healthy colorful corals. First, unlike all of my current tanks, this tank will not be an experiment, in that for the most part tried and true...
  16. Deciphering Hobby Talk: Acronyms and Commonly Used Terms

    We've all been there - the daunting reply to a thread in which every other word is an acronym or a term that everyone else but you seems to understand. Here is an attempt to clear up and define some more of the commonly used terms in the hobby and on the forums. Ive searched through the forums and combined some of the older acronym lists that have been buried and included some of the more current terminology as well as chemical formulas, coral names, people, vendors and treatments that are...
  17. Planning and Transitioning to 500 Gallons

    Moving an entire tank of fish and corals from one tank to a larger tank has been one of the essential aspects of the hobby for as long as I can remember for many of us. Face it we all want bigger. Over the years I have done this transition a number of times, so you would think I would have it down to a science. While I did better than I have in the past, I still made some mistakes that I will point out that will hopefully reduce the likelihood of you from making them should you take on a...
  18. Flying with Coral - TSA Experience

    So you are in the security line at the airport with well over 4oz of water and some coral in your carry-on luggage.. You inform the first TSA agent you encounter and get raised eyebrows.
  19. Are you throwing away perfectly good DI Resin?

    So your DI resin hits the dreaded 1ppm reading.. For most reefers, this is likely something they see every 6 to 12 months. They then dig through their supply closet or garage for the bag of spare DI resin to empty and refill their cartridge or order a replacement from their favorite site. You folks can likely ignore this thread!!! For others, this activity is every month or two... So why do we throw away DI resin that is capturing all but 1ppm TDS?
  20. 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).
  21. 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.
  22. PSA ON THE LAMENTATION OF THE OCD LED'ER

    LED’s work, and they work well! This has been firmly established over the last few years. The once fiery debate over “do they” or “don't they” has been practically extinguished. It seems that one of the last true mysteries with LED success is simply “what do I need to do with them to get my coral to look good?”
  23. 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.
  24. When disaster strikes, be ready ...

    I recommend having a back-up power solution that is reliable, maintained and easy to use. For this, I’ve yet to find anything that beats Generac’s generator line and transfer switch. With this system, your generator can be kept outside the house, either covered (Generac makes an exterior generator cover) or housed in a specially built enclosure. With the transfer switch an outlet is installed on the home’s exterior where the generator’s power line can be connected. In the event of a power...
  25. A Day in the Life of a Beachcomber

    Read about beachcombing on the west coast of Florida beside the Gulf of Mexico.
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