General Saltwater Aquarium

  1. 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...
  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. Keeping it Simple Building A New Tank

    KISS, the acronym, not the band, has often been touted as a key part of being successful long-term in this hobby. This runs hand in hand with the concept that the easier something is to do, the more likely we are to do it. And with there seemingly being something to do constantly with our tanks, it makes even more sense to keep things simple. As I am preparing to tear down my old tank and set up a new tank, I couldn’t help but notice how many things I did on my old tank that were anything...
  4. 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...
  5. Smart Aquarium is Coming

    Not too long ago I asked a senior reef hobbyist how he deals with long vacations and his answer shocked me. His words inspired me to create a “smart aquarium.” What I need is a hobby to enjoy and to unwind from work. Yet, does so without pressuring other family members, and still allows me to be free long (3~4 weeks) vacations. These days, ULM (Ultra Low Maintenance) tanks have become a popular topic. Click here to read more...
  6. 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!
  7. Algal Filtration In Reef Aquariums

    With modern reefkeeping, more people are wanting to filter their tanks the same way that all natural reefs (and lakes and rivers) are filtered, which is by using algae. We are going to look at the main types of algal filtration methods you can put on your system: Algae turf scrubbers (ATS) Chaeto reactors (algae reactors) Refugiums (“fuge”) All grow macroalgae, which for our purposes is the same as “macro” or “algae” or “seaweed,” and all can be DIY’d or purchased. We at Santa Monica...
  8. Source Water: Choosing Your Salt Mix

    Tenji is pleased to present a series of exclusive articles for Reef2Reef members. We will be delving into the various aspects of reef keeping, focusing on tried and true methods that can be implemented by aquarists of all levels. Once you are producing 0 TDS water from your RO/DI system it’s time to create the ideal reef water by mixing in a synthetic salt. Choosing your salt...
  9. BANNED! But Is There Still Hope?

    The collection of ornamental fish in Hawaii: BANNED. The collection and sale of live rock and coral from Fiji: BANNED. The permits for shipping coral, anemones and live rock from Indonesia: HALTED and now going on its second month. Two major bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef leading to an estimated loss of 50% or more of the coral cover during two of the last three years. Needless to say these headlines do not produce a whole lot of optimism about the long-term prospects for the...
  10. 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...
  11. Why a “Poking Stick” is an Essential Piece of the Reefkeeper’s Toolbox.

    Based on the title alone, you are probably thinking to yourself that this article is a piece of satire or a big joke. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it may seem rather simple and not at all as complex or intricate as other reef keeping equipment, the Poking Stick in itself is worth its weight in gold in my aquarium experience.
  12. 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...
  13. 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.
  14. Jamie Craggs’ Game Changing Work at the Horniman Museum

    Over the years I have witnessed a lot of breakthroughs in the hobby. In terms of propagating corals we have gone from barely being able to keep most corals alive to the point where we can now propagate most corals through some form of fragmentation. Some of these advancements we have achieved have allowed for some damaged reefs to be repopulated by corals that have been “grown out” away from the ocean. In this regard, we should take pride in what we have been able to accomplish and how if...
  15. Has the hobby gotten too expensive and how does it compare to the past?

    I have been in this hobby for a long time, but I am not going to act like an old codger and say I remember when Flame Angels were a quarter and corals were a dollar. Nor am I going to get into a discussion of how a frag costing more than a major appliance is good for the hobby or even what it means. I have difficulty comprehending this as well as how so much money and so many new hobbyists have come into the hobby. The latter at east in part driving the former. Also it is not my job to tell...
  16. 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...
  17. 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...
  18. 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...
  19. 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...
  20. Bayer VS The Dreaded Acropora Eating Flatworm

    For those who are unaware, there is an alternative dipping method out there using Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer for Turf and Soil Concentrate. It has been heralded as a more gentle alternative to things like Revive and Coral RX, yet just as effective. I myself have used this in combination with Coral RX at times (not in the same container but one after the other). But to date I have not had any coral come in with AEFW so I have been unable to truly test it myself. There are...
  21. 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?”
  22. Bringing the biodiversity...and the creativity. Game on.

    We’ve talked so much about the “high-biodiversity” approach to reef keeping that I personally find so compelling (and apparently, so do you), that I thought it might be good to take a moment and give some thought to the kinds of habitats we could actually mimic in our approach to trying to replicate them.
  23. Past perfect? Future Fantastic!

    One of the coolest things about our hobby is the amazing progression over the years in both the state of the art and the technology that we embrace. Improvements that have enabled us to do things previously thought incredibly difficult or even impossible, unfold daily on social media. And the progression seems to be accelerating constantly. What an awesome time to be a fish geek!
  24. Of mud, mangroves, and niches: Mission 2018

    I’ve certainly spent enough time talking abstract philosophy of late, right? While I’m pleased with the level of discussion, I think it’s time to talk about ways to run a more biologically diverse reef system in 2018. With all of the cool gear around, to me it’s actually more beneficial to talk about the way I’d want to set up the system- it’s “theme” and philosophy (ahrggh, there’s that word again!). So, my stated goal is to create a modest-sized aquarium that embraces natural processes...
  25. 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...
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