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Marcin Smok

About Marcin Smok

Marcin Smok is a reefer, amateur photographer, traveler, SCUBA diver and and avid DIY-er. He has been keeping freshwater fish tanks since he was 9 years old. Check his photography site at
Latest Posts

Product Review: The New EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40 QUIETDRIVE

Vortech MP40QD pump
Once every decade or so, a product comes out that redefines and revolutionizes the industry it belongs to. Just like a smartphone for mobile communications, an electric car that goes 0-60 in under 3 seconds for automotive technology, or a remote-controlled drone for aerial surveillance and photography, EcoTech’s introduction of the VorTech Propeller Pump in 2005, revolutionized the home aquarium water-movement products industry. This innovative product transformed Ecotech from a student-run start-up project to one of the best known names in the aquarium industry. Ten years later, the “wave-maker” has been remade for the third time, complete with new features and a completely  re-engineered  controller. What’s so special about the new driver? Let’s find out… … More:

Fluval Marine & Reef LED 2.0 Review

fluval sea 2.0 Three years ago, I reviewed the Sea LED Light, Fluval’s first attempt to enter the reef-capable LED lights scene. At the time, it wasn’t a revolutionary light, nor was it a high end fixture. However, it had an attractive retail price, a large coverage area, a wide availability through chain pet stores, and it grew less-light-demanding corals just fine. The light became popular, and proved that low-power SMD (surface mounted diodes), when packed together tightly, can support growth of photosynthetic animals in a saltwater setup. The blog donated the light in 2012 to a struggling reefer who had lost his tank during Hurricane Sandy, and he still enjoys it to this day, growing zoanthids and leather corals in a 20g aquarium. A year ago, Fluval announced the second generation of its reef-oriented LED panels, consisting of the Fluval Halo Nano, the Fluval Sirius Reef (which never made it to the shelves), and the subject of my review today, a new version of the Sea LED, called the Marine & Reef Full Spectrum Performance LED 2.0.… More:

SICCE Voyager Nano Unboxing 

Sicce Voyager Nano Sicce is making a “big splash in a small package” with their line of nano pumps and propeller powerheads. I’ve recently had the opportunity to test the tiny Syncra Nano return pump (you can read the review here), and today we’re going to visit another Sicce small-sized pump and the perfect match to Syncra Nano- the Voyager Nano.  … More:

Zoanthids in their Natural Environment

Zoanthids in Maui

Zoanthids in Maui

 Every reefkeeper’s desire is to someday see the corals that we love and care for at home out in their natural environment. Sometimes, these ecosystems are drastically different from the conditions we recreate in our home aquariums. I had the opportunity to learn just that when I encountered one my favorite marine invertebrates- zoanthids, while snorkeling and diving off the beach in Maui, Hawaii. My findings were quite shocking… … More:

SICCE Syncra Nano Unboxing Review

Sicce Syncra NanoSicce Syncra Nano was introduced in Europe back in 2014, and is finally showing up in North American markets. It is a compact return pump, designed and manufactured in Italy by a company known for making high-quality, long-lasting products. There is already an excellent, in-depth review of Syncra Nano by Danilo Ronchi here on, and I would like to share my thoughts on the American version of this interesting addition to Sicce’s circulation pumps market.… More:

Sicce HyperKoral & Calanus 

Sicce HyperKoral I recently wrote about Sicce’s new HyperReef three-stage dosing system. There is a second part to this system; it consists of two products formulated to feed corals and other reef organisms directly through the water column. … More:

A Puffer I Wish was a Saltwater Fish

pea puffers As I was writing a more in-depth post about my experiences with both freshwater aquariums and saltwater tanks and what I love about keeping both of them at the same time, I kept asking myself- “Which freshwater fish would made a splash in saltwater community?” There are many candidates, but I think one of the most unique fish that lives exclusively in freshwater and close relative to its saltwater counterparts, the Tetraodon travancoricus, known better as the Indian Dwarf Puffer… More:

Sicce HyperReef Available Soon in USA

Sicce, the Italian company known mainly for their water pumps, wavemakers, and other aquarium equipment, will soon be entering American markets with their own line of reef tank supplements, called HyperReef. It’s a “classic” three-part Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium additive program formulated to maintain balance in a saltwater tanks that contain stony corals, clams, and other reef-building organisms.  … More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.