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Marcin Smok

About Marcin Smok

Marcin Smok is a reefer and aspiring photographer. He has been keeping freshwater fish tanks since he was 9. About three years ago he put his snorkeling mask on in Florida Keys and that's how his journey with saltwater side of the hobby started. He is also a SCUBA diver. You can check his photography site at
Latest Posts

AquaIllumination Prime LED Aquarium Light Review

Ai Prime

Aquarium lighting has undergone a revolution in recent years, overwhelmingly because of the introduction of high power light emitting diodes, or LEDs. Being involved with high-end residential construction business, I’ve  witnessed LEDs “rise to dominance” in a relatively short period of time. While the aquarium and horticulture industries were among the first to adapt this new source of artificial light, home improvement businesses quickly followed, and went over and beyond with the introduction of home automation systems, where electronic devices are connected to a central hub and can be remotely accessed and controlled through an interface installed on computers and mobile devices. These days, a cellphone-controlled light bulb or an advanced smoke detector that sends text messages to home owners whenever it detects carbon monoxide are a reality within reach of the average consumer. Moreover, the technology changes so quickly, it drives prices down to the point that nowadays, an LED is a common technology most people come into contact with it in everyday life . Fish tank lighting manufacturers, trying to keep up with the trend, implemented at least some level of automation into their fixtures, most often through auxiliary controllers and wireless hubs that consumer had to pay extra for. Until now … … More:

Product Review: Doser One Evolution Automatic Dosing Pumps

Doser One Evolution Keeping short polyped stony corals (SPS) requires dedication and knowledge to maintain the fine balance those invertebrates demand to flourish. Besides excellent water clarity, optimal temperature range and pH values, hard corals secrete skeletons of calcium carbonate in order to grow and therefore need to be supplemented on regular basis. There are several methods of dosing Calcium, Carbonate, Magnesium and optional trace elements with two being most popular in recent years- the so called 2-part dosing regime and an original Balling method (or it’s variation called “Balling light”, that came from Europe and is named after a man who developed and published it, a great German reefer, Hans-Werner Balling). Whichever you choose (and they are quite similar to each other) to keep your SPS corals happy and growing in your aquarium, they both require dosing liquid solutions of Calcium, Alkalinity (Carbonate) and Magnesium on a daily basis. In order to maintain ionic balance in a reef tank, the key with dosing liquid solution is to add small amounts throughout the day rather than 1-2 large doses daily. Unfortunately, most of us cannot babysit our reefs all day long and need a little bit of automation in the dosing department. Here’s where dosing pumps come to play…… More:

Product Review: Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro test kit

featured Thanks to shared knowledge, advancements in husbandry paired with state-of the art equipment and better understanding of corals biology, more people are able to create and maintain beautiful reef tanks. Despite all we know about keeping marine life in captivity, there is no one recipe for all problems and challenges associated with reef aquariums. Magic potions, miracles-in a bottle, innovative equipment and countless dosing variations are all part of a quest to find the Holy Grail, but so far, it just doesn’t exist. Every single reef aquarium is different, starting from source of water, salt mix used, lighting up to the choice of animals housed. Count into that the sophisticated nature of sessile invertebrates, their chemical interactions and enormous range of habitats they are collected from and we quickly realize there is no “sweet point” and the best we could do is create optimal conditions for corals to live and propagate.… More:

Aquarium Plumbing Guide Part II: Basic & Advanced Plumbing Schemes


In this second part of the article I would like to present two example plumbing schemes for the beginner reefer-plumber. Both those ideas are based on my own as well as other hobbyists setups and require little to no previous plumbing experience. They can be expanded and modified to individual hobbyist’s needs. Once you learn how to build a basic PVC grid, other, more sophisticated systems would be much easier to plan-out.… More:

Aquarium Plumbing Guide Part I: Basics of PVC&tubing

There’s no doubt sump is a heart of healthy aquarium system and it has been a staple in the hobby for a long time, evolving many times to incorporate new equipment it houses. However, no sump can serve it’s purpose without a properly designed plumbing system. The easiest way of connecting your main system with sump comes in a form of flexible tubing and, while it’s certainly an acceptable method of aquarium plumbing, it has many limitations. This is where PVC pipes, so common in many households’ plumbing grid, come to play, offering flexibility close to that of tubing while being modular and rigid, withstanding saltwater environment conditions with ease.. In this two-part article I would like to showcase the basics of PVC and help design a fully functional aquarium plumbing based on plastic pipes.… More:

Product Review: Coral Finder: Indo-Pacific Underwater Identification Guide

Keeping corals and other reef dwelling animals reaches beyond the simple passion for colorful fish and invertebrates since the ancient times of reefkeeping when people first started having success with their reef aquariums. World of science quickly followed and begun to notice the importance of hobbyists’ and diving communities knowledge of coral reefs . Few decades later, this ongoing romance with science still holds up, more scientists work closely and share knowledge with amateur reefkeepers and diving clubs around the globe than ever before. We read about successful marine fish breeding attempts, species discoveries as well as new methods of identification and remedies for problems coral reefs all around the world face in the 21st century Just recently, at last MACNA conference in Dallas, TX, a keynote speaker and well-known ocean activist Jean-Michel Cousteau pointed out our importance in efforts to save the ocean, calling aquarists advocates for the well-being of the seas that gave life to this planet. Many of us are trying to learn as much as we can about the animals we keep in captivity and their role in reef communities, making this hobby something more than passion for saltwater animals. With this lengthy introduction, I would like to present to you an interesting product and subject of this review, Coral Finder Indo Pacific written by Russell Kelley, Program Director at the Coral Identification Capacity Building Program and published by  The physical items Coral Finder includes are: an underwater coral identification guide and accompanying it DVD disc, although this package proves to be much more than that, which I will explain in the rest of this product review. Read on…… More:

Product Review: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm aquarium heater

When it comes to fish tank equipment, countless amount of innovations have been implemented in recent years as technology changed and our understanding in keeping marine animals improved. There is however, a group of aquarium devices that hasn’t changed so much in terms of build and functionality. Belonging to such category are aquarium heaters- sure, we’ve seen some improvements in the thermostat designs, build quality and user-friendliness, but at the end of the day most heaters look and perform alike and it comes down to individual models reliability and effectiveness that really matters. After all, the last thing aquarist need is a heater that either fails to keep set temperature or, worst, overheat tank’s water and kill all inhabitants.… More:

Neptune System Apex Releases BETA Android App

600 Great news for the New Year from Neptune Systems- the highly anticipated Apex Android App has just been released (currently in BETA stage) and can be obtained via Google Play Store (link) Enjoy! 1unnamedMore: 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.