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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

Two Little Fishies PouchFeeder

Two Little Fishies has just released a new product, the PouchFeeder, as part of their expanding feeding-accessories line. Based on the proven design of TLF’s previous fish feeding gadgets, which include various food holding clips, rings, and blocks, PouchFeeder features the well-received magnetic base, and the addition of yet another approach to feeding finicky  aquatic inhabitants.  … More:

Fluval Sea Nano Halo LED Unboxing

Fluval Halo
Fluval, part of Rolf C. Hagen Group, is a well known Canadian company started in 1955 by three German immigrants. Their recent brand redesign has resulted in a generation of products for aquarists’ specific needs. Fluval Sea is a branch of the company that makes items targeted for the saltwater side of the hobby, and includes products like salt mixes and additives, as well as electrical equipment such as protein skimmers, return pumps, powerheads, and light fixtures. The final category is making a comeback with a slew of second-generation LED lights, targeted for wide range of fish tank environments.… More:

Cermedia MarinePure Biofilter Media

Cermedia Marinepure Every man-made aquatic ecosystem, be it a reef tank, a tropical freshwater aquarium, or a backyard pond, works on a similar principal – the natural processes occurring in a confined environment strive to achieve chemical balance, essential to sustain the life that they host. In order to maintain that equilibrium, aquarists use several types of filtration devices in their systems. No matter the environment, the most important and efficient type of filtration is biological – colonies of beneficial bacteria that break down harmful ammonia (NH3) originating from uneaten food, fish waste, and other decaying matter, into less toxic Nitrites (NO2), and later to Nitrates (NO3), in a process known as the nitrogen cycle. These bacteria occupy all surfaces in a fish tank – aquarium glass, décor, plants, and, in reef tanks, live rock. The aquarist’s goal is to provide an optimal surface on which the bacteria to grow and the best way to build healthy colonies is to use various types of biological media. The product I am showcasing today, a ceramic media, is my personal choice for both saltwater and freshwater tanks, prime “real estate” for nitrifying bacteria to grow.… More:

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: 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.