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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

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:

MACNA Corals Photographs Pt.2 (and another free wallpaper, too!)

 Part II of MACNA coral and invertebrates pictures.  My choice for a wallpaper comes from a Coral Restoration Foundation tank, a beautiful display featuring fish and invertebrates that can be found in waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Florida. Enjoy this gallery of reef animals and I wish everyone  happy holidays season with unforgetable Christmas and New Year!… More:

DIY Guide:Dimming DIY LED lights with Neptune Systems Apex Controller

 High power light emitting diodes quickly became the new standard in providing an artificial light source for photosynthetic animals in our reef tanks. Most emitters output enough light to grow almost any coral in captivity, thus aquarium LED manufacturers shifted their focus to the software part of their lights in order to sell their product. Therefore, it’s all about control now…… More:

DIY Your Hobby: LED Stand&Sump Light

 Most of articles about DIY LED projects for our saltwater tanks focus on providing an adequate lighting solution for photosynthetic corals and other light-loving invertebrates. In this article, I would like to write about something different instead- how to lit-up things inside the stand that support our display tanks.… 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.