DIY Archives -

Category Archives: DIY

Latest Posts

Long Island Collecting Log: The perks of persistence

By October, spotfin butterflyfish are putting on some serious size.

By October, spotfin butterflyfish are putting on some serious size.

 As the water temperature continues to drop in the waters of New York, north winds and fall nor’easters do their part to diminish water clarity by stirring up sediment and breaking up our meager seasonal thermocline. Many of the tropical fishes that haven’t found their way out of here are starting to exhibit signs of stress.… More:

Paul “Paul B” Baldassano Pens Unique Book on Marine Aquarium Keeping

What do supermodels, the Vietnam War, and the right front fender of a 1955 Oldsmobile have to do with marine aquariums? Absolutely nothing—that is, of course, unless you’re hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano and you’ve just published a book on your six decades of aquarium keeping.Well, he is and he just did! Paul’s new tome, titled The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist: A 60-Year History of Fishkeeping and produced in collaboration with your friends here at Saltwater Smarts, is anything but your typical aquarium reference book. With his signature tongue-in-cheek style, familiar to anyone who follows his posts here or on other sites around the web, Paul offers his unique, eye-of-the-beholder, and possibly hallucinogen-inspired thoughts on: His earliest encounter with marine organisms (hint: it wasn’t in the ocean) The history of our hobby How to buy fish in good health and keep them that way Fish biology, including his revolutionary insights on fish immunity Methods for maintaining healthy aquarium water How to manage algae, pests, and common diseases How to succeed with certain hard-to-keep species How he would set up a tank from scratch today A whole host of easy-to-construct, cost-cutting DIY projects And much, much more! A section of Paul B’s 44 year old reef aquarium Paul, a resident of Long Island, New York, has been immersed in aquarium keeping since the 1950s. In fact, his current 6-foot-long, 100-gallon reef tank has been in operation longer than many of today’s hobbyists have been alive—44 years as of this writing. Much of Paul’s remarkable long-term success can be attributed to his ever-curious, self-reliant, innovative nature, which has led him to create a wide range of ingenious inventions and DIY projects to make the aquarium-keeping experience easier and cheaper

Vertical Carlson Surge Device

Vertical Surge Device

Vertical Surge Device

 Space in the coral troughs is always at a premium at the ReefGen coral farm, and we all agree that water flow is one of the most important aspects of coral care. When one of my troughs has an area of inadequate flow, such as this Acropora grow out system, it starts under-producing. I needed to build a unique surge device to provide more flow to the stagnant corner, as well as create a chaotic alternating current for the Acropora located downstream.… More:

Reef Kids

turtle craft 1My children are fascinated with sea turtles. Those enormous reptiles that drift peacefully for thousands of miles on the ocean currents, observing the world with gentle eyes, have captured their hearts. If your kids feel the same way, they might enjoy making themselves a pet turtle to play with in the bathtub or pool, or to take for walks in the rain puddles!  You just need a 2-liter bottle, string, a sturdy needle, and something for the body – craft foam like this would work, or substitute something similar that you already have.… More:

Vacation Bedroom

beach print

ocean pillow

bedroom 4

ocean light

 Fall asleep to the soft murmur of waves touching the shore, and awake refreshed.  If you can’t make it to the ocean this summer, bring a bit of that calm expanse to your bedroom or guest room with soothing decor that captures the imagination.… More:

Reef Kids

 If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE bringing home treasures. Encourage them to just collect 2 or 3 little things (instead of half the beach) with this easy craft, which can become a souvenir of that lovely afternoon by the seashore. Simply fill an old, clean jar with some sand and gently drop in the shells, sticks, rocks, sea glass, etc.… More:

Reef Kids

  Ah, summer! The season when kids can do really messy art projects (like this cool hand- and footprint ocean scene) OUTSIDE and get hosed off before coming back in. I really like the lobster and the jellyfish, and I think a huge school of different-colored fish would be fun to create. If you use newsprint, the artwork can be recycled as wrapping paper! I like to make my own paint or use earth-based pigments like these from Natural Earth Paint, which won’t hurt the grass when it’s time to clean up. And for $10, I buy the 4-foot-wide paper remnants from my local newspaper printer that normally get recycled. Here is a great video about newspaper production and recycling, the host cracks me up!  … More:

Reef Kids

jellyfish craft 3Here’s a fun art project to keep the little ones entertained and occupied during these long summer days – a serene jellyfish of one’s own, floating peacefully in a water bottle.  The activity uses all recycled materials; its a great opportunity to talk with the kids about our oceans, and the havoc that plastic bags and other plastic debris is causing. The National Resources Defense Council has a great article about this problem, if you need a jumping-off point: project itself is quite simple, you just need a plastic grocery bag, a water bottle, string, food coloring, and scissors.… 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.