Category Archives: Tanks

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Reef Threads Podcast #208


A b&w view of Trikentrion flabelliforme.

We’re back! This week we talk about Snorkel Bob’s Hawaii efforts and more beginner tips. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine
Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reef Aquarium Carbon Dosing Clarified

The key to success with coral such as Goniopora may be healthy populations of bacteriaCarbon dosing is a relatively new phenomenon in the reef aquarium hobby. The first I heard about it was around two years ago, and I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought until recently. The goal of carbon dosing is to improve water quality by lowering nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates and phosphates can lead to algae blooms and poor coral health if the levels are too high. Some aquarists have difficulty controlling these levels and it can be a frustrating battle. Carbon dosing lowers these two chemical parameters by providing a food source for bacteria that consume nitrates and phosphates. Then, by removing the bacteria through protein skimming, the aquarist eliminates nitrates and phosphates from the water. It is similar in concept to algae scrubbing, whereby one grows algae to bind up phosphate, nitrate, and heavy metals, and then exports them from the system by periodically harvesting the algae.
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Tank Profile: Roy Seine’s Alluring 312-Gallon Reef

When I came across a full-tank shot of this large aquarium, I knew I had to learn more about the system and its owner. Great profiles, large coral colonies, showcase-size specimens, and a clean bare-bottom layout all collaborate to catch the eye of many an aquarist, including myself. So let’s dive in…just try not to splash! The Aquarist An interesting aspect of profiling aquariums that have drawn my gaze is finding out about the hobbyists behind them. Roy Seine, the aquarist responsible for the previously mentioned acrylic box reef, has been keeping marine aquariums since 1990. It’s not surprising to hear he favors small polyp stony (SPS) corals and giant clams, and that appreciation comes through in this salty display. During his two-plus decades in the hobby, Roy has maintained a number of aquariums ranging from 1 gallon all the way up to 500 gallons.
Posted in Corals, DIY, Equipment, Fish, Invertebrates, Science, Tanks | 1 Comment

Reef Threads Podcast #207


Gary (right) joins two BRS members to enjoy the delicious fish goo.

We’re excited to bring you yet another Reef Threads podcast. This week’s subjects are our “Where Do You Listen” contest, the St. Jude/Reef Savvy reef system raffle, Boston Reef Society, Gary eating fish goo, Petco buying Drs. Foster and Smith, and beginner tips. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

St. Jude raffle

Posted in Contest, Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Can Help Discourage the Sale of Hard-to-Keep Marine Species

The Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus) is notoriously hard to feed and has a high mortality rate in home aquariaRegular Saltwater Smarts readers might wonder why we often post profiles of fish or invertebrates that are very difficult if not impossible to keep in home aquariums. After all, if we want to discourage you from buying these animals, why on earth do we go to all the trouble of describing them? Well, the answer is simple: because you’re going to encounter them for sale on the marine aquarium market anyway. One of our biggest frustrations as long-time hobbyists is the fact that, for whatever reason, many dealers out there continue to trade in species that have no business in hobbyists’ tanks. It’s wise to be armed with information about these animals so you’re in a better position to make responsible purchases. If you want to help discourage the sale of off-limits livestock, here are some simple steps you can take: Educate yourself In order to recognize animals that don’t belong in the aquarium trade, it helps to do some research on the various species you’re apt to come across when shopping at your LFS or online. That way, you’ll know what to buy and what to avoid so you don’t unwittingly support unsustainable practices with your dollars. The various species profiles posted here at Saltwater Smarts (which are increasing all the time) are a good research starting point.
Posted in Fish, Invertebrates, Science, Tanks | Leave a comment

3 Misconceptions About Small Marine Fish

A juvenile three-spot domino damselfish (Dascyllus trimaculatus)As human beings, it’s in our nature to assign certain traits to small animals—cute, dependent, harmless, defenseless, etc. Perhaps we think this way because when it comes to animals, people included, smallness is usually correlated with infancy. However, if applied to marine fish, this type of anthropomorphic thinking can lead to some rather significant compatibility issues in our aquariums. So let’s dispel a few of the misconceptions we may have with respect to smaller marine fish species: Small fish are peaceful While many smaller fish species seem to know they’re vulnerable to predation and bullying by larger fish and so have learned that their best defense is beating a hasty retreat whenever danger threatens, some species apparently never got the memo. For example, as mentioned in my previous post on humbug damsels, certain damselfish species, including many representatives of the genera Dascyllus and Stegastes, can be explosively belligerent despite their small size, making it very difficult to house them with other fishes (though “Caribbean Chris” claims he can calm dusky damsels into a tonic state and lead them away from the reef like an aquatic Pied Piper by playing soothing tones on a conch shell). Many of the dottyback species also pack a fairly powerful territorial punch for their size, e.g. the irresistibly colorful royal dottyback (Pictichromis paccagnellae) and the gorgeous magenta dottyback (Pictichromis porphyrea), both of which reach only 2 to 3 inches in length.
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Elasmobranch Enthusiasts (Part 4): Modern Husbandry—Reproduction

Different elasmobranchs produce different styles of egg cases. Shown right to left: Brown Banded Bamboo Shark, Clearnose Skate, and White Spotted Bamboo Shark.From the ferocious great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) to the graceful white-spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), Elasmobranchii are a diverse group of boneless fishes that are circumglobal, inhabiting a diverse array of habitats, temperature ranges, salinity, and niches in the world’s oceans and rivers. It is no wonder that these unique creatures, while usually boasting comparably bland coloration to the typical teleostei reef fishes, pique the interest of pretty much every hobbyist. This group of fishes definitely has its challenges but, with proper information and species selection, can be kept fairly easily by a moderately skilled aquarist with a generous budget. Breeding and raising elasmobranchs You may skim over this installment of Elasmobranch Enthusiasts because your goal maybe isn’t to breed them…but you shouldn’t! Many elasmobranchs that are sold in stores are eggs or babies, and special care needs to be taken to provide the right conditions to be successful with these smaller, more delicate aquatic animals. Because it is just the beginning of our “baby” season right now, this the perfect time to talk about elasmobranch reproduction. The birds and bees Male and female elasmobranchs are morphologically different from each other.
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Reef Threads Podcast #206


Support St. Jude research and give yourself a chance to win this reef system.

It’s time once again to do the marine-aquarium hobby podcast thing that we do. This week’s subjects are our “Where Do You Listen” contest, the St. Jude/Reef Savvy reef system raffle, women in the hobby, lionfish videos, Ret Talbot’s new series, hobby expense, and mysis shrimp and other frozen foods. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

St. Jude raffle

Spearing lionfish

Ladies fragswapping site

Ret writes

It costs too much

1.5-gal. vase reef

Bulk frozen

Posted in Contest, Corals, Equipment, Fish, MACNA, Opinion, Photography, Podcast, Science, Tanks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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