Category Archives: Tanks

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Picture of the Week, Green Hammer Coral

Stop, it’s hammer time. Cheesy throwbacks to the 80s aside, the hammer coral is a staple in many reef tanks much like MC Hammer’s song was a permanent fixture in many a Sony Walkman. Getting past all of this nostalgia, hammer corals offer the best of both worlds for corals. On one hand, they have a hard skeleton, but on the other they are adorned with flowy, fleshy tissue that draws in those seeking a little more movement in the water.

Reef Threads Podcast #220


Stable water parameters make for healthy corals. Are you testing your water?

Craig Bingman leaves no stone unturned this week in our in-depth discussion about water testing. It’s a terrific show packed with information about a critical component of reef keeping. Don’t miss it. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Bubble-Tip Anemone Safety Tips

Nippy tankmates are one reason a bubble-tip anemone may start to roamThe bubble-tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor), or BTA, is justifiably popular in the marine aquarium hobby, being relatively hardy and easy to keep as anemones go as well as being a suitable host anemone for many clownfish species. But to horribly misquote legendary singer Dion DiMucci, “it’s the type of nem that likes to roam around”—particularly when it’s getting settled into a new system or decides it’s unhappy with its placement in an established one. The problem with an anemone going parading around its aquarium is that anytime it does so, it has the potential of blundering into equipment or other sessile invertebrates with potentially injurious (or even fatal) consequences. Thus, any system housing a BTA must be designed or modified to reduce the risk of accidental injury or harmful interspecific encounters.Here are several important factors to consider when BTA-proofing your tank: Crowded reef tanks aren’t ideal for BTAs People do keep BTAs in reef systems among various corals and other sessile invertebrates. However, as alluded above, this can prove problematic if the anemone goes roaming, as it may sting or be stung by any inverts it encounters in its travels (though not all corals are equally sensitive to the sting of a BTA and vice versa). Not to mention, problems with allelopathy (chemical warfare) among inverts tend to be much greater in mixed reefs. The best housing for a BTA is a good-sized system dedicated specifically to its needs. (If you’ve had long-term success keeping a BTA in a mixed reef, we’d love to hear how you managed it in the comment section below.) Pumps and powerheads are problematic Submersible pumps and powerheads are among the biggest offenders when it comes to injuring/killing wandering nems, so the intakes of these devices must be screened off with sponge, foam, or a similar material

Dolphin Trainer Goes Missing

 Jose Luis Barbero, a Spanish dolphin trainer with 35 years in the industry, who was due to go to work at the Georgia Aquarium,is now missing. Barbero worked on the resort island of Mallorca and was scheduled to become vice president of the Georgia Aquarium. However, there was recent public outcry against Barbero due to a video which were released in February that purportedly showed him as one of the trainers hitting and kicking dolphins at Marineland Mallorca.… More:

Why We Favor Fishless Cycling with Cured Live Rock

Cycling with live rock is an easy and reliable method to establish the biofilter in your saltwater aquariumIn years past, the most common method for establishing biofiltration in marine aquariums was to introduce some hardy, rugged fish to the system as an ammonia source and wait for the cycle to get established before adding more livestock. The usual go-to fishes for this purpose were damsels. While this cycling method does work, here at Saltwater Smarts, we favor so-called fishless techniques, such as cycling with cured live rock (my preferred approach—though there are others). When added to a new aquarium, cured live rock typically releases just enough ammonia to get the cycle started through the additional die-off of encrusting organisms. That modest die-off combined with proper tank conditions—excellent water movement and oxygenation—virtually ensures the porous rocks will soon support a good population of aerobic nitrifying bacteria, allowing gradual/incremental stocking to commence.But why is this method any better than adding a few hardy damsels? The cruelty factor There’s a good reason “hardy, rugged” fish were used to cycle tanks—more delicate, sensitive species were unlikely to endure the process. But just because damsels may (some don’t) be able to survive exposure to a succession of toxic chemicals doesn’t necessarily mean it’s humane to put them through it, especially when other means of cycling are available. The territorial dominance factor Though there are noteworthy exceptions (such as Chrysiptera parasema), damsels tend to be highly territorial and aggressive, so adding them to an aquarium first turns the appropriate order of introduction (from least aggressive to most aggressive) on its head

Octopus At Seattle Aquarium Makes A Break For Freedom

 Our favorite Houdini of the ocean has just made another high profile daring escape at the Seattle Aquarium. And I think its fair to say that those visitors at the Seattle Aquarium that day were in for a shock. The aquariums Giant Pacific Octopus decided to take advantage of its open air tank, and see what the world outside had to offer outside those glass tank walls. In this video, you can see the octopus quickly making its way over the open air tank.… More:

Touch of Modern Offering PJ Reef Deluxe Kit Flash Sale

TOM Looking for just a sliver of reef in your life without the hassle of expensive equipment or maintenance? Touch of Modern, the uber-sleek hub of flash sales focusing on innovative and unique wares is offering the PJ Reef Deluxe Kit with a generous discount. The ultra-pico “tank”, which was successfully funded in July of 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign, boasts itself as a super low-maintenance, self contained marine environment. … More:

Reef Threads Podcast #219


Triggers are a popular inhabitant of fish-only tanks.

It’s an unusual podcast this week in that we do what we’re supposed to do–talk about forum threads. We choose three posts in which people are having trouble/need help and actually try to help them. We talk about a fish-only tank, cycling issues, and an open-top tank. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Fish only
Intro and question about overloaded 100 gal., Mercm3, Reef Central

Did it cycle?
Cycling Craziness!!, ABnormalAZ, Reef Central

Aeration?
Aeration of tank, Spike1306, Ultimate Reef

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