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What to Consider when Converting a Fish-only Tank to a Reef System

Evaluating your fish only aquarium and equipment is important before turning it into a reef“Caribbean Chris” and I are very frequently asked what it takes to convert a fish-only marine aquarium to a reef system containing corals and other sessile invertebrates. Can you just go ahead and add the invertebrates? Can you modify the existing system to suit the corals, or do you have to start the whole thing from scratch with a new tank and equipment? What has to change with respect to water conditions? Hopefully, the following points/suggestions will help address these and various other questions marine aquarium hobbyists often have when contemplating the transition from fish-only (or fish-only-with-live-rock) to reef:Pick a direction and do your homework Before making any new purchases or modifications to your existing aquarium, it’s important to pin down the type of reef system you want to keep. Are you primarily interested in soft corals? MORE

CoralRX One Shots Are Back in Action After Re-release

 After an apparent hiatus from the aquarium hobby (I say hiatus because of the “re-release” verbiage used in the promotional material), the One Shot single dose coral treatment from CoralRX is back and better than ever. These tiny little packets serve as a single dose coral dip that treats a wide variety of common issues (see the list below). And now they are in a much easier to use packet. Previously, the One Shots came in small glass vials, which weren’t always the easiest to open or the safest to handle MORE: CoralRX One Shots Are Back in Action After Re-release

Reef Threads Podcast #214


Chaetodon tinkeri at Diver’s Den.

  It’s time for another Reef Threads podcast. This week we announce a new podcast series and talk about Christine’s coral crouchers, dither fish, and prepping frozen food. Then we do one of our favorite reef-geek things and take a tour of the Diver’s Den site. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and ChristineThe Emerald City of marine aquariumsDiver’s Den

You Thought Your Sex Life Was Bad? Talk to the Male Anglerfish

angler6_adpEver meet someone who just makes your insides melt? I mean you buckle at the knees and your whole world just goes aflutter and you’d do just about anything for said individual? Well anglerfish take this notion to the extreme. These poor little guys may just be the most whipped species in existence – they literally spend their limited lifespan in search of the perfect woman (since we’re talking anglerfish – this means a grotesque, jagged-toothed, burly lass – but to each their own) to latch onto and devote their entire being. MORE

The Reef Table: Matt Wandell and the Hyperbaric Chamber of Secrets

 Happy Monday, Reefers! Here’s Episode 3 of ‘The Reef Table’ to help start off your week. This isn’t magic – just science!  I’m joined by Matt Wandell of the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences and Lemon Tea Yi Kai of Reefbuilders to dive a little deeper into the topic of deep water fishes. We’ll go over the various methods of collection, the challenges associated with said methods, and what really cool fish come from the ‘Twilight Zone’. I hope you’re ready to get geeky. You guys on the Northeast coast? We have a nasty blizzard honing in so you have no excuse not to sit back and watch – stay warm and enjoy! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see discussed? Send them my way to! 

Richard Dawkins Reads His Lovely “Fan Mail” With Some Reef Eye Candy

 What a wicked sense of humor this man has. 73-year-old Evolutionary Biologist, author and self-proclamed atheist, Richard Dawkins, receives scads of “fan mail”, and as you can imagine, a great deal comes in the form of hate-spiked, anti-gay rantings from religious zealots clearly unhappy with the man.  MORE

Marco Pardun’s 104-gallon Room Divider Triton Reef

One end of Marco’s room divider reefWhen I first came across this aquarium, it caught my eyes for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was the variety of color in its inhabitants. Next is the fact that it is a room divider (something I’ve always wanted to build) and the whole setup is really sleek, very clean, and well executed. Each tank profiled here on Saltwater Smarts has its own personality, and this young reef is no exception! The AquaristThis reef aquarium is the handiwork of Marco Pardun of Dortmund, Germany. As is common for many salties, Marco got his start in the aquarium world on the freshwater side of things, though a long-time fascination with the dark, I mean saltwater, side of the hobby would eventually become too powerful to deny. He was (un)wise to lower his defenses! Four years ago, Marco started a 21-gallon (80L) nano, which (no surprise here) quickly made way for a 71-gallon (270L) cube aquarium. MORE

A Smaller Maxspect Gyre Model to Hit Shelves This February

The pump that took the aquarium world by storm in 2014 is about to get a brand new little brother. Riding on the popularity of the XF150, Maxspect is releasing a smaller XF130 that will put out approximately 2300 gallons per hour, which is just under half the water flow of the original Gyre pump. The new XF130 will also be noticeably smaller, tipping the scales at 10”L x 2.95”W x 1.57”H. This makes the smaller pump around two inches shorter in overall length and one inch shorter in height, though the width stays unchanged. This drop in size and flow rates mean the XF130 is more ideally suited for aquariums 25 to 100+ gallons. As far as the price goes, the smaller model will see a $60 drop from its bigger brother, bringing it down to $239.99 MORE: A Smaller Maxspect Gyre Model to Hit Shelves This February 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.