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Reef Threads Podcast #226


Quality Marine is offering commercially raised clown triggerfish from Biota Marine Life Nursery in Palau.

We’re back with more marine/reef/aquarium chit chat. This week’s topics include Rod’s Food, Reefapalooza, the MBI workshop, MASNA scholarships, captive breeding, and parenting. 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

MBI Workshop
MBI Workshop, July 25, Cranbrook Institute, Bloomfield Hills, MI

MASNA Scholarships
MASNA Scholarship applications due June 19

Clown triggerfish
Commercially Raised Clown Triggerfish available now, Leonard Ho, Advanced Aquarist

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Write-Up Wednesday: The Recirculating Protein Skimmer

A protein skimmer provides mechanical filtration by removing organic molecules from your saltwater aquarium’s water. And a  recirculating protein skimmer differs from other protein skimmers in 2 main areas:

– the water depth required for the skimmer to operate

– the number of pumps that run the skimmer

Water Depth

Non-recirculating protein skimmers have to be run inside of your sump or tank and they all require a specific water depth to operate. (The exception is hang-on back protein skimmers which hang on the back of your tank or sump). Usually there is an acceptable range between 7-9″ (18-22 cm). Recirculating protein skimmers, however, do not require a certain water depth to operate and can be run external to the sump if need be.

Operating Pumps

A Hydor 2005 protein skimmer

On a recirculating skimmer, one or more pumps recirculate water inside the protein skimmer body while mixing the recirculated water with air. A separate pump feeds the protein skimmer body water. Contrast this with a non-recirculating protein skimmer where one pump feeds the skimmer water, mixes the air with the water and pushes water throughout the protein skimmer body.

Since the recirculating pumps only jobs are to recirculate water throughout the skimmer body as well as mix air into this water, the idea is that a recirculating protein skimmer is better at removing waste. Having owned both recirculating and non-recirculating skimmer, my experience is that the difference is negligible. Both my recirculating and non-recirculating skimmer performed well and the performance differences between them would be hard to attribute to the fact that one was or wasn’t a recirculating skimmer.

If you go the recirculating protein skimmer route, a quality recirculating skimmer will work well for your tank.

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Reef Threads Podcast #225


Ricordia spring colors

It’s Reef Threads time once again. This week Christine and Gary discuss Papua New Guinea, pillar coral spawning, and power outages. 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

Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Gearing Up For Aquarium Market, Again, Thane Militz, Reef2rainforest.com

Pillar corals
Pillar corals bred in captivity for the first time, Shane Graber, Advanced Aquarist

When there is no power
Surviving Extended Power Outages, Christopher Marks, Nano-Reef.com

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Reef Threads Podcast #224


Soft corals can make a beautiful reef, too.

Once again, it’s time to talk reefs. Topics this week include the beauty of “invasive corals,” local fish stores, California drought, and reef snobs. 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

Invasive corals
“Invasive” corals never looked so lovely, Leonard Ho, Advanced Aquarist

Marine Aquarium Photography: The Basics of Exposure

Reef tanks can be quite challenging to shootAt its core, the reef aquarium hobby is a pursuit of aesthetics. We seek out visually appealing fish and corals and look for inspiration in other aquarists’ tanks. More and more reef hobbyists want to share their hobby with others online, and that’s when things fall apart. It is not that there’s a problem with the reef tank, but that the photo taken doesn’t do the real thing any justice. Sometimes, the photo just comes out with the colors wrong or the exposure messed up so the bright areas are just lost in overexposed blotches. There have been times when people show me pictures of coral they found online and I have to explain to them that in real life, it will not look like that because most of the aesthetics that grabbed their attention in the first place were visual artifacts in the taking of the photo that exaggerated the color. Most of the time, this is unintentional on the part of the photographer.Our reef tanks happen to be among the most challenging subjects to shoot. Chief among these challenges is the fact that our aquariums are dark subjects.

Reef Threads Podcast #222


A scene from Peter Hyne’s 1,300-gal. reef aquarium.

We’re back for another go at this reef-aquarium hobby. This week’s subjects include Peter Hyne’s Toronto aquarium, NERAC, Jimmie Yuen’s old-school equipment, and what is an advanced reef keeper. 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

Peter Hyne’s Tank
Peter Hyne’s build thread

Are you advanced?
Does Having SPS make you an advanced reefer?, Marquiseo, Reef2Reef

Reef Threads Podcast #221


Inexpensive corals don’t deserve second-class care.

It’s podcast time again. In this week’s show we talk about Rod’s Food, water testing, the Port of Miami dredging disaster, Michael Paletta’s article about hobby costs, and Christine’s milk-filter-sock experiments. 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

Port of Miami reef destruction
Despite Protections, Miami Port Project Smothers Coral Reef in Silt, Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times, March 7

Hobby too expensive?
Pros and Cons of the Reef Aquarium Hobby Being So Expensive, Michael Paletta, Reef Builders

Reef Threads Plus #2


In our second Reef Threads Plus podcast we welcome Richard Ross and Kathy Leahy to address the difficult question: Is the hobby cruel to animals? We hope you enjoy the discussion and that it gets you to think and share with your fellow hobbyists. As always, you can download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter @reefthreads. We hope you enjoy our new series, find it thought provoking, and will share it with others.—Gary and Christine

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