Tag Archives: Equipment

Latest Posts

How Much Live Rock Do You Really Need?

The amount of live rock needed in your aquarium is based on several factorsOnce hobby newcomers learn what live rock is and all the benefits it can provide in marine aquariums, the next big question they invariably ask is, “How much of it do I need for my tank?” More experienced fellow hobbyists, eager to be of help, typically respond with a pat answer along the lines of “somewhere between one and one-and-a-half pounds per gallon.” While this type of formula is certainly convenient and eliminates guesswork, it unfortunately fails to address several key factors that must be considered when determining how much rock is actually appropriate for a given system. Here are just a few of them:Differing density Pound for pound, not all live rock stacks up the same. The density of live rock can vary considerably from one type/collection locale to another—and a highly porous rock is going to be significantly lighter than a very dense rock of the same size. (Visualize holding a chunk of lava rock in one hand and an identically sized chunk of granite in the other, and you’ll have the idea.) So, you can expect 100 pounds of highly porous rock to take up a lot more space in your tank than 100 pounds of dense rock will. Livestock objectives How much rock you’ll want to place in your tank will also vary based on your objectives for the system. For example, a full-blown reef tank might require more rock than a fish-only system to ensure there’s an adequate foundation for the various invertebrates you plan to keep.

Make Sure Your Saltwater Storage Vessel Is Up to Snuff!

It’s important to use a container you can trust for RO/DI and saltwater storageOne of my biggest nightmares as a marine aquarist is someday having one of the panes of my glass aquarium suddenly give out and dump 125 gallons of salt water on my living room floor. What a costly, hideous mess that would be! Frankly, I don’t even want to think about it! But your aquarium isn’t the only vessel you should be concerned about when it comes to water spillage and other safety issues. Another is the container you use to mix and store salt water (or to hold RO/DI product water, etc.).Why am I bringing this up? Many of us like to use containers such as plastic storage bins or trash cans to mix and store salt water for use in future water changes or just to be ready in the event of any other eventuality that might call for clean salt water. We trust these containers to hold many gallons of water reliably, yet, for all intents and purposes, water storage is an “off-label” use for them and some are certainly better suited to the purpose than others

Reef Threads Podcast #239


Is it smart to quarantine several fish together?

This week’s podcast chit-chat topics are the reef side of Gary’s bicycle trip, collecting wild food, quarantining multiple fish, DC pumps, pipe organ care, and what we’d pay for fish and corals. 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

Multi-fish quarantine
Is It Okay to Quarantine Multiple Marine Fish at Once?, Saltwater Smarts

Splash-free surge tanks
Finally, a surge tank without the noise, bubbles, space, or plumbing!, LobsterofJustice, Reef Central

Pipe organ coral
Pipe Organ care, GOSKN5, Reef Central

Paying the most
What’s your max fish price?, 3FordFamily, Reef2Reef

Your email:

 

Avoid These 5 Live Rock Aquascaping Pitfalls

Doing your aquascaping correctly from the beginning will help avoid hassles in the futureYour long-anticipated live rock shipment has finally arrived at your doorstep, and you can’t wait to get it in your tank and start watching as life emerges from those gnarly chunks. Though you’re understandably eager to forge ahead putting the rocks in place, it’s critical at this stage to give more than passing thought to how you should arrange them. Inappropriate aquascaping now can lead to major headaches—or at least less-than-satisfactory results—down the road. Here are five live rock aquascaping pitfalls you should take pains to avoid:1. Placing your rock structure atop the “shifting sands” If your system will include a substrate of any significant depth, the first layer of rocks should be placed either right on the tank bottom (or a thin cushioning layer of substrate) or atop some type of secure supportive structure (e.g., pilings constructed of PVC pipe, a framework of egg crate material, etc.). If placed directly on top of a deeper substrate, the rockwork can be easily undermined by burrowing/digging/tail-fanning fish or inverts, potentially resulting in a catastrophic rockslide. 2

Review: Red Sea REEFER 170 rimless braceless aquarium system

If you’ve been following the blog you may know that in January we were lucky enough to obtain the very first of Red Sea’s REEFER range in the form of a white 170 model. Now we have had the tank running as our second test system for several weeks, we are pleased to bring you our detailed operational assessment of the system. Starting with the display tank, our initial high praise seems fully justified as the quality of this aquarium’s construction has proved to be a talking point more than once. The finish is superb and the high clarity glass used on this aquarium not only looks good from a design standpoint, but also gives a crystal clear view of what’s in the aquarium (initial photography efforts also confirm this). We’ve had no leaks, but given that each tank is tested before it leaves the factory, we wouldn’t seriously expect this

Reefing from Afar, Part 4: The Wong Solution

The last article discussed some of the quick and simple ways to take care of your reef while being away for just a short period of time. Due to my work responsibilities, which require travel around the world for two- to three-week periods at a time, I need as much automation as possible and confidence in the solutions I choose.Here’s a high level overview of my system. I currently have a 365-gallon system made up of three display tanks (125 reef ready, 90 reef ready, 80 reef ready rimless), a 40 breeder refugium, and an All-Glass Megaflow 4 sump. Goals I have been in the hobby for over 25 years, and starting in 2006, I decided I wanted to tackle hard corals more. I worked in an LFS growing up and read every book that existed at the time. Before long, I realized it is very difficult to have a truly successful “mixed” reef and to satisfy every requirement for softies, LPS, SPS, and fish all in a single tank.

Neptune Systems Par Monitoring Kit

neptune systems PMK
Neptune Systems is pleased to announce that it will begin shipping its new Par Monitoring Kit, priced at $299.95, to North America next month. For more information, go to: https://www.neptunesystems.com/pmk/More:

Write-Up Wednesday: Top-Down Viewers

I’ve got a strong hunch that you setup a saltwater tank to stock it with beautiful inhabitants for your viewing pleasure. I’m also got a strong hunch that 99% of the time, you view those inhabitants from the side -i.e. through your tank’s side panels. I’ll make one more hypothesis – as your corals start growing, you really, really would like to take some great photos of them.

Here’s some insider information for you – corals always look much better when viewed from the top down. Therefore, if you want some great photos of your corals, try taking them from above. But how do you do that without getting your camera wet?

The answer: the top-down viewer for cameras

Avast Marine Work’s Top-Down Porthole

Top-down viewers that are built for cameras give you an easy and safe way to keep your camera dry, while giving you access to stunning top-down shots. The way they work is simple. A water proof sleeve goes around your camera’s lens. The top-down viewer is secured to the camera’s lens through set screws and the viewer is rotated to zoom in or out to get closer to the subject matter. Note that the focus ring isn’t accessible when the viewer is attached to the camera so auto focus has to be enabled.

While most top-down viewers are meant for cameras with detachable lenses, there are versions available for smart phones like Avast Marine Work’s Smartphone Top-Down Porthole

If you’re using a DSLR/SLR camera or a smart phone, a top-down viewer gives you stunning photos of a completely new way to view your livestock. Corals display different colors and clams especially can look dramatically different when viewed from the top down.

Compare these photos of an acan colony.  The side photo shows mostly red and a hint of orange/yellow:

Here’s the same colony viewed from the top. Notice how the orange/yellow band jumps out in this photo. Plus the coral now looks more orange vs. deep red:

Checkout this photo of a clam taken from the side:

Here’s a top down photo of the same clam:

It looks like a completely different clam, yet it is the same specimen.

Top-down viewing of your tank opens up a whole new world that makes for some great eye candy. And for your FOWLR types, don’t worry, even your fish look different when viewed from the top-down.

(Special thanks to Josh at Murfreesboro Aquatics for the photos)

Browse the Store! Questions?

Share this article


Reefs.com 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.