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Saltwater Smarts Turns Two: Another Gratifying Year in the Books!

Chris and Jeff discuss the website with Mark of Coral ReefIt’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating our second anniversary here at Saltwater Smarts. When Caribbean Chris and I launched this site back in April of 2013, we had no idea how it would be received—or whether we’d even last more than a few months in such a crowded online space. We just had the kernel of an idea that a certain subset of hobbyists out there might appreciate coming to a place where they can get reliable, authoritative information that promotes success yet still enjoy a few laughs along the way. Over the past two years, we’ve tried to take a more egalitarian approach to information sharing, in which different—even opposing—viewpoints are welcomed and respected. We know the methods that we share here will work for you, but we also want to know what you’re doing that might work even better. In other words, we stand to learn just as much from you as you do from us. And with more and more visitors from countries all around the world joining us every month and offering their input, we’re confident that this approach is resonating.New offerings Regular visitors have probably noticed that the last year has seen some exciting changes here at Saltwater Smarts. This January, we released our first ebook—The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes by Jay Hemdal—which continues to build momentum in sales

Down to One Marine Aquarium—and So Far I’m Loving It!

Residents of the 125 enjoying the new lightingFor quite some time, I had at least two marine aquariums up and running—a 75-gallon reef tank and a 125-gallon FOWLR tank. As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors know, that 75-gallon tank had become something of a thorn in my side. Originally set up 15 years ago, what was once a nice mix of various soft corals and a few large-polyp stonies gradually transformed into an unsightly mess dominated by green star polyps. Well, I’ve finally begun the process of tearing that tank down. Change at the speed of molasses!What took me so long? Well, as “Caribbean Chris” can attest, when it comes to making changes to my tanks, I tend to move at the speed of molasses in January. Also, I kept going back and forth on how to handle the livestock and what I wanted to do with the 75-gallon once I could get it up and running again. Despite the mess that tank had become, it still contained a handful of specimens I was loath to part with—specifically a sizeable leather coral, an open brain coral, and a few gorgonians.

5 Circumstances That Test Marine Aquarists’ Willpower

Resist the urge to bring home a fish you're not able to see feed in the LFS holding tankSeveral elements/traits are key to success in the marine aquarium hobby. Among them are a fundamental understanding of aquarium-keeping principles, the proper equipment for the type of system you plan to keep, diligent attention to maintenance and detail, willingness to research the needs of each and every organism acquired, and a good dose of patience. But at least one more element that’s seldom discussed should probably be added to that list: willpower. That’s right, the same self-discipline that helps us resist harmful habits or bad choices in other areas of life (like when CC says “No thanks!” to that eighth beer during our Saltwater Smarts Planning Sessions) will help you avoid making counterproductive decisions as an aquarist. And trust me, if you haven’t already, you will be tempted to make counterproductive decisions time and time again in this hobby!Here are five circumstances that try men’s and women’s souls…err, hobbyists’ willpower: 1) Delaying stocking until cycling is complete This is the first real test of every aquarist’s resolve. Like a brand-new pair of sneakers that you just can’t wait to get on your feet and take for a test walk (Royal Crown Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Tennis Shoes, anyone?), that newly set up display tank is just begging for fish and invertebrates to be introduced. As you mark time through the seemingly endless succession of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, the urge to short-circuit the process and add “just a specimen or two” can be pretty powerful.

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.

3 Saltwater Fish Beginners Should AVOID!

My FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/coralfish12g http://reefertees.com/ In this CoralFish12g video I am going to be giving you 3 saltwater fish you should totally avoid when first getting into the a

6 Comments Non-Hobbyists Make When Viewing Marine Aquariums

The other day, two installers were in my home laying a new vinyl floor in my kitchen when they took note of my aquariums. One of them was especially enthralled by my reef tank (which is ironic—more on this later) and asked about a dozen questions. He even took out his phone and snapped a picture of the tank to show his wife. It’s always interesting to hear non-hobbyists’ reactions to my aquariums because they’re surprisingly consistent and, I suspect, give a pretty good sense of how most non-salties perceive our avocation. Here are just a few of the more common questions and comments I hear. Perhaps some will sound familiar to you. 1) “Is that a freshwater or saltwater tank?” Now, I’ve been asked this question aplenty, but it still surprises me a little bit every time.

Marine Aquarium Acclimation: Bridging the Specific Gravity Gap

In today’s post, I’d like to address a very common issue marine aquarium hobbyists encounter when purchasing livestock (particularly fish) and offer a simple method for addressing it. The issue in question is how to deal with the dramatic difference in specific gravity (SG) that often exists between dealers’ display tanks and home aquariums when acclimating new specimens. As every experienced hobbyist knows, dealers often keep the SG of their fish display tanks well below that of natural sea water—often in the vicinity of 1.020 or lower. While being kept at a lower SG is in no way harmful to the fish, it can present certain challenges if the tank in which they will ultimately reside is, say, a reef system with an SG closer to 1.025. Fish should never be subjected to such a precipitous increase in SG during a single acclimation session (Saltwater Smarts contributor Jay Hemdal recommends avoiding any increase in SG over .004), so you have to choose a way to safely bridge this gap. There are numerous approaches you can take to achieve this objective, but the method I prefer is to take advantage of evaporation during the four-week quarantine period. Here’s how: Before purchasing a specimen, contact your LFS or online retailer to ask where they maintain the SG in their tanks. Don’t leave this to chance.

Mame Nano Protein Skimmer III Review – Saltwater Conversion

http://saltwater-conversion.com/collections/mame/products/mame-skimmer http://reefertees.com https://www.facebook.com/coralfish12g In this coralfish12g video, I am going to be reviewing the Mame Nano Protein Skimmer III. I was searching for a smaller and quieter protein skimmer for my 30 gallon reef tank when I found it on Saltwater Conversion.com. The Mame Nano Skimmer III is a very small, practical protein skimmer that is specially designed to skim the smallest nano tanks.

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