The Pluses & Minuses of Using Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is a porous form of carbon that can be used to absorb or remove dissolved organics that give water its yellow tint. Removing these materials will help with biological filtration and increase water clarity. In theory, better clarity will aid light transmission through the water column and improve PAR (Photsynthetically Available Radiation, which is all radiation between 400-700 nm wavelength range) Does Activated Carbon Remove Beneficial Trace Elements? One of the big arguments against using activated carbon on a continual basis is that it removes beneficial trace elements from the water. I have used carbon continuously on all of my tanks and have not seen any negative side effects on my corals. This is purely an observation and not based on any scientific facts. According to

Designing a Plumbing Roadmap For a Reef Tank

When starting a reef tank it is always a great idea to lay out your plans for how you want to plumb together or connect all of your equipment. I call it a plumbing roadmap. I start by breaking out a pad of paper and doodling some sketches to see what works and what doesn’t work. Once I am happy with my design I bring it to life on the computer with some more defined and legible sketches (my handwriting is the worst). Sketchup is a great program for this purpose and I highly recommend it for anybody who has the skill set to work with this type of software. I am still learning it so when I set out to sketch the deign for my new

Be Organized When Moving a Reef Tank

There are only a few things about the reef keeping hobby I dread and one of them is moving a tank. Oh boy…..what a pain! One of my most memorable tank moves was when my wife and I left the big city lights of New York City for the leafy suburbs of Westchester, New York. At the time I had a 90 gallon reef tank and it sat in the living room of our 4th floor apartment. It was my first reef tank and it was marginal at best, but I started to have some success growing corals so I wanted to bring everything along. I really had to plan things out carefully since we were moving out of the apartment the day before we were due

SPS Deep Dive – ORA Red Planet

SPS Deep Dive – ORA Red Planet The ORA Red Planet is one of my favorite SPS for a number of reasons. Number one, it is red and who doesn’t love a splash of red in their reef to color things up. Number two, it is a tabling acropora so it looks like it is a natural part of a reef and number three is its fast growth rate. The last one I had was about a foot and a half wide and it didn’t take too long to get there! The ORA Red Planet was acquired by ORA in May of 2006 and quickly became a popular coral among SPS enthusiasts once it became available for sale. There was certainly an excitement when ORA released it and
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