Acclimating Fish to a Reef Tank

Minimizing stress is the name of the game when acclimating fish to a reef tank so it is important to follow some some basic rules to ensure fish have a healthy transition to their new environment. Step one is to equalize the temperature of the water in the bag with the temperature of the tank. This can be done by floating the sealed bag in either the sump or tank for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Once the temperature is equalized, the fish can be removed from the bag by cutting open the top and pouring the water into a temporary container such as a five gallon bucket. Just make sure there is enough water in the container for the fish to be upright so it is not flapping

Reef Tank Chillers: Are You Chillin?

There are a lot of variables that can impact the health of a reef tank and temperature is something that should be watched carefully during the warm summer months. A chiller is the best way to keep things cool but they are high ticket items. Budget conscious reef keepers do have options such as using a fan across the top of the tank to promote evaporation, which cools the water. This is exactly what I did when I first entered the hobby fresh out of college with minimal coin. The fans certainly worked but I needed more punch and pondered other cheap alternatives. I came up with what I thought was a bright idea at the time…..find an old water cooler and turn it into a

How To Eliminate and Prevent Diatoms in a Reef Tank

Ok, first of all, what are they? Well, diatoms are a brown algae that typically appear in a reef tank that has just completed its cycle but they can also appear in an established reef tank. They can cover sand, rock, pumps, glass, you name it. Diatoms look ugly but in most cases they are harmless so the key is to not panic when they appear. Diatoms feed mainly off of silicates but also consume dissolved organic compounds, phosphate and nitrates. Unfiltered tap water can contain silicates and is a good way to jump start a bloom if you use it to mix salt or to replace water that evaporated from the tank. The best way to prevent this from happening is to filter water through a

Top 10 Tips For Keeping a SPS Reef Tank

Top 10 Tips For Keeping a SPS Reef Tank Let’s face it.  Keeping a reef tank is not a simple chore but there are some basic tenants one can follow to optimize the chances for success.  With over 20 years in the hobby I have learned a lot from both my successes and failures.  Below are My Top 10 Tips For Keeping a Successful Reef Tank dominated by SPS.  I will dive deeper into each item on the list in future blog posts so stay tuned. The List Stability – It is critical to have stability for parameters such as salinity, nitrate, magnesium, and calcium. And perhaps most important in my book for SPS is keeping alkalinity at a consistent level. Strong Lighting – I have had a lot of

Reef Tank Tip – Resist The Urge to Submerge

Reef Tank Tip – Resist The Urge to Submerge There are a number of best practices for reefkeeping and one of the bigger ones in my book is to try and minimize the amount of time I put my hands in the tank. I consider myself a perfectionist and when I started to keep reefs I was always looking at my tanks and tinkering with the rocks or corals to achieve a “better” look. I would buy a new coral and spend a lot of time trying to place it just right, moving it from spot to spot. This stressed out the coral and made it tough for it to establish itself in its new environment. What I learned over time is that Mother Nature needs to
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