Top down shot of Acropora microladosWelcome to the next level of coral care. By now I am assuming you have at least understood all the key general practices to maintain some of the hardier corals, from soft corals to large-polyp stony (LPS) corals to some of the more rugged small-polyp stony (SPS) corals. Each category of livestock can be classified into various requirements for the piece of ocean environment you are trying to simulate. Oftentimes we tend to generalize that all parts of the ocean are the same, but as you become educated about the livestock you are trying to maintain, you will understand that there is no single recipe to make everything thrive and flourish in the same tank.Review time So let us review some of the key attributes we, as responsible hobbyists and nature fans, must familiarize ourselves with in order to provide a sustainable environment. The most common aquarium parameters are the following: 1. Tank dimensions Volume (amount of salt water for stability) Depth (impacts light penetration and available environmental zones) Size (impacts aquascaping, flow, lighting choices, growth) 2. Lighting Type: metal halide, T5, LED, or hybrids Spectrum (10,000 to 20,000 Kelvin) Intensity (lux) Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) Photosynthetically Usable Radiation (PUR) Photoperiod (hours) 3.
Consider using the widest aquarium your space and budget will allowI wouldn’t exactly say I have major regrets about choosing a standard 125-gallon tank for my current marine aquarium system, but if I had to do it all over again, I might go in a slightly different—rather, slightly wider—direction. For the benefit of any salties out there who are planning a new setup, I thought I’d share why I think going with a wider tank might have been a better choice. First I should specify that aquarium dimensions are typically given as length x width x height, with length representing the side-to-side measurement and width representing the front-to-back measurement. This always throws me because to my way of thinking, width should describe an object’s measurement from one side to the other. After all, when I look at my reflection in the mirror, I don’t think to myself, “Wow, my belly sure is getting long!” And there’s a reason ABC’s old sports anthology series wasn’t called The Long World of Sports.But I digress. This aquarium—which is 18½ inches wide (counting the trim)—has been operating for the better part of 10 years and functioned as a FOWLR system for most of that time. The tank serves as a room divider, separating the great room in my home into two distinct sitting areas, and is viewable from three sides. I only recently converted it to a reef tank after tearing down my 75-gallon system, which, as I’ve mentioned in prior posts, had become largely overrun with green star polyps and pulsing Xenia.