These small, beautiful fish have color patterns which almost defy description. Considered by many to be difficult to keep because of their specific diet requirements. In the wild, the Dragonets' diet consists almost solely of Amphipods and Copepods, which most mature reef or FOWLR tanks already contain in some quantities. With a little patience, most of these fish can be trained to take Brine and Mysis Shrimp and other hand fed foods.
More: View terrific photos of Dragonets/Mardarinfish. The outrageous colors of these fish are truly unbelievable.
Photo By Andy Wakefield
Even in the Wonderful World of Marine Worms, there are The Good (Featherduster), The Bad (Lined Fireworm) and The Ugly (Spaghetti Worm). You may already have some of these in your tank and not even know it.
MORE: Bristleworm Control Tells you how to eliminate Bristleworms from your reef tank.
Photo © Keoki Stander
Contrary to popular belief, a vast majority of corals are not autotrophic, requiring only light to survive. Autotrophs produce their own food from inorganic material they extract from their surrounding environment, usually using sunlight to synthesize it with the aid of zooxanthellae algae. Giving your corals some extra food can really perk them up and increase their reproduction rate.
More: Exactly What Do Corals Eat?? Corals, for the most part, are carnivorous, feeding mostly on small animals (zooplankton) suspended in the water column of the ocean ...
More: When Do Corals Eat?? You might be surprised... While you are sleeping, guess what your corals are doing?
Photo © Rick Herring
Is it really possible that sharing a very dry Vodka Martini with your saltwater aquarium can reduce your nitrate (NO3) and phosphate (PO4) levels? Charles Delbeek (Marine Biologist currently at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Fransisco, CA) says you can. Here's how...
More: Long Term Nitrate (NO3) Reduction Here is a method to easily, inexpensively and permanently reduce or eliminate Nitrates (NO3) in a Saltwater Aquarium.
More: Rapid Nitrate (NO3) Reduction Water Change Method is water change method that can reduce high accumulated nitrate (NO3) in saltwater aquariums quickly and safely, and includes an animated graphic of the process.
Some aquarists believe a QT is a waste of time and money, thinking that fish can stave off disease, parasites or infections on their own. Most experienced aquarists would disagree, having seen entire aquarium systems wiped out by the introduction of a new critter which brought a disease with it. You can decide for yourself if a QT is worth it.
More: Cheap, Easy DIY Quarantine Tanks. QT's don't need to be fancy or cost a lot of money, they just need to work.
More: DIY Aquariums are terrific Quarantine Tanks. Inexpensive, easy to build and they can be designed to any size you want.
The very best food you can give your tank critters is exactly what they ate in the wild. The Food Groups of Marine Fishes Table shows you what they ate in the wild and what they need to thrive in your tank.
More: Marine Fish Food Comparison shows you what the commercially prepared marine fish foods on the market contain.
More: Macroalgae It's what Surgeonfish eat in the wild. Without a doubt it's the best food for the herbivores (and many omnivores) in your tank. The best part is that you can easily grow your own in your sump or refugium.
Photo © David McFadden
You have probably heard it said many times that bio balls which are used in Wet/Dry Trickle filters are "nitrate factories" or that someone's bio balls have "gone bad". Bio balls are a great nitrifying bacteria platform but, like any other filter media, they can produce nitrates, if not maintained. Curing the problem is simple, costs nothing and takes only a few minutes.
More: Wet/Dry Trickle Filters have been around for a while. Providing a large surface area for great nitrifying bacteria platform, they also do a great job of oxygenating your aquarium water.. Read more
More: DIY Wet/Dry (Trickle) Filters come in many shapes and sizes and can be easily constructed of a wide variety of materials.
You hardly ever see Head-and-Lateral-Line-Erosion (HLLE) in the wild. It is almost exclusively seen in some marine aquariums. Now, thanks to a study performed by Jay F. Hemdal, the Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates at the Toledo Zoological Society, we now understand the major reason for this. Do you have one or more fish (probably a surgeonfish) showing signs of this disease? Here is the reason why and what you can do to prevent HLLE
More: Hyposalinity or Osmotic Shock Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for a number of parasite infestations. Before you start spending money of chemical treatments, you might want to look into it.
Understanding the nitrogen cycle, also referred to as the biological cycle, is essential knowledge for not only cycling a new tank, but also for preventing dangerous ammonia and nitrite spikes in established tanks, commonly known as New Tank Syndrome. Here is an easily understood explanation of what the nitrogen or biological cycle is and how it works to keep your aquarium functioning properly.
More: Rapid Nitrate Reduction Water Change Method Reducing your nitrates from 100 ppm to 5 ppm can be accomplished in a few hours and uses far less water than doing repeated 20% water changes over time.
More: Top Nitrate Absorbing Products can reduce your nitrate levels to near zero without repetitive water changes. These products are easy to use and very cost effective.
More: The Vodka Method For Nitrate & Phosphate Reduction actually works. Share a vodka martini with your marine aquarium and watch your nitrate and phosphate levels drop to nothing in a short period of time.
From the colorful Hawaiian Maroon to the Blue Carpet to the Rose Bubble Tip, Anemones are terrific additions to most marine reef aquariums. Did you know that, without Sea Anemones, there probably wouldn't be any Clownfish in the oceans today? In the wild, Clownfish have little defense against predators other than the stinging tentacles of anemones. In an aquarium, anemones make colorful, cozy houses for Clownfish which seem to revel in being massaged by their stinging tentacles.
It used to be thought that all anemones required a very high water quality as well as fairly intense tank lighting in order to thrive. As more anemone research and experimentation has been done, it has been found that many anemones actually prefer lower lighting levels and seem to do quite well when their diet is supplemented with a few bits of the seafood found in your local grocery store's freezer case.
Not all Clownfish will take to diving into all Anemones. Before purchasing a Clown or Anemone, some research should be done to see which ones will most likely pair up. Host Anemone & Clownfish Matches will show you which match ups are most likely to succeed in your tank.