About Paul Baldassano

Paul Baldassano has been in the hobby since the 50s and holds two aquarium-related patents. His current reef aquarium was set up in 1971. He is also an avid SCUBA diver and Vietnam veteran.

Sponges, Sponges Everywhere!

If you do any diving anywhere, you will see sponges everywhere. Some of them are more colorful than corals, and some of them you can sit in. All sponges are water pumps and filters, which makes them useful in the sea and in our reefs. Sponges don’t move, they sit there, eat, and get fat. … [Read More]

Reefs In Decline

I have been lucky in my life to have had the opportunity to dive in some of the prettiest and most diverse underwater habitats on earth. Without exception, the nicest dive sites are far from civilization, which stands to reason. But today I want to talk about the places that are in trouble biologically speaking. … [Read More]

I Wish I Were a Fish—with a Lateral Line System!

Everything about fish is amazing and fascinating. To me, the most fascinating thing about fish (beside their taste) is their lateral line system. The lateral line is the most important thing fish possess because without it, they would get around about as well as a supermodel in a bikini but no high heels. All fish … [Read More]

Understanding Old Tank Syndrome

Old Tank Syndrome, or OTS, is something we have been hearing about since the hobby started, and I am not quite sure exactly what it means. Is it due to parameters, loss of diversity, lack of interest, diseases, metal accumulation, global warming, locusts, or all of the above? I think it is much simpler than … [Read More]

Aquarium Technologies Borrowed from Other Industries

We marine aquarists use a variety of tools to help keep our tanks healthy by either changing or removing the waste products of the animals we keep. But did you know virtually all of the devices we use were originally designed for other industries? Ozone For instance, ozone is a naturally forming gas found in … [Read More]

Shed Some Varied Light on Your Reef

The other night, as I was watching the debate on TV, I noticed that my reef tank got darker. Just a little, but it was darker and yellower. I opened the front (it is in a wall) and noticed that half the LEDs were out. “Okay, no problem,” I thought. “I’ll fix it in the … [Read More]

Our Tanks Are Lookin’ Good! But for Whom?

This is an easy question. Our tanks can be as good looking as we want. Of course, we can always throw more time and money into our tanks to make them look even better—but better looking to whom? And why? Do we want to have dynamite-looking tanks so we can win TOTM and tell everyone … [Read More]

How to Tell if a Marine Fish Is Dying of Old Age

We aquarists try very hard to keep our animals alive as long as possible for a few reasons. The first is that we are caring people and don’t want to see them hurt. The second is that our specimens cost us a lot of money. Exactly how much money depends a little on the care … [Read More]

Relax! Have Fun! It’s a Hobby!

I realize that many of us take our aquarium keeping very seriously, but we have to put it in context and remember that it is just a hobby. A hobby, by definition, is something that gives us pleasure, not something that is necessarily important (except, of course, to us and our fish and corals). Actually, … [Read More]

Want Healthy, Spawning Fish? Feed Them Properly!

Feed your fish. They are hungry. That may sound obvious, but most fish in captivity are starving to death because we are so fixated on water parameters. It’s fine to worry about water parameters, but you still need to feed your fish. Yes, water parameters are important and it’s fine to worry about them, but … [Read More]