Symphyllia: So Stunning, Yet Success Eludes Me!

Symphyllia are some of the most colorful large-polyp stony corals out there. Their bodies resemble Lobophyllia in many ways, but unlike lobos, they have a much more diverse color arrangement. I’ve seen them come in just about every color imaginable, and it is very common for them to have large bands of colors. Unfortunately, I … [Read More]

Pocillopora Corals: Hardy, Adaptable Reef Architects

You may not be aware, but Pocillopora, despite being among the less popular stony corals in the reef aquarium hobby, are second only to Acropora in reef-building productivity in the wild. Their skeletons make up a huge portion of the reef’s structure in the ocean. Pocillopora are also among the most adaptable SPS corals in … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Photography: Post Processing of Coral Images

Often the subject of heated online debate is the post processing of coral photos—the manipulation of the coral image by software to tweak color and exposure levels. Post processing of coral images is a particularly hot-button issue because it is possible to abuse it. Hobbyists unfamiliar with the practice may decide to purchase a coral … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Photography: The Basics of Exposure

At its core, the reef aquarium hobby is a pursuit of aesthetics. We seek out visually appealing fish and corals and look for inspiration in other aquarists’ tanks. More and more reef hobbyists want to share their hobby with others online, and that’s when things fall apart. It is not that there’s a problem with … [Read More]

An Award-Winning Coral Aquaculture Business Plan

Have you ever considered turning your reef aquarium addiction into a side business? I have. The reef aquarium hobby, like many hobbies involving livestock, is an enticing entrepreneurial opportunity. Successfully maintaining a healthy reef will result in an abundance of coral. That coral, if left to its own devices, will reward the aquarist’s hard work … [Read More]

Tridacna Clams in Reef Aquariums

Giant clams of the genus Tridacna are popular mollusks for reef aquariums. Oftentimes, people unfamiliar with the ocean are familiar only with the shells of clams. Their true beauty, however, can only be realized when they are living and healthy, as they have a thin mantle that is stunning to behold. Tridacna clam mantles have … [Read More]

Reef Aquarium Carbon Dosing Clarified

Carbon dosing is a relatively new phenomenon in the reef aquarium hobby. The first I heard about it was around two years ago, and I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought until recently. The goal of carbon dosing is to improve water quality by lowering nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates and phosphates can lead … [Read More]

The Trouble with Coral Trade Names

The reefkeeping hobby today is full of colorful trade names for corals, and it appears that, for better or for worse, the trend is here to stay. Tidal Gardens has plenty of corals with goofy names, so we are the last folks in the world who should be judgmental about the practice. As a seller, … [Read More]

Is There a Jellyfish Tank in Your Future?

One of the product lines that really caught my eye at MACNA 2014 were the jellyfish tanks at the Boyd Enterprises booth. Until recently, home aquarists did not have access to jellyfish systems. When I think of jellyfish systems, I think of them almost exclusively in the context of big public aquariums. I’ve been to … [Read More]

Barely There: Trace Elements in the Reef Aquarium

What are trace elements exactly and what role do they play in our reef aquariums? To put it simply, trace elements are elements that appear in very small quantities in salt water. They are vital to all sorts of biological processes and due to the limited size of our aquariums can be depleted rapidly. Trace … [Read More]