Salty Q&A: How Long Before My Tank Is Cycled?

Question The fish store dealer who’s helping me through the setup of my first saltwater aquarium told me I need to give the tank time to cycle before I put any fish or corals in it. As of right now, the tank has been operating for about a month. Is that long enough for it … [Read More]

Testing: Nano-Bubbles

Recently, the folks in my area got enamored with the topic of “nano‐bubbles” for the reef tank. Being a curious engineer and avid tinkerer of tanks, I jumped right in to test it for myself. So what are nano‐bubbles and what is the concept being prescribed? Well, there are many sources online that talk about … [Read More]

Why We Favor Fishless Cycling with Cured Live Rock

In years past, the most common method for establishing biofiltration in marine aquariums was to introduce some hardy, rugged fish to the system as an ammonia source and wait for the cycle to get established before adding more livestock. The usual go-to fishes for this purpose were damsels. While this cycling method does work, here … [Read More]

5 Common Causes of Marine Aquarium Ammonia Spikes

You come home from a long, vexing day at work only to notice that the fish in your marine aquarium are all gasping at the surface of the water or cowering in a corner of the tank and behaving lethargically. Panicked, you promptly test your water parameters and discover that ammonia is present. The tank … [Read More]

Why Many Marine Fish Benefit From Mature Tanks

Astute salties out there will likely have observed that in some of our fish species profiles, we emphasize the need to keep the fish in a “mature” aquarium—meaning one that has been set up and established for at least six months or so (not one that has progressed beyond telling horrible knock-knock jokes or taunting … [Read More]

How to Cycle Your Saltwater Tank

Before any aquarium can support livestock, whether fish or invertebrates, it must be completely “cycled”—another way of saying that biofiltration must be fully established in the system. Sounds good, but what on earth does that mean? A system is considered cycled when it has been colonized by beneficial bacteria that convert deadly ammonia—produced through the … [Read More]