Aquarium Automation: The Theiling Rollermat and Other Web-Filtering Technologies

The problem For the longest time, I have been trying to lengthen the maintenance interval for the filter socks on my 450-gallon system, which currently clog every two days. I tried eliminating filter socks completely for a period of time, but the sump got extremely messy and turned into a nitrate bank. The next option … [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]

Does Your Marine Aquarium Pass the Smell Test?

We marine aquarists depend heavily on store-bought test kits and devices for monitoring water quality and parameters (like the FishBit monitor we discussed here recently), but we’re actually born with some of the best tools available for figuring out what’s going on with our tanks—our innate human senses. With the possible exception of taste (I’d … [Read More]

Wishing I’d Chosen a Wider Marine Aquarium

I 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 … [Read More]

How Simple Can You Get with Your Marine Aquarium?

While the title of this post puts me in mind of a song performed by Nick Rivers in the 1984 comedy film Top Secret, it’s a question many a novice has posed before setting up his or her first marine aquarium. How basic can it be? Or, put another way, what equipment is absolutely essential … [Read More]

The Qualities of a Good Aquarium Cleaning Brush Kit

While there are certainly sexier marine aquarium topics I could be writing about, I’d like to dedicate today’s post to one of the more mundane, albeit essential, elements of our hobby—aquarium brushes. This subject came to mind recently after I threw my ten-thousandth brush kit into the trash because, once again, the brushes had begun … [Read More]

Don’t Neglect These 5 Critical Marine Aquarium Maintenance Tasks!

Keeping a marine aquarium healthy and thriving requires a significant level of maintenance. For the most part, we hobbyists are pretty good at tackling chores in a timely manner, but in some cases we’re a little more prone to procrastination—usually in situations where “out of sight means out of mind.” Here are 5 critical marine … [Read More]

Avoid These 5 Live Rock Aquascaping Pitfalls

Your long-anticipated live rock shipment has finally arrived at your doorstep, and you can’t wait to get it in your tank and start watching as life emerges from those gnarly chunks. Though you’re understandably eager to forge ahead putting the rocks in place, it’s critical at this stage to give more than passing thought to … [Read More]

What’s Your Excuse for Skipping Water Changes?

Excuses, excuses! When it comes to putting off those tedious maintenance chores, such as routine partial water changes, we hobbyists have a million of ‘em! But for every attempt we make to justify our indolence, there’s a more compelling counterargument for sticking with the regimen. Let’s look at some of the more common excuses we … [Read More]

5 Ways to Make Marine Aquarium Maintenance Easier

Routine maintenance is an unavoidable aspect of marine aquarium keeping, but let’s face it, most of us would much rather spend our time enjoying the fruits of our labor than actually doing said labor. With that in mind, anything we can do to make our aquarium-maintenance chores less burdensome and time-consuming significantly increases the odds … [Read More]