Salty Q&A: To Rinse or not to Rinse Frozen Foods?

Question This is probably a silly question, but should I rinse frozen food before feeding it to my fish? I usually just thaw the food in a cup full of aquarium water and pour it right in.” – Submitted by GMan Answer Here at Saltwater Smarts, the only silly question is the one left unasked … [Read More]

Astraea Snails Make Short Work of Algae

This past year, I rediscovered how great an army of snails can be. At Tidal Gardens, we go pretty light on cleanup crews in general. For example, there really aren’t any hermit crabs to speak of in our systems. In 5,000 gallons of reef tanks, there may be only one or two hermit crabs. Most … [Read More]

Sometimes You Need to Overfeed Your Fish

You’ve heard time and again, here at Saltwater Smarts and elsewhere, that overfeeding is one of the surest ways to cause ill health in fish and pollute your aquarium water. The usual recommendation is to offer foods in very small quantities that the fish can consume within just a few minutes. And when it comes … [Read More]

The Many Means of Nutrient Export in Marine Aquariums

Dissolved nutrients. Sounds like a good thing, right? After all, every organism needs nutrients in one form or another in order to grow and stay in good health. So why are marine aquarium hobbyists—particularly reefkeepers—seemingly so fixated on keeping the level of dissolved nutrients in their systems as low as possible? To understand this fixation, … [Read More]

Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine Aquarium

We’ve mentioned several times here at Saltwater Smarts how the output of reef aquarium lighting gradually and imperceptibly shifts away from the desired level over time. But did you know a very similar phenomenon can occur with the rate of water flow in your aquarium system? That’s right! If certain simple steps aren’t taken on … [Read More]

End the Toil and Trouble of Bubble Algae

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” could be the lament of any marine aquarium hobbyist battling a stubborn outbreak of green bubble algae. (Okay, “Double, double toil and trouble,” is the actual incantation from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but I digress.) Green bubble algae appear as rounded or tubular green bladders ranging from about the size of a … [Read More]

The Minimal Role of Mechanical Filtration in Marine Aquariums

Mechanical filtration—the physical straining out of suspended particulates from aquarium water—has something of a mixed reputation among marine aquarium hobbyists. This may seem odd to those with experience in the freshwater side of the hobby, where the use of hang-on-back and canister power filters is quite commonplace. But then, freshwater fishkeepers tend to think of … [Read More]