Salty Q&A: Should You Scrub New Live Rock?

Question I’ll be receiving a shipment of live rocks in a few days, and I could use some advice on how to clean them up before putting them in my tank. Do I just need to give them a good going over with a scrub brush?” – Submitted by Chuck S. Answer I wouldn’t use … [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]

4 Crabby Caveats to Keeping Clibanarius tricolor

Clibanarius tricolor, the blue-legged hermit crab, is very commonly introduced to marine aquaria, either in conspecific groups or as part of a multi-species “reef janitor” package or “cleanup crew” (aka “CUC” for those who just can’t get enough of those marine aquarium acronyms), for the purpose of aiding in detritus and algae control. But does … [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]

What Gives When Herbivores Won’t Graze Nuisance Algae?

The practice of adding herbivorous fish and/or invertebrate species to marine aquariums for the purpose of nuisance algae control is quite commonplace. Hence the popularity of those herbivore packages known in hobby parlance as “cleanup crews,” or CUCs. But almost as common is the experience of adding a herbivorous species or CUC to eradicate algae … [Read More]

DIY Algae Trough—Fight Algae with Algae!

In my opinion, marine aquarium hobbyists have a fundamental misunderstanding of algae. It is not a disease, and it can’t be cured, as it grows on every healthy reef in the sea. We don’t usually see as much of it in the sea because of all the herbivores there and the fact that most of … [Read More]