Signs You May Need to Lower Your Reef Tank’s Bioload

The bioload in a reef aquarium increases through both the acquisition of new specimens as well as the growth/reproduction of established livestock. So, unless fish and corals are dying in significant numbers (which they shouldn’t be unless there’s a major problem), the bioload in any reef system is usually trending upward. While it’s exciting and … [Read More]

Inappropriate Feeding—Not Just Overfeeding—Kills Marine Fish

“We lose a lot more fish to overfeeding than we do to underfeeding.” I’ve read or written that sentence—or some variation upon it—more times than I can recollect. While I still consider this statement to be true on balance, I think placing undue emphasis on overfeeding versus other forms of inappropriate feeding can lead to … [Read More]

What a Difference a (Good) Protein Skimmer Makes!

Here at Saltwater Smarts, we’re not, generally speaking, in the business of writing product reviews. But when we have positive personal experiences with products that we think can make your life easier—and are available at a reasonable cost—we want to pass that information along. Such has been my experience with the Coral Vue Octopus AC20287 … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Terminology: “Nutrient Export” Defined

Among the myriad mysterious terms that might give neophyte marine aquarists a migraine (okay, I’ll stop with the gratuitous alliteration now) is “nutrient export.” What does this term mean? Is it just a fancy way of saying “filtration”? Well, not exactly, though certain forms of filtration do play a part. For our purposes, nutrient export … [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]

Salt Smart Tips for Soothing Those Hair Algae Headaches

Of all the irksome algae that can take hold in a saltwater aquarium, hair algae probably causes hobbyists more consternation than any other. So named for its hair-like, furry, or feathery appearance, this filamentous algae (for the sake of simplicity, I’ll use “algae” for both the singular and plural forms of the noun) is primarily … [Read More]