Symphyllia: So Stunning, Yet Success Eludes Me!

Symphyllia are some of the most colorful large-polyp stony corals out there. Their bodies resemble Lobophyllia in many ways, but unlike lobos, they have a much more diverse color arrangement. I’ve seen them come in just about every color imaginable, and it is very common for them to have large bands of colors. Unfortunately, I … [Read More]

Reefing from Afar, Part 3: The Bare-Bones Basics of Automation

In Part 2 of this series, I discussed some of the possibilities for automating your reef system based on your needs. Now that you have a few ideas of what you can automate, I’d like to offer a simple recipe and combination to help take care of your system when you’re away for a short … [Read More]

Reefing from Afar, Part 2: Automation Options

In Part 1 of this series, I laid down some of the expectations for success, and now we are ready to dive into the functions that we can automate. Automation can range from low-tech to high-tech and fit various budgets, though the level of refinement of the solution and its robustness can be a function … [Read More]

Techniques for Maintaining Calcium and Alkalinity in Reef Tanks

Calcium and alkalinity are vitally important chemical parameters in reef aquariums. They are used by stony corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons. A lack of calcium and alkalinity in the water will inhibit the growth of reef-building corals and invertebrates, which will eventually lead to health problems. What is calcium? Calcium is one of … [Read More]

The Role of Magnesium in Marine Aquarium Chemistry

One of the big differences in moving from freshwater systems to saltwater systems is a greater emphasis on water chemistry. There is a pretty steep learning curve to get a handle on all the different chemical parameters, and it can be a source of frustration for many aspiring reef hobbyists. In aquariums with an abundance … [Read More]

The Role of Activated Carbon in the Reef Aquarium

Of the three types of filtration used in the reef aquarium hobby today, biological, mechanical, and chemical, it is chemical filtration that is possibly the least understood. This post is all about activated carbon, the most popular type of chemical filtration used in aquariums. What is activated carbon? Activated carbon is a chemical filtration media … [Read More]

Acclimating Corals in 4 Easy Steps

Is there a better feeling than adding something new to your reef tank? Buying new corals feels like opening presents on a holiday. We got in some new corals and while acclimating them to our tanks, it reminded me how many times my customers ask how to go about acclimating new arrivals to their own … [Read More]