Is It Possible to Overdo Marine Aquarium Water Changes?

In a recent meandering conversation I had with my freshwater-pond-keeping brother-in-law, the question of water change volume and frequency was raised—specifically whether it’s stressful to the livestock if you perform them too frequently or change out too much water at once. My take on the question is that when it comes to water changes, the … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Acropora Bleaching Fast!

Question I just introduced an Acropora to my 65-gallon reef tank, and it’s already starting to bleach on me. I’d say about one-quarter to one-third of the colony has already bleached, and it’s been in the tank less than a week. This is my first acro. Apart from it, I have several different varieties of … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: PE Defined

The marine aquarium hobby is second only to the US military when it comes to the number of acronyms its members throw around. (Quite fittingly, this past Monday was the 27th anniversary of my DOE. Shortly after that date, I entered BMT as an A1C and did lots of PC under the direction of a … [Read More]

An Ultra-Low-Nutrient System for Acropora and other SPS

Welcome to the next level of coral care. By now I am assuming you have at least understood all the key general practices to maintain some of the hardier corals, from soft corals to large-polyp stony (LPS) corals to some of the more rugged small-polyp stony (SPS) corals. Each category of livestock can be classified … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Are Fish in Nanos More Likely to Leap?

This question, recently posted on our website by Eric B, got me thinking about some of the assumptions we tend to make about nano aquariums. So, in addition to my original answer to Eric’s inquiry, I’ve included a few more random thoughts on the subject afterward. Question Do you think that nano reef tanks are … [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 Common Causes of Marine Aquarium Ammonia Spikes

You come home from a long, vexing day at work only to notice that the fish in your marine aquarium are all gasping at the surface of the water or cowering in a corner of the tank and behaving lethargically. Panicked, you promptly test your water parameters and discover that ammonia is present. The tank … [Read More]

4 Marine Aquarium Problems That Sneak up on You

There’s an old saying that only bad things happen quickly in a marine aquarium. That’s certainly true enough, but it’s also important to keep in mind that some problems that can affect the health and wellbeing of livestock tend to develop very gradually and almost imperceptibly over time. Here’s a quick (but by no means … [Read More]

In the Marine Aquarium Hobby, “Close Enough” Just Won’t Cut It!

When it comes to achieving success with a marine aquarium, there’s a certain “X Factor” that comes into play—the hobbyist’s attention to detail. Let’s face it, some of us are pretty focused on making sure every parameter, measurement, calculation, and setting is spot on, while others tend to be a bit more, well, lackadaisical in … [Read More]

When New Marine Fish Die, You Need to Find Out Why!

As many marine aquarium hobbyists have discovered, adding “just one more fish” to an already-established community can, on occasion, be surprisingly problematic. In some instances, every new specimen that’s added lives only a short time, either succumbing to some unknown malady or finding some little gap in the cover to jump through and ending up … [Read More]