Aquarium Automation: The Theiling Rollermat and Other Web-Filtering Technologies

The problem For the longest time, I have been trying to lengthen the maintenance interval for the filter socks on my 450-gallon system, which currently clog every two days. I tried eliminating filter socks completely for a period of time, but the sump got extremely messy and turned into a nitrate bank. The next option … [Read More]

An Introduction to Protein Skimming

A protein skimmer is a device designed to clean the water in a reef aquarium by removing dissolved organic compounds. Put even more simply, it is a controlled overflow of dirty water. Imagine a chamber that vigorously mixes air and water to create a dense foam. The cleaning action is because of the tiny bubbles … [Read More]

Sponges, Sponges Everywhere!

If you do any diving anywhere, you will see sponges everywhere. Some of them are more colorful than corals, and some of them you can sit in. All sponges are water pumps and filters, which makes them useful in the sea and in our reefs. Sponges don’t move, they sit there, eat, and get fat. … [Read More]

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]

10 Tips for Limiting Marine Livestock Losses

Distilled down to its essence, success in the marine aquarium hobby is about keeping fish and invertebrates alive and thriving. And while it may sometimes seem as though fate plays a major role in how animals fare under our care, several decades of aquarium-keeping experience (and more than a few missteps) have taught me that … [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]

Does a Naturalistic Environment Reduce Stress in Aquarium Fish?

For today’s post, I’d like to elicit your thoughts on an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed in my aquarium, specifically involving an aggravating repetitive behavior exhibited until fairly recently by my pair of blue-throat triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus). Allow me to set the stage: I introduced the blue-throats to my 125-gallon about a year and a half … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Water Changes: Don’t Postpone the Personal Payoff!

Yesterday, I finally got around to performing an overdue water change in my 125-gallon tank. Admiring the fruits of my labor afterward, I couldn’t help wondering, “Why on earth do I wait so long to do these when the result is always so rewarding?” Actually, I know exactly why I wait so long, and it’s … [Read More]

Paul “Paul B” Baldassano Pens Unique Book on Marine Aquarium Keeping

What do supermodels, the Vietnam War, and the right front fender of a 1955 Oldsmobile have to do with marine aquariums? Absolutely nothing—that is, of course, unless you’re hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano and you’ve just published a book on your six decades of aquarium keeping. Well, he is and he just did! Paul’s … [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]