Embracing a plug and play aquarium for personal coral reefs

Eradicating AEFW in the Red Sea Max 250 reef

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 in Guides | 0 comments

In dealing with Aceopora Eating Flatworms (AEFW) in my Red Sea Max 250 reef, I took all of my Acropora corals off of rocks, dipped for weeks, added wrasses for patrolling, and all the other suggestions out there. I did lose a few corals, especially deep water ones due to the stress of the dips and sensitivity to Revive. I am out of patience and whatever happens now happens. If AEFW want to eat my Acroporas, then they are going to and I’ll have to not have any Acros. However, since the reef was being dismantled at this time, it was a great time to correct a few mistakes I had made a long time ago that only experience teaches, if you know what I mean. A few that come to mind are: 1. Glue corals to small pieces...

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Coral warfare

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 in Guides, Photography | 0 comments

Corals are beautiful and delicate animals but the coral reef has limited space with the right temperature, flow, sunlight and other characteristics so corals compete for space. To aid in protecting themselves and space, most corals produce neurotoxins to damage or kill neighboring corals. An Acropora coral fell on my Bird’s Nest coral and a chemical war ensued. The Bird’s Nest coral lost as you can see below from the white calcium carbonate skeleton devoid of coral tissue.                         Important Note: In a reef tank, care must be taken to not get these neurotoxins within your blood stream through cuts on your hands. Use gloves, eye protection and a in some cases (if boiling is involved) a respirator as much as possible. Also be especially careful with Zoanthid...

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Red Bugs can cost you thousands of dollars

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 in Featured, Guides | 1 comment

                Have you looked closely at your corals recently? Does your tank have Red Bugs or as the scientists call them Tegastes acroporanus? Reach back to your general biology knowledge from high school or college: it is an arthropod – an invertebrate (no bones) with an external skeleton and related to other arthropods like the scorpion, spider, shrimp, crabs, lobsters and over one million other species of arthropods. How do you identify Red Bugs? Are your corals losing color,  have stopped growing, receding and refuse to extend their polyps, then look closely at your corals, and if you see tiny, almost microscopic yellow dots with a smaller red dot, then you have Red Bugs. However, they are only found on smooth-skinned acropora corals in the aquarium and can be seen moving around....

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Red Sea Max 250 replacement lighting

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 in Equipment, Guides | 10 comments

The Red Sea Max 250 out of the box T5 fluorescent lighting has been great for all coral growth so far. I wasn’t impressed with the color of my corals though as corals require different wavelengths of light to fluoresce in different colors. Since T5 bulbs for a reef tank should be changed every 9-12 months, I decided to not use Red Sea’s bulbs but experiment with a wider spectrum of light. I replaced the manufacturer’s bulbs with ATI T5 39 watt fluorescent bulbs and couldn’t have been happier. The corals look great and grow well. If you are going to replace your Red Sea Max 250 lights, please consider the below recommendation and arrangement (really) as I did much research to arrive at this layout and it works well. Note: replace one bulb every three days or even...

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Top 10 things you can do this weekend for a healthier Red Sea Max 250 tank

Posted on Oct 29, 2011 in Featured, Guides | 0 comments

Do these ten easy things this weekend to make sure that your Red Sea MAX 250 (or any saltwater tank) is in top shape. You know you need to do tank maintenance and you know you like it, so get to it. 1. Change 10% of your tank water. When was the last time you changed the water in your tank? If you are like most marine aquarists, you depend on your salt mix and water changes to keep you thank healthy. Keep this up and you are on your way to having an amazing tank. 2. Test your nitrates to make sure they are low. 3. Fill up your auto top off system reservoir with RODI water. 4. Scrape your tank glass or acrylic to remove algae. 5. Clean the sludge (denatured proteins) from your protein skimmer cup....

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Top 10 Gifts for the Marine Aquarist

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 in Guides | 0 comments

The holidays are here and you need to buy gifts for the marine aquarists in your life. Where do you start? The research and testing were done for you and The top 10 Gifts for Marine Aquarists list gives you the best gifts for an aquarist at any level. 1. Aqua Gloves Gloves that cover your arms up to your shoulders should be number one and Aqua Gloves have you covered. When working in your aquarium, your arms are exposed to neurotoxins from corals, other stinging and biting life forms, marine viruses and thousands of marine bacteria that through a cut or bruise and send you to the hospital. These gloves are great for non-detailed work like moving rocks, cleaning, placing corals and more. Regardless, but there aren’t any other choices out there. 2. Marine Depot Aquarium Refractometer This...

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Join a local Aquarist Society or regret it

Posted on Feb 11, 2011 in Guides | 0 comments

If saltwater aquariums are your hobby, I’m preaching to the cult. If you are reading this and you do not own a salt water aquarium with fish or fish and corals, then know that this is a great and addictive hobby for those with active minds and especially those that are scientifically minded. When a tank is maturing well, the aquarist adds more inhabitants, thinks and reads everything about the marine aquarist hobby. When there are problems with a tank, it’s stressful to decipher what’s wrong and a fix, but the aquarist still thinks and read a lot (maybe even faster). The Read Sea Max 250 reef tank has really shown me this and overshadowed all other hobbies. There have got to be others like me, right? With such dedication there are definitely dedicated online watering holes online where...

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