Showing posts with label Reef Aquarium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reef Aquarium. Show all posts

2019-01-07

Macroalgae As Natural Filtration For REEF AQUARIUMS

Caulerpa is a genus of edible seaweed.

Caulerpa is a genus of edible seaweed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Removing excess waste is one of the main challenges to a successful reef aquarium. It's often easy for beginners to forget that corals are living animals that excrete waste. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and phosphates are problematic to corals, fishes, inverts and other animals. An increase in ammonia that is not quickly removed or converted can easily crash a reef aquarium. High amounts of nitrates and phosphates can hinder coral growth and cause discoloration.

Typical means of removing nitrates and phosphates involve water changes, skimmers and the use of macroalgae. All three are very effective but the use of macroalgae is the easiest and most economical. Skimmers are often expensive and require cleaning few times a week. Water changes are time-consuming and can get expensive for large reef aquariums. Macroalgae can effectively absorb phosphates and nitrates as long as a light source is present. The only maintenance required is pruning excess growth once a month. While skimmers and water changes incur costs, excess trimmings of macroalgae can often be sold.

A side effect of excess nutrients is an increase of nuisance microalgae. Microalgae can ruin the beauty of a reef aquarium and suffocate corals. The good news is that macroalgae are able to able to starve microalgae of nutrients and thus greatly reducing its presence.

There is an abundance of choices of macroalgae that include Chaetomorpha, Caulerpa, Gracilaria and Ulva. In terms of phosphate and nitrate absorption, Caulerpa is the most aggressive and effective. However, Caulerpa can be potentially dangerous. Caulerpa can suddenly dissolve and release toxic elements and the excess nutrients that were absorbed. This happens when Caulerpa is lacking light or nutrients. A second problem with Caulerpa is its holdfast roots. Caulerpa has the ability to attach itself to hard objects making removal extremely difficult. With these risks, it's better to choose other macroalgae.



Chaetomorpha is an excellent and likely most popular choice among reef aquarists for nutrient uptake. Although the nutrient absorption rate for Chaetomorpha is not as aggressive as Caulerpa, it doesn't pose any risks that Caulerpa does. Chaetomorpha will not dissolve suddenly when starved of nutrients or light. There will be plenty of time and signs before Chaetomorpha dissolve. Chaetomorpha also lacks the ability to attach to objects making removal very easy.
Long-term control of excess nutrients is essential for a successful and beautiful reef aquarium. Although skimmers and frequent water changes are extremely effective in removing excess nutrients, macroalgae are the easiest way to remove excess nutrients.



2018-12-21

How to Deal With AIPTASIA the Natural Way

Aiptasia sp.
Aiptasia sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aiptasia anemones plague many saltwater aquariums, particular those including reefs. These anemones can be quite hard to get rid of. This is both because they are extremely hardy and because of their reproductive strategies.

Aiptasia can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their asexual reproductive method is known as a pedal laceration. This method involves the growth of daughter clones from the foot of the mother anemone. Pedal laceration allows aiptasia to reproduce very rapidly, and to create multiple new offspring at the same time. Furthermore, many attempts to destroy aiptasia fail. This happens because, even if the mother anemone is manually removed or destroyed, a circle of daughter clones will be left behind.

Chemical approaches to aiptasia removal are also problematic because they can easily destroy other species and ruin the delicate balance required to maintain a vibrant, living reef aquarium. Luckily, humans can borrow some ideas from nature as to how to deal with these prolific anemones; the best solution to an overabundance of aiptasia is to introduce some of their natural predators into the aquarium ecosystem.

There are several potential species to use in this manner. Peppermint shrimp are small cleaner shrimp that naturally consume aiptasia. However, their efficacy is limited by the fact that these shrimp generally prefer other food sources.

Some reef keepers also use a few varieties of butterfly fish, with the Raccoon Butterfly species being the most popular. These fish have also been known to eat other reef inhabitants, including tube worms, corals and other anemones.

The best choice for a predator to introduce is generally Berghia nudibranchs. These animals are mollusks which are commonly called "sea slugs". Berghia nudibranchs are more focused than other potential species on eating aiptasia anemones.

This species of mollusk is small. At the largest, they grow to be one inch in length. When newly hatched, these animals are so tiny they cannot be seen by the unaided human eye. They are often shipped when they are only partially grown, at a size of half an inch or smaller. Berghia nudibranchs at this size are still quite delicate.



Shipping in general causes significant physical stress for aquatic animals. As such, it is highly recommended that you allow your newly arrived Berghia nudibranchs several days at least of time in mason jars to recover their strength. If you do not do so, you risk the mollusks being damaged by high water flows or simply being eaten by the other denizens of your aquarium.

The best practice for nurturing your Berghia nudibranchs in jars before transferring them to the main aquarium is as follows. Place at least six Aiptasia in a large mason jar a week or two before you expect the nudibranchs to arrive. Fill the jar with water from your aquarium. Keep the jar in an enclosed, dark place with a consistent temperature. Allow the newly arrived nudibranchs to remain in the jar for at least two days. When you do transfer them to the aquarium, do so at night.



2018-11-30

Feeding Brains - BRAIN CORALS

English: Open Brain Coral, Metallic Green Spec...
Open Brain Coral, Metallic Green Species: Trachyphyllia geoffroyi
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
A customer who was considering purchasing an open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) from us called me up to ask me if he would need to feed this animal. He said that he had seen a lot of contradictory information on the Internet about whether or not open brain corals need targeted supplemental feedings or not. Given our focus on brain corals this week, I am going to answer his question here so that everyone knows what it is we recommend.

First off, I thanked this customer for doing his research before acquiring the animal. I can't emphasize how important it is that you research every animal thoroughly before you purchase it in order to make sure the animal is compatible with your set-up and that you are prepared to meet the animal's needs in terms of husbandry. Regarding the feeding of open brain corals, you will see a variety of opinions ranging from "never feed an open brain coral directly" to "feed it daily." We definitely recommend target feeding any brain coral. Whether you have one of the many Favia species or a colorful Trachophyllia, brain corals, in general, do much better in reef tanks with supplemental feedings.
But where is the mouth? "Wait a second," you say. "Brains have mouths?"

While that sounds like a campy science fiction movie from the 50s, the take-home point is valid. Brain corals do have mouths, and they do need to be fed. Most brain corals are nocturnal feeders, and they change their appearance dramatically at night by partially deflating their tissue and extending feeding tentacles located around each individual mouth. Some brain corals have many mouths while others are sold as pieces of a larger colony (e.g. Lobophyllia) and usually have only one mouth.

Regardless of the number of mouths, you want to target feed these animals two or three times per week. Try small pieces of meaty marine flesh, brine shrimp, baby brine shrimp, Cyclopeeze, or our own Blue Zoo Mix. You can soak the food in water with a vitamin supplement like Selcon and then use a turkey baster or the Kent Sea Squirt to target feed each open brain coral. After the coral gets acclimated to aquarium life, it will almost always extend its tentacles whenever these foods are present-even during the day.

With the proper husbandry, open brain corals will grow quickly and remain healthy in most systems.

    Published 1 July 2008. Blue Zoo Aquatics
    Blue Zoo Aquatics was formed in 2001 as a custom aquarium design, manufacture, installation and maintenance company which provided its services in and around Los Angeles, California. The company founders and key personnel had either a background in marine biology or had spent their entire career in the saltwater aquarium industry.
    Customers who bought a custom aquarium were also frequently asking us to provide livestock and aquarium supplies, so we created bluezooaquatics.com to showcase our entire product offering and make it available to everyone.
    Today, Blue Zoo Aquatics has evolved into the complete source for all of your aquarium needs. Although we can still design and build you a beautiful custom aquarium, we are also proud to offer one of the largest selections of livestock on the web as well as a wide variety of quality aquarium supplies.
    Our business has expanded, but Blue Zoo is still owned and operated by the same team of expert aquarists that have dedicated their lives to helping people have fun and succeed with saltwater aquariums. - http://www.bluezooaquatics.com
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-11-16

CORAL and its habitat

Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aqu...
Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aquarium of aquarist Mike Giangrasso.
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Corals are a beautiful addition to any saltwater aquarium and they can also have beneficial effects on the miniature semi-ecosystem that exists in a well functioning aquarium.

Corals are living animals that are commonly called sessile invertebrates. What this means is that they are animals that don't have a backbone (like vertebrates do) and that they are generally stuck in one spot and can't move around like most animals can. Corals are usually attached to a rock. Corals consist of many individual polyps. The polyps may have an internal or an external skeleton that is made of calcium carbonate. Each polyp has an oral opening that leads to a gastrovascular tube. There is a lot of variety in the types of food eaten by coral polyps. For example, some corals feed by using their stinging tentacles to catch small fish. Other corals eat microscopic organisms, whereas some coral polyps don't feed at all, and obtain all their nutrition from zooxanthellae  (single-celled algae that live within the coral).

Corals are more complicated to keep that many saltwater fish species, and can, for instance, require more intricate currents, powerful lighting and supreme water quality. Keeping the water temperature in the ideal range is therefore imperative when you keep corals in your aquarium. Reef-building corals prefer quite shallow depths where the light penetration is good and will therefore usually grow at depths of less than 46 meters / 150 feet. The reef-building corals require plenty of strong light since they form a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae. Other coral species can, however, survive without direct sunlight and live much deeper down in the ocean.


Corals should be thoroughly researched beforehand because of their often hefty price tag and demanding water, lighting and feeding requirements. The great part about live rock, aside from the biological importance of using it, is that you can use aquarium silicon sealant to shape the rocks into any type of design you desire. We now have a new term - "rockscaping". You can also use a drill to create small holes in the rock and use PVC pipes to hold them together to make columns or archways. The rockscaping possibilities are endless. Another thing you'll probably need to do is place the rock directly on the tank bottom and not on top of the sand. Sand burrowing species could get injured or worse if you place the rock on top of the sand.

Corals are very popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  Some of the most common corals are now being successfully kept and grown in a rapidly growing number of home aquariums. There are hundreds of species including soft corals, corallimorpharians (mushroom corals), gorgonians, zoanthids, large-polyp stony corals, and small-polyp stony corals.

For the beginner reef aquarium, there are a number of soft corals, that require less light and less than perfect water quality standards, than their hard coral cousins. These soft corals are the better candidates for converting to a fish only or fish only with live rock aquarium tank to a reef tank with corals.

You can have coral in any sort of aquarium/fish tank i.e. fish only tanks, fish only with live rock tanks to a full reef tank.

Moving smoothly from tank to tank isn't really all that difficult. You need to move coral because believe it or not there can be turf wars in coral reef tanks. Corals on the reef compete for space. So do the corals in your aquarium. Corals are still deemed difficult for the average reef tank hobbyist but in my experience, I have not found this to be true.

Corals are found all over the world, even around the poles. Reef-building corals are however only found in warm subtropical and tropical waters. Reef-building corals are present in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Western Atlantic. Their habitat is generally limited to the region between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S latitudes. In the Indo-Pacific Ocean you will find reef-building corals from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and eastwards in the Indian and Pacific Oceans all the way over to Panama and a few places in the Gulf of California. In the Western Atlantic corals are living outside Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Belize and around the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and Bahamas. Reef-building corals will only live where the water temperature is warm enough; 20-28 degrees Celsius / 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit.



2018-10-25

CORAL REEF Aquarium

our 440 l reef tank
440 l reef tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When shopping for fish, it might be tempting to pick the rare and fancy fish full of colors, and exotic looking shrimp or crustaceans. An aquarium full of marine life complete with a coral reef and aquatic plants is very appealing. After all, who wouldn't want to have an underwater paradise in their living room?  It may, not, however, be the best choice for a beginning hobbyist.  

Coral reef aquariums require much more care than freshwater tanks or saltwater fish only tanks.  Freshwater fish are usually hardier than marine species and therefore a little more forgiving when it comes to water acclimation. It is recommended that only experienced fish keepers with a real commitment to the hobby attempt a coral reef aquarium.   A tank containing coral reef life may require several months of cycling before getting the water just right. The water in a coral reef tank must be regulated for lighting, temperature, and ph.  Start with tap water and then add a sea salt mix to the water.  This type of solution is available at most pet stores.

The salinity of the tank should be between 1.023 and 1.004.  The ideal temperature for a marine aquarium is between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is also important to test the P.H. of the tank.  Ideal P.H. is somewhere between 8.3 and 8.4.  Test kits can be purchased online or at your local pet store.  The same store will also carry any solutions necessary to adjust the P. H. There is not much wiggle room when it comes to these specific starting points.  In order to avoid a costly mistake, it is important to be patient, watch the tank closely, and make sure that you don't introduce any marine life until the tank is absolutely ready.

Once the aquarium is ready, start with anemones and clownfish. They are the hardiest of reef species, and who wouldn't love to have Nemo swimming around in their living room?  Monitor the marine life closely.  Check the activity levels of the fish, and watch for stress.  Stress is the most common cause of sickness in fish.  Remember that these creatures may have come directly from the ocean, and it may take a while for them to get acclimated to their new home.  Another cause of stress in fish is overcrowding.  Make sure there allow about ten gallons of water per one inch of fish.  Account for the full-grown size of the fish, not the size of fish when it is purchased.


The incubation period for most sickness in fish is about thirty days.  So after about a month, if all is well with the tank and the fish seem to be adjusting well, then it is okay to introduce some new marine life. A mandarin fish or a dwarf angelfish might round out the collection nicely, and they are fairly compatible clownfish.  Whenever adding new fish, choose the species carefully for compatibility.  The fish should be compatible with water specifics, but also make sure that their food source is compatible.  Always remember to be patient when adding new fish.  

Give the existing tank members plenty of time to get adjusted before making additions to an aquarium. The best piece of advice is to do research.  Make sure that all new purchases will be suitable tank mates for the existing creatures.  With a little luck, and a lot of skill you will be on your way to having a reef aquarium that will impress any fishkeeper.



2018-10-17

The BERGHIA NUDIBRANCH

Aiptasia sp.
Aiptasia sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aiptasia in residential aquariums will quickly be wiped out due to the wide adoption of Bergia Nudibranches now available in Canada. The key benefit of this amazing animal is that it only feeds on Aiptasia, accordingly making it a safe addition for the rest of the tank.

Aiptasia has been a sore-spot for home aquarists for decades. Thankfully, the Berghia is very small in size and can get into those tiny spaces, without harming coral or liverock. Nudibranchs are the only species able to consume the entire aiptasia, and therefore prevent aiptasia regrowth and spawning. Another benefit is that the Berghia are so small, they won't add bioload to the tank, or affect the quality of the water.

Berghia are quick reproducers too, due to their hermaphroditic nature. Mature adults can lay eggs every day. On a side note, you have to be aware that the Berghia feeds solely on Aiptasia, and for that reason must be monitored, as once the eradication of the Aiptasia happens, the creature will starve to death.

Berghia are very smart little creatures. They have sensory organs known as rhinophores thata are able to use chemicals to find the location of the Aiptasia. This means that Berghia can find even the tiniest Aiptasia, not visible to the naked eye, and wipe out the parasite completely before it reaches adulthood. Berghia are able to eat the Aiptasia successfully, because of strategies it employs to approach the Aiptasia without the parasite feeling endangered. This prevents the release of the tentacles and larva, meaning it prevents new reproduction from occurring. Berghia is also harmless to the other fauna and flora in the aquarium and primarily feed at night, which won't affect the beauty of your tank during the day.

Berghia coerulescens eats Aiptasia couchii - Photo: Wikipedia


What to Expect after the Introduction of Berghia
The recommendation is for every 100 gallons of water that 8 Berghia be introduced to the tank, for a moderate to severe infestation of Aiptasia. If there are only a few Aiptasia anemones present, it is not recommended to add Berghia to the tank, as it won't have enough food to sustain itself, and will starve to death. Berghia are a species of sea slug and need the appropriate environment to thrive and survive in. Keeping this in mind, there are some areas where this sea slug won't be able to help, such as if an infestation occurs in the tubing, powerheads, or the sump. These areas should be kept clean at all times by you, the reef owner to prevent the spread of Aiptasia.


How long will it take for Berghia to wipe out the Aiptasia infestation?
This primarily depends on how bad the infestation of Aiptasia is, and how many Berghia have been introduced into the tank. It should be assumed that for 8 Berghia, two to three months would be an appropriate amount of time. It's so important to not get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Berghia need time to acclimate to their new surroundings before they are able to wipe out the infestation.

Caring for Berghia
There are many species of animals that are considered quite safe for reef aquariums, however, this is not always the case. Here are some species to avoid in an aquarium containing Berghia. Avoid any nocturnal species that hunt near the liverock, or coral, such as butterflyfish, filefish, wrasses, and some species of dotty backs. Other species which prey on Berghia include peppermint shrimp, coral-banded shrimp, and some invertebrates, such as the arrow crab, sally lightfoot crab, pom pom crabs, and emerald crabs. Aiptasia can consume Berghia if the sea slug is placed directly into its mouth. Therefore, take precaution when adding the Berghia into your reef tank.

In conclusion, nature has answered the Aiptasia infestation with a natural predator, the Berghia. As long as it acclimates to its new surroundings, it will eradicate the Aiptasia infestation, and keep the population under control. It is so important to keep the tank well cared for, to ensure the health of the creatures that inhabit the reef. With attention and care, the saltwater aquarium can be danger free of unwanted parasites, and be a beautiful addition to any home.



2018-10-07

Creating the Perfect Reef Aquarium

Reef Aquarium - Photo: Pixabay
Just as nature above the sea level is as variable as the sun, from the deserts of Arizona to the snow-topped caps of the Swiss Alps, so can the world under the sea be a constant study in contrasts, with no two reefs the same. This is good news for the underwater enthusiast who is attempting to establish the perfect reef aquarium in their home; there is no established "formula" for the perfect tank. There's plenty of room for creativity!

One thing that cannot be shirked upon is the size of a tank. It must be more than adequate to allow the species of fish that are chosen to inhabit it plenty of room to exercise and grow. Just as a person cannot thrive in an enclosed environment, neither can a fish. A 75 gallon tank is a generous size for the home marine biologist to establish their own eco-system and allows for space for several species of fish to spread out (provided they are compatible species, of course. Putting two species together who are unsuited to tank life together is a recipe for disaster, regardless of the size of the tank). 

Courtesy of advances in the convenience of establishing a home aquarium it is now possible to purchase an aquarium that has been pre-drilled in order to prevent overflow. This provides a cleaner look than the traditional "hang on the back" overflow system for the home professional who is attempting to create the picture perfect reef aquarium.

There are many options for decorating a reef aquarium, although it is generally much more aesthetically pleasing and healthy to the fish to keep all of the decorations one hundred percent organic. Live rock is a vital element to any eco-system, yet makes a lovely addition to a home saltwater aquarium. The microorganisms which grow on the rock (the rock is not really alive, obviously; it gets its name from the fact that it is a natural habitat for many species of bacteria) will help to filter out the harmful waste products produced by the fish that will accumulate in the water of a saltwater aquarium in spite of the filtering system-after all, how often does Mother Nature need to clean her saltwater aquarium? She has created the perfect filtering system as long as man does not add any elements to throw off the balance.



Live plants and coral are also essential elements to the perfect reef aquarium. There are many different types of plants which can be added to a reef aquarium, and it is best to choose based on the species of fish which will be inhabiting the tank. For successful transplantation of live aquarium plants, it is essential that the sand or silt on the bottom of the tank be deep enough to allow the roots of the plants to successfully take hold. These plants will also require additional light and carbon dioxide to allow for proper photosynthesis.

There are many options for creating the perfect saltwater aquarium, many of them very costly; however, with the proper mix of imagination and frugality, it is possible to create a reef aquarium that is aesthetical, ecologically and financially friendly. 



2018-09-24

How to Create and Care for a CORAL AQUARIUM

English: A mass of Plerogyra sp. coral in a tr...
A mass of Plerogyra sp. coral in a tropical reef tank at the Seattle Aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many aquarium owners crave to someday own a saltwater tank displaying numerous kinds of coral. This may be achieved is fast easy steps if you use coral starter kits to grow your own coral. This is recommended over buying coral from a store. By growing your own, you ensure it is properly acclimated to your tank. Setting up and caring for the coral aquarium, or reef aquarium is a task that requires a bit of knowledge before starting. There are some steps to take when setting up a new coral aquarium. The process may seem to take a long time, and because of this, many people opt to use fake coral instead. However, the time spent waiting will be well worth it when you are later able to display your own coral aquarium. If you follow some simple steps and have the patience for about 12 weeks, you will be able to create and own your piece of underwater paradise.

To begin, the first thing to do is assemble your aquarium. Find a spot in the home that you wish to have it displayed. Follow through with the set up as you would a freshwater tank. When you are ready to add the water to the tank, follow these simple steps. First, pour the sand into the bottom of the tank. Add dechlorinated water to the tank. Next, add the salt and make sure it is mixed until the specific gravity measures 1.205. After the water and salt are added, arrange your live rock as desired and install the heater and the hood of the tank. After doing these things, you must then wait 4 weeks to move ahead.

After the four weeks has passed, you will then add your first living creatures to the tank. It is best to add fish later, and slowly as to make sure the salt balance in the tank is correct and remains that way. At this time, you can add a variety of snails or crabs if you wish to have them part of your tank. You will also need to install a protein skimmer. The tank should be functioning as if it were full of fish. Make sure the filters are working properly and the lighting is right. Remember not to leave the light on for more than 10 to 12 hours a day as it may promote algae growth. After adding some snails or crabs, wait another 2 weeks before proceeding.

Now at week 6, you will add your first pieces of coral. There are many types of coral used in saltwater coral aquariums. Some of the most common are Button Polyp, Yellow Polyp, Hairy Mushroom Coral and Bullseye Mushroom Coral. Make sure when adding your coral, it is attached to the live rock at the bottom of the tank. Wait another 2 weeks. Don't get frustrated... you're almost there! During the eighth week, you can add Aquacultured Coral such as Pumping Xenia, Starburst Polyps and Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral to name a few. Place these corals into the live rock as you did with the previous set of coral.


Now you have succeeded in creating your reef aquarium. During the course of the 10 to 12-week mark, you may begin adding your fish to your underwater world. It may seem a long drawn out process to get a coral aquarium up and running, but the time and hard work will pay off for years to come. Creating and caring for your coral aquarium will bring you much enjoyment and a wonderful sense of accomplishment for creating a spectacular coral aquarium.


2018-09-03

Adding an OYSTER to the Ecosystem Inside a Saltwater Aquarium

English: Spondylus regius - Royal or Regal Tho...
Spondylus regius - Royal or Regal Thorny Oyster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Saltwater aquariums can make a lovely addition to a home, and are a source of endless fascination to young and old alike. The different fish and plant life which are capable of living in a saltwater aquarium is both exotic and beautiful, and provide a rich introduction to life under the sea. Fish and plants are not the only things which can be found in the deep blue, however, and it is becoming more and more common for aquarium owners to attempt to incorporate these other elements into their home aquarium.

Artificial oysters which open up and blow bubbles into the water have been a part of home aquariums for many years. With the increase in the desire to perfectly emulate the ocean floor live oysters are becoming a common addition to saltwater aquariums. It is not common but not unheard of for a pearl producing oyster to be offered as an addition to a home aquarium; however, it is generally their less productive relations that become permanent residents. Since scallops and oysters have more specific needs than many of the inhabitants of the home aquarium it is necessary the aquarium owner be sure that they are prepared to make these adjustments prior to installing the oyster into the aquarium.

Oysters require very "pristine" water conditions; these are not the organism of choice for those who tend to be a bit lazy about cleaning their tank, as the oyster will not survive long if their water becomes cluttered with junk. Fortunately, the oyster also filters the water so this may balance itself out.  They also have specific dietary needs that will not be met with the generic food fed to many saltwater inhabitants. They will need a specialized organic food designed especially for filter feeders which can be inserted with a pipette upstream of the oyster. Each oyster is going to need to be fed individually, so unless an aquarium owner finds themselves with a great deal of time on their hands it may be wise to keep the oyster population of their aquarium to a minimum. These invertebrates also require nutritional supplementation with phytoplankton, a microscopic portion of plankton that drift through the water.


Certain types of oysters have been shown to have a better chance of survival in captivity than others. The beginner would be wise to look to these breeds, to begin with, moving on to the more delicate oysters as they become more comfortable with their needs. Common aquarium oysters are the spiny oyster and the thorny oyster; strange yet accurate names for these beautiful and unique creatures.

Oysters are a demanding but beautiful addition to any home aquarium; for more information on introducing an oyster to a home, aquarium consumers should speak with the retailers who sell them. Remember, no detail is too small when attempting to take an organism from its natural environment and watch it thrive.


2018-08-08

Importance of Saltwater INVERTEBRATES to the REEF AQUARIUM

Riffbecken3
Riffbecken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Simply put; No reef tank is complete without invertebrates. Invertebrates provide numerous benefits to the marine aquarium, the same way they do in nature. Algae and fish waste removal are two of the main benefits, however, there are countless others. In this article, we will discuss some specific groups of inverts and how they can help you keep your reef healthy.

The first group of inverts we will discuss are algae eaters. Algae eaters can help keep an aquarium looking clean and presentable during cycling, algae blooms and normal growth in an established aquarium. Nuisance algae such as cyanobacteria (red slime), brown diatoms, bubble algae, green algae and hair algae can all be battled with diet specific inverts. Select species of crabs, hermits, snails, sea slugs, sea urchins, and starfish can provide excellent algae control, as well as add color and diversity to the tank.

Another group of inverts to address are the detritus eaters. Detritus can be described as an organic matter that naturally occurs in the aquarium; some examples are leftover fish food and fish waste. Detritus can build up in the tank, dissolve in the water column and cause elevated levels of ammonia, which is the number one fish killer in home aquariums. To avoid this build-up of detritus, we can put invertebrates to work doing what they naturally do in the wild. Select species of crabs, hermits, shrimp, sea urchins, starfish, anemones and sea cucumbers can help keep detritus under control, therefore keeping water parameters in check and your fish healthy.


We have only begun to discuss the need for invertebrates in the reef aquarium. There are many interesting species to learn about, and many beautiful critters that can safely be kept with your fish and corals. A good mix of invertebrates can help you achieve a thriving, healthy aquarium with a 24-hour-a-day maintenance crew!




2018-07-08

AIPTASIA - An Aquarium Pest

English: Sea anemones : 1. Bolocera tuediae 2....
Sea anemones : 1. Bolocera tuediae 2. Anthea cereus, 3. Aiptasia couchii, 4. Sagartia cocoinea, 5. Sagartia troglodytes
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Practically every reef-keeper can identify tales of the numerous hours put in checking out their new aquarium, observing to determine exactly what new life may appear from the liverock. It's virtually a magical period, particularly for someone new to reef-keeping, as the miracles of the sea gradually happen inside the modest glass world we've designed for it. 

 The majority of experiences which involve Aiptasia begin in exactly the same way. All of a sudden, a brand new little anemone is noticed on a freshly added item of liverock or live coral fragment, just a 'baby'... However, quickly that one 'baby' will become two, then several, then a lot more. By the time most reef-keepers realize who their new house guests happen to be, they quickly understand that this problem grows and multiplies at a very quick pace.

In keeping with their name, Aiptasia sp. Anemones (this means 'beautiful') tend to be exquisite critters, but they are additionally obtrusive and hostile competitors. Left uncontrolled, they will often completely over-run a fish tank. This doesn't take much time either, as we quickly discover.

Aiptasia has developed to be dominant neighbors and house-guests. They replicate both sexually and asexually, and they are effective at regenerating an entire creature from a single cell. Furthermore, they're armed and dangerous hunters! When Aiptasia are disrupted (possibly by way of a passing fish or invertebrate) they eject harmful white-colored stinging threads called Acontia which contain venomous tissues known as Nematocyst. These Nematocysts are designed for supplying a powerful sting that can cause tissue regression in sessile corals, immobilize prey, and even kill unlucky corals, crabs, snails or fish. Considered by many experienced reef enthusiasts as a pest (or worse), early identification and action are necessary to quickly remove Aiptasia from your tank before they reach epidemic proportions - making control/removal far more difficult.

Step one to managing an Aiptasia outbreak is proper identification. It accomplishes little to commit time and expense towards a means to fix the wrong issue.

Aiptasia sp.
Aiptasia sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aiptasia anemones could be revealed by their similarity to miniature palms, with a polyp body (the Coelenteron) up to two inches in length and an oral disc one inch across outlined with a combination of several prolonged and lots of small tentacles (up to one hundred tentacles may be found) situated in thin bands about the outside border of the oral disc. The tentacles tend to be lengthy slim protrusions that form well-defined tips at their ends.

In the middle of the oral disk is the mouth in the form of an elongated slit. At the bottom of the polyp, the body is the pedal disk which features as an anchor for the anemone in addition to a means of asexual duplication.

Pigmentation of Aiptasia is a result of the existence of Zooxanthellae (microscopic photosynthetic dinoflagellate alga - species Symbiodinium Microadriaticum). For this reason, specimens living in bright locations are often light greenish brown to dark brown, with those in areas which receive less light are typically medium to light brown or tan in color and those from low light areas tending toward a transparent appearance. Often an anemone's column or stalk is lightly marked with parallel longitudinal lines. Sometimes white or light green flecks can also be found close to the tentacles, and it's also not uncommon for juvenile specimens to be completely engrossed in them.

As with any members of the Cnidaria phylum, Aiptasia is able to sting for both offensive and defensive reasons. Just about all Cnidaria possess stinging cells called cnidocytes, each that includes a stinging mechanism, cnidae or nematocyst. Aiptasia has got both cnidocytes on their tentacles in addition to specialized cinclides around the lower area of the column (small blister-like protrusions) by which it expels acontia.

Acontia is threadlike protecting organs, made up mostly of stinging cnidocytes cells which can be expelled from the mouth and/or the customized cinclides once the Aiptasia is agitated. (A lot of anemones don't have acontia or cinclides yet Aiptasia does.)


The nematocysts of Aiptasia possess a contaminant which is stronger than the vast majority of corals held by the enthusiast (with the Elegance Coral - Catalaphyllia jardinei being one exception) and may cause cellular material regression in sessile corals, immobilize prey, as well as kill ill-fated crabs, snails or fish.

As an additional shielding mechanism, Aiptasia may also pull away into tiny holes inside your liverock if confronted. Taking advantage of this trait, it's possible to poke a diagnosed Aiptasia anemone with a probe and view its response. If it quickly pulls itself downwards (as opposed to folding in on itself), it's likely an Aiptasia.

Aiptasia is a formidable enemy, and pose a significant threat to any reef aquarium. Anyone harboring such species in their aquarium should look into natural predators, as chemical fixes don't work in the long run. Peppermint shrimp can often suppress Aiptasia, while Berghia Nudibranches can eradicate the problem pests.



2018-06-13

Berghia NUDIBRANCH

Berghia Nudibranch



2018-05-22

How To Keep INVERTEBRATES In Your Marine Aquarium

English: This photograph of a Sea Apple at Can...
This photograph of a Sea Apple at Cannibal Rock in Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Keeping Invertebrates And The Care They Need
Invertebrates are not as hardy as fish. It is necessary to make a study of Invertebrates and how they function, their diet and the temperature that they need before attempting to acquire them. You will need to make arrangements with your supplier because you may need delivery of food if so required. There are two types - coldwater and tropical. It should also be noted that they need to merge with the others in the tank.

The Different Types Of Invertebrates
As you make a study of the Invertebrates, you will find that there are two types - coldwater and tropical. A few examples are sea apple, red hermit crab, and shrimp. The water temperature should be 75 and 79 degrees F, and the PH between 8.2 and 8.4 and the salt water content between 1.020 and 1.024. This needs to be checked every day so that there is no discrepancy. Also, their food is not compatible, so your supplier needs to be informed.

Coldwater Invertebrates can only be fetched from tide pools as the stores do not keep them. One thing that is required is to see that these do not belong to an endangered species when removing them from their habitat. A comprehensive research needs to be done so that they can be taken care of appropriately and all their dietary needs are met. They usually feed on shrimp, mussels and raw fish.

Another useful tip while keeping coldwater Invertebrates is to always keep scallops and mussels in a tank so that you will always have a regular supply for them, and it may be a good idea to give them fresh rather than frozen food. They should also be fed a little at a time at regular intervals.



When a tank is set up, live rock is a good idea, because some Invertebrates like to take their food from the parasites that are found on the live rock. There are innumerable ways in which you could fill your aquarium so that your fish are comfortable in their surroundings and it is a pleasure to look at. If you have a substrate, shrimp and crabs can make deep pits and go underground. That would be as close to their natural surroundings as possible. If you would like to keep anemones, then a light could be installed, as they like the light. The main thing is to research your project, see what you get regular supplies, keep the tank clean and check for temperature, and you are all set to enjoy your aquarium. You will find that your time and effort has been well spent and you can enjoy your handiwork.

    Abhishek is an avid Fish Lover and he has got some great Aquarium Care Secrets up his sleeves!
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-05-08

Saltwater Aquarium - 5 "Easy" CORALS

English: Soft corals from Komodo National Park
Soft corals from Komodo National Park - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having your own coral reef is a dream shared by many aquarists. For a long time, it used to be very difficult to grow and maintain coral reefs in aquariums because of the lack of knowledge about them and their needs to survive in a saltwater aquarium.

A coral reef system is complex and requires the right components and proper maintenance. The good thing is that even though some corals are still very difficult to grow and maintain, a wide range of corals is now easy to grow even for beginners.

If you're a beginner or average aquarist, when picking corals for your saltwater aquarium, you might want to go with soft corals because they are easier to take care of.

Below are 5 different types of soft corals:

Cladiella Corals: Cauliflower, Finger Leather, and Colt Coral. They adapt very well and do best with moderate lightening and water movement.

Palythoa Corals: Button Polyps and Sea Mat. Can grow very fast under bright lightening (might overgrow your other corals). Prefer rapid water movement. Warning: Handle them with gloves to protect yourself from their toxin (the palytoxin).

Sarcophyton Corals:
Leather, Mushroom Leather, Toadstool, Toadstool Mushroom and Trough Coral. Adapt to all lightening levels. Moderate water movement is preferred to prevent parasites on their surface.

Discosoma Corals: Disc Anemones, Mushroom and Mushroom Corals. Low light is preferable. Active feeders (small fishes but also detritus and uneaten food).

Zoanthus Corals: Button Polyps, Zoanthid and Sea Mat. Bright light is preferred as they feed on zooxanthellae along with algae, D.O.C.'s and bacteria. Warning: Use gloves to handle them (because of the palytoxin).

As you see, many different corals can grow in your saltwater aquarium. This is just a short selection so what you have to do is research the specific needs of the different corals you're interested in and make sure they can grow in the same aquarium. With the right light, water movement and nutrients, you'll have a beautiful coral reef system!

Every hobbyist, either advanced or beginners want the best components in their aquarium to grow and maintain their corals in the best environment possible. That is why having a very high-quality saltwater aquarium can make a difference. But the hard part about purchasing an aquarium to grow corals is that many different components are needed and selecting and installing them can be a daunting task.



This is why we recommend Red Sea aquariums, and more specifically the Red Sea Max 250 because of its high quality and the fact that this system has all the components needed (+ a starter kit) which makes the installation effortless.




2018-04-22

Creating the Perfect REEF AQUARIUM

our 440 l reef tank
440 l Reef tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just as nature above the sea level is as variable as the sun, from the deserts of Arizona to the snow topped caps of the Swiss Alps, so can the world under the sea be a constant study in contrasts, with no two reefs the same. This is good news for the underwater enthusiast who is attempting to establish the perfect reef aquarium in their home; there is no established "formula" for the perfect tank. There's plenty of room for creativity!

One thing that cannot be shirked upon is the size of a tank. It must be more than adequate to allow the species of fish that are chosen to inhabit it plenty of room to exercise and grow. Just as a person cannot thrive in an enclosed environment, neither can a fish. A 75 gallon tank is a generous size for the home marine biologist to establish their own eco-system and allows for space for several species of fish to spread out (provided they are compatible species, of course. Putting two species together who are unsuited to tank life together is a recipe for disaster, regardless of the size of the tank).

Courtesy of advances in the convenience of establishing a home aquarium it is now possible to purchase an aquarium that has been pre-drilled in order to prevent overflow. This provides a cleaner look than the traditional "hang on the back" overflow system for the home professional who is attempting to create the picture perfect reef aquarium.

There are many options for decorating a reef aquarium, although it is generally much more aesthetically pleasing and healthy to the fish to keep all of the decorations one hundred percent organic. Live rock is a vital element to any eco-system, yet makes a lovely addition to a home saltwater aquarium. The microorganisms which grow on the rock (the rock is not really alive, obviously; it gets its name from the fact that it is a natural habitat for many species of bacteria) will help to filter out the harmful waste products produced by the fish that will accumulate in the water of a saltwater aquarium in spite of the filtering system-after all, how often does Mother Nature need to clean her saltwater aquarium? She has created the perfect filtering system as long as man does not add any elements to throw off the balance.

Live plants and coral are also essential elements to the perfect reef aquarium. There are many different types of plants which can be added to a reef aquarium, and it is best to choose based on the species of fish which will be inhabiting the tank. For successful transplantation of live aquarium plants it is essential that the sand or silt on the bottom of the tank be deep enough to allow the roots of the plants to successfully take hold. These plants will also require additional light and carbon dioxide to allow for proper photosynthesis.



There are many options for creating the perfect saltwater aquarium, many of them very costly; however, with the proper mix of imagination and frugality it is possible to create a reef aquarium that is aesthetically, ecologically and financially friendly.