Archive for the General Category

Salinity In The Marine Aquarium

We all know that the fish and corals we keep are salt water creatures. That’s why we buy those expensive packets or buckets of dry salt mix.

Fish only or reef aquaria are normally kept at a specific gravity (SG) of 1022 to 1026. It has been said that it is advantageous to keep a fish only system at 1022, as it is claimed that certain pathogens do not do well at a lower SG. Fish can be treated for some infections by lowering the SG even more. Reef aquaria are normally kept at 1024 to 1026, this seems to be the usual.

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Aquarium Safety – This Post Is Very Important

As aquarists we strive to ensure that the life placed in our care is maintained to the best of our abilities. I’m not just talking about salt water aquariums but any aquarium – cold water, tropical, marine, ponds etc etc.

All aquariums have one thing in common – they all have water in them.

The majority of aquariums require items to ensure that the life can be maintained correctly – the majority of which require elecricity to operate – you can see where I am going with this can’t you.

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Water, water everywhere – not a drop to drink!

When it comes to keeping a salt water aquarium there is one thing that we are going to need and the clue is in the name – that’s right water!

But is water just water – can you just use water straight from the tap or perhaps from the ocean itself.

Well yes water is water but when we keep a salt water aquarium we are interested in any additional substances which are present.

Leaving natural sea water out of the topic for the time being as I think I will cover that in a future post let’s have a look at tap water.

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Review – ‘Marine World’ Magazine

The opinion given of this magazine is of course my own. As the name suggests the publication is devoted to all things salty. I did wonder before I opened the covers as the name could relate to an absolutely huge range of possibilities. However, on closer inspection it is aimed at marine aquarists. A new issue of the magazine comes out every two months.

The magazine measures around 8″ wide by 12″ tall. The outer cover is glossy, good quality and fairly stiff which bodes well for longevity. Besides the magazine’s name at the top, there is a generalised list of contents. On the copy I am looking at, there is also a picture of a yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens).

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Feeding a Deep Sand Bed

In the salt water aquarium a deep sand bed (DSB) is a very positive addition to the system. In addition to its filtration capabilities, it is interesting in its own right.

Why so interesting? This is because, if the DSB is functioning properly, it will have a population of tiny life forms that have made it their home. In fact, a population of these creatures is important as this assists the DSB to function correctly.

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The Aquarium Refugium

A refugium (or a fuge as they are commonly known) is a small aquarium which either sits next to, hangs upon, is below the aquarium or is above the existing aquarium. A refugium is normally a mixture of a deep sand bed or a mud bed combined with macro algae, however a refugium can also easily be made using a shallow sand bed and macro algae. If a substrate is provided that the macro algae can grow in then a refugium can be made.

A refugium is similar to that of the sea grass beds which are used in nature albeit on a smaller scale.

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Using Mangroves As A Filtration Method

Using mangroves as a type of filtration in a salt water system was started by Julian Sprung several years ago. He planted a mangrove into one of his aquariums just to see what would happen and to his surprise it actually started to grow and flourish. An article was produced by Julian Sprung detailing the benefits of utilising mangroves in an aquarium and many aquarists started to utilise mangroves as an additional form of nutrient export.

Mangroves can be grown in various areas of the marine aquarium system. They can be grown in the sump, the refugium, the mud bed, a separate designated aquarium or even in the display aquarium if you so wish.

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Cryptic Zones

There is a scientific term used which is called ‘the [tag-tec]gradient concept[/tag-tec]’. This term basically describes how various marine organisms can be graded according to the amount of light which they receive. There are two zonal categories which are most commonly used, these are the exposed and the semi exposed

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Mud Bed Filtration

Mud bed filtration is similar to that of other sand based filtration systems, however the substrate is made of such a small grain size that it is like mud. A good filtration method to equate a mud bed to is the refugium.

In the refugium method macro algae is grown in the fine sand. The mud bed filtration system is effectively the same, however instead of sand mud is used. It is not just normal mud though, it is a mud which is full of various elements and minerals. These elements and minerals are slowly released from the mud into the water column.

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