Why Do You Do Water Changes?

Whether the aquarist runs a reef aquarium or a fish only aquarium, one of the major parts of the set-up is the seawater. The net amount of gallons in an aquarium can vary enormously. The set-up could be a nano aquarium, then anything up to an enormous 1000+ gallons. The size makes no difference in one respect, and that is attention must be given to water quality. In any marine aquarium, seawater quality is the number one concern on the list.

To maintain seawater quality the aquarist measures various parameters. For example, the fish only aquarist may measure pH, ammonia and nitrate levels. The aquarist keeping a reef goes further than that, in addition measuring calcium, alkalinity, magnesium etc. So if the measurements are correct, that’s fine, yes? Well, logically the answer should be yes.

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“Manta Ray” Rendezvous

Location, Christmas Island, Pacific. A lovely little coral island, shaped like a horseshoe, with a lovely blue main central lagoon. The sun going down behind the palm trees on the far side of the lagoon was something else.

In addition to gawking at the coral reefs, and when I could tear myself away from them, myself and colleagues would go water skiing. When I arrived at the island I hadn’t a clue about water skiing, but wanted to learn. This sometimes was a ‘lot of salt water down the throat’ and comical process. When learning, I was told very clearly to let go of the tow rope if I fell off. Pretty obvious really. My instinct seemed to be to hang on! The tow boat crew reckoned it was the best show yet, a largish wave and a face within it followed by a submerged skier. I soon learned.

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Man made aquarium filtration

Man made aquarium filtration is a term I use when describing filtration devices which are not naturally occurring. This is equipment which is used to grow or culture the bacteria required to provide an efficient aquarium filter.

Good examples of man made filtration are but not limited to :

1 External Canister Filters
2 Internal Filters
3 Fluidised Filters.

The majority of man made filters effectively follow the same principal and the majority of them utilise both mechanical filtration and biological filtration.

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The Best Reef Aquariums In The World

When I sit and view my reef aquarium sometimes my mind wanders and memories come flooding in. Christmas Island (Pacific), Eilaat (Red Sea), Bahamas, St Lucia, Barbados, Florida, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, the Maldives.

I’ve been lucky and visited the above. The coral reefs are beautiful. I’m not a qualified scuba diver, but have had a look at parts of the reefs in the areas with a mask and snorkel. So it’s a bit like looking in but not being with. But the view!

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The Nitrogen Cycle

We’ve all seen salt water aquariums in books and on the internet as well as in our homes. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, some being enormous, then all the way down in size to a nano aquarium. Whatever size they are and whether they are fish only or reef, they rely on nature’s life support system, the nitrogen cycle.

Any aquarist needs to basically understand the nitrogen cycle. There is no requirement to become a scientist, just know what is going on. Then the dangers of stressing the aquarium will be better realized (as an example overfeeding, perhaps the main problem with fledgling aquarists?).

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Aquarium Cover Glasses

Cover glasses of course are those sheets of glass that rest on the strengthening straps at the top of the aquarium. Sometimes they are fitted in plastic holders so they will slide, sometimes they just lay straight on the straps.

The overall practice nowadays is not to use cover glasses, but leave the water surface completely open. This is generally good practice. Firstly, it allows maximum light to penetrate the seawater, which is of particular importance on a hard coral reef aquarium. Second, it allows a large area of open seawater surface for gas exchange to take place. Third, it is one less item to clean!

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The aquarium filter – how does it work then

Since yesterdays post we have had a few people contact us saying that it is all well and good talking about aquarium filtration and different methods etc when there are a lot of visitors to this site who are thinking about starting a salt water aquarium and do not fully understand how an aquarium filter actually works.

So here we go, this is the first of a couple of posts to touch upon the basics of aquarium filtration (what it is, how it works, methods etc)

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Marine aquarium filtration – why must you

During my hours lunch break at work I decided to pop to my local fish shop to have a look around and have a cup of coffee with the owner and have a break from the pressures of work – it’s amazing how looking at salt water aquariums can take all the stress and pressure away.

Anyway whilst I was there chatting to the owner I overheard a couple of people talking – one of them was obviously thinking about starting a reef tank and they were chatting about marine aquarium filtration.

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Setting up a nano reef tank

Poking around on You Tube (what a great site that is) I found a video which I believe will be useful for people thinking about starting a nano reef aquarium (sometimes also know as a mini reef tank or a micro reef aquarium).

This is a video which has been created by Practical FIshkeeping which is an aquarium magazine from the UK and actually is quite good.

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Water flow in the seawater aquarium

Whether the aquarist owns a salt water fish only or reef aquarium, water movement is of very great importance.

Seawater quality is measured by test kits, such as Ph, alkalinity, nitrate etc. It could be argued that another part of seawater quality is its movement. Sluggish movement, or movement of the incorrect type, can have very detrimental consequences.

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