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I want to set up a saltwater tank!

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You're ready to take the plunge into saltwater at last.  No doubt you've already heard a number of opinions by now, but have decided to forge ahead and do this. Good, this is a wonderful hobby and the experience of watching your hard work turn into something stunning is what this is all about. Let me be honest though, there are times when your frustration level may peak, which is the exact opposite of the 'relaxing hobby' you were hoping for.  That's just part of the experience, and remember that period is temporary.

If you haven't read these articles yet, please do:


How to rinse out an older sand bed, and why...

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If it is time to move from one tank to another one, or you are simply moving the tank from one location to another, the big question that comes up often is "how do I transfer the sandbed?" The reason this is a concern is because the sand bed traps all kinds of detritus and this builds up to toxic levels. While scooping it out of the tank for the move or the upgrade to a larger tank, these toxic zones can cause a major catastrophe when setting up the tank anew. And a sandbed loaded with detritus will surely feed nuisance algae.  Yet another reason to do this.


...I'd like to buy a Mandarin!

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Mandarin fish are probably one of the most beautiful reef-safe fish that are available for hobbyists today. With their graceful meanderings, their colorful markings and gossamer fins, people quickly fall in love with these gentle creatures. Surprisingly, they aren't that expensive, giving the reef keeper even more motivation to acquire one.


How to mix & change saltwater correctly

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Water changes are a task we rarely relish. Some swear by them, and others do them sporadically throughout the year. While water changing philosophies vary from hobbyist to hobbyist, the bottom line is that water changes can benefit your livestock. They are the easiest way to improve water quality and also are one of the most inexpensive solutions when trying to solve a chemistry problem in the system.


Get a Clean Up Crew (CUC) for your reef

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When you set up a saltwater system, within mere months you will encounter nuisance algae.  What is that?  It's stuff that grows and annoys you to no end.  While a few people may like seeing green hair algae swaying back and forth displaying movement, the majority of hobbyists abhor it. The main reason we don't want algae in our aquariums is because it grows so quickly and will choke out our precious corals. Assuming you don't want an algae tank, this article will feature why a clean up crew is critical to success.


Why should you use RO/DI water?

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When getting into the hobby of marine tanks, the basic consideration is water. Without it, nothing in your tank would live for long. Compared to freshwater tanks, marine tanks need excellent water quality to maintain success. So what water is available to the average person?

  • Tap Water - anything can be in your tap water, and most are undesirable for your tank.

  • Well Water - similar to above, with the risk of metals and high alkalinity

  • Distilled Water - available in many food stores, supposedly pure.


New to the hobby? Here are the Basics

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Thinking about setting up a saltwater aquarium?

Family members now yearn for their very own Clownfish or Tang, especially after Finding Nemo came out. With a little information, your family can have beautiful marine fish that will live for years to come. However, marine fish are more complicated than buying a kitten, a hamster, or a gold fish. Hopefully this small list will help you in your endeavors:


How does your substrate look?

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In case you haven't been told, newer aquariums go through a series of algae phases, which include things like diatoms (good, normal, food for bacteria), cyanobacteria (normal, undesirable, can be frustrating to remove), detritus (normal, made up of fish waste or decaying food), or lastly dinoflagellates (awful, something you'll never want to deal with).

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